Back in St Maarten after an exhausting ride

The last photo and blog post might have given a false picture of how our day at sea was as the passage between Antigua and St Maarten was nothing close to blue and harmonic. At least not after leaving the coast of Antigua behind. There has been a storm in the Atlantic which had left its remainings over the Northern Caribbean. Usually it takes us around 22-26 hours sailing this distance of 100 nautical miles due to often very irregular conditions, this time we spent not more than 16 hours to get from harbor to harbor. 25 knots of wind from the NE quickly speeded up to 30 with gusts up to 35. All. Night. Long. Due to the large swell that had built up, which we got straight on the beam, we opted for manual steering instead of overloading the autopilot so needless to say, there were barely no sleep on the whole 16 hours. Squalls, large swell on the beam and heavy winds = not the most comfortable passage but glad it went quickly at least and our Caos performed as a star with an average speed of 6,8 knots, with a max speed of 12 knots(!). Always funny to get back to safe harbor after a ride like that, almost surreal how the world looks so different from those two angles. The stormy and unforgiving sea and the somewhat calm and comforting anchorage. You are rarely as close to real danger and catastrophe as you are on the sea in heavy weather but that's something you seem to forget quickly after each and every time you've got yourself back on land.