After all the planning and dreaming, finally we did it! The passage exceeded all our expectations and in the end, the Princess sailed like a dream. We had the perfect conditions for her; wind and lots of it! Far from being the gentle wind run that we had been expecting, we had a rocky and rolly ride, especially at first with winds gusting at 45 knots (that’s the top of force 8, a full gale) for three days. Although it was sometimes challenging to move around the cabin and some favourite mugs got broken, the boat always felt safe and tracked beautifully. Our autopilot worked like a trooper, the water maker functioned beautifully without a hitch and we dined like kings (even though cooking a meal was sometimes like cooking on a roller coaster!). It was a great experience and all the better for finishing on a high, coming in ahead of three other ARC boats who were right alongside us for the final day. After three consecutive days of making an average speed of over 8 knots (which is about our maximum hull speed) we were the 12th boat in the Rally to get to Saint Lucia out of 72 vessels.
At the moment of writing I am enjoying the party atmosphere of Rodney Bay, cheering other boats in and sampling the local rum punches. Will write at more length soon….
Distance from Mindelo, Cape Verde to Saint Lucia: 2090 Nautical Miles
Time taken to complete the crossing: 12 days 10 hours (arrived 3rd December at 7.20pm local time)
High speed: 11.7 knots