Photos from the Passage

Prickly Bay Grenada

Prickly Bay Grenada

Since arriving in Grenada we have been recuperating some from the passage, and begun the process of cleaning up the boat. Not only from the long passage, but also because we have guests arriving in less than two weeks. My long-time business partner and friend Andy and his wife Aliza will be joining us on Tahina for a few days in St. Lucia. They last visited us in Aruba in 2009. Andy and Aliza have frequently let us stay at their house while we’ve gone home to visit in the US during the last five years. Having them visit us is one way we can give back to them for their generosity in sharing their home with us. The picture here shows our view from the boat here in Grenada, so there is some compensation for all the boat cleaning work we are doing!

I processed a few photos from our long 20-day passage from St. Helena. We were never within sight of land until we got to the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were passed at night, so Grenada was our first sighting of land after leaving St. Helena. We only had a few wildlife sightings, so much of our scenery was the boat, the sea, and the sky.

We had two encounters with marine life. The first was as we were leaving St. Helena. We saw what first appeared to be a whale shark, but they were moving too fast. They kept up with us as we were sailing at 9 knots for a few minutes. They were larger than most dolphin (about 25 feet) and tan in color, we saw one of the three which moved along us poke his head out and he had a large bulbous forehead. After consulting our whale & dolphin guide we determined they were “Southern Bottlenose Whales”. We didn’t get a good picture though.

Dolphin dancing

Dolphin dancing

Our second marine life sighting was a pod of dolphin off the coast of South America. I was very amused because the reason I spotted them was when I came to the cockpit to check on things a dolphin leapt 10 feet out of the water behind us. They will do this to get your attention when they decide to make a visit and you don’t see them. I ran out with a camera and sure enough there were 10 or 15 of them dancing off our bows. Always a joy to watch them and interact – they are very aware of you watching them and will often stay longer if you talk to them, whistle, and wave at them.

Hitchhiking bird

Hitchhiking bird

We also had several hitch-hikers (only they don’t ask for a ride) – birds. Often during the evening a bird will swoop in and stand on the roof or on a lifeline. We had one very tired bird – the one in the photo – stay for two days. We were 300 miles from any land, so not surprising he was tired.

Full spinnaker view

Full spinnaker view

The first half of our journey was downwind and we were very fortunate to have ideal winds of about 15-20 knots. We missed many of the squalls other boats were getting further north. So, we were flying our spinnaker day and night several days in a row. We did have to take it down a few times for squalls though. We had some nice sunsets and sunrises along the way, and I enjoy taking photos with the colorful spinnaker flying.

Spinnaker into sunset

Spinnaker into sunset

Sunrise view

Sunrise view

Much of our sailing up the coast of South America was on a reach with higher winds and lots of overcast and many rain squalls. The boat got very salty at times, and the sails were often heavily reefed. We were making great speeds though, especially with the Brazilian current adding 1.5 to 2 knots. We had several days of 200+ miles covered including 225, 235 and a day later 237 nautical miles! That’s some of our fastest 24 hour runs in the entire circumnavigation! It was no wonder it only took us 20 days and 7 hours to go 3800 nautical miles. We averaged 187 nm a day for the entire trip from St. Helena.

Arriving Grenada

Arriving Grenada

And here was our view sailing into Grenada at about 9-10 knots on a reach. We had some fantastic sailing with only two brief half-day periods where we motored in light airs. A great way to finish off our circumnavigation indeed.

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4 Responses to Photos from the Passage

  1. Ann last says:

    Congratulations on your circumnavigation
    Love the colours of your spinnaker

    • Frank Taylor says:

      Thanks Ann! The colors of the spinnaker were chosen to match the colors of our Tahina Expedition logo.

  2. Jacqui Pemberton says:

    Warmest congratulations on completing the circle.

  3. SC says:

    How tiring are these long passages? Does there have to be someone glued to the helm 24/7? Or are you able to lie down and monitor the auto pilot from the comfort of a couch? What’s the fallback plan if one gets incapacitated and all sailing falls on other crew?

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