I arrived in Puerto Rico Apr 15 to meet up with Eric Forsythe, owner of Fiona, a 42' Westsail. We also had one more crew member, Neil, flying in from Nashville.
On the way to the car, Eric tripped over a speed bump and fell. He busted his chin open and cracked a rib, which required a trip to the ER. However once there, they wanted him to do a CAT SCAN and X-ray but he refused and we went on our way, his chin still bleeding.
Next day we went to El Yunque National Rain Forest and then went shopping for some last minute food. Eric's chin was still bleeding
Sun, with Eric's chin still bleeding, we made sail towards the north, pretty much motoring for 2 days. He finally put super glue in his chin and shut his wound. Fiona, carries something like 135 gallons of fuel and 200 gallons of water for long extended trips. We did a close haul on Day 3. It was nice not to hear the motor hum, but by day 4 we were back to motoring. Day 5 we had screaming winds blowing 20-25 pushing us right along. We had waves over the bow and the boat, and were closed hauled for 24 hours. Day 6 the winds shifted in our favor and we did a reach doing 6 knots. Day 7 we shifted to a reach and then downwind pushing along @ 6-7 knots. Day 8 we hit a Not'easrer 150 miles out of Bermuda. The best we could do would be tack back and forth and wait for the winds to die. Winds were 30 with gusts over 40 and we had the rails in the h20 all day. Day 9 the winds finally died back 10-15 and we were able to get a somewhat decent course to Bermuda.
Along our treck, we have learned to tie a few knots, use the Aeries wind vane, and plot our position using a sextant.
It's a little boring while we sail so we read or sometimes watch movies. Eric does all the cooking and the day goes like this.
Breakfast - cereal and coffee
Mid morning snack with coffee or tea
Lunch - usually a sandwich with a beer
Afternoon tea with a cookie ( I can hear his accent as I type)
Afternoon cocktail everyday which consists of rum, apple juice and lemon and crackers with various things I have never tried before but are quite tasty.
Dinner- various canned meats and potatoes or rice and beer.
Then we start 2 hour watches 8-10, 10-12, 12-2, etc until 8 am. The boat sails itself. We set "Victor" wind came and he goes at it. This boat hauls ass in 20+ knot winds.
So we're taking a few well deserved days in Bermuda before we sail the final leg of the trip home to Long Island. This trip for me will be about 1500 miles. The trip for Eric, just shy of 13,000 miles, a short one for him.
Eric is 86 years old and has been through a lot of trials throughout his long 50 years of sailing life. He's been around the world twice, and been to the Artic Circle. All in all its just another trip home for him where he'll refit and probably plan another adventure and take another crew somewhere around the world.
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