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.

BVIs

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 piles of trash, they picked up and stacked all the chairs that were spread along the beach too. Apparently the cruise ships used to dock there. One cruise ship did come into the sound one day, but it anchored near Leverick Bay and we didn't see anyone come or go from it. Leverick Bay is the one open place. There was a lot of work going on there, even though it's open they have a long way to go. We enjoyed swimming and the beach on Prickly Pear very much. A few 'boat boys' came around the mooring area. The first one we met was collecting trash for 5 dollars a bag. He said he used to be the bartender on Saba Rock and he would rather be making us martinis!  Did I already mention that there's nothing left of either the Bitter End Yacht Club or Saba Rock? The good thing about it is that there weren't many other boats there because there are no services.  We went to Spanish Town one day to pick up our friend,  Jenny Striker. She came on the ferry from Roadtown. While we were there we walked to the Riteway supermarket. It seemed like a brand new building and was well stocked. The next morning we motored the few miles down to The Baths and picked up a mooring. There were breaking waves on shore and we debated where we could swim in to. The yellow flag was up and just when we had decided we could make it to a sandy stretch they lowered the flag. Unfortunately, they replaced it with a red one. So we abandoned our plans and went back to North Sound because we wanted Jenny to see it. We discovered that the big fish swimming under the boat was a remora, not a shark. Yesterday we had a nice sail to Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola. We are sort of accustomed to the wreckage in marinas now, but this place has a lot of boats. Half of the marina was newer with taller pylons and it survived the hurricanes. The other half is just gone. People are working to recover and repair their boats as soon as the yard can extricate them from the piles. Of course some of them are totaled with jack stands sticking through the hull and many broken masts. One boat across from us was just launched from the yard here, the owner told us that during the hurricanes a huge Oyster fell over next to his boat and just took the rubrail off the side. A few more inches and his boat would have been crushed, as it is he has pages of lists of repairs but it looks like it will sail again. He's been waiting until now for them to tell him it was freed from the rubble so he could come down and get working on it. We've heard a few of these near miss stories, and one guy told us 'either your boat was totaled or you wish it were'.  Another cruiser was giving me directions to the laundry and he said to go down the road to the right and if you can stand to walk past the ruined boats go to the corner and turn left. On that road I noticed a 'playground ' where a couple of adults were lounging on broken pieces of masts and booms watching kids play on pieces of plywood and swings of boat fenders. On the beach side near the pool there is some actual playground equipment. There is a volunteer group camping near the showers called Hearts and Hands who are helping out the schools here. There seems to be more money and more building supplies here. Anyway we are totally enjoying the luxury of Nanny Cay. We had our first hot showers since leaving Portugal and went to the beach bar to eat, where Jack ordered and consumed a whole grilled chicken. There are some disadvantages to civilization though. We did laundry and in the tiny laundromat was a woman with three young daughters who has the flu, which she said came from the US, where according to her there's an epidemic. Hope those flu shots we got are effective. 
Today Jack 'field serviced' our winches. They were dry and squealing. Field service means he did not completely disassemble them, just enough to clean and grease the gears and bearings. Luckily  he finished just as the afternoon rain began. We also went to the chandlery and got proper courtesy flags for the BVI and the Bahamas. We may get kicked out of here tomorrow because they are using most of the berths for new charter catamarans which are being launched, the cats are big and bigger. We'll see what they tell us tomorrow, and make plans based on that.
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