A Travellerspoint blog

We're On Our Way!

05 June

Mike: We cast off the dock lines at 3pm yesterday and sailed west along the south shore of Tortola and deaked through Thatch Cut to our starting waypoint. Winds were from the south east at about 10 knots with seas 1 foot or less giving us a smooth ride. The 3/4 moon set just before 2am leaving an inky blackness that was punctuated by countless stars in the sky and phosphorescence in our wake.

Everything on the boat is operating smoothly. The engine purrs. The rigging is sturdy. The boat is sound. We've downloaded the weather forecasts and GRIB weather overlays for the chartplotter via our sat link and what we see is pretty much what we'll have for the coming days.

Today we flew the new spinnaker for several hours. This was after about an hour of setting it up. Darn if I didn't get the various lines all interfering with each other. Thank goodness for Bill and Brian who helped and showed the error of my ways. It was great, just set it and forget it. Our current position as of 6pm today is N19°27.18, W066°41.30, about 60nm north of the eastern end Puerto Rico.

Picture 022a.jpg

  • Note the flag... Haarrr!!!

This evening Bill fixed up a chicken and rice dish on the barby that just couldn't be beat. Does life get any better?

Bill: Brian and I stood the 12am to 3am and 3am to 6am watches respectively. Our only sighting all night was a cruise ship going by off on the horizon in the middle of the night. During the day, the only ship we saw was a container ship. We'll now be starting our second day at sea and have travelled 120 nautical miles and still have about 300 to go to the Turks. Winds are 10-15kts, seas are running about 8ft. We are certainly having too much fun. I for sure want to sail my boat down here. Was there ever any doubt?

Posted by Ali-Mike 05:04 Comments (0)

Almost Ready for the Sail to the Turks and Caicos

And then.....

Alison: Today, the plan was to head up to North Sound, Virgin Gorda and get ourselves prepared for the 3-4 day sail to the Turks and Caicos. Unfortunatley, our electric windlass decided not to cooperate when we were ready to haul up anchor at Marina Cay. Brian and Mike's muscles were put to the test as we had to manually haul up the anchor. We did continue on our way to North Sound, where marine maintenance is available at the Bitter End Yacht Club. We had a great sail up, past the Dogs and into the Sound.

At the Bitter End, we hailed the marine technician who dingyed out to our boat to check out the windlass. After a couple of hours (and a couple of hits on the windlass with our hammer), the technician did get the windlass working, but not realiably. We have decided that we'll go back to Road Town tomorrow to get the necessary parts replaced on the windlass and then head off for the Turks and Caicos mid-afternoon.

We spent the rest of the day here starting to get the boat ready for the passage (putting on the jacklines, checking the harnesses, working out the course), and a little snorkelling where Bill and Brian saw lots of conch and a shark.

After drinks on board, Saba Rock enticed us for more drinks, dinner, and more drinks. Ohhh-haa, and free internet access.

We couldn't resist getting our picture taking with the pirate welcoming us ashore!


The Kids are Worn Out By 9:30pm

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:17 Comments (2)

Cheap Rum in Paradise

Marina Cay

Brian and Bill (June 2): Bushwackers! We rediscovered Bill's favourite drink in the BVI here in Marina Cay (even though Bill couldn't remember the name!). We're sitting up at the Sunset Bar, enjoying the bitchin' views, Bill presented the crew of the good ship Soul Healer, with personalized Canadian, doo rags (see a picture of the fearless crew below). Thanks Ann! They're awesome!

To get a picture of the crew, we enlisted the help of the drunken table next to us. However, the evil omens were upon us, and the photo babe handily allowed our new digital camera to meet the ground with case denting impact. Fortunatley (for us), there was no damage done to the camera except for a dent.

The Canadian doo rags attracted the attention of a hot babe (and her new husband). Turned out, she was from Toronto, and new buddies were made. Anyway, we ended up being the last dingy to weave our way across the anchorage back to the boat. Sleep came swiftly to the weary.

The Motley Crew

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:15 Comments (1)

More Mayhem at the Airport

How Not To Pick Up Shipments

Mike (June 1st): OK... So I ordered some new sails from Doyle in the Barbados and had them delivered to the BVI. That was the plan. What happened was that nobody seemed to know what happened to this sail. So finally, we got a notification from the airline that they located the shipment and we could pick them up from the airport. We picked up a mooring ball in Trellis Bay, hopped into the dingy and headed for shore. For those who may not know, Trellis Bay is right at the airport. In fact, the runway flight path goes right across the bay. Anyway, Alison and I realize as we got to shore that we didn't have our departure clearance papers (the sails were sent 'Yacht In Transit' for tax exemption reasons) and now have to go back to the boat to get it. While the time burn is only five minutes, this is gonna hurt. We finally get to the airport and get the airline's agent who pops back into the customs area. The world is golden... not. She pops back out at what is now 4:33pm and tells us that customs has gone home at 4:30pm. D'ya see how those five minutes figure in? Anyway. She chearfully also tells us that customs will reopen for us on Tuesday, this being a long weekend in the BVI. This is not good since this is Friday! Ouch! I throw a foot stamping episode and she relents and fetches us a customs agent who normally works arriving passengers and not cargo. Since the shipment was labelled 'Yacht In Transit', no customs or duty charges apply, so she was prepared to release the sail shipment to us. But where was it? A search of the unclaimed baggage was no joy. Next was a call to the cargo terminal, but more no joy since they'd already left. By chance, Alison saw a box sitting by a baggage conveyor at arrivals and inquired. There it was! It had been sitting on the floor for almost a week. Amazing that no one messed with it. The box was heavy, so I hijacked a porter cart, loaded it on and proceeded to head out to the airport back to the bay. I told Alison not to look back for fear someone was noticing the heisted cart. We got to the dock, unloaded and returned the cart to the airport with no-one having taken notice. Whew!

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:07 Comments (0)

We Don't Gotta Go Naked

Luggage found in paradise

Alison (June 1): Yes, our luggage did arrive. A day late, but it did finally make it. It seems that our luggage had the opportunity to do a little site seeing in San Juan.

While we were waiting for the taxi to deliver our luggage to the base, it was off to Road Town for provisioning. And then a stop at Tico's for refreshments (we couldn't go any where without an ample supply of beer, rum and wine).

Boat is now fueled, watered and ready to depart. We're off to Norman Island (The Bight), where Bill and Brian showed their boat handling prowess. Then it was off to the Caves, for a snorkel fest. The colours in the caves were amazing, and we saw lots of crabs clinging to the walls. We were thinking that dinner might be surf and turf but the surf wasn't that easy to catch. So, instead we had amazing steaks that Mike BBQ'd on board.

If you want to see some pics of us having a great time, check out this website - 'http://www.digiproofs.com/ecom/page_view.pl?p=3YswO49'. Yacht Shots BVI takes pics of boats in the BVI and post them onto the web for purchase. That's us on the boat! Eat your hearts out!

Posted by Ali-Mike 16:22 Comments (1)

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