Travels of Optimus Prime

31 May 2017 | Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo Puerto Rico
28 May 2017 | Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo Puerto Rico
22 May 2017 | Crown Bay Marina, St.Thomas
22 May 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St.Thomas
18 May 2017 | St.James
15 May 2017 | St.John, USVI
11 May 2017 | Norman Island
09 May 2017 | Peter Island
04 May 2017 | Eustatia Sound Anchorage
03 May 2017 | White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
28 April 2017 | Leinster Bay
21 April 2017 | White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
17 April 2017 | BVI
05 April 2017 | Great Harbor, Peter Island
01 April 2017 | Virgin Gorda
26 March 2017 | Leverick Bay
24 March 2017 | Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins
24 March 2017 | Marina Cay
24 March 2017 | Maho Bay
24 March 2017 | Maho Bay, St.John

The Haul Out Saga

31 May 2017 | Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo Puerto Rico
Warm, 15+ knots of wind
Tuesday, May 30 was haul out day. The plan: leave the slip at 9:45, motor to the fuel dock to top off the primary fuel tank, pump out the holding tank, then head to the haul out slip for our 10:30 appointment. In preparation, on our morning walks we checked out the fuel dock, haul out station, and dry storage. Keith says I jinxed us by writing a compliment on his driving in the previous post. I say it was his comment two days prior "this is a straight shot, no problem". Either way, very stressful and not the way anyone wants to end the season.

Naturally the wind was blowing 15 knots S/E, the tide was flooding, and our starboard bow thruster would not activate as we did our check prior to leaving the dock. We left the slip without an issue, tied up at the fuel dock and completed those tasks without any issues. It is a straight shot from the fuel dock to the haul out, looks simple. As we headed to the haul out slip , we attempted to make a U-turn so we could stern in as required but the current caught the bow not allowing it to come around pushing us sideways into the concrete haul out slip fingers (cringing at the thought of the damage it would do to our blue hull). With a lot of back and forth, and bad language, we got out of the area and attempted to turn around farther away where there was more room. Again, between the wind and the rather wicked current, we were pushed sideways and could not get the bow around- repeat this several more times ( with really bad language from the captain) even trying the other way using the port bow thruster, no luck.

At this point, a guy in a 25' power boat with two 350 hp mercury engines approached and tossed a line signaling to tie it to our bow. With his help, we got the bow around and kept it lined up as keith backed down to the slip. Another boater came over and nudged our aft port side as we entered the slip since we were still getting pushed pretty good by the current. We are very grateful for the tremendous assistance provided by these two gentlemen. The haul out supervisor said lots of boats have the same issue when the current and winds are like they were on Tuesday. He said we were fortunate these guys helped us - no kidding! We shook their hands and thanked both of them- good samaritans!!! Other than this experience, we really like the facility and staff so if we haul out again, I'll check the tides before committing to a date and time!

Prepping OP for the summer (and we saw manatees!)

28 May 2017 | Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo Puerto Rico
Warm, humid
Tuesday, May 23rd - by 0600 hrs, with the main sail out, fenders and lines stored, we were underway to Fajardo, Puerto Rico, our final destination for OP this season. We had 3-6' seas every 5-8 seconds as forecasted but with only 6 knots of wind. It was early so we figured it would pick up later which it did as we surfed down a larger than average wave then drop back to 6 knots - so it was a motor sail. Overall, a fairly uneventful trip ( ok by me) other than dodging the occasional lobster trap.

Once we were given our slip assignment, we headed into the breakwater. All I can say is thank goodness Keith can drive this boat! We are on dock 12, between dock 10 and 12 with a very narrow fairway, no room for mistakes, as opposed to between 12 and 14 which is more the width we expected. Anyway, Keith did a great job backing us into the slip with out any issues. We'll definitely request the other side when we splash the boat in the fall!

We are well into the decommissioning process with with SUP's cleaned and put away, head sail stowed, boat washed & all cared (waxed), cabin top waxed, dinghy cleaned and strapped to the foredeck, canvas removed (tarp put up☹️)etc. Since we needed a few things for the boat before it's hauled out, it was a good excuse to check out the local West Marine Store- very nice!! The Customs agents mentioned that PR has Uber, which we've used in the states since the cost is so much better than a Taxi, so we used Uber for our little excursion.

This afternoon, on our walk up to the marina market for a few things, Keith spotted two manatees - a mama and baby- floating on the surface at the edge of the dock! Such an amazing sight and yet no camera - Keith left his phone on the boat uhggggg! We watched them for a minute or so until they went back under.

Iguanas near Crown Bay Marina

22 May 2017 | Crown Bay Marina, St.Thomas
After a walk to Antilles Gas to refill our propane spare tank, we stopped near the cruise ship terminal to watch the loading of sailboats onto a transport ship. While there, we noticed quite a few iguanas in varying sizes sunbathing on the rocks and one hanging out in a tree. Amusing to us!

Charlotte Amalie- Boat Issues

22 May 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St.Thomas
Warm, humid
We spent the last few days in Charlotte Amalie doing some of the initial prep for the upcoming boat storage and working on a few repairs. We've moved into the marina & the refrigeration company is coming today since our freezer defrosted itself while at St.James. Fortunately, we didn't have much inside other than waters, Gatorade, and some veggies that we keep in the non freezing portion of the box. Keith believes it's the thermostat based on the diagnostics.

Additionally, Keith's fix for the manifold water leak is working unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the only leak/ source of the 1/3 cup of water we get are getting in the bilge. Prior to leaving St.John, the bilge was dry and at St.James it had about 1/3 cup of salty water. We've pulled up every thing from the back of the boat forward in attempt to track the source. The weep holes at the engine thru Hole are wet but with all the others farther back dry. It's starting to look more like the engine intake thru- hull may be leaking again. This leak was from the yard not filling a screw hole from the old one that didn't match up to the new thru hull which led to four months of salt and fresh water ( back home in SF - salt water & Delta - fresh water) slowly leaking in until they filled the hole.

Our plan was to leave Thursday for Puerto Rico but tomorrow (Tuesday) looks like better weather- hopefully a nice sail.

Picture is of a Soldier Crab from our Brown Bay hike on St.John- very cool little creatures! (Better than a picture of our freezer or the bilge)

Tropical Wave & Christmas Cove

18 May 2017 | St.James
Warm, humid
For the last few days, the USVI & BVI have in a tropical wave - looks like San Francisco in July with grey skies and a grey fog like haze except that it's not 57 degrees and blowing a cool 25 knots, but instead very warm and humid and blowing 15 knots of warm humid air. Reminds us also Mazatlan in May and how foolish we were not to buy the boat with AC and a generator! We did install AC last year and it works fantastic when parked at the dock 😕.

We are in Christmas Cove on St.James which is a first for us. The anchorage has about 10 boats- not even close to the number we've observed here in the past which is why we've never stopped. The ferry & snorkeling tour traffic keeps the boats rocking more frequent than we'd like - hopefully it calms down this evening. Our biggest decision today is whether to drop the dinghy so we can get pizza from the boat restaurant Pizza Pi.....

Our afternoon snorkel and swim was great until the end when we notice someone was leaking diesel and we were swimming in it- uhggg. Late afternoon another cruising couple stopped by- really enjoyed talking with them and we hope to cross paths again next season. As for dinner, we ordered the pizza & it was great- enough for our dinner and two lunches!

Favorite Hike of the Season

15 May 2017 | St.John, USVI
Warm, humid
Cool hike on St.John

Our two days in The Bight at Norman will be memorable not only due to the wicked rain storm, but also the 8 dolphins that regularly swam amongst the boats and even along side us as we headed for Soper's Hole to clear out Friday morning.

From there, we motored to Leinster Bay to stay for two nights. Saturday morning, we went ashore and hiked the trail to Brown's Bay. While the Bay is not much to speak of, the hike to the bay and back was spectacular due the flora & fauna. We encountered hundreds of soldier crabs along the trail from1" to 4" in size, numerous lizards including a Puerto Rican Crested Anole lizard ( the kind that has the dewlap they puff out), and the somewhat scary land crabs - look to me like very large 4-6 inch spiders! We came across interesting pipe cactus and several stunning agave type plants with green exterior leaves along with bright coral/ pink color leaves closer to the center which held a white & pink flower -very pretty. We followed up the hike with a snorkel and swim to watch the rays and turtles. And to top off the day, we saw a deer on the beach along with two donkeys walking on the trail from the beach at sunset. What's a day without donkeys on or near the beach!!!
Vessel Name: Optimus Prime
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 49
Hailing Port: Cameron Park
Crew: Keith & Dana Jensen
Optimus Prime's Photos - Main
Crocodile sanctuary and a couple photos of the town.
9 Photos
Created 21 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 17 July 2015
6 Photos
Created 17 July 2015
5 Photos
Created 31 January 2015
6 Photos
Created 17 November 2014
6 Photos
Created 17 November 2014
2 Photos
Created 17 November 2014
8 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 10 November 2014
Photos taken while enroute and during our stay at Turtle Bay
1 Photo
Created 1 November 2014
Start of the Baja Ha Ha 2014
3 Photos
Created 27 October 2014
11 Photos
Created 20 September 2014
1 Photo
Created 31 August 2014