by Tom McMahon – Deckhand aboard Sea Dragon.
We have arrived in Barbados! And in doing so we have sailed from one side of the Atlantic ocean to the other.
So I think a quick recap of the passage itself is in order and then a roundup of arriving and our experience of Barbados so far.
The first thing about the passage which comes to mind is our hitchhiker who joined several hundred miles offshore, the Egret. Our Egret stayed with the boat until the last minute, only disembarking the boat as we where dropping anchor in Carlisle Bay. Our Egret was in fact sat on the anchor and seemed determined to stay there, having to be physically removed from the anchor so we could drop the thing into the water!
However without the people or the crew this passage wouldn’t have been possible and neither would it have been as enjoyable. It has always surprised me how much nicer people are at sea, especially when the average crossing crew is ususally very different ages and come from vastly different backgrounds. Perhaps it’s being away from from cities or emails, who knows.
We also experienced technical difficulties whilst at sea. For reasons beyond our control (and understanding) we where unable to stay up to date with the position of the other boats in the fleet. We did occasionally receive updates, but most of the time we were ‘sailing blind’ so to speak.
So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that we were the first boat of the Atlantic Odyssey to arrive and cross the finish line.
An even more pleasant surprise was clearing into the country. Most places I’ve been this usually involves lots of waiting around, lots of grumpy people and an ominous feeling that you’re in trouble, some how.
But not here. I can say that the whole thing was more of a welcome than the usual hassle. I believe that the team from the Atlantic Odyssey may have helped this. Either way I can say I enjoyed Barbadian customs.
And the theme continued, the people here really are welcoming so we took the opportunity to explore a bit.
We ended up visiting a well known rum distillery and then popped down the coast to indulge in some local culture with the food, music and vibe that you can only really find in Barbados.
Basically we’ve had a couple of days to chill out and put our feet up, yet we will not rest for long. Even as the crew are still packing their bags the logistics of getting through the Panama Canal are being discussed.
In the next few days we will be weighing anchor and starting the next leg of our long journey a lot west and a little bit south to the Phoenix Islands where Sea Dragon will be mother ship for some scientists while they research the coral.
Next stop Bequia and the Grenadines.