Wednesday, 20 May 2015


This blog has become a little disjointed I'm afraid. I have just arrived in the Azores, but it will take me a little while to put together a blog post about the crossing. In the meantime, here's a blog post on Bermuda that I didn't have time to post while I was there, with laptop issues to deal with, and then the sudden decision to leave.


I was glad to have stopped in Bermuda. I was found myself talking jibberish to the immigration people when I went to clear in. They had clearly met people in my sorry state before. I simply hadn't appreciated how dog tired I was.

The anchorage in the protected lagoon seemed perfect.

The foreground is the iron hull of a 3-masted sailing ship.

Tobacco Bay was a nice walk over the hill from St George's Harbour.

Some places I wasn't allowed to go.

And some I didn't want to go.

I was interested to read of people who had been here a little before me:

With time required to recover my wits, and no obvious weather windows coming up, I arranged for another laptop to be posted to me in Bermuda. That committed me to a week here at least.

With no repairs to do on my boat, it was nice to have the time to help someone else out.

Here's the new gooseneck I helped Neal design, on the left, next to the pathetic thing that was originally on his boat.

Here's the gooseneck fitted. Not exactly pretty, but it won't break.

I helped Ollie too, fixing his outboard and helping him load up with fuel and water. That didn't go so well though - we broke a vital component of his self-steering gear in the process, so he had to order another from Holland. Now he was committed to another week in Bermuda. Here's Ollie's boat. Not sure how much it cost, but he paid for the boat and his whole trip round the Caribbean for £15,000.

It was blowing a near gale in the harbour. It seemed to do that most days. Sometimes it was worse. Here was another:

We'd sit about on our boats as they surged and bounced about in the harbour, needing to be around in case the anchor dragged, and often, unable to get ashore anyway. The locals say it is like winter, storm after storm passing through. There should be high pressure over the area, bringing settled weather, but instead a series of lows are passing through from the US.

Still, there was time for more walks, and Bermuda was much greener than the Bahamas, and I guess, it's Spring.

That gave me an idea. I invited Neal and his wife Darleen to dinner.

The salad was a fresh, colourful and cheap mixture of nasturtium leaves and flowers, and fennel, which was also common all over the island.

There were four single-handers waiting to leave Bermuda for the Azores. We formed a little club, which usually involved getting together on someone's boat at sundown, discussing the weather, having a beer, and telling tall tales.

When the laptop arrived, I swapped over the hard drive from my old one and I was good to go as they say. I checked the forecast with it, and here was a chance to leave coming up. There was a gap between the lows, and it would be good to take advantage of the westerly wind of the low that has just passed over before it fills in and the wind dies. I hurriedly did my shopping and cleared out with the immigration people.

By the time I'd returned from my shopping (forgetting eggs and cheese! :( ), Ollie had moved his boat close to mine. I had a nice protected spot, and Ollie wasn't missing any chances to take my place. As we said our goodbye's he passed me a large plastic bag full of tea bags. Of course, I'd forgotten to get more of them too, in my hurry. But why, I asked Ollie, are you giving me these? Do you have enough yourself? Ollie had plenty. He'd been on the phone to a friend in the UK, who was helping him to get his part for his self-steering gear. That friend turned out to be one of the crew who towed us into Luperon in the Dominican Republic. As a reward for their efforts, on finding they had no tea bags on board, I'd handed over ours (there were no more in Luperon - we'd looked already, as had they). So Ollie's friend had asked Ollie whether he'd be able to return the tea-bags. What a small but very nice world it is mostly, amongst the cruisers. When I left, I was sorry Ollie had to wait longer for his part. Oh well.

I hoisted sail. I was glad to leave the bouncy boisterous harbour, but I'd have happily spent more time in the company of the cruisers I met there. The Bermudans too, I found exceptionally kind and helpful and generous. That's Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Bermuda. I'd go back to any of those places, just to hang out with nice people somewhere warm.


  1. Glad you made Azores ok. Been some bad weather around there
    with a few boat losses.

  2. Glad you made it safely. I enjoyed reading your musings.

  3. Thanks folks. I heard about the boat losses on arrival, but haven't found more info on the net.

  4. Thanks folks. I heard about the boat losses on arrival, but haven't found more info on the net.

  5. A Lagoon S400 capsized, Mother and one child made it to liferaft but Father and daughter were in the water. After being picked up the daughter died. Very tragic.