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Today is the big day where I finally toss off the dock lines and head out to see the world! I worked on my one missing solar panel power line in the early hours before the sun hit the boat directly but had no luck; there's a little gremlin in there somewhere but I'll sort that out while at anchor. I then got all of the cushions out of storage and attached them in the cockpit and finally went all around the boat putting things away and ensuring that “Zanshin” was ready to set sail. I got some final provisions at the store, some boat parts at the chandlery and paid my dockage bill at the office. I waited for the delivery from Caribbean Cellars but at the last minutes before noon they informed me that the water I wanted (San Pellegrino plastic bottles) hadn't arrived so I made myself ready to leave.
The wind was very light in the marina and the dockhands were busy elsewhere so I took off my forward and aft spring lines and singled up the bow and stern lines so that I could slip them off from the boat. I started the engine to let it warm up and moved some fenders to the stern of the boat. Casting off the two remaining lines, I used the bow thruster to push the bow away from the dock, which made the stern push against the dock (hence my moving the fenders) but this then effectively pushed the boat away from the dock so that when I straightened out and put the boat into forward gear the boat wouldn't be pushed back or along the dock by the prevailing light wind. It worked like a charm and I used the protected water off the fuel dock to remove the remaining lines and throw the fenders into the stern garage to let them dry out before tucking them away.
Once I left the marina I realized that I hadn't made a plan of where I was planning on going. I usually head across to Norman Island but it was only noon and I wanted to sail, so I opted to head around Soper's Hole and anchor off Jost van Dyke tonight. With full sails set I was only doing between 2 and 4 knots in the light wind, but it was nice to have easy conditions to get a feel for the boat and to make sure that the rigging stayed where it was supposed to.
It was a long 4 hour sail in those light conditions, at times I was under a knot while a lull in the breeze passed my by. I wanted to anchor off Sandy Spit but the north swell coming around the island made that somewhat uncomfortable so I made 2 attempts to anchor off Little Jost van Dyke but the bottom, though only 15 feet deep, was hard rock with only a sprinkling of sand over it so I didn't get good holding at all and ended up going to my usual spot off the B-Line bar in about 30-35 feet of water and finally turned off the engine at about 16:30.
I got the boat ready for a night's stay and went ashore for a happy hour drink at the bar, then returned and just watched the stars come out before making a steak on the barbecue (which I'd just had repaired) along with two baked potatoes before falling into a deep sleep for my first night at anchor.