Voyage of Traveler / Blog

December 14, 2009

Traveler Postcard from Barbados

Filed under: Year 3: July09 - July10 Greece to Newport Beach, CA, Caribbean — mrlawlerjr @ 2:28 pm

Bridgetown, Barbados
December 10, 2009

Hi, Everyone,
We made it!  We successfully crossed the Atlantic from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to Bridgetown, Barbados in just 16 days, 6 hours, arriving at 1500 on December 8.  We expected the 2650 nm crossing to take 18 to 20 days, but we had strong wind the whole way. Our average speed made good was 6.8 knots.  Our top speed was 14.7 surfing down a big wave, and our best daily run was 188.5 nm. We caught two fish: a mahi mahi and a yellow fin tuna, both great tasting.  We wrapped the spinnaker on Day One, bagged it, and then ran with a full main and a poled-out reefed jib wing and wing for the rest of the passage. We started out eating well and gradually ran low on, then completely out of, fresh meat, bread, fruit and vegetables and went to canned goods and pasta. The water maker worked well, so we were able to enjoy deck showers along the way.  The weather was favorable, with winds of 20 to 25 knots from the ENE then the E, with occasional gusts to 30 knots.  The sea conditions were very bumpy, with large swells from two separate distance storms coming from the NW and NE and choppy wind waves from the E combined for confused seas. We had a few squalls with increased winds, then lulls after they passed.  Traveler and the crew performed very well. This was my last and the longest ocean passage of my three-year voyage around the world. From here on out it will be island hopping across the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, then cruising up the west coast Central America.

Barbados was okay, but not great.  We toured the island by rental car one day and that was a bit of a mistake.  There is much you do not want to see.  The only two things to do or see, in our opinion, in Barbados are (1) find a nice waterfront resort hotel on the west coast (leeward side) and just stay there, and (2) go visit the Mount Gay Rum Factory, which we enjoyed. A day of sightseeing (although there is not that much to see) and duty free shopping in Bridgetown is something most visitors do.  Most of the tourists are off cruise ships.  Most of the hotels and restaurants were running at 20% full, or less. Two nights and three days was long enough in Barbados, but we’re glad we stopped here.

We saw the mega-yacht Octopus here, and the owner, Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft and owner of Portland Trailblazers) was onboard with his guests and crew of 20.  We also saw Octopus in Raiatea in the Society Islands in April 2008.  You should Google “Paul Allen Octopus” and watch the You Tube video if this incredible yacht.

Living the Dream,
Michael with
Brian, Yansen and Larry

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