My heart was racing as I threw the shorelines aboard and jumped after Chilli who was drifting rapidly away from the pontoon in the aprox. 25knt of wind. The high pulse was a good combination of what felt as crossing the finish line after a marathon of preparations and thought processes the past week, and uncertainty about when I would set foot on solid ground again, and everything in between now and then. 4700nm is beyond my comprehension of mileage and time on the ocean. My senses was heightened when I got out in the waves as the boat hadn`t been off the anchorage since mid march, and there is always surprises; open lockers, drawers, unsecured stuff no matter how well checked it is. To my surprise nothing was falling around, but I realized I had forgot to fold in the mast-steps and call mom. A trip up the mast in two metres waves to kick of the seasickness (classic) and some last calls and glimpses of internet while the mountains of Jamaica disappeared into the evening mist and the timelessness of the sea settled in me.
I was sailing. The first three days I was literally only sailing and watching the vast scenery, weather systems, sunsets, sunrises, water, heaven and the boats movements in this soup of reality. The fact that I had no idea about when I would get anywhere made the total experience unlike any other sail I`ve started. Usually I calculate a ETA, and subconsciously count days and hours until we reach the destination. Not this time. The days flew by in a strange speed, long experienced hours and strangely short days.
The cuts and wounds on my hands and feet after the prep work finally started to heal, and the battle against the saw-dust which had found it`s way absolutely everywhere in- and outside on the boat after my sailor friend Leonardo had helped me out with some wood works while I was away from the boat (and decided that the companionway was a great place to use the electric sawing machine, cheers…) , started to come to and end.
We had mostly steady 15-25 knots of upwind sailing except from about 25 hours of motoring through the windward passage between Cuba and Haiti, just as expected. With the slight modification to the mainsails shape, and the absence of Avocado on the foredeck (the dinghy which I left in Jamaica) as a great wind-catcher, Chilli did remarkably better upwind. A relieving indication when looking at the probable winds for the rest of the passage… The Monitor windvane is working like a dream after the overhaul, equally the water-maker, radio rig and everything else aboard.
I get my weather forecasts through GRIB files (synoptic weather charts) downloaded from Winlink, and through Chris Parkers HF (radio) nets for transatlantic cruisers. After a good talk with them as I approached Bahamas, he recommended that I should wait as the Atlantic systems where unpredictable past the coming week, potentially rough and not in my favour.
Luckily, I decided to do so and anchored off Mayaguana (23.05.20). The day after I realize that my clogged ear had developed into an ear-infection, which did leave me on penicillin and strong painkillers the past week. The meds have been effective, and I’m now looking to leave on tomorrow; Saturday 30.05. Due to corona am I not able to check in to the country or go ashore. It would not make much of a difference here anyway, as the island is basically a patch of sand with about 200 locals living on rice and beans. Truly happy I really filled the boat up in Jamaica!
Mathias Dellner will continue to put out some blog posts here about once a week, as we have daily contact. Do you for any reason want to get in contact with me during the voyage, mail him at mathiasdellner ((at))gmail(dot)com. All is welcome!