I woke up with the sun this morning and decided not to wait for the bakery to open ashore before departing Grand Case. After my first coffee I started the dishwasher to clean up the collected plates and went out back to get the dinghy engine and fuel tank into the dinghy garage. I'd purchased a 100 foot long line for towing, as the old line was much shorter and starting to shed fibres at an alarming rate and it was time to retire it - this was attached and prepared. With my second cup of coffee I cleaned up the cabin and made ready for the passage, including removing the anchor ball and the boom tie. At 7AM I departed the anchorage, where the winds had gone from dead calm to 25 knots in just a few minutes. The first two hours of the passage were done with 6-7 knots speed, but then the wind died down a bit and the big Atlantic swell had the boat rolling quite a bit. After the speed dropped to 4 knots in light winds and big swell I opted to turn on the engine and motorsailed.
The sun set while I was still over 7 miles from the island, in fact the light disappeared just as I was coming back onto soundings ("off" soundings comes from the old days, when a “sounding” was made using a line with a lead weight attached to the end to determine how deep the water was. If the end of the line was reached without touching bottom, one would be off soundings). While I navigate at night using shore side lights, the GPS chart plotter and the radar, none of those show those nasty fish traps that are strewn about and I had seen traps out there in the past. Luckily I didn't hit any. I didn't see any because at about the same time rain started coming down and the darkness was occasionally lit up by flashes of lightning embedded in the clouds. The winds remained at about 17 knots and never got any stronger but I had reefed sails in any case, and dropped those when entering the North Sound channel. I anchored off Prickly Pear island after a 13 hour passage and made a steak with potatoes on the barbie for dinner and then read until my eyes refused to focus any more and fell asleep.

Fish traps off St. Martin Passing close to fish traps while on passage leaving St. Martin behind and bound for the distant islands of the BVI
(2014-05-08 08:26:37 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/400s] ISO 200)
Fish traps off St. Martin
Sunset at sea This sunset was quite colorful due to the weather moving through the area. The overcast solidified as I got closer and soon after this picture was taken the rains set in.
(2014-05-08 18:33:58 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/30s] ISO 320)
Sunset at sea
Orange glow in the clouds This sunset while between St. Martin and the BVI was nice to watch, but the colors meant that I was in for bad weather.
(2014-05-08 18:34:30 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/60s] ISO 320)
Orange glow in the clouds
Raining at sunset This squall line cloud was raining heavily some distance away, but I got hit by another one within the hour - and this one had lightning as well.
(2014-05-08 18:34:51 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/80s] ISO 320)
Raining at sunset
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