Friday, April 17, 2015

East to Antigua

March 30-April 11, 2015

We clear out and depart the BVI for Antigua. A few lumps and bumps but generally a good crossing considering the relentless trades. Funny how after a while you become accustom to the bigger seas. Where we used to wait for 10-15kts and 2-3' seas hoping to see nothing over 4-5' we now move on 15-20kts and 4-6' hoping to see nothing over 5-7' otherwise we would still be in Puerto Rico. Depending on the direction and period we often find ourselves saying “this isn't too bad, at least we can still move about the boat”. 

 Unfortunately on the way over I killed the water maker. It was starting to act up but when I accidentally left a valve in the wrong position while tinkering it overheated and ruined the membrane. Good reason John on Seamantha has this valve tie wrapped in the correct position.

We arrive in Falmouth Harbour Antigua where we meet up with Bill & Ann, “Ann Louise”, Richard & Lavinia on “Partners” and Dave & Trudy on “Persephone”. Lot's to do here and a good base from which to explore Antigua. The locals are very friendly, there is good hiking and again good restaurants, bars, shopping and provisioning.


We spend a few days on a mooring behind the reef near Green Island. Wow, only the reef protecting us from thousands of miles of open ocean. It blows 15-20 gusting 25 and there is just a light chop in the anchorage and what a view! Now back in Falmouth, getting ready for the next move. Once again we call Chris Parker to confirm that Monday or Tuesday next make sense. Weather is forecast to be pretty steady 17-18 gusting 20-22kts, seas 4-6 feet. Higher wind and seas near the island headlands and lower wind and seas in the lee of Guadaloupe and Dominica. We will prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Planning for Monday 13th departure, arriving in Martinique Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's “squally” activity resulting from a tropical wave to the south of us.
The wind is blowing 15-20kts G25, behind the reef we are almost flat calm!

BVI, Anegada, Wow!

Mar 18-30th

Spent the next few weeks in the BVI, cruising, and touring the islands. Ken & Carol depart from Tortola on the 23rd. Off to Anegada, wow! Stunning beaches, best we have seen since the Bahamas & Turks & Caicos. If anyone is after some good bonefishing contact Danny at dannysbonefishing.com. After a few days in Anegada we hook up with John & Paulette on Seamantha in North Sound Virgin Gorda. Really enjoyed the facilities in and around Bitter End, restaurants, hiking sight seeing. Now time to move on once again.

Elliottt!

March 22nd
Our brand new grandson Elliott. Mommy, Daddy & baby all doing well!


BVI

March 17-29, 2015
On to the BVI
With guests Ken and Carol we hop across Francis Drake Passage to Soper's Hole, West End BVI. Here we clear customs then head out to Little Jost Van Dyke. Beautiful anchorage off of Green Cay until in the middle of the night the tide
came in and brought large swells in through the cut. ROLLY! Had not planned on that. Pick up and head to North Sound, Virgin Gorda.

From North sound we enjoy an island tour with Joseph (Joe) George. The Baths, “caves”, old copper mine historical site (very interesting for me), Spanish Town, “Hog Heaven” (must do, great ribs, BBQ pork and what a view!).


USVI



March 6-16, 2015

Our US Cruising License made our arrival in the USVI a simple phone call to customs. Easy. Ken & Carol had already cleared in in Puerto Rico so no one needed to appear at immigration. Great!

Picked up a mooring at Caneel Bay, lot's of Ferry wake so we moved on the next day to Francis Bay, busy but nice, good beach, hiking.

Hiking, USVI
Guest Ken & Ken walked from Francis Bay to Coral Harbor via the Francis Trail then down the road to the Lienster Bay trail. At Waterlemon Bay we pick up the John Horn Trail. Yes a steep section but really with good shoes not too difficult. Take your time, stop catch your breath and carry on.
The sign kinda says it all.
Best anchorage (mooring) we have found (so far) in St. John, USVI. Waterlemon Bay. Wow, mega wow. sheltered reminds us of Georgian Bay, intimate. Swim to the beach. Good snorkeling. Love it. Great hiking trails, walk to Skinny Legs in Coral Harbor ( a good hike) Loving St. John. Loving this spot, loving life!



Even better IMO than Waterlemon is Lameshure Bay. Good snorkeling right off the boat. You can hike the entire Island from here on well marked trails that vary from old roads (200+ years) to walking paths. Highly recommend a few days here.



Enjoyed St. John USVI. Cruz Bay with it's nice shops and restaurants, good moorings in beautiful bays, snorkeling, hiking, a day at the beach. Then Coral Bay, Skinny Legs, cool little bars and restaurants.



K Smooooth, Carol & us at "Skinny Legs" Coral Bay, St. John

How do you eat these things?


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bumpy Ride


March 6, 2015

Bumpy Ride!

The wind has been relentless for weeks 20-25kts 6-8' seas for the last few weeks. A short “break' appears to be on the horizon. We decide to make the short crossing to the USVI. As soon as we were out of the lee we encountered very rough seas combined with current to give us the infamous “washing machine” effect. 5-7' with sets of larger waves on a 5 second interval made for an uncomfortable ride. The boat was impressive once again, we just slowed it down to about 4kts and let her ride up and down, took quite a bit of spray but no pounding, no green water on deck although a few times I was sure we were going to “bury the anchors”. Nope, so much buoyancy forward along with that nice high bow does it once again. Sorry Ken & Carol, we did not do that on purpose, honest!

East Coast Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgins.

Feb 14-March 6, 20015

We had a great time in Puerto Rico, after the south west coast we moved on to Palmas del Mar. Met up with Seamantha and Ann Louise. Had the first ever "PR Krogen Breaksast. Enjoyed meeting Gordon on "Sea Horse" a 55' Cat that he and his wife sailed over from South Africa, 55 days at sea. We meet all kinds of fun adventuresome people. Capitan's Chris and Dave (who we meet again in Virgin Gorda), Juan the marina manager who was wonderful. He really made us all feel very welcome, hosted a dock party for us and set up our "breakfast" table and chairs. It would have been easy to stay here.

We took a side trip to Vieques in the Spanish Virgins travelled over with  Ann Louise. Bill hooks a huge fish (tuna?) fights it for an hour and a half, then it is gone. Luckily on our boat we hooked a much more manageable mahi so at least there was some fresh fish. Bill and Ann travel on to Culebra we stayed on in Vieques for a few days, loved it, Esperanza, Isabel Segunda, fun little cafe's & bars, secluded anchorages, fresh caught mutton snapper.

Back to Palmas del Mar to pick up our custom flange then on to Culebra where we hope to catch up with John & Paullette "Seamantha" and Ann Louise.  We arrive in Culebra, no fish on this short crossing and anchor behind Ann Louise at Dakity Reef. Culebra is very cruiser friendly, enjoyed the hospitality, dinning at the Dingy Dock, Zacos Tacos and beach food at Flamenco Beach. Our guests Ken & Carol arrive, we enjoy the island, rent a Jeep, move to a beautiful anchorage in Bahia de Almodovar before heading to the USVI.