A stopover in Marathon, FL gave us a first glimpse of severe damage from this devastating hurricane season. The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma just before Maria made her way through the Caribbean. Marathon is the home port of S/V Relentless and it was a very bittersweet homecoming from our travels of the previous six months. While in town to make a few repairs and pick up some last-minute gear, we were fortunate enough to be able to participate in 2 harbor cleanup days sponsored by The Boat Galley and Water World Inc.

After leaving Marathon, the prevailing winds dictated our route across the Straits of Florida and southeast down the Old Bahama Channel to Great Inagua in the far south of the Bahamas.

This time of year, the trade winds down here are strong and blow from the east., forcing sailors to earn every windward mile. After 5 days and 550 Nautical Miles beating against the wind, we arrived at Great Inagua wet and exhausted. We welcomed this southernmost Bahamian island as a literal oasis after the rough passage. Inagua is fairly remote and off-the-beaten-path, lying nearly centered north-to-south between Haiti and the Turks and Caicos.  We anchored for a few days to rest, make some minor repairs, and wait for the winds to be favorable for the next passage southeast. We are grateful for the hospitality of all the folks we met in Mathew Town, the island’s only settlement, and hope to visit Great Inagua again in the future.

Today, Relentless set sail for Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, some 400 nautical miles southeast. For safety, our backup plan is to put into port in the Dominican Republic if necessary.

The Cargo HoldSail Relief Team - Relentless - Cargo Hold

The boat is loaded to the limit, but she’s handling it just fine so far in the big seas and high winds we’ve encountered. The entire dining area has been converted into stowage and secured with nylon netting to keep the cargo in place.

The crew is definitely looking forward to unloading supplies and equipment to the folks who need it. (and we won’t mind getting back a third of our living space 😉

Finally, we’re proud to announce that our project has been granted official fiscal sponsorship by the Burning Man Organization! We’ve updated the donation link on our website and all donations to Sail Relief Team are now tax-deductible.

On the Horizon…

Our upcoming projects and goals for the next week:

  • Depart Great Inagua December 9.
  • Passage to Hispanola with possible stop in the Dominican Republic
  • Arrive in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico by December 16

Thank you to all our supporters!

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