Next stop: Carribean

That’s it, we’re off to cross the Atlantic! Tonight we plan to anchor in a nearby bay for a final swim and barbecue on the boat and tomorrow we set sail. It should take us anything between 2 to 3 weeks depending on the wind of course. This time we’ll try to post regular position updates on

14 thoughts on “Next stop: Carribean

  1. relayed from Rehua’s crew sat-comm.
    4th of Jan
    Calm night, 15-20 knots. Hazy sky, Saharan dust.

    5th of Jan
    294NM SO FAR.

    6th of Jan

    7th of Jan
    All good on the Atlantic after a slow start we hope to get some miles under
    our keel today, asymmetric and full main looking great against a hazy
    backdrop. Sun is out, temp high 20’s. Heading for the trades as fast as we
    can but some interference from the big Atlantic low is making a mess of the
    usual northerlies.
    Kids having a ball building dens from fenders and sail-bags, goodness knows
    we have enough of those aboard.
    Been running under two J130 goose-winged genoas for the last two days a bit
    tricky without any poles but the beam of the Cat makes it possible,
    Raymarine on steerage to the wind rather than course is working a treat will
    try to update as often as Inmarsat allows.
    all the best

    8th of Jan
    Well we’re certainly getting the miles ticked over! We’ve done over 800NM in just 5 days. The wind and waves are more than we expected but that’s the sea for you. However many weather forecasts one consults, you can never be totally sure about what you’ll get. The waves are 5-6 metres and one could hide a double decker bus in between them. The wind is blowing 25 to 30 knots. We’re doing some great speeds with just the genoa up. Our latest record is 19 knots (!!!) surfing on a wave. The boat is handling the weather really well and it’s not too uncomfortable. We’re managing to get some sleep. The kids are happy playing, reading, eating, chatting and go to bed around p.m. (when we start our night shifts) and sleep through to am. Breakfast was pancakes this morning (yum!), lunch was tuna sandwich and tonight we’re having steak with mashed potatoes. During the day things are pretty relaxed. Reading, playing, cooking, cleaning, chilling and a daytime snooze if possible. We’re swapping our shifts to get some variety so last night Seathan did the first one (from 8pm-11pm) and tonight it will be me doing the first shift. The autopilot has been doing a great job (although we need to top up the batteries with the generator a couple of times a day as it sucks a lot of energy). It’s also been getting warmer every day but it’s still cloudy. The kids and I have started to fantasize about white sandy beaches, palm trees, swimming and snorkelling, pizza and Wi-Fi. Oh the reward is going to be so sweet when we get there! πŸ™‚
    From skippers worry list; there is a weed that is floating everywhere on the surface that threatens the raw water intakes in a big way, its new to me, a yellow frond like plant that seems to grow about football size and resemble a spherical starfish, sorry I cant post a photo.
    Go the marine biologists?
    At last we are free from the Saharan dust the clean-up begins all we need first is a good heavy Atlantic downpour.
    As Audrie writes the waves are pretty impressive, last night before moon rise and after sunset I put the hull navigation lights on to give some perspective on the scene, I felt like a cartoon character on a cork being launched at 45 degrees down some interminable slope, its amazing how quickly the fatigue disappears when the adrenalin starts pumping, coffee who needs it!

    9th of Jan
    Day 6 and we are getting close to the 1000 NM mark! Woohoo! It’s still blowing 20 to 25 knots and the waves are still pretty big but according to the weather forecast it should calm down after today. We’re getting some nice speeds with just the genoa up. We could go faster if we put more sails up but we think it’s more important to be safe and comfortable! It’s not a race after all and we are enjoying ever minute of it. Finally there’s some sunshine and the clouds are disappearing. Lots of flying fish around, still lots of seaweed floating on the water too. Our friends from Taff Tumas are about 50 NM north of us, still too far for VHF chats but we keep track of each other with daily text messages over the sat phone. The last time we saw another boat was two nights ago when a big cargo ship appeared on the AIS a few miles north of us and we could just see its lights in the distance. It’s been great having a full moon every night making the nights not so dark, in fact, it is almost as if it is daylight with such a bright lit moon in the sky. It’s a weird feeling being in the middle of the Atlantic, kind of magical and surreal and very enjoyable. I do hope the next days will be a bit calmer though as cooking and other tasks require minor acrobatic skills at the moment! The kids don’t seem bothered by the waves and the movement at all, they just get on playing with their toys, reading their books and asking for snacks between meals. We still have plenty of food but most of our fresh fruit and veg is perishing fast so we’ll be tucking into the tins next! xx

    Skip’s day, included battery levels, oil levels, cleaning the dust and salt off the solar panels which at the moment haven’t proved their worth as we haven’t had the sun, lets see what happens today? Every rope and line on the boat is orange so I am systematically stripping them out nod giving them an Atlantic scrub, it’s working a treat as long as I sacrifice a tub of fresh for the rinse cycle! The swell changes direction with every current movement or wind change so one minute you are barrelling along everything tickety boo the next you are being hammered sideways by a huge northerly wave that skews us 45 degrees off course.
    Another 100 nm and we have passed the point of no return always a good feeling, days like today I don’t mind how long it takes!
    There’s slightly less weed in the water so the fishing line are back out, Tyrii is hoping for the shark we saw, Yep, that will be fun!

    10th of Jan
    El Dorado!
    Last night was a cracking sail, the moon was up and illuminating our wild waves, we are a little under canvassed to keep Rehua on the straight and narrow, she tends to get carried away with the big rollers, not saying she’s a get about town girl, she just needs reining in on the big ones! If you’ve ever dreamed of doing a Bond type stunt where you drive your car off the top of a multi-storey car park, get yourself out here.
    El Dorado! gold to us anyway, we snuck a 20 kilo beauty onto the boat this morning, she has been duly dispatched to the freezer and fridge alike, Audrie is whipping up some wonderful smelling fillets as I type, might even sneak a glass of sauvignon πŸ™‚
    The sea-state is a mess at the moment, 6 meter sets coming from the north interspersed with 3 meters from the east, the latter we assume being a product of the north Atlantic low mixing with the trade sets, either way it’s been named the three handed boat, that’s what you need to get anything done without being slung across your workspace. Funnily enough a low centre of gravity seems to help, the boys, after numerous ticking’s off, continue to swing around the boat like a couple of circus acrobats.
    A few hours ago we crossed our halfway line 1100 nm, it feels like we have scaled one side of the mountain and the rest as they say is downhill all the way, we wont get complacent just yet, but its good to know that whatever transpires we are going west.
    The evening squalls tend to arrive early which is great for washing the boat but they leave a hole in the wind behind them which is “wallow time”, not very comfortable.
    For the moment blue skies long may it continue.

    Quick update from Audrie too:
    Yesterday was sunny and relatively calm and they boys decided they wanted to do some schoolwork (!). I hadn’t planned on doing much whilst we are sailing but given that they volunteered for it … Aeneas wanted to practice his reading (we are at the very simple story books stage) and Tyrii started writing a short story (something about aliens invading planet earth) which he wants to publish on the blog once it’s ready. This morning was a busy morning. We caught the Dorado around 10 am and then cleaning it and filleting it always takes a while and is a real team effort (the kids and I handing Seathan all sort of tools, taking photographs, etc.). I have to say, it tasted delicious, beautiful succulent white meat which I cooked “Opa style” (little bit of flour and into the frying pan). And it was a big fish so we have 3 or 4 more meals in the freezer.

  2. 11 Jan
    Day Eight……..1342 nm.
    Like ships in the night our buddy boat crossed our stern last night without our knowing. We would have been close enough for a chat on the VHF but alas modern technology doesn’t reach us in the same way out here and the opportunity was gone. Taff Tumas had decided the best option for the seaway was south, we decided north, we gained a few miles but had a less comfortable night doing it, it’s not a race! Ha Ha Ha; Vive la difference:-)
    We are flying along at 8-9 knots continuously, surfing at up to 14, sometimes settled, sometimes getting skewed and twisted around, the least enviable task is meal prep, Audrie has conquered all previous signs of “mal de mer” and just gets on with it, mean whilst I have important things to check and fix, things that cant be seen from the galley πŸ™‚
    We have also picked up, at last, a bit of favourable current from the SSE, at least we are getting our monies worth from the boat speed with a little extra change on the side, amazing what it does to our arrival times, which currently stands at circa 132hrs.
    We were hit by 2 heavy squalls last night just after the boys hit the hay. The radar is an invaluable tool for tracking these cells, (excuse the lesson) they are basically a small intense low that has formed which means, up in the Northern hemisphere, they spin in an anti-clockwise direction, not important you might think, but the difference in hitting one of these cells on it southern edge to hitting it on the northern one is huge, south you hit a wall that veers you so quickly the boat is thrown into an involuntary tack, that gets messy in the dark with two people on a big boat, the other option north, backs you slightly and then whiplashes off the top without any messing around. So its easy, I have a picture on the radar with the size and shape of the beastie, I use the cursor to acquire it as a target and track its progress, very clever piece of kit, (maybe I should buy some radar reflector hats for the boys) you would think these cells would just form and drift with the prevailing wind and we could plan an approach, trying to out-smart them is akin to second guessing the flight path of a housefly, there is no reason, no plan, it can turn, expand, contract, reverse, go sideways and they do, every one of them is different, Audrie and I will have a small pot of cash to spend on arrival, proceeds of lost wagers.
    Rehua standing by!

  3. 12 Jan
    Day 9…1498NM
    Lots of squalls last night which I always find a bit scary but it was fine really. I was doing the early shift and Seathan was sleeping outside in the cockpit. We still only had the genoa up and as there were so many we just rolled it up and put the engines on for a few hours until they were all gone. The rest of the night was pretty quiet apart from the occasional flying fish landing on deck. It’s beautiful and sunny today but still windy (25 knots) and the waves continue to be big. We’re all dreaming of the Caribbean and looking forward to drop our anchor in a lovely bay. The kids are brilliant, they keep themselves busy all day playing. One day it’s playmobil, the next it’s lego and today they are reading comics (and me too!).
    Skips corner.
    Meanwhile in the engine compartment, that’s the one the size of four shoe boxes, I am arse up and head down with a torch in my teeth trying to diagnose a leak, and now that I have found the source, does anyone have a raw water pump shaft seal for a Yanmar 3YM30, back to the bilge, more tomorrow!
    P.S. parents don’t panic we can get through the next week without the pump πŸ™‚

  4. 13 Jan
    Day 10…1674NM so far and 612 to go until our destination (Bequia) and yes
    we are counting down! Sea water temperature is 32.1 degrees celsius. The
    weather is still much the same, 25 knots and big waves. Last night there
    were less squalls (and the few that we saw on the radar passed us by) which
    was a nice change but there were plenty of windshifts and changes in wave
    direction which kept us alert all night. We’ve also started turning our
    clocks back an hour as nightfall gets later as we move further west. We have
    another 2 hours to turn back but it’s nice to do it gradually. Apart from
    that not much to report, just another day at sea πŸ™‚

  5. 14 Jan
    Water, wind and waves!
    There is only so much you can write on the subject, so lets give the elements a break today, suffice to say its Groundhog!!
    We’ve run 1834 nm and have 455 nm to crack the pond. Burning subject matter that we discuss out here, what are we going to eat first? Will the second rum be as good as the first? Did you see a mutinous glint in the boys eyes today? Who did your hair this morning darling?
    This morning, after sunrise, I was cleaning the flying fish from the deck before they got too high, they are excellent eating by the way, better than sardines, after I was finished I noticed the smell still lingering aft, so I washed down with salt water and left it at that, no good, the smell just kept getting stronger so I scrubbed down the Dorado corner again, no joy, after much contemplation there appeared only one solution………the dingy, no not possible thinks I, that’s a 10 foot jump for a 6″ fish, anyway after digging out all the boat refuse and fenders and shoes and ropes and anchors and etc, there they were, three kamikaze flying fish in varying states of decay, remember this is day 10, phew!
    Here is a useless fact to muse over till tomorrow, if a Cumulus cloud is taller than it’s ground clearance it will rain on you, if not leave the umbrella at home.
    Rehua standing by!

    • MY GOD! what a reading, dude you need to publish book, seriously, my hair is standing with excitement when you say riding 6 meter waves….. I am just simply jealous…..good luck.


      • Dear Roman,
        I am also jealous about the adventure the Rehua crew is expieriencing. I’am not on their ship, but I am following them daily.
        All the above text is written by Audrie and Seathan. While within VHF reach, their position is transmitted automatically via AIS (Automatic Identification System coupled to their GPS), but now on the Atlantic, they are transmitting their positions daily via sattelite.
        Coincidentally, I found that behind the daily Lat-Long data, comments were “hidden”
        I thought that many blog followers were not aware of this.
        That is the reason why I am “relaying” their stories on this blog. Hoping Rehua’s owners will not be angry with me because of my initiative πŸ™‚

  6. 16 Jan
    Day 13 … 2077NM so far… 202NM to go… sea water is 32.6 degrees!

    We had hoped to arrive on Saturday (tomorrow) but it looks like it might take us an extra day now that the wind died down a bit. After nearly two weeks of rough seas we are finally enjoying some calmer weather. Very nice! The wind dropped below 25 knots and we had our first sail plan change. We added the screecher (asymmetrical code zero reaching sail) to the genoa and they are beautifully goose-winging it. We are all EXTREMELY excited about seeing land and are counting down the hours constantly recalculating based on the current speed (great maths exercise for Tyrii BTW). Last night a flying fish landed in the cockpit, they’re crazy jumpers those little fish. Tyrii decided to sleep with his top hatch closed after that πŸ™‚

    Did you know that the skipper of a yacht is only second in command πŸ™‚

  7. 17 Jan
    A bit of a turn of events as our steering mechanism failed last night. It’s not a big deal but unfortunately not something we can fix at sea without the right tools and hardware. We installed our emergency tiller and are now hand-steering the boat with the tiller. Luckily, the sea is very calm and there is a gentle breeze. We’re managing about 4 knots in speed and are heading south of Barbados. Nothing like a bit of a test towards the end πŸ™‚ but we are all fine. Kids are watching a movie at the moment as for the first time the sea is flat enough to do so.

  8. 18 Jan
    Nearly there!!! Less than 50 miles to go but gosh the last 24 hours have been tough! Steering the boat with the tiller takes a lot of concentration. But it feels good, takes us back to the dinghy sailing days! Seathan and I have been doing 2 hour shifts on and off since 7 am yesterday morning and after not having slept a full night’s sleep for two weeks we’re still ok. It’s amazing what the body can cope with! Oh the reward will be SO sweet when we get there tonight! Can’t wait !!! Meanwhile we are enjoying some sunshine and it’s a beautiful day for sailing. Last night was a beautiful night with lots of stars to sail under and we saw the lights of Barbados as we passed south of it.

    • 22h47 UTC (day 15 since Cabo Verde)
      We did it! We made it! After 2138 miles we are finally anchored near a beach in Bequia and we are SO happy to be here! The last two days were tough so it’s even more rewarding. The water temperature is 33 degrees, the bay is beautifully lit and we can’t wait to go ashore and find a restaurant πŸ™‚

      Bequia is the second largest island in the Grenadines at 7 square miles (18 km2)

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