Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog 21 April 2010- Passage to Grenada and homeward bound

Well, we made it! We are now in Prickly Bay, Grenada. We left the Leewards Islands behind us after The Saints and entered the Windward Island chain starting in Dominica about three weeks ago. We had very short visits (overnights) in Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Union Island, but took a few days off in Bequia and Mustique. Lots of sailing every day to get here – but great weather generally– a little rain, no storms and some wonderful winds. We had the winds at our back one day, did 11 knots (didn't know the old gal had it in her) and we just floated and surfed our way for 10 hours – it was our best sailing day this year- a lovely day and really fun. I had a stomach bug for two days though on our passage from Mustique to Union Island and Mike was fantastic, on solo duty with no real breaks to speak of. He's turned into a great sailor if I do say so myself...He's been so wonderful to spend these months with – it's close living on a boat as you can well imagine and I give him all the credit in the world for making it easy and fun.

We are very happy and so grateful for this whole experience -over 600 miles since November and kept our girl off the reefs with nary a scratch. Not to say there weren't some hair-raising adventures as you well know. But those challenges are half the fun when all is said and done. You know what they say about sailing....90% idyllic calm interspersed with the odd moments of sheer terror– I jest...(only partly) If there is one overriding experience which has brought us the most gratitude, it is has been the magnificent beauty of the natural world around us… the ever changing seas, the vast skies, the fascinating world of plant and animal. We met some wonderful people too along the way that we will always remember and hope we will meet again on our journeys. They gave us great friendship, and often helped us if we needed it. We will always remember them and are so grateful for their many kindnesses and true generosity of spirit.

I would remiss not to mention the other kindly spirits (Mike and I know ABSOLUTELY who they are) that have sailed with us throughout and have made their presence known when things got more serious... We certainly had some assistance... there is no doubt about that at all.

It's been fun to share our experiences in this blog – Justin set it up for me and I really didn't know I would enjoy writing it so much. We got some nice notes back on the blog, that you have enjoyed reading it. Sharing it and your feedback has really helped me feel connected to the people I care about.. Your emails were really really appreciated. I was always mad to find an internet café and read the latest from my family and friends. It was very important to us.

For now, we are happy to leave Mudkat safely in her yard, shipshape and ready for next time.

I can't even tell you how excited we are about seeing our family and friends – not to mention the most beautiful country in the world.

Hope everyone has a really great summer, and hope to reconnect here on the blog again in November when ol' Mudkat will take on the Windwards!

Love, Kate


Post script story (by Mike)

Somehow this story didn't get told, but I'm sure you will enjoy it. I believe it happened on the passage from Antigua to Guadeloupe. Kate and I were relaxing in the cockpit with Mudkat cruising along happily on autopilot. We were facing the stern just enjoying the water wash from our hulls and the passing waves. Suddenly I noticed something very peculiar. There, behind us, about 10 yards back, appeared what seemed to be a big circle of brown, soupy water. It must have been 20 feet across too -as wide as our boat. At first glance, I thought it must be a patch of sea grass, but no, it was brown liquid, like a mud puddle. Before either one of us could come up with a plausible explanation, a huge grey back immerged from behind our stern, just ahead of the puddle! Yes, you guessed it. It was a whale! (a Sperm we think) It had passed right under Mudkat! I wonder if our boat had surprised it – had we scared the poop right out of it? After the initial shock, we looked at each other and had a good laugh. You really don't know what will happen next on the water. There's life in there. What strange sights will we experience next year? Wait and see.

Have a great summer everyone.


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