Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat

Airborne in the Heads

03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
Donna Cariss
We hadn't had a weather forecast since Wednesday morning and it was now Saturday. The original plan had been to stay in Monserrat for 3 days but with Little Bay being so uncomfortable, we hadn't stayed to do a tour onshore and there seemed to be no point sitting at anchor for another night, even though the old forecast suggested that Saturday would be the windiest day. That's what reefs are for! We lifted the anchor at 0610, hoping to get a decent way before the wind picked up too strongly, assuming that the forecast hadn't changed. The sails were up immediately and the wind was up and down, between 5 and 15 knots. As we were approaching the headland, at the south of Monserrat, I asked Pete to put a reef in the main. I was on the helm, as usual. 10 minutes later, we were hit by a squall, torrential rain and wind gusting to 28 knots. Pete offered to helm so that I could stay dry but I was already soaked, so I told him to stay under the sprayhood. I asked for a second reef in the main, which Pete could do from the shelter, as we have single line reefing from the cockpit. A reef went in the foresail too and we were sitting more comfortably. The second squall soon hit and was much the same as the first. I could barely see for the rain hitting my face. I stayed on the helm, in challenging conditions for a little over 2 hours. The swell was 2.5 to 3 metres, with the wind up and down between 18 and 28 knots. Pete came up from below wearing his life jacket and brought mine too. He took over the helm and I crouched in the cockpit, under the sprayhood to dry off and stay safe. We went through another 2 squalls before Pete put on the autohelm, which coped quite well. We passed a couple of fishing pots, going right between the two of them, impossible to see in the waves. We had no recorded depth so assumed they had broken away. About 17 miles out from Guadeloupe, the swell increased to 3.5 to 4 metres, with breaking waves and Pete took over the helm. In a short lull, I risked a visit to the heads. I was just fastening up my shorts when a massive swell hit and I was lifted off my feet and airborne in the heads. I reached out and placed my hands on the sink unit and just managed to stop myself from headbutting the mirror, scrapping my elbow on the door as I flew. I sat down for a couple of minutes before struggling back into my life jacket and returning to the cockpit. The big swell lasted around 45 minutes and then the sea slowly started to settle as we neared the coast of Guadeloupe and the last mile into Deshaies was just a gentle 75cm swell. We hadn't seen another boat all day, other than a yacht further out as we left Plymouth that morning. Deshaies was packed, no mooring buoys available and we eventually anchored on the north side with our anchor just inside the mooring buoy field. It was 1305 hours and we had had a fast sail, 7 hours, averaging about 7 knots. We were tired and hungry, having only eaten a boiled gg and a couple of biscuits all day, so we had an instant pasta carbonara to put us on until tea time. A racing yacht came in, with four young men on board wearing life jackets, so we decided they must have been the other boat we had seen as we left Plymouth. When we were confident our anchor had held, we went ashore for a beer and to get some wifi. I felt inebriated on one beer.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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Created 1 April 2024
26 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
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Created 22 March 2024
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Created 22 March 2024
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Created 3 March 2024
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Created 3 March 2024
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Created 4 February 2024
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Created 24 January 2024
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Created 24 January 2024
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Created 27 December 2023
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Created 11 September 2023
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Created 11 September 2023
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Created 11 September 2023
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Created 9 August 2023
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Created 9 August 2023
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Created 19 July 2023
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Created 19 July 2023
66 Photos
Created 14 July 2023
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Created 24 May 2023
65 Photos
Created 20 September 2022
56 Photos
Created 9 July 2022
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Created 18 April 2022
19 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
22 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
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Created 10 September 2021
3 Photos
Created 10 September 2021
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Created 2 October 2020
16 Photos
Created 26 September 2020
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Created 23 September 2020
11 Photos
Created 27 August 2020
27 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
9 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
11 Photos
Created 18 August 2020
16 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
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Created 10 August 2020
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Created 7 August 2020
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Created 3 August 2020
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Created 3 August 2020
20 Photos
Created 27 July 2020
10 Photos
Created 26 July 2020
29 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
5 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
12 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
Photos of Muirgen preparations
8 Photos
Created 12 July 2020
39 Photos
Created 11 August 2017
52 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
35 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
10 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
26 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
4 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
13 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 1 July 2017
15 Photos
Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2017
9 Photos
Created 17 June 2017
11 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
17 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
13 Photos
Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
12 Photos
Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016