SailBlog

Brigadoon - Puerto Rico and Back

06 April 2014 | St. Thomas, USVI
18 March 2014 | 18 02.103'N:63 05.189'W, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
04 March 2014 | 17 04.605'N:61 40.307'W, Green Bay, Antiqua
22 February 2014 | 17 9.170'N:62 37.887'W, Charlestown, Nevis
11 February 2014 | 18 2.105'N:63 5.171'W, St. Maarten
03 February 2014 | 18 19.715'N:064 56.938'W, ST. Thomas, USVI
28 January 2014 | 18 17.327'N:065 38.050'W, Puerto Del Rey, Puerto Rico
24 December 2012 | 18 30.342'N:64 22.381'W, BVI
06 December 2012 | 18 18.975'N:64 57.624'W, US Virgin Islands
03 December 2012 | 18 06.551'N:65 22.769'W, Puerto Rico
29 November 2012 | 18 17.167'N:65 38.176'W, Puerto Rico
25 November 2012 | 18 18.863'N:65 13.974'W, Atlantic
21 November 2012 | 18 18.648'N:65 19.065'W, Atlantic
20 November 2012 | 18 58'N:66 09'W, Atlantic
19 November 2012 | 20 38'N:66 43'W, Atlantic
15 November 2012 | 26 35'N:68 36'W, Atlantic
14 November 2012 | 28 36'N:70 33'W, Atlantic
12 November 2012 | 32 10.3'N:72 47.7'W, Atlantic
09 November 2012 | 34 42.949'N:76 39.866'W
05 November 2012 | Belhaven, NC

The Last Leg

06 April 2014 | St. Thomas, USVI
Patty
We were in St. Martin at the time of our last blog and haven't had decent internet since. We decided to cross the 80 miles from St. Martin in the daylight this time so we left at 5 am. It was still dark so we fired up the radar and GPS and headed out. We were wondering about travelling this route at night as we did last time because we saw numerous large groups of fish traps en route. They seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere. After about 12 hours of sailing/motoring we anchored in North Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda.

Before we left we knew that there was a storm brewing near Newfoundland and they were expecting hurricane-force winds. You wouldn't think this would affect us in the BVI but the weather guru, Chris Parker assured us it would. The serge and swell would travel that far. North Gorda Sound is very open to the north and after our first night we were starting to get a lot of swell into the anchorage. There seemed to be a mass exit of boats looking for a new place to hunker down. We decided to head for one of our favourite places on Norman Island which would be better protected from the swell. Well we were right and stayed for three nights.
Since then we have been to Jost Van Dyke, Caneel Bay and Lameshure Bay on St. John. We went for happy hour at Foxy's on JVD and low and behold there was Foxy visiting with the clientele. Someone told us that the three places to be on New Years are Foxy's, Times Square and Trafalgar Square.
As you can see we are in St Thomas, USVI. We arrived yesterday and have been busy with laundry, groceries, filling water tanks. There is only one grocery store between here and the marina in Puerto Del Rey, PR and it is not that great so we have stocked up well.
We will leave the marina later today and anchor outside in the anchorage for the night. This way we can take the dinghy over to customs to check out at Charlotte Amalie.
Next stop The Spanish Virgin Islands.
I added a few more photos to the gallery.




Back to St. Maarten

18 March 2014 | 18 02.103'N:63 05.189'W, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
Patty
March 18 - Back at St. Maarten

Time flies. It has been two weeks since our last blog.

The last blog left with us arriving at Green Island on Antigua where we picked up a mooring buoy just on the inside of a very large reef. This area is known for it¬'s Kite Boarding School so we had kite boarders whizzing by our boat all day. We actually moved to a different mooring buoy as the kites were getting really close to our rigging and they were learning after all. It was interesting watching them. They would start by having the student fly the sail while in an inflatable dinghy with an instructor. This way they could get used to handling the sail before having to deal with the board. If we were younger we would have been tempted to try it. Oh well.

When we left Green Island we headed back to Falmouth Harbour and then back to Jolly Harbour Marina. From Jolly Harbour we explored the island by bus visiting the fresh produce and craft markets and a gallery that we missed back at Falmouth Harbour. By taking two buses and for $10.00 we saw a large portion of the island and learned about Antigua bus etiquette. The buses do not leave until they are full and I mean full no matter how long this takes. We sat for and hour waiting to fill the bus counting the seats left after each group got on. There was a fellow from the UK that left the bus shortly after we got on and said he was going to walk back. We were very happy when a group of five got on and filled the remaining seats. The bus had 23 seats including the ¬'jump seats¬' that you flip down all along the aisle. If you want to get off you yell ¬"bus stop!¬" and if you are the guy in the back corner of the bus everyone on the jump seats gets up, folds up their seat and moves to the front of the bus to let the person through. You have to be patient and have lots of time to ride the buses here. It was fun and a great experience. One bus driver noticed two women down a side street and drove his bus down the road to pick them up. The buses were all private and ranged from nine passenger vans to small buses. A taxi would cost $20. US to the nearest town and the bus would be about $2.

When we left Antigua, we sailed to Nevis, checked in and out at the same time in Charlestown, and stayed overnight at Cockleshell Bay in the pass between Nevis and St. Kitts. The plan was to sail to St. Barts, check-in and out of customs at one go and then carry on to St. Martin the next day. We left at 7:00 AM and had a fast sail down to St. Barts. The wind was just aft of the beam and we made good time with speeds averaging 6-7 knots. By the time we got close to St. Barts, we decided to carry on to St. Martin and avoid the whole customs check in and out and pay money process.

We are now back at Island Water World Marina on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. As usual, we have some maintenance and a couple of things to repair. It is hard to beat this place for supplies (duty free if you are a transient boat) and the expertise available within walking distance of the boat is fantastic. The marina has bikes they will lend you so we borrowed them yesterday and went to the grocery store and a couple of other places. Old school bikes with baskets and made for short people as you could not adjust the seats but they worked and it was lots of fun.

We will stay here for a couple more days before heading off to either Anguilla or Virgin Gorda depending on the weather and timing.

Nevis, St Kitts, Antiqua

04 March 2014 | 17 04.605'N:61 40.307'W, Green Bay, Antiqua
Patty
We left Nevis Island after two nights and travelled to St. Kitts only about an hour away. We found a wonderful place to anchor off of a fantastic beach in South Friars Bay. One long beach with an elaborate restaurant/bar at one end and several beach bars scattered along the rest. We discovered that there was going to be a local band playing at one of the beach bars called Shipwreck so we ventured down there for happy hour. It proved to be very popular with the locals. One of the attractions on St. Kitts is green monkeys which are decendents of monkeys imported from Africa by the planters of sugar plantations (there are now more monkeys than people on the island). The sugar cane plantations have been abandoned in recent years. Shipweck had a lot of green monkeys in an area behind the bar. We moved on to the main town of St. Kitts called Basseterre and stayed at the marina. The town itself is very rustic but near the marina and where the cruise ships arrive they have built an enormous shopping mall with shops, and restaurants - reminiscent of Disneyland. Thousands of sarongs and t-shirts. To get to where we are now we first sailed back to Nevis and picked up a mooring buoy for an early morning getaway to Antigua as this would shave off an hour or so for the next days travel. The sail/motor to Antigua from Nevis took about nine hours and fortunately the waves had subsided a bit. Long sails are the norm in this area as the islands are quite far apart. We are loving Antiqua. We stayed on a dock in a marina in Jolly Harbour for two nights. We met a woman from Vancouver who had been sailing with her husband for 15 years. I am guessing they are in their late 70's and had just crossed the Atlantic where they had spent 5 years in the Mediterranean. They were feeling it was time to return back to Vancouver and were heading back to the east coast of the USA to have their boat put on a truck to transport it to Anacortes. From there they would sail back to Vancouver. It was important to them that they sail into Vancouver on their return just as they had sailed aw ay15 years ago. The big news on Brigadoon is our rescue at sea two days ago. We were motoring from Jolly harbour to Fulmouth harbour just inside a large, long reef when a young man popped out of the water calling for help. He was holding onto a spear gun and an air tank. He and a friend were diving and the strong current had drifted them about 3/4 of a mile from there dive boat. As we were trying to comprehend all of this Doug is inviting two local spear-gun-wielding young men onto our boat. Me, being the sceptical one, is wondering about the sanity of this until they pointed out their yellow dive boat far away in the distance just off of the reef. The boys explained that the driver of the boat would be driving around in circles looking for them. We delivered the very thankful young men back to their dive boat and continued our journey to Falmouth Harbour.

Falmouth Harbour is a large harbour with some of the most beautiful, large sailing vessels we have ever seen. Large sailboats have red lights on top of the mast which they light at night (to alert aircraft) so at night there is a display of very colourful red lights atop of the masts. You can walk for five minutes and arrive at the very picturesque English Harbour, famous for the English Harbour Dockyard which remains much as it was in 1789. This was Britain¬'s main naval station in the Lesser Antilles. On the wall in the museum is a very large photograph of Prince Charles whom looks to be about 12 or 14 years old. While walking through the town of Falmouth Harbour we came across a man riding a donkey. This looked like a good photo op to me so I had my camera read. The happy and friendly man on the donkey said go ahead take as many pictures as you want and by the way do you have a dollar. A local woman walking by was giving him a hard time for asking for money. His reply was ¬"Just making pennies¬". We made the man 100 pennies richer. They are quite friendly on Antigua. We keep getting called ¬'darling¬' a lot. Not sure if they are calling me or Doug darling. On our way to Nonsuch Bay, as I write, a trip of about 11 n miles which will take us about 2 hours. We are at Green Island on a mooring buoy right next to the reef and the green colour of the water is amazing. Check out our position on Google maps from our sailblogs page.
Vessel Name: BrigadoonIII
Vessel Make/Model: Saga43
Hailing Port: Vancouver, Canada
Crew: Doug, Patty
BrigadoonIII's Photos - Main
2014 trip from Puerto Rico - January 20 to April 23
28 Photos
Created 11 February 2014
The passage from North Carolina to Puerto Rico
13 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
15 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
Travelling down the Inter Coastal Waterway from Norfolk, VA to Beaufort, NC.
7 Photos
Created 5 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 25 October 2012