Monday, December 20, 2010

I had anchored way out in Marigot and leaving was a simple process this time as there were no boats in the way and my anchor wasn't fouled. I departed at 12:30, set sails and headed a bit north towards Anguilla and then set for the Neckar Island Passage. I wanted to avoid other ships doing the same trip on a reciprocal course, which is why I offset my starting point a bit. Radar on, AIS on and motor sailing made for a comfortable and quick start to trip. I did see a couple of fish trap markers float close by but didn't see any on the direct course. Visibility was great, the moon being high and almost full.
Once off soundings I knew I could take some naps but the wind had shifted so I actually had to tack my way upwind a bit towards the BVI, a couple of hours later the wind had shifted again and I struck my genoa, kept the mainsail and used a preventer to keep the boom from moving around as the swell from the north was quite large (larger than WindGuru had predicted) and the boat occasionally wallowed around in the trough of a wave set. I turned on the engine and, in overdrive mode, motor sailed the rest of the way on a direct route.
At 12:30 exactly I dropped anchor off Spanish Town and started the lengthy process of getting my monster dinghy and motor put back into the water. Since gravity was giving me a hand this time around, it took just over an hour to complete the work and at 14:00 I was showered and changed into presentable clothes and headed to Customs & Immigration. The process of filling out the 3 forms with all sorts of details took less time than the actual clearance procedures themselves and in a jiffy I was out of the office with stamped papers and US$10.50 less cash (well, $11 since I gave the 50¢ to another sailor who didn't have the small change to buy just the forms).
I motored up to the North Sound, anchored off Prickly Pear Island and then headed in to Saba Rock for some beef Tacos, a beer or two, and to say “Hi” to Josie, the bartender. I was back on the boat by 9pm and asleep shortly thereafter.

Landfall in Virgin Gorda After a long sail from St. Martin the coastline of Virgin Gorda in the BVI is finally within sight.

[18°29'41.09"N 64°15'31.9"W (facing W)]
Landfall in Virgin Gorda
Neckar Island palms There is a little spit off the private island of Neckar (owned by Sir Richard Branson) that has 3 palm trees on it. I think that they are fake, as they couldn't survive on such a small spit of land.

[18°31'1.67"N 64°21'34.42"W (facing NE)]
Neckar Island palms
Dinghy on deck Dinghy on deck
Dinghy on deck
Liveaboard dinghy This is the dinghy that I purchased from one of the salespeople at Island Waterworld. He'd fixed it up to his liking as a liveaboard sailor and then was given a dock position right at the store so no longer had a need for it.
Liveaboard dinghy
Azamara off Virgin Gorda Azamara off Virgin Gorda
Azamara off Virgin Gorda
Sailing in the Channel Sailing in the Channel
Sailing in the Channel
Star Clipper Star Clipper
Star Clipper

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