We postponed our departure from Curacao to Haiti several times...
The first reason was a leak in the water pump of one engine. Dieter bought a new seal and had to travel through half of the town in the heat and without a car. We gave back our rented car and so Dieter took the bus and then walked to the shop. Luckily the second shop had the seal in storage! We renewed the seal and after a test run it didn’t leak again. We wanted to go out the next day because the weather forecast looked fine for the next four days with the wind. Checking the wind again the next morning we decided not to go out because a strong wind area was passing the ABC islands. That was reason 2 for the postponing. Then we thought we take it easy and relax because the next four days the weather forecast showed too much wind with a higher wave. Finally we went out on Friday 29th November.
We calculated four days to get to Haiti. We didn’t want to sail directly to Cuba because it would have meant 7-8 days for Dieter to be on the water. Therefore we decided to make a short break on the island „Íle a vache“ which belongs to Haiti. From there to Cuba (Cienfuegos) it would take us also four days.
The weather forecast of „windy“ predicted always a little less wind and wave. On the first day we had 13-15 knots of wind which was OK. The next day the wind became stronger to 18 knots and in the night to 20 knots which lasted until our fourth day. The wave should be 1,5 metres high but was most of the time 3 metres. This let us feel the days of the Bay of Biscay once again. Our whitebird was shaking and rolling over the waves which she did really good but for us it was a bit too much, especially for Dieter!
On the second day we had a „small“ happening in the morning which could have been much worse. Claudi brought Rocky his bowl with food on the deck. Suram likes to stay inside of the boat while Rocky is the tough guy who watches the waves eye to eye. While putting the food down Claudi realized that the boom with the main sail was moving to the side. She grabed the rope that connects the boom with the traveller. Luckily Dieter always sets a second rope to secure the boom so that it cannot move to the side without control. Claudi yelled after Dieter who quickly appeared from the saloon. What happened was that a shackle was broken that connects the jeer to the traveller. While Claudi was holding the jeer of the boom (which was quite heavy) Dieter looked for a new shackle. Luckily we had one of the same size! The second luck was that the wind was not so strong at that time and the waves were not so high. We could fix everything again and knew that our guardian angel was with us!
The next day Charly prepared her message in a bottle. She had written and drawn her wish list for Santa Claus.
On the fourth day in the early morning we were already close to Haiti. We were astonished that the sun didn’t appear around 6 in the morning. Then we found out that Haiti was one hour earlier than Curacao which explained the „later“ sunrise 😉
When we turned into the bay of the island „Île a vache“ a lot of small woodden boats, some with a sail, passed us. They were fishing boats and looked very traditionally built. It was a nice peaceful atmosphere and we were relieved that we arrived here safely.