Global Voyageur

Be a virtual voyager - join the tartan navy to follow the Mackays on their return to Scotland

21 June 2012 | Clyde Marina, Ardrossan
20 June 2012 | North Channel, Irish Sea
17 June 2012 | Bay of Biscay
15 June 2012 | Coruna Marina, La Coruna
14 June 2012 | Marina Coruna, La Coruna
13 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
12 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
09 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
07 June 2012 | Ponta Delgaga
06 June 2012 | Ponta Delgada
04 June 2012 | Angra
02 June 2012 | Horta, Faial
01 June 2012 | Horta , Faial
28 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
25 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
24 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
23 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
22 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
21 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
20 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean

Bumpy ride to Bermuda

11 May 2012 | St George's, Bermuda
Susan Mackay
In the end it was a fast, downhill ride into Bermuda with Voyageur surfing in the following seas. It was just like old times, we were all having fun. The winds were steadier now a satisfying force five. In the late afternoon we passed our third weather buoy, barely to be seen as it bobbed up and down in the white frothing wave crests. It always seems miraculous that we have never run into one. For supper I cooked a dish of macaroni cheese. It meant I did not need to spend any great length of time below in the preparation. At 17.30pm we had just 99nm to go, always a really important milestone on a long ocean passage. But sleep that last night continued to evade me. I was like "Goldilocks" as I tried various different berths, but it always comes back to lying in the cockpit, the centre of the boat having the least motion and noise. It really has been one of the worst bouts of insomnia I have had during our time at sea and the trouble with it is that the harder you try the worse it seems to get, but the end was in sight and with a couple of nights' sound sleep in harbour I knew I would be as right as rain. Radio Bermuda was busy with traffic all night long, as rally boat after rally boat was nearing the island. We were anxious to get in before the predicted northerlies that were forecast to come in later that day. Sailing can be such a game of roulette. The south easterly gradually veered to the predicted south west nudging our course eastwards all the time. We sailed as close to the wind as we could, knowing that at first light we would have to jibe. At 6am we jibed the mizzen to goose wing, adding those few precious extra degrees onto our south westerly course. It worked beautifully and it was only in the final stages that we swung the pole in and jibed the genoa putting us onto a fast broad reach to the finish. Approaching bad weather took us completely by surprise. The radar showed no sign of it. First the rain began to fall and then the wind came, gusting over 25 knots. The visibility closed in and we did not see the island until only 6nm off. It was shrouded in a heavy grey mist, not at all the way I had expected to see Bermuda. At the east cardinal a lovely Scottish voice on Radio Bermuda gave us permission to enter the town cut channel into the harbour of St George's. As we rounded up into the wind it was blowing over thirty knots. I was by now functioning on adrenaline alone. Our first stop was the customs dock on Ordnance Island with Kieran and Nick at the ready to take our lines. It was with great relief that we arrived when we did as the weather was deteriorating rapidly. And we were oh so grateful that Stephen from A Lady had negotiated a berth alongside them at the dock. I really was quite shattered by this time. Bermuda at this point looked more to us like Scotland while Aileen and Stephen thought of Ireland. And what do you think we did on such a dark and stormy day. After an early lunch we delved into the locker under our bunk for the winter duvet, snuggled down and fell into a blissful sound sleep for the remainder of the afternoon, interrupted only briefly by a huge clap of thunder directly overhead when David leapt up to switch off all the instruments. They say lightning doesn't strike twice and thankfully for us this time it didn't. The day ended on a very happy note as once again we were given great Irish hospitality aboard A Lady. We got to meet with Linda and Tom from New York, who joined the boat from Nanny Cay on the eve of our departure. Their cruising ground is around Maine aboard their Tayana 55. With eight of us around the table it was quite a party. Stephen cooked an excellent chicken and prawn Thai curry with Aileen's signature dessert, a rich chocolate cake and cream to follow. Tom did a great job as head wine waiter keeping our glasses topped up, then it was into the Havana Club rum! This trip began with a real famine of wind and now..... it ended happily with a veritable feast!
Vessel Name: VOYAGEUR
Vessel Make/Model: Amel Super Maramu 2000
Hailing Port: Rhu, Scotland
Crew: Susan and David Mackay
David first learned to sail on a Loch Fyne day boat out of Helensburgh Sailing Club on the River Clyde in his mid twenties. With the arrival of a family he did not do any more, until in 1984 we bought our first boat, “The Golden Soak”, a Matilda 20. [...]

Our motto:Carpe Diem

Who: Susan and David Mackay
Port: Rhu, Scotland