Debi and Jack sailing on SV Iroquois

Vessel Name: Iroquois
Vessel Make/Model: Ohlson38
Crew: Jack Markin, Debi Dennis
Social:
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
28 December 2017 | 19 55.955'N:040 34.978'W
Recent Blog Posts
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.

26 January 2018 | Virgin Gorda

British Virgin Islands

Note to Anna: on our way out of St Martin we sailed past La Samana but we were too far away to assess any damage. The beach still looks nice.

St Maarten

24 January 2018 | Sint Maarten
There are iguanas here,  also lots of butterflies but they are harder to get a picture of. Yesterday we dinghied over to the French side of the lagoon to see if it was better. It was WAY worse and not as much salvage work has been done. There is tons of wreckage and unmarked underwater hazards. Once I looked down into the water and realized with shock that I was looking at a sunken boat. On shore it doesn't look like any of the buildings are habitable and there are piles of boats on the western shore. We wonder how people are living there. We saw a woman bathing in the cockpit of what was left of the hull of a destroyed sailboat. We also saw a few perfectly intact boats with cruisers aboard, but not many. By the time we headed back I was practically in tears. Back at the boat a local guy stopped by to admire Iroquois and while we were talking he said , "you see all that pretty blue on the houses up there? That's tarpaulin that people are living under. There's no money for repairs. " He also got very sad and said that many many people died even though the official count is something like 10. Today we went on the "cruiser bus" to the new Carrefour supermarket and I sat next to a woman who had been here the whole time. She said she was very lucky in that both their apartment and boat mostly survived. She said the worst of Irma was just one night, but the sounds were terrifying, especially when things landed on the roof and you wondered if it would hold. She said some apartments got the full force and the wind just swept everything straight through from front to back. I guess that's what left all the empty concrete shells I saw. But afterward she said you felt so alone, not seeing anyone with no phones or internet or anything and the roads were  blocked by buildings that had been moved. It took weeks before people started to reconnect according to her. I know people have been living through hurricanes forever but I've never been personally so close to one and it makes me question the viability of living in the Caribbean. It might not be so sad if it didn't so much exacerbate the economic disparities and political corruption.
OK, well, we plan to leave tomorrow afternoon for Virgin Gorda. It is also recovering very slowly, but I will try to find happier things to blog about. There are two other boats here who also plan the same trip tomorrow as well. We should arrive in Spanish Town on Friday morning.
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Iroquois's Photos - Main
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