Debi and Jack sailing on SV Iroquois

Vessel Name: Iroquois
Vessel Make/Model: Ohlson38
Crew: Jack Markin, Debi Dennis
23 February 2018 | Charlotte Amalie St Thomas USVI
18 February 2018
15 February 2018
09 February 2018 | St Thomas USVI
05 February 2018
29 January 2018 | Prickly Pear Island Virgin Gorda
26 January 2018 | Virgin Gorda
24 January 2018 | Sint Maarten
23 January 2018 | Simpsons Bay St Maarten
20 January 2018 | Basseterre St Kitts
18 January 2018 | Nevis
14 January 2018 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
10 January 2018 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
09 January 2018 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
08 January 2018 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
02 January 2018 | 17 0.9'N:049 39.3'W
01 January 2018 | 16 59.072'N:047 57.288'W
31 December 2017 | 18 13.02'N:046 19.3'W
30 December 2017 | 19 01.661'N:041 58.3'W
29 December 2017 | 19 01.661'N:041 58.3'W
Recent Blog Posts
23 February 2018 | Charlotte Amalie St Thomas USVI

Leaving the virgins

We came back to St Thomas to reprovision yesterday. The plan is to leave tomorrow morning for the Bahamas, probably Georgetown. It's a 4-6 day trip depending on which forecast you believe. We will try to blog daily.

18 February 2018

Maho Bay, St John USVI

Every evening and every morning here I listen to the birdsong from the nearby forest. I wonder if these are the same birds I listen to at home in Wisconsin. Do songbirds migrate this far? The sound comforts me as do the smells of the forest. Even though you can see the hurricane damage there is a lot [...]

15 February 2018

St John USVI

After studying the weather for the next 10 days we decided to go back to the BVI for a while and hope the Christmas winds will moderate soon. But after motoring upwind a couple of hours we couldn't help but notice the empty mooring fields along the north shore of St John, so we pulled in and picked one [...]

09 February 2018 | St Thomas USVI

St Thomas

We would have stayed at Nanny Cay for a week but they needed the space for catamarans. They have only a few slips open but were feverishly installing new pontoons while we were there. We learned about 'boat vultures ' there. We had seen these people before who buy up damaged yachts then flip them for [...]

05 February 2018


We spent a week on Virgin Gorda that went by very quickly. The North Sound is beautiful and practically empty. We moored off of Prickly Pear Island for free, not sure who the moorings belong to but I think it's the beach bar, which a few people were working on-- sifting through rubble, stacking and burning [...]

29 January 2018 | Prickly Pear Island Virgin Gorda

Three Day Blow

We are still on a mooring here off of Prickly Pear Island in the north sound of Virgin Gorda. There used to be a beach bar here and apparently the moorings were for it, so until it's rebuilt they seem to be available. We went in to the small beach yesterday and picnicked with our friends from Snowstar. The beach ends in a steep very rough hillside on one end and a short ways down at the wreckage of the bar/restaurant so you can't walk far but there are quite a few plastic chairs that are in good enough condition that you can sit in them. Someone has made piles here and there of burnable trash like roof beams and such and other piles of plastic. There's also a full trash bag which can hopefully get picked up before it blows or washes away. We picked up some plastic and coke cans we found on the way and added them to the trash bag. We had a nice picnic lunch and went for a refreshing swim then came back to the boat for some reading, guitar playing and drawing time. It's still very windy (20-30kts) but we're pretty well protected here--as long as the mooring holds we're good.  Jack has been reminding me of a Hemingway story, The Three Day Blow. The first time we hunkered down for a three day blow was in Nova Scotia while we waited out the after effects of a tropical storm. It prompted us to think we should have days like that where we did nothing at home but hunker down, read, play music etc. Slowing down is sometimes as difficult as charging forward. We are just starting day three. The forecast is for the wind to go down by tomorrow morning. Then we'll probably do some exploring on Virgin Gorda proper. Some people anchored near us went over yesterday but coming back is against wind and waves for a little more than a mile. In our dinghy we would be completely soaked by the time we got back to the boat, so I let Jack go alone to look for ice. He made it back safely and  quickly but got very wet.

From the sea to the coast

09 January 2018 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
It's been hard to find time and energy to write this, but I will give it my best shot. A week ago we were sailing along with the idea that we might make Antigua within a week so we emailed the marina in Jolly Harbour to ask about berthing and their advice for a night arrival. They sent back two voluminous emails which used the last of our satphone minutes and didn't completely download. We figured out how to get more minutes but at the same time our satellite router also stopped working. We tried debugging as best we could but to no avail. And that is why we couldn't post until we got some wifi at the marina. The last five days were relatively uneventful. The wind was still with us and there were a few and sometimes many squalls every day and night. We carried on with few changes. Gradually we saw more ship traffic and once called a freighter who altered course to avoid us, but we never saw any sails until we could actually see the island. In the last day we started seeing birds. It rained a lot and we got a little tired of it. Also it became clear that it would definitely be dark when we arrived. But we studied the charts and information we had about Jolly Harbour and it looked like we could get to the edge of the anchorage even in the dark. Jack said he just hoped it wouldn't be raining when we were trying to get anchored. Unfortunately it did start to really pour just as we approached the channel but in spite of our disagreements about what we were looking at we managed to find our way to the edge of the channel and dropped anchor just outside it. After cleaning up on deck we settled in with a glass of wine and some lomo iberico--our first alcohol since before leaving La Gomera. Within 20 minutes we were both sound asleep. It was so quiet, but there was the new sound of water washing up on shore. In the morning sun we could see that we were actually in an ok place. One of the first things we noticed about Antigua is how green it is. One of the next things we noticed is how frequently it rains -- no wonder it's so green. The weather here reminds us of Alabama, really hot and humid. After breakfast we found our mooring lines, put out fenders, raised anchor and slowly motored through the anchorage to the customs dock. We saw a few boats we recognized from the other side. It took some getting used to seeing so many US and Canada ensigns. We're definitely not a novelty any more, except for the antique nature of our vessel.  The customs dock was very straightforward, a pontoon that you could come along either side. And it was super long compared to the European short ones we were used to. While Jack checked in with customs, immigration and port authority all of which are conveniently located side by side Debi snoozed in the cockpit and stared at the superyatchs. After radioing the marina we made our way over to it and were met by some very nice marineros  (what are they called in English? Europeans translate it as "sailors" but I am sure that is not what they are called here) Anyway William and Hutson were super competent and helped us into the box stall with no mishaps. William said that the rowers from Antigua were "only" 600 miles away. Once we were tied up we got to work establishing some order and changing over from passage making to coastal configuration. We have been going nonstop since then. We can't remember all the things we fixed yesterday but Jack did arrange to get our boat registration renewed and sent to the marina here. Last night we went out to eat and had jerk chicken and west indies curry. Today we spent most of the day fixing the reaching pole, yes again! This time the line that extends it had chafed almost all the way through. There were many snags, but eventually we got it done. Sorry, no pictures yet but will try to get some soon.
Iroquois's Photos - Main
4 Photos
Created 11 May 2016
1 Photo
Created 4 August 2015
4 Photos
Created 1 August 2015
6 Photos
Created 1 August 2015
No Photos
Created 7 June 2015
8 Photos
Created 7 May 2015

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