Day 3 – Tuesday 11 Feb
Wake up, get up…eat…and off we go, bound for Barbuda. Captain Darren advised shortly after breakfast that we would be taking an easterly track under engine to find the optimum winds for setting sail. Lunch was taken over two sittings allowing for watch changeover…and we finally got the call to prepare for sail setting. Four squares set and four hours later we made our way very slowly into Cocoa Bay on the south-westerly tip of Barbuda. A rib crew went ahead to check depth in the bay, due to the limited chart sounding information available on board.
A beautiful position was found 0.4nm off the beach and we ate as the sun dropped into horizon behind the stern.
Day 2 – Monday 10 Feb
After a decent night’s rest, on the Monday following breakfast, the crew performed a second round of evacuation training to improve the time set on Sunday’s first attempt. Lunch was taken on board in advance of departure. Following lunch we cast off under engine to find a suitable anchor point outside Falmouth Harbour, however after two attempts to find a secure anchoir point, we motored to Windward Bay and ultimately anchored off Carlisle Bay. The rib was launched in the late afternoon to collect a delayed person to complete the the voyage crew. Dinner was taken on board in one sitting and the crew waited with eager anticipation for the voyage to begin in earnest the following morning.
Day 1 – Sunday 9 Feb
After our first night on Tenacious we were all awoken at 0720 by a ship announcement asking us to get up and ready for breakfast altogether at 0800. Some of the volunteer crew had already been woken a little earlier as they had mess duty and had to prepare the breakfast. At 0800 we gathered in the main mess area and had a filling breakfast of cereal, toast, jam and cooked food.
After ensuring we were all fed we were asked to wait in our watch teams for our daily briefing. The briefing was run by our watch leader and told us the plan for the day. As it was a training day we were going to remain berthed in Falmouth Harbour and carry out general safety training followed by an evac test to see that we could all get to our muster stations and everyone be safely put into life jackets.
The briefing was very thorough and taught us about various systems on the ship as well as sounding the general alarm so we could hear what it sounded like. We were also shown how to use the safety equipment should we need it. With that complete we carried out the evacuation test but as we were all new to it we were a bit slow on our first try. It is important to do the test in a good time so we did it again to make sure that we could do it in the proper time. With that complete it was time for lunch which we had outside on deck enjoying the Caribbean weather.
After lunch we had to decide what we wanted to do with some free time. Some people chose to go to a local beach and have swim with others going for a walk or sitting in a local café or bar before coming back to the ship and getting ready for an Antiguan tourist highlight that we were going to visit as a group. At 1600 we had a trip to Shirley Heights which is a restored military lookout about 500ft up overlooking both English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour and is a great spot to watch the sunset. Every Sunday, they have a steel band playing music as well as serving drinks and food from a BBQ so it was perfect timing.
With lots of rum and beer and great food the group felt they wanted to dance and with the steel band replaced later in the evening by a live band everyone including those in wheelchairs took to the open-air dancefloor to dance and move late into the evening.
As we made our way back we signed back into the ship and had a great nights’ rest before our next adventure.