March 12, 2013-Finding Falmouth
Superyacht "A" in Falmouth Harbor.
It is unusual weather in Antigua when the north wind blows and the northwest swell rolls in and the normally calm lee side becomes as angry as Neptune can make it short of a hurricane.
Under these conditions we departed Jolly Harbor bound for Falmouth and as we left the inner harbor we found the outer harbor empty except for a few diehards in denial who hung on and rolled to their beam ends while the swells rose up at random over the flats and crashed over the leading marks.
This was no place to be in a north wind and big swell.
The safety lies in blue water and we sheeted in and held our westing ‘till the last of the breakers were behind us before we turned south towards Falmouth. Once we got away from the flats of the west side things got better; it turned into a nice sail.
Outside of the reefs off of Johnson’s Point we picked up the “On Deck” sail training fleet in their way home and we raced with them until they peeled off for Carlisle Bay.
wingssail images-judy jensen
Fred Steers to Falmouth Harbor.
One stayed out heading further east and I worked on him for a couple of miles up the coast. That was the best part of the day’s sail, when I was matching my helming skill and our boat speed against that other, unknown, guy. I had my total concentration on the two boats, on the wind, the waves, and on trying to eke out a few feet whenever I could, until when it was time for us to peel off for Falmouth Harbor, and by that time I had him beaten and it felt good.
With the wind in the north Deep Bay looked inviting and we turned in and dropped the hook in eighteen feet of water the lee of Brake Island. Up to the east the crowd of Falmouth seemed intimidating to us; who needs to anchor with 200 other boats?
Later I sat out in the cockpit drinking red wine and listening to the Who’s Quadrophenia while Judy played one handed scrabble and I watched some late arrivals come in. First a schooner tacked in and dropped anchor under sail the then a tall sloop with four sets of spreader lights dropped their hook right in the entrance.
Tomorrow, if you believe the forecasters, the wind will shift back to the east, and we’ll have to move up into the harbor.
We’ve come a long way in the last few years. Once upon a time we were immersed in China. I read a story today, “Nothing Good Comes from a Dead-Pig Tide” and in some ways I’m glad that China is a long way behind us. I‘m glad we’ve found Falmouth.
Click here for more photos from our trip to Falmouth.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Falmouth Harbor