Saturday, July 06, 2013

Road Trippin' on the Ocean

We've sailed 100 miles in the past two days.  We're sailing another sixty or so today.   While that's not a lot of ground covered in say, a Volvo Ocean Race, it's quite a bit for a cruising boat in this part of the world where you could very easily spend two months in the areas we literally just breezed by.  But, as I mentioned, we've got places to go and people to see so this stretch of water has become a highway of sorts.  I-Windward.

It's funny, even though we're sad we've had to completely bypass some islands we were really looking forward to exploring (we'll catch them on our way up in December), the past couple of days have been amazing.  I was ruminating about this fact with Scott when it dawned on me, "It's like a road trip!" I exclaimed as it finally hit me. "There is something so awesome about being on the open road and moving toward a destination.  Sure, you skip cool towns, quirky diners and giant rubber-band balls...but on a road trip, so much of the thrill is in moving freely on an open road with the windows down and the music blasting."  This is how I feel about the past few days.  Despite passing up some magical places, we have been cruising the open ocean with the dodger down and music blasting.  Early mornings and early nights.  Meals underway and bottomless cups of coffee.

We've experienced epic sailing conditions: all sails set, seas flat and record boat speed (over 8 knots) and we've experienced not-so epic conditions: wind gusting 30+ knots, white-capped waves in the ten to twelve foot range, walls of water drenching the cockpit and everyone in it... The passage between Dominica and Martinique was so rough that Scott ordered Isla and I to stay down below (a first).  We were also treated to a nice piece of humble pie when we pulled into Anse d'Arlet, Martinique where it took us forty minutes - I kid you not - forty minutes to find a spot to anchor.  We were so tired, exhausted and brain fried from a 70 mile day that we ping ponged around the bay like total idiots much to the amusement of speedo clad Europeans who were all watching us from their cockpits as they sipped their sundowners.  It was pretty embarrassing and Scott was ready to move on to the next anchorage just to save face.  Cruising is good for that; keeping you in check.  You're very liable to fall off any high horse you hop up on out here, often in front of oodles of people watching with binoculars.  Good times.

Anyway...today's passage is rumored to be a little rough.  We're sailing from the beautiful Marigot Bay, St. Lucia to Bequia.  It's about sixty miles and the stretch of open water between St. Vincent and Bequia is famous for being a little unruly.  Something about wave energy and shallow water.  Anyway, we're on the home stretch of this road trip and it's been pretty great.
Dominca, as viewed from the "open road" 
Stays'l, Genoa and Main all pulling.  Awesome.
A nice flat sail in the lee of St. Lucia, it is very rare that we are not in the cockpit underway, and even more rare that she is not in her harness. 
Sunset in the beautiful Marigot Bay, St. Lucia


4 comments:

reg bates said...

Well Done ! Live on ! Any news of Darcy Luuck and Da squall ? Pleased to hear thx Reggie

horizonstar said...

You guys sure like to do things the hard way! Island hopping is one thing--then the object is to explore places along the way. But the hardest part of any passage is the first 24 hours or so until you get into the rhythm. By the third day everything starts to fall into a groove and weeks are no different than days. So, far easier to sail from the VI straight to Granada. But the thing about living on a sailboat is that wherever you are, you are already there! And now you've developed a list of special places that you just have to spend more time at.

Cheers,
Richard

Jessica said...

It's funny that it popped into your head like that. Did Brian and Stephanie ever tell you the story of how they named their boat? After deciding to take this trip and trying to explain it to her mom, Stephanie goes, "It's going to be just like a road trip...but on water". So, they figured that was the perfect name, and after making it a little nautical, they ended up with 'Rode Trip'. :)

Mike said...

What a blast! I love the "road trip" reference.

We went on an actual road trip last month. Here's highlights...enjoy.

http://siochana.us/2013/07/road-trip/

Mike

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