This is a very personal account of approximately two months, January and February 2005. During this time I sailed my boat, S/Y Thetis, together with my friend Manos Castrinakis from Puerto de Sotogrande in Spain to Martinique in the Caribbean, following the classic transatlantic trade route. This is followed with the return of Thetis to the Aegean in the summer months of 2005.
I am greatly indebted to Manos because without him this trip, my lifelong ambition, would not have been possible. But on top of that, Manos has been a great companion, capable crew, and fun to be with. Thank you Mano!
There are four legs of the Atlantic crossing:
- The first leg of the trip, about 590 nautical miles [nM], originated in Puerto de Sotogrande in Spain. I first singlehanded to Gibraltar where I was joined by Manos. We then sailed to Porto Santo, the easternmost island of the Madeira Archipelago.
- The second leg, about 300 nM, was from Porto Santo to Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria of the Canaries Archipelago. However, we were delayed for a week by a strong gale at Porto Santo. This gave us an opportunity to explore the big island of Madeira.
- The third leg, about 870 nM, started after a two day stop at Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria of the Canaries Archipelago and ended in Mindelo in the island of São Vicente of the Cape Verde Archipelago, some 300 miles W of Africa.
- The fourth leg, 2097 nM, is the actual transatlantic crossing. It started after a two day stop at Mindelo in the island of São Vicente of the Cape Verde Archipelago and ended 16 days later in Bridgetown, Barbados in the Caribbean.
- The fifth and final leg, about 160 nM in the Caribbean, started after a two day stop at Bridgetown, Barbados and ended in the Cul-de-Sac du Marin, Martinique. On the way we stopped for two days in the island of St. Lucia (Soufriere, Marigot, Rodney Bay).
Finally I describe the loading and unloading of Thetis to a Yacht transport ship that took her back from Martinique to Marmaris in Turkey. I also describe her short travels in the Aegean during the rest of the summer of 2005.