05/02/2015, Simson Baai Lagoon
After the big day yesterday in Philipsburg watching carnival, today we had a very quiet day staying on board Annecam, just reading and I finally started making the youtube video of our passage from Gibraltar to Tenerife in the Canary Islands just to give you some idea of what it was like to be sailing offshore.
This passage took us seven full days to sail or I should say motor the 720 nautical miles, I know that is nothing to brag about but once we managed to leave the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar the wind strength died right down to almost zero until the last day where we had a nice breeze to get us moving to Tenerife.
As you are watching this video, take notice of the Volvo 70 yacht Hugo Boss. We were motor sailing along at just over 7 knots and he caught us like we were going backwards. Just before he caught up to us, I noticed on our AIS that he was flying along at 24 knots. Three days into our Atlantic Ocean crossing, we saw him again cross our bow just over a mile ahead and ten days later we heard the news that he had a rigging failure and had been dis-masted crossing the equator and had to be rescued. Also you will see our first Atlantic dolphin and another Australian flagged yacht called La Vagabonde with Elaina and Riley, a lovely young couple who are also sailing back to Australia. We left Gibraltar together and caught up with them in Road Town in the British Virgin Islands, plus here in St Maartin.
Tomorrow our plan is to leave St Maartin and sail to Antigua, that is if the weather is okay.
Life is good to be catching up on Annecam.
04/30/2015, Simson Baai Lagoon
We do not have internet access on Annecam as we require a new sim card for each Island so we are posting this blog via one of the many internet cafes that are available to us. We will be back on line when we get to the Grenadines as we plan to stay between there and Trinidad for the hurricane season.
We are slowly getting all of the planned boat jobs completed, we now have the parts required to repair our old outboard motor and a set of cables to secure our dinghy with a padlock. We are almost ready to move south to Antigua, so Saturday or Sunday we are planning an overnight sail to arrive in day light, that is if the weather is ok to go.
We had a lovely evening with Canadian's Sheryl and Paul from Distant Shores joining us on Annecam for my birthday, they have their own sailing adventure TV series available on DVD at www.distantshores.ca. We have several of their DVD sets and I do recommend that anyone who is planning to cruise get your hands on these information packed sets.
Today Sheryl, Annie, Paul and I took an adventurous bus ride over to Philipsburg to take in our first carnival, wow! What an amazing effort the locals go to. The colour, the dance and the atmosphere were nothing short of brilliant, we all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
Some day's life is very spectacular on Annecam.
04/28/2015, Simson Baai Lagoon
The passage from North Gorda Sound in the British Virgin Islands to the Island of St Maartin turned in to a much better sail than expected and after two short tacks just after we left, we managed to keep our overall distance sailed down to 85 nautical miles. There was just enough consistent southerly direction in the wind to allow us to close reach almost straight down the rum line. We managed to sail most of it, we only motor sailed the last few hours as the wind strength was easing as the sun went down.
So after 15 hours we dropped 'Greg' our Mantus anchor, outside in very sloppy conditions in Simson Bay. It made for a very uncomfortable night, swaying from side to side. The next morning we were surprised to see La Vagabonde the Australian flagged yacht with Rylie and Elaina on board, anchored right in front of us. We left Gibraltar with them on the 1st of January and we saw them again in Road Town in the BVI's about seven weeks ago, we motored through the bridge opening together into the lagoon to clear in through Customs and Immigration. They are a very friendly and helpful bunch of officials here, even though the documents we have to complete are very repetitious.
The photo is the lift bridge we went through into the lagoon.
Life is now very calm on Annecam
04/25/2015, North Gorda Sound
This is our last British Virgin Island sunset for several months, early tomorrow morning we start our passage south and as I have said before our first stop will be St Maartin to pick up our old outboard motor, our plan is to only stay for a few days then we sail to either St Barts, St Kitts and Nevis or just straight to Antigua to pick up our genoa that has been repaired in Admiral Nelson's sail loft in English Harbour. From there the plan is to keep heading south to the Grenadines and eventually to Trinidad for the hurricane season.
We have cleared through Customs and Immigration in Road Town and I do recommend the friendly officials who are always a pleasure to do business with.
The weather forecast is for light winds right on our nose, so the planned passage to St Maartin is 80 nautical miles on the rum line but with the head wind we will make it well over 120 nautical miles.
Life is always an adventure on Annecam.
04/23/2015, Little Wickhams Cay, Road Town Harbour, BVI’s
It is great to be young without a fear of heights, Tom wanted to take some photos from the top of our mast, so after adjusting the harness I had the job of winching him up, so just to make his journey worthwhile I got him to check all of the pins and wires on our rig.
As I write this blog we are sailing back around to Road Town to provision for the first of our passages south. We are cruising along at just over 5 knots with 9 knots of true wind. We hope that we can get a bit more breeze in a few day's time for the passage to St Maartin.
Life is very easy on board Annecam.
04/22/2015, Trellis Bay, Beef Island, BVI’s
We just watched Pip and Tom take off on their long journey of several flights back to Australia. It was a real pleasure having them share the experience of cruising with us around the BVI's. It was a surprise to us how quickly they got over the jet lag of the 37.5 hour flights just to get here, they just seemed to take it in their stride. We are already missing them heaps.
Now it is back to the sailing for us as we prepare for the first passage to St Maartin as we head south for the hurricane season, after St Maartin we will sail to St Barthelemy better known as St Barts, then it will be on to St Kitts and Nevis, then over to Antigua to pick up and pay for our repaired genoa, then down to Montserrat, across to Guardeloupe, down to Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent, then to the Grenadines, Grenada and on to Tobago and down to our finale Island of Trinidad for this season. After the hurricane season we will sail back up through the chain on Caribbean Islands to the BVI's where we are right now to decide on our next destination, do we sail from here up the east coast of America or do we sail the 1,000 nautical miles to transit the Panama canal, only time will tell.
Life is very quiet on Annecam without our kids.