Still in Martinique

3 December 2018 St Anne, Martinique
I returned the hire car at 08:00 and then at 09:00, Gavin from North Sails came to have a look at our main sail. He said that the top half of the sail is too “full” (apparently, last time, they only adjusted the bottom part of the sail.) He agreed that the sail looks a baggy when reefed. He’s going to send an email and photographs to Bill, the vice-president at the North Sails HQ, so we’ll have to wait a few days to see what happens.

The rest of the day was spent on-board, resting after our long hike yesterday. I ran the water maker and Glenys did a load of washing.

St Anne High Street

4 December 2018 St Anne, Martinique
We’re waiting for a decision from North Sails, so we’re trapped here. I had one email from Bill saying that they thought that the wrinkles were caused by the roller reefing extrusion being too loose - they’ve tried this excuse several times. I responded that I’d had the rig and the extrusion checked and setup by the Selden rigger in Trinidad. I’m waiting to see what they decide.

I spent most of the day trying to plan our trip from the Bahamas to Annapolis. We want to try to get the boat up to Annapolis by the third week of April because there’s a big boat show starting on the 26th April and it would be a good opportunity to sell Alba.

Unfortunately, it’s 1,100 miles from the Bahamas to Annapolis and the weather is very unsettled in March/April with a high chance of freezing cold fronts travelling south across the east coast of the USA. This might mean that we have to wait for weather and then dash up the coast whenever there’s a weather window.

Our son, Craig is coming out to see us in the second week of March, so the earliest that we can leave Georgetown in the Bahamas is the 21st March - this means that we’ll only have 4 weeks to make the trip. The first leg will be a 400 mile passage from Georgetown to Cape Canaveral in Florida, which will take 3 nights. After that we have 500 miles to Beaufort, some of which we could do in the Intracoastal Waterway, but we’ll have to do a couple of offshore overnight passages and, with the weather getting colder, it won’t be pleasant - we’ll have to break out the foul weather gear, hats and gloves.

Once through Beaufort, we’ll be in sheltered waters with 180 miles up the Intracoastal Waterway to Norfolk and then 150 miles up the Chesapeake to Annapolis, but it’ll be cold and unsettled weather. We’re not looking forward to it.

5 December 2018 St Anne, Martinique
I had an administration day, bouncing emails back and forward about the main sail. Eventually, by the end of the day, we’d agreed that Gavin will alter the luff curve of the upper part of the sail and I will contribute $200 US towards the “adjustment”. I readily agreed because it depresses me every time that I look at the reefed sail. Unfortunately, Gavin can’t do the adjustment until next Tuesday 11th, so we’re stuck here in paradise for another week.

Very French

I also organised a broker to sell Alba in the USA. We’ve had the boat advertised privately for six months and despite about 1,000 viewings of the advert, we’ve only had four people contact us and they were very tentative enquiries. It’s fairly obvious that Americans and Europeans don’t want to travel to the Caribbean to view a yacht.

After a few emails, we decided to appoint Free State Yachts. Roger is the Hallberg Rassy dealer on the East Coast of the USA, based very close to Annapolis. We’ve agreed his commission and sent off the signed agreement. There’s no point in Roger advertising the boat until March, a month before we arrive in the USA, but we’ll be on his books and if he comes across someone who is very keen they might be prepared to fly down to Puerto Rico or the Bahamas.

I filled the rest of the day updating my blog and catching up on editing photographs. Glenys pottered about doing a few chores.