The backward passage

For those who prefer reading in Spanish, there is an extensive article in Metello’s blog about the leg from Panama to Açores via Bermuda and another one reporting the last passage, from Açores to Lisbon. Here we will just resume the log…

In March 2019 we meet in Almirante, near Bocas del Toro (Panama) to make some repairs to L’Alliance: her diesel circuit was leaking, and she needed new anods and a new coat of antifouling. Once she was splashed, we headed to Colón with the potential buyer on board, to show him how smooth she sails. There we meet Margaret from the famous S.V. Drummer, who was stuck in Shelter Bay because of a serious engine issue. In the marina we pick up the new rigging for L’Alliance, that had been delivered there from the USA. Then we sailed directly to Portobelo and Kuna Yala, because we wanted to show the buyer the most picturesque places he could cruise with our boat. He obviously succumbed to the dream, and signed a pre-sell agreement. But we still have to deliver L’Alliance to Lisbon, to conclude the deal.

We spent a couple of weeks in Linton Bay, changing all the standing rig. None of the original wires and turnbukles was left: we wanted a safe rigging to afford the long passage ahead. As usual, we also enlisted some likeminded sailors to join us for the trip.

On April the seventh we finally set sail for a 18 days leg, mostly close reaching, heading toward Colombia first, then through the windward passage in between Cuba and Haití, then North in the middle of Bahamas islands, and finally straight to Bermuda.

Bermuda was an incredibly expensive place for a stopover, but geography put the island on our course, and we had to deal with those prices, in order to supply fresh food for the next passage. This time the galley was not loaded with luxury products as usual, and for the next two weeks we had to stretch our creativity to vary the menus on board.

On May 18 we entered the arbor in the Flores island, Azores. Lovely place, green, full of spring water, cheap, and beautiful. The best place to go farming, and becoming self sufficient while the climate apocalypse will spread the chaos among civilized nations.

After Flores we visited Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Terceira and São Miguel. In Horta we finally meet the S.V. Tres Hombres, and we really enjoyed to spend a few days with her crew.

After renewing the crew on board, L’Alliance finally set sail for a very sad passage, the last 800 miles on our dream ship, with very light winds, that made us motoring more than ever to match the delivery schedule. But even this leg had her cool moments, like when we watched a fin whale, who passed under the boat!

At the end of June 2019, the handover was done, and we move out from L’Alliance forever, after sailing her for more than 10.000 miles. Our dream ship belongs now to a Portuguese family from Lisbon. New owners will keep her name.

1 ping

  1. The End of our project – L'Alliance

    […] project was becoming unsustainable, and at the doors of the Pacific we decided to stop, and sail back to €urope. From March to June 2019, we crossed the Atlantic from Panama to Lisbon, where we sold our beloved […]

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