RoRC Report - South Atlantic Crossing

RoRC Report - South Atlantic Crossing

From Cape Town to the Caribbean, Sofia completed her circumnavigation in the Caribbean.

By RoRCs Anne & Jonathan Lloyd - 20/04/2018

After a very enjoyable month in Cape Town, Sofia left the Royal Cape Yacht Club marina on 15 January bound for St Helena. We were sailing in loose company with two other OCC yachts – Joyful (Jeff & Anne Posner) and Dream Catcher (Norm &Wili Facey). After a very steady and uneventful passage we arrived in St Helena 13 days later to a very warm welcome from the newly appointed port officers – James and Hannah Herne. We were delighted to present them with their port officer flag (see the separate report on the handover in the next Newsletter).

After 5 delightful days in St Helena, Sofia and Dream Catcher set off for the Caribbean while Joyful decided to stay on in St Helena for a further week. Dream Catcher planned to stop off at the Brasilian island of Fernando de Noronha while Sofia headed directly to Barbados. This was the longest passage of our circumnavigation at 3700 miles. It proved to be frustratingly slow as the trade winds rarely blew above 10 knots on either side of the doldrums. We were very glad to join Dream Catcher in Port St Charles, Barbados after 32 days!

The stopover in Barbados enabled us to order a new mainsail from the large Doyle’s sail loft there, as our current Doyle’s mainsail was showing signs of significant wear and tear. After this short stopover in Barbados we departed for Le Marin in Martinique and enjoyed a brisk sail there in perfect trade wind conditions. In so doing we crossed our outward track and so technically completed our circumnavigation! Le Marin has excellent yachting facilities and good supermarkets for provisioning, so was an ideal place to recuperate after our long passage up through the South Atlantic. We spent and enjoyable week there along with Dream Catcher. Then it was time to say farewell, as we were heading north to St Barts to join the New York Yacht Club Commodore’s cruise, while Dream Catcher planned to remain in Martinique for several weeks. We arrived in St Barts to find it crowded with superyachts as it was the final day of the Barts Bucket regatta. The cruise then took us to St Kitts and Nevis before finishing in Antigua.

We are now in Jolly Harbour marina. We have probably seen more OCC yachts here than we have encountered on the last three years of our circumnavigation! Thus far we have encountered two US OCC yachts – North Star (Shan & Ted Rice) and Ladybug (Miles & Carol Bidwell). We aim to meet as many of the remainder as possible before we leave. Our plans for the rest of 2018 are to cruise up and down the east coast of the USA and participate in the OCC Maine rally.

Photo: Celebrating our circumnavigation in Martinique

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