Friday, April 25, 2014

The Dominican Republic to the Bahamas: Our Longest Passage

We have arrived safe and sound in the Bahamas after doing our longest passage yet. The plan was to go from Samana in the DR to Mayaguana, Bahamas, not stopping in the Turks and Caicos, which would have been somewhere around 330 miles. 

We left Samana in the morning and as the sun set we decided to bring the front sail in during the night since the wind was quite strong. Unfortunately since the wind was so strong we had trouble bringing it in and ended up with the same problem as last time where it wrapped around itself with the top of it loose and flapping about.

We decided we would have to stop and fix it (we still had a good 275 miles to go after all), and stopped at the nearest place (which was Rio San Juan, still in the DR) at 2am, slept for a couple hrs and then I winched John up the fore stay and we managed a pretty quick fix and were off again.

The wind was strong (up to 25 knots) and we had some majorly rolly seas, roller-coaster style, but we were going pretty fast (I saw 8.9!) and after many hours, the seas and winds calmed down. We were lucky to have a beautiful bright full moon every night to help light the way. We crossed the Turks bank (which is shallow and full of coral heads), didn't see or hear any other boats, and 242 miles and 48 hrs later we were back in the beautiful blue turquoise waters of the Bahamas.

The water was so clear we could see rays swimming 15 ft under the boat. We arrived in the morning, spent the day recuperating before heading out again, this time doing 137 miles in 29 hrs to Clarence Town. The weather was great, it was calm enough to have a movie night in the cockpit! We got to Clarence Town, got the dinghy in the water, and went to shore for the first time in 6 days (Dexter has never been happier!).

So in total we did 473 miles in 96 hrs, took a lot of naps, and I read 2 entire novels. We were able to have the engine off the entire time, only turning it on briefly in idle during the night to recharge the batteries to power the autopilot, talk about a cheap way to travel! Imagine if we could power our cars using the wind! And I am very happy to say that I was not seasick at all! Maybe it means I'm finally getting used to it (only 8 months later!), all I know is it makes traveling a lot more enjoyable, I think this was the most enjoyable passage for me, even though it was also the longest.

Always impossible to capture how big the waves are in photos!
Maybe this gives a better idea of how rolly it was-we were heeled over 40 degrees!
Someones comfy!
The end of the rainbow!

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