Saint Barts Abort
11 June 2007 | Tintamarre
It had to happen sooner or later. For the first time ever Swingin' on a Star did not end up where we planned at the beginning of the voyage.
We left Marigot Bay, Saint Martin with Kelp Fiction II at around noon. As both boats were coming around the north tip of Saint Martin some nasty clouds started moving in. Before you know it, wham, 35 knots on the nose and 4 knots SOG. Ugly.
As we approached the clouds I put a reef in the main. Once things heated up to full blast we decided that lass sail was called for. It was getting pretty bumpy as we rolled the jib up to the reef two mark. Next, to my great pleasure, I got to go forward to put the second reef in the main. Ug. Wet? Very. Windy? Like really windy.
I jacked in and went forward to battle with the big sail. I asked Hideko to to head up, which was a challenge over all of the wind noise. She couldn't point too high though or the jib would flog to shreds. Not high enough and I would have to drag the main into the sail bag. I let off on the halyard and was happy to only have to climb up on the boom once to pull the main neatly to reef two.
My next prayer was that the reef ring would be within reach of the clip. It wasn't of course. That only happens in fair weather. I muscled it over by hand though without using a come along on the winch so I got things clipped in pretty quick. The reefing winch we added in Saint Martin came in very handy as I cranked the leech line in tight and threw the jammer.
I am now on a mission. All controls in the cockpit or bust. Perhaps Trinidad...
Meanwhile KFII was unhappy. Fred came on the VHF and told me that their bimini had started to rip. After some though they decided to turn around and head for Grand Case. Likely excuse, Grand Case is known as the culinary center of the Caribbean.
Anyway we weren't going anywhere without our friends so we decided to let the boom out and head back downwind to Tintamarre which was just aft of the beam a couple miles off. The water near shore was almost flat and the wind was knocked down to the high 20s so we decided to set up shop.
What a beautiful island. We anchored in a little harbor on the western beach. The place reminded me of Big Sand Cay in Turks and Caicos. Not as remote and not as much sand but still a very beautiful place.
I snorkeled a bit to check out the anchor in case any whoppers like the squall that had just blown by came in the night. All was well and the water was a wonderful clear blue. We had just bought an Olympus Stylus 770SW, which in many ways is just a normal digital camera. The exception is that it is water proof down to 30 feet! It is very cool. I brought it with me and took a picture of our anchor so Hideko could sleep well too.