On the last evening before we (temporarily) parted ways with David and Alexandra on Banyan, with them heading to Bequia and us moving straight through to Grenada, they described to us a special dinner that they had back in Quebec where the entire meal is served in the pitch dark. I had heard of this unique restaurant before but this was the first that I had had the opportunity to speak to people who had actually ate there. They both raved about the experience and described how when deprived of sight, all of their body’s other senses were heightened. In the restaurant’s case, that is obviously what they’re hoping for, that your sense of taste will be made much more vivid than normal. David and Alexandra described how, while that was true, their sense of touch and hearing also went through the roof while dining there.
Last evening, as our autopilot steered us through the moonless night, I thought a lot about that conversation. As our boat pitched and rolled in seemingly random directions, I pondered why the waves always seemed to grow when the sun set. I began to wonder if it’s not the exact same experience that the restaurant was deliberately trying to induce. When deprived of the ability to see the waves as they approach, and the boat’s movement relative to the horizon, each shift of the hull or noise in the rigging or on the sea seems significantly greater than those experienced during the daylight hours. Is that enjoyable? I think I’d prefer the restaurant more.
Don’t let that bit of reflection lead you to believe that we had an unpleasant passage. On the contrary, our patience in waiting for settled weather paid off in spades with perhaps the best overnight sail that we have had in ages. It took us approximately 27 hours, anchor up to anchor down, to cover the 131 nautical miles from Rodney Bay, St. Lucia to St. Georges, Grenada. For the vast majority of that time we had 12-16 knots of wind right on the beam making for a very quick sail. Of course, there were a few times when the islands’ land masses played havoc with our nice breeze but we dealt with that by applying patience and/or gasoline. Our autopilot did a stellar job and was able to steer the boat the entire way, making for a much more restful experience for the two of us. Of course, on any single overnight passage, we never really get into the groove of sleeping while off watch. In spite of that, we both found that we were feeling rather refreshed this morning.
As we approached the St. Georges anchorage, Rebecca shared that she was feeling a bit sad and nostalgic, knowing that this will be our final big passage on ZTC, at least for the foreseeable future. I had to agree that I felt the same way. Knowing so little about boats when we chose her, we really did luck out. Our PDQ has been everything that we had hoped for, and more. A new boat and new adventures await, of course, and we look forward to sharing what we can of them too.
St. Lucia’s Piton mountains, the source of our first becalming.
Our speed in front of the Pitons. We made less than 1.5 knots for over an hour but I stubbornly refused to turn on the engines. Ultimately I gave in.
The dreary day gave way to a beautiful sunset.
As we were screaming along at over 8 knots, I was pondering why waves seemed bigger in the dark.
Not quite the fastest speed we hit, but close.
Normally Samantha stays safely inside during passages. Here we had her in her harness, letting her enjoy some fresh air. I think she preferred it inside.
Stats from our passage.