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Mar 2015

28 March 2015; Caribbean Sea.

Today we sailed on a slightly NNW course towards the Windward Passage the gap between Cuba and Haiti on Hispaniola. This means that during this course we sailed south along the East side of Hispaniola and then north on the West side. A sort of circumnavigation of the island with a very wide turn. The area under Hispaniola now looks again as it used to, very windy, but not too much swell as the angle of the Trade Wind is half over the island and that reduces the free wind surface needed  to whip up the waves in height. This was a thing I used to my advantage during my first year as Captain on the old Noordam. Learning how to use this to my advantage. No open water around, no swell or waves rolling in. Being used to not being able to operate a tender service in ports when the winds were stronger than force 5 or 6 because of the generated swell causing too much chop at the tender platform. Then I came to Greece. Here the Etesian winds from the North can easily blow 35 to 45 knots at times and I found out if I anchored close enough to the shore then the wind might be ferocious but there was not enough distance for the waves to build up. At the same time that strong wind would keep the ship away from drifting onto the shore. The best example was Pythagorion on the island of Samos. When I arrived it was blowing a severe gale but coming closer to the breakwater of the port the flatter the water went. In the end I dropped two anchors about half a ships length from the breakwater and ran a perfect tender service for the day. The tenders docked straight onto the little boulevard with rows and rows of Taverna’s right across the street. Tendering during a full gale and the guests really did not notice it. We stayed until 11 pm. and while normally Guests all return for dinner on board, that evening we had a really hard […]

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