The past two days have had us and our buddy boat, s/v Yolo, sailing into 20+ knot headwinds and bashing into very large seas for nine hours a stretch. First was Nevis to Monserrat. Then it was Monserrat to Guadaloupe. Believe it or not, despite this, we all managed to enjoy ourselves (except for Darcy on the first leg, the theme of which was "friends don't let friends sail hungover" according to her). We are now at the point where we can appreciate a passage where a) the sun shines, b) conditions are (semi) "moderate" and c) weather is squall-free. I honestly think the day that we eventually "follow the herd" and actually sail downwind we're going to laugh out loud at how ridiculously easy it is and wonder what anyone could possibly complain about at that point of sail. We've been taking a LOT of white water over our bow these last few weeks.
While these two passages were, all things considered, "pleasant" - sailing to windward is exhausting which is why when we found ourselves in this peaceful and perfectly picturesque French-Caribbean anchorage we were all looking forward to a good night's rest. The town festivities, of course, had other plans in the form of some sort of soulful revival in which one singer chanted in deep, resonating rhythms alongside incredibly enthusiastic bongo drumming. This musical foray was executed with such heart-pumping fervor that I can say without question that souls were saved. Like I said, there was a time in my life where this type of scenario would have been completely up my alley, but - as much as I hate to admit it - that ship has sailed...right alongside the ship that used to sleep in. Sigh.
At 3:30 a.m. I woke up in a total panic thinking someone was on our boat. There was a deep, powerful intonation coming from our cockpit rhythmically chanting "boom yah! boom yah!! ooooo aaaaa oooo aaaaa boom yah!". My heart started racing. Then, the bongos kicked in with full gusto and I realized that, holy crap, Djimon Hounsou was not, in fact, on our boat but the bongo revival was still going on strong. We were now clocking eight hours of this madness. I cannot think of a single artist that I would want to hear for eight straight hours. I mean, I don't even think the longest Grateful Dead concert went on that long. Who in the heck was still up and intentionally listening to these people?! I shut all our hatches, turning our cabin into a veritable hotbox and uttered something along the lines of "I cannot (bleeping) believe that these (bleepers) are still playing this (bleeping) crap". Yeah. It's official. I'm old.
Anyway, we are thrilled to be here. We're all looking forward to a slower pace and some land-based exploration over the next couple of days. From here on out it should be "smoother" sailing with shorter hops all the way down to Grenada. Now that the longest sailing beats are out of the way, looks like the only long beats we'll have to deal with may be from bongo drums. And I'm totally cool with that.
|Here to can see the angle of the dangle and windspeed. Gusts to 25.|
|This child always has a smile on her face! Yes, even beating to windward!|
|Isla likes to get in on the navigating mix|
|Our buddy boat, s/v Yolo, coming in to Monserrat|
|The beautiful anchorage of Deshaies, Guadaloupe|