Thursday, Day 7
25 November 2010 | 18 24.23'N:62 41.65'W, St. Martin in sight
Thursday, November 25
The chorus this morning as crew stumbled on deck was, √'Happy Thanksgiving√".
And in truth, we have much to be thankful for. First, for Philip and Corinna√-s enchanting idea to take their 44-foot Alden, Tioga, to the islands for the winter so that the Kersten kids can become certified boat bums. And then there√-s all the work that various crew members have done to prepare the boat for the journey that began Oct. 1, when Philip and his mates set sail from Nahant, bound for Bermuda. So, thanks and a toast, to Doug (along for this ride, too), Josh, and Josh, Dan, and John for taking the Gulf Stream head on in reportedly delightful sailing weather, and getting the boat to Bermuda in mostly one piece.
And on behalf of all those involved in this little venture so far, thank you to Mother Ocean for delivering us all safe and sound to our destinations.
Oh, did I say destination? Why, yes, I did. At 7:30 this morning, land was spotted, dead ahead, which means it√-s now very likely that by the time we sit down for turkey and trimmings, courtesy of Chef Peter Davis, late this afternoon, we√-ll be snug on a hook in St. Martin. It goes without saying that yesterday was a day of anticipation aboard Tioga, where we put another 152 nautical miles under the keel. Peter chased down the short in the electrical system that had turned off the power to the aft port quarter. And with the breeze down and us cracked off another 10 degrees, the hatches were opened to get some air below. Clothes were hung on sheets and lifelines to dry, and bucket showers were had by all. Thanks for that, too.
For sunset, we enjoyed our first and only rum drink of the trip, a modest toast to the captain and to the trip that was nearing its end. Then after stuffed cherry peppers and beef stew, most of the boys headed below to rest up for their final watches. No complaints about rolling bunks and slatting sheets this night.
Overnight a shifty wind kept the helmsman busy, but the breeze kept us moving and the waves grew calmer with each passing hour. We spotted the first plane of the trip and just after midnight, caught our first fish when a flying little devil rocketed into the cockpit, hit yours truly in the head and ricocheted into a corner under the dodger, where Bob wrestled the 6-inch leviathan into submission. He was, of course, liberated.
Just after 0600, we jibed, sending the main to port for the first time since we left Bermuda, November 19. Now, the bow√-s pointed to a waypoint off Anguilla, at the mouth of the Anguilla channel, which will take us to Baie Grande Case (You can Philip putting up courtesy flags in the photo). There we√-ll stop for a swim and perhaps dinner and the night before we clear in at Marigot.
Eight Hundred and Eighty miles of trade winds, reaching, and good company aboard Tioga. Mother Ocean, we give you thanks.
This post is made possible by Iridium and Global Marine Networks.