Neverland Journey

17 April 2021 | 20 57.4'N:73 40.7'W, Matthew Town, Great Inagua, Bahamas
16 April 2021 | 18 51.4'N:74 34.2'W, Windward Passage
14 April 2021 | 14 30'N:71 40'W, Caribbean Sea
22 December 2019 | 12 30.5'N:70 01.8'W, Oranjestad, Aruba
21 December 2019 | 12 25.5'N:68 43.1'W, north of Curacao
21 December 2019 | 12 47.8'N:67 36.2'W, at sea
20 December 2019 | 13 18.87'N:66 26.99'W, at sea
20 December 2019 | 13 36.2'N:65 20.6'W, at sea
19 December 2019 | 13 38.9'N:64 23.7'W, at sea
19 December 2019 | 14 01.9'N:63 01.2'W, at sea
18 December 2019 | 14 23.3'N:61 41.6'W, at sea
17 December 2019 | 14 30.2'N:61 05.3'W, Martinique
16 December 2019 | 14 26.5'N:60 53.1'W, St Anne, Martinique
12 December 2019 | 14 04.85'N:60 57.8'W, Rodney Bay, St Lucia
05 December 2019 | 14 10.9'N:56 24.4'W, 250 miles to go
29 November 2019 | 14 25.2'N:42 59.6'W, middle of ocean
28 November 2019 | 14 29.4'N:40.14.3 06.01'W, middle of ocean
25 November 2019 | 15 35.65'N:33 06.01'W, middle of ocean
21 November 2019 | 16 53.4'N:24 595'W, Mindelo, Cape Verde
21 November 2019 | 16 54.5'N:25 00.4'W, Mindelo, Cape Verde

Voyage 2021 Day 4

17 April 2021 | 20 57.4'N:73 40.7'W, Matthew Town, Great Inagua, Bahamas
Mike
After about 50 hours of motoring we made it to Matthew Town at about 2:30. The total passage was 632 nm during 4 days 6 hours. We tied up and started thru the customs and immigration process. After the process was completed we were able to take the yellow quarantine flag down and replace it with the Bahamian flag. I also bought a SIM card so we can be in touch with the rest of the world. I understand Bahamas has installed antennae wherever there is a settlement and people congregate. We will see how it works.

Our Inmarsat satellite phone is useful for voice calls but hasn�'t worked for email and data usage since Thursday. I suppose I will be calling the provider on Monday using the Bahamian cell phone to find out what is going on. I have had this problem before and thought it was the fans we use causing interference so I have been turning them off. They also affect the SSB reception with a lot of noise.

We hope to get a tour of the island, Great Inagua, tomorrow. The Morton Salt Co has a huge evaporation pond here from which many tons of sea salt are shipped out each year. The island is also a giant rookery for flamingos.

We hope to spend some nights anchored at a couple deserted islands in the Jumentos Cays on our way to the Exuma chain. Spend some time swimming fishing and plain relaxing.

Voyage 2021 Day 3

16 April 2021 | 18 51.4'N:74 34.2'W, Windward Passage
Mike
Our second 24 hour period had us travelling 169nm averaging 6.8 kn. We kept up this pace thru the morning but during the afternoon the wind started backing off. We started motor sailing at around 5:30 pm and by nightfall motoring without sails. We anticipate motoring the distance thru the Windward Passage after which 10knot easterlies are expected.

We rounded the Cape Dame Marie of Haiti around daybreak this morning. We have encountered many more ships going both directions. We assume they are passing thru between the US east coast and Panama.

As we were coming up the Carib Sea we encountered many large patches of Sargasso weed. This is the stuff you see on the Fl beaches all the time. There is an area in the middle of the Atlantic dubbed the Sargasso Sea. I have seen documentaries about the area which has its own eco system. There are certain kinds of shrimp and crabs living in the weed that other larger fish feed on. I also understand you wouldn�'t want to cut across that part of the ocean because of its density.

We are trying to maintain a pace that will allow us to enter Matthew Town on Great Inagua Island tomorrow afternoon. From there we will island hop up the Bahamas chain to reach Stuart.

Voyage 2021

14 April 2021 | 14 30'N:71 40'W, Caribbean Sea
Mike
We left Aruba yesterday after clearing out of Customs and Immigrations. We have been working on preparation for several weeks and we are now underway. We plan to arrive at Matthew Town in the Bahamas on Saturday spending about 2-1/2 weeks anchoring a lot. Then we go to Stuart to visit family. Finally we plan to go offshore to Morehead City, from there we take the ICW to the Chesapeake Bay. We are very much looking forward to having the boat 15 minutes from the house �- another first.

I am always surprised at how much wear and tear happens on a boat in storage. The main winches had both frozen up and the chartplotter is not working as designed. It all seemed to start with the automatic software and firmware updates that came during March. The touch screen remains locked, the fishfinder can�'t find the transducer and the old chartplotter I was using for GPS input can�'t find satellites. We are living with the non-touch screen, I will be relying on our old depth sounder, and I attached the VHF radio for the GPS inputs.so the chartplotter is keeping our position on the charts and helping with navigation.

Most of yesterday we were moving in the right direction at or greater than hull speed. This was with 2 reefs in the main, the jib and no mizzen. We hit a new 24 hour record for Neverland by covering 159NM from when we left the customs dock. The trade winds are great to sail in although they create a lot of wind chop. The chop is very similar to the short square wave we find in the bay, only bigger. Monica is starting to get over the sea sickness she suffers at the beginning of each voyage.

The wind has come down to around 15 kn so we are both able to relax more. The forecast looks like it will pick up again this afternoon and tonight.

Arrival in Aruba

22 December 2019 | 12 30.5'N:70 01.8'W, Oranjestad, Aruba
Mike
We rounded the southern point of Aruba about an hour before sunrise and worked our way up the west coast. The timing was pretty good because you don�'t want to enter strange ports during the night. Typically one must pass through the reef surrounding the island and they are not always marked very well.

As we were headed for the pass we were hit with another squall. The winds picked up as the visibility decreased. We were already under a partial jib only so didn�'t need to reduce sail. We sailed away from the island for about a half hour as the squall passed. As the weather cleared we headed in to the port where we were supposed to check in with customs and immigration. Since nothing was marked we didn�'t know where to dock the boat to find the offices. So we motored the 4 miles to Oranjestad to see what it looked like. The port authority hailed us on the VHF and directed us back to Haven Barcadera to do the clearance formalities.

We motored back down to the port and upon approaching the dock for the customs we ran aground. We hailed the port authority and he called the coast guard. By the time they showed up we had worked the boat off the bottom and managed to tie up to the bulkhead. We found the offices and checked in without any further issues.

Then we started looking for a place to anchor the boat. The trade winds were blowing 15-22kts today so it made reading the water difficult. The island is surrounded by a barrier reef. Between the reef and the island there is a channel but there is also a lot of shallow water. There are few marked channels except for commercial traffic so one depends on �"reading�" the water for depth. This is something we haven�'t had to experience until now. The anchorage we wanted to use would have us crossing a flat that the cruising guide said would have 6 feet of water if you picked the right trail. We ended up anchoring at a different location in front of a beach near the end of the airport runway. And by the way, the Danforth anchor didn�'t hold in the loose mud and weeds so we grabbed a mooring.

This year we covered 5000 nautical miles since we left Alicante, Spain at the end of September. We used the engine for less than 250 hours. During the ARC+ crossings the engine was used only for battery charging and not propulsion. We confirmed once again that our old boat is a capable cruiser and will get us to our destination safely. We were sometimes awestruck with the things we witnessed along the way. We made a lot of new friends from different parts of the world with a common goal of crossing an ocean in a small boat. I praise the World Cruising Club for their organization and support as we prepared for and made the crossing.

Change of Plans

21 December 2019 | 12 25.5'N:68 43.1'W, north of Curacao
Mike
Well, we did it again. We arrived at our way point near the north end of Bonaire and had another discussion. If we go to Curacao we faced an overnight tonight to arrive during daylight tomorrow. We would clear through customs and immigration for a three day stay. We would then need to clear out of Curacao and leave Christmas day for an overnight passage to Aruba. Our appointment for hauling the boat is 07:30 on the 27. We would also need to go through the formalities in Aruba.

So we started a discussion about skipping Curacao and sail directly to Aruba, 95NM. We would make one overnight passage and not have to meet with the Curacao officials. We had both been thinking about this and I�'m glad we talked. We think it will give us more time to relax before starting the layup of the boat.

So our new plan is to arrive in Aruba tomorrow, Sunday, morning. Clear customs and immigration. Anchor in the anchorage near Oranjestad thru Christmas. Have the boat hauled as scheduled. This gives us more than a week to visit the island, shop and relax before coming home.

Martinique to Curacao

21 December 2019 | 12 47.8'N:67 36.2'W, at sea
Mike
Had a good night of sailing.
Vessel Name: Neverland
Vessel Make/Model: Allied Princess 36 1976
Hailing Port: Onancock VA USA
Crew: Mike Gould-Captain
About: Mike has been sailing since 1986. He has made trips from Virginia to Maine and back. Several trips in the Mediterranean. He has sailed other vessels in the open sea. In 2019 sailed 5000+ nm from the Med across the Atlantic to Aruba.
Extra: Monica has sailed alongside Mike during all these years. She has loved sailing and enjoyed every minute out on the open seas with Mike. She looks forward to more adventures as a sailing couple. In 2019 sailed 5000+ nm from the Med across the Atlantic to Aruba.
Neverland's Photos - Main
Sailing Kalamata, Greece and surroundings
16 Photos
Created 7 August 2016
Boat Trip 2015
5 Photos
Created 4 July 2015