Cruising–AGAIN!

 

Well Its official.. We are CRUISING AGAIN!!! YEE HAW!

 

3 days ago we dropped the mooring lines in Prickly bay and motored out to the front of the bay. Before heading into the “big” ocean we raised our sails at the mouth of the bay and then tacked off west towards the south west corner of Grenada. It was a glorious moment to see all our hard work pay off and the newly stitched main rose beautifully on the serviced batt cars. We weren’t alone as S/V Grateful was out in front, SV Avanti was behind us (not for long, damn waterline), S/V Last Tango was behind them and finally S/V Trismic brought up the rear. It was so fun to watch the 4 boats leave and take a different heading that best suited our boats and cruising style. Of course Avanti and Grateful took the best tack to sail for each of their sail choices (Avanti with traditional sails, Grateful pulled a spinnaker). The rest of us picked the best line to motor sail. Rhonda and I then proceeded to make fools of ourselves as we had apparently forgotten how to sail in the 2 months tied to a ball. Hilarity ensued as we made mistakes and the boat drove circles with sails flapping as we tried to tack back and forth along the south coast. Eventually we got our shit sorted and looked like we half assed knew what we were doing.

 

After passing the south west corner of Grenada we spun the compass north, turned off our motors and began a glorious few hours under sail. The Avanti/Grateful sailors radioed me with suggestions on sail trim (very appreciated) to eek every quarter knot out of Party of Five. I was having an absolute blast scootin under 8-10 knots of breeze on flat seas. It was the kind of sail my naive self believed was “normal” before we started this adventure.

 

Eventually the wind waned and we had to fire a motor to keep over 5 knots/hour (required to make Carriacou before dark). However, there was still enough wind that we could keep the motor choochin at low RPM and still keep our speed up. So now with a motor purring away and Franz (our autopilot) steering I was at serious risk of getting bored. Since we were in the company of a bunch of boats, on calm flat seas, with a fully awake crew, I decided to finish my varnish job on the bathroom door frame. As I became engrossed in my job, Rhonda became engrossed in making perogies  and neither of us came on deck for about 15 min (the other boats were within 1/2 mile and watching). As always happens, those 15 minutes is where the wind decided to completely change directions and speed up. So we came on deck to a tacked main (with the traveller on the wrong spot) and the genoa back winded. Shit, we jumped into action, but our rustiness got us again as we forgot to reset Franz and ended up doing a semi-circle. After a few min, we got it sorted and then realized we had just run over of fishing lines.. SONOFABITCH, they are definitely wrapped on something (guessing the prop).

 

Now we have 2 fishing lines wrapped around something under the boat and we 3 miles off the north west coast of Grenada. Shitty situation.. So again Rhonda and I scramble, but this time to pull down the sails. Once the sails are down, we kill the motors and just let the boat drift. I clip a tether to my lifejacket, pull on my mask and snorkle and jump in to discover how wrapped up we were. Good news, luck was on our side and the lines didn’t make it to the prop and only got wrapped in our rudder. A quick job with our side cutters and we were free and moving back towards our destination. Total delay = 10 min.. No worries, we fired both motors and quickly caught up with Grateful.

 

By this time the wind had died back down and we were moving at just over 5 knots after turning off the motors. As we went back to fishing, I was trying to decide what to do about the under water volcano (Kick em Jenny). Conventional wisdom (and recommendations) is to give the volcano 1 mile of leeway in the event of a gas release that could affect our boats buoyancy.  However, I noticed that Avanti was headed right over the eye. Since we were still trying to play catch up, I made the executive decision to follow suit. Really what are the odds it would release gas at the exact time and place we passed over. Come on, the odds have to be bigger than a lightening strike Winking smile. It turns out that this time I beat the odds and we passed over without incident!

 

The last quarter of the trip was uneventful as we fished and sailed. Carriacou eventually loomed and we adjusted course to sail past Tyrell Bay and round the corner to Sandy Island. Although we were again motor sailing we held our sails up to the last possible moment and sailed within a few hundred yards of the mooring field. After dropping the sails, we motored around the boats to an empty ball. I held Party of Five still and Rhonda expertly grabbed the mooring line and had us tied up in seconds. It was at that moment we stopped to drink in our surroundings. In stunned silence we enjoyed a view that has only been rivaled by the Bahaman island chain. STUNNING!

 

For anyone wondering, boats heading to the same destination are always racing (especially Bobby and Jamie). Since no one can seem to beat Bobby (Avanti) we just blame it on the fact his boat is longer than ours.

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A beer and a moment of reflection on where we are.

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View off the port sugarscoop

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View off the starboard sugarscoop

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A movie night on Party of Five. I had to get a blanket after taking this picture as they all complained of being cold.

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Around the corner in Tyrell Bay there was a funeral. This is the local ladies preparing the feast.

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A very rare picture of Lauren (Avanti). She never lets us get a picture.

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Since Lauren climbed the tree, the other kids had to do it.

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Spewing some bullshit over beers at the beach bar. Either that, or I’m about to ask Quincy to pull my finger.

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Bobby and Cheryl from Avanti.

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