It’s Sunday morning and we are finally less than 500 miles from Antigua. The trade winds, still perhaps 200 miles south of us, are at least looking like something that we will encounter in this lifetime and we are looking forward to finishing up our run with a few days of easy trade wind sailing.
We could probably be sailing now but it would be SLOW SAILING and would prolong our trip by several days, something that would surely cause a mutiny with Pandora’s crew. And even motoring as much as we are, the trip is going to be my longest, nearly two weeks. Fortunately we sailed a lot in the early days so I am fairly confident that we will arrive in Antigua with fuel in at least one of our tanks.
While the wind is from the south, the conditions are light with about 5-8 knots that is allowing us to move along motor-sailing, close hauled. That’s not ideal but fortunately, we think that we have plenty of fuel to continue pushing along to make it to the favorable trades.
There’s not much to report except that there is really nothing out here at all with the exception of an occasional ship that passes us. Yesterday a freighter and a yacht transport ship passed us on their way to Ft Lauderdale. In spite of the big ocean, I had to call the on the radio to confirm that they saw us. The AIS tracker showed that both of them would pass us within about a mile. One had to alter course a bit to avoid freaking me out by passing too close.
I can tell you that AIS is perhaps the most important piece of safety gear to get on a boat for passage making. To be able to see a ship 15 miles away and calculate how close they will come to you, is very big deal. It gives the name of the ship so you can hail them by name. It wasn’t very many years ago when we had to look at running lights and try our best to understand where they were going and if they might be a threat. And, without a ship name to call directly, they almost never responded.
On the home front, Brenda continues to get a lot of “atta girls’ for her new book and it is just so exciting that she has a hard copy of the “real thing” after all these years. Yesterday she also taught a class on Zoom to the Rhode Island Handweavers’ Guild. The class was about a Japanese braiding technique that she has enjoyed doing over the years. The technique is not very well known so whenever she teaches it, the response is great.
And, speaking of the book, all 5 pounds of it, you should check out her recent post to see first hand what a great book it is. More than a decade of hard work and it finally arrived just a day before the second anniversary of the death of Archie, the co-author and subject of the book. Heavy or not, I hope that Brenda brings a copy to Antigua so I can see if first hand.
If all goes well, Pandora will be in English Harbor and all tied up by sometime on November 11th so I can be there to greet Brenda when she arrives the next day. We have booked a room at the Admiral’s Inn for four nights and it will be nice to spend some time on land after three weeks since setting sail from Essex.
It’s nice to be far enough along to be able to begin seeing clearly when our voyage will be over. I am totally, totally ready.
Remember my post about leaving Pandora south for next summer? The more I think about that, the more appealing the idea. So much to look forward to over the winter aboard Pandora with Brenda and lots of fun on the horizon next summer in CT along with a trip to Europe next fall. Besides, I haven’t been to Grenada or Trinidad, two likely spots to keep Pandora, where I can have some work done on her.
Busy, busy. No rest for the weary retired..