It is Saturday afternoon; the sun is out and Pandora is bounding along on a very close reach in about 17kts. Of course, that means wet…
After yesterday’s post about the illusive 200 mile day, it is worth noting that our run from 10:00 yesterday morning till 10:00 today was a very respectable 196 miles. Not 200 but not bad.
I have mostly given up on trying to mop up the drips which seem to be coming from a few new places. The problem is that leaks generally do not show up unless we are really pounding. I think that the biggest leak is still coming from the mast fitting on the deck which needs to be removed, cleaned and rebedded. I have not decided if I will tackle that myself or if I will ask a rigger to address it.
The other leaks, a minor drips from the hatch near the galley and in the forward head are probably simple to fix but I will not go into that right now. We will see.
Anyway, we are bounding along and I’d say it’s safe to say that conditions are “sporty”, or “salty” as Chris Parker, our weather router, likes to say.
I received a note from my friend Tom who has an Oyster in the eastern Mediterranean where he sails with his wife Sarah. I understand that he helped deliver a friend’s Oyster from the US to English Harbor, where he is now. Sadly, I will not see him as he will be flying back to his home in Florida before I get there.
There has been a lot of back and forth between me and others as we plan the arrival events for the next ten days or so. It has been a bit of a challenge with intermittent connectivity with Starlink but way easier than in past years. However, despite some schedule changes, and a lot of back and forth, I think that most events are now scheduled.
We are 250 miles from Antigua now, with 85% of the run behind us. It feels good to know that we will be there soon but it is now a case of the “longest mile” as we INCH toward our destination.
It’s always hard to say exactly when we will be there but the closer we get, the clearer it becomes. At this point, it seems likely we will likely arrive somewhere between 10:00 on Sunday evening and early morning Monday, not to put too fine a point on it. That will have made the run in 12 days, not my longest but LONG, never the less.
The biggest uncertainty is that we are sailing fairly hard on the wind now and if the wind were to shift even 10 degrees to the south, we will have trouble making landfall on the eastern side of Antigua. If we must head to the western side, we will then have to motor directly into the wind and waves for hours to make English Harbor. I really hope that does not happen.
So, now that I am somewhat, kind of, reasonably, certain about the timing of our arrival, I am starting to think about all that I will NOT have to do aboard for much longer, like cleaning the head, moping up leaks along with dreaming up and cooking meals. I have tried hard to make sure that meals are not particularly repetitive and I think it is going well but the pickings are beginning to get a little slim so it is a good thing we are getting close.
Sailing fairly close to the wind, is rough and it is quite hot and sticky down below, with everything all buttoned up, so I really don’t want to do much cooking. When I asked what the guys wanted for dinner tonight, they both suggested egg salad wraps, exactly what I prepared last night. That will be easy and I can spiff them up a bit so they are somewhat different than last night.
Brenda thinks I am a completely uninspired cook but after watching her spin her magic in the kitchen over the years, I am not quite the luddite that she imagines. Just almost, but not quite. Besides, culinary expectations are not high when at sea, so everything tastes better.
After tonight, only one more dinner and then…
So, that brings me to the title of this post and what happens when we get to Antigua. I have no interest in posting yet another photo of a sunrise, although I did try and get a shot of a beautiful rainbow this morning but, alas, it faded quickly. No luck.
What I really want to think about now is being tied up in Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbor, becoming reacquainted with the “Tot Club” (I am a member, you know.) and then going out for perhaps pizza or a burger. Did I hear someone say “rum punch?” I don’t think that I will get much pushback from the guys. They are ready too…
And, from top to bottom… Antigua courtesy flag, Tot club and Salty Dawg rally flag. A great combination.
And, in English Harbor, what awaits when the fleet arrives. Pandora tied up with a bunch of other Dawg boats. Tom tells me that the Dockyard is basically empty now but I expect that in three days’ time, they will be filled nearly to capacity.
Pandora with her boarding passarelle in place.
It’s going to be great.
As we basically start the season for the island, as there are no boats there now, everybody will be as happy to see us as we will be to see them.
I can’t wait to be back in Antigua!