Nearly there, and I’m getting really excited!

Well that’s it, with nearly 1,500 miles under Pandora’s keel, we are nearly to Antigua with less than 150 miles to go until we enter Falmouth Harbor, probably around dawn on Sunday.

It’s surely been a challenging trip a good deal of “variety” including just about everything from flat calms to days with a squall every few hours to make me wonder if it will ever end.

Over the last ten days I have to admit that I found myself wondering if it’s worth it, being away from Brenda for so long and the day after day of playing “cat and mouse” with ridges and winds that seem to be doing everything possible to keep us from making our way south.

Back when I was first thinking of a direct run to Antigua, I estimated that it would take perhaps ten days to make the 1,500 mile trip.  Of course, it’s never a straight line but one way or the other, I made the assumption that we’d be able to cover about 150 miles in the “right direction”, on average, each day.  That we now expect to complete the trip in almost exactly ten days, is fairly remarkable.

I know that there were days when we made way less than 150 miles toward our goal and some when we did better than that, but overall, my ten day assumption turned out to be about right.   Of course, we “aren’t there until we are there”, however I now  expect that we will arrive in Falmouth tomorrowSunday, shortly before dawn which will make out total run a few hours less than ten days from Hampton.

So, will I do this trip again?  Probably, but I am  not sure if I’ll take Pandora home to CT this summer and may instead opt to leave her in Grenada or Trinidad, below the hurricane belt.  I have been hesitant to leave her for an extended period because there was always so much to do to bring her into proper trim for extended ocean sailing but most of those projects are now done so perhaps it’s time to just do the short run south from Antigua to her “summer home” after the northbound rally leaves in May.

Brenda and I had planned to do an extended trip to Europe every other year or so after I retired but with so much work on Pandora as well as the time it takes to get her from here to there, our travel plans have been delayed.  Yes, there were other reasons beyond “the boat” but all of this “schlepping” has clearly gotten in the way.  We really want to do a trip this fall so perhaps this year it does make sense to not do the long run north.

One thing for sure though, if we do decide to bring Pandora north this spring and back down next fall, I won’t be stopping in Hampton as it just adds too much time to the trip.  And to add insult to injury, it just takes forever and a day to get enough easting from Hampton to reach the trade winds.  It just seems to me that it would be easier to leave from CT and head south, passing near Bermuda on our way south and just skip all the “in and out” of going to Hampton which in itself makes the total run to Antigua about 200 miles longer than a direct run.

Besides, not stopping in Hampton would cut my time away from Brenda by about half as I wouldn’t be hanging out in Hampton for a week or two prior to heading south.

However, as Chris Parker would say, “that’s a long way out and things could change” but that’s what I am thinking now.  Well, for at least today.
All that aside, what I’m really thinking of is that I can’t wait to see Brenda and go out for a nice dinner so we can catch up as I haven’t seen her since I slipped the lines in CT, some three weeks ago.

Did I mention that she’s flying in on Wednesday afternoon?

Thought so.  And I’m really, really excited.

For sure, Pandora will be all cleaned up, in cruising trim and ready for Brenda.

3 responses to “Nearly there, and I’m getting really excited!

  1. George Hallenbeck

    Glad to hear all is going smoothly.
    Will watch for those photographs
    especially the mainsail. If it makes
    you feel better it was 26F in CT today.

  2. Bob, also glad to hear that all is going well. Have a safe arrival. Larry

  3. Rooting for you.
    As you know, we kept ILENE in Grenada the summer of 2011 and our experiences are recorded at ilenetheboat.blogspot.com. Lots of fun on other people’s’ boats that summer.
    As between Grenada and Trinidad, we had the Insurance Company jacking up our rates, lowering our coverage and requiring use of a cradle instead of jack stands in Grenada as compared to reports of high crime rates in Trinidad.
    We did not anticipate the tropical moisture in Grenada though we paid a man to air the boat every week. Whatever projects you plan, buy the materials in St. Martin’a Dutch side before you leave to save a lot of money.
    But first, enjoy your winter.

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