“You’re going to find it’s hard to go East.” Those were the wise words that fell on deaf ears nearly six months ago. Everyone goes East, everyone loves sailing to the Caribbean – it’s cruising paradise. How hard could it possibly be? If you like bashing your brains out every single time you move the boat, then sure it’s a pleasure cruise, but otherwise you’ll find yourself waiting weeks for somewhat decent weather, only to motorsail most of the way and pray the engine doesn’t die when you’re getting the shit beaten out of you. Yes, we found that it was quite hard to go East, so much that I often questioned whether it was the right trip.
My dreams of sailing all day were crushed as soon as we left George Town. “Why do we always find ourselves beating into the wind whenever we need to get somewhere?” Romain asked as we made our way to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Recently hooked on watching Vikings I replied, “Because the Gods are against us.” The Gods, the trade winds, whatever it was, we were screwed. All the way from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico we’ve probably had one decent day of sailing when we crossed the Caicos banks, even though the majority of it was spent dodging uncharted coral rocks.
Getting from A to B on an Eastern route in the Caribbean has been one of the most frustrating aspects of the whole trip, so when we happened to be in Samana, Dominican Republic during a regatta I desperately joined the race. And it was exactly what I needed: pure, exhilarating sailing. If you’re interested to read all about our first weekend racing Talaria, check out AChartofDays.com for a two-part post on our adventures.
We’re now on the South coast of Puerto Rico, reaching our last leg of the Eastern push. “Just get to St. Martin, and then make a right.” From there we’ll be able to sail on a beam reach all the way South. Here’s hoping!