Looking back

Last Tuesday December 20th our captain wrote:
160 miles to go to Martinique. So this will be the last night at sea. Sometime tonight the sails will be stowed and we will drop the anchor. That will be the end of the rolling of the ship. It will be so nice if everyone could have a good night sleep again. But perhaps some will not sleep well because the ship suddenly stops moving.

240 MILE daily

There have been many ocean crossings in my life, but this was a very special one  again. We had Only at the very beginning of the crossing we had the stun sails set for 2 days. Then the wind increased and we had to take them in again. The upper top gallants have not been up for long  during this crossing and yet in 24 hours we reached 240 miles all the time. Strong trade winds from the east accompanied by rain brought us across quickly. In 14 day! Normally we start counting at Cape Verde Islands, but this year we started at the Canary Islands already which is about 700 miles extra. 


Clippers are designed for voyages like this one! With the wind abaft from abeam, the canvas taut between the yards, sailing the same course at a wind angle of about 145 degrees. All we do is wearing ship because the wind is blowing a little more south or north and often also to avoid the rain. We had light showers frequently but they were easy to avoid since they came from the same side. Occasionally we needed some water on deck to rinse off the salt: course straight ahead, wearing a rain jacket and having a broom in our hands. In the last three days we had heavier rain showers. More than once a day the wind meter shows 40 knots and more. That is keeping us on the right track, quickly having to take sails away and shortly afterwards setting them again.

Even the swell of 4 meters helps us getting to the Caribbean quickly. The Clipper rolls from port to starboard and back again. Our work and sleep rhythm is somewhat disturbed. This makes me wonder how people on small yachts deal with crossings. But everyone we talked to did okay and looked forward to the Caribbean islands. Just like we are! and we drop anchor tonight!

14°49’ N 058°31’ W

about the author

Andi Manser - Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam

Captain Andi Manser came on his bike to the Netherlands all the way from Switzerland, his country of birth. He hoped to find a job on a yacht. His job as captain on the Clipper Stad Amsterdam is a dream come true.