Antigua to Bermuda

Atlantic Return Leg 1

We left Jolly Harbour in Antigua at 13.00 Saturday 14th May (GMT -4) and by 06.30 local  time (GMT -3) on Saturday 21st May, 963 miles later, we were anchored in Powder Hole, St Georges Harbour, Bermuda with the boys drinking beer, waiting for Customs to open.

It was a really good trip. On this route you have to expect large areas of flat calm especially in the second half, but we only motored a little on days 2 & 3 and then sailed fast and straight into Bermuda always on some sort of reach. We did have some horrible rain and drizzle early on but we can't really complain.

We put reefs in and out from day 4 onwards but didn't have anything else to do except one gybe to get into the harbour! On Friday night we put in 2 reefs and furled away a lot of headsail in a vain attempt to slow ourselves down.  We still sailed at 6 to 7 knots all night but actually arrived off the harbour entrance just as it was getting light so we went straight in without having to hang around.  We could have carried full sail and if we had I am sure we would have got a new boat speed record for ourselves.  As it was we still averaged just over 6 knots for the trip, much appreciating Nimrod's beardless, barnacle free, fast, clean bottom!

Comments from the crew:

bulletEd - "This is the most boring thing I have ever done!"
bulletEskild - "Mbwuuqk - are we nearly there yet?"
bulletAndy - "Jilly Cooper - its FANTASTIC" 
bulletLucy - "Turn the gas off, don't leave rubbish in the sink, keep the cockpit tidy, turn the lights on, turn the lights off..........."

Highlights were jazz in the cockpit and catching our one and only fish.  This happened within about 30 seconds of putting the line in the water but sadly was not an experience to be repeated as all other attempts to vary our diet were in vain.

 

After arrival we went to Customs and then berthed stern-to the wall at St George's Dinghy club alongside 3 very beautiful American Swans and a J-boat. Eskild went up the mast to retrieve the main halyard and we put on a new shackle as the other one had broken when we took the sail down! Then drank champagne, went to the bar for more drinks, had a quick sleep and then went out on the town.

Andy and I returned shortly after midnight to be woken at 2.30 am and kept awake for the next 3 hours by a passing front giving us 42 knots and torrential rain, adding more lines and anxiously pacing the dock with the Swan skippers, praying everyone's anchors would hold and waiting for the wind to change direction and die down. Ed and Eskild were completely oblivious to all this as they were in a bar down the other end of the island!

Now we have re stocked the fridge, filled the water tanks, mended the stern heads and generally cleaned up a bit and will be departing for the Azores early Monday morning. Its a pity we haven't more time to see more of Bermuda but one has to take the weather window if its there. We're expecting it to take us a little over 2 weeks but it all depends on the wind...........