25 March 2019
Robert & Alice Smith | Windy but that's what the trades are all about
We sailed from St. Barths to Simpson Bay, on the Dutch side, thus Sint Maarten or as on the French side Saint Martin. Almost dead down wind so we flew only the jib but with winds more than 20 knots and seas six to eight feet with a large SE swell we were rockin and rollin.
Just over two hours for the very short passage. We were accompanied by several of the super yachts having competed in the St. Barths Bucket Regatta. And it was a hoot. We stumbled into a fellow Chicagoan, John Baxter of Chicago Doyle Sails. We purchased sails from him that have lasted both trips to the Caribbean and still look great. John was running the show on Blue Too, a tribute to his skills, managerial talent and experiences.
Now for an update on my forward head project. Yesterday I decided to tackle it full on. Fortunately I had plenty of 3/4 inch ID hose, lots of hose clamps and a heat gun, although I didn't need it.
Plan A was to install a check valve in the looped input line to the head. But first I had to sort out just how to arrange the hoses and fittings in the small space in the starboard bow next to the holding tank. I made several drawings attempting to arrange the the hoses to minimize kinks assuring an unobstructed flow. I had the hoses to the seacock, the check valve and the fresh water pump. I had to first prime the loop to the head and make sure I could flush the head successfully. It worked and no water came back from the check valve. Next was to hook all three hoses and the pump. Lots of hose clamps to tighten in a very tight space, thank goodness for extension on ratchet socket wrenches. Long story short only one leak easily resolved and the HEAD WORKS!! Project a complete success. I still think for long open water passages I'll close the seacock just to safe. Can I say I'm proud of myself..... Alice seems to think so also.
So that's what the cruising life is like. Things don't work as they should and you fix them yourself or pay lots of money for someone else to screw things up.
We plan to stay in Sint Maarten for a couple of days, loading up on stuff for the trip from the Virgins to Hampton in May. Then we'll overnight sail to Virgin Gorde in the British Virgins and spend some time relaxing in the BVIs and hopefully meeting up with friends from Kenosha.
We both have expressed our sense that stopping in St. Barths for the regatta was just the perfect decision.