Jul 28, 2006
Today brought the crews experience on Ocean Star to a new level of extreme. After an adventurous day on the beautiful island of Dominica the crew enjoyed breakfast of oatmeal and boiled eggs. The weather was slightly rainy. Our 30 nm sail to Les Saints began in the calm waters on the leeward side of Dominica. Jessica went up the foremast to the crows nest to spot for signs of whales, as the crew worked on their literature reviews down below. As we cleared the island we were no longer protected from the wind and the seas began to pick up. The 8-10 ft swells mixed with (less drowsy) Dramamine retired two of our crew members to their home in the foc’sle for the remainder of the day. A pod of dolphins were sighted off our port side coming within 5 ft of our boat, they were jumping completely out of the water in between swells. Some say 6 were seen at once and others saw even more. After lunch in the cockpit on deck the seas and wind picked up. Double reefs were put into the foresail and main and the jib was quickly taken down as water crashed over the bow. A squall swept down on Ocean Star, with winds sustained at 40 kts and gusting to up to 65 kts, visibility dropped to 20ft and the seas reached 12ft. Each crew member was safely harnessed in. As the weather pounded our faces we persevered through the weather. The sea was blown into the air and the rain pounded the surface of the ocean giving it a smooth texture. The moment was truly surreal. Ocean Star held her course and after an exciting 30 minutes the storm was over. We soon heard a Pan Pan over the radio, translated from French by Emily, for a missing catamaran with 11 people on board. After arriving safely in the Saints we gave the boat a good clean, removing the relentless rust streaks and Simon cleared customs. The missing cat was later towed into the anchorage missing it’s mast and rigging. After a delicious diner we had OCE class. Each day gets better than the last.