Archive for January, 2010

Barbados – still arriving!

We still havnt properly arrived at Barbados , even though we have been hereabouts for 24 hours. You are supposed to clear in at the harbour , but last night we could get no answer from the signal station. We cruised up and down outside the breakwater and could not get permission to enter ( […]


Arrived Bridgetown Barbados at 1700 local time . Cant raise the customs on the radio , but then nor can one of the cruise liners (!) so we anchored off the beach in Carlisle Bay and wil try again in the morning. Had severe navigational doubts as it looks just like the Isle of Wight. […]

Day 15 – 30 miles to go…

Same wind , same waves , but a totally different day. We are rested , (relatively ) comfortable and have easily made up our sleep deficit and whats more are well under 30 miles to our waypoint at the southern tip of Barbados. When racing , I am always searching for that subtle combination of […]

Day 14- hard work at the office!

Blimey – talk about a hard day ( and night ) at the office! Yesterdays wind was all over the shop , 8 to 24 knots and equally variable in direction under a very squally airstream , so we had to work for our miles . At 30 degrees C hoisting and lowering sails is […]

Day 13 – rolling like a saturday drunk

Festina clocked 160 miles from 0600 to 0600 courtesy of hanging on to the kite longer than strictly prudent and a nice fresh wind overnight , but we are paying the price now as the wind has dropped and come astern leaving us rolling like a Saturday drunk. It probably doesnt sound much but to […]

3/4 of the way there!

Im not sure what we have done to deserve this. The seas are (relatively) flat, the wind is sufficient, and we now have a moon at night that gives you light you can almost feel through your skin as it pops in and out of the clouds. Festina trundles on with scarcely any help from […]

Day 11

Todays report comes a little early as we need an updated grib to help us decide on the days course. Do we trundle on down the great circle route under our two big genoas , or hoist the main and the kite and sail high angles ? The former option will pay if the wind […]

Day 10

The forecast was for more wind again last night and so at dusk we snugged down to a trysail and No 3. Even though it never really got more than 25 knots we pottered along happily under this tiny rig and still managed 145 miles over the last 24 hours. I guess that if you […]

Day 9 – over halfway!

The last 24 hours have been quite fresh, up to 25 knots at times but usually around the 19-20 mark, and we havnt touched a sheet or sail for 36 hours. We enjoyed our halfway curry but baulked at Christmas pud – we are going to save that for the 3/4 mark! The ocean is […]

Day 8

Another 24 hours under twin headsails . We reduced from the No 1 to the No 3 overnight after much umming and ah-ing , but mainly because Lynda was unwell with a headache and aching all over. For a while I wondered if the little dengue mosquitoes had nibbled after all , but a few […]

Day 7

We had another boisterous evening which gradually eased off through the night. There may be a pattern as there is a corresponding diurnal variation in atmospheric pressure and so we held our nerve and hung on to more sail. The forecast is for 13 knots today which usually means 18 ,so we set up with […]

Day 6

The wind has now veered and is from our Starboard quarter. Not quite far enough aft to go to twin headsails, but plenty far enough to get us rolling. We have 2 reefs and a poled out No 3 which probably seems a bit small in the 18 to 20 knot conditions , but in […]

Day 5 – 1/4 of the way there

At 1030 this morning ( 0830 UT) we reached the 1500 mile to go mark , which we have designated as 1/4 of the way across. Im not sure how I feel about it – is it “wow , we are really getting on now” , or perhaps , “golly , only a quarter!” Half […]

Day 3

As predicted the last 24 hours has been very light , but to our delight we have still managed 120 miles – more if you include the current. I guess thats the upside of passage making in Festina – she may not have the space or creature comforts of other boats ,┬ábut give her light […]

Off again!

We left Mindelo at 1500 yesterday , squirting out between the islands and deliberatly taking the acceleration zone wind SW for some 50 miles before it died down This took us nicely South of the rhumb line which may help us avoid the worst of what looks like light weather for a few days. Still, […]