Day 6 – North Atlantic

21-53 N, 54-55 W, Wind S 7-10, Seas 1.5m, Thunderstorms.

Hello,
after beating into light (and sometimes stronger) winds for a couple days we have entered a big zone of squalls and thunderstorms. With it also came wind shifts and big areas of no wind. And of course strong gusts and rain. The area is about a 1000nmi wide so there is not really a way around it – however a couple gybes where required to avoid (so far) areas of lighting – scary !!
Other than that all is well. The weather still looks very uncertain, so far its only possible to make north and not much east but i hope that will change at some point. Inspirational literature or media is very sparse due to the crappy internet in martinique so that aspect could get a bit mundane shortly but things could be worse really. Been doing reasonable runs of 110-130nmi, so thats nice. Hope the next days bring us better weather. Till later.

Day 3 North Atlantic

17.54N/58.08W Wind 14k E/Seas 1m/T29

After many unplanned weeks in Martinique we finally managed to pry the anchor off and leave the Caribbean. I am not sure if all the weeks under lockdown will linger as the fondest memory in my head however i am not sure somewhere else things would have been better.
Due to the current situartion and closed boarders everywhere our list of options to sail to has dramatically shortened – and forced my hand into accepting that an East-ward journey will be probably best at this stage.
The Weather situartion is not the most favorable at the present with persistant Easterly winds all across – it isnt till N of 40d that one gets the usual lows and westerly winds. Also the first Tropical Low and a chance of another have showed their ugly (and unseasonal eg too early) heads. So for the last 3 days we have been hard on the breeze trying to claw a little bit east but the winds have been light so far at 10-15 so it hasnt been to bad. The weather however is still very hot and due to the course the hatches have all been shut – its very hot below. Expect for this to last another couple days or a week at least – whatever happens afterwards is still in the stars. All the best
Joe

Still in Martinique

Now for over a month. Thanks to Civid-19 aka “the rona” the Island has been in lockdown since mid-march so we have been off the boat only a couple of times to get essential supplies. Every movement requires a permit which i have been reusing lacking a printer.Definitely one to keep to remember these wild times.Other than that we have managed to provision the boat (shelves are fuller than ever due to the missing charter fleet), fill diesel and water and attend to some of the more urgent repairs on board. Unfortunately the postal service is down and chandleries mostly shuttered so a lot of parts and spares i wanted to source are unavailable and we must make due without them.Lots of boredom otherwise. Stuck on board and unable to do much.Its the beginning of May now and boats have been leaving in the last days to cross the Atlantic towards Europe and the Azores and i think we shall join them soon. Waiting for 2 parcels still stuck somewhere in the postal system and then we might try to pry the anchor off the the seafloor and go sailing again.On the 11th Martinique opens again also and we might be able to have a few last drinks at the pub before leaving, would be nice to do that.From St Anne, MartiniqueJoe

Landfall Martinique

Storm Petrel anchored in St Anne, Martinique this morning after 22 days at sea and several failed landfalls. Checked in with no problems. No quarantine but the island is under lockdown – however shops, bakeries and takeaways are open so we managed to obtain a sufficent ammount of cheeses, cured meats and fermented beverages to survive for the present. There is a bakery boat in the morning for baguettes and good wifi. Hardest part will be to observe the social distancing aka the no gossiping between cruisers rule as there are about 200 boats in the anchorage and this is usually the skippers chief occupation in port.

Much love to you all,Joe

Round the World

3Nmi SE of Barbados.

What i never, not even in my wildest dreams, thought to achieve has happened this morning : i crossed my own tracks and sailed around the World.

30/12/2012 – 26/3/2020, 2 Boats, 46.000Nmi. 46 Countries.

Feeling very happy and at the same time also really grateful for having had the privilege.

Onward now in my quest to find a harbour which might allow me to land in the current Corona virus crisis.

On the way to nowhere

Pos 7-08N, 54-56W

After spending a couple wonderful days in the Ille des Salut we finally go a response from Grenada giving confimation that i will get special permission to enter the country.
Got underway just to get information a day later that entry will be refused and borders are shut. Bit cruel.
We are now heading COG 310-320 towards the Caribbean somewhere. St Vincent might be still open and i might be able to get some supplies in Martinique – at this stage. Had happier days.

Corona Virus aka The Flying Dutchman

Pos 5-12 N 52-04W

Found out in the last 24hrs the due to the Corona Virus the Country i was going to make landfall tonight (French Guyana) has shut its borders and so has Suriname the one i was going next.
Further news on the radio sked also confirmed that many Countries in the Caribbean shutting their borders as well as Europe ect due to the outbreak. Interesting times. Might become the flying dutchman and be doomed to sail the seven seas forever, never allowed into port.
Went ahead and counted the toiletpaper (not much but we got bumrags), food and water (months) and then went and polished the fishhooks. All good. Been a beautiful day, sunny, calm, wonderful. Still did 145nmi.

Will do a sneaky anchor at the Iles de Salut for a couple days and figure out where we can still go next.