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Swingin' on a Star
Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".
The Last Beat
05/24/2007, Virgin Gorda

So we're finally leaving the BVI. It was hard to say goodbye to all of the folks we've come to call friends here.

The wind blows from Saint Martin almost every day of the year. Rather than wait for an act of the almighty we decided to just motor fast on a day with little wind. We were going to leave today but lo and behold, Fred and Cindy on Kelp Fiction (former local dive instructors) have decided to retire and come with us! We couldn't be happier.

It was pretty clam today and tomorrow should be the same. I did finally go up the stick to untangle the kite that got up in the rigging somehow so we are truly all set. Hideko didn't want to winch me up so Fred offered to "jack me up the mast". I wasn't so sure I wanted to be "jacked up the mast" but it all worked out.

The British Virgin Islands
05/25/2007 | Pablo Ramos
Oh why, oh why is such a beautiful lass such as the Gorda still a Virgin? La Pobre Virgen Gorda.
The Villas of Leverick Bay
05/21/2007, Virgin Gorda

We are back in cruising mode. I have started to get up at 7AM every morning to check in on the weather net as we start to plan our passage South. Looks like we will have a good window to make Saint Martin on Thursday of this week.

Hideko, Roq and I took a hike up the mountain to explore the beautiful villas above Leverick Bay. Roq considered some of the landscaping very carefully but didn't have any new entries for us.

The British Virgin Islands
05/23/2007 | daniel kenoyer

DANG! How do you get by with 2 hours of sleep?! Or have you started hitting the rack before sunrise?
07/13/2007 | Randy
Hey Dan! We mostly crash when the sun sets and get up with it. Saves power. I do still have an XBox360 binge now and again though.
Back in Leverick Bay
05/20/2007, Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda

Leverick Bay feels like home. It is nice to be back. It was great to see Fred, Cindy, Marc and Mike again. It is strange though because there are very few charter boats around and all of the other folks are leaving or have left. The whirly birds, as Captain Bob on Bravura calls the Hurricanes, are coming.

You'd never know it. Leverick is as lovely as ever. The Visar (Virgin Islands Search And Rescue) crew had a fund raiser here today. They are all donation supported and it looked like a good time was had by all.

I have gotten back into weather mode and spend an hour or two each day tracking things and looking for that elusive window to make Saint Martin. It is only about 80 nm but it bears the exact direction the wind typically blows from. If nothing shows up in a week or so we may have to just suck it up and motor across.

In the mean time Hideko and I have plenty of projects to work on.

The British Virgin Islands
Dive Instructor
05/17/2007, Maya Cove, Tortola

After a bunch of diving and studying I have made it out of the dive tunnel. I am now a dive instructor and can actually dive for fun again. Whew. I have a new respect for PADI dive instructors, it is no simple task to become one.

Hideko and Roq were very understanding as the program ran about 12 hours per day and then I had homework. Hideko even made different kinds of bread for me to take on the boat for everyone each day (Bananna Bread, Lemon Cake, etc).

Now for a bit of rest and then we'll be looking for a window to cross to Saint Martin.

The British Virgin Islands
05/23/2007 | Pablo Ramos
CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a dive instructor!
05/23/2007 | Randy
Thanks!! Now I can teach you to SCUBA. Look out.
05/24/2007 | Pablo Ramos
Dude! Is that a Jellyfish on yo head or do you need another haircut?
Andy and Ian
05/14/2007, Sail Caribbean Divers

The IDC finished today. It was a great program. We get a day off and then it's on to the two day Instructor Evaluation.

Two Staff Instructors, Andy and Ian, assisted Mike with the program. Andy, Ian and Mike are each as talented as they are entertaining.

The British Virgin Islands
Sail Caribbean Divers
05/08/2007, Hodges Creek Marina, Tortola

The only place you can go through the PADI Dive Instructor Training in the BVI is at Sail Caribbean Divers. Mike Rowe is the Course director and founder of the dive business. Mike and his crew do a great job and have a very professional outfit. SCD handles all of the diving for Sun Sail and many of the cruise ships. They also have a Dive Shack on Cooper Island.

The British Virgin Islands
Hodges Creek Marina
05/07/2007, Maya Cove

Maya Cove is a very protected anchorage. The only problem is that there's no place to anchor. It is packed. The Hodges Creek Marina here is the Sunsail base for the BVI and it is amazing how many boats they squeeze into this place.

Outside of the marina there are some mooring balls so we picked one up on the way in. You are really close to all of the boats around you in the mooring field but the water in the cove is flat calm in any wind so it is alright.

I had my first full day of the IDC today. The IDC is the PADI SCUBA organization's Instructor Development Course. It is a pretty serious affair and I am really enjoying it so far. A lot of work though, so back to it...

The British Virgin Islands

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