by Steve Izac
Meteor at Anchor, Simpson Bay, St Maarten
After a good saturday night out,steak dinner and too much rum with Mike Quinn and others,Sunday morning was a bit hazy...that's how I like to start a voyage!!
Weather looked ok; usual checks,start the engine and drag up the anchor after 4 months of sitting in St.Maarten. I'd had the bottom scrubbed the day before,so all the barnacles where on the bottom of the lagoon - best place for them!!
Motored out through the bridge,into the slight swells of the Caribbean sea. Checking everything, particularly the stern gland as I had done some work on it, and you never know until you're out there!!
Sails up and and gently sliding along in the lee of the Island,and then up past Anguilla, a few offlying Islands and THERE ahead - the open Atlantic...
The first week, wind right hard on the nose and blowing F6, but "Meteor" comes in at 24tons, she just plows through it and it's even comfortable down below. I slowly get into my routine of cooking,eating and sleeping...
Now...this year,the Azores high is either at a very low latitude or non existent, allowing the lows coming out of the Carolinas to track further south than usual.
I listen to the Ham net on the HF reciever,when you are singlehanded, it's a comfort to hear you are not the only idiot out there!! I also use this to get weather faxes on the laptop. The weather is really messed up this year...even tropical depressions are forming, not good news!
3 strong blows before I get to the Azores(one at 48knts), but after 22 days, I arrive in Horta with very little damage.
After a week of hanging out and shopping, I leave for Portugal, approx 1100 miles. Not much wind for the first few days, have to motor sometimes just to keep some steerage, eventually I pick up the Portuguese trades and 9 days later, after lots of shipping - thank God for AIS - I'm on the Algarve!!
'Meteor' is a Hartley 43' Cutter rig sloop, ferro construction. Very strongly built to cruise anywhere in comfort!
Me...we'll I've been cruising for many years and just can't settle down, I'll probably set off somewhere again soon...
I'm a singer/songwriter. You can check out my Album online at "CDBaby", "Itunes", "Amazon" etc. It's called "Fantastic Voyage" by Steve Izac....check out Fantastic Voyage where you can hear me warbling!!
Like it? Then buy the album here!
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