This time last year was quite a different story. Mia was back in Sweden still, and I was reeling from the failure of our first two legs of 2016. We were meant to go from BVI-Grenada on Leg 1, only to make it halfway there (in similar, rough & windy conditions) when the roller-furler jammed and failed, forcing us to turn back. Then the mainsail split down the middle from luff to leech on the way back. We limped back to Tortola were we’d come from two days earlier, my pride wounded and the boat in need of repair.
Andy and I arrived back to Isbjorn and the BVI on Feb. 1st, a long day of travel from Sweden, via London and Puerto Rico. It was a long day, but probably one of the smoothest travel days I can remember and we arrived to Nanny Cay where we had the boat around 8pm. Andy cooked up a simple dinner of rice and beans and I crashed straight after. We spent a full day there, provisioning the boat and getting her ready for sailing.
We got underway around 1500, starting with just one reef in the mainsail and the small genoa. The forecast held true - easier trades closer to 15 knots, backing to the ENE as we neared Antigua and lifting us closer to the mark the whole way. The moon was one day from being full, so we had a spectacular night at sea, the best possible conditions you could hope for on an upwind sail - enough breeze to keep us sailing fast, but easy enough swells to keep the cockpit dry and a moon bright enough to read by.
Crew arrived next day. Mia & I had some last minute projects left to do on the boat, and didn’t want to go ashore to meet the gang until it was done. Our planned noon rendezvous turned into 1pm, and left our crew member Kevin on a wild goose chase! In the end, Kevin found Tom, and we found the both of them at the Loose Mongoose on the beach in Trellis as soon as we landed in the dinghy. Vlado and Irena turned up shortly thereafter and we started the shuttle service out Isbjorn.
Mia & I decided early on that we’d extend our time in Sweden - off the boat - right to the bitter end. We knew it’d make it slightly more stressful when we finally did return to Isbjorn, having allowed ourselves only two days to get the boat all setup before crew arrived. And that was if our long flights went to plan (they did). In the end it was worth it, but (almost) everything went smoothly.
In the end of December, Andy and I celebrated 10 years from when we met in New Zealand. Over a beer (or two) we reminisced about the past year and started sharing our favorite stories. It truly has been a blast, with lots of sailing and traveling. We have visited some old favorite spots and discovered new 'need to visit again' places.
Today is kind of a big day in my life as a ‘sailor’, although I am very far away from the sailing scene at the moment. Ten years ago, I spent some time in New Zealand with my best friend Johanna, driving our new to us backpacker car – a Nissan Bluebird – exploring the beauty of New Zealand, camping, hiking, meeting lots of fun people and truly having the time of our life.
Mia & I get a lot of cool stuff in our email as members of both the Classic Swan Owners Association (for S&S-designed Swans), and the general Swan Owner's Association for all. I got this neat video from the recent Palma Cup today. Very cool to be a part of such a historic brand! Some nice footage of some 48's in here too, like Isbjorn.