WOW… It’s been quite the ride since our departure from Charleston on November 2nd. Before we share details, please accept our apologies for just getting an update out now. We’ve run in to some technical issues with Mail Chimp that we hope to resolve shortly, in the meantime this will be our forum! We are hoping we can keep all of you up-to-date with our journey much more regularly from here on out!
Our passage from Charleston was, in one word, rough. On the first night we hit weather that induced seasickness among most of the crew and after battling mixed seas, that really did feel like sailing in a washing machine, we decided to heave-to in order to avoid entering into the Gulf Stream at night, which we figured would only make the ride rougher. These conditions went on for three days before we were really able to take off our foul weather gear and enjoy a full meal in the cockpit. Despite poor conditions, everyone managed to keep spirits high.
As we sailed on we had mild weather and wind on our nose but just offshore of Bermuda we hit harsh weather again. The wind was blowing 25 knots and steadily increased to 35 knots over the night and into the morning. At first light on the day of our arrival in Bermuda, we could see the island nation, yet we still had our work cut out for us. We beat our way up the coast, headed by 35 knots and gusts up to 40 knots. It was a grueling day but spirits remained high and we finally pulled into St. Georges around 3:00PM. Immediately after clearing customs, we tied J. Henry safely to the dock to rest, and carried ourselves to the White Horse Tavern for some of the best beer we’ve ever tasted! Finally we were able to watch that dismal storm through the panes of completely still and dry building resting upon beautiful “terra firma”. We were later told an old saying pertaining the passage we had just completed, “Wind from the east, three days at least, not fit for man or beast.” It seems this passage has a reputation! We originally planned to stay in Bermuda for 3 days, but between making repairs and waiting for a weather window, we ended up spending more than a week “on the rock.” It gave us time to learn a bit about the island’s history, meet some great people, and explore the caves, the jungle, and the capital city of Hamilton.
When we finally did find our weather window, we still had to be aware of tropical storm Sebastian, but it looked like the best chance to sail for Antigua for quite some time, so we took it! Instead of the crew of 5 from Charleston to Bermuda, it was just the two of us for our 7-day sail down to Antigua. The first day was challenging as we made our way out of the bad weather systems that seem to plague Bermuda this time of year, but after that first day, we enjoyed some of the best sailing of our lives. We sailed south-southwest to begin with in an effort to give Sebastian his room. Once we felt we were clear of his path, we began to sail southeast. We wanted to get farther east than our destination so we could pick up the trade winds and ride them straight into Antigua. What a treat it was! We ate well, with no shortage of freshly caught fish. We had plenty of time to read during the day and at night we gazed upon stars that shown in the clearest skies we have ever seen. We sailed into Antigua on the morning of Wednesday the 27thwith our spinnaker flying and a following sea.
Here in Antigua we’re tackling the last bit of repairs on our engine, which we knew we had coming. We hope to be ready to head south to the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe by Thursday! Now that we have had a moment to catch up, we plan to share much more of adventure with you via emails like these and blogs on our website. We have also been filming regularly and we plan to roll out what we’ve captured on our YouTube channel at the start of the 2020. We’re a bit late to the Thanksgiving party but its never to late to be thankful, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to all of you that have helped us to get where we are and who continue to follow our journey along the way. Thank you!
1 thought on “Charleston to Antigua Update!”
Hello Zach and Tripp! What a joy to read of your adventures. My students and I are keeping a close eye on both Apparent Winds and Sea Change; they ask about you every day! In fact, they would probably just talk about you guys every class, all class, but sometimes we gotta talk about where the commas go. Know that we’re with you in spirit and that we’re praying for you every step of the way. Much love — Aunt P and Noonan Academy