Monthly Archives: May 2015

Settling In!

5/29/15: 1930h.

Heading 30degT, 4.5kts, wind 90deg, 9kts apparent. Long easy swells 1-2m. Very smooth sailing and nice speed. We made 120nm in the first 24 hrs, and it is beautiful and sunny.

The crew is getting used to the boat and how to do things like clear the Sargassum off the water generator. It uses a 75ft rope with a prop at the end that makes electricity. Very hard to pull in at 6kts…much easier at 4.5kts!

Making our way easterly to catch the 15to20 kts winds in about 4 days.

Settling in nicely!


22May2015 Mainsail Repair, Get Great Danes

Yesterday I picked up the remainder of my packages, so now I have my EPIRB, dinghy, satellite tracker, Galaxy tablet for sat tracker and navigation, charts, etc, etc. Then I sold my beat-up but very heavy, 70 lbs anchor to some nice folks on “Miss K” who just sold everything in Oklahoma, bought a boat here and are jumping in to full time liveaboard in USVI! They were very happy to have a good anchor, and I was very happy have it off the boat. Great holding, but rusty and too heavy to carry across the ocean. Then I sailed to Charlotte Amalie for the sailmaker and crew pickup.

A batten ripped out of my mainsail on the way up to Virgin Gorda, so I will have a sailmaker here check it over and do some small repairs. Also setting up accounts for the new electronics. Check out my new link that shows my position via my inReach sat. tracker. My new chart chip will not fit as I got the wrong converter, so we’ll see if anyone on island has a Compact Flash to SD card converter. That may throw a wrench into things!! Otherwise things are pretty much according to schedule.

The crew, Two young Danes are flying into St. Thomas this afternoon. They have some experience, but not on a crossing like this. They seem game to learn, young, fit and enthusiastic. With watches 3 hrs on and 6 hrs off, I think it will be a great trip.

19May 2015, Haulout Complete, Virgin Gorda

I finished my week haulout in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, boatyard, and launched yesterday afternoon. Boatyards suck, but this was better than average. Not too busy so not too toxic-dusty. Nice breeze most of the time and hot, but not hot and humid like Trinidad. For comfort I did wear shorts and short sleeves (rather than Tyvek coveralls) for sanding and painting. Fortunately, I’m past my child-bearing years and any toxic, brain-damaging influence is not likely to be noticed. :}

Work mainly was drilling and epoxying a hole in the rudder for use as secondary emergency steering should the rudder post break. With a full keel and heavy bronze shoe at the bottom the chance of the rudder falling off is near nil, but the wheel, autopilot and emergency tiller all need a full-length rudder post. If that were to break I can rig lines directly to the rudder and, with great difficulty, keep sailing. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s such a simple backup system, why not.

Other than that, it’s checking over the hull, thru-hulls and applying new bottom paint. She was in great need of that and she moves more easily through the water now.

Tuesday I motored back to USVI. Winds were so light it would have taken all day even with a spinnaker, and I had to pick up my new dinghy and EPIRB, so no time to waste. Lovely downwind motor with the autopilot taking care of steering. Only problem was 3 kts of apparent wind from the stern meant I was smelling diesel exhaust most of the trip. I like sailing better.

Prep for Europe Continues:

I spent about the last week by Water Island, near West end of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. It’s a good place to get certain items like propane, antifouling paint, etc. I got to chat with friends there on SV Endless Pleasure: Tim and Stephany, and new friends on SV Blue Moon. Steve and Ellie on Blue Moon are from England, have crossed the Atlantic about 40 times, and gave me some good tips on the crossing. Most of my time was on the internet and phone trying to get parts and supplies ordered, and crew selected (or not selected as the case may be). Today I picked up many items I’ve ordered and will head to BVI tomorrow (Friday) to haulout Monday in Virgin Gorda. Departure date is estimated about May 24, but I may be able to move that up. The target is to depart Bermuda by end of May.

Parts received today: New heat exchanger (to replace the one I repaired in Martinique), spare remotes for stereo!, thimbles (rigging), twine, shackles, impellers, fuel filters, zinc anodes, toilet repair kits, American flags.


Ahoy Hoy, found on Wikipedia…




From ahoy.

In the 1870s, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell did much development for the newly-invented telephone. Bell’s preferred salutation, ahoy-hoy was derived from the nautical term “Ahoy” which in its turn is derived from Dutch “hoi” meaning “hi”. A recent resurgence in the popularity of the term has resulted from its use by The Simpsons character Montgomery Burns, who often answers the telephone with the greeting of “Ahoy-hoy.” The use of the now-defunct ahoy-hoy, instead of the standard “hello“, is a running joke referring to Mr. Burns’ very advanced age.

Preparations for Europe are in High Gear

I anchored by Water Island about a week ago, across from Crown Bay Marina on St Thomas to get some supplies, like antifouling paint and paint supplies. I have been in buying frenzy mode, but some items are still coming slowly. On the way are a new dinghy that I can roll up and store easier. Also an EPIRB. That is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. I have a liferaft that I bought in Grenada, but without a way for searchers to find me that’s no good, but with a liferaft and EPIRB, rescue could be expected in a couple days anywhere in the world.

Also on the way are a new Samsung tablet, upon which I plan to load Navionics navigation app, and charts of Europe as a backup. I have to order charts for the chart plotter from England since no place I can find here or in the States has them. Satellite tracker, Weatherfax software, a heat exchanger ($700) to replace the one I repaired in Martinique. A large variety of spares for rigging, the toilet, filters, zinc anodes, remote for the stereo, etc., etc.. The money I made is disappearing fast!

I expect to haulout in the next couple days to paint the bottom and do some quick maintenance, but must keep it short. The goal is to depart Bermuda the end of May. That’s tight, but I’ll be close. If one leaves too early the storms are fierce. The risk of being too late is that winds drop off and it will be a slow sail across.