Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Big Bad U Turn

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After 4 days and 450 miles into our trip south, between Cuba and the Cayman islands, we mysteriously stopped moving through the water. For 95% of the time, we had to motor with no wind or wind coming from the direction we wanted to go. We finally decided to drop the sails and punch our way to the Caymans using just one motor. The 140 miles left were going to be rough, bashing into building seas.
Waves had crashed on Sabrina's hatch and leaked through to the mess below. Had the school books not still been on her bed, the salt water mess would have been more manageable. Could this be a behavior changing lesson?
All of us we excited as we had not been to the Caymans before. From there we were going to refuel and cruise downwind to Panama. Fate had other plans for us. First, my laptop which had been developing vertical lines decided to add a large black stripe down the middle of the screen. At the last minute, we got a new lap top from Best Buy in Fort Lauderdale 5 days ago. Dell had a recall on the screens but we were too late. Never fear, Marc has the same laptop and I can get my data off. Two days out to sea, Marc's laptop gets a black stripe also. Two laptops down, two left. The kids computer had intermediately stopped powering up and we took it into Best Buy prior to leaving. They, of course, "could not replicate the problem". Now, it will not power up.. One laptop left. The new laptop however is Vista and non of the programs will work on it. Fate is trying to tell us something.
A sun shower looks good about now. Finally, the port engine stopped working altogether.
But, we have another engine.

Hot, tired and discouraged, we stopped the boat and called a family meeting in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Sabrina wanted to go to the Caymans. I was looking at Honduras or Guatemala but Marc that the best repair options were back in the States. Parker, thinking internet and friends wanted to go to States. Now we are have to BACKTRACK all of the distance we just covered and make it to North Carolina after stopping to refuel in Miami
After we turned around, we put up the spinnaker for a nice, comfortable downwind sail. 15 minutes later, the black cloud behind us was fast approaching. I just noticed the wall of wind heading our way rapidly. Marc ran forward and fought with the spinnaker sock to get it down, just in time.  Wind reached 48 knots and we were sailing only on the sail covers.

On the positive side, once we finally arrive in about a week, hopefully we can see the friends we left behind in the Bahamas. At least we weren't 1000 miles out on the way to Europe when this happened.