In addition to the elevated winds, the seas grew to around 6 feet. This is not that bad for 5KNOTS as long as the period (distance between wave tops) is fairly long. Example – A period of 3 seconds means that there is only 3 seconds between the waves which can make it rather uncomfortable instead of a period of 9 seconds. Typically, the longer the period, the smoother the ride.
We had been motor sailing for about 12 hours by this time without engine or fuel issues. That came to a stop when we came over the top of a large wave and as we bottomed out, the engine quit. Not again? The wind by this time had dropped to 8-10 knots and seas were just around 3 feet. With the mainsail reefed for larger winds, we were not able to sail more than around 3 knots. Having just gone through this on the approach to Antigua, we knew we had bad fuel so we inspected the fuel filter. We assume we were shaking up our fuel with all the wave hopping and another piece of junk must have clogged the fuel again. As I was gathering up a new filter and a container to put some diesel in to prime the filter reservoir, I decided to give the engine another chance to start. Viola, it started so I just engaged the engine enough to move us at a slow speed but towards our final destination which was about 6nm miles away. After 15 1/2 hours, we finally arrived at our anchorage at Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of St. Martin and dropped anchor in around 18 feet of water. Once secured at anchor I flushed the filter reservoir a couple of times and changed out the filter. We will see how far this one gets us.
Whenever we are out in the ocean and there is a hint of big wind or waves we always wear our life jackets. In addition, whenever it gets dark, we put on our jackets and clip ourselves into the cockpit or our Jack Lines if going on deck. The picture on the left shows our jackets with EPIRB’s (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and straps. Should we have an emergency and need to signal the Coast Guard for help, we can simple turn on our EPIRB. It sends a message to the Coast Guard indicating that we are in trouble along with our position. We have one for each of our life jackets and then a larger one for the boat. Can never overdue safety!