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Salty Again

Posted by on December 12, 2018

It’s happened…we are salty again…we think that deserves a BIG Woo Hoo! It is so nice to be back in the water. This was the first time that we have stayed on the boat in a dirty, dry, dusty, buggy, yucky boatyard…oh, with the exception of when we first sailed to Key West and I was pregnant but I guess that I did not know any better then! Oh and wait, we stayed on the boat in the yard in Jamaica but somehow it was not as bad…must have been all of the Red Stripe that blurred my memories…lol! Anyhow we are out of there! Don’t get me wrong the yard was just what it was supposed to be a great place to store and work on our boat and it served it’s purpose. The nice thing about Saint Kitts Marine Works Boatyard is that they allow you to work on your own boat. Most other yards don’t allow this and you have to hire workers. Not only is that costly, who knows what the quality of their work might be like. We like to be certain that it is done right and that is why although painful we like to do the work ourselves.

 

 

Brian added some fiberglass for extra strength on the bottom of the hulls where the lift puts its straps when we are hauled out.

Almost done painting the bottom.

 

 

Brian had his work cut out for him too. Last season we had trouble with a small leak in our starboard ama. We figured that it had happened when the travel lift had put us in the water. Brian did some underwater repairs as a quick fix but the spot needed further investigating. He opened up the crack and removed all of the weak wood and replaced it with marine plywood and light foam board making the spot stronger than ever before.

 

 

We had a weak spot that had a small leak. If you read through some of our past posts Brian had to make repairs at sea on this spot before. While we are hauled out Brian removes all of the weak wood, installs some marine plywood and foam board and fiberglasses it for a strong repair.

 

Hole? What hole?

Repair completed!

 

He also put some fiberglass tape on the bottoms of the hulls where the lift puts most of it’s pressure when taking us in and out of the water to give the other amas more strength. Now Moon is good and strong in these key areas.

 

 

Leaving our dusty piece of land at the boatyard.

On our way to the Caribbean Sea… prepare for splash down!

SPLASH! We are in the water! Woo Hoo!

See ya later Saint Kitts Marine Works!

 

We made our last few trips to the local supermarket to load up on some supplies that we knew would cost more on the islands and we were ready to splash down. Now I will not miss the boatyard one bit but I will really miss the beach out front that I have had so much fun beach combing. In my opinion it is one of the best in the Caribbean (for beach combing). I can’t wait to start making stuff from the things that I have found there to share with you all. The treasures that I found on that beach are just outstanding!

 

 

 

When Moon was finally wet again it was about mid afternoon and we wanted to make sure that all was good with her before we got too far away from the boatyard, just in case. We decided to motor up against the wind and waves to Whitehouse Bay. This is one of the few protected bays that St. Kitts has to offer and it happens to be a favorite of ours. It rained a monsoon on us that night and the winds howled but we were as snug as a bug. It was a great first night back on the water. All of the repairs held fine, no new cracks from the lift, engine was running just as it should and we were good to go.

 

 

Our first stop after leaving the boatyard was one of our favorites: White House Bay, St. Kitts.

Monkey running along the shoreline in White House Bay, St. Kitts.

 

At the crack of dawn we set sail for St. Maarten. Lucky us we were sailing downwind and it was a fast and uneventful ride. We arrived in Simpson Bay around four in the evening found a spot and it was anchors away. We’ve only anchored in this bay twice now and it was a bit rolly this time just like the last but we still got a pretty sound sleep.

 

 

Sailing from St. Kitts to Sint Maarten we pass by the volcanic island of Sint Eustatius, also known affectionately to the locals as Statia.

The flying fish were really jumping and these brown booby birds were taking advantage of it. They entertained us for quite some time diving for their lunch as we sailed along.

Approaching the two island nation we are heading to the dutch side to anchor in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten.

 

In the morning it was the same as the day before we were up early. This time we got started about 5:30 because we had a longer sail ahead of us…about 80 miles. Downwind again it was like a sleigh ride, very comfortable and very fast. We made the trip in about 11 hours where we anchored right before sunset in the protection of North Sound, BVI’s right across from Sir Richard Branson’s own Necker Island.

 

 

Approaching North Sound, BVI as the sun is going down after sailing around 11 hours from Sint Maarten.

Necker Island. Owned by Sir Richard Branson and bought for $180,000 in 1979. On first observing the islands, he envisioned using them to put up rock stars for his record label. Upon arrival, he was given a luxury villa and travelled around looking at islands for sale by helicopter. The final island he saw was Necker Island, and after climbing the hill and being stunned by the view and wildlife, he decided to purchase the island. After making a lowball bid of $100,000 for the $6 million island (due to his relatively modest funds at that time in his career), he was turned down and escorted back to the mainland. A year later, the owner, John Lyttelton,in need of short-term capital, eventually settled for $180,000. However, the government imposed a restriction on alien landholders: that the new owner had to develop a resort within four years or the island would revert to the state. Branson committed to build a resort on his tropical dream island. When Branson bought the island, it was uninhabited. He purchased the island at the age of 28, just six years after starting Virgin Group. It took three years and some US$10 million to turn it into a private island retreat.

 

 

After another night of a bumpy anchorage behind a reef but we were golden. Out of the open seas we were now in the protection of the British Virgin Islands and the rest of our trip was going to be nothing but bliss. Being away for so long I had forgotten how nice it was to sail here, anchorages galore and mostly protected waters. Not like sailing from island to island in the West Indies where you are exposed to the elements of what can be raging waves and seas. Here it is heaven. With not far to go and it being a downwind sail we were in our next destination in no time…Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. That’s it…we have arrived…all is good. It is such a good feeling when everything works out as planned.

 

 

Sailing through the beautiful BVI’s.

Looking back at Tortola, BVI as we sail by.

Sir Francis Drake Channel

Passing through Sir Francis Drake Channel we have the island of St. John USVI on our left and Great Thatch Island, BVI on our right. St. Thomas is the hazy island way in the background left.

 

 

Finally time to get off of the boat and relax a bit. We spent some time walking around to get our land legs back after being on the boat for four days and we stocked up on supplies since we were on the “Big Island”. Next stop for us would be Culebra, Puerto Rico where we will be spending Christmas with our daughter Rachel.

 

 

Not the most spectacular sunset that we have ever seen but it was our first after leaving the boatyard and that made it amazing to us!

 

 

As we sailed off to Culebra again it was another sleigh ride downwind and we have arrived home, or for what we will call home for now. We love this island. The people here are wonderful and it is one of our favorite places to be. I can really get used to this downwind sailing stuff…it is what sailing dreams are made of. I told Brian that we should only sail downwind from now on. He said that the only way to do that would be to sail around the world…hhhmmm…it’s a thought! Take care for all now. If we don’t write again before Christmas we wish you and yours the best. Remember to hug the one that you love and be thankful for all that you have and cherish what a beautiful world this is.

 

Jennifer and Brian
SV/Moon

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