|Logbook||Entry 2 - 2006|
Date First Posted: January 28, 2006
Log Entry Start Date - January 12, 2006
Log Entry End Date - January 14, 2006
Location(s) Covered - Passage from Antigua to Los Roques
Present Location: El Gran Roque, Los Roques, Venezuela
Latitude: 11 56.8 N Longitude: 66 40.9 W
Weather: Partly cloudy
Distance covered since last entry: 418 nM
Total distance traveled since departure from Antigua: 418 nM
Our scheduled departure from Antigua on 1/9 was delayed 3 days as we waited for better weather. In the meantime, we took a short sail and spent the night in Deep Bay, Antigua, and in the process calibrated our new autopilot compass and finished commissioning the new system.
We saw a perfect 180 degree rainbow as a squall passed overhead, and took a picture of a cruise ship going into St. John’s with the rainbow just ahead of its bow. Everything on this sea trial worked well except as we feared, our batteries proved too damaged from overcharging to rely on them for our Pacific voyage. Luckily, the local chandlery had a shipment arrive on Monday, and we replaced all 10 of our house batteries.
As for the weather, the winds had been blowing 25+ knots and the seas were forecast to be 9-11 feet, so we finished a few more projects and played a final round of golf before leaving on Thursday the 12th. Our friends, Harry and Hillary (from Scotland) who are crewing aboard Encore II as far as Panama, were the better golfers.
Once we got offshore, the weather was still quite blustery, with winds up to 25 knots and seas still running 7-8 feet. As we pulled out our genoa (forward sail), we noticed that the furling system had failed. We were able to reach the riggers in Antigua by cell phone, but were told that the age of the system made it unrepairable. We will have to deal with this when we get to Aruba. Hopefully we can get parts sent there quickly and find someone to help install them. Since our rig has two headstays and headsails, this failure is not critical, but very inconvenient.
A few hours after leaving Antigua, we sailed around the north end of Montserrat, a neighboring island that has had an active volcano for over 10 years. Unfortunately we were going through some heavy rain squalls as we went by, so the view wasn’t great.
The next day, Friday the 13th started out pretty well. The winds were still strong and the seas high, but we were going at a good angle to them and making good time. Just as we sat back to enjoy the sail, a large wave broke next to the boat and water poured through a small opening in a hatch over our nav station. Our laptop was inundated with sea water, and after draining it, the laptop failed to turn on. It may be repairable, but in the meantime, we’re using a backup laptop we had bought just for this reason. It took a while to reconfigure it for our navigation software, but it otherwise is fine. The biggest concern is that the backup of our non-navigation files was left at home, so we will have to go to some effort to download our website back to the computer before we can update it. Having a working laptop for navigation is important as all of our main charts are electronic. Our backup to our backup laptop is to use paper charts, pencils and rulers to keep track of our location.
The rest of the passage has been uneventful. We have a new software package and radio receiver that allows us to identify and track all nearby commercial shipping and it has been great to be able to call the passing ships by name and know if we or they need to change course to avoid each other.
One ship that didn’t show up in this system was a large French warship that was on the horizon Friday morning. I guess they don’t publicize their location and course/speed etc. They cruised up behind us and hailed us on the radio. Apparently they were patrolling this area (I don’t know for what), and asked us for all of our boat and crew details. No problem for us, but a bit more complicated for another nearby freighter that was commanded by a Ukrainian who didn’t quite understand all of the Frenchman’s English. Plus his ship was registered in Hong Kong, departed from Venezuela and was headed for Puerto Rico. It took a while for all this to get recorded.
We’re now expecting to arrive in Los Roques, Venezuela around 2 PM on the 14th, just over 50 hours for 420 nautical miles, an average of over 8.4 knots. This is an extremely fast passage, including many hours at 9-10 knots, and a 24 hour run of 216 miles, an all time record for us. On Encore I, these winds and seas would have been pretty uncomfortable, but on Encore II, our only complaint is that we’re rolling a bit more than we’d like.
We’ll send this out to our logbook email list if our satellite phone gives us an Internet connection from Los Roques, and then try to post it on the Web when we get to a higher speed connection later this week in Bonaire. In the meantime, we plan to spend several days exploring the pristine cays and snorkeling around these islands and the islands further west, the Aves.
(We didn’t get good connections
from Los Roques, so this is being sent from Bonaire)
This site was last updated 01/29/06