Location: Underway to Grenada
This morning, we woke up ready to get going towards Grenada. This passage will take somewhere between two to three days, our longest passage on Ocean Star. After breakfast, Ian M. handed me a clipboard of all the things on the boat to review to prepare for passage. We had to make sure everything on board is 40/40, meaning if the boat is listing over 40 degrees or experiencing 40 knots of wind, nothing will move or get thrown about the vessel. We also stowed clothes that were drying on deck, made sure our dinghies were ratcheted down, and that the engine room was in tip-top shape. Last, we turned on our GPS and our VHF radio, raised three sails, our double-reefed mainsail, staysail, and jib, and raised our anchor. Finally, it was time to sail.
We began our passage from the leeward side of Nevis, meaning the island was blocking some of the wind. It was already quite windy behind Nevis, so when we passed the point of the island and were in open water, it was rough! There were strong winds and high waves, along with short squalls with higher winds and waves and a bit of rain too. I wasn’t expecting weather this strong… I was greatly surprised. Everyone is taking seasick tablets, though, so almost no seasickness! Many of the professional racers in the RORC decided to turn back. It was so rough, so we are proud of ourselves for sticking with it.
We broke up into our watch teams and watch team one, Ian M. and Steph with Matty, Katie, Elle, Olivia, Hunter, and I, started our four-hour watch. Our watch was pretty uneventful except everyone getting soaked by waves and sea spray. In the middle of our watch, Steph decided we were going to have soup for lunch. It was a disaster trying to eat incredibly hot soup while rocking without spilling on yourself or someone else and managing to get the soup to your mouth. I think Steph wanted to watch us look ridiculous, so chose to make soup… haha. I think I got more soup on my shirt than in my mouth. I don’t think any of us will be choosing to make soup anytime soon.
The best part about watch was skippering. I took the wheel and tried my best steering course due south. Steering the boat is not at all like a car. You constantly adjust trying to stay on course. It was very difficult to steer to starboard. Wiggy kept telling me to be strong, but gosh, my arms were tired once I passed the wheel to Katie.
Soon after, we passed watch over to team two, Wiggy and Steve, with Will, Duncan, Kelsay, Peyton, and Devi. Team one debriefed, and then the six of us crew members enjoyed some quality time together in the salon. After spending four hours in the cockpit, we were ready for a break, and we all rested up while putting our trust in watch team two. Trust is very important, if not the most important thing required for a successful voyage. I heard team two hit a huge wave while on watch, and everyone was drenched, but their watch was otherwise uneventful. We had a yummy dinner of spaghetti with shake-ee cheese and finished with the squeeze. I asked what everyone’s favorite quality about themselves is and heard back some answers that were surprising and some qualities that I’ve already noticed of our friends. We ended with some nice side hugs! Now, team one is back on watch and will be posted until ten tonight. We are all wearing our PFDs and are safely attached via tether and harness to the jack lines on the boat. I am excited for another day and more sailing!