January 30, 2009

Leave it to us to get 40 knot winds on our shake down sail...

We decided that it would be a good idea to sail from Prickly Bay around the bottom of the island and back up around the other side to St Georges, so that when we headed out to Carriacou we would have a nice head start. Also, "The Lagoon" in St Georges is close to grocery stores and has dead calm waters, which we were all looking forward to.

Totally seemed like a good plan and the distance wasn't to far. I am sure you all remember the last time we came into Prickly Bay (remember the squall and we lost our steerage), we came around the corner at the bottom of the island and hit the wind and squall, well this time we were going in the opposite direction, so we expected it to be a breeze. A short jaunt to the corner, then turn up and a short jaunt to St Georges...that was the plan....

We start out and everything was great. The wind was behind us and the seas were behind us. We had out only our Genoa (our front sail) and we were still doing 6 knots. The sun was shining, music playing, we were all talking, pretty much perfect. I had the helm and was loving it. I was remembering what I loved about it.

As we came to the corner, we decided to take it wide. This is due to our inexperience. We thought better to be far away from being pushed onto the rocks but the thing was that we wouldn't of been pushed onto the shore since the tide was driving us away as we rounded the corner. So we came around the corner way out and we got hammered by the wind, since we were so far out. (I forgot to mention We had picked up a new friend in Prickly Bay who was looking to be crew and wanted to come for the short sail named Kevin, who is a guy from Toronto and also from Humber sailing club.) Unfortunately Kevin needed to go out on deck, on the low side about this time and was adjusting the car position of the foresail....as he was doing this we got hit by a 35 knot wind gust and it knock the boat down even further. I felt sick. I yelled at Graham to get Kevin the hell back in the cockpit. The kids said they were watching Kevin and he fell back against the life lines and then threw himself back towards the boat. I guess he tried to grab the hand holds but the boat hook was attached to them and he had a hard time gripping them.(we will fix this for the next sail). Alex said he won't soon forget the look on Kevin's face.

Funny how I always have the helm in these situations. I was yelling at Graham, "How do I make it better? How do I make it better?"....I wanted the heel to stop. I tried to bear away but the boat was trying so hard to head up, it was like fighting a tornado. My lack of experience definitely shone through. The good news is that Artemo did great. Strong and sturdy. As we eventually got back on course and came towards St Georges, winds increased to 40 knots! Craziness. Nearing the end of the sail, Graham said "Maybe you could let someone else have a turn at the helm"......I definitely have to get over the feeling like I have to be in control.

It was so nice to come into the Lagoon and hit the dead calm waters. Kevin would like to sail with us to Antigua and since we are planning on doing a couple of overnights, we thought why not. Would be nice to have an extra person aboard for night watch and he seems easy to get along with.

We are currently in the Lagoon waiting for a weather window. Today it poured rain all day and the winds blew like crazy. We managed to get a ton of homeschooling done, 2 loads of laundry, grocery shopping and even time for a rum punch at the bar!

Hopefully tomorrow weather is good and we will head to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou.


  1. Congratulations and best of luck on your adventure. We will be watching your progress.

  2. Welcome to the world of weird winds and strange happenings.
    Dad and Cheryl

  3. That sounded very scarey Julie. Was Kevin tied to the boat.I am glad that you have made it to Carriacou safe and sound. Did the high winds and waves look anything like the Newfoundland ferry in the high seas. That clip made me realize that I dont think a cruise ship is for me.

  4. Hi Julie,

    It is Kevin. I am up on deck.

    Hey, next time you come up could you bring me a drink and a snack of some sort. Maybe a dill pickle or a piece of cheese.

    Thanks. Talk to soon.