We returned to the island of Grenada, and to Curlew, who had a number of welding jobs done on her before we put her back in the water.
The next job was to buy provisions (mostly food, some wine) for the Pacific crossing. On our way down the Caribbean we had noticed that the best and cheapest tins and bottles were to be had in the French island of Martinique. We wanted to cross the Caribbean Sea to the ABC islands well away from Venezuela and its pirates, so the angle from Martinique would keep us well away from the Venezuelan mainland.
Spotting a narrow weather window, we went to sea and headed north. Somewhere west of St. Lucia and in the middle of the night the weather window slammed shut and we were treated to north-easterly winds of up to 30 knots. So there we were, bashing to windward once again. We call it the Washing Machine, and tonight it was on full spin.
Which all goes to show that the old adage is right: the wind always blows from wherever you want to go.
Lying in the saloon, off-watch, I pretended that I wasn’t a sailor and tried to describe what it’s like in a boat in these conditions. Imagine you are trying to get to sleep in a caravan which is being rolled down a very steep mountainside over large boulders. It’s night-time, the wind is blowing, and you can’t believe the violence being done to your bedroom. Every now and then something heavy falls out of the locker above you and hits you on the head. It then rolls around the floor, driving you mad.
At around midnight it was my watch, and I relieved Gina out in the cockpit. It always feels better on deck, and I was happy to see the dawn creeping up over the island of Martinique at six o’clock..