The time has almost come to leave…

Well, the time has finally come to leave. I’m sitting in the White Horse pub in St. George having sailed up from my ‘home mooring’ in Spanish Point and the voyage has already been eventful. As usual I underestimated how long it would take to sail up here. It took me the best part of 5 hours from leaving the mooring to being anchored in St. Georges Harbour. Since it gets dark at about 5:15 these days that meant navigating through the Narrows in the dark. It’s cloudy too, so no moon, and the chart I have isn’t excellent and only shows the light patterns for about half the lights. To make matters worse, none of the buoys lining the channel into St. George are lit at the moment, the main green light marking town cut is out and the second one further back in the cut might as well not be on because it’s completely overgrown with trees and not visible until you’ve almost made it through the cut. It took me a good half an hour before I could be confident of exactly where I was, take the mainsail down, fire up the engine and aim for the cut. It was what Sir Frances Chichester would have called a ‘shemozzle’. It’s a lovely word don’t you think? Beautifully eloquent; I intent to use it frequently in these posts!

The weather is looking OK for a departure tomorrow, Tuesday December 8th. It looks like I’ll get about a day of good wind (beam reaching), then perhaps a day of headwinds, then a day or so of very little wind at all and then plain sailing from there on if the high pressure that they’re forecasting materialises. I’m not too keen on the 15 knot headwinds on day 2 (which will probably be more like 20 knots – they always seem to forecast wind speeds about 5 knots under what you actually get) but if I don’t get out there now then I’ll be too far North to catch the high pressure and will be stuck up here forever. I want to be in the tropics and the trade winds!

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is perfectly content and 10 is pooing myself, I’m probably hovering somewhere around a 7 at the moment. This will be my first ever solo ocean sail. I know the boat is ready, and I know I’m ready, but I’m just not too keen on the idea of being on my own at sea for over a week. It’s silly really; on a day to day basis I’m not exactly a sociophile (is that a word? It is now!?) but I’ve never spent quite that amount of time on my own before, and certainly not in such a harsh environment. Since Bermudian customs are, quite frankly, a farce, I won’t have any long range communications at all until I get to St. Maarten and pick up the satellite telephone, so I really will be entirely alone. I suppose I should really look on the bright side – there will be no one around to see when I screw up!

Sarah has informed me that I’m not allowed to die, so that’ll be the no. 1 priority and everything else is a bonus.

Right, I’m off back to the boat for an early night. Cheers!

One Comment

  • Peter Sellar

    Hi Bob;
    Firstly good luck on your voyage. We are friends of Sarah who just left us after a flying visit and is so excited about the trip she can’t wait to meet up with you. This is quite an adventure for you both and one I would love to have done in my younger years. So Bon-voyage fair winds and no foul weather.

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