North American Tour 2017-2019

From Portland, OR through Panama Canal to East Coast of USA and back via Caribbean, Panama Canal, Golfito to Victoria, BC and home

19 January 2019 | Antigua
17 January 2019 | Antigua
13 January 2019 | Guadalupe
11 January 2019 | Guadalupe
08 January 2019 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
05 January 2019 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
30 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
28 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
27 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
26 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
20 December 2018 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
19 December 2018 | Approaching the Virgin Islands from Bermuda
16 December 2018 | South of Bermuda
15 December 2018 | South of Bermuda
14 December 2018 | South of Bermuda
08 December 2018 | South of Bermuda
08 December 2018 | Bermuda
08 December 2018 | Bermuda
04 December 2018 | Bermuda

Nelson Boatyard Marina

19 January 2019 | Antigua
George Stonecliffe
Yesterday we visited the Nelson Boatyard Museum in the Marina and National Park. Horatio Nelson was assigned here as a younger officer after the American Revolution. His mission was to control island trade in England's favor. Lots of memorabilia: home stuff like china, beds, etc., to garrison stuff like exploding cannon shells, flags, etc. Fort Berkeley defended the English Harbor entrance. This harbor was particularly protected from trade winds and approaching storms. Today there are a mess of mega-yachts, both power and sail, much like what we saw in Papeete, Tahiti. We are a little minnow in a pool of pelagic fish!

Guadalouipe's Botanical Garden

17 January 2019 | Antigua
George Stonecliffe
Although it rained lightly, we took in the Botanical Garden in Deshaies, Guadaloupe. We enjoyed taking photos of the spendid tropical flowers, orchids, hyacinths, bougainvilla, trees, shrubs from all over the world. Hummingbirds were part of the enjoyment. On Thursday morning we left Guadaloupe for Antigua. It was a sunny day with East winds at 12-15 knots. With 1 meter seas, the sail was ideal for the 42 mile trip. We arrived in time to check in with Customs/Immigration/Port Authority.

Scuba Dive in Deshaies

13 January 2019 | Guadalupe
George Stonecliffe
We had two morning dives with a scuba center in Deshaies. Eric showed us two of the most beautiful dives. Coral and sponges of every shape, size and color. We saw the villainous lion fish, and heard his stories later of killing over 300 last October. He feels it's an unending and futile fight. Our favorite reef fish sightings were the spotted drum, both adult and juvenile. Although the reef fish were plentiful, they were not big. We did see lobster and crab, but no turtles, rays or sharks. In fact Eric said Guadalupe has no sharks. After the morning dives, we met up with our Portland friends, Craig and Barbara Johnston and their guests: Dan and Barb. It was great catching up with them over a yummy French lunch. Today, Sunday 13th, we head for the capital city: Basse Terre where we hope to meet up with them again, and take in some Carnival festivities that are starting up.

Phones and Internet

11 January 2019 | Guadalupe
George Stonecliffe
Our most frustrating experiences are surrounding phone company plans and lack of reasonable WiFi and Internet. In fact, we feel lied to by Digicel who promotes themselves as having a plan for all the Caribbean. Wrong! They have coverage, but it is one plan covering one island. You buy a SIIM Card only good for one island. Maybe one plan for all French speaking islands. Cruisers beware. You are at one island for 4-5 days, and you go to the next island at it all starts over. I'm a grouch, but this is not right!

One Day, One Country, 25 miles

08 January 2019 | Virgin Gorda, BVI
George Stonecliffe
Leaving St. John's, USVI, we were positioning ourselves to cross the Anegada Strait which has a reputation for being rough seas and winds. The weather forecast was to be moderate winds and light seas tonight. So we are anchored at Virgin Gorda, the northeast most point of the British Virgin Islands. We will leave at midnight for the 65 mile passage to Anguilla. Our plan is to continue on to Guadalupe which is further south along the Leeward Islands. There we plan on meeting our Portland friends, Craig and Barbara Johnston on sv Sequoia. Meanwhile we had a wonderful sail up the protected waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, the centerpiece of the BVI. It was 25 miles as the Brown Booby flies, but probably 40 with all the tacking! We were constantly reminded of our charter on the Pentimento from the Moorings in 1999. Sue's parents jointed Sue and me with son Ted, and daughter Jenna and her husband Steve Gorham. It was a celebration of Sue's mother's 80th birthday. And it was one of the first outings for us after having taken the battery of American Sailing Association classes, kicking off our love for sailing.

After Two Weeks in St. Thomas

05 January 2019 | St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
George Stonecliffe
After two weeks in St. Thomas, 'Julia Max' is ready to move. Boat projects were completed in the first week at Crown Bay Marina. Our daughter Jenna's family completed a heavenly week visiting us in the depth of Seattle's winter. The weather in the northern Caribbean is moderating, allowing us to move southward along the Leeward Islands during this next week. We have called our Portland friends, Craig and Barbara Johnston on sv Sequoia, who are leaving from Dominica, and heading toward Guadalupe where we hope to meet. The only thing we lack is our new jib sail, replacing our old one that had finally given up the ghost. It will be arriving in the US Virgin Islands sometime in February, where we will return to pick it up. We are looking forward to a couple of months of island hopping!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Float Plan: July 1, 2017 Leave Portland, OR; head south along US West Coast; leave San Diego 10/29/17 with Baja Ha-ha Rally; go through Panama Canal 3/2018; Florida 6/2018; NYC and Rhode Island 7/2018; Chesapeake Bay 9/2018; Caribbean 12/2018; Panama Canal 3/2019; home 6/2019
Julia Max's Photos - Main
2 Photos
Created 4 July 2017
8 Photos
Created 5 May 2011