We recently posted about an English couple who chose to live the Caribbean dream on board their Elba 45. Here Captain Thomas Bez tells us about her transatlantic crossing.
Thank you so much Thomas for this feedback ⚓
"When I received the phone call from Peter of Caribbean Multihulls to deliver a brand new ⛵ Elba 45 from La Rochelle to Antigua, I was struggling between: "Is it reasonable to cross so late in the season with potential very light winds?" and taking a break in this crazy period.
I finally decided that it would be a very positive thing to leave the earth life, forget the masks and get a bowl of freedom."
"As soon as the boat got fitted with all her extras (solar panels, water maker), we organised the provisioning and started looking for a weather window. In fact, even in late spring the weather situation was like in winter time and we had to wait for a weather window allowing us to escape Biscay.
Which finally came 10 days later. It was a small window but it was one. We were a lot of boats leaving La Rochelle at the same time. The last 30NM before Cape Finistere, the wind started blowing from WSW earlier than expected and we were positively surprised how nice she was passing the swell.
On the AIS we could see a few boats which started heading towards land to get protection and calm waters but we were able to pass Cape Finistere and avoided being stuck in a harbour.
Heading south we could finally really set sails for the first time and... What a nice surprise! We were doing 8-9 knots with 15 kts of wind, sailing downwind. That made the crew happy and was promising for the crossing.
? We reached Las Palmas in less than 9 days."
"Time to get some fresh food, check the boat from top of the mast to the bottom, organize some extra fuel and then... Time for the big jump west, towards the sunsets. As often between the Canary islands we had a strong N to NE wind, pushing us with nice surfs at 13 kts, the record being 17,6 kts.
Once off the islands we could enjoy the easy and fast sailing of the boat. Genoa on one side, mainsail on the other we were just gliding West. 3-4 times we used the gennaker but we mostly sailed genoa and main, maintaining our average speed just under 7 kts with only 15-18 kts of tradewinds."
"Everyday we were enjoying the large Elba flybridge for a little sundowner, the large cockpit table to have lunch and dinner, protected from the wind by the cockpit tent. Very nice meals were prepared in the large kitchen.
And finally, after only 17 days we arrived in Antigua. Being the only boat moored in English Harbour was a strange feeling but made the transition back to "real" life easier.
That was one of my fastest crossing ⏭ and definitely the one with the less engine hours!
Thank you Peter again for your confidence and fair winds to her lucky owner."