YES! We are there
16 December 2014 | Simpson Bay Sin Maarten
18 01.93’N:63 05.93’W Simpson Bay Sin Maarten/ St Martin
The second half of the trip was much slower and at times the iron sail had to be used. We had a couple of feathered hitch hikers leaving big messes on the solar panels. The sea life has reduced to dolphins and flying fish. A morning walk around the deck produces several that committed suicide over night. They are a never ending source of entertainment during the day when they charge out of the water either a few or huge swarms, with their tiny fins flapping and the tails waving around as a rudder. No further fish for the table as huge forests of seaweed had appeared in the water, fouling the lures so eventually we gave up having to bring them in and cleaning them off only to have then loaded with the weed within minutes. Our five days of fish lunches and dinners becoming a distant memory. Day 14 and some stitching on the UV strip of the head sail needed attention. So my morning was spent hand stitching it back on…..will have to have all the stitching checked when we arrive. We have had company for over 24 hrs in the form of Sea Cloud 11, a 380 foot 3 masted sailing passenger vessel. Lit up like a Christmas tree at night. We had a conversation on the radio and they headed to Antigua and of course we are going to St Maartens. The wind dropped down to 5- 10 knts and our daily distance travelled average was being sorely dented. We had to motor sail in stops and starts. The wind had become unpredictable. One night watch for Gary and myself, with only 5 knts of wind, we decided to furl the sails to prevent damage from just flapping. With in 20 minutes the wind appeared so we set about putting the sails back up. With the wind came the rain and before we had the sails up we had 40 knts whacking us. Drowned rats we were ‘cos we had only light spray jackets on. Dried our selves off and changed clothes and guess what!!!!!!the wind dropped back to 10 knots….very frustrating doing all the sail changes over and over. Back in 2008 we used our heavy weather jackets only a couple of times……this time they were almost the night time uniform…..oh!!! and Gary was wearing his Ugg boots too. I don’t like arriving in the dark as the land lights make it confusing but after all those slow days and nights, we started to pick up speed on the last evening and gave us a dark arrival at 0450 instead of an ETA of 0800 on 12th. We covered a total of 2268 nmiles in 17 days 19 hrs. Pretty good I reckon and very economical fuel wise as well. Anchor down and we all headed to bed for a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep.