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Year 9 Day 120 Happy Birthday Dave! Day 2
Mary Margaret, Overcast
05/30/2016, Bridgetown, Barbados


Yes, you read correctly--this will be the second day we celebrate Dave's birthday because yesterday was his REAL birthday but I was not able to really celebrate it with him other than calling our children. We had a great time talking with all of them. It was good to know that they were all doing well. So that is a lovely birthday gift.

We arrived in Barbados after 2:00pm and did not anchor until 4:30pm. We slept very little last night and were quite tired. The crossing was quite an "E ticket" ride (for those of you who are old enough to remember the old Disneyland method of adventure!). While in bed, I would wake up floating because a wave bounced our boat into the air! Needless to say I was not thrilled with this crossing and was looking forward to its end!!! However, any landing is a good landing and we did make it safe and sound to Barbados. So Dave had a "good" birthday!

I, however, like to make a bigger deal out of birthdays and I wanted to celebrate the day the man I love was born. To all of you, that sent him an e-mail, wishing him a happy birthday - thank you. He LOVED them and read them all to me. We really appreciate receiving notes like that and savor them. Sometimes those are our favorite and best gifts. Today, we are going to go into town and eat out for his "birthday meal". Hopefully it will be a good one. Then for dessert, I made the traditional birthday cake. His favorite is - chocolate cake with you got it chocolate frosting! We will start to explore Barbados while we are in town. The town is called Bridgeport and Dave is very excited because this island is full of British history. It was the headquarters of the British fleet in the 1700's. I am sure that Dave will give LOTS of info on this later.

Dave is the sweetest and best person I know. He is strong and not a pushover but he is kind and amazingly understanding. He is generous and very giving in many ways. Over the years he has made me a better person in spite of myself! I would not be on this adventure if it were not for Dave. I am grateful for having met him and have had the pleasure of his company for 46 years! For 45 of those we have been married! But that is for another time!!! Happy Birthday Dave!

Year 9 Days 118 And 119 Barbados!
Dave/Outcast
05/30/2016, Bridgetown, Barbados

Yesterday we weighed anchor bright and early, around 0600. We had a long a bumpy sail in front of us. Our goal was Barbados and it was to be a windward sail to the NE. Actually, it was to be a windward sail to the NE and then the SE and then back to NE as we would have to tack back and forth against the wind and the waves to get there.

As the crow flies (or, actually, as the booby flies since we saw so many of them on this passage), it is only about 110 nm. However, we sail to the wind so with the three long tacks, the trip was more like 190 nm. During the first 10 hour tack we had great winds of 15 to 20 knots and make great speed (7 to 10 knots), even with bashing into the swells. Each time we bashed, the boat would shudder and our speed would be drop about 4 or so knots. Then we would zoom back up to speed and wait until the next big wave would come and knock us back down again. Fortunately, the big waves would come only about every minute or so as most of the swells were just in the 1 to 2 meter range. While the ride was fast, it was not the most comfortable.

During this run we were visited by 4 squalls, a couple with winds that peaked at about 35 knots. We had full main and head sails up so we were watching the wind speed very carefully. The rule is that one should put one reef in the main when the winds hit 25 knots and another reef in the headsail when the winds hit 30 knots. A second reef should go into the main when the winds hit 35 knots.

However, it takes a while to put reefs into the main and by the time it would have taken to put the reefs in, the winds were back down to 22 knots. I don't like having the full main up when heavy winds hit. It is not because I am worried about the winds capsizing our boat, which would take hurricane strength winds to do that, instead, I am worry about the strain on the rigging. With heavy winds into the full main, the mast bends and the side shrouds and head stay take on the full force. However, we were just fine and the strain was just for a few minutes.

By 1600 the winds had eased from about 10 degrees to the south of east to about 10 degrees to the north of east. While I was hoping to get a long run in on this tack, it made more sense to tack to the SE and take advantage of the wind change. With us now on our second tack we were about to sail on this heading through the night. By 0600, it was time to make our third tack but the winds were still going from about 10 degrees north of east, this meant that we could not make our bearing that would take us to Barbados, it would take us just to the west of the island, but what could we do?

We resigned ourselves to just sail past the island and then putting a 4th tack to make our landfall in Bridgetown. However, as we got closer and closer to the island, the wind finally began to shift back to slightly south of east and we were able to get to within 10 miles of the island. Swallowing my pride, we dropped the sails, turned into the wind and motored into port.

We arrived around 1400 and the Port Captain cleared us to go into the deep water harbor to go through Customs and Immigration. The quay was not sailboat friendly as there were big spring-longed fenders every 40 or so feet. They are there for the big cruise ships that frequent Barbados. In the furthest corner of the quay we found a spot of about 80 feet which had no fenders and we ended up tucking into that location.

Once secured, I walked over to the big passenger terminal and cleared in. When we were through, we motored out of the harbor and over to Carlyle Bay, just about a mile away. To the blare of loud music from the local beach bar, we anchored in 35 feet of water. We have arrived in Barbados!

We had a quite night and called our children. It was Dave's birthday today. We were tired and went to bed early. More tomorrow.

Village At Petite Martinique
05/27/2016

Our dinghy at the fuel dock. Just not a lot of exciting things to do here...

Village At Petite Martinique
05/27/2016

This is looking down the main road in the other direction. Just not a whole lot there!

Village At Petite Martinique
05/27/2016

The "village" is really not much as you can see looking down the main road in the center of town.

Year 9 Days 117 and 118 Gettin’ Ready
Dave/Mostly Sunny
05/27/2016, Petite Martinique, Grenada


We have been carefully watching the weather each day to see when it would be best to beat to windward, making our way to Barbados. We have been waiting for the winds to shift a bit to the south so we can get a better wind angle on each of the three or so long tacks it will take for us to get there.

The earlier weather GRIB files had originally shown that this Sunday would be the first time the winds would be shifting about 20 degrees to the south of east. However, as this week progressed, it now looks like tomorrow, Saturday, will be the best time to go. Furthermore, the winds will now only be about 10 degrees south of east, which will make our tacks a bit shallower than we would like. This could translate to a longer sail. It will just depend on what the winds really do once we get out in the open ocean.

Yesterday we were hoping to run over to the fuel dock at Petite Martinique and fill up with "the cheapest fuel in the Grenadines". Unfortunately, when I called them to say we would be over in an hour, they told us that they were out of fuel and the earliest they would be getting more would not be until sometime next week. Darn!

On a positive note, our two fuel tanks are still pretty full so we really not need fuel for a while. I was just hoping to top up the tanks and fill the jerry cans while we have access to cheaper fuel. Oh well, that is just the way it goes sometimes.

Not to be deterred, we decided that we would take the dinghy to shore, explore a bit, have a nice lunch at a restaurant which is well known for its lobster, and check out the supermarket. When we arrived, we discovered that the restaurant was closed, as was everything else. We discovered that it was another holiday: Corpus Christi. We had never heard of a holiday called Corpus Christi and have since discovered that it is Roman Catholic and is called "the Feast of the Corpus Christi". It is celebrating the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his Real Presence in the Eucharist. Protestants do not follow this celebration.

Because of the holiday, the little village was a ghost town so we just gave up and returned to our dinghy and then Leu Cat. So much for our little adventure. I have posted a few photos of our visit to this blog and above it.

Regatta!
05/25/2016

...And they are off!

 

 
Who: Mary Margaret and Dave Leu
Port: Dana Point, CA
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