Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe

Passage to Mayaguana

17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
We had finally come to a decision that we were not going to change, and at 6.15am on Tuesday, April 7th we left Green Cay Marina with the intention of making a 24 hour run to Boqueron on the western coast of Puerto Rico. The wind was a light 10kts and was right on our stern, but we were sailing. We made the decision to continue to Boqueron as long as we could maintain a 5kt average speed, but after a few hours underway we were not able to maintain this pace so had to decide whether to motor, or perhaps change our destination.

We had heard the on the forecast that morning that a few days of impending bad weather would force us to hold up in Boqueron, assuming we could get there, until the weekend. In addition, our good friends Tim & Linda (Matsu) were on their way to the Spanish Virgin Islands and a diversion to Culebra would allow us to spend a few days with them. Yet another advantage, we noted, was that, if we could head out directly from Culebra and transit the north coast of Puerto Rico rather than the south coast, we could avoid our nemesis, the notorious Mona Passage. It did not take a great deal of consideration, therefore, for us to change course.

We spent four very pleasant nights in Culebra. The first night we picked up a mooring off of Dewey, the main town here and the following day we sailed around to one of our favourite spots, Cayo de Luis Pena. As on the previous occasion we had visited this spot, we were the only boat in the bay and were able to enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty of this area without any interruption. On Thursday we met up with Tim & Linda, were able to catch up on all the news since we had last seen them in Antigua just before New Year, and had a wonderful meal at Mamacita's a very nice restaurant that we could dinghy to in Dewey. We had decided to leave Culebra at first light on Saturday morning so on Friday evening Tim & Linda made us a wonderful spaghetti dinner and we took our leave of them until we meet again in Annapolis in the summer.

At 6am on Saturday morning we hauled anchor and left Culebra. We were heading for the Turks and Caicos although had agreed that, if we were going well and were comfortable, we would try to get as far as Mayaguana, one of the southern most islands of the Bahamas. We had an uncomfortable morning. The wind was light, right on our tail and there was a 5ft swell which, with the light winds, kept knocking us off course. To make the most of the wind we did have Dave managed to pole out the yankie and we 'goose-winged' (the mainsail on our port -side and the yankie over on the starboard) down wind. We weren't making great progress, but we were keeping up our 5kt average which was our main concern. By late morning the wind has clocked a little and had freshened so we were able to put the pole away and harden up. The seas had also settled down so now we were making really good progress and averaging over 6kts!

We continued to sail well until just before midnight when the wind died again and Dave, who was on watch, was forced to resort to the engine to keep us moving forward. We were still motoring when we passed the western point of Puerto Rico just after 2am and it wasn't until 8am Sunday morning that we started to see the wind freshening again. We decided to see if 'goose-winging' the sails would allow us to turn off the engine, and Dave was manipulating the pole when a pin broke and it dropped down from the mast, hitting him in the face. Fortunately, he was not badly hurt and apart from suffering a nasty gash above his lip and some shock from being hit, he is fine. But the pole was laid aside and we did not try to use it again during the trip.

The rest of the passage followed a similar routine; the wind would freshen and we would sail beautifully making good progress even down-wind, then the wind would die and we would have to turn on the engine, then the wind would freshen again. In lighter winds we tried every configuration of sail including our cruising chute, but every 12 hours or so we were forced to resort to the engine until the wind picked up again. We were also having trouble getting weather information as our SSB radio reception for Chris Parker was horrible and we just couldn't hear him. Luckily for us we were able to speak with Tim on the SSB every evening and he kept us up to date with weather information. A godsend! Thanks Tim.

We reached West Caicos at noon on Tuesday, April 14th and decided to stop for a few hours to have a good meal and a few hours much needed sleep. At 3am on Wednesday morning we hauled anchor and set off for Mayaguana. As before, the wind was light and not in the ideal direction for us, but we were able to sail even though we were being pushed to the east of our planned route. By 11.15am we were about 5 miles from our destination, but had to turn the engine back on again to enable us to get to where we wanted to go. By 12.45pm we were anchored in Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana. We were back in the Bahamas.

Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing