After many weather updates and running around town trying to fix our liferaft, we finally thought wise to leave to the Caribbean. In the last week we had almost constant winds of +15kt gusting +30kt at anchor. The wind was coming from land, and the holding for the anchor is superb, making the conditions at anchor very reasonable. Still, it made the idea of leaving a very uncomfortable one! I kept on thinking “if the conditions are this bad here, imagine out there!”. So we stayed and delayed the departure. But then, day after day, cruisers that we know kept on leaving. They all had their reasons; some needed to leave or they’d cancel the trip, others didn’t think the weather was that bad and some just wanted the experience. All fair, as long as it’s their choice. But this started to really eat away at my confidence. Do they know something that I don’t? If they can do it, and I have similar experience, why can’t I? Am I just too scared for sailing? Well, I seem to forget that time has provided some answers: I have experienced how relentless the weather can be, so I have nothing but the greatest respect for it! And if something doesn’t feel right, I shouldn’t force it. As an example, we bailed from leaving with other boats from Las Palmas to Cape Verde. It was very painful to make the decision, but the weather looked bad to me, so 30min before departure, we said no. We ended up taking another window which was the most beautiful sail we ever had by far!! Later we caught up with some of the sailors who went, and they said it was one of their worst experience; the sea and the wind were terrible, and the whole thing was exhausting! So, what am I saying. I suppose I’m saying that in this trip I’ve been learning to listen to myself, and reinforcing how important it is to take ego out of the decision. And also start to filter some of the information given by other cruisers, whose ego might be more fragile which they compensate with a fake bravado that mother nature has a way of squashing! I love to hear what others have to say, but still need to make a decision which is right for us!
Anyway, we’re now underway. Karin and Jeroen from SV White Pearl were amazing in the words and confidence they offered, and the endless chats about forecast analysis and interpretation. They never roles their eyes once, even though I gave them plenty of reasons to. Also they waited for us so we could leave together. Almost so they could hold our hands getting out of the channel. It’s hard to put in words what this means to us! Thank you so much guys!! We’re going to different destinations and they are much faster, so 3h into the trip and they are out of reach. Except for satellite email 😉
So, how’s is it out here? It’s quite rough, even more than I thought. Was it a wise decision to come? I still think so! We have +2m waves, fast (I count 6sec between them) and not always from the same direction. The wind hasn’t been below 25kt, with max gust of 42kt. We have a 3rd reef in the main and are going to downwind we can’t get the headsail out. Speed depends on the waves, but its about 5.5kt. OK, enough chatting for now. I’m going to check on Saskia and do the log book. Thank you for reading this and helping me pass the time and forget this wet behemoth that sometimes crashes in the cockpit! If you want to check where we are, head to sailingsaetta.com/where-we-are/ Sailing Saetta Saskia & Miguel

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2 comments

  1. Susan Hodgins

    Reply

    Excellent blog. Hope you manage to get the headsail working. Just trust the boat and continue to trust your gut. It’s the best fallsafe you have.

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