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Making Lemonade life gives you lemons make lemonade” Hello friends and family this cruising journal/blog is about my travels, the places I go and the friends I meet along the way.

Week 1 - St Maarten to Portland Maine, 1,690 miles

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | Wednesday, 9 June 2010 | Views [558]

Week 1

June 10th day 1     Thursday day 1 St Maarten to Portland Maine passage begins

We woke early and made the final preparations for departure. We had our last tropical snorkel on the reef and on our way out to the reef met two beautiful eagle rays. They were like identical twins with about a 3ft wing span and black with white spots just floating along the bottom. I have listed most of the fish we have seen in case you want to look them up they are amazing.  We departed at 11:45am and after rounding the corner of Tintamarre picked up speed and averaged 7.5 knots all day and night.

 

June 11th day 2

We covered approx 170 miles on our first day with an avg wind speed on 12 knots and boat GPS speed of 7.5 knots a great sail. The wind and current were in a perfect position for us so the sail was very comfortable. We saw only a few flying fish and sea birds, no land, other boats or dolphins! Jim took the whole night watch and I slept like a baby, thanks Jim. The night sky was amazing again and I saw 3 shooting stars and a few satellites racing around.

 

June 12th  day 3

I woke in time for the beautiful sunrise and another sunny day. The weather and seas remain the same, fair winds and smooth seas the most any sailor asks for. We had another uneventful day in terms of wildlife but on my watch I did pass a large oil tanker but off on the horizon so no how do you dos. The day ended with another fantastic sky and a new game to see who spots the most satellites. Did you know there are so many satellites up there and once they are decommissioned there is no way to get them down so apparently the sky is becoming very cluttered with abandoned satellites, another problem for our children to solve.

 

June 13th  day 4

I took over watch at 4am with a very light wind and gentle sail. The sky began to lighten about 5am with the sun in full sight about 5:35 (see pics). There were a few flying fish casualties on the deck which Jim fed to following sea birds later. What a beautiful way to start the day. Once the captain was up we made a few sail changes and had breakfast in paradise flying the asymmetrical in full color. We entered the Saragossa Sea which is home to a particular kind of seaweed and apparently eels from Europe swim down here to lay their eggs and the young then swim back to Europe.   Unfortunately the winds have continued to lessen all day and we are heading into the Bermuda High which is lower than expected. We motored for a few hours and attracted a pod of Dolphins. They put on a great show on the bow. Wonderful sunset and amazing night sky – Patrick Moore we need you.

 

June 14th day 5

No wind!!!!!!!!! We are not moving and the ocean is like glass. It is eerie and looks almost like a desert. We have attracted a few sea birds that have been hanging around all day and also assorted fish that swim around the hull and chase the birds away if they get to close. I have just completed book 2 and am about to start 3. We eventually had to run the engine for about 16 hours which attracted a pod of about 10 dolphins including a mother and pup.  We had another awesome sunrise and sunset (see pics)

 

June 15th day 6

Still no wind, no waves, no go! We had a little wind in the morning so tried flying the asymmetrical sail but no go. Then tried the whisker pole and again not enough wind so we resorted to the engine for a few hours and attracted another pod of dolphins which swam around for about 10 min putting on a show for us. We had a great sunset and green flash and another beautiful night sky.

 

June 16th day 7 Happy Birthday Mark

Doldrums continue with the whisper of wind every so often. We tried flying the asymmetrical, then the whisker pole on the Genoa but then all wind abated and we resolved to float for the day. We have plenty of food, no deadline, sun, sea and a very peaceful setting so why rush. We read all afternoon, watched our adopted seagulls fight with the fish following the boat (see pics) and had one large tanker pass us. Our patience was rewarded in the afternoon by a visit from a Fin Whale (look it up) and her calf. The sunset was bright orange and the new moon and Venus appeared. The stars in the night sky were so bright they were reflected in the flat sea and Jim had a visit a pod of dolphins around midnight.

Tags: beach, coral, coral reefs, fish, snorkeling, sunrise, sunsets, swimming, turtles

 

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