Year 10 Day 146 A Desperate Try
26 June 2017 | Simpson Bay Marina, Cole Bay, Sint Maarten
Dave/ Sunny With Passing Showers
As you know from reading our blog this last week, we have given up on our attempt to cross the North Atlantic and sail over to the Azores and then on to Spain and finally into the Med. This has been one of our dreams and with the North Atlantic so racked by storm after storm and with the hurricane season advancing rapidly with each passing day, we have thrown in the towel and called it quits. Furthermore, we have come to the sad conclusion that now is the time to put an end to our wonderful cruising lifestyle and return to being land-based. It was not an easy decision for us to make since we so love this radically alternative way of living. It is just so rewarding and adventuresome. It is very hard to stop.
We have received lots of suggestions regarding ways to sail across the North Atlantic and have given each and every one of them a close inspection. Unfortunately, the North Atlantic has become just too unstable for us to safely cross, no matter which route we would try.
In this vane, we also received a great suggestion from a blog reader (Ange) who currently is in Greece. He suggested that we do what he did last year and just ship Leu Cat over to the Med. He shared with us that it cost him $25,000 US to do so. While a bit steep, our ears perked up and I quickly rushed to the SevenStars web site. SevenStars ships boats all around the world and that includes from St. Thomas in the USVIs to Spain. After filling out their form with high hopes of possibly doing this, we waited anxiously to see what it would cost to ship Leu Cat this August. Alas, it is not to be. The quote we got came back at $33,700. Ouch! To add that to our sailing budget for this year is just not possible. We knew it was a desperate option and a remote chance but now we know it is not in the cards for us.
We also received a suggestion that we hire a captain and crew and they sail Leu Cat over while we just fly over. However, we are not interested in this simply because it still puts Leu Cat at risk. We are not afraid to sail in storms and heavy weather. We have done that many, many times while sailing around the world. The worst storm we have sailed in had 47 knots of apparent wind blowing behind us while we were making 15 knots continuous. Thus, that was sailing in true winds of 62 knots with gusts of a bit more and the seas were between 15 and 20 high! We and Leu Cat handled it all fine as Leu Cat is such a seaworthy vessel. Also, while sailing down the South African coast we were hit, on three separate occasions, by rouge waves and within 10 seconds picked complete up and turned almost 180 degrees around. Leu Cat has time and time again proven to be a remarkable safe and stable vessel.
However, the North Atlantic has been so unstable and with such large storms there is a real risk of not being successful in making the crossing. Already, two other sailboats have been sunk and four others were not able to complete their crossing due considerable damage incurred during the June 10th storm. We just do not wish to risk Leu Cat (or ourselves) to such an unstable ocean especially with the hurricane season advancing as it is and it being predicted to be more active than usual.
Thus, despite every desperate alternative we look into, we always end up where we are at now. It is just time to call it quits and be thankful that we have had such a wonderful 10 years of cruising.