Ohana Sailing Adventure

Pirates to the Left, Tropical Storm to the Right, and Gunshots Behind (Part I)

About 6 days into our crossing, a tropical storm was predicted to head close to Grenada before turning north to Barbados. As we talked about options depending on the path of the storm, we realized that we had pirates to our port (the Venezuelan coast), a tropical storm to starboard, and gunshots behind us (Brazil). 

The storm ended up turning north sooner and allowed us to continue to Grenada like we wanted, and we avoided all three of those things. And after 1696 nautical miles and almost 10 days, we were rewarded with the sight of Grenada on the horizon.

So what do you do during 236 hours (but who’s counting?!?) at sea?

1) Swim in the mouth of the Amazon

OK, so we were maybe 200 miles from land when we jumped off of the boat, but you can see on the chart plotter that we were right where the Amazon opens into the ocean! The girls were intimidated at the thought of jumping into the North Atlantic Ocean when the depth was about 5500 feet, but once we all made it into the water, it was a refreshing change from the heat.

2) Cross the equator – 3 times!

We were so excited about crossing the equator. It happened just before 7am two days after leaving Fortaleza, and we didn’t quite all make it out to the cockpit in time. So we doused the sails, turned around, and did it again. It’s a big deal, right?

3) Hope for the green flash


Try as we might and no matter how many sunsets we enjoyed, the green flash has eluded us so far. Ted and I have been fortunate to see it a few different times in the Caribbean, but the girls are starting to doubt it…

4) Fly the spinnaker


We had amazing wind for the first few days and then it started to lessen, giving us a chance to fly the spinnaker again. It also gave us time to practice doing it ourselves. And for the record, Katie was helping the sail not fly into the air before we were ready…

5) Clean

DSC_3969When the wind got even lighter and we had to turn on our motors for a while, it at least meant the boat motion was steady enough to do the mundane parts of life like clean the boat. Yay!


6) Hose off to stay cool

Once we crossed the equator, and especially once the winds decreased, the heat cranked up. We have AC on the boat but didn’t want to use the generator a lot early on (it consumes diesel fuel). So we got creative at staying cool, including hosing off with the swim shower on the transom. And it gave Grace the chance to practice her puppy shake.


Stay tuned for parts II and III …

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