Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Before North Atlantic Passage

Before departure for North Atlantic crossing we were very busy and we didn't have internet access all the time, so there are many photos that didn't get the chance to be published on the blog. So here they are ... and the story that goes with them.

Our journey across North Atlantic actually started in Ponte a Pitre in Guadeloupe. Tadej joined us there on Friday, 10th of May. We did most of the provisioning right that evening. It was so much easier to buy food for only 3 people than for 5 like for our first Atlantic passage. And I already had experience from our first crossing in 2011. I won't go into details here, I plan on writing a dedicated post on the food topic. Lets just say that we still had to drive to supermarket twice with rental car to bring back all the stuff.

On Saturday we did some boat project, most important being the installation of short wave radio and antenna that Tadej brought with him. 

In the afternoon we sailed to Le Saintes and we anchored behind Paine de sucre. Next morning, while guys were busy with boat electronics, I went snorkeling. There were so many great things to see but I was sad at the same time, knowing it is my last snorkeling here for quite some time.

This Conch looks like it has a human face.

Beautiful Corralimorph

Flying Gurnards in their prettiest colors

And the Club Hydromedusa, my best find this day

In the afternoon we lifted the anchor from anchorage at Paine de sucre ...

... and sailed to SW point of Guadeloupe ....

... and then along West coast up to Deshaies. Next morning boys went to buy some fresh baguettes and to do the checking out and afterwards it was time to do some boat preparations. Boys used scuba gear to clean the boat. It is really important to have a clean boat, on a long stretch it makes a lot of difference in how fast and smooth the sailing is and also how long you have to be at sea. This is Tomaz working on the prop...

... and Tadej on the kiel.

Before leaving Deshaies we were boarded by French customs officers again (for the second time this year), and while they were friendly and polite, it delayed our departure to Antigua for another half an hour. But we had fast and nice sailing and we arrived in Antigua before dark. We anchored in Jolly Harbour and on Tuesday we did a check-in, topped up the fuel and did some more food shopping. And rum shopping.

Tadej climbed up on the mast to check the halyards and the rigging.

In the afternoon it was enough time for some fun and Tadej tested our sailing dinghy.

In the late afternoon there was the smell of fuel in the boat. After checking the bilge and the tanks we realized that a fuel tank lid broke and fuel started leaking. We spent the evening cleaning the boat and repairing the lid. It was unnecessary affair, but this is the way it is on the boat, things just appear from nowhere. In the morning we finished the cleaning and repairs and shortly before noon we finally sailed off to Barbuda.

We sailed pass the Five Islands and I picked the island that I'm going to buy when I win the lottery. It is this one, it is the perfect size, it has a sand beach, some nice rocks, some plants, and it sits in the most beautifully colored water.

On our way to Barbuda we caught a Little Tunny...

... and a Cero. Finally our fishing luck was changing!

Barbuda has the same "wow" effect on me like the first time we came here. I was so happy that I managed to convince captain that we make a stop here, he actually wanted to sail towards Azores straight from Antigua. 

We had a nice afternoon, we tried to pick some coco nuts on the shore, but there were none, all were picked. Pity, we would like to have some for the passage. After a good meal of burritos and salsa and couple of beers we had a quiet and peaceful night, the last one on anchor for quite some time.

Next morning we went snorkeling. I managed to make some photos of my beloved Tunicates.

There were some pretty Hydroids too.

Tunicates look so delicate, like some sort of glass ornaments.

They "grow" in different places, on rocks, on Gorgonians, or like here on Fire Coral.

The landscape under water looks nice, but for good visibility in Barbuda there has to be absolutely no northerly swell, otherwise there's too much sand mixed in the water.

This is Nassau Grouper with the distinct square pattern on the head.

There were pretty little fishes under our boat. Surely you can see, how perfectly clean the boat is.

We had a good lunch - both fish that we caught the day before, and afterwards we had a swim. And then it was time to lift the anchor and set the course towards Azores.


  1. Hey!
    Was the "rum stock up" in Jolly harbor done at Bushy's rum? lol, we would do that if ever we were there again. Looks like your Rodney Bay Marina bottom is holding up well. Loved the snorkeling shots. Need more bikini snorkeling pics though! ;)

    Na zdravje! (Someday, you and I will have to sit down with a rum drink and you will have to teach me how to pronounce this, I really really hope this comes true)

    1. Hey Wayne,
      no, rum was bought in Epicurean supermarket, we'll try the Bushy's next time. And there will be next time, I already miss Caribbean, especially snorkeling.

      Yes, the Rodney Bay antifouling still looks good, but I'm not sure if it would last another Caribbean season.

      I'd be happy to teach you how to pronounce "na zdravje", and it should be taught over a drink. We'll make it happen, I'm sure :-)