Why We Love Autopilot


It’s nice to post about good news, and we are so happy that Brian got the autopilot working! It’s been a long upwind slog without it. Read on for more reasons why we love autopilot.

The Mona Passage

The trip we just took is considered a tough one. Known as The Mona Passage, it is infamous in sailing circles, which I’ve just recently learned. This is because of the trade winds and variable tidal currents, both of which can kick up huge waves. We stayed in Samaná almost 2 weeks waiting for the perfect weather window, and we got it!

Samana to Puerto Real
Samaná to Puerto Real by boat

How He Fixed Our Autopilot

On top of this good news, after more than 4 months and 4 countries, Brian fixed our autopilot. When we were in Los Haitises Park in Samaná, he realized the control arm was not attached to the rudder. Once he locked that down, we could sail hands free!

Relaxed Passages

This made our trip from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico the best passage yet. It helped that the weather was good and seas were super calm with a light wind. We even had a guest for this passage, Traci from Toronto, and she got very lucky (or brought good luck)!

We are very happy sailors and we love our autopilot. Here are some of the ways we can spend our time sailing when we program our autopilot and go!

Enjoy the view

Sailing is so pleasant when you can observe your surroundings, another reason we love autopilot. With autopilot, this trip was so much more rewarding because we could bask in the beauty of nature on the water.

rainbow over Samana
Rainbow over Samana

Just leaving Samaná we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow – you can even see The Bridge to Nowhere – and wildlife.

Sunset and sunrise were also lovely. And because we were hands-free, I could take photos.

Relax and read

Since we don’t have to always have one person on the helm, Brian and I can now sit back and relax and read. During my overnight shift, before sunrise, I read some of my book in between checking our route and looking out for other boats. It was downright mellow.

The trip from Samaná to Puerto Real, Puerto Rico was 140 nm. We left around 6:30am on Wednesday, April 24th and arrived in the harbor close to 9:30am the 25th. 27 hours is slow travel, but we are thrilled because it’s so much better now and why we love autopilot.

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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