Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Twister arrived Scarborough, Tobago around midnight March 31/April 1st.

At this point I am more than a little tempted to take a hard left and head for The Panama Canal.  From here to San Diego is around 4000 miles by sea—not much more than a hop, skip, and a jump (if it were possible to sail the direct route;  Panama to San Diego is likely to be mostly upwind, so the total distance sailed would be more)—and would complete a circumnavigation.  

From Fernando De Noronha I decided to head north of the direct course to Tobago because I wanted to have a better wind angle (more on the beam as opposed to downwind) while still in the last of the southeast trades and to avoid being close-hauled on the northeast trades. The doldrums, by the way, could be said to have been nonexistent. I was never becalmed, and had only one sub-100 mile day (93 miles).  
In the end, my plan was not a good one.  I think the direct route would’ve been considerably faster--definitely shorter, and the current more favorable. I did not enjoy much favorable current, and the winds on the N side of the doldrums were too far astern to use the mainsail for most of the way. I guess old Joshua Slocum knew what he was doing (he sailed this way about 118 years ago) when he sailed (from Ascension) south of Fernando De Noronha and hugged the South American coast on his way to The Caribbean. 
passage time:  16 days
Distance:  Ca 1900 nm (great circle route)
Average daily run: 119 nm (ave speed, 4.94 knots)

Lots of flying fish—I think I could’ve subsisted on only the flying fish I cleared off the deck every morning. Aside from that, a nighttime visit from some dolphins amongst various luminescent creatures was one of the highlights. Very little shipping.

Around 2355 GMT on Monday March 18 Twister returned to the Northern Hemisphere after an absence of almost two years. I was awake for this crossing (I slept as we sailed into the Southern Hemisphere two years ago), but it was getting late to have a party. Ca 23 hours earlier, we passed the sun on its northward journey to The Tropic Of Cancer. 


  1. Do not tempt us needlessly by toying with a SD visit. That would be just huge. I would certainly be on the docks awaiting your arrival.
    Glad to hear the journey was safe, albeit long.
    Sierra's in Aug, Zion in Oct., by the way...

  2. Hey! This is Hilary from the catamaran Arctracer. We met in St. Helena and we're now anchored close to you in Tobago. Paddle on over & have a drink if/when you have a chance...

  3. Welcome back to this half of the world!