Lat: 11 20.401′ N
Lon: 55 03.851′ W

We’re reading books, playing cards, talking, reading up on the Caribbean, and enjoying afternoon beers, but the big question on board for the last few days has been “Friday or Saturday?” for our arrival day in Barbados. We’re both hoping for Friday, both for the end to the passage and for the extra weekend night ashore. As long as the wind and current stay with us, we should make it.

The last couple of days have brought us much improved conditions and speeds. We finally broke out of the counter-current at about 9.5 degrees north and picked up a favorable current instead. At the same time, the seas have moved aft to the quarter or stern for the most part, and for the first time since we left Brazil, over 2 weeks ago, we have actually had pleasant sailing. The apparent wind is still fairly fresh and near the beam and the result is that with the jib and double-reefed main, we’ve tallied up 312 nm in two days. That leaves us with about 300 nm to go.

The other day one of our friends just completed his solo circumnavigation by reaching the Caribbean and is now sailing across the Caribbean Sea back towards the US. His comment on the radio was that for the first time in several years he’s no longer sailing a course toward a new, exciting, and unknown destination. He definitely sounded a little bummed. We still have the Caribbean to explore briefly before dealing with the same experience, but we’re already starting to think about life back on land and finding ourselves with the same mixed emotions. While it will be nice to have things like US-standard conveniences and consumer opportunities, an income, proximity to friends and family, and freedom from boat maintenance, we’re definitely going to miss the challenges, adventure, and experiences that we’ve become accustomed to for the last couple of years. For the first time in several years, our planning is starting to include things like jobs, apartments, life without a boat, etc. It’s all a little surreal. Not as surreal as finally leaving Florida, but strange nonetheless. For now, though, we have a couple more months to soak it all in before our next port of call is a familiar one.