We sailed from Jolly Harbour, Antigua to Portsmouth, Dominica to give the sails a good try out and get our sea legs back. The southwest winds had us tacking and trying to stay, unsuccessfully on our rhumb line. Winds varied from total calms to 35 knot katabatic winds off the mountains of Guadaloupe.
We had a tacking comparison to a conventional cutter rig and were able to outpoint in 20 knots of wind. Not bad for a junk rig. We're totally satisfied with the new sails and look forward to getting some more long distance sailing in. We are planning to head back to Nova Scotia in the spring to do some alterations to Easy Go.
Dominica, where we last visited in 2008, is still our favourite hangout in this part of the Caribbean. Relatively prosperous, laid back and minimal dependence on tourism create the type of social climate we prefer. Known as the "Nature Island" a great deal of food is produced and exported to other islands.
We're planning a long stay here to allow us to do some hiking in the mountains and visit some of the areas with volcanic activity.
We had the good fortune to meet up with Al and Michelle on Easy Listening from Lunenburg Nova Scotia and see the sailing ship Sorlandet with students from Class Afloat, also from Lunenburg while we were all at anchor in this idealic anchorage.