Coffee and Customs:
We had to order our Nespresso coffee capsules for the coffee machine on the internet from Switzerland , via France , USA to Trinidad (believe it or not - that was the ONLY way to get it!) - it only took 4 days thanks to FEDEX!.. and was still cheaper than what we pay for it in Australia! ? ....After a 3 hour struggle to collect it at Customs ( where do they get these people from? Mars?) - we managed to convince them that we do not need to pay $120 import duty on it because we export it within minutes after receiving it!!...
We were ready to pull the ropes in and leave Trinidad for the last time in a long time to come....sad ... but about time too...
Big Seas ... Friday
We will have a 3-4 days voyage ahead of us to get to the BVI (British Virgin Islands).The forecast states winds between 22 and 28 knots ... the waves between 2.5 and 3 meters.... well ...unfortunately - it will getting worst after the weekend and last a week or two so... we have decided to take it on !
The plan was to leave on the Thursday at 2am .... but then we had the bad news of our best friend Gerhard passing away and decided that we will stay one more day to get our frame of minds right...and then the show began....
You see, wild weather is one thing - you can adjust your sails and tough it out... but these huge swells coming from the front is tough! Breaking right over your bow and over the roof of the helm station...is outright messy, scary and uncomfortable!
These northerly swells slow you down - the bouncing and slamming is frightening and makes resting impossible! What is normally a 12 hour trip took us fourteen and a half hours.... we had to pull in at Grenada...5am in the morning ...just to have two hours sleep and a proper meal ... and then take on the next torturous motor-sail /slamming!
Sometimes the floor (lowest point with least rocking) is the best place to try and find some rest!
The winds were too close to the bow to even have a sail up and we ended up dropping the main sail just to discover that the one rope that keeps the top of the sail straight has snapped! Wild winds of 22-27 knots make that a knight mare to fix ... and with the sea looking like a washing machine - very sloppy and rough - we had no chance fixing it while at sea and had no choice than to pull into Union Island to fix it. We arrived late afternoon - too late for customs and decided to leave early enough the next morning before customs wake up.
Kriegler ...sadly mate... your venture with Jack the Undertaker is no more .... my condolences! But "Two Palm Sports Bar and Restaurant" could not withstand the Economic Crunch of the USA and is now Terminal 1 for the Airport! We did not get to see Jack either.
The angle of the wind from there onwards became better and up went the sails! We were delighted ... the see still a mess and with too much speed comes too much slamming so we ended up with one sail only most of the way. At sunset last night as we took down the Genoa (front sail) the Genoa sheet car broke off from the track and Captain J had to put his life on the line to get plan B going! The heavy metal block was flying madly over his head and banging into the deck! How he managed to restrain it is beyond me ... my eyes were closed and I was praying ...so I did not see how it happened...
We had our fair share of trouble and bad sailing ... I'm ready for a change!
As I am typing now (the start of day 4) we have another 63 nmiles to the BVI and we are doing about 7knts ... so we should be there just after dark. Cannot wait! The whole boat is a salty mess in and outside and I would not mind one full night's sleep .... we are doing pretty well with the 3 hour shifts ...but I am sure it will catch up with us by tomorrow!
.... dis 'n diep moeg! ... this is what painful tiredness look like!