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Zanshin I Logbook
|23/04/2011||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands||14:00||16:30||7.69||
While there seemed to be absolutely no wind at Nanny Cay, there was some out in the Sir Francis Drake channel and I went out on a last and final sail on Zanshin I with the new owners. We picked up speed and coasted at around 7 knots towards Norman Island and the Bight and circled back towards Nanny Cay at the Indians for sweet and comfortable ride. I know that I'll miss Zanshin I but hope to assuage that with a newer Zanshin I soon.
|03/03/2011||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands||09:00||12:00||22.09||
The trip was almost dead downwind, but I tacked a bit and even spent part of the time motorsailing so that I could keep up an average speed of over 5knots in order to arrive at Nanny Cay on schedule. Winds were light, 10 knots and the swell from the previous days had largely disappeared.
|02/03/2011||18.30°N||64.21°W||Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands||10:00||14:00||22.67||
The sail departing Anegada was another fast one, in this case I headed toward Trellis Bay and Marina Cay and then changed my destination in mid-trip for Leverick Bay. The wind was a bit lighter than the previous day but it was a broad reach and I averaged 7-8 with full main and genoa.
|01/03/2011||18.42°N||64.19°W||Anegada, British Virgin Islands||10:30||13:30||15.19||
The sail up to Anegada was a quick one, the wind was at 60° apparent at 15-20 knots true and the swell wasn't as bad as the predicted 2meters. I had 3 reefs in the main and 2 in the genoa in preparation for heavier weather but despite being a bit undercanvassed the speed rarely dipped below 8 knots for the entire passage.
|27/02/2011||18.30°N||64.21°W||North Sound, British Virgin Islands||14:00||17:30||24.03||
Today was a wild ride, the wind was over 20 in the anchorage in gusts but I didn't want to stay in the same place, WindGuru forecast even stronger waves so I decided to bite the bullet and beat up to Virgin Gorda again, so I put 4-5 reefs in the main and a bit over 3 reefs in the genoa and set off for a hard sail. The boat was perfectly balanced despite winds ranging from 13 to 25 true but I did have my work cut out for me as my course was exactly upwind. I got lucky on the last tack to the channel and could turn a bit off the wind and blasted through at 9 knots!.
|25/02/2011||18.26°N||64.31°W||Leverick Bay, British Virgin Islands||12:00||14:30||12.71||
Even in the protected North Sound the wind was howling, and getting out of the channel at 60° and about 5 reefs in both sails had me taking a lot of green water on deck. Once I turned downwind and tacked back and forth with 25 knot, gusting to 30, wind at 120° I made a comfortable 6-7 knots while watching overcanvassed boats have trouble and some hardy charterer's pounding into the wind and waves to reach the North Sound.
|24/02/2011||18.30°N||64.23°W||Leverick Bay, British Virgin Islands||13:00||13:30||1.38||
This was just a short trip across the North Sound to Leverick to get fuel and water; and instead of heading back to my anchorage off Prickly Pear island I opted to anchor off Leverick, in 25 feet of water on the outside of the mooring field.
|20/02/2011||18.30°N||64.21°W||North Sound, British Virgin Islands||10:00||12:30||14.48||
I had to motor sail to Spanish Town in order to clear in and then motor back to the North sound. Downwind was a useless sail, as I was motoring at 5 knots in 5 knots of wind from 180° behind me. Coming back I didn't even bother getting the sails out.
|19/02/2011||18.30°N||64.22°W||North Sound, British Virgin Islands||08:00||19:30||79.48||
I started off later than I had hoped because I had to get the dinghy outboard on deck, but I towed the empty dinghy across and that wasn't a problem. The winds were fickle and the NE swell was quite large at 2-3 meters but with a 10s period. I tried sailing but that was very slow with winds of under 10 knots so I motor sailed across at 1800RPM and had an uneventful passage. The green channel lights in the North Sound were not working, but the red lights were sufficient to enter in the dark, the moon rose just after I'd anchored.
|16/02/2011||18.03°N||63.06°W||Marigot, St. Martin||08:30||14:30||26.82||
The waves had settled to a long period 2+ meter base swell and the wind was light in the morning and then strengthened to 15 knots later on. At first I headed to the south side of St. Martin and the Dutch bridge but after passing the Groupers I changed course for Île Tintamarre and the east coast of St. Martin. That took me from a 5 knot downwind run to a 90° course at 8-9 knots and when I turned at Anguilla for the final run into Marigot I was consistently over 9 knots and Zanshin I didn't seem to be making an effort at all.
|15/02/2011||17.55°N||62.52°W||Anse Colombier, St. Barths||09:30||11:30||13||
Today was just a short day sail with 2 guests who might be interested in Zanshin I, we motored out of the bay, set full sails and then headed to the north and east coast of St. Barths in light winds of around 10 knots. We then did a rough circle to test all points of sail and circle Île Pele and Île Boulanger and coming shy of Île Fourchue before returning.
|13/02/2011||17.55°N||62.52°W||Anse Colombier, St. Barths||08:00||14:30||55.24||
I started off with 1 reef per sail and motor sailed the first 20 miles, mainly because I wanted to make it to St. Barths in time to clear in and also because I wanted to fully charge the batteries. At 2000RPM I made 8 knots and once I reached Brimstone Hill I reefed the mainsail past #3 and kept the one reef in the genoa and once I rounded the western end of Nevis the fun began, I rarely saw any speed under 8 knots and despite taking a lot of spray from the swell, which was still over 2m, I had a blast. I was 60° to the wind for the whole stretch. True wind speed was anywhere from 15 to 25 with most of the stretch being around 20.
|12/02/2011||17.09°N||62.37°W||4 Seasons anchorage, Nevis||10:30||11:30||6.44||
According to WindGuru the winds had died down but I put a reef in both sails and once in the Narrows between St. Kitts and Nevis I realized I should have done one more reef. Although the boat was still balanced I was doing 9 knots at times and was heeled over more than I needed to be - but it was a fun and very fast sail until I got into the wind shadow of Nevis.
|01/02/2011||17.15°N||62.39°W||White House Bay, St. Kitts||08:30||13:00||29.90||
The weather reports were not looking good for the sail and with winds over 20 knots and a heavy wave action in the open ocean portions of the sail we decided to change plans and head for a safe harbour. While I wanted to continue on to Nevis, Arita decided to head to St. Kitts and I followed them in. The sail was a fast one for me, never below 8 knots and sometimes over 9 with triple reefed main and single/double reefed genoa, at least until I hit the calm in the lee of St. Kitts.
|01/02/2011||17.28°N||62.59°W||Oranjested, St. Eustatius (Statia)||08:30||12:30||32.03||
The wind averaged around 15 knots true from the east and with the southerly course and boat speed it was a beam reach for much of the way. I left an hour after Arita and thought I'd catch up quickly, as I was doing 7-8 knots all the time but I chose to round the east side of the island and they chose the quicker west side and beat me to the anchorage by a huge margin. It was an exhilarating and fast sail
|27/01/2011||17.54°N||62.51°W||Anse Colombier, St. Barths||09:00||13:30||27.44||
Waiting for the bridge to open at 09:00 was interesting, as a warden (for lack of a better term) came by and had a catamaran, myself, an Island Packet and a 30-ish boat all get closer to the bridge - but that left us with little or no room to maneuver and the bridge didn't open but the wind started gusting a bit. And a large megayacht was on our tails as well, but when the bridge finally opened we made it through. Winds were 20-25 true from ENE and the swell was 2-2.5M so I just set a reefed mainsail and motor sailed at 1800RPM and 4-5 knots. I did clear in at Gustavia and then motored to Anse Columbier for the night.
|10/01/2011||18.02°N||63.05°W||Simpson Lagoon, Sint Maarten||0:15||14:30||109.65||
I left the North Sound at 00:15 in 10 knots of wind from the NE and 1012Mb pressure. I kept hourly track of wind, waves, pressure and of course my position/speed but somewhere around 6am my sheet of paper blew overboard and all I can remember is the initial reading. I motor sailed a course just southerly of St. Martin and it would have been a fast passage at 1800RPM and 3 reefs in both sails; but somewhere between 2am and 3am the wind shifted toward SE and I had to start tacking. The 2m swell from south was being superimposed by a faster 2m swell from the north and the confused seas made for pounding and hard passage on the boat. I did get some water in the bilges so I'll have to see where that might have come from.
|08/01/2011||18.30°N||64.21°W||Prickly Pear Island, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.||10:00||14:00||16.90||
I sailed from Trellis to Spanish Town, doing 8 knots with 1800 RPM and both sails close hauled. I made it there by 11am and it only took 10 minutes to clear out of the BVI, then I had a wonderful sail averaging about 7 knots up the channel with full sails and hardly any waves, I turned on the engine for about 2 minutes in the channel as I couldn't hold the correct course, but sailed off my anchor and almost onto my anchoring spot.
|07/01/2011||18.26°N||64.31°W||Trellis Bay, British Virgin Islands.||10:00||17:30||28.01||
I didn't count the several trips for going diving, as they were under engine and in the North Sound. So this was my first sail of 2011 and it was nice, with 8-15 knots of wind and I never had to tack. Initially I had to sail to Nanny Cay in order to pick up papers and then sailed from there back to Trellis Bay, picking up a mooring just as the sun was setting.
|31/12/2010||18.30°N||64.21°W||Prickly Pear Island, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.||10:00||14:30||20.56||
The wind didn't seem to have died down since yesterday, so I put 3 1/2 reefs in the mainsail and 2 reefs in the genoa and had a very comfortable sail, perhaps a bit underpowered for the conditions but I wasn't in any hurry. I averaged over 7 knots and rarely went below 6, except when I once again let myself get into the close lee of Virgin Gorda and was becalmed for a bit. I find that Zanshin I sails quite well with the genoa reefed and I lose about 5 degrees pointing ability, but that is all.
|30/12/2010||18.27°N||64.31°W||Marina Cay, Guana Island, British Virgin Islands.||11:00||15:30||19.72||
With 3 reefs in both sails I headed out of the shelter of Norman Island but I could see the whitecaps in the Channel so knew I wasn't being overly cautious. Once in clear air the winds clocked up to remain around 20 knots, occasionally hitting steady 25 knots true with gusts a bit higher. The sail was exhilarating with speeds never going below 7 knots but usually remaining above 8. The waves were pretty hefty, with spray occasionally going over the spray hood when a wave hit the boat. I did have problems again while tacking, when the genoa sheet would get caught in the spinnaker pole hook and I'd have to go forward to fix it - and in 20 knots of wind that was no fun at all.
|27/12/2010||18.30°N||64.21°W||The Bight, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands.||10:15||16:30||13.70||
The first part of the trip to the West End was done with a quartering wind and only my genoa, I was doing about 5.5 knots and then saw that Tenacious, flying a spinnaker, was doing 8 knots but was too comfortable to put up any more sail. After provisioning in the West End I put over 3 reefs in both sails as I rounded the corner and, with the relative wind at about 90° I was comfortably doing 4-5 knots but I saw the clouds and rain in the distance and kept the reefs in despite the slow speed. 10 minutes later the true winds were at 20 knots and I was barely heeled over and doing over 8 knots in comfort.
|27/12/2010||18.30°N||64.21°W||Diamond Cay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.||10:15||16:30||23.09||
It was a comfortable, but somewhat slow sail from the North Sound to Jost van Dyke. The winds were light and slowly got stronger during the course of the afternoon. At first I was doing 3-4 knots and then, after a short lull of only 2 knot where I debating turning on the iron genny it got stronger and I was doing 5 knots for the rest of the trip to Diamond Cay. The wind settled and finally died about the time that I anchored.
|22/12/2010||18.30°N||64.21°W||North Sound, British Virgin Islands.||10:30||12:15||8.59||
The north sound is rather sheltered and the lumpy seas I encountered after leaving the channel weren't too nice and the direction I had thought about sailing in was downwind and very rolly, so I opted to return to my starting point and had a short sail, with enough engine time to warm up the hot water and charge the batteries a bit.
|20/12/2010||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, British Virgin Islands.||00:30||16:00||88.70||
The winds were fickle on this journey. Instead of following winds the veered and I found myself having to tack upwind to get back to the BVI! After a couple of wind changes, I dropped the genoa and continued with mainsail and motor alone for a fast, but somewhat rolly trip. I left at 12:30am in 5 knots of wind from the east and only had a couple of hits on the AIS during the evening and saw no other ships on the whole passage. It only took 12 hours to get to Spanish Town, but I included the time to clear in and motor to the North Sound in the total hours and miles.
|14/12/2010||18.03°N||63.05°W||Marigot Baie, St. Martin||01:45||13:45||80.11||
This was the easiest passage that I've done to St. Martin to date, but I have to admit that I wasn't a sailboat, but a powerboat on this trip. The wind was variable at 2-5 knots and the swell was northerly at a good 2 meters, but a very long period. I could have put up a sail to prevent the rolling, but that would have slowed me down. In “Overdrive” running at 2000 RPM I was doing 7.1 knots the whole trip.
|13/12/2010||18.30°N||64.22°W||Prickly Pear, Jost van Dyke, BVI||11:00||15:00||28.45||
The winds had really died in the morning so the trip from Diamond Cay to Spanish town was done under engine, at 1500 RPM I averaged 5.4 knots. After taking a mooring ball at Spanish Town I dinghied in, spent no more than 10 minutes clearing out of the BVI and then sailed up to the North Sound at leisure, with speeds ranging from 1 knot in the lull in the lee of Virgin Gorda to 8 knots in clean air trying to get enough sea room to make the channel into the North Sound under sail.
|12/12/2010||18.27°N||64.43°W||Diamond Cay, Jost van Dyke, BVI||10:00||13:00||4.1||
It was just a short hop to Diamond Cay via Sandy Spit on JVD and as the winds were calm I only had that genoa unfurled for a couple of hundred feet before realizing that it wouldn't be a sailing day. I did actually do about a mile more than logged since I wanted to readjust the Raymarine built in compass and that entailed doing several circles at slows speeds and slow rates of turn.
|09/12/2010||18.26°N||64.45°W||Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke, BVI||11:00||16:00||28.8||
The frontal passage from the previous night had kicked up some waves on top of the very large northerly swell. While my course was 120 degrees off the wind it was a bit rolly but overall a comfortable downwind trip to Jost van Dyke and the anchorage at Great Harbour.
|08/12/2010||18.43°N||64.22°W||Anegada Anchorage, BVI||11:30||14:00||14.0||
The wind was from the east, so with a magnetic course of 4° I had the wind at about 60° indicated and while it was less than 10 knots I still did 5-7 knots in mild conditions. The entrance to the channel was well-visible and since I'd learned to ignore the chart plotter and stuck to the instruction on the paper chart it was a piece of cake, the depth sounder never going closer than 2 feet under the keel. The only problem, which I'll have to fix on my next sail, is that the Raymarine compass is about 100° off course - I think it needs to be reset and I'll read up in the manuals later.
|06/12/2010||18.30°N||64.22°W||Prickly Pear, North Sound, BVI||10:30||17:00||33.0||
While the whole trip up the North Sounds was almost directly against the prevailing wind it was a nice day trip to get used to sailing again, with a mix of sheltered sailing in the Sir Francis Drake channel and some bigger swells to the north of the Dogs. All in all a fun day with speeds never going below 6 knots.
|05/12/2010||18.19°N||64.36°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||12:00||01:00||6.3||
The wind was a perfect 10-15 knots and the waters in the Sir Francis Drake channel were smooth so I sailed up towards Peter Island and instead of tacking and heading towards the North Sound I decided to make the first sail a short and simple one and headed down to the Bight on Norman Island. I managed to snag a mooring ball the first try (no mean feat considering the winds blasting at speeds gusting to 3 knots or so). Zanshin I sailed well, both sails coming out and going back in without a problem, but I will have to clean the winches sometime soon.
|23/05/2010||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, BVI||07:00||23:30||18.73||
No chance of sailing this final leg, since I've removed the genoa and have the mainsail wrapped around the mast as additional wind protection for summer storage.
|20/05/2010||18.49°N||64.38°W||Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI||07:00||23:30||0.6||
I was too lazy to go to all the work of inflating the dinghy, installing the engine then sailing down to Spanish Town in order to clear into Customs and Immigration so I motored over to the Leverick Bay docks and took a slip there and the proceeded to clear in after driving to the offices in a rental car. I made the mistake of telling the truth about my boat's location and got a severe reprimand for not following procedures
|19/05/2010||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, BVI||07:00||23:30||136.34||
While the anchorage was calm but rather rolly, I knew that winds would pick up once outside of the lee of the island. And they did - from 20 to 30 knots and a much more organized wave system; but now the angle was good and with full genoa and mainsail and relative winds from 130° I averaged just over 8 knots for the whole trip, with portions at only 6 after reefing for squalls that made for a very exhilarating passage. Apart from the entry to the north of Neckar I never had to change tack and didn't need the genoa boom.
Strong 15-20 knot winds from the ESE through ENE made for good speed, but the heavy swell from a bit north of east made for a rather uncomfortable rolling passage and I tried unsuccessfully to set the genoa boom and finally gave up while at sea and used just a bit of genoa and thus had a lower average speed. I headed off wind and went directly past Redonda to get some pictures of that uninhabited island. The subsequent course to Nevis was fast but the last 10 miles were difficult as I had to avoid numerous traps set for lobster or other fish.
|15/05/2010||17.01°W||61.78°W||Falmouth Harbor, Antigua & Barbuda||08:20||00:00||135.52||The forecast of better weather on the 15th was incorrect, as we left I heard the French maritime state winds of 5-6 Beaufort and significant waves of 3 meters but going to 5 meters. As can be expected, the passage was a tough one with Zanshin I going fast with reefed sails but pounding a lot against the heavy and uncoordinated seas. Particularly the last part, with Antigua in sight but directly upwind, was trying.||969|
|14/05/2010||17.92°W||62.87°W||Columbier, St. Barths||11:00||14:00||6||
Motored into Gustavia to get weather report and groceries but the weather prognosis was not good, so the passage to Antigua was postponed by one day.
|12/05/2010||17.92°W||62.87°W||Columbier, St. Barths||10:20||14:30||26.58||
Forecast ENE winds of 15-20 knots with 4-6 foot seas were forecast and were spot on. After motoring upwind to the north end of St. Martin we set 3 reefs on mainsail and genoa and made it right past Isle Forchue to Gustavia on St. Barths in one tack at 8 knots ground speed and more. At our angle to the swell the waves didn't affect Zanshin I much and it was a fast and exhilarating passage.
|08/05/2010||18.09°N||63.09°W||Marigot, St. Martin||16:20||08:30||136.41||
We motor sailed the whole trip, as the winds had shifted and were no longer ENE but ESE so our course line was almost exactly on the wind. At 1900RPM and with heavily reefed mainsail and genoa we averaged between 7knots and over 8knots speed, but kept to about 50° off the wind so our total time was a lot longer than if we'd motored straight into the wind. The winds remained between 10 and 15 knots most of the night apart from squalls and the waves had picked up a bit but we only slammed into on every couple of minutes and rode the rest out easily. It was tiring, as always, but with 2 people aboard it was a lot easier than alone.
Unfortunately the Customs and Immigration office was closed so we couldn't clear in.
Prickly Pear Island
After temporarily fixing a broken starter battery, we motored towards Virgin Gorda and then changed direction to Soper's Hole and cleared out of the BVI there. Subsequently we motor sailed at 2000rpm into light swell and 10 knots towards Neckar Island and the Anegada Passage towards St. Martin. Waves picked up significantly as did the ENE wind and we chose to postpone passage by 24 hours and dropped anchor in the North Sound around 22:00
|06/05/2010||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||10:30||15:30||14.56||
Winds of 10-12 knots and no noticeable swell made for a fast day's sail. From Jost to Soper's hole at a reach with 7-8 knots speed indicated, then tacking up the channel at 6-7 knots with 2 reefs in the mainsail and full genoa with a balanced helm made for a great day's sail.
|05/05/2010||18.26°N||64.45°W||Great Harbor JVD, BVI||11:30||18:00||29.29||
A quick motor to pick up supplies (Carib beer) at Leverick and then we set sail with the repaired genoa in light winds. Our course was almost directly downwind so we bore off and tack a couple of times to make better time. With Björn aboard we decided to pole out the genoa with the spinnaker pole, but as the lines weren't set up correctly we soon put the pole back. Our speeds ranged from slow 3.5 knots and rolling with the swell to 8 knots.
|04/05/2010||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, BVI||12:00||16:30||23.52||
Björn and I set out in 15-20 knots of wind and I expected a bashing going uphill to the North Sound. We had only a very small part of the genoa out due to the rip in the leech, but managed to do 4-6 knots of speed and with that little sail up the boat didn't heel much at all and sliced her way through the sloppy chop. I had gotten 50 feet of black polypro three-strand for a dinghy painter and, as new line is wont to be, it was slippery and my clamping didn't hold, we lost the dinghy close to Beef Island and didn't notice until I caught the tail end of an announcement on Ch16 to the effect of “dinghy floating” and realized I'd parted company with mine. Fortunately, it was easy to recover the dinghy with 2 people.
|03/05/2010||18.45°N||64.53°W||Trellis Bay, BVI||10:30||15:15||13.7||
The wind was quite powerful in the North Sound so I had no genoa and 3 reefs in the mainsail when departing the channel and heading for The Baths; but the wind quickly died down and I risked tearing more of the genoa leech and used both sails heavily reefed for a comfortable sail. I picked up a mooring ball and went for a short swim and then continued on a downwind broad reach to Trellis Bay in preparation for picking up Björn.
Prickly Pear Island
With winds ranging from 5 knots to over 20 knots, it was a mixed but fun day of sailing. I only tacked 7 times but it remained an uphill sail. I have 2 reefs in the mainsail and none in the genoa most of the time, and that balanced the boat perfectly. Later, when the wind picked up to over 20knots for a bit I put 3 reefs in the main and 2 in the genoa and left those in even when the wind from the east lessened. It rained most of the day but the waves in the Sir Francis Drake channel were 1-2 feet. At Monkey Island I noticed that the genoa had a tear in the luff and took down sails, making only 3 knots against swell, wind and current for the sail into the North Sound. Purchased provisions at Leverick Bay and anchored off Prickly Pear next to the new mooring ball field at the beach there.
|01/05/2010||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||13:00||17:00||5.3||
I took the simplest sail possible in the BVI from Nanny Cay to The Bight on Norman island. The course is across the protected Sir Francis Drake Channel on a beam reach in almost all conditions and I was making 6-7 knots in around 10 knots of true wind without bothering to tune the sails. I soon made the Pelicans where I furled sails and took a mooring, later motoring the rest of the way into the crowded Bight for the night.
|27/04/2010||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, BVI||11:00||11:10||0.1||
As the batteries, both house bank and starting battery, were absolutely flat I needed a jumpstart which was given to me by a TMM technician, he brought a big starting battery aboard and, once power was supplied, the engine fired right up and I motored over to A Dock in almost wind still conditions and managed to dock without a problem, letting the wisps of wind gently push Zanshin I into the dock.
|10/01/2010||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, BVI||12:00||12:10||0.1||
My final logbook entry for this trip is moving Zanshin I from the dock to the Nanny Cay haul out pit.
|09/01/2010||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, BVI||10:00||16:00||16||
My last day aboard for this trip was a sunny one, I started off by going to the Indians for snorkeling and soaking up some final sunshine. I then headed up the channel to Cooper Island, detoured across to Hodges Creek and then had a very slow downwind sail into Nanny Cay.
|08/01/2010||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||12:30||17:00||22||
The previous night was rough, the winds shifted and a very heavy swell made life at the dock uncomfortable, with some of the smaller powerboats almost being washed over the dock. I got up every hour or so to check the lines and fenders. By morning the heavy winds had died down and now the wind had become fickle, staying at NE but changing in speed and thus my sail was partially very fast at over 8 knot GPS but at other times much slower, so my average speed ended up being rather slow.
|05/01/2010||18.50°N||64.39°W||Leverick Bay, BVI||09:00||13:30||24||
Winds of 10-15 knots coming almost from due east made the trip a wonderful one. The winds were constant and at one point I shut off the autopilot by mistake and didn't notice it as the boat balanced perfectly and held course. I arrived at the dock early and spent most of the day cleaning up and doing laundry.
|04/01/2010||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||11:00||14:00||21||
With some great winds the trip to The Bight was a fun one; but due to the winds coming a bit south of east I had to tack several times, which added greatly to the distance traveled. The speed sensor was jammed, which caused the autopilot's “Auto Tack” to malfunction and made tacking a lot more effort than normal.
|03/01/2010||18.26°N||64.45°W||Great Harbor JVD, BVI||09:30||16:00||30||
With mixed winds it was a long sail from Anegada past the northern headlands of Tortola and into Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke via a stop at Sandy Spit. At times I had 8 knots on the chart plotter and, only minutes later, would be reading 2 knots with a big change in direction and I would debate turning on the diesel engine - I finally succumbed to the temptation and motor sailed much of the way.
Slow winds forced me to drop my sails and motor most of the stretch from the North Sound and into the Anegada anchorage. I wanted to use my chart plotter to enter and navigate the difficult entry channel but it was very far off and I used old-fashioned pilotage and compass courses instead. I documented some of the issues on my daily diary page (see the link at the left with today's date on it for details).
|01/01/2010||18.50°N||64.36°W||Saba Rock, BVI||09:30||12:30||19||
With strong winds at over 20 knots blowing up waves in the channel, I set 3 reefs in the genoa and even more in mainsail so that I could get a well-balanced boat to tack upwind to the Baths. Zanshin I hardly heeled at all but still made in excess of 7 knots. I shouldn't have been surprised, but was, that the Baths were again flying red flags and were closed. I opted to head back to the protected waters of the North Sound and anchored off Saba Rock.
|30/12/2009||18.45°N||64.53°W||Trellis Bay, BVI||10:00||12:40||12||
While the wind was back at over 10 knots from the NE, the northerly swell remained quite high. We went to West Dog island to pick up a mooring and do some snorkeling, but the swell was very high and the mooring was quite close to the rocks. We could see a squall line approaching from the east and opted to forego snorkeling and head into Trellis Bay early. In retrospect this was a good choice, as we snagged one of the few remaining mooring balls and got to watch some amazing feats of seamanship in the late afternoon as charter guests attempted to pick up nonexistent balls for hours on end (in the rain).
|29/12/2009||18.51°N||64.37°W||Prickly Pear, BVI||10:00||19:00||24.5||
We had an appointment to view catamarans at the Moorings, so motored into Road Town and in the afternoon we decided to sail to Peter Island and anchor for the night, but the anchorage was crowded so we used the perfect winds to sail around and finally anchored off Prickly Pear island in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, entering and transiting the entrance channel in the dark.
|28/12/2009||18.40°N||64.64°W||Nanny Cay, BVI||13:30||16:30||15||
After snorkeling in the morning we enjoyed nice winds and calm seas to sail around the Sir Francis Drake channel, past Peter Island then Road Town and finally towards Nanny Cay; we were in no hurry to get there as they didn't have a slip available for us until later.
|27/12/2009||18.39°N||64.51°W||Cooper Island, BVI||11:30||17:00||16.1||
Light to medium following winds made for a comfortable trip along Virgin Gorda. The sky was overcast the whole day and soon after we arrived at Cooper Island the rains set in and we watched mooring ball antics; free and amusing entertainment for those with a mooring ball.
|26/12/2009||18.50°N||64.39°W||Leverick Bay, BVI||10:00||17:00||15||
Today was all about diving and not sailing, we motored and motor sailed from our anchorage off Saba Rock and went to get dive gear at Leverick Bay and proceeded out to the south side of Great Dog Island for a dive at Coral Gardens. After that dive we went to The Chimney on the northwest side of the island and the swell coming around the island was quite strong. We motored against the wind to get back inside the North Sound and took a slot at the dock at Leverick Bay.
|24/12/2009||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, BVI||11:30||14:30||25.00||
With a 15knot breeze and relatively calm seas in the Sir Francis Drake channel we had a fast and exhilarating sail. Initially we thought of visiting either Salt or Cooper islands but the sailing was so nice that we continued to The Baths and saw the red flags ashore there and just changed course and headed to the North Sound.
|23/12/2009||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||09:00||14:00||18.00||
We detoured at Soper's Hole in order to go shopping for groceries and otherwise had a calm and comfortable sail through the pass and up the Sir Francis Drake channel to The Pelicans and The Bight.
|22/12/2009||18.26°N||64.45°W||Great Harbor JVD, BVI||12:00||16:00||17.00||
Via Monkey Point and Cane Garden Bay (we took a mooring there, but it was far too rolly from the north swell.
|22/12/2009||18.44°N||64.53°W||Trellis Bay, BVI||08:00||10:30||12.00||
Very mild winds I motored all the way from Trellis to pick up Carmen and Bernd at the airport.
|21/12/2009||18.29°N||64.28°W||Leverick Bay, BVI||08:30||12:50||21.60||
With mild winds I opted to motor sail and hove-to in the channel and put the engine in reverse in order to get it into “overdrive”. This might have worked had I not run over and cut the painter to the dinghy. After much work I got the dinghy attached back to the boat but subsequently noticed that I wasn't getting any speed at all and guessed that I still had some rope attached to the propeller which prevented it from extending fully. After arriving at Leverick Bay and taking a mooring I dove on the prop and found that it was, indeed, fouled. I then went ashore and rented a tank of air and proceeded to cut away the remnants of the rope. Some pictures are to be found at21/12/2009 Diary page.
|20/12/2009||18.19°N||64.37°W||The Bight, Norman Island, BVI||09:45||12:45||13.65||
The run from Great Harbor to Soper's Hole was straight upwind, so I motored in cruise mode at 1600RPM doing just 5 knots. Once I made it through the pass at 10:35 I headed parallel to Tortola with both sails up, doing 6 knots in very smooth waters and light winds of under 10 knots. I tacked once off Peter and made it to the Pelicans and dropped sail. Unfortunately all the moorings were taken so I motored into Great Harbor and took a mooring ball, as my normal anchor position is prone to being back winded and the winds today were doing just that.
|19/12/2009||18.26°N||64.45°W||Great Harbor JVD, BVI||13:30||14:15||3||
With just the main up and the wind slackening, this short trip took a while, but I wasn't in a hurry and was too lazy to unfurl (and then pull back in) the genoa. There are now mooring balls in Great Harbor on Jost van Dyke, but the ones left open were far outside and I anchored close in, the anchor set the first time around and I put out 100 ft of chain in 25 feet so feel comfortable. I should keep a log of how many attempts boats have at anchoring. While I've had a bad day here where the anchor just didn't want to hold I think the problem that the charter guests have is that they just drop the anchor until it hits bottom and then think that somehow, magically, the boat is anchored and won't budge until the lift the anchor at some later point in time.
|19/12/2009||18.43°N||64.71°W||Sandy Cay, BVI||10:10||13:20||24||
After motor sailing with just main and 1600RPM out of the North Sound channel I unfurled the genoa and stayed on the same tack and heading most of the way. The sail was great, fast and comfortable. Overall it was even faster than indicated, but I sailed too close to land and was hit by some lulls. Once I arrived at Sandy Cay I was about to drop anchor but realized that the swell was uncomfortable and decided to head straight to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke. The waves crashing on the beach at Sandy Cay also precluded any landing attempts.
|15/12/2009||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, BVI||12:30||15:00||11||
The sail back to the North Sound from Spanish Town was against the wind and seas. With heavily reefed main and genoa I still made good speed, always over 6 and sometimes over 9 knots. Other boats gave up beating (including a 80 or 90 foot schooner which just couldn't get a good angle on the wind) and took down their sails and motored. I was in no hurry and found that my underpowered boat made good speed and was still comfortable to sail. The big cruise ship was still anchored in the middle of the North Sound.
|15/12/2009||18.45°N||64.43°W||Spanish Town, BVI||09:30||11:00||8.21||
I sailed from the mooring ball off Saba Rock to just short of Spanish Town with just the genoa with 2 reefs in it and no mainsail. The wind in the North Sound was variable but once I made it to the North Sound channel exit it was up over 20 knots and the sail to Spanish Town (in order to clear customs & immigration) was a quick one. For part of the trip I was accompanied by frolicking dolphins, my first such experience and a great thrill.
|15/12/2009||18.38°N||64.21°W||North Sound, BVI||04:15||17:30||93.8||
The start was a lot tougher than I thought, as my anchor fouled and I also woke up a bit late, expecting to depart by 3am I didn't get going until after 4am. Motor sailing much of the time with following seas and heavily reefed genoa and a reefed mainsail that was held by a preventer I still made good speed at 1600RPM on the engine. The radar and AIS worked like a charm and I was surprised by how many tanker, freighters and other commercials cargo vessels went by relatively close by in the night. The wind came from almost due E and at times was 25+ knots constant with waves confused at first but becoming calmer towards arrival.
I missed being able to check in at customs by an hour, so motored up to the North Sound for a protected anchorage from the winds and storms coming through that night.
|07/12/2009||18.09°N||63.09°W||Marigot, St. Martin||08:00||11:30||22.5||
Since storms were moving through, I had more than 3 reefs in both sails and, even with a heavy and deep swell coming from the NE I had a comfortable and fast passage, at least until the downwind leg on the north side of St. Martin, after going at 4 knots for a bit I turned on the engine and motor sailed at 1800RPM and 8 knots. Just one squall came through with 40 knots of wind and a bit of rain. By the time I had the dinghy ready and got ashore, it was 12:15 and customs & immigration had closed until 14:00, so I am now at the La Sucrière coffee shop enjoying croissants and coffee and have 45 minutes left before I can clear in and officially arrive in St. Martin.
|06/12/2009||17.92°N||62.87°W||Columbier, St. Barths||10:00||01:00||5||
I motored into Gustavia and back in order to check out of St. Bart with the intent of sailing to St. Martin tomorrow morning.
|03/12/2009||17.92°W||62.87°W||Columbier, St. Barths||11:00||00:30||2.5||
I didn't bother raising the sails for this short trip, not only is it too much effort but I needed to replenish the batteries since I don't have the generator and the wind generator isn't enough to compensate for all the power drain.
|03/12/2009||17.90°N||62.86°W||Gustavia, St. Barths||07:30||14:00||52||
The wind was roaring at 20-25 knots through the shallow waters between St. Kitts and Nevis and due to the <20 depths the waves were kicking up as well. I put 4 reefs on both genoa and Mainsail going through with engines running at 1800rpm as well, just in case the actual depths and those on the chart weren't identical. I made it through at about 4 knots but once in the clear air to the windward side of the passage the wind shifted a bit and lessened to 20knots on average, so I shook out 1 reef per sail (still over-reefed) but with the wind at 60°-70° off my starboard bow the sail was a fast one, over 8 knots indicated on the GPS for the whole passage. Lots of green water broke over the decks, though, as the waves had picked up overnight and had a shorter wavelength. But it was a faster and more comfortable sail on the previous day due to the wind angle.
The wind was variable and course directly downwind, so motor sailed 5hrs; waves were 2m and from 30° north of the course line so the trip wasn't the most comfortable one. I motor sailed so that I could be in the shallow waters around south and west Nevis during daylight hours to avoid the numerous fish traps. I only altered course by about 10° a couple of times to account for wind shifts, otherwise it was a straight shot from leaving Jolly Harbor to the southwest tip of Nevis. As the chart shows shallow waters and uncharted obstructions close inshore, I stayed well off; which also gave me a stronger and cleaner wind for the last hour. I took a mooring ball off the closed 4 Seasons hotel and right offshore from Sunny's bar and actually managed to grab it on the first pass. Only 2 other boats in the whole anchorage which has over 100 new mooring balls.