Sunday, March 10, 2019


We were sailing from Jolly Harbour on the West Coast of Antigua to Barbuda. The anchor weighed at daybreak. At first the wind was gentle but 8AM - like every morning - the tradewinds came on full force. MYLADY glided along. The ride was smooth. Maybe due to the Antigua shelve more prominent to our east, the seas were not as high and rough as during our trip from Guadeloupe to Antigua.
10AM our comrades under sail in their twice our MYLADY size, raced passed us.
All in all one could classify it as a bluewater cruising day.
10:30AM "Whales!" roared skipper, "Whales!"
I grabbed the camera and made my way to the cockpit.
"WHALES!" skipper screamed.
Catching a glimpse of the backfin of the humongous 'diveboat' infront of us, I was shocked to realize the distance of almost nothing between us.
Panic-control kicked in. Skipper vigorously disengaged the windvane-clutch off the steeringwheel and abruptly swung MYLADY to starboard whilst muttering under his breath.
Hastily I turned to port with my camera. Arms-length from the boat, the water was light turquoise where one whale had just submersed. The other had its dark pancake 'footprint' as it leveled the surface, next to number one. They became unidentifiable in the lively water. In the wake of MYLADY, two boat-lengths away, first one, then the second spout raised into the air and they became one with the ocean.
With relief and amazement and annoyance that once again MYLADY was picked out for an encounter, skipper corrected MYLADY's course and windvane-self-steering.
Naturally, I could not get a proper photo. We were instantly reminded of an event in Tonga where a playing whale came blowing bubbles under MYLADY. The water was the same light shades of turquoise. It was scary. As was this.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Big Lift

When the Big-Lift ship came into the harbour of Port-a-Pitre, Eelco was a continuous commentator. On deck the Big-Lift had a shore container crane as freight. How big and strong were the deck-cranes. How the chief officer remote control the cranes. What preparations on the ship to prepare for the off-loading of the cargo. What preparations on shore to receive this immense crane. How the ship is taking in more ballast to lower its deck to shore level for a smoother transfer. And what is the differences with the submersible ships he worked on previously.
Apart from learning something of the countries and people we visit, and learning something sometimes of the sport of sailing, I also get to learn something about ships and freight and...
What an interesting life I actually have.