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.

2015 Apr 15, Last Day of Work This Season

Today was my last day at Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments day charters. I drove Magic Moments 3, a Sea Ray 45′ with Hillary as 1st Mate. It was a nice day trip to some spots in the BVI with very shallow and protected snorkeling spots for a very little boy’s first snorkel. I am surprised when people are staying at a place like the Ritz, with a nice beach they don’t try snorkeling there first, where it’s very shallow and they can get used to using a snorkel and mask while touching bottom. A 6 yr old boy un-used to the water can be intimidated by 30ft deep water, surrounded by Bar Jacks and Yellowtail Snapper looking for a handout. Amazing and beautiful, but scary for some.

Now it’s time to prepare Goldilocks for crossing the Atlantic!

Finished my orientation for Nauti Nymph Charters

First day at Nauti Nymph Charters, ride-along with Captain David Smylie. Peter Island Resort, BVI

Yesterday I tagged along with Captain Kelvin and his 1st mate Joan on Magic Moments III. That, plus two orientations on Nauti Nymph makes me “qualified” to start skippering charters. My first one is booked tomorrow, and another the day after. It sounds like they will keep me busy! That’s good. The mo’ money I can make the longer I can keep sailing. As busy as they are, I don’t think I’ll be doing much other than working for the next several months. So far the guests have been great. Go figure. They’ve already dropped a bunch of money to have a good time. All you have to do is show it to them, and I do like the office decor. Even when it’s raining!

27 Jan 2015, Swims With Turtles

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

I got in a nice swim Sunday with my new GoPro 3+ and magenta filter. After checking the mooring, I saw a nice Spotted Eagle Ray with attendant remora under me, then a cute Green Sea Turtle. Nice way to get some exercise.

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI
Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI


Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI
Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

20 Jan 2015, Employment Emminent…

Today I went through procedure training with Nauti Nymph Charters, with a big stack of papers to read, learn, and sign. Tomorrow I will shadow a Captain on a charter to see how they run their 29′-35′ powerboats. I’ll also be driving Magic Moments boats which are 46-52ft “luxury” power boats. I’ll be working out of Red Hook, St Thomas.

They are busy so I should be working plenty and replenishing the kitty. Yay!

16 Dec 2014, Back to the VI…

I left Le Marin, Martinique for BVI Nov 14. One last stop in Petite Anse D’Arlet for some baguettes for the trip, then set mainsail and genoa on a beam reach up the leeward side of the island with changable wind and some motoring until I was near the north end. Then more wind shadows  behind Dominica and Guadeloupe. Made 105 nm the first 24 hrs. The Aquagen towable water generator made 4-5 Amps at 4-5 kts of boat speed. Over 24 hrs that’s not bad. Unfortunately there’s quite a bit of sargassum (a floating seaweed) that catches and stops it rotating. Not too bad to clear on a close reach or beam reach, harder on a broad reach. In any case slowing the boat down enough to bring it in is not easy. With all the practice I’m getting better.

On Nov. 16 the autopilot mount broke and I had to hand steer. Not good, especially when solo. I hand steered about 10 hours and was getting pretty tired. I made for St. Eustatius just north of St Kitts, but as soon as I got north of St. Kitts, the wind increased dramatically shooting thru the channel between the islands. I got “headed” or turned more to leeward and couldn’t get close enough. The next bit of land is Saba. A great Dutch Island Colleen and I visited in 2013. It’s tiny though and turned out little protection. With the wind direction and speed, there was no way I could make anything north like St Barth’s or St Martin, so I hove too and spent several hours repairing it in the lumpy seas. Good thing! I was ready for some sleep. You never want to get too fatigued out there in case there’s an emergency. With the AP working and a decent lunch made, I was on my way again.

After that it was beam to broad reach to Virgin Gorda. No problems, except lumpy and the dinghy kept trying to surf into the big boat, plus bad timing. I had to slow her down to get to the harbor about sunrise. There are enough reefs there, even though I know it pretty well, I don’t like to go in while very dark. Nov. 17 I anchored by Prickly Pear Island in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, …and slept. Ahhhhhh.