Before long though, our thoughts drifted to moving south as our 2017 season was shortened by planned events at home and the unexpected repairs to our Angel. All part of cruising, and we take it as it comes. We decided to sail straight back to Antigua, reluctantly abandoning our plans to sail further south to meet up with our good friends Gary and Patti on Native Dancer. They’d had a year of major repairs as well with installation of a new rudder at the start of the season and problems with their shaft and cutless bearing system later in the year, the second failure occurring mid-season and requiring an emergency haul-out in Martinique. This change in our plans would place us in Antigua for the 30th Anniversary of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.
On the morning of April 15th we cleared out of St Maarten passing through the 08:30 bridge and sailed south-east for an overnight stay at Isle Forchu, a small island just a few miles away where we relaxed for the day, went to bed early, and rose earlier still for an O Dark Thirty departure to Antigua.
Our trip was uneventful, and we were able to sail about sixty percent of the distance with good speed, but shortly after noon, the wind came on the nose and dropped off to about 10 knots. We could no longer hold a direct course to our destination, and called on Perky to get us home. No drama this time; smooth running, and we arrived to anchor just as full dark was closing down on us.