We finally set off on the thorny path south last Sunday. The trip was pretty good in the end, we had to motor sail for most of the day into stronger winds and bigger seas than forecast, but although annoying it wasn’t too uncomfortable. The new engine doing sterling work, driving us through the seas at 8 knots even at comfortable cruising revs, it was the first real test of it in those conditions and we are really pleased how it went.
During the evening the wind and seas laid down and we sailed all night as the wind backed more to the north and we rounded Samana.
Day break saw us lining up the western reef entrance and the anchor rattled down in time for bacon sandwiches and a nap. During the morning our various companion boats arrived, North Bound and Makai are with us here, as they were in 2008 bizarrely, and it’s the first time any of us have been back!
We felt very lucky as of the 6 boats with us, one lost their auto pilot, two had major engine issues and another lost all their electrical power!
The good passage behind us we are now going to be here a while it seems, the wind is howling out of the ESE, exactly where we need to go to, and is forecast to do that for quite a while. There is a very unseasonal weather pattern in place with no cold fronts penetrating south to the Bahamas to back off the trade winds.
We aren’t alone though the boat count is up to 10 boats now, all but 2 waiting to head to the eastern Caribbean. So although we are “stuck” it could be worse, there are lobsters on the reef and good company with the other cruisers here. We had an excellent beach BBQ yesterday afternoon and other than the howling wind blowing over a few beers it was perfect!