As Paul mentioned, we sailed back across the Sombrero Passage through the dark hours of the night over a week ago. After seeing the dolphin earlier that afternoon, we were very excited about heading out to open waters. Paul failed to fully highlight the adventures at Dog Island before heading out…trying to lift a very heavy outboard motor off our dingy and onto the boat in very rough waters was quite the challenge. Then imagine hoisting a very heavy rubber dingy out of the water (to strap it down on the deck for the passage, rather than drag it behind and risk losing it en route). At one point, there we were rocking back and forth, with Paul trying to balance this swinging pendulum. I wasn’t sure he wasn’t about to swing right off the boat!
The passage itself started off delightfully…downwind sailing with the waves behind us and the sun setting before us. I took the helm at about 9:30 with the almost full moon behind me and happily sailed for a few hours. Just when I was remarking to myself how well I was doing, the wind picked up rather quickly (as it is won’t to do), and suddenly there we were flying at 11.8 knots with just the foresail up! It’s one thing to break racing records during the day…quite another at night! I very happily woke Paul up to trim the sails and take over. Even with a tiny section of the foresail up, we still kept up speeds of 8 knots…amazing, the power of the wind. We passed a number of vessels along the way, most off in the distance, although there was one sail boat that passed quite close by going in the opposite direction (heading into the wind, poor things). I’ll admit…I really don’t like sailing in the dark, especially around large (or small) islands. As the sun rose, we passed between the islands into Sir Francis Drake Channel and on to Road Town Harbour where we dropped anchor. I was exceedingly happy to be in port again.