Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Office

BVI officeAfter locating the proper cable and Norseman fittings in Road Town, Tortola and several days of planning the underwater operation, the event horizon dive team successfully replaced the centerboard cable without any problems. (I am still in awe of my captains ingenuity.) So we are back to business as usual. Speaking of which, the view from our office has been changing daily as we continue to search for a reliable internet connection.

Monday, December 18, 2006

18 30 N, 64 30 W

After a good night sleep, I spent most of the next day in the water, just outside of Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. It started out as a reconnaissance mission for the injured centerboard but turned into a day of underwater exploration. I saw an amazing array of sea life around and under the boat including several sea turtles, a sting ray, a barracuda, and endless schools of beautiful fish I have yet to identify. (Must buy a reference book!) It has felt good to stretch the muscles, and I do believe the water is calling me again.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bermuda to BVI 2006

Upon nearing landfall in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec 15th, a tall gray mass began to appear on the horizon. Eventually a volcano mountain took shape and kept me entranced for miles. We reached the British Virgin Islands in less than 5 days thanks to steady 20-30 knot northeast winds that allowed us to sail 955nm on a one-tack beam reach. As recommended by many sailors, we cleared customs and immigration in Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda where all important services and amenities surround the harbour area.

I am happy to report it was a relatively bruise-free passage. I also thought we avoided any breakage but on the last day we realized the centerboard was down because its cable had broke. So despite our beautiful surroundings we (especially my captain!) are preoccupied with acquiring the necessary parts to fix the problem. Meanwhile we now have about a 14 foot draft, which is too much for most of the harbours so we need to anchor outside in less sheltered areas, which also means longer dinghy rides to shore and limited internet options. But the main thing is that we have finally arrived safely to the Caribbean where it is warm, beautiful and there are endless areas to explore.

Geography lesson. The Virgin Islands are an archipelago comprised of several small islands and cays that are considered two groups of islands, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The USVI consist of 3 larger islands (St Thomas, St John and St Croix) and over 50 smaller islets and cays. The total area of the USVI is 133 square miles. The BVI (which lie to the north east of the USVI) are made up of 4 larger islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke and Anegada) and 32 smaller islands. The total area of the BVI is 59 square miles.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Caribbean Bound

Finally, we are off to the Caribbean! We are leaving early tomorrow morning on the back of a cold front that has just passed over Bermuda, providing good NE winds to take my captain and me south to the British Virgin Islands . We expect the 830nm passage to Virgin Gorda to take about 6 days. During this trip I will celebrate my first birthday at sea, turning 39 years young for the sixth time (you do the math). I was hoping to be on land for the occasion so that I could have a cocktail in hand (we never consume alcohol while at sea) but that is not to be. Instead I will look forward to celebrating two things in Spanish Town, my birthday and a safe passage.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Our stay in Bermuda has been longer than intended (over a month!) but rewarding thanks to our Bermudian friends.

The once steady flow of boats stopping here for respite, fuel or repairs has slowed to a trickle. St Georges Harbour, recently dotted with lingering boats awaiting parts and repairs, has nearly emptied. Both are signs that the traditional southbound passage for a Caribbean winter is closing. It is time for us to depart.

So, we are in squirrel mode again, provisioning, storing and stowing in preparation for the next good weather window for passage to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, which is part of the British Virgin Islands.