Trip Update – Day 8 – Eric von Aschwege
After three windy rocking and rolling nights in Ladder Bay at Saba, the Delta fleet was ready to move on to a new destination. With Saba’s charms still fresh in our minds, we dropped our moorings and headed towards the Dutch island of St. Eustatius, or Statia as it is known as locally. Statia lies approximately 15 miles directly upwind of Saba. On most days it is easy to see the dormant volcano called “The Quill” towering over the otherwise flat lands of Statia, but today was quite hazy and overcast.
For the first part of our passage we steered by compass alone, splitting the bearing of 144 degrees between our upwind tacks. John steered Patricia J. out and away from Saba, and practiced holding as straight a course as possible in the varying winds and heavy waves. On board Arwen, Lucy took the boat off the mooring, and then let Grace practice her steering while underway. About 4 miles out from Saba both boats were caught in a small rain squall that helped to cool us off and test our sail furling speed. No sooner had we furled our sails than the sky was clearing and we continued on our way.
During the long upwind sail, we played music and sang along in the cockpit, and learned some new hit Country songs from Suzanna’s playlists. As we approached Statia, we again dropped our sails in anticipation of another squall. Arwen was spared, but Patricia J. motored head into the wind and rain, which only lasted a short 5 minutes. We motored past the giant oil tankers moored outside Statia’s industrial area, and then picked up a mooring in Oranjestaad, the capital of Statia. Helena helped Rob tie the secondary line on Patricia J., and then everyone showered before cooking pesto pasta for dinner. It is a bit rainy this evening, but should hopefully clear out in time for tomorrow’s hike into The Quill, now a tropical forest!