Now that I am finally rested and almost ready to leave soon I can look back at the twelve days of navigation between Santo Domingo and Bermudas.
They have been pretty intense days with just a couple with easy wind on a relaxed close reach and the rest of the time managing all kind of siruation: beating hard upwind, running downwind, on a broad reach. We used the big genoa for long but we also had to resist an hard night running with the storm jib only and also few hours with no sails at all during a violent thunderstorm.
Variability at its best in a Tropical area with the Hurricane season approaching!
The day of our departure has being the toughest. The wind was blowing quite strong from the East, as always in the Caribbean but the worst thing was the current. A strong current coming out from the Mona passage, beating against us and building up a difficult cross waves sea where beating the wind was the toughest task.
In such a situation the kind Dominican authorities behaved like follows: we had the anti drugs team with a dog visiting us as always happened. The dog smelled something suspicious around the front section of our boat. The officer asked us to empty completely half of the total inside space of the boat that was already packed and set for navigation. Bags, mattresses, sails, food, waterproof gear, spares and much more, everything on cockpit and on the pontoon.
After some attempts they convinced themselves that the dog was confused by some medicines and after having kindly apologize they left the boat wishing a good trip.
At this point the Navy officer came. We asked for a ‘dispacho’ a permit for leaving at 10am. By that time it was 11am and the guy said ‘sign here.. can you read? You were expected to leave one hour ago.. I give you half an hour and you must leave!’
So we did not have time for setting stuff properly, we just stuck everything on board and left.
And that was not an easy beginning with a wobbling sea waiting for us there outside!
Of course there has been moments full of beauty that redeemed all the deprivations and more.. countless moments of beauty on which the Atlantic skies are the first reason of pleasure.
Have you ever noticed the difference on sailing North, South, East or West while engaged on a long passage? The position that boat has in relation with the sky and therefore with light makes a lot of difference.
When you sail North you have the sun raising to Starbord every day, flooding into the cockpit during the afternoon and finally sinking to port at sunset. It gives you a different sensation than, for example, sailing West with the bow apparently following the sun setting for ever or sailing South when the sun never enters the cabin trough the companionway!
Sailing North gives you a nice sensation. I loved it.
Also, it gaves us the big benefit of a more temperate weather every day, with a nice chilly wind during the day to cool down our skin.
I already miss the sensation of being there out, preparing the boat for the coming darkness, preparing a good meal, never forgetting to check the course and trim the sails at their best.