It’s official: we are insignificant!

When we were in Antigua, there was a boat show.    And I thought, hey, this’ll be cool.  I’ve been to a few boat shows, and usually, there’s the big and the small, the beautiful and the ugly, the sophisticated and the simple, and you always learn something.  So I was looking forward to the boat show in Antigua.

Then I found out it was a “charter” boat show.  In other words, showing off boats that are available for charter.  So I still thought.  Hey: that’ll be cool.  I imagined that it would still be like most other boat shows.  Maybe they’d even have another Lagoon 55 (Ondine) for charter.  That really would be fun.

And then the boats sailed in.

Let’s start with the Maltese Falcon.  The biggest sailing vessel in the world!  And NOT the biggest boat in the show!   It turns out that the boat show was all about super yachts of the power and sail variety.   Before I owned Ondine, the boats I had or had use of were a Beneteau 1st 31.5 ft and a Pierson 26 (ft).  Oh and dinghies.  Now Ondine is 55ft long and 30ft wide.  So she’s pretty much as wide as the biggest boat I’ve had before.  But my GOD, Ondine was puny besides these monsters.  We were absolutely the smallest vessel in the marina!

So much for having a “big boat”.

Our boat may not be as big as theirs, but she’s a catamaran, and she can move pretty well through the water.  I’m proud of the speeds she can achieve.  We can do 200 nautical miles a day if the wind is above 15 knots (that’s an average of over 8 knots, which is pretty respectable).  And we’ve done 10-12 knots for extended periods of time in 25 knots of wind.  (Multiply about about 1.2 for miles per hour).

But now I don’t think that means much either, because after Antigua, we sailed to Guadalope, and as we went into the Marina, there was another boat show of sorts: multihulls (trimarans in this case) and monohulls that had just completed the “Route du Rhum” (Rum Race) from France to Guadalope.  The winning boat had made it (3,500 miles) in 8 days.  That’s an average of 400 miles a day or 18 knots.  That is enourmously fast for a sailing boat.  It means the boats must have been travelling and over 20 knots for a significant portion of the trip.  And that is so fast that you can’t be outside or you’ll be blasted by the sea spray.  You’d have to wear goggles just to see forward.

So now I know.  We’re a modest little 4 cabin boat.  We can putter around at speeds that everyone reading this can out-run: well not on water, but you get the picture.  But hey: our cabins are nicer than the racing yachts, and we can still sail as fast as those mega-yachts, well as long as they don’t turn on their engines we can.  So I’ll take that and sail on to our next destination.

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