19 May 2010 | Indiantown, FL
17 May 2010 | Bahamas
02 May 2010 | Georgetown, Exuma
22 April 2010 | Elizabeth Harbor, Great Exuma
22 April 2010 | Georgetown, Exuma
08 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
05 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
02 April 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
26 March 2010 | Ocean World Marina, Puerto Plata
19 March 2010 | Boqueron, PR
14 March 2010 | Ponce,P.R.
06 March 2010 | British Virgin Islands
06 March 2010 | British Virgin Islands
14 February 2010 | At sea
14 February 2010 | Nevis
05 February 2010 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
27 January 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica
22 January 2010 | Portsmouth, Dominica
08 January 2010 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
08 January 2010 | St. Lucia

Into the BVI

06 March 2010 | British Virgin Islands
We're still in the Virgin Islands. Family comes in one week from today for a week. We are just moving around every few days, checking out new snorkel spots. With out any doubt the Virgins have some beautiful snorkel sites, particularly St. John which is mostly a National Park. We have spent entirely too much time on mooring balls these last two weeks. Tonight (2/23) we are back in Waterlemon Bay on the north coast of St. John. You are not allowed to anchor in most of the waters around St. John, particularly the south coast. Some anchoring is allowed on the north coast. Fortunately we qualify for the "senior discount" and the moorings are half price ($7.50 vs. $15 per night). Tonight while I was securing the deck and dinghy before bed I had one of those "special" moments. During the day the sun is so bright that it reflects off the water and you have to look straight down to see the bottom clearly. Tonight we had a three quarter moon and few clouds. The soft light of the moon lit up the water and with such clear water I could see the bottom clearly all around the boat (30 feet deep) all the way to shore. There was no wind and so there were no ripples. It looked like I could step off the boat and walk around on the bottom. I didn't try but it was very surreal. I was listening to the Coconut Net this morning (2-26) and it reminded me to say how much we enjoy the morning radio nets. There are a few VHF nets, usually where many cruisers gather, Georgetown, Exuma & Prickly Bay, Grenada for example. The most useful for keeping track of friends is the Coconut net at 0800 each morning on SSB 4060. We have always been able to hear boats in the Bahamas when we were down in Grenada and while we are in the Virgins we hear very well also. There are usually boats calling in from Columbia, Panama and the western Caribbean that we hear clearly as well. It's nice to know where old friends are. It's also nice to talk with them and plan to hook up together somewhere instead of missing them by one day because you didn't know they were there. Today is Monday (3-1) and we are anchored in Benures Bay on Norman Island in the BVI. We will be here until tomorrow enjoying the crystal clear water and snorkeling. Tomorrow we leave for Trellis bay on Beef Island where we will meet guests. We are looking forward to a week with family before our long, fast run up to Georgetown in the Exuma island chain (Bahamas). The BVI, is was the USVI, is crowded and heavily populated with charter boats. If you avoid the most popular spots it isn't bad. We were the third boat in Benures Bay when we arrived and by dark there were nine of us. The wind in here varies a lot so you anchor off shore and back down on your anchor till you are twenty feet or so from the coral near shore. This way you know if the wind swings you around, you cannot get in too close to shore and ground. We have been watching dozens of pelicans today. They feast on the long ribbon of bait fish that swim constantly about ten feet off the beach. They eat well.
The kids come in tomorrow and we will be in Trellis Bay, dinner at the Loose Mongoose before meeting them at 7pm.
The picture is yet another of Sue on a snorkel. She is diving down to get a fish's eye view of some coral.
Vessel Name: Unchained
Vessel Make/Model: 38' Beneteau
Hailing Port: Knoxville, TN
Crew: Bill & Sue Shafer
We have been sailing about ten years (lots of schools and bare boat charters in those years). Sue grew up in Midland, TX and Bill in Knoxville, TN where we have a home. We are members of Concord Yacht Club in Knoxville (Great people & very supportive). [...]
Extra: Unchained is a 1991 Beneteau Moorings 38 which was designed as a charter boat. We had to make many modifications to make her a reasonable long distance cruiser. She is light and small but very capable.