It's that time of year again, when boat make their way from the NE cost of the US back down to the Caribbean for the season. This year I made the trip down with a long time sailing friend, and former instructor of mine, on a Fontaine Pajot Sayona 47 Catamaran.
The preparatory in days Jamestown, R.I. days were on again off again in weather that seems typical in the North East this time of year. We worked away regardless, getting 3 boats ready for a couple of weeks at sea.
The hustle and bustle quickly faded away once we were off the dock and settled into our crew schedule. We did 3 hours on the helm, , 3 hours on call, then you are off for 6 hours before it starts all over again. This schedule works well for 4 people, because you don't have to think about what time you're on. I had 9am and 9pm, which meant I could watch the sunrise from my berth and wait for the temps to come up a bit in the higher latitudes before some coffee and my morning watch.
We motor sailed when the winds died down, and the new enclosure we had on this trip made the helm a great place to enjoy the view no matter what the weather was doing.
The halfway point was celebrated just South of Bermuda and we could finally start peeling off layers during the day. The two students on our trip, Richard and Randy, were from colder climates and fared a bit better than Scott and myself early on in the trip.
We had storms all around us for a few days but managed to dodge most of the rain. On one hand being away from storms keeps you away from the high wind and lightning potential. On the other hand, the boat stays covered in a layer of salt baked by the Sun.
Of course I had to get a photo of Draco on the high seas! I won't tell you how many days in a row I wore this shirt :)
We rolled by Jost (Van Dyke) on our way to Caneel bay around 5pm one day, and even got a rainbow welcome. In the pre-COVID days we would have hung a left and made it for last call at Soggy Dollar, but that wasn't to be on this trip down.
1,820nm later, about 400 extra nm than the direct route, and we had Cheeseburgers in Paradise on the table and a stow away beer. Congratulations to Richard and Randy for completing their ASA 108 course and here's to the next adventure!