Here in the Caribbean, the trade wind blows with an average force 5 to 6. That sounds reasonable and good for sailing, but it means that sometimes the wind is a pleasant force 4 and sometimes a good 7. If you need to beat yourself against that in a small yacht it will work and a seaworthy yacht like Hope manages quit well, but cooking extensively, fishing and relaxing in the cockpit are difficult. Since Katia and me are not in a hurry we decide to wait for a good weatherwindow for our trip north of 320 mile to Antigua.
Being treated well by the sea
Dear friend Dave, keeps ordering beer on the night before our departure. I kindly decline but he reacts jolly: “Don’t worry mate about tomorrow’s hang over . You know what I always do? I leave, say my goodbye’s and anchor the next night in a bay arround the corner. Then you’v left and stay out of trouble while tucking in for a good night’s sleep.” It is a simple but brilliant idea. Next day we prepare Hope and sail out while cruising along Grenada’s tropical coast. We anchor in a calm bay and enjoy the sunset, a good meal and a long night sleep.
Sailing at sea can be so lovely
The next dat at around six I fire up the engine and depart. We hoist sail and reef down while using the spitfire on our way north with Hope heeling no more than 15 degrees and still doing a good 5,5 knots. Sure we can go faster, I can set more sail, but I am to busy enjoying the blue water and the sun above me while gently snoozing away. When the wind picks up a big jolt on the fishing rod startles me as it bends under the pressure caused by a big fish. Yeah! That sounds like a Tuna! After a short fight the lucky bastard snaps off and escapes a free sleep over in our fridge.
In the nights that follow we sometimes lose the wind completely and sometimes it suddenly increases, but all in all we have a gentle and very pleasant crossing. After exactly 60 hours we arrive in Antigua where the richest people of our earth have their yachts brought for the Caribbean season. We count about fifty yachts in the different ports. The sheer wealth of these people is increadible. With pride I admire a Dijkstra J design sailing under Dutch flag and an enormous 56 meter yacht with homeport ‘s Hertogenbosch. Whose would that be I wonder?
Katia and me talk with many people, make some friends and aquire some good contacts so we can get to work. She as a stewardess or cook and I on deck of a super yacht or as delivery captain of charter yachts. Of course I would preferably work on one of the Dutch yachts but let’s see what comes up. With a bit of luck we are covered for the next couple of months before the hurricane season interrupts this great Caribbean life.