We left early Thursday morning heading toward Mayaguana.  We had wind on the nose, as usual, so we couldn’t sail.  We were going to have to do what Dan really didn’t want to do, and that was motor for about 30 plus hours.  To cut down on the stress on the engines, we would alternate shutting each one down for a few hours during the overnight passage.  Actually when we left, I wasn’t prepared for us to do an overnight. We were going to try it but if it felt bad, we would try to bailout at another island.  When we got out there the swells were 6 to 7 feet, about 9 seconds apart, so not too bad, though Tristan started feeling bad right away.  I gave him and Tessa some motion sickness medicine.  I hate to give it to them as it makes them very tired and they end up sleeping most of the day.   We saw one cargo ship early on and that was the only boat we saw during the day.  The weather was good early on, but later the storms started showing up on the radar.  Dan did a great job of watching the radar and skirting around them.  As we passed Samana they increased.

   About 9:00 there was lightening all around us.  The kids were in the cockpit as it was hot inside the boat.  Tristan didn’t like the lightening.  It didn’t seem to bother Tessa. (nothing seems to bother her!)  I decided this would be a great time to take their minds off the storm with a movie.  Luckily we have portable DVD players and we huddled up with the lightening flashing around us and watched “The Mummy Returns” for about the 10th time.  I only lasted the first 30 minutes then I lay down to sleep before my watch.  Since it was so rough, we decided we would sleep in the cockpit.  We all had our harnesses on.  When I woke up, about 11:00 pm, I had the strangest sensation of someone else being on the boat with us.  It was very weird.   As I tried to clear my head, I saw a big cargo ship passing close to us on our starboard side.  I asked Dan if the boat had seen us, and Dan said he had called him on the radio and the captain knew we were there.  He could have given us a wider berth.  The kids were asleep.  I had the 11:00pm to 3am shift.   Dan had done a great job of watching the radar and maneuvering us away from the storms.  The seas were still high, but the radar looked clear as I took over.  On all sides of us, the moon was hidden by clouds, but right above the top of the mast was clear skies filled with hundreds of stars.  It was so beautiful.I wasn’t sure how I would feel about an overnight passage.  We had some night sailing as we crossed the gulf, but this was true overnight.  I loved it.The storms, the waves, the energy was just incredible. I loved feeling that I had the ocean to myself for miles.  In the wake of the boat I could see sparks, like little sparkling diamonds in the water.  It is really the bioluminescence churned up by the boat in the water and it is a great reward for having watch on a night passage.  

Halfway through my watch another storm showed up on the radar.  I just squeaked by having it pass us within a half mile.  The wind picked up, but no rain.  Just as it slid past us and I was breathing a sigh of relief, the wind changed direction and was pushing the storm back toward us.  Luckily it missed us the second time too.  Dan woke up about 3:15 and took over while I went back to sleep.  When I woke up again, I had the same sensation of someone else being on the boat.  It is hard to explain but I could just feel someone else there.  The kids were still sound asleep.  I got to see a beautiful sunrise on my 6:00 am to 9:00 am watch.  I am more of a night person and very rarely see the sunrise so this was a treat.  It was a pretty red sky that morning so I was prepared for more storms that day.  Dan took over at 9:00 am and the kids were still sleeping.  Two boats showed up on our radar, one was a large cargo ship that passed in front of us.  We hit our last storm that afternoon as we were headed into Mayaguana. Dan was again able to maneuver us around it.  I love having the radar.  I cannot imagine trying to sail in storms without it. 

On the charts Abrams Bay is a minefield of coral heads.  I had to be up front on watch again as we dodged coral for about an hour.  We were rewarded though with a beautiful anchorage all to ourselves, and about 6 feet of crystal clear water beneath the keels. 

We were exhausted, but the Tessa and I couldn’t wait to get into the water.  Within moments she was diving for sand dollars.  We had a light dinner and were in bed early that night.