Thursday, 27 February 2014

Temptress does the Atlantic - the final hours....

It seems a long long dawn waiting for the island to appear, lights ashore had been visible since 02:30 with about 30 nm left. Eventually in the night the jib was furled leaving just the reefed main to sail by. The aim was to slow down and to enable us to motorsail more directly downwind. The engine also helped recharge the batteries as George the autopilot was using some juice in the choppy seas. Then soon after sunrise, it was light enough to see misty outlines of mountains and by quarter to eight we could see that the land was green, very green - a welcome sight to eyes whose recent months had been spent in the parched treeless lands of Morocco, the Canaries and the Cape Verdes. Little fishing dories appeared then disappeared in the big swells, thin wooden booms out on either side of the boats supporting their fishing lines looking like spindly insect legs.

We picked out the red, more accurately faded orange, and green buoys then turned north into the channel. Once inside the harbour the main was dropped untidily into the lazyjacks and attention turned to finding a spot to anchor in. The hook was secure in Caribbean sand before nine. Fourteen days one and a bit hours after leaving Mindelo, Temptress had crossed the Atlantic and the crew (except Paul) celebrated with a swim in warm slightly green water.

St David's is tiny, but quite inset tucked deep between two headlands; there are a few white mooring buoys scattered around with a handful of boats and one other boat at anchor. The headlands are not very high, covered in trees some more exotic than others, there are a few cream and pastel coloured villas with corrugated roofs dotted amongst the trees around on the eastern headland. At the head of the mangrove strewn bay is a tiny strip of  beach and the boatyard, Grenada Marine with its boat hoist, sheds and masts ashore. All very rural and very peaceful. Phone calls to family and friends back in Europe then launch the dinghy and run ashore. The bar was shady (in the out of the sun sense) and welcoming; by lunchtime we'd consumed a few beers and some rum, then tempted by fish and chips or curried chicken roti's stayed for lunch. Most of the crew eventually made it back to the boat for delayed showers and a snooze before heading back to the bar for an evening meal. Our chores can wait until tomorrow, today we are celebrating.

Total distance: Mindelo, Cape Verdes to St David's, Grenada - 2249nm

2 comments:

  1. thoroughly enjoyed catching up on your exploits, congrats on a safe passage, a little envious here....enjoy the islands and fair winds XX

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  2. Congrats on a successful crossing! Great to read Sussie. All the best to you and the skipper

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