Jan 21, 2011
Location: Charlestown, Nevis
Everyone’s day started before sunrise today. For watch team one, with Captain Eric and Scientist Stephanie it was right at midnight, for watch team two, my watch, the day started at 0300 when watch team one handed the boat off to us. And for watch team three with Scientist Kris it started at 0600 when we handed the boat over. With an almost full moon guiding us until sunrise, the watches continued throughout the day. Along the way the shipmates survived their first breakfast underway, which is a genuine challenge as 20+ knots of wind send corn flakes flying into the ocean, and the motion of the boat in the swell tries to slosh the milk out of your bowl. Most importantly, shipmates got their first experience of the rhythm of life on passage; boat checks are performed on the hour, watches rotate every three hours, and you try and get the best sleep that you can with the motion of the boat when you’re off watch. As we steadily made our way south-east, we raised Saba right around sunrise, an island that juts abruptly from the ocean, with verdant sides rising at steep angles to its 2,800 ft. peak. Soon after we were able to sight the islands of St. Eustatius, St. Christopher (St. Kitts), and around lunchtime we were finally able to see the outline of Nevis’ volcanic cone on the horizon. We sailed on through the afternoon, arriving in the anchorage in time to get the sails down and the boat secured to a mooring for dinner. Its really quite amazing to see how far 12 strangers with no experience sailing can come in just ten days aboard.