Saturday, March 01, 2008

Trinidad to Fort Lauderdale

Finally after fitting new rudders, autopilot and a new Harken Furler, Amazing Grace was ready. Clearing immigration, customs and taking diesel we left Saturday 16/02. The diesel price in Trinidad is R1.80lt.
Our first two days went well and we averaged 200 miles per day. The route we sailed took us direct from Trinidad to the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the DR. From there we sailed all along the coast to Haiti and the southern tip of Cuba. To sail in the old Bahama passage between Cuba and the Grand Banks were a great experience.
The US Coastguard visited us by helicopter when we were at the tip of Cuba, ask a lot of questions and 2 hours later we were boarded and they searched the boat and checked all the safety equipment. Amazing Grace is a registered American vessel and this gives them the right to check on the safety equipment on board. We were given a clean bill and they left after an hour.
All in all we had very good sailing conditions and we sailed the 1600 miles to Fort Lauderdale in 9 days. The last two days approaching Fort Lauderdale we had to motor on one engine and very little diesel as the fuel in the starboard tank was contaminated with seawater due to the placement of the breather.
It was a welcome site to see our final destination and a relief not to do watches. We anchored at the Las Olas City marina the first night and moved the boat to Cooleys Marina in Down Town Fort Lauderdale on the new river the next morning.
It was time for me to return to Trinidad. I booked a ticket for Wednesday morning leaving Hollywood Fort Lauderdale at 6.15am. Took the taxi at 3 in the morning and on getting to the airport was told that my booking was for Thursday the same time, this after getting an email confirmation from the travel agent for Wednesday. I returned to the boat and John was very surprised to find me drinking coffee when he woke.
Thursday morning the same procedure and we left on time for Puerto Rico. The flight arrived at 8 and I had to wait all day for the connecting flight to Trinidad at 5 the afternoon. Arrived at 8, took a taxi to Power Boats and had a good sleep on Mila.
That’s all for now

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