04/06/2010, Gustavia Bay
Kyle is up with the sun, and starts the coffee... ahh, good!
A quick check of the weather and not much else with the computer because the wifi connection (which Kyle paid for) is on vacation.
Kyle runs to the the Port to check us out, and I tidy up and start blogging.
We make our way out of Simpson Bay via the bridge that has to raise for the departing boats, and we are on our way to Ile Fourchue for a half way point and a snorkel stop.
We are sailing, with St. Maartin to our port side, Kyle has both the main and the genoa sail up. We have ENE winds and an average of 15+ knots. Great conditions for our southern sail to St Barts.
I don't mention enough... the feeling of sailing... it's exciting, exhilarating, and oh soooo freeing. The ahh & beauty of the beautiful blue water and island views in 3 directions today.
This is what I cooked breakfast in today, listening to music and feeling the smile on my face with every awesome movement of the boat. ...can you say 'yeee hahhh'
We arrive at our snorkeling spot and grab a mooring ball. Within minutes we are in the water and heading toward the north side of the bay. The water was nice, but not much of a reef. We saw some cool schools of fish along the rocks and had a nice exploration. Back to the boat, snacks of cheese, crackers & salmon - then back out to sea....
We arrive at St Bart's, Gustavia Bay, busy bay for such a small island. On our way in we pass at least 6 mega yachts - one was the biggest I've seen yet - 370 feet long and 5 decks, someone looks like they are doing ok in these times...
A nice treat, we have wifi, so Kyle checks on his peeps, we shower and now we are about to head in and enjoy some sushi & sake for dinner :)
Our last visit to St. Bart's we found a great sushi restaurant, and we are excited for our return visit!!
So Cheers & XOXO - K2 (Kitty 2) & CK
04/04/2010, St Maarten (Dutch side)
It's Easter Sunday and it's a travel day, ughhh, but I'm on my way back to the Captain and ITW - so it's worth it - and I'm carrying my memories of the most incredible week with my son, friends and family.
I started my trip back on the 3rd at 5pm out of Pasco, long night with a red-eye to JFK, then a morning flight to St Thomas with a layover for 7 hours then just a quick flight to St Maarten (the Dutch side). Upon arrival I checked through at Immigration and had a lady that was so difficult, with me boarding a sailing vessel and checking out with the Port, she made Kyle and I jump through some extra hoops that were not normally needed. Just another lesson in foreign travel...
It was only a week that Kyle and I were apart, but we had a lot to catch up on which was also a prelude to a conversation regarding future travel plans (momma's really missing Rydr). We are both really excited on what we came up with!!
Note: the last time I came back to the boat after leaving Kyle with the guys for an adventure, it was ahhhh - 'dorm room', this time - ahhh... 'home sweet home'. Kyle had not neglected my trusty tools of the vacuum, broom & my vinegar :)
So, Sunday night, it's late and we hit the sack and have a great night of snoozing.
Monday the 4th - up with the sun and the smell of coffee, Kyle got it brewing because I can feel I have a case of the jet-lag going.
We soon pull up anchor and move around the lagoon to be closer to the port authority, restaurants & shopping.
Off to check me on the boat, which we were told to do immediately and that official just waved me through and said just to come back when we were departing (it would be nice if the rules stayed consistent from day to day).
After checking some emails and weather & more catching up between us, we head in to have some lunch and get a few necessities.
Lunch was at Jimbo's, this was a nice lunch with great service (sweet). A quick walk up the main street to check things out and then to the market for the needed supplies, you know, t.p., doritos etc...
Back to the boat, more of the same, conversation and computer work (no swimming in the lagoon, icky). Kyle is giving up all of the couch but a little smidge - he's so good to me!
Before long we are cleaned up and heading back into dinner, we choose Valentino's a really nice Italian restaurant which turned into a real treat. We both had wonderful meals, an excellent bottle of Italian wine (including nice glass wear, which is not a given in the caribbean) and super service! Wow, we really got lucky today.
Back to the boat and an episode of NCIS, yip, we like our NCIS :), which brings us to an end of a great relaxing day of being together.
Cheers, and we love you all - Uma Kitty (Brenda, Uma Kitty is a cute story, I'll give it to you some time) & Captain Kyle or CK.
04/03/2010, Marigot Bay, St. Martin
A continuation of yesterday and last night!
So I dinghy to the dock and go to check in at Customs, of course they are closed for Good Friday, maybe I better consult my Hamster calendar a little closer (PS - Harlan - who is the guy in the calendar picture with his hand on your leg - LMAO).
No big deal, so I go to the little coffee shop and have a beer (did you expect me to have coffee?) and check emails and post the blogs, etc. A little walk to stretch my legs and then back to ITW for a nap with plans to go to town for a nice diner at a great French restaurant.
Back at ITW, I am chillin out and I start to see dark clouds coming in and the seas building in the bay. Within 15 minutes the winds have built to 25 plus knots and 5' to 7' wave surge. Boat are flailing about, heading to the marina or trying to get into the inner bay of Simpson Bay Lagoon. When I set my anchor I dove on it to make sure it was hooked good and it was buried in the sand with a 5 to 1 scope on the chain. I notice I am getting closer to the boat behind me and I am dragging anchor a little bit at a time on every big surge coming in, NOT GOOD! So, fire the motors, raise the hook (that was fun!) and bash over to a wide open space a couple hundred yards away, drop the hook and let out a shit load of chain so that I am at least 10 plus to one on my scope (that was just as fun to do all by myself) I am now completely soaked and just a little bit ticked off at mother nature for ruining my dinner plans and a great night sleep.
So, a couple episodes of The Unit, a couple Vodkatangcrantonic's (Hey Matt, my new drink concoction). No sense in trying to cook anything because it is still plenty rough, although starting to die down and pass, so a bowl of Cheerios for diner. I make sure all of the hatches are closed tight and go to bed, of course with the continued surge I get woken up every hour or so. Finally around 6:00 AM things mellowed out to more normal, so I turn off the anchor light, start the generator and make coffee and check the boat, all is still in one piece!
The only saving grace is that I now have internet access from ITW and don't have to drag my laptop to shore and that I had a great and safe passage between the two storm fronts. OK, time to try and check into St. Martin again (did I mention that I didn't check out of St. Thomas - long story - would someone please call Homeland Security and tell them Mussman has left the country!).
Maybe today I will get that afternoon nap - more to follow! ARRRRRRRRRRRR ;)
Sometime during the middle of the night is started pouring rain, wake up, shut all the hatches, it rained hard for a long time and at least ITW got a good washing, back to sleep.
Alarm goes off at 1:00 AM, check the weather and it looks to go and the front has passed through. Call my bride to let her know I am sailing off, make sure everything is put away and pull up the anchor at 1:30 and motor out of Virgin Gorda Sound. Clear the buoys and turn to starboard to pass between Necker Island and VG. Once I clear the eastern tip of VG by about a mile and I get a feel for what is going on I turn into the wind and raise the main, back on course and unfurl the genoa and motor sailing 7 to 8 knots. The seas are calmer than forecast and there is about a 7/8th moon out. I can see the front in front of me - YEAH as I start across the Anegada Passage. The winds for the first 40 NM are 8 to 12 from the North, right where I want them as I am heading generally East to St. Martin with the tunes cranked and a fresh pot of coffee.
Sunrise is perfect at 6 ish and I shut off the navigation and steaming lights, seas are much calmer than the forecast as I was anticipating 6' to 8' seas about 30 NM from St. Martin (which is where I am right now as I write this) it is totally flat and the winds have died down to 4 to 6 knots. About 33 NM out I can start to make out the island and a couple cargo ships passing 5 to 10 NM out. I put a preventer on the boom to keep it from banging around in the light winds.
A big breakfast of Canadian bacon and eggs, belly is full and I am 4 hours out to Marigot Bay still cruising at 7 knots ;)
A Perfect Ride, well certainly the winds could have been stronger then I wouldn't have had to run the engines, but, normally on this passage your are bashing into the seas with a headwind, so I will take the winds from the North, light seas and the engines running. I arrived right at 1:00 PM, so 11 1/2 hours to cross almost 80 NM from anchor to anchor, not bad and I am happy to be settled in St. Martin and now just have to wait for my bride to show up Sunday night.
Cheers from ITW.
04/01/2010, Virgin Gorda Sound
Big breakfast, Jimmy Dean sausage smothered with salsa, cheese, garlic, onions, pesto and anything else in the fridge that needs to be eaten, a big day ahead of me!
Off to shore, 3 loads of laundry, provisions at The Chef's Pantry, change the oil in the Yanmar's, vacuum, sweep, wipe down with vinegar, put everything away - my wife would be so proud of me! Back to the dock to get diesel fuel, lift the Mercury and the Carib to the trampoline, sweat my arse off all day, have a cocktail at 5 PM, writing these blogs, check the weather, and filet of beef on the BBQ.
Looks like a front coming in, so the plan is to wake up at 1 AM, check the weather and either head to St. Marten or go back to sleep for a couple more hours.
03/31/2010, Sir Francis Drake Channel
Raise the main, drop the ball, motor out of The Bight, hang starboard, unfurl the genoa and kill the motors - ahhh - sailing 6 to 7 knots in a 12 to 15 knot beam - Turtle!
Heading to Road Harbour to see my old friends David & Michael, 3 huge cruise ships in dock, looks like a CF so I change my mind, tack, heading towards Ginger Island, turtle sighting #2, tack up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, Beef Island is off of my port, I just finish a phone call with my lovely bride, winds are variable and I start to experience the land effect of Virgin Gorda, turtle sighting #3. I almost run over him cause he is sleeping, I think!
OK, sailing up the channel at 6 to 7 knots, past The Dogs to Mountain Point, furl the genoa, drop the main and motor through the channel between Mosquito Island and Virgin Gorda. Drop the hook in Leverick Bay and have a cocktail.
A light diner and nap time!