Grenada to the USA via Cuba and Bahamas

Travels in the Caribbean

02 July 2019 | Stingray Point
27 June 2019 | Fishing Bay
23 June 2019 | Alligator River, North Carolina
19 June 2019 | Beaufort
24 May 2019 | Cooper River Marina
15 May 2019 | Cumberland River
05 May 2019 | Vero Beach
06 March 2019 | Hobe Sound
03 March 2019 | Warderick Wells Bahamas
21 February 2019 | Warderick Wells Bahamas
16 February 2019 | Little Bay, Great Guana Cay
09 February 2019 | Sand Dollar beach, Georgetown
30 January 2019 | Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana, Bahamas
19 January 2019 | Marlin Marina,Santiago de Cuba
18 January 2019 | Marlin Marina,Santiago de Cuba
10 January 2019 | Isle a Vache, Haiti
05 January 2019 | Puerto Real
26 December 2018 | Boqueron Bay
19 December 2018 | Off Isleta marina
13 December 2018 | Sunbay marina, Puerto Rico

Stingray Point Boatworks

02 July 2019 | Stingray Point
Ian Sales | Hot
After filling up with fuel we motored round to our haulout destination on Saturday evening arriving at about half tide. Its shallow here, there is a marked channel into the creek and then a few hundred yards before we could dock at the entrance to the haul out pit where we will be lifted on the Monday. Luckily we did not touch bottom even though the depth sounded was bumping off its marks.
We took the sails off on Sunday and folded them off in a convenient nearby field. Come Monday morning the lifting crew arrived at 0730, they spun the boat around and reversed into the lift pit where we were just short enough to jot have to indo the backstage. We were duly lifted and parked in a good spot on the hard to endure our next fortnight before we fly home. Today Tuesday we borrowed the loaner car and took the sails to the sailmaker for minor repairs and picked up some groceries. Its 90F during the days but we have our over boat canopy deployed to give us max shade and our new fridge is air cooled as well as water cooled so we can run it out if the water....result.

Deltaville

27 June 2019 | Fishing Bay
Ian Sales | Fine
We finally transited the ICW from Beaufort to Norfolk Virginia. This entailed an Anchorage on the North river just off the ICW in 2.1 meters, a bit nail biting but luckily there was no fall in tide, then the free dock at Great Bridge where the Brits suffered their first defeat by the American "revolutionaries" . Finally we motored the last 12 miles to Norfolk, waited for a railway bridge that is usually open but wasn't then through the last request bridge and two final railway bridges that were open and we were out!
We went to anchor in the centre of Norfolk along with a few other yachts in what was a very peaceful Anchorage among all the Navy ships.
Today we left at first light for the 53 mile trip up the Chesapeake. In calm weather we motored up to the Deltaville spit and anchored in a delightful spot just 10 miles from our haul out destination. We will stay here for a couple of nights preparing for lift out before going round early next week.
A couple of observations on the ICW... virtually every marker post had an osprey nest on it with a couple of chicks and doting parents, yet they are so rare in the UK. The water is brown green coloured full of tannin which is meant to clean off the bottom, we shall see at haul out. The US navy yards at Norfolk are very impressive with warships of all types being refitted and coming and going. The last we passed were 3 aircraft carriers parked up ready for action. Finally the barge traffic on the ICW is scary. A tug boat pushes these enormous barges which have to negotiate some sharp bends in fairly narrow channels. They mainly travel at night but if you do come round a corner and there's one coming towards you it's time for the brown trousers.

An evening to remember (Or preferably forget)

23 June 2019 | Alligator River, North Carolina
Ian Sales
We had been anchored of Beaufort for two nights and had winds with gusts up to 25 knots with no problems, and we had elected to stay an extra night there rather than anchored somewhere up the ICW for the third night as winds were predicted to be up to 30 knots. The wind had been rising during the afternoon and by about 4pm were up to the mid twenties on a sustained basis and I had an inkling that we may have been moving. We were anchored in a creek (channel) between the town and a marshy island and the wind was blowing across the channel from the island, however because quite a strong tide was running up and down the channel the boat lay either totally to the tide or half and half depending on wind strength. It became clear we were dragging towards the town so in 26 knots we had to re-anchor. We had also looked at the NOAA weather forecast for our area only to find a severe weather warning in force predicting violent thunderstorms with hail the size of golf balls and winds up to 50 Knots plus. Yikes !! Because the channel was fairly narrow and the wind was blowing across it it was not possible to lay much chain so I decide to shackle the second anchor, a 20 Kg Brittany, behind the main 20 Kg Manson and let out 30 metres of chain, the max we could get away with. The depth was only 3.0metres at high tide so on a scope of 10 to one with 2 anchors we felt more comfortable. The wind then increased to the high twenties and I remembered what Winston, my first flotilla skipper in the Caribbean had said on anchoring " It aint no use to you in the locker man". I therefore took out a third anchor, a 16 Kg Delta on 20 metres of chain and laid that out as well, trying to balance the pull on all anchors by giving it extra rode (Rope). We then watched the wind speed rise into the thirties and by now because we werent lying head to wind because ot the tide the yacht was heeling right over in the wind. The wind rose through the to the high thirties and we just hoped everything would hold as there was nothing else left. Then we were into the low forties and the motion was quite violent as we hunted around heeling from one side to the other. Luckily thats as high as it got and we only had a few spots of rain and no thunder/lightning etc, and by 10pm the wind had subsided to the mid twenties and we were still where we started. The next day we went into town and the following day fuelled up and set off up the ICW. We calculate it will take 5 days to get to Norfolk and the Chesapeake doing about 45 miles per day. The engine cooling is OK although I have had to top up the water a bit. We anchored off the ICW on the first night and had a very quiet night. The area is shallow of course but we have been guided by Navionics and the Active Captain comments of cruisers which we have found really helpful. The canals and rivers we have used are a bit like the Norfolk Broads although today we had to transit 20 miles through a canal and at one point went too close to the bank and hit something which stopped us in our tracks. However we were not stuck and carried on and did not have to use our towing insurance. Tonight we have stopped in a 3 metre spot as described by Active Captain just at the side of the ICW on the Alligator river. No temptation to swim as the water is a dirty brown colour and we dont know if the river's namesakes are down there. There are however numerous crab pots to avoid just to make life more interesting.

Beaufort North Carolina

19 June 2019 | Beaufort
Ian Sales | Gusty wind but fine
We duly arrived back at the boat on 13th June with some spare rubber caps for our heat exchanger and a block of cheese that customs allowed us to keep.
The new fridge was working but wouldn't switch off on the thermostat, but we were assured this was normal until it reached working temperature. At least we could have cold beers etc and even ice- as long as the batteries held out.
I changed the heat exchanger caps and refilled the system with antifreeze solution, ran the engine and although the caps were leak free there was a small but consistent drop from the fresh water pump! Nevertheless we decided we had no option but to press on and keep topping up the water and hoping the pump would not fail. We left on the start of the ebb and went out of the Charleston inlet to sail the 220 mile up to Beaufort North Carolina. The conditions were good and we managed quite a bit of sailing in the first 24 hours in 8 to 15 knots. The wind then died and we were motoring for 14 hours before there was enough to sail by. I checked the engine water level but it seemed OK so a mystery over the leak. The marina at Cooper River did encourage a lot of growth and on leaving we noticed the depth gauge was not working. Not a problem on the outside passage but it would be if we were to use the ICW after Besufort.
We arrived at the inlet while the tide was still ebbing and had a slow and bumpy passage in and up to the anchorage which had plenty of room , unlike all the photos I had seen.
We managed to clear the depth sounder by dropping a rope over the bow and pulling it back on both sides towards the mast, then moving it up and down, like toweling your back, over the area where the depth sounded was. This actually worked and we have a depth reading again and so will make the passage to Norfolk up the ICW rather than round Cape Hatteras. We hope to leave Friday after the weather settles a bit

Charleston

24 May 2019 | Cooper River Marina
Ian Sales | Very Hot
Hi y'all,
We sailed up to Charleston and are now on the transient dock at Cooper River Marina. Charleston is a lovely town with a lot of history, ie cotton, rice, the deep south and the civil war. Unfortunately our fridge packed up, not unreasonable after no servicing and 17 years. Needless to say West Marine let us down by being a day short on delivery and we now cannot get it installed until Tuesday. In the meantime we survive on ice bags. We are also coming home on Tuesday for a couple of weeks to deal with some family issues. On our return we will make a beeline for the Chesapeake and to get hauled in mid July and then come home until next April .

Georgia

15 May 2019 | Cumberland River
Ian Sales
We did walk over to the Atlantic beach at Vero, but it was a line of real estate, accountancy practices and investment houses, along with a few high end boutiques; just our sort of place. The following morning we fuelled and watered up and left for the 35 mile ICW trip to Mellbourn. It was nice to escape from the ubiquitous no seeums and a new pest, the love bugs. These are two non biting flies that are mating on the wing and are around in swarms, but only for a couple of days. Most of the bridges are now 65 ft clearance so there are no delays and we anchored for the night in a large anchorage on the East of the ICW at Dragon Point. The next day we were off to Titusville where we planned to pick up a municipal mooring ball , rent a car and have a day at the Kennedy Space Centre. We were a little concerned over the depth in the mooring field but found one that gave us 2.5 metres at LW so were good to go. The next day we duly went to the space centre and spent a very interesting day there seeing the shuttle, a life sized Saturn V and several documentaries on the various NASA missions and the future. The next stop was to be New Smyrna and we chose an anchorage that promised enough depth and space for a comfortable night. This worked out OK but in 20 knots of wind there was not much manoeuvering room when anchoring, but we managed to stay afloat. Our plan was then to go out into the Atlantic through the Ponce de Lion Inlet (he seemed to get everywhere) about 5 miles north of our anchorage and then travel two days an nights to Charleston. We left at 1300 and cleared the opening bridge between us and the inlet OK and set sail for the North. Overnight when I checked the weather we decided to stop at the St Mary inlet on the Georgia side,about 100 miles up from Ponce de lion, due to impending storms and high seas...where did they come from? So we came in to the inlet, a very deep and wide inlet because just up the river is one of the locations for the US Trident nuclear Sub fleet. We followed the North shore and anchored off Cumberland Island to wait out the thunderstorms. Looking at the weather it was clear we would be here for a few days as once the storms had passed by close of play Monday, the winds turned to come from the North until Thursday. We met a Swedish couple who were OCC members and we booked onto a Cumberland Island tour on the Tuesday. The tour was really interesting, seeing the history of the island from before the Civil War all the way through to the '50s. The involvement of the Carnegies post Civil War and the fate of the slaves who worked for the original plantation owner after the war.The guide looked like Jimmy Carter and sounded like Bill Clinton and was excellent. Today Wednesday we are having happy hour with another OCC couple who were on the tour, having traced a water leak on the engine which had me fearing the worst, and changing the engine oil as the hours keep clocking up after all the ICW motoring. We plan to stay in Charleston for a week and get a few small items sorted and have a good look round, this will be a marina berth or slip as they say here. The photo is of the anchorage on the Cumberland river, the island is about 25 miles long and about a mile wide and has,allegedly, an 18 mile Atlantic beach with no buildings behind it.
Vessel Name: Lucy Alice
Vessel Make/Model: Oyster406
Crew: Ian & Glenda Sales
Lucy Alice's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 6 March 2019
16 Photos
Created 1 February 2019
Photos in and around Cuba
26 Photos
Created 17 January 2019
33 Photos
Created 5 November 2018
3 Photos
Created 12 January 2018
No Photos
Created 26 March 2017
Barbados upt o the North and back down to Granada
19 Photos
Created 15 February 2017
Passage to Barbados and observations thereafter
11 Photos
Created 3 November 2016
39 Photos
Created 7 August 2016