Eileen of Avoca reaches the Caribbean

It's Eileen of Avoca at sea!

Yes, I’m in the Caribbean…. Excuse enough for the increasingly spasmodic postings. But was my sourcing of these wonderful snapshots of Eileen of Avoca at sea not worth the wait?

For six days Thierry on his 41 foot Feeling (called Ti’nga) kept pace with Eileen on route to Tobago. Sometimes I thought it was just to irritate me, but I’m assured his reasons were wholeheartedly altruistic. Not that that prevented me from raving like a madman whenever he came too close… 😉

Madman rages on Eileen.

I think he took a perverse pleasure in literally sailing circles around Eileen in the light winds.

That just about sums up the voyage. Light winds…

I’d have set more sail (including the seldom used topsail), if only I didn’t have to worry about the numerous squalls between calms. One minute I’m motoring at a steady 4 knots (head-sails furled) and the next I’m running before a squall at 8kts adding another reef to the mainsail. Absurd!

Eileen runs from another squall.

I guess it’s all to be expected in a days (or six) sailing.

The good news is that I’ve made it to Tobago. It’s taken some 7000 nautical miles of sailing and almost one year (since leaving Yarmouth) living aboard a 23ft boat, but I’m now in the Caribbean. Reward enough!

Though a celebratory cold drink (who needs a fridge when everyone else has one) is still the order of the day.

A beer aboard Ti'nga in Tobago

Here’s to living the dream (and working those abdominals) on the other side of the pond…

Cheers readers!


Iles du Salut (Salvation Islands)

Salvation Islands, French Guiana

The anchorage at Ile Royale isn’t as protected as one might expect. After two days of bouncing about and two episodes of “oops! Sorry, my anchor dragged”, one in which I lost my new fishing net (to everyone’s distress it ended up wrapped around my neighbours propeller as he was trying to avoid a lee shore), I decided to shorten my island getaway holiday and make for Kourou.

It's all in ruins...

You see, one can only walk around the Iles du Salut so many times gathering coconuts or mangoes for supper before some of the novelty wears off… and wandering about prison ruins doesn’t quite do it for me.

I’m told my lack of interest and enthusiasm is probably due to a slight case of Post Brazilian Bikini Syndrome (or PBBS), a common ailment among single males leaving Brazil.

For most, solace can be found through quiet meditation and inner contemplation. I’ve decided to try another route.

Ti'nga and the coconut tree

My South African friends on Ocean Spice and Quest are set on reaching Tobago before I cause them any more grief through innocuous but strategic placement of additional fishing nets, but fortunately, the solitary crew of Ti’nga (who I’d first met in Fortaleza and again at sea while sailing to Cayenne), has decided I’m not such dangerous company and is game to tag along.

Equipped with a wing-man, I’m now ready to take on the mainland. What delights await?