Song of the Whale - Queen’s Ransom’s Transatlantic crossing in support of whales
Queen’s Ransom III is a Najad 520 from Gosport, UK, crossing the Atlantic in 2009
arrival: port: departure:
 Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Espagna 29/11/2009
05/12/2009 Mindelo, São Vicente, Arquipélago de Cabo Verde 06/12/2009
20/12/2009 Bridgetown, Barbados 21/12/2009
22/12/2009 St. George's, Grenada 
crew: Ulric Almqvist (S), Peter Hjelt (GB), Hans Piest (NL) 
these webpages are modified versions of the corresponding pages of Queen's Ransom III's original BLOG
found at:
Almost a helicopter in the rigging
12/21/2009, Bridgetown, Barbados

Princess Ransom, Queen's Ransom's dinghy, providing transportation to and from the beach (Hans)

We re-anchored at five in the morning in the traditional Barbadian anchorage Carlisle Bay after realising that we the first time managed to choose a spot where there was a wreck in between Queen's Ransom and her anchor. This is the only natural harbour of Barbados and has historically been the given first port of call after a transatlantic crossing. We took Princess Ransom ashore and left her by the jetty on the beach of the "Boatyard", which is not a boat yard at all, but a restaurant, bar and beach hut. The enormously Caribbean feeling immediately hit us when we reached land; sandy beach, heat, Caribbean culture, swell, music... Carlisle Bay is prettier than we thought; white sand, low buildings except the monstrous Hilton Hotel at one extremity. We thought that the proximity to a city of 100,000 people would diminish its attractiveness. There is some dereliction, but in my opinion in a charming way. The first priority was finding out about customs, get a WiFi connection and take out some Barbadian dollars. We thought that the Barbados Yacht Club would have the answers. We reached the handsome colonial building after a walk in the sweltering heat. Established in 1925 to promote sailing; it appeared more of a social club than focussed on sailing, but certainly pleasant enough.

Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, Barbados: blue sea, white sand, where else could a cruiser be anchoring than here? (Hans)

I was going to embark on my first of four trips to clear in and clear out of Barbados. We were asked to take the boat into the Port of Bridgetown and tie up by a quay by the Signal Station aimed for big ships rather than yachts. The swell in the harbour made it almost immediately untenable. I decided to abort the attempt to moor and trying to escape the quay without inflicting damage. Phew, we just made it and more by luck than skill! As we started to reverse the helicopter of "Octopus" (the 8th largest private yacht in the world owned by Paul Allen of Microsoft) started to take off from the landing pad on the aft deck only tens of metres from Queen's Ransom. So after having escaped the quay, "Octopus" helicopter was threatening to get entangled in our rigging.

Walking the streets of Bridgetown to the Barbados Yacht Club (Hans)

The following trips to the authorities were made by foot and taxi instead. It took half a day twice! The first problem was that we had not officially cleared out of our last Port of Call. The authorities at Mindelo, Cape Verde, were closed for the weekend when we made our "emergency stop" and to clear out of the European Union at Santa Cruz de Tenerife had never occured to me as something you even could do, After threatening to refuse us entry to Barbados, endless waiting followed in the large airconditioned office of the chief customs officer with great views of the harbour. Finally entry was granted and I could proceed to the other offices of health and immigration. The numerous forms that need to be filled in with duplicates; no copying machine here. The most interesting question was on a form that should be signed by the "Ship's Surgeon" or in his or her absence as the case was for us, the Master, asking; "Has anydody died on the ship since your last Port of Call from any other reason than accidental death?". I was thinking murder, but I think they were more interested in horrible diseases. This charade continued the following day with not only a crew and passanger list being set up, but also a list of "disembarking crew" with spaces for a good 100 names; whom (read Peter) even needed to appear in person with their luggage at the immigration office.

Celebrating our succesful passage over the Atlantic Ocean with lobstertail and barracuda steak in Cobbler's Cove (waiter of Cobbler's Cove)

Peter treated us in the evening to the best restaurant experience in my life; not only evoked by the quality of the restaurant alone but also the contrast after spending weeks at sea. He took us to "Cobblers Cove"; a place we read about in Crispin's book. It is located by the beach, with the Atlantic rollers pounding in the dark, near Speighstown at the North of the island. I had "tempura of oyster and flying fish" followed a "caribbean lobster thermidor" together with some Moet & Chandon; exquisite! Peter's generousity to me and the others in the crew never fails to show.