Trinidad to Aruba, August 26th to 29th, 2012
At 12:30 am, On Delay slipped away from the dock at Power Boats boatyard where she’d been for two weeks.
While Gayle and I slept, Tony and Pete chivalrously motored and sailed us until dawn. At 6 am, we started our regular watch schedule (6 hour watches during the day and 4 hour watches at night; two people per watch).
This was our first downwind passage – it’s a more comfortable point of sail than upwind; but you need to guard against accidental jibes. The wind was right behind us. Pete rigged up preventers with fuses.
To keep things interesting, Tony added a surprise emergency to each day of the watch list.
One day, we pretended there was a fire in the starboard engine and we were going to abandon ship. Another day, we considered what we would do if we hit a submerged container.
One morning, we threw Bob overboard for a man-over-board drill.
This didn’t go so well. We did recover Bob, though I lost sight of him more than once. [I learned that (a) The MOM button on the GPS is useful. (b) Even if you can swim, it is good to wear a life jacket because it is big and orange and has a whistle and a light. Bob would have been easier to spot in a life jacket.] Unfortunately, in heaving-to, we got a big rip in the gennaker (big head sail).
Such a shame about the gennaker; it was the right sail for going downwind. After it ripped, we switched to butterfly with the jib and the main, which was okay as long as we were going DDW (dead down wind).
Other bad things happened on that passage:
- In an accidental jibe, the preventer snapped off and the block smashed one of our (new) solar panels.
- A line around the propellor in the middle of the night. Tony went in with scuba gear to unwrap it.
- The generator stopped working. (We need the generator to use the watermaker. We had enough water for the trip, but I was more mindful of conserving.)
However, we all arrived safely in lovely Aruba (One happy island). We did 500 miles in 80 hours. Not too shabby.