It’s been four days since we arrived here in St Lucia and we couldn’t be happier.
The race was a blast and we pushed hard.
On day 3 the steering became difficult, we fixed that problem only to be handed another.
No auto pilot. Otto (nickname) abandoned ship and broke rule number one – no one leaves the boat unless at anchor or docked. He will be allowed back on but not without a serious discussion first.
With over 1500 more miles to go, and only 3 of us who could handle the conditions, it was challenging but we knew going into it the three of us could handle El Gato nicely.
So we did!
Our top recorded speed was 19.7. We are really proud of our comfortable and blue water capable Gato!
Hand steering was also exhausting. And a little hairy when it was dark. And I mean really dark. Like there’s no moon, and you cant see the horizon, and we had to trust our compass and instruments like instrument rated pilots. We lit up the sails so we could tell if they were trimmed or luffing but otherwise, it was DARK!!!
2 hour shifts at night, 3 hours during the day, meant 8-10 hours/day driving, and we would cover for each other when we did other things like sail changes. My feet still hurt from standing so long on the teak decks so a massage was necessary yesterday to continue the proper R&R after an Atlantic crossing.
We kept it safe so when the big yachts were barreling down the course with spinnakers up trying to dodge squalls, we took ours down and the 70’ cat LIR passed us, and the two monohulls ahead stretched their leads. They also had kites ripped in half, poles broken, mainsails split (they carried a spare) genoa’s torn, blocks blow up etc. Our damage report? hmmmm, oh yeah the auto pilot stopped functioning. We worked hard to prevent problems and it paid off.
In the end we were only hours behind the leaders after sailing over 2100 miles.
The boats keep trickling in and everyone celebrates them when they arrive.
We went out to escort our friends on PGRoshni and presented them with champagne before they even crossed the line.
Now that we are here, our friend D’Arcy has arrived and Christy comes on Saturday.
We’ll get some much needed work like varnishing and teak work done, and then play on our Gato before flying home for X Mas. After so much excitement it is nice to relax!
Tonight the menu is Widago African Dorado caught by the boys who evidently provide meals for the family. Tomorrow I learn to play Kings in the Corner from them. Cant wait!
FINALLY IN THE CARIBBEAN!!!!
Is it warm? Yes!
Are the locals friendly? Yes!
Is the water warm, blue, and clean? Yes!
Does everyone speak English? Mostly Yes!
Are we happy to be here? YES!!!
And now it’s time to gear up for some private charters.
If you are interested, or know anyone who might be interested in cruising the Caribbean on a sweet cat, please contact us! We will be sailing north from St Lucia mid to late January and will be in the Virgin Islands by March. Will follow some of the major regatta schedules so we can be a B&B for those needing berths, or a full charter boat doing all the fun things like snorkel trips, windsurfing, paddle boarding, and sailing lessons. Our charters can be quite customizable and have great potential for the pegging the fun meter while teaching and building skills. Eric and I have taught sailing for decades and are now very familiar with El Gato and ready for paying passengers. So please spread the word for us and help us make this a viable business. Tradewind Adventures LLC is ready to launch!
Yesterday a fellow American came up and told us we were featured in Latitude 38 which is a California based sailing magazine. If you want to see it go to: http://latitude38.com/lectronic/LectronicLat.lasso