The Crossing

    It seems it has been a while since I have been very informative about where we are and what we are doing.  We try to update facebook, and we are always updating the spot tracker.  Our detailed trip of the last 3 months can be seen here, just by editing the dates you'd like to view.

    We have crossed the great Atlantic, cruised through the Caribbean, Seen all the Virgin Islands and now sit in Puerto Rico.  The choice lies ahead whether we can weather the weather or if we should aim for safe harbours on the east coast.

    The crossing as you can tell went well.  We started the engines in Gran Canaria and I did a final check on the batteries and the alternator was fried! We did not turn around to replace the alternator and decided to cross without it, we had the wind turbine and 80w of solar for power. We ran the engine for one hour to get clear of the harbour. The wind was blowing well in the direction of our choosing as we had been waiting for a weather window with strong winds, but low swells.  We had heard the island would block our wind if we went to far south too soon and we may have to motor, well it blocked our wind and if you follow the tracker you can see it took us nearly 13 hours to do 1.5 knts an hour. We finally cleared the island and started making good time going at 240 degrees magnetic for 2-3 days at 3.5-4knts.  The waves were small and the breeze was calm.  On the 4th day a strong squal came changing the direction of the wind and waves forcing us to sail due south.  As our self steering gears were not operational during these swells we disconnected them both and steered by hand for these 48 hours.  On the night of the second day of the squal I made the decision to Heave-To so that we could get some rest, as steering had worn us thin.  Just a week earlier we had done the jump from Portugal to Canary Islands with no self steering gear for seven days.  We were not able to endure the abuse from the storm.  We moved the boat into position and tied the rudder to the port side and I slept like a baby for 7 hours.

   When we awoke the storm had passed and the winds and waves were back on course.  The windvane that we mistakenly left connected had broken on its main axle, we did not choose to repair it at this moment but instead hooked up the electric st1000 and set our heading for 240 again.  Later in the day I would remove the windvane and examine it.  During this time we were looking at turning south to Cape De Verde, as without a self steering gear we were not looking forward to 27 more days of steering with no breaks.  Luckily I gimmied the gear and added a few zip ties, and pried one way or another to get the windvane to work...or atleast make it so it wouldn't round us up.

   From this point forward the rest of the crossing went very smooth.  We got into a routine of sleeping in shifts, one making breakfast, then the other.  We would have coffee, oatmeal, eggs and potatoes.  We rationed our water for 1 liter per a person per a day.  We would take baby wipe showers and monitor our batteries.  There went days, sometimes weeks when we would not see another boat.  After the bordom took over we started to do stunts of jumping off the bow, towing behind the boat, and during a time of calms we would go underneath and scrub some of the growth off our belly.

  We would arrive in Antigua to Falmouth Harbour, 33 days after departure, and we were greeted by dolphins.  I will post a video which will be added to this post to further give a picture of crossing on our Centaur.

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