April 25 – 29
The passage was smooth getting out of the lee of the Spanish Virgin Islands. Frank first took us north into the wind and bumpy waves for the first 12 – 16 hours, then headed west to gain the following seas and trade winds. This path was selected for optimal continuous sail through the whale migration route along the Silver Banks and Whale Breaker spawning areas. Our sailing plan started out strong but was foiled by a storm bringing in swirls of wind, not forecast of course. The wind fizzled like the mosquitoes in our electric zapper, complete with lightning bolts. The plan worked to gain following seas (yeah!), but the foretasted 18 knot winds did not appear thus motoring again.
BTW, we have a stowaway onboard, again. Last time it was a praying mantis, this time a gecko, which eats mosquitoes. I gave him a comfortable private berth and unlimited access to provisions (of mosquitoes).
Our first pod of dolphins were spotted during my watch. They performed at the bow of the boat with Addison and me in the bow sprits.
And then Frank spotted another pod the following day which also joined us for terrific ride.
Addison had the ultimate catch (though not caught on film) – a pair of humpback whales with possibly a calf or two! We veered off course to intercept them and were treated to a paired breach – spectacular! We followed them around for a bit, watching tail slaps, fluke waves, spouts, and other various feats. As we turned to leave, the whales started following us! Regrettably, we missed the ultimate shot so we can’t share the moment, however, I’m happy to have seen the action not through the lens of a camera. I tried to find a comparable pic online and could not.
Addison continued his gourmet cuisine preparation throughout the passage. Yum!
We had about 4 hours to burn so as not to arrive in the dark and low tide, so we stopped for a swim. As we departed from the respite at dusk, the guys put up the sails with a rocking beam sea and turned the watch over to me and both crashed! About an hour later I chilled into the rhythm.
The entrance to the marina in Turks & Caicos is very long and narrow. A pilot boat met us at the cut in the coral to guide us in. The initial dock position was inadequate for our boat, so we had to rinse and repeat the ever-so-fun docking process.