Cheating Time

We are regularly cheating on Bonaire now. It was going to happen. We did the same with Barbados. I’m not proud of it – though in my experience, it’s how you leave a place. First you have to look forward to leaving. The alternative sucks: to leave when you don’t want to go.

It helps with this strict lockdown. There’s not much to do right now. Also the weather is set to start calming. Today opens the first weather window to head north for some time – since before Christmas.

Seems a fair amount of time. Still, wind in the Caribbean is a good thing overall. The trade winds which blow from Africa across the whole of the Atlantic at this latitude make life much more tolerable. Otherwise it is hot here! And I like hot.

The winter months in the Caribbean is blessed with wind. Being on land, you’re loving this breeze. Palm trees sway and your skin is relieved by the cool of it. Out at sea, it can be a bit different. It can be wild.

For much of the winter, the wind in the Caribbean has a lot of north in it. It tacks onto the east and makes the direction of the wind an ENE, a NE or even a NNE. This is perfect if you’re heading south and west, but going into it – north and eastwards can be hard. To cross the Atlantic back to Europe you have to do exactly this. This means you have to wait until the winds become lighter, and lose some north.

Does this definitely happen? Yes. We’ve seen it. It starts about now. There is a window of change where the wind lightens and turns. At the same time, it does this too without you needing to worry about hurricanes. Hurricane season – where the wind becomes very light, even windless, doesn’t begin until June.

This means April and May is typically a great time to sail anywhere in the Caribbean. It is like Indian summer at home. Winter might be coming, but the days just before it does are the most glorious. Same here.

We are starting to feel this window on Quest; this approach to the good sailing times. We are starting to imagine our crossing – and to look forward to it. We may move the speed of a mobility scooter for a number of thousands of miles – but they will be good miles. And oh my goodness, we will be moving!

Just the motion will be amazing. Like we’ve been let out of prison. Not exactly real prison, but the lockdown kind. And the weather kind. And the ‘we need to get home’ kind. Every mile we sail will be a mile closer. Of course, we may return back and feel itchy feet after a little while – another travelling side effect – but I don’t care. Let them get back first. Then they can itch away.

So yeah, we love Bonaire but we are cheating on her. We are cheating on her hard.

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