Friday, December 14, 2012


Moonshadow is now sailing in 16 knots of wind right on the beam in mellow seas with Antigua in sight off the port bow. Our ETA at Jolly Harbor has us completing this roughly 1600 mile passage in an hour less than 10 days. The crew is excited to explore a tropical island while savoring a lot of firsts for some in the crew, like the first ocean passage over 24 hours, first time across the Tropic of Cancer, first time to sight the Southern Cross, etc. but also we agree we're not completely ready for the passage to end.

Now that the conditions have settled into easy sailing in warm Trade Winds, we are reviewing some of the fun, exciting, scary and learning experiences that have occurred. There was the night when we were reduced down to a reefed genoa and crashing at 9.5 knots into seas so big the impacts sounded like we were sailing through a junkyard of abandon automobiles, refrigerators and washing machines. There was the landing of a beautiful rainbow colored Mahi Mahi (named Bernard) that we enjoyed for three meals. There was the quick break from a game of gin rummy to shake out a reef in the mainsail that turned into an all hands recovery of a full mail sail batten that had shook loose coupled with the mainsheet running free and dragging behind from the boom end. There was the first time we removed the aft cockpit enclosures because it wasn't exactly freezing any more and there was the first time we sailed with all the cockpit windows removed because it was getting damn hot. And there was the celebration for Ed who guessed closest the time we crossed the Tropic of Cancer and for his reward opened the grab bag with contributions from the whole crew. Ed now has some treasures from the passage like a broken thermometer (stuck at 80 degrees); an inclinometer; a piece of hose from a repair project accomplished while under way; a tube of chapstick; a nose/mustasche/eyeglass disguise; and a conference bag to keep everything in. But perhaps the best experience is making landfall, which occurred an hour ago.

By this time tomorrow, we should be fully back in civilization and hopefully somewhere near wifi where we can post pictures to the blog. But then again, we will be operating on ISLAND TIME, so who knows.

Cheers from Moonshadow!!

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