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A Clean Windshield and a Shoeshine
03/13/2010, Simpson Bay, St Maartin NA

I am ready to go. All the shopping is done. everything is stowed. I have done most of the provisioning for the San Juan to Georgetown trip plus my own for the next two weeks. I have some shiny new lures for the trip (hey, I am determined)
The boat is ready to go now that I fixed the broken latch on the freezer lid. I could not find the same size latch on the island so I bought 2 new ones and modified the lid. There is a reason you need to travel with a Dremmel on board.
The laundry (six weeks of sheets and towels) is put away.
I checked out of Customs and Immigration yesterday.
The only thing left is to fuel up and I will do that on the way out of town.
It's about a 90 miles to Virgin Gorda and Spanishtown, where I need to check into the BVI's. So the plan, is to leave later in the afternoon and get catch the 5:30 bridge out of the lagoon and sail over night arriving around dawn. I will be doing the overnight passage solo.
I have been reading all the guides, plotting all the waypoints and trying to get familiar with the area as this will be my first trip to the BVI's and the USVI's. I have until the 27th to show up in Puerto Rico to pick up the guys for the next leg through the T&C's and onto GeorgeTown.
Feels kinda weird to be leaving St Martin this time, as I may not be back for quite awhile. I've gotten to know it pretty well and have met some very nice people here. It's a great place to hang out but it's too inviting sometimes, causing many people to stay here, forgetting why they came in the first place... to sail and explore.
So now it's time to move on....further North (did I really say that).
I'll keep the spot on for ya.

Back in St Maartin
03/09/2010, Simpson Bay

Well, a few days of recovery and we're good as new.
We left Antigua Saturday afternoon and headed to St Barts. We had a nice sail for most of the afternoon. I only needed to do about 5 knots to make the anchorage by sunup. So as the wind picked up I put in a reef and de-powered the main so as to not go so fast. Chuck and I were doing 3 hour watches which worked out well. The closer we got to St Barts the wind picked and finally went north ( was out of the SW) so we motored for about 3 hours. The wind settled into the east and brought with it a terrible rain storm. Lots of rain, a soaking, blowing, driving rain storm with large swells from the north.
As the sun came up and I could see, as well as feel the swells (Chuck had been "feeling" the swells for about an hour at this point) I decided that the anchorage we were headed to was not going to be a very nice place for Chuck. After making a few tacks back and forth to decide, I headed for St Maartin in time to make the 9:30 bridge.
I forget that Sunday was the last day of the regatta and when we came through the bridge the bay was packed with boats. Never seen anything like it. Wall to wall boats.
We found ourselves a little patch to settle into and promptly fell asleep.
I've spent the last 2 days doing tourist things around St Martin with Charlie.
Tomorrow I will start to re provision the boat and get ready for my trip to Virgin Gorda. Another 90 mile run that I will do solo.
Looks like Saturday night be a good window to cross.
I'll keep you posted.

03/12/2010 | perry harris
i'm jealous of both you guys. this looks like a blast drink a cold one for me
couz ph
A Change in the Weather
03/06/2010, Someplace in Antigua

I guess I got spoiled. Everyday for the last 6 weeks I have been able to sail anywhere I wanted. The wind everyday was mostly out of the East, a little south of East, a little bit north of East. But, and most importantly, there was at least wind. I could count on 15 knots of wind and a majority of the time it was in the 18 to 25 knot range. Some of the best sailing I've ever had. This boat was made for the trade winds. Fast, comfortable, even with the big swells coming off the ocean.

For the last week, my brother Charlie and I have been slowly making our way North. Sometime this afternoon we will depart Antigua for St Martin. It's about 90 miles and I want to stage it so that we will arrive in Simpson Bay around sun up and in time for the morning bridge into the lagoon.

For the last week and more so the last couple of days, the wind has been getting lighter and lighter. The direction of the wind has been variable at best. I have had to motor more than I had planned.
There are clouds here. It rained last night, something I have not seen in quite a while (I was going to get up and wash the boat at midnight)
I am now at 17 degrees North.
I was at 12.5 degrees North.
I liked it better before.
The weather changes here.

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