Trip to Ptown
07 June 2013 | Ptown
Well we stayed two days on Nantucket. Monday, the first day, it rained the entire day so we decided to go to the Whale Museum and to then out to lunch. For dinner Rick and Lindsay ran out and picked up some pizza and brought it back to the boat. Tuesday, we did an 18 mile bicycle tour of Nantucket. We biked out to the Sankaty Lighthouse featured in the photo above. It was a beautiful day about 70 degrees and pure blue skies! It was a very nice way to end our stay on Nantucket. Wednesday, we got up bright and early and started our trek to Provincetown. We left at 6:30 am from Nantucket. We motored the entire way with no sail up as the winds were only about 5 knots on our nose. With calm winds come and calm waves the Ocean was like glass and the clear skies made the visibility perfect. We saw many, many seals and a couple of whales. (One other note – on the sail from North Carolina to Nantucket – Rick and Lindsay saw Whales and two Sharks!)
We arrived in Ptown at about 4 pm and fueled up. We then put the boat on its mooring slip for the summer and headed to town to get dinner and see Lindsay off. She was headed to Boston on the ferry to spend some time with her mom prior to starting her summer job at Flyers. Rick and I then headed to the Monkey Bar to say hi to our friends there and then headed home for an early evening.
Yesterday, Rick and cleaned the boat and headed to Boston ourselves to avoid being on the boat during the Tropical Storm Andrea aftermath that is supposed to hit the Cape this weekend.
Travels from St John to the Cape
04 June 2013 | Nantucket Island
Well, to update you on our whereabouts we are now on Nantucket Island off of Cape Cod. Rick and I left St John USVI’s on Friday May 3 and did 3 overnights (4 hours shift intervals) just the two of us and arrived on the Turks and Caicos on Monday morning, May 6th. From there we motored sailed through the Bahamas for 3 more nights and arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Friday May 10th.
While in Fort Lauderdale we had the boat pulled out of the water to repair a prop that had been damaged. We were also honored to have Lindsay fly down to help us sail up to the Cape. We more than welcomed the extra help plus the excellent company. Once we left Florida on May 27th, we were originally heading for Charleston SC but they did not have any open slips or moorings and the weather looked good so we continued on to Southport NC. We made really good time and arrived on Wednesday May 29th at around noon. We stayed at the Southport Marina, which turned out to be the nicest marina we have ever stayed at. It was great to dine on land and sleep a whole night.
On Thursday May 30th we had a good weather window and headed directly for Nantucket Island. The winds were low so we motored sailed and it took us 3 night and 4 days (arriving June 2nd). It was beautiful weather until about 5 miles outside of Nantucket Harbor at which time the winds picked up to around 35-40 knots right on our nose. It was very hard to see the channel into the harbor but we made it. Because of the wind and current we had a bit of a time getting into the marina slip at the Boat Basin but finally made it without hitting anything. Whew!
We are still on Nantucket today June 4th planning on leaving tomorrow for Provincetown, MA. It should take us about 8-10 hours depending on the wind. By tomorrow night we will be in Ptown Harbor where we will stay for the summer.
As a side note we are happy to say will be staying on our boat much more this summer than last summer as we sold our house on the Cape in N. Truro this spring.
Getty ready to head back North
24 April 2013 | St John
Well, well no posts for over a year. We have a great year since Dec 2011. Last winter we spent our time in the USVI's and the BVI's and sailed back up to Cape Cod via Bahamas and east coast. We encountered a couple of storms which scared the crap out of me but we made it through. I was really glad we had as big a boat as we had during those storms. But even with our boat I felt like a little piece of plastic in the middle of the ocean.
This winter we were back in the USVIs and BVIs and had another stellar winter. We have however listed the boat for sale and so far the gods have not wanted us to get rid of it. As of May 1st we will be heading back up to the Cape, via the Bahama route and then from there the east coast. Unless it sells prior to that. It is probaby good it didn't sell yet as we just sold our Cape Home so the boat maybe our only place to stay on the Cape this summer.
Much more to report but thought I would start slow and fill in more details later.
Jolly Rogers to Buck Island from St Croix
23 December 2011 | ST Croix
Well, Lindsay arrived for college break and we spent here first full day touring the island in a car to show her the whole place. Then the next day we went snorkeling off of Buck island reef. It was great fun. We took a day trip on the Jolly Rogers over there (See photo above). Our hosts were Mike and RC two very friendly guys. We were also lucky that besides us there were only two people on the boat. (I will say that I am not a huge fan of snorkeling but by the end of the day I was doing pretty good).
We are still in St Croix as the Christmas winds have not been cooperating with us, therefore we postponed our departure to St John. We are hoping either tomorrow or Sunday we will be able to leave. I have a feeling either way we will be beating into the wind with some nice sized waves! FUN-not!!
Well that is all for now.
St Croix Christmas Boat Parade and Fireworks
13 December 2011 | St Croix
Well it has been awhile since we posted on the blog. So here is our update since the last post.
I arrived in St Croix on Nov 21st and since then Rick and I have been working during the day and touring and exploring the island on nights and weekends. It is a very cool island. Most people skip St Croix as it is not as busy as St Thomas or as close as either St John or St Thomas to the BVI’s. But I have to say it is one of the best islands that we have visited.
The people are warm and friendly and always greet you with a good morning, afternoon or evening. We are learning it is a very small community and everyone knows everyone else’s business on the island. But there is also a strong sense of community and people watch out for each other here.
So all in all we are having a great time. Last Saturday was the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade in Christensted Harbor, where we are moored. IT was really cool, 23 boats all decked out in Christmas decorations cruised around the harbor. Then for the finally they had fireworks that ended up right off of our boat. The wind was just blowing to the right of our boat so none of the smoke or ash was blowing towards our boat and we had front row seats to the show!! IT was awesome. I have attachéd a link to youtube for your viewing pleasure.
Well one other note, when we bought the boat we were told that boats are a lot of up keep and maintenance. Boy they sure were not lying. Over the course of the last year we have had several things break, die, quit, leak and now last night burn. We were sleeping when Ricks apnea machine stopped working. So he got up to figure out why and smelled smoke. Our inverted had overloaded and started smoking with a few small flames. So we had to shut it down. The good thing is, as we learned today, everything still works as long as the generator is working! Which means we can charge all the computers, phones and electronic stuff and Rick will be able to sleep still. The bad news is we have to run the generator a lot more until the new inverter is installed (which thankfully was still under warranty). Now we just need to find someone to install it. So new boat owners beware! Boats are a continual learning and maintenance adventure.
That is all for now… This weekend Lindsay arrives for her Christmas break. We are very excited! WE are going to do a Jeep tour of the island with her and then head to St John next week where we will spend Christmas.
Ocean City to ST Croix 11/1/11 - 11/13/11
13 November 2011
Tues Nov 1
I drove our beasts, Blackie and Baby from Boston to Ocean City, Md. On the way we visited and had dinner with one our favorite crew members, Lindsay, who is a freshman at Haverford College near Philadelphia. I arrived at Sunset Marina at 10:30 pm Tuesday night. All seemed fine with Briclin II.
Wed Nov 2
Rick cleaned, provisioned and got the boat ready for the arrival of our crack crew on Thursday. Dale Stock from Ft. Lauderdale, Bob Kearns from Kenosha Wi, and our newest recruit, Dan Holland of Boston. I promised them an adventure and a journey, and left the details up to Mother Nature.
Thurs Nov 3
I met Dale, Bob and Dan at noon at the Salisbury Airport. Our crew seemed rested, ecxited and eager to go. We were planning to leave for our 1600 mile sail Friday morning, but the winds were blowing gale force. Postponing our start for a day, we had a few beverages and dinner at the Shark before retiring.
Fri Nov 4
Woke and made a unanimous decision to layover for another day as the winds were gusting to 40 knots. We went to Home Depot and West Marine and bought all of their jerry jugs in order to have 65 extra gallons of diesel with us on our trip. Dan's brother Ryan, a commander with the Navy River force stationed out of Norfolk Va, came up for the day and night to visit. It was another night of tall tales at the Shark and Sunset Grille. All campers were happy, fed, liquored, rested, and ready to go.
Sat Nov 5 - We are off!
Slept in and rose slowly. Winds still howling but predictions were for them to taper off by mid afternoon. After lunch on the boardwalk and seeing Ryan off, we decided to cast off at 4:30 pm. We raised the sails in the bay, set the second reef in the main, shut the engines off and pointed SE towards Bermuda some 600 miles away. We had a 10% chance of meeting a sub tropical storm (more later). Our shifts for the journey: Dan 6-9, Rick 9-12, Dale 12-3, and Bob 3-6. Our goal was to make it to St Croix in 8 to 9 days and use as little fuel as possible. Our big picture goals were to learn Spanish and Guitar, and eat all the Halloween candy that magically manifested each day.
Dinner Sat night was pre-made Sloppy Joes paired with bonine. During the first 5 hours of rough seas Dan, Rick, and Blackie the wonder dog all got seasick. With Capt. Dale also trying to shake a very bad headcold, it seemed like a very foreboding start. Our course would take us through the gulf stream in 13 hours then SE 600 miles to Bermuda, then 900 miles due south at 65 degrees w longitude to St Croix.
Sun Nov 6
Winds from the NE at 25 knots, 15 foot waves coming from behind us, lots of creaking and banging, accompanied us as we crossed the Gulf Stream. Dan was still sick, and Baby and Blackie both scared shitless. Dale's cold was on the mend and transferred to Dan to make his maiden voyage even more enjoyable. With the second reef still in we made 210 miles in a day averaging almost 9 mph. Dinner was sandwiches and chips. The bang bang banging of the waves meant little sleep for our team. Some day the sun will shine, but apparently not here.
Mon Nov 7
Another 210 miles sailed under a storm sail and genoa averaging 9 mph. As night approached the waves grew to 20 feet while the wind dialed up to 35 plus. Although not very relaxing, we dined on grilled chicken with asparagus, salad and ice cream. We had another sleepless night due to the pounding, growing waves and screaming winds. Ever the optimists, we made a lot of headway - 420 miles in 2 days. Sleep is over rated anyways.
Tues Nov 8
Oh shit. Our 10% chance of a subtropical storm had been upgraded to tropical storm Sean, less than 200 miles SE of us. Using our weather satellite we decided to backtrack west and south of Sean, as it was predicted to go right at Bermuda. Our bailout point was now 36 hours away in the Bahamas. With the winds still screaming at 35 plus, and seas buliding to over 23 feet, Rick braised ribs and boiled broccoli for the crew. While we surfed the waves forward, Dan overcame his seasickness only to realize we were 600 miles from land in seas 13000 ft deep with large and unrelenting winds and waves. We had another day of great milage, but hardly an enjoyable ride.
Wed Nov 9
We had more 35 plus winds but seas finally diminishing down to 20 footers. We got south of Sean's killing zone and were again making great mileage. Still with storm sales up, we dined on chicken burritos. We had only 650 miles to St Croix. Will the sun and blue skys ever return?
Thurs Nov 10
Are we in heaven? Winds fell to 25 mph from the SW. The waves were easing. Sun and blue skies returned. This is what we came for. As we made 9 mph under sail we fished, checked the water maker and generator, and repaired two chaffed reef lines. As the sun went down we hoisted a few brews and happily dined on grilled ribeyes, corn, roasted potatoes, and a great cabernet. This is sailing. As the winds started to shift back to the east at 7pm, we fired up the port engine to add some speed. With another 500 miles to go, it looks like we should arrive around noon on Sunday.
We had another spectacular sunny, windy, day of sail. SW winds near 20, no waves makes our crew happy, as does a few beers accompanying another beautiful sunset.
Sat Nov 12
The thorny path is back. We woke to beating into 28 knot winds from the E accompanied by 7 foot waves.There was lots of pitching, creaking, and banging. Thank god we are only 24 hours out. On Rick's 9-12 pm watch we got caught up in an instant monster squall with 42 mph winds and torrential rains. Rick and Dale got the genoa down but the main at 1 reef took a pounding.
Sun Nov 13
Continued bashing into the wind and waves meant little sleep was had. Dawn found us off the Spanish Virgin Islands, meaning that for the first time in 8 days, we had cell coverage. The crew quickly fired up their phones and re-connected with the world. 40 miles from St Croix the main sail block broke and down came the sail. We got to St Croix Marine in Gallows Bay and tied up the boat at 2 pm.
1600 miles, a close encounter with tropical storm Sean, 35 knot winds, 25 foot seas, 8 days and 7 nights. We averaged 200 miles per day with 4 days of using only a storm sail. Four souls and two tormented animals were happy to tie up at the dock again. Damage report: broken watermaker, washer machine, genoa clew ripped out, main sail block broken, and 2 bildge pumps demanding a reprieve. No progress on the Spanish or Guitar lessons but lots of exhilarating sailing. Our great crew celebrated land with lots of cheap rum and bar food at Rum Runners, whose motto is "The liver is evil, and must be punished."
Bret arrives monday night. Let the pirate adventure begin....