Blood on the Vinyl and Other Tales
Settling in to Life Truly at Sea

We Are Really At Sea

Our Saturday departure date became "Sunday for sure", then "Early Monday Morning after a good night's sleep". As we were raising the anchor, EW came back toward me from the bow and said, "Something horrible has happened." Horrible is never good. In this case it was upsetting and expensive, but not horrible.

Since the Bahamas we have anchored with two anchors in a series, by attaching a Fortress anchor on chain ten feet in front of the CQR. It is a terrific set-up for sand. Just over a week ago we had experienced a hefty squall that included 180 degree wind shift. I was standing watch on anchor at around 9 or 10 and EW came up to let out 20 feet more chain to counteract the bouncing of the swells. Just as he got on deck, the anchors broke free. No issues, we re-anchored, but didn't realize that the Fortress had broken free from the CQR until EW raised the anchors to find on anchor and 10 feet of chain. Crap.

We got on the VHF to some diving friends we know, who wanted to help but were attending two weeks of classes. Neighbors we hadn't met lurked on the conversation -- having seen us raise the anchor, turn around and re-anchor -- introduced themselves and offered to help. Bran and Shana from S/V Quartette are delightful -- outgoing, fun, friendly, and very, very helpful. First, the four of us snorkeled for the anchor but EW and I called that off after an hour. We've seen the Fortress screw itself down into the sand and figured she was invisible. So, Brad offered to take EW to the chandlery so we could buy a new anchor. We got a Rockna -- something we have both been coveting for this journey. We have to be more careful about what we ask the gods for. Ah well, one definition of a BOAT: Break Out Another Thousand, and that's what it takes to get ready to cross an ocean.

We finally left Sint Marten at 13:47 Atlantic Time and have been sailing since leaving the harbor. It was a bit of a rough night with squalls and wind shifts -- the last one being favorable. Before that, we went more West than we would have liked, but are now heading north toward Bermuda. As I write this, our position is 19.42.410 North, 63.44.118 West. We have 20-25 knots of wind from the NE -- E would be better.

I was promised E - which would provide less heeling.

Ah well. I'm in it for the adventure, and this certainly is an adventure.

During my first watch, I got out the book about the Atlantic Islands and began dreaming of our arrival at Horta in 3-4 weeks. But I want to enjoy this experience first. We had a pod of playful dolphins in the afternoon, and a lovely sun dog (tiny rainbow) greeted me this morning. I made stir fried rice with left-over pork for dinner last night.

All is good.


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Thinking of you both and believing for safe travels. Love you much. Muah!! If you stop in Bermuda ask for Smitty. AKA Andrew Smith. He's helpful.


Our hearts are with you! We'll be watching your progress and looking forward to your posts. Safe sailing my friends.

donna benefiel

positive thoughts and much love are sent your way.

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