Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Westerly Tale

Our buddies Kathy and Jeremy have circumnavigated in their boat, Sal Darago, a 36 foot Westerly.  It is what they call a bilge keeled boat, it has two keels and can sit and balance on them when the large tides they have in England recede and leave a boat stranded in too little water.  Apparently, these boats were not made to circumnavigate and people are amazed that they have accomplished the feat.  Barry has never got over the fact that this bilge keeled Westerly beat us when we sailed from Walvis Bay, Namibia to St. Helena. For one thing it is only 36 feet and we are 39.6 feet so given to our waterline length we do have a faster theoretical hull speed so we should have got to St. Helena ahead of them.  Hmmm, well I think we were just outsailed, but.......
We met another British couple in Mindelo and guess what they were sailing, a bilge keeled Westerly, it is only 32 feet. The boat left the day before we did, they are also headed for the Barbados, and ever since we have had our eyes peeled to see if we can spot it. According to my calculations if we sailed a knot faster than them we should have passed them on Day 5, if we only sailed a half a knot faster we should have passed them on Day 10. Barry has visions of them rounding the last corner into Bridgetown, Barbados as we appear on the horizon. He is driven to distraction wondering where they are. We know there are at least two other boats out there but we have not seen anyone, it is a big ocean. One time Barry was snoozing when I came up from down below and I said "There's the Westerly ". That woke him up in a hurry. I do rather hope that 32 foot boat is not sitting merrily at anchor flaunting her bilge keels at us as we drop the hook.  We have only 101.5 miles to wait to find out!