Four (and a half days) days and another four hundred and forty plus miles under our belt! Oh and a crap ton of photos. ;)) You gotta fight the passage boredom somehow, right?
This was our longest passage ever!!! If we weren’t real sailors before, I’d say we are now.
It’s crazy to think that we literally sailed our floating home across a small slice of this huge blue marble, watching the sun rise and set for four days straight, totally disconnected from the real world and slowly making miles before eventually dropping hook back in the Bahamas.
We are officially closer to Florida than to the Virgin Islands. Now, that’s a strange feeling!
This hefty passage was one for the record books for sure! We broke it into two long, uneventful (thankfully) legs with lots of shift work to boot. Jer and I took turns single-handing the boat…trimming, tacking, and taking in and out the head sail while the other napped below deck.
Leg 1 – 303.5 miles – Puerto Rico to Big Sand Cay, Turks and Caicos
Leg 2 – 140 miles – Big Sand Cay to Mayaguana, Bahamas
With fair winds and following seas, this made for one of our most comfortable passages ever! Long? Most definitely. But mostly comfortable no less. And when you are sailing 440ish miles, I would easily give up speed for comfort any day of the week. I guess that seems sorta backwards, but I prefer feeling great for almost five days rather than puking my guts out to get there in three. You know? Plus, we were able to maintain normal human activities without any real effort. Like cooking real meals and sleeping without being tossed onto the floor! And that makes me a happy camper.
We left Puerto Real, Puerto Rico on Monday, March 23 and sailed across the Mona Passage and along the coast of the Dominican Republic for what felt like forever. Man, I thought the coast of the Dominican was never going to end. That is one long country lol.
The Mona Passage gave us no troubles whatsoever even though we found ourselves basically buddy boating a mile or so away from a Coast Guard cutter for a few hours. We heard them radio-ing other boats headed towards Puerto Rico, but obviously they didn’t care at all about little ol’ us since we were headed west. No radio calls to LAHO.
Just like our passage east, we found ourselves traveling in very pool-like conditions along the coast of the DR. We ended up needing to motor-sail for a good chunk that first leg since we were majorly lacking in the wind department. Although we didn’t stop in the Dominican this time around, we sucked up a few bars of the DR’s cell service outside of Samana to send off an update text to Jer’s dad and a birthday shoutout to my mamacita! It’s always nice to let the parents know we are still alive. ;))
Fortunately, we were able to sail without the motor for the entire second leg!!! Once again, yay for downwind sailing! It rocks! Woot woot!
Oh and Oliver…he did great! Considering. He honed his boat dog skills and actually “went” on deck this passage. Twice!
Well, the the first instance was a little peculiar considering he “went” on deck at hour -0.5. Yup, thirty minutes BEFORE we freaking even left the dock. What?????? He must’ve gotten the memo that we were leaving on a big sail and wanted to show us that he could in fact handle it. Lol. Thankfully, he went again at hour 46 after about six coercing attempts by yours truly. Phew! What a relief for Jer and I.
Regardless of Oliver’s new skills, we still opted to make a quick overnight pitstop at Big Sand Cay (the south eastern most edge of Turks and Caicos). This was equal parts letting Oliver romp around on land and getting Jer and I a good night’s sleep. Not to mention, forgoing this detour wouldn’t have helped at all in the Mayaguana arrival time department. Not stopping would have basically just caused us to arrive in Mayaguana in the middle of the night. Not optimal for entering a reef-enclosed anchorage if you know what I’m saying.
There was lots of fishing during the four days too. Although we hooked six or seven big boys, the only one that made it all the way into the boat, was the little flying fish that hopped aboard sometime during the night. ;))
Overall, it was another safe and successful passage…and that is all we can truly ask for!
PS – if anyone wants to see how we pass time while cruising non-stop for four days, here’s a little clip after we rigged the GoPro on our flag halyard…