With only 180 miles to go, the crew hope to be in St Lucia tomorrow night

We have only 180 miles to go now, so with some luck we should be in St. Lucia tomorrow evening.

We had a very busy night. We’ve been through a number of squalls the last few days and they all followed the same pattern. They approached from the east or north east. You could see them in the radar screen or if the night was clear, you could see the black clouds. As the squall reached the boat, the wind usually increased from the same direction, and never more than 30 knots {except that first squall where it reached 51 knots}. Then it usually rained for a while and eventually, when the squall passed over the boat, it stopped raining and the wind reverted to the usual trade wind of 15 – 18 knots. The whole thing never lasted more than 20 to 30 minutes.

Last night, there was this massive black cloud in front of us. As the boat reached the cloud, wind dropped to only 5 knots, from the south west. It was my watch, and I furled the gib as fast as possible, since it looked as if something was going to happen. Eventually, it started to rain heavily, and the wind increased to 30 to 35 knots with gusts reaching 45 knots from the south. We reduced the main and with the engine on, managed 7 knots. The storm lasted for hours, and it looked massive in our radar screen. Eventually it died down, and the wind settled from the north for a few hours so we sailed. Finally, the trade winds were back.

We think this is a cold front, that we saw on the weather fax, though it showed further north, coming from Cuba. In any case, it looked very different from the usual squalls we’ve been getting.

Tonight should be our last night at sea. Let’s hope it is a quite one!