It appears I owe everyone an update. I lot has happened since we left the Turks and Caicos on December 20th. The perfectionist in me wants to tell the whole story in detail, the pragmatist is urging me to give you a synopsis and then fill in the vignettes over time. The pragmatist is winning. So here goes.
Up anchored December 20th, sailed in steady 30knts gusting over 40 for 8 hours in 10-15 feet of water over the Caicos Bank, headed out into the Columbus Passage, greeted by 12 ft swells and 30kn winds. Turned back and anchored in Long Cay. Caught 2 barracuda along the way, managed a small crew morale issue and settled in for the night. Over the next 4 days sailed approx. 600 miles tacking along in big winds and waves. They do not call it the Thorny Passage for nothing. Not fun. Ariel and Ziggy seasick. Dealt with a small leak that filled our starboard bilge to the floorboard and created a fireman’s brigade to empty countless buckets of seawater/diet coke. Fixed the leak, ruined the first mates nerves. Encountered countless dolphins including about 25 of them who played in our bows for over half an hour and the next morning, a mom and 18” baby swimming in sync. Sailed through a benign Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Sailed the southern coast of PR ducking in for refuge for a few hours here and there. Celebrated Christmas dinner with a 16lb black fin tuna. Saw St Thomas for 6 hours before we dropped the hook in Charlotte Amalie. Never so happy to be in the land of cruise ships and tourists.
Cleared in, cleaned up, provisioned, said good-bye to Bruce, Mar and Ariel (with whom we could never have made the journey), welcomed Connor’s friend Nick. Cruised St John’s and the BVI, hitting all the requisite sites – Foxy’s New Years, Soggy Dollar Bar, Indians snorkeling, boat cleaning and awesome showers in Nanny Cay, Peter Island, Cooper Island, Cruz Bay, Woody’s Happy Hour, Margarita Phils and Caneel Bay. Played euchre, shut the box and scrabble endlessly.
Said good bye to the kids on the January 5 (they flew to Ft Lauderdale and drove our car back to Toronto), did a fast laundry with Jerry, the king of folding sheets in St Thomas, provisioned and welcomed friends Dragan, Kara, Mark and Denise for a week tour of the BVI. Charlotte Amalie, White Bay and Soggy Dollar, Bitter End, Leverick, Scrub Island Marina, Marina Cay, Cooper Island, Peter Island, Caneel and back to St Thomas. Said good bye, did another fast turn around and greeted our salty sailor friend Barry from Kelowna. A day of boat maintenance and then sailed downwind to the Spanish Virgins. Holed up in Culebra, tiny sleepy town with an awesome candy store run by two French Canadians who make donuts fresh upon order and a bakery open from 5am to 5pm daily. Snorkeled in one of the best reefs ever off the west coast of the island.
Sitting in a breezeless bay in glassy waters – sweating. This takes us to the present – Thursday, January 19, 2017.