Our respective nightwatches consisted on a brainstorming
session: treasure hunt planning for Thea’s birthday… We started building up the
story and thinking about the different locations to hide the clues. And the night was spent slowly as the wind refused to push us at a decent speed. Having decided on the preparation of Thea´s birthday we went to sleep but only to be woken up a couple hours later by James. When we got on deck we had a little surprise waiting for us; the boom had come off. Split pin + boom banging with no wind = boom falling off from the mast. It took the 4 of us, 1 hour, 2 spinnaker sheets and lots of patience to put it back in place, moving it forward and aft using the two manual winches at the cockpit.
The day was hot and sticky and quite grey. As James and Sara were taking a rest, the wind finally arrived, this time from 30º and 14-17 knots!! We set the sails, and what I am going to explain now is us getting crazy about max VMG: first we rolled the reacher and hoisted the asymmetric, and put 2 reefs on the main so the womper wouldn’t get its shadow. Then we decided to drop the spinakker and unfurl the reacher, bearing away about 10 degrees and hoisting the full mainsail.
We were still not going very fast, and we felt like Feliz was escaping from our hands… But well we had awesome tuna curry, yes, there was still quite a lot of tuna in the fridge, happy days!
At the end of the day we had done 147 nm. It felt good to see our daily millage come up again.
This night we relayed at the quill for writing all the clues. In the morning Thea woke up the first to find her present on the saloon tables and a misterious letter from “Jack the Bear”. The ghost of Jack the Bear, apprently charmed of finding a 21st century cruising yacht named after his fregate had hidden a treasure on board… The first task was to dress up the crew in a more fearsome piraty way.
The afternoon was spent in discovering the new Nintendo DS games for some and getting the boat fast for others. The trade winds came back with their share of flying fishes and the good surprise was that we took back 30 NM on Feliz. At this rate we could still make it before them!… Unless they would speed up as well…
Today we recorded our best millage so far; 226 NM!
Hihaaa! Finally today, the 90 green bananas bought in Las Palmas turned yellow…ish… So banana bread was on the menu (we also still had about 50 eggs to use…).
In the afternoon the boat surfed downed a wave under autopilot and spinnaker at 18.8 knots! Quite scary, knowing that the asymmetric spinnaker had let us down the day before when the clew came undone and a large tear appeared… So we dropped the sail for the night and used the reacher, obliging us to sail five to 10 degrees higher than the straight route to maintain the same speed.
This evening Roro and Gaga were spending a romantic moment sitting both at the helm and enjoying what started to feel like the last moments of this crossing, when they were interrupted by an annoying flying fish who decided to reproduce 9/11 by crashing onto Rocio´s back… After that we took shelter in the cockpit, opening the ears to any flying fish landing noise in order to eject them out the boat asap.
Today 223 NM, but Feliz sped up as well and we only took 7 NM out of him… So the perspective of being first in real time seemed unlikely. On the other hand, depending on how many hours Feliz had motored, we were still in good shapa for taking the first place in compensated time, Feliz being a larger cat which was meant to finish 14 hours ahead of us to take the first place in compensated time.
Last day and Rocio´s birthday! Cahmpagne and presents from everybody! Shower for Gaspar and spinnaker all day and night. We averaged 10.5 knots over night and saw the lights of St Lucia and Martinique appear around midnigth.
Roro and Milly, the guapas of Intrepid Bear
We entered Rodney Bay and steemed through the finish line. We were welcomed in the little entrance by hen´s shouting and a strong smell of spices. On the pontoon the commitee of the ARC helped us tying the mooring lines and a local offered us soda for the kids and rum punch for the adults. The tirednes brought in a little confusion and the little bears ended up sipping half of the rum punch while the adults thought that their “punch” strangely tasted of soda…
Our last day was crowned by our best daily millage; 230 NM!
We apologize for all this delay, but keeping the blog up to date was proved to be very difficult once in Carribbean. So we rather keep it short (anyway you guys know we arrived already) and pass on the the more recent activities.