Left St Martin on the 08030 bridge somehow! Things were thrown in lockers, lashed to tables and what didn’t find a home ended up inside the washing machine for re-discovery sometime in the future.
At the bridge the news regarding Cheeki Rafiki was acknowledged and it’s hit the sailing community hard. We offer our condolences to all family and friends. Queueing at the bridge was amusing. A large Swan wanted to rush out to get to a race start a few miles away and asked if he could slot in ahead of us; as if the minutes mattered to our 3 week crossing so we waved him through. Up went the bridge, we’re off, no going back.
Rounding St Martin we headed off on a course of 020. There was a race of some kind going on to port that had attracted some very large yachts and we were followed by a couple of superyachts which may have turned to St Barts so the sea wasn’t quite empty. Hoping for a boring passage things got far too exciting off Anguila in 50m depth when we found ourselves trapped inside a tuna net. Just as we had discovered this menace there was a loud ‘crack’ on our front windshield and something rattled across the deck. Whilst dealing with the net we were also frantically scanning the deck for evidence, searching skyward for anything amiss, and checking the rigging, boom fittings and so on. Eventually concluded that it was from outer-space and nothing to do with us! (further on that turned out to be wishful thinking).
We were making 7-7.5 knots and for two miles kept coming up against the string of white floats supporting the net so we were going close reach, broad reach…etc trying to find a gap, trying to understand whether the buoys were tied at sea level or deeper down. Suddenly the net curved in front of us. There looked to be a gap and just as we reached it with no possible out we saw a few dirty coloured buoys dead ahead, then abeam, and there was the thick rope joining the string at the surface. This was looking like a nightmare and I thought we had a protruding bulb keel so we were netted for good. A shout from Sophie we are dragging the string. Under full sail at 7.5 knots how is this going to unravel? Then it was gone. We didn’t feel a thing. How is that possible with a forward bulb keel? Then it occurred to me that was our last boat and this one has a keel like a ski-slope. Note to self; never buy a forward protruding bulbed keel! And we’re off!