December 27 to January 9
We have described the days in other posts but no mention of the wind. To leave Rodney Bay for the crossing we must do our best to pick a low wind day. For Changes the ideal is 10 to 15 knots. At this wind speed Changes goes 6+ and the waves are big but not too uncomfortable. All the passes between islands have enhanced wind and waves. Also there are always at least two or more sets of waves. Usually a set from the ENE and another set from NE or E. Then the wind waves are added to this. For a 34 foot boat like Changes the wave push her around a lot; it is uncomfortable. Typically the motion of the boat is too much for Lorraine seasickness wise, so she goes down below to sleep until the motion of the boat is better and she joins me for the rest of the trip. I may go down below for a nap of my own.
Well the trip to Martinique was rough for the first 12 or so miles but once in the lee of Martinique, things improved. Once we were anchored at St Anne, the wind was still with us blowing hard all the time. For the next several days in the anchorage it blew 15 to 20+ all the time gusting in the upper 20’s. Every day our dinghy trip into shore was upwind into a one foot chop. Getting in and out of the dinghy along side Changes always required trying to avoid getting splashed as the waves hit Changes and reflect into the dinghy and whomever is hanging on, usually to no avail. Back on our 2nd trip in 2013, Lorraine bought a plastic shower curtain liner and uses this when we are underway in the dinghy to keep drier holding up in front of her and partially shielding me from the splashing going through the waves.
Then we finally get a good day to cross to Dominica we went and didn’t hesitate. We go as the next weather window could be several days away. We crossed to Dominica on 1/8/2015 with wind 10 to 20 Kts. Once we cleared the island the seas were 6 + feet with an additional northern swell. Changes is knocked around a lot until we got close to Dominica when things calmed down. We are now in Prince Rupert Bay close enough to the beach that there is less chop for the dinghy ride. The wind is still with us as we have rain storms going by with wind up to 29 knots in the squalls. The wind is a pervasive thing when living on an anchored sailboat. All night long the squalls went through in the night as dark as the inside of a cow.