04/09/2010, Fallmouth Harbour, Antigua
Our day started out late, we both slept until 8 AM which is very unusual for us to not be up with the sun, but it felt good get get some additional rest after the early morning departure from St. Barts.
After coffee and emails we headed to shore as we had made an appointment for massages at 10:30 AM, and boy was that worth it and much needed. It was relaxing to have some of the kinks worked out and the message oil totally soaked in to our dry weathered skin - ahhhhhhhhhhh.
A lunch stop for egg plant parmesan and a pizza and we were back to ITW and motoring out of Jolly Harbour. Through the Goat's Head inner channel with the genoa out and around the corner to Fallmouth Harbour and the hook is set within a couple hours in 6 feet of water just off of a little beach.
Tonight's plan, hot showers, grill up the scallops we purchased in St. Bart's, a bottle of Saki, another picturesque sunset and the last two episodes of NCIS season 5 (we just ordered season 6) and the end to a perfect day in Antigua.
If the weather is good tomorrow we will try to go rent the buggy again for a day and let Mad Maxine (Brenda) take it for a spin.
Our phone alarm sounds at 1am, Kyle's feet hit the floor before mine. A quick look around and outside, and he also tried for one last check of the weather (but no wifi), and he says 'start the coffee'.
Kyle starts the motors, charts our course, and we pour our first cup of coffee and leave it to cool while we raise anchor.
RIght on schedule, 1:30am and we are motoring out of St. Bart's. The weather has been building, holding more wind and a few more clouds. The forecast was for 15 to 20 knot winds from the NE and 4 to 6 foot waves.... close but - actually it was 20 to 25 knot winds & 6 to 8 foot waves consistently until sunrise, where it settled down back closer to the forecast.
It's now 8:30am, 7 hours into our Antiqua sail. Kyle still has the motors on, but now the genoa is also helping out. My Captain has it very well under control. He is excellent at what he does and he is also excellent at taking care of me - which is what he has been doing today.
The morning started out ok with me, but within an hour or so, I started feeling sick, by 3:30am - I was.... and Kyle was right there holding on to me, so I can't say I've never been sea-sick anymore. Not fun!!, but I am so thankful that Kyle is able to handle everything on his own... and more...
It was a long day of sailing, but all is well, we made it and we are now happily and safely tucked into Jolly Harbour, Antiqua.
We did our duties of securing the boat, getting the dinghy back in the water & a quick boat clean-up. We checked in with Antiqua and found a little spot for a burger then boack to ITW for a couple hour nap.
We finished our evening with checking emails, an NCIS & some snacking....
Oh, what a day....
Love you All, Cheers from Captain & Crew (me :))
Captain's Log: Got up early, sailed for 12 hours, checked in, had a burger, took a nap, couple episodes of NCIS and then lights out. Arrrrrrrrrrr
04/07/2010, St. Bart's
A relaxing morning, I am up early with my coffee, emails, checking the weather etc., etc. while my First Mate sleeps in.
A little bit later our neighbor Greg from S/V Escapade, a 52' Catana stops by and says hello. You don't see too many Americans and when you do it is nice to chat. Greg had noticed ITW was from Walla Walla and they are from the Tahoe area, always nice to meet other sailors from the states and share info.
So we finally dinghy into shore, check in with Customs / Immigration and walk around the kewl little town of Gustavia with a lot of high end boutiques and restaurants. We make are way back over to LeBete Z'ailes Sushi Bar or Baz Bar and order our favorite rolls, Roy's Special, Dragon Roll and Kamikaze Roll and another bottle of Sake - So GOOD and the staff is great. We asked the bartender where we might buy some Sake and he told us about the Cellar which was just across from the supermarket where we were heading next.
So, off to the supermarket to stock up on some provisions and we find they just got fresh scallops in, which of course we purchased for a future feast on ITW. To the Cellar and they are closed during lunch hours, back open at 3:30, soooooo, back to ITW, put everything away and a nice 2 hour nap with a good breeze. Back to the Cellar and we have filled the ships stores with Sake, which we are enjoying right now as I write the blog.
Back to ITW and it is raise the Mercury to the rail, hoist the dinghy to the trampoline, unzip the main sail bag and I put in 2 reefs in the main as we are seeing a forecast of 20 plus knot winds all the way to Antigua for our sail and at 1:00 PM in the morning when we take off we don't want to be dealing with too much canvas in the dark of night and we can always pull the reefs after the sun is up.
So, tonight is just showers, chill out, grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, maybe some NCIS and then in the sack early with a 1 PM wake up call and anchor up and out of Gustavia by 1:30 PM. The coffee is made, ITW is ready and secured and the forecast is 20 plus knots ENE (perfect for a beam reach) and 6'to 8' seas from NE - which will give us a little roll on port and about 75 NM to Jolly Harbour Antigua, our first stop and check in on the island. I expect that we should be doing 6 to 7 knot average, so probably 12 to 14 hours which puts us in Antigua late afternoon and plenty of sun left to anchor.
We enjoyed St. Bart and look forward to our return next season, we are figuring out which islands we want to spend time at and which ones we are going to sail by. St Bart's will definitely be a longer stop next year to explore, enjoy and relax!
Cheers from ITW.
PS - we saw 6 turtles yesterday that we forgot to mention in yesterdays post. Always kewl to see these guys swimming around and a good sign.
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 ;)