Pre-sail checks:

Engine oils: STBD: full PORT: full

Fuel tanks (132 gallons each): STBD 75% PORT 75%

Water tanks (92 gallons each): STBD 0% PORT 100%

Weather: checked and they are showing a bit more wind on the nose than windytv. The waves will be about 1.5m. Looking forward to a close reach to Carricacou.

EDIT: December 8th, 2016

The wind turned out to be 20° more to the North and it was simply an engine drive to Sandy Island, Carriacou. Disappointing for as a crew, from anchor up to main & jib flying and engines off we made 21 minutes. I am going to start casually timing our operations going forward.

We sailed for just a few miles of 20+ kts of wind, but then we had to turn to a heading of about 10° and that was simply square on the nose. Of course, we could have sailed on two tacks, but that was going to add between 12 and 18 nautical miles depending on how much we trade windward progress for speed. That would have put us at 7pm at Sandy Island, instead of 4pm. In the tropics, you really want to snuggle in before you lose light. With all of the reefs and rocks you generally do not want to take a chance. We could have anchored in the big harbor of Hillsborough after dark as we have done before, but all things considered, I decided to simply run the engine for the 5 hour passage. With the two Yanmar 55s at 2200 rpms we were making just 5.5 kts against a 1.5 kt current which added to the time, and while we took the seas and wind on the nose – it was super comfortable due to our new full-fly bridge enclosure:

We had a great time here in Grenada, altogether we were here for almost 10 weeks. First to find shelter from Hurricane Matthew, and then to follow-up on our boat list. The big ticket item of course was the stainless steel arch and the now total 2kW of solar.

Besides the boat work we had a great time hiking the environs around lake Etang, enjoying many many pints of Windward IPA and ciders from the West Indies Brewery, touring the spice gardens, and lots of great family time doing some great homeschool projects, ramping up our Chinese (finally!). We got so settled down we could integrate formal exercise into our days: working out with our new friends Keith and Dina of Cap II – sharing with them part of what we learned in Elite Martial Arts.

While checking out of Grenada at Port Louis I ended up chatting with the captain of Leopard 3. A tired, friendly Australian who just took first place in a race across the Atlantic, but he was really disappointed in the time at 11 days, it was 4 days longer than his best time with the boat. It is a huge, 100 foot-long boat available for charter for 50,000 a week for 8 guests or about ~ $1500 a night per person. Pretty expensive for sure, but this boat has won dozens of races and holds 5 world speed records. Truly an amazing boat, and the owner seems like a reasonable guy for a super yacht owner.

Impressive as the Leopard 3 maxi racing yacht is, it looked like a laser sailing dinghy compared to the mega-yachet Tango, owned by the Russian billionaire who made his money during the privatization boom in Russia with Aluminum and then later oil. He is the 4th wealthiest Russian with a net worth estimated at $10B, of which 1% of his wealth is owning the largest collection of Faberge Eggs in the world.

Amazing as Tango is, and all of these mega yachts are amazing – the only way I can feel positive about these displays of wealth, is to think in a post-scarcity economy of the 22nd century, these will be the common space craft of normal people. Assuming we make it that far.