Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Passage notes - by Geert

We made very good time to the Virgin Islands. thanks to sustained 25-30 knot north-easterly winds. We made 130 mile days on a broad reach, with only the staysail and the storm trysail. The seas built up to 15-18, and at times to 25 feet. The fist few days out of Bermuda we made more than 100 miles of easting to avoid taking these big waves on the beam. But occasionally they still crashed over the boat and filled the cockpit.

Steering in these waves was a challenge. Jennifer compared it to a rodeo, and she bruised a rib to prove her point. Steering was also quite tiring. We limited watches to two hours, and got in to a very strange sleeping pattern. Nap pattern is probably a better word.

Our eating pattern was simple. On many days it was too rough to cook, so we lived on sardines, water, granola bars, and crispbread with Nutella.

I try to keep this light, but the truth is that the passage from Bermuda was tough. It was also a bit of an endurance test, since we steered the boat ourselves all the way. The crew did a fantastic job, and 'Sea Scout' again proved to be an outstanding offshore boat.

We made landfall at Jost van Dyke, a high, lush tropical island with a beautiful harbour. The place is small, only 200 inhabitants, but there are seven bars on the beach...