It’s feast or famine this year. Either no wind or too much which is turning our passage back to the Eastern Caribbean into something of a marathon. We plan a passage and then find ourselves at sea for twice as long as expected; however, the latest little adventure was to catch a heavy duty nylon rope from a lobster pot around our rudder that disabled our steering. It was 9.30pm in winds of 30knots and we found ourselves being inexorably pushed onto the Piedra Negra rocks off Isla Beata on the coast of the Dominican Republic. Unable to turn the boat to drop the mainsail, there was nothing else for it, James went over the side, knife in one hand, holding the bathing platform ladder with the other, tied on with a piece of rope himself and, with the boat still travelling at 2kts, he managed to cut us free. The boat immediately took off making James’ clamber back on board a real physical effort. When we looked at our track and worked out timings, another 30 minutes and we would have been on the rocks. A narrow escape! Our reward for our endeavours? A big chunk of flapjack and then it was back to battling the big winds and mountainous seas on our route east.