Monday, May 15, 2006

BVI to Nevis

May 12, 2006    Friday night  Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI

Left Leverick Bay in Virgin Gorda Sound approximately 8:00 p.m. as planned.  So much for weather forecasts.  Predicted to have been winds 8-12 kts and seas 2-3 ft.   Actual weather experienced was sustained 30kts for hours and many, many squalls.  Finally did experience the predicted weather for the final 2 hours as we approached St. Martin in the sunrise.  Arrived St. Martin 7:45 a.m. on Saturday. 

Bill handled the trip extremely well; even stayed awake for most of the night.  Judy fed the fish a few times but never took any seasickness meds.  Gonna lose weight one way or another.  Amazing how unappetizing food can be when experiencing all this motion.

May 13, 2006   Saturday morning    Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

We anchored in the Dutch side of St. Martin rather than the French side.  Put up the “Q” flag and took a nap and decided to move on.  No reason to stay here when we still have so far to go.  Weather extremely hot and continued rainstorms.

Saturday night, Anse du Grand Columbier,  St. Barths (St. Barthelemy)

Arrived 4:00 p.m. in gorgeous weather.  Total distance traveled since arriving on boat evening of May 1st is 161.42NM.  We picked up the last mooring ball in the tight space of the little harbor, right next to a boat that was festooned with balloons and dressed with flags of all sorts all over the boat.  There were also at least 6 dinghies tied to the stern.

Soon became apparent that a French couple was getting married on the boat – very short white wedding dress, veil and all.   Bill noted that one girl was breast-feeding a tiny infant while drinking several glasses of champagne.  Guess the French start drinking wines really early in their lifetimes.   Heard many corks popping over there during the evening.  Good way to have a fun wedding.  Sounded like a good time was had by all.

May 14, 2006   Sunday night   Ballast Bay, St. Kitts (St. Christopher)
62.39.549W    Distance traveled today 49.5NM

We left St. Barths at 6:00 a.m.  Neither of us wanted to leave.  Bill said he could stay right there for weeks.  Beautiful beach, good snorkeling, hills to climb and explore, an abandoned old Rockerfeller home on top of one hill, and just a dinghy ride around the point to Gustavia Harbor, which is one of our favorite places on earth.  But since we have a schedule to keep, we got on our way.

As we sailed past Statia, Judy mentioned to Bill that there had been a total absence of any visible marine life this entire trip.  At that exact moment, 6 dolphins visited our boat; but they didn’t hang around to play like dolphin sometimes do.  Also saw literally hundreds of flying fish.  We took a photo of the dormant volcano on Statia that we climbed 20 years ago when we visited the island on a Windjammer cruise.  We were both in better physical condition back then.  No way in hell that either of us would consider climbing that mountain today.

We arrived at Ballast Bay, St. Kitts, and anchored for the night.  Bill would like to buy more fuel before we get into an area where it won’t be readily available.  But the fuel dock was closed Sunday so we decided to stay the night and try to get fuel in the morning.

We did accomplish one thing today that made us both happy.  We put the dinghy up onto the stern of the boat, where it can ride under the mizzen boom instead of having it swinging on the davits.  The dinghy is normally carried on davits off the stern of the boat.  In coastal sailing, we can also just tow the dinghy.  But on open water it is customary to put the dinghy upside down on the bow; because it could be swamped by a following wave if mounted on the davits.  Judy absolutely hates having the dinghy on the bow because it obstructs the view too much.  Bill thought that the dinghy would not fit on the stern under the mizzen boom, but just to please Judy and prove that it wouldn’t work; he tried it anyway.  And to his surprise, it works just fine.  So we have found a new home for the dinghy when underway on long distance passages.

May 15, 2006   Monday   Pinney’s Beach, Nevis

We left Ballast Bay at 7:00 a.m., hoping to be the first boat at the fuel dock at Fort Zante Marina in Basseterre when they opened at 8:00.  We weren’t.  There were 2 small fishing boats there ahead of us.  It was a tight space, but we managed to “parallel park” the boat on the fuel dock ahead of the other boats.  Then we were able to just walk the boat back using the dock lines when it was our turn for fuel.

Judy cleared customs while Bill handled fueling the boat.  Bill found an ATM machine so that we could get EC to pay for the fuel.  Judy also make a quick trip to the nearby grocery store for bread and yogurt.  Would have bought more snack-type items but only had $20EC and that doesn’t go very far.

We actually sailed for fun for the first time this trip.  Decided there wasn’t sufficient time to get to Montserrat today (took too long doing the fuel thing), so we decided to stop in Nevis for the night.  Found an intermittent WiFi connection where we anchored so will try to get this posted.  We are anchored directly in front of Pinney’s Beach, where Bill and I spent a very relaxing day sitting under the palm trees about 20 years ago. 

We hope to sail to Montserrat in the morning.  We have not been able to obtain a volcano activity report, so we are just going and hoping that we will be able to stop there.  Neither of us wants to do another overnight sail all the way to Guadeloupe if we can avoid it.  We do know that we will have to sail down the eastern side of the island because of all the volcanic ash that blows to the western side.  Bill spoke with another cruiser this morning at the fuel dock who said he did not abide by the advice of passing Montserrat on the eastern side and it took days to clean all the ash off his boat.   We still have enough boat yard dust from the haul-out; we certainly don’t want to add volcanic ash.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.