Leaving Antigua, W. I.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sailing South

March 21, 2011

Well, our engine replacement project is really finished, now.  We made a few last minute purchases -- things best bought in Saint Martin -- and cleared out with the French officials this morning, with our next port of call Jolly Harbour, Antigua.  We spent the afternoon stowing things and double-checking lists, and went to bed early.

March 22, 2011

We left St. Martin through the drawbridge, and, once out of Simpson Bay, raised our sails to check the recent tuning of the mast.  We had to slack the rigging wires when we had the boat hauled out, in order to accommodate the slings of the crane, and realized that it had been several years since we tuned the rig.  It made quite a difference in the way Play Actor sails, and we had a nice jaunt over to St. Barths, where we picked up a mooring for the night in the marine park at Anse Columbier.  We set an alarm for the next morning, and went to bed early, planning an early departure so we would arrive in Antigua before dark.

March 23, 2011

We woke up to the sunrise coming through the portholes, and realized that the alarm didn't go off.  A quick check showed that Bud had set it for   Engineers don't always have such a great grasp of technology.  We got under way by about , somewhat later than planned, and, as we rounded the southeastern corner of St. Barth's, discovered that the wind had more east in it than the forecast had indicated.  This was a disappointment, as we had expected a close reach for the 75 nautical miles to Antigua, and we were hard on the wind.  Given the sloppy seas, which we had expected, that would make for a slow trip.  We decided to exercise our new engine, and motor sail for a while. 

The engine is still in the 50 hour prescribed break-in period, and so  we must  run it harder than we normally would.  We discovered that even hard on the wind with main and staysail, smashing into seas that sent green water rolling back from the bow to the cockpit occasionally, we were still able to make hull speed at about 60 to 70% of full power.  We made it to our chosen anchorage off Jolly Harbour, Antigua, in a little over 11 hours, amazed because we didn’t know Play Actor would go so fast under conditions like these.

We'll be here for a few days, visiting with our friends on Kewaydin, who are getting ready to leave their boat here for the summer.  We will leave early in the week to resume our journey to Grenada.

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