We did it. We sailed our longest stretch at sea, 72 hours, 3 days from Puerto Real, Puerto Rico to Mayaguana, Bahamas. We have sailed 400+ miles before but faster due to the Gulf Stream. I am so proud of Radeen who had zero fear of standing watches in the black of night with no moon and no horizon sailing at 6-7 knots of boat speed rocking and rolling side to side. We both were exhausted upon arrival. simply from maintaining balance and trying to move around the boat. We are not long-distance sailors and we can not imagine longer legs, but for now, we are happy and feeling successful. Here is a map of the run.
You can see our live sailing tracks and also VIEW ALL TRACKS here:
You can also see JUST THIS SEASON’s map of where we have sailed
Our watch schedule
We really tried to maintain the Captain Blaine Parks watch schedule for two. But it is difficult for me (Hayden) to sleep when Radeen is alone at night on watch. So, I never get enough sleep and that makes this process far more difficult. When we sail with three people, that changes the entire game. Here is the schedule we tried to maintain for 3 days:
- 0600-1200 Radeen
- 1200-1800 Hayden
- 1800-2100 Radeen
- 2100-2400 Hayden
- 0000-0300 Radeen
- 0300-0600 Hayden
Meals were at 0600, 1200, and 1800. Again, not easy cooking or getting even a one bowl meal together. Radeen freezes the meals and they are then a warm-up and serve into one bowl. Here is our first dinner…Chicken Satay with peanut sauce, coconut rice, and peas.
The sailing winds
We waited for one week in Puerto Rico until all the squalls and rain and thunderstorms moved out of the area. This delay gave Cat and Bob of IP 370 Sea Lyon time to catch up with us. Once the stationary TROF and squalls left, we both departed for sea. This worked out so well as we had a predicted wind of 13-18 knots from 090 with gusts to 20-25 and squalls to 25k. Then the winds were to move to NNE at 15-19 gusting 20-25. These numbers on a course of 300 to 320 degrees placed the winds on a beam reach to broad reach for three full days. Our motoring was about 2-3 hours for battery charging and hot water for showers. The sailing was amazing. So, 2.5 gallons of fuel for 425 nm. Not bad. Here are some sailing photos.
A Sun Halo
This was so amazing. On day 3 at noon just south of the Turks and Caicos bank, I looked up at the sails and noticed this sun halo. From what I read,….. A halo is an optical phenomenon produced by light (typically from the Sun or Moon) interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere…….well now, that was really cool. So of course I shot about 50 photos, here are a few!
- Halo (optical phenomenon) – Wikipedia
- https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Halo_(optical_phenom…
Flying Fish Below Deck….yup
Imagine the thoughts this poor flying fish had when he took off out of the water and caught a flight up and over our cockpit then into the companionway and directly down below to crash land, not back in the water, but onto a hard teak floor. Sailing on a hard starboard reach, he flopped downhill and came to rest against our port sofa bunk. We never discovered him until breakfast daylight, and there he was. We were like…..WHAT??? how did this flying fish fly into the below decks. The only way was via the port side cockpit rolled up the enclosure. He was the largest flying fish I have ever seen. Poor guy.
Arrival Mayaguana, Abraham’s Bay
After 3 days at sea, we arrived Mayaguana and thought we would just drop anchor off the lee shore and rest. We needed rest and we also heard that you can not check into the Bahamas here. So the plan was to drop anchor where the guides say to anchor and sleep. Well, we arrived at 6 am, and by 730 am I am fighting with my anchor chain and 55 lbs. Rocna anchor wrapped around rocks 30 feet down at Start Bay. I dropped in the sand but that must have been only 1 inch of sand and we dragged it right under and around large rocks nearly the size of the boat.
Once freed, we decided to try the west shore, Betsy Bay, only to find out that a north swell was running and 6-foot waves were crashing onto the beach making it impossible to anchor there. Now, we needed to bash back EAST into the 20-knot tradewinds to work our way into Abrahams Bay, a place we did not want to go due to tons of coral heads. With no other option other than to go back to sea and keep sailing, we decided to work our way into the reef area. Remember, we are exhausted and all we want to do is drop anchor and sleep. This all took us from 6 am arrival til 1130 when we dropped anchor. OMG, one shot of rum finally and we crashed!
The REWARD….the Bahamas Waters
After sleep and hot showers we awoke to this….look at this beautiful water. We had great news via VHF from the local ambassador, Scully, who informed us that we now can clear into the Bahamas here, saving us a long sail to Clarence Town. After completing the lengthy clearing-in process and paying for our cruising permit at the new online government website, we went ashore with Bob and Cat to complete clearing-in. The Island Administrator, Ms. Chatham, was very helpful and pleasant to talk to. It was still time-consuming for our paperwork to be sent to Matthew Town, Inguaga Customs officer and to be returned. We felt so welcome by everyone we met!
Next up….an Island Tour with SCULLY, the man of Mayaguana
Today, should be a fun day with Scully showing the flock of pink flamingos and taking us to shelling beaches and then a traditional Mac & Cheese and BBQ chicken lunch at his sister Vicki’s home. This is a unique place and so remote.