We navigated to Bermuda without GPS and just with a sextant and Celestial Navigation!

We navigated to Bermuda without GPS and just with a sextant and Celestial Navigation!

The start of a bigger adventure! Many times this year, we have started our trip in the BVI but every time we have come back after exploring the southern parts of the Caribbean. This time we left the BVI knowing we won't be back from may years! Back in the Caribbean on 2019, but maybe not the BVI, a bit hard to wrap our heads around since this been our 'base' for a while!

Our crew, Tom & Cheryl, Mike and Thane, joined us a few days before the planned start in Nanny Cay marina on Tortola a few days before the start. The bigger mission for the trip was to navigate to Bermuda with just a sextant and Celestial Navigation. Crew needed to get up to speed with the calculations and we managed to escape the marina heat for two days and made camp in one of the air conditioned boardrooms. Since we took part in the ARC Europe rally, there were lots of happy hours in the evenings, safety demonstrations and flare demo for crew to take part in before departure.

We left the BVI in a great breeze, sailed around the left side of Tortola and pointed the bow north. We got out the sextant the following day and started plotting our position and got out fixes on the plotting sheet and chart. There was some added challenges with cloudy sky but as soon as the sun peaked through, I could hear from my bunk 'quick get the sextant'! :) Navigating via Celestial was a fun challenge for us and the crew, even more fun and exciting than I think we all expected beforehand! 

The trip itself had some mixed weather, nothing heavy but a few rain squalls and calms in between. The biggest challenge was actually on anchor just as we dropped the hook in Powder Hole in St. George's Harbor. The wind picked up to +40kt and boats all around us was dragging anchor. We had crew up at the bow ready to cut the anchor lore in case of a close call! 

2017 Leg 5: BVI to Bermuda