Big Bear is on vacation in Bermuda
Trip Start Mar 29, 2009
6Trip End Ongoing
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Just to fill in the blog from the last entry..........
I arrived on the boat, which was lying in the Virgin Gorda Yacht Marina, on March 25th after spending an enjoyable 3 days with friends Judy, Jimmy and Charlotte in the British Virgin islands.
By the evening of Friday 27th March all crew, Jonathan, Graham, Kerry, Liz, Francis and Paulina had arrived at the boat and the excitement level was definitely building! We went to a very
nice restaurant called The Rock which has delightful outdoor seating set amongst huge boulders.
The next 2 days were spent getting Big Bear ready for her voyage to Bermuda. Lots of housework, bunk-making,
Saturday was spent doing prep work and provisioning although there was some time for a little beach-ing and snorkeling which Kerry, Liz and I took advantage of.
On Sunday morning, after a slight hiccup with the engine, we set off on our 800+ mile journey. The conditions were perfect for our first day at sea and all crew were eager and ready to start this amazing adventure. At 6pm that night the Swedish Watch system kicked in and we split into 2 watches of 3 crew each with the skipper 'floating' (on the boat that is!). Each team undertook 6 hours on deck and 6 off during the day and 4 on/off during the night. I was watch captain of Starboard, or green watch. We were kept busy changing sails through the day and sometimes at night as the wind increased or decreased.
Life on board soon takes on a steady routine of watch changes, meals and jobs around the boat. There is also time for lots of sleeping and reading or even the occasional scrabble game or haircut!
On the third day we were in for a treat....as the conditions were perfect the skipper allowed the crew to go swimming....bear in mind this is in the middle of the Atlantic ocean! and the depth beneath us was around 2 miles. This truly was an amazing experience. Since I had acquired an underwater camera whilst in Florida, I suggested that I go back into the water and take photos of the boat on an ocean that was mill- pond-flat. Being alone in the ocean with only a camera and floating cushion whilst watching my boat drive away to circle me was one of the scariest things I have ever done I can assure you!!!
On the 4th day the wind direction and strength lent itself to hoisting the spinnaker sail, a large, colouful sail at the front of the boat which is used when the wind direction is from behind or abeam of the boat, this gives the boat a wonderful feel and is fun to helm.
Soon the 'miles to Bermuda' were decreasing as seen in the ships log book...I personally get a case of the 'nearly home blues' when approaching a destination port as I always want to just keep on sailing!
Soon there was the much anticipated "Land Ho" call from one of the newbies onboard and Bermuda could be seen on the horizon
After a warm welcome, both on the water by Pete and on the dock by many friends and family, we spent a pleasant evening relating tales of the voyage to friends over dinner at the Dinghy Club.
Now Big Bear will get a nice spruce-up before she sets sail on April 26th with yours truly on board as I leave Bermuda for good after 18 years.
I can't think of a better way to leave this lovely Island than sailing off into the sunset on the gorgeous Big Bear!
Watch this space.....
Where I stayed