Debi and Jack sailing on SV Iroquois

Vessel Name: Iroquois
Vessel Make/Model: Ohlson38
Crew: Jack Markin, Debi Dennis
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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

BVIs

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.

Nevis

18 January 2018 | Nevis
We finally got our boat registration delivered by Fedex so we checked out of Antigua and anchored out the last night then left at dawn for points west. We motored for the first couple of hours until the wind filled in then we poled out the jib and sailed downwind until we got to Nevis and picked up a mooring just about 16:00 local time. Our book says the customs office is open 8:00-16:00 so we are "liming"-- just hanging out --on the boat until the morning when we can clear in. We need to decide what we want to do for the next week because you have to tell them where you plan to anchor when you clear in. It was a nice day. Jack roused me from napping in time to see a pair of humpback whales swim past us. What show offs they were! Twisting and flipping their tails! Of course, by the time I got the camera they were gone. Oh well.
Next day.
After a nice breakfast we set up the dinghy and motor then crossed fingers as we started it for the first time since May 2017. It started right up and at full throttle took us very slowly to the town dock where a friendly official waved us in to a ladder and cleat. This is where a rubber dinghy might be more practical, but our homebuilt pram is serviceable enough. Customs, immigration and port control have offices next to each other on the upstairs of the old cotton ginnery, a kind of courtyard mini-mall which seems a common feature of Charlestown. After clearing we walked around town and stopped in at the Hamilton museum on the site of Alexander Hamilton's birthplace. It was being repaired from hurricane damage but we got some pamphlets and advice and bought a  postcard to send to Mr Smarty Pants of Mel and Floyd who really likes Hamilton. Here you really feel you're in the islands. We didn't see many tourists and there are many mooring balls available. It may be that people are afraid of the hurricanes damage, but that's not good for the economy here which depends on tourism. What a vicious cycle. We plan to chill here until tomorrow morning then make our way to St Kitts for a couple of days. Iroquois was built for cooler, really colder places than the Caribbean so we are discovering ways to keep it cooler, a shade cloth over the cockpit, one over the center hatch, blinds on the windows which in true ocean boat design do not open. The air temperature is not so hot perhaps  24 C but the sun is very hot raising the temp by perhaps 10C. We're comfortable in the shade in our bathing suits waiting out the hottest part of the day watching pelicans crash into the water with great splashes and looking forward to a swim soon.
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