Day 21- Getting ready for landfall

Position: 1200 UTC N 015° 06' W 057° 15'

Normally you don't spend much time preparing for going ashore. To get the fenders and ropes ready is just a few minutes work. But nothing is normal with our next landfall. After more than three weeks at the Atlantic Ocean we are rapidly approaching land again. We have only 215 nautical miles left now, that's nothing! We did a lot of preparations before we left Las Palmas, back then our arrival was impossible to imagine. The same goes for the first days at sea, the crossing seemed to stretch into eternity. That might explain why we now have to do some landfall preparations. Where exactly in the fore cabin are the fenders? Where are the finish instructions given to us the day before we left? We saw them on the first day at sea, but since then they have disappeared. Might there be any navigational hazards close to land? It feels strange to worry about water depth again. I have found and filled out the paper that is to be handed over to the customs, the passports are where they should be, in the grabbag and I think I know where my shoes are (though I haven't seen them since Las Palmas). After this long time at sea being under sail has become the norm. In our little world the wind comes from behind and our two headsails are constantly pulled out by spinnaker poles. Coming around Pigeon Island and approaching the finish line we will most likely be close hauled, we want to finish with the sails up, doing the whole ARC without using the engine for propulsion. Therefore we need to think about taking the poles down, getting the two headsails on the same side and hoisting the mainsail for the first time.

Today we are about to take our last shower. It will probably take up most of our day, feet need to be scrubbed, unwanted body hair removed and nails shortened. Although everything will roll around on the cockpit floor I am sure that the girls will do it smiling, they are so eager to get ashore, I am reluctantly starting to look forward to is as well. Maybe Cantare starts to feel the tension, maybe she wants to stay here at the Atlantic, something is definitely going on. Since we took the DuoGen up we are forced to run he engine everyday to generate power. This morning when Emelie was about to start the engine it only sounded normal for a few second before everything went quiet, the voltage was on a critical level so we badly needed to get the engine started. Now I was really glad that I have installed the whole electrical system myself and that I did it with problem searching in mind. Four screws to loosen, then the start panel is easy to take out and I can check the backside. The fuse was blown. I changed it and we tried to start again. The new fuse blew in just a few seconds. Hmm…what might be the problem then, probably a short circuit somewhere, but how was I to find it? Since everything looked all right at the back of the start panel I put in a slightly larger fuse and told Emelie to turn the key while I was down looking at the start engine. Ah sparks, I could see sparks around one of the connection screews. Turned out that the nut was a tiny bit loose. My dad has told me many times how important it is to secure the nuts tightly. Could the problem be that easy to solve? Yes it was! After tightening the nut and putting a right size fuse in place everything was back to normal. Today's shower was back on!

But Cantare wasn't finished with us for today, when we turned on the watermaker nothing much happened. It pumped alright but there wasn't any fresh water output. I could see some air in the hose going in to the pump, I decided to circulate the system for a while, like you do when you've put in a new filter. Luckily that solved the problem. Today seems to be the day when we have to pay for our lazy days. The wind is having a nasty last-days-at-the-Atlantic celebration, we now on and off have 50 knots of wind, forcing us to constantly reef and unreef the sails.   

It is also time to put the champagne in the fridge, you can do it at home as well. Get ready to celebrate our landfall in the new world! / Have a nice Lucia Day - The Captain 

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3 comments:

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Be careful when getting on shore, the pontoons in Rodney Bay Marina sway quite a bit after the crossing!

    \Bernhard (ARC2006 on board Galateia)

    PS: Great blog, keep it up!

  2. anna.klange Says:

    Hej!

    Njut av korgen ni får strax efter målgång.
    Har själv aldrig seglat över atlanten, men seglat ner en båt fr Stockholm - via Holland - via Portugal - till Las Palmas... Och sen när båten var över då flög jag dit och cruisade runt s:t lucia... Mycket trevligt.
    Jag har tävlingssegat i mååånga år - framförallt stora båtar (IMS) på ostsidan.... fast inget går ju upp mot långseglingar. Najs!
    Och ni har varit jätteduktiga och jag är dessutom grymt avis på hela ert seglingsäventyr! Way to go, girls!

    Hälsningar & ha en fantastisk tid.
    //anna
    (aagdtr@hotmail.com)

  3. Hasse B/hamnen.se Says:

    Great job, great girls!! Three weeks at sea - then you def know what longdistance sailing is all about.
    Enjoy your well-deserved shower, a comfortable dry bed, all the square rooms that doesnt tilt and all the cold an hot Caribs !!!