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Morocco  Canary Islands Cape Verde Islands Atlantic Crossing Barbados

Barbados

 

Never have we so welcomed a landfall as we did our arrival in Barbados and the end to our long miserable passage across the Atlantic ocean.   As we came in to the harbor our friends who had arrived before us were standing on the decks of their boats shouting and waving and blasting their horns.  It was a huge relief to put the anchor down and just experience not moving. 

For the first time in 18 days we were able to lay in our bed without feeling our internal organs sloshing around side to side.  We could stand or sit without holding on to something and put a drink down on the table without it flying into space a moment later.  And it was quiet - the constant noise of wind and sea was absent.

The first afternoon we just luxuriated in the peace of not moving but soon we were anxious to get out and stretch our legs so before long we were off exploring Barbados.  The first stop of course was the Mount Gay rum factory.  Mount Gay is the primary sponsor of sailing regattas in the Caribbean and we sailors hold them in high regard.  The factory tour costs about $12 per person but as I had a Mt. Gay hat which you can only obtain by attending a regatta I was admitted for free. 

In addition to walking and taking buses around to see the island; our Kiwi, Aussie and UK friends insisted we all go to a cricket match together.  It seems Mark from Balvenie had spent his youth in London watching worldwide cricket matches on the telly and had longed to trade rainy London for the palm trees and sun of the Kensington Oval cricket stadium in Barbados.  For him it was a religious pilgrimage and he took a dozen of us with him.

Because Barbados is 100 miles directly to windward from the rest of the Caribbean Island chain the only boats that usually call in are those like us who had come from the other side of the Atlantic, so there were only about 15 cruising sailboats in the harbor, but one day were were joined by Eclipse- currently the largest private yacht in the world.  At 564 feet it is about half the size of a cruise ship yet only caters to a dozen or so guests who are looked after by seventy crew.  It is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and has a submarine and two helipads. 

After a week recuperating in Barbados we were anxious to sail the 100 miles to the Tobago Cays where we would do what sailor's refer to as "crossing our outbound track".  This would be the point at which our circumnavigation of the world would be complete.

Our overnight passage was comfortable and as dawn approached we could see familiar landmarks ahead.  At 10:07 am on January 18, 2012 we crossed the track Ventana had previously made in 1997. Our circumnavigation was complete and it was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.  We had crossed the international date line and the Greenwich meridian.  We had sailed as far north as Maine and as far south as Australia and covered over 50,000 miles of ocean.

We decked Ventana out in flags from all the countries she had visited and over the next few days had numerous parties on board with our friends to celebrate.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.  Then hit your back button to return here.

 

     
  Finally Landfall after 18 days            Tactical Directions  

         
  Beautiful Barbados                      Eclipse- the largest private yacht in the world              

              
Celebrating our circumnavigation             Dressing ship on Ventana

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Webmaster- Rob Dubin                             copyright 2003-2012   Rob  Dubin               Page Last updated 05/03/2012