Writing this from 33000 feet on our way to Puerto Rico..
Here’s Note from the log book
11:00am Anchors up Trellis Bay. Wind 20 knots east. Main Sail set motor sailing with starboard engine @ 2900 rpm.
3:45pm Tough passage. Main sail outhaul failed at sail tack. Wind picked up. Hourly checks in engine room have spotted a possbile issue with the alternator. If we can’t come up with a temporary fix, we may have to turn back. Tacking to St. Martin on just the head sail would be difficult in these conditions.
Shutdown engine. Sailing 90 degree’s from st. martin in heavy seas. Wind 20-25 knots east. Timbo and Brendan create a tensioning device for the alternator bracket as Robin and Allie monitor the sailing as we are below. Two attempts later marginal success! Bow pointed 112 degree’s Straight to St. Martin..
Robins back is not good.. She is laying down. Allie has started an audio book over the stereo. Arctic Shift… Story starts with two ice breakers stuck in the arctic for 3 years… hummm… were doing ALOT better here!!! ha
6:00pm Nice Sunset! Robin feeling better. Alternator seems ok through hourly checks down below. Swells have started from the north, which is broadside to the boat.. Wind out of the east 15-20 knots, but wind waves are minimizing. Audio book sucked, turned it off.. back to Mp3’s. Experienced our first Rouge wave… Many cabnets flew open.. Appeared to have 12″ of sea water on the deck for a few moments.. Other than that wave, its not too bad out here!
20 miles offshore.. Digicell cell service still working! Text Jessi at University and she responds!!
8:40pm Robin on deck. One ship spotted to Starboard for hours. One ship to stern has disappeared for now. Full moon is hidden by one large cloud. Star’s are out in the millions.. Iphone APP for star gazing fired up, providing lots of entertainment. Full moon soon appears and lights up the sea. Wind is down to 15 knots. Allie sets up bunk on deck for snoozing.. Course set at 110 degrees just right of the moon!
Bow wake is strange… Bioluminance has started.. the water is lite up with plankton! Much like fireflys.. Soooo Cool!
Water depth 6000 feet.
9:40 Quiet hour,,, Robin made P&J sandwiches then back to bed.. Brendan getting some sleep also. Rolly but fairly comfortable. Ship to Stern has appeared again.
10:40 Brendan thrown out of bed, awoke on the floor of his bedroom. Maybe its more rolly than described. 2 boats to starboard.. one showing green light, so should be heading opposite direction. 2 planes overhead. Allie awake, boat to stern disappeared. Robin Sleeping.
1:40 Allie takes 2 hours at the helm while Timbo and Branden get some sleep on deck. Temperature has DROPPED.. its very COLD.. 2 cruise ships. Very Rolly, waves to broadside and nose in confused seas. Strong wind. 28 miles to go, at this rate 8am. Alternator steady, all engine checks good.
3:00am Crew asleep. 4 cruise ships some not moving, likely waiting to make their schedule.. LAND HO! very faint lights on the horizon. Bridge to St. Maartin opens at 9:30 am… Hoping to make it…
4:00am 18 miles to destination. Crew asleep. Cruise ships following Island Dancer into St. Martin.
5:00am Robin awakes and takes the wheel.. Timbo gets some sleep on deck.
6:30am Sunrise amazing! Timbo in and out of sleep as Robin has the wheel.
7am 8 miles to destination. Large BANG from engine room. Engine Temperature Pegged to right. Timbo awake.. nice alarm clock Robin!!! Engine shudown, sails maintain momentum with course change. We can tack in no issue.
Opening the door to the engine room Timbo notices a new steam room installed on Island Dancer.
Fan belt blew off.. stopping the water pump. We have 10 spare belts.. But the conditions are not too good to work on it right now.
Coffee brewed and Views of the island admired.
8:30 am. New fanbelt installed, coolant replaced. Engine start, no issues. Bow pointed to Bridge to enter st. Maartin. Gps shows 9:40 for arrival.. we will miss the opening. RPM brought up on engine.. 9:34am shown… will be close.. they are calling all sailing vessels to the canal.. They can’t keep the car traffic stopped too long..
9:34 am.. All sailing vessels are going thru bridge opening.. Island dancer behind mega ships but passing them quickly.. we are now in front of Steve Jobs megashi
p. Another sailboat shows up in line.. Its from Canada!.. We follow.. Radio lights up with conversation for sailboats to SPEED UP!!! ok.. ok!!!
MEgaship crew on deck.. What are your plans? To go through the Bridge!!!… They backdown… Thanks buy you a beer later!! ha
9:36am Island Dancer arrives St. Maartin! What a cool place.. we cruise the whole lagoon.. ending up on the French side.. Anchors down..
Noon: Clear customs… A small building with two “un”officals wearing T-shirts.. They are super friendly and point us to some computers to check in.
Keyboard is in french.. Brendan takes the Wheel! Cost to stay 3 weeks, $7.00 total!
As my best Buddy “Bad Billy Butler” would say.. it was a Hollywood passage….
For some reason this passage is normally hairy to say the least.. we lucked out on some good weather…
Swell was not toooo bad, if you positioned the boat correctly.. We were wing/wing for a while but the boat was too Hobbie Horsie for Robinski…
Turning off course slightly Island Dancer settled in well… we left too early (11am), with the wind conditions we were going to show up at Round Rock passage in complete darkness.
So.. doing a zig… then a Zag.. we still showed up in COMPLETE darkness.. ha.. well it was 5:30 am.. when the heck does the sun come up around here!
A cruise ship decided it was time to run down Island Dancer, so we did an EXIT STAGE LEFT, and let them motor through.. the sun soon popped up and we arrived in the BVI’s !!!
The only surprise was around 2am.. I fishing boat? was coming straight at us.. we turned starboard.. he turned (his starboard).. were all good.. we will miss each other with plenty of room..
Off in the distance I see a VERY VERY FAINT red light.. hummm….. I hesitate turning back on course to have a better look… The fishing boat is a TUG… and a TUG PULLS a BARGE… MILES? behind him..
Could you just image running over the tow cable?? Now that would have been a story and a half… maybe half a TIMBO!!!
Nice they didn’t think to call on the VHF? just a thought??? ha!!!
Customs are still strangely super nice here in the BVI’s.. $10.00 to stay a month!
Nice 21 hour sail, without the sound of motors… Just the iPod Brendan left on board for 50,000 songs…. love it!!
Have a GREAT DAY!!!
Here’s the raw notes from the passage. Timbo and Allie switched watch every 3 hours.. This is the first time I’ve actually left the helm and went below for a proper sleep when doing a passage.
We didn’t want to injure Robin’s back during the passage so demoted her authority to (please) SIT THERE AND DO NOTHING… HA!!
Allie is really learning this sailing stuff quick..… I’d sometimes wake up and hear winch’s cranking, etc… Mom would always be with her, but Allie was captain and in charge…
Robin told me during Breakfest that at one point Allie commanded a sail trim change… Robin didn’t really agree, but Allie took command and it ended up being the right thing to do… worked great..
So here’s the notes from the LogBook… lets see if you can pick out which ones Timbo wrote compared to Allie.
I’ve left out the co-ordinates we take each hour and other checks so you don’t fall asleep looking at this.. ha!!!
St. Martin to BVI – 85 Nautical Miles
11:00am 85 NM: Anchor up Marigot Bay
12:00pm 80 NM: 5 N/H Little Swell. Boat Blue conch from Canada passes heading east. Small fishing boat off starboard. 2 freighters off port. Mom Sleeping. Egg salad sandwiches for Allie and Timbo
1:00pm 76 NM: 4 N/H Cell phone still works – Called Float plan into Ryan – We are 9 miles out.. GPS shows arrival 9am to Spanish town customs/immigration.
Many boats, one tug pulling a barge on port. 2 sailboats heading East. One small fishing boat bobbing around. Reefed jib. Aiming for 4-5 knots boat speed with most comfort for Robin. This allows us a daylight arrival.
Fairly comfortable sail, some rouge waves.
2:00pm 71 NM: Squal approaching, wind clocking around the boat and showing signs heavy gusts possible. Reducing sail on Main and Mizzen , Jib down. Black sky, all islands have disappeared in the storm.
3:00pm 66.5 nm: 5 N/H Storm passed, shook out the reefs. Wind low and random direction, sky clear. Island of Anguillia off starboard side has fallen below the horizon. Mountains of St. Maartin still visible. Sailboat following us.
4:00pm 62.5 NM: 4 N/H Wind shift to ESE. All sails are up and full. Few waves from either side of us but mostly from behind. Very calm seas. Sailboat still following behind. St, Martin is very faint behind us, still no sign of land in front. Cruise ship leaving st. Martin heading North, don’t really know why. Few birds occasionally, but no sign of marine life. Hopefully whales will come. Compass direction 285
5:00pm 57.6 NM: 5.1 N/H Very pleasurable sail. Boat flattened out, speed picked up. Sunny and warm. Sailboat is still 1/2 miles behind us. Catamaran passed in front of us tacking to St. Martin. Boat is surfing the waves. SXM is hard to see, but still visible at 150 deg. Island of SABA rock is still visible at 35 NM!!!….Saw many birds diving catching fish. Dad and Allie had a snack, cheese meat and crackers. During this hour we noticed that the I in Island dancer painted on our boom is made to look like a sailboat!
6:00pm 53 NM: 5.4 N/H Compass: 280 No land in sight ANYWHERE. Sun is about to set. Sailboat behind us passed on our port side.. Waved at them. They have a spinnaker pole holding out their jib, so they are faster than us. Seas are the same. Looking forward to the bioluminence show tonight. Saw 2 red floats, Float by us. The sailboat behind us almost hit them.
7:00pm 48.3 NM: 5.1 N/H Winds have died down. Beautiful Sunset. Stars are coming out. Cant see any bioluminescence. Unreefed the Jib some more to smooth the ride. Dad gets 3 hours off for sleep.
8:00pm 44.2 NM: 4.1 N/H Dad is sleeping. Lots of stars. Bioluminance is now out! 2 cruise ships following us one on either side. Lights of SXM behind us. Sailboat off int he distance. Boat passed on starboard side going to SXM. Winds died down. Fairly roll.
9:00pm 39.7 NM: 4.4 N/H Jib was flapping, reefing changed and tightened the lines with success. Not too rolly. 1 cruise ship port, 2 cruise ships starboard. 1 boat starboard going to SXM. SailBoat is still in front of us going to BVI. We are Passed the halfway mark!
10:00pm Just woke up! Timbo! Setting a course south/west of our destination to maintain full sails with maximum comfort for Robin. Swells on back of boat make it rough. We are making too much time, will arrive too early. Follow this course for 25 miles then gybe up to Round rock passage.
11:pm ITS DARK! Where’s the Moon? It’s Gone! I hope the sun comes up tomorrow! NOTHING HAPPENED THIS HOUR
MIDNIGHT: 34.3 NM: 4N/H Still DARK. Counted 10,151 stars so far. Fireflys are swimming in the bow wake again. One ship port aft. Some kind of white light in front, may be the sailboat that passed us? All is well, getting COLD… Wearing PANTS!! and a JACKET!!! OMG
1:00am 30 NM: 4.3 N/H Found out what the light was, a tug! We changed course to get around him, then noticed a VERY faint red light a considerable distance behind. adjusted course. Good thing… tug was towing a barge. Would have been a big deal if we ran over his tow line eh!
2:00am 25.2 NM 4.8 N/H Lots of stars!.. Jupiter in front of us. Cruse ship passing on our port. LAND HO!!! Lights of the BVI in from of us!!!
3:00am 17.6 NM Gybed to to Round Rock passage, hitting 6-7 knots at times. Cruise ship stayed with us all hour, right on port side, same speed. Land lights visible. Ready to go!
4:00am Heading for summit of beef island approach through round rock. Eased off sails so we don’t get there while dark. Tortola lights bright. Were in 8000 feet of water. Turned on Generator and Watermaker at 3am. 1 cruise ship far off.
6:40am Made it through round rock: Sun rose right after we passed through. Arrived a little too early and had to do a drive by to wait for some daylight. No moon tonight, it’s too dark to see the passage.
Cruiseship lead the way at first light. Now in Sir Francis Drake channel. BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Here’s some pics of our new Home!!! We are anchored on a beautiful beach near the baths. Water is crystal clear.. I jumped out of the dingy near shore thinking it was 1 foot deep and it was >5… ha!!
Big Steak BBQ tonight and Early to BED!!!
Have a Great Day!
Casting the lines today for a jaunt up into the Bahamas.. likely 250 miles if all goes well =(about a mac race and a bit)
Snowman tells me the sails will mostly stayed furled as the wind is next to zippo.. which is sad, but better than the crazy winds earlier this week.. Never satisfied eh!
Thanks to Mr. Tracy, we have a new electric lift pump on the starboard engine.. the one remaining gremlin since we bought the boat is now solved..
We thought it was a small air leak into the diesel feed for about 2 months…but we got her now! Always electrical Timbo… remember that! 🙂
Love people showing up from the states with presents!!
Allie finally got her bon fire… by the end of the night we had 2 or 3 pallets on it and a bag of marshmallows in our belly’s.
Note: Palm tree branch’s work excellent for fire sticks!
Allie’s school project required some minor trespassing on the penthouse of the resort (for educational pics of course)…. nice place eh!
AIS will show us leaving tonight, and arriving on Thursday, but likely not much in between.
Should be heading out just before sunset…. cya on the other side!
Have a Great Day!
Sailing from Turks and Caicos to Bahamas was 250 miles in the North Atlantic Ocean…
The ocean sometimes has a gentle side to her….. have a look!
An update (below) from the ship, from Allie!
”All hands to the foredeck!” Olaf, the second mate called everyone out of class to countdown our crossing over the Greenwich Meridian yesterday. Everyone’s been busy studying for exams and getting the last sailing in before semester break. Captain and the maritime crew handed the ship over to the students at 1800 last night. Overnight the students have been in charge of sailing the ship to maintaining a speed over ground of 5 knots, maintaining a balanced sail plan, navigating, lookout and solving any problems that arise while we’re on watch. It’s a way we see how much we have learned this semester about sailing and ocean safety.
UTC DATE/TIME: 06:45 – December/
BOARD DATE/TIME: 06:45 – December/
POSITION: 34º 52.118’S 1º 58.185’W
AVE SPEED SINCE DEPARTURE: 6.33 Kn
DIST TRAVELLED LAST 24H: 152 Nm
TOTAL DIST TRAVELLED THIS VOYAGE: 659Nm
DISTANCE TO DESTINATION: 808NM
AIR TEMP: 18ºC
SEA STATE: Slight to moderate waves 0.5-2.5m
WIND FORCE BEAUFORT: Force 3 (NW)
SAILS CARRIED: Flying jib,Outer Jib, Inner Jib, Fore Stay Sail, Main Stay Sail, Main Sail, lower topsail, Upper topsail, T’gallent
Well we were hoping to Speak to Allie at this port but it doesnt look promising.. The internet appears to be down (on the island).. we are getting snipplets of info from some students with cell phones… and it appears this may be the BEST port YET…
One photo sent was some of the kids swimming with a 30 foot whale shark… hummmm… Gramma likely wouldnt approve…
The local paper wrote a column on the ship… see it here!
Click Above ^^^