Monday, January 30, 2017

Hurry up and Wait

We have made the decision to make the leap over to St. Martin / Sint Maarten. Now we have to wait for a weather window. Waiting for the Christmas Winds to abate.

It turned out it was  a two week wait. So what do we do while we are waiting? Check things off our BVI/Virgin Gorda bucket list.

We have had Rhapsody for two years now, and the vast majority of that time she has been in the BVI. We have been able to see and do many things here, but there have been some things that we either still had on our list, or wanted to experience again. There were several dive sites that we wanted to return to, but the high winds and waves prevented that, so those will have to remain on the list for another visit here.

We were fortunate to have friends here to wait with, sharing the need to get off the boat and explore. Robin and Mike on Mermaid are also in North Sound,
North Sound, Virgin Gorda , BVI

 waiting to make the passage to St. Martin.
Official North Sound Welcoming Committee with Mermaid to the right

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oh Rolly Night

The Christmas winds and the North Swell- these are the forces that whip up problems in the BVI this time of year.  The Christmas winds are self explanatory,  winds that build up and are greater in strength around Christmas time, and after. Greater in strength means 25-30 knots (28 -35 mph) and they can last for several days at a time. North swells are not any different from other swells, or rolling waves, they just come from the north and it affects those harbors that are exposed to the north. These tend to be the largest waves of the year and can make some spectacular crashing over the rocks, but some very uncomfortable nights if you are in an exposed anchorage or mooring field.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A very satisfying snorkle

Just out for a swim to get some exercise, but it turned out to be one of the nicest snorkels I have had in a while.

It began with a swim with a small Green Sea Turtle.  It was lying still on the bottom, started eating some sea grass and slowly made its way across the ocean floor as I swam above it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

What kind of cruisers are we?

Recently I read a blog post (Zero to Cruising) by a couple that we have been following since we first began dreaming of cruising. Mike Sweeney wrote about 5 reasons why he doesn't want to sail about round the world.

This got me thinking, there are so many different types of cruisers out there, not just those that circumnavigate and those that don't. There are cruisers that go faster and those that go slower. Even designating faster and slower among cruisers is tough. Are you going quickly when you only stay somewhere for a week, or are you going slowly if you stay 7 days in one spot? It is all a matter of preference, and that is what we are trying to figure out, what kind of cruisers are we?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Guest Blog- Free Verse Poem

Recently we had some guests on board with us. This is a poem written by Adam who is currently a freshman at Columbia University in New York City. Thank you for this Adam.

I awake
   It takes me time
To adjust
   The sun warms my heart
As I take in my surroundings
   Scintillating turquoise water
Lapping against the prow
   And a baby blue sky
Make me wonder
   How blue is not everyone's favorite color
I am flushed with awe
  When I realize
That real life
  Is more surreal
Than my dreams

Friday, January 6, 2017

Turtle Encounter

Arriving in the bay after a long day of motor sailing  I am hot and sticky prompting me to go for a snorkel. I dive off the back of the boat, grab my mask and snorkel and head for shore. Some days the water seems to be teeming with fish and other sea life, other days not so much. This was one of those "not-so-much" days.

After swimming along the shore and seeing almost no fish- a stray ballyhoo, a single bar jack-

Monday, January 2, 2017

Boat Bling, or What Makes Sailors Smile

Our new windlass,  so shiny and new, is installed.
Our new chain, so shiny and new, is in the chain locker at the bow.
Our new sails, so white and new are furled nicely in their new homes on Rhapsody. 

Three days in a marina  ($$$) working every day to get it all accomplished, and we are now free! We leave the harbor and as soon as we can we raise the sails. Immediately we notice that they sound different from our old sails. They have a crisp sound to them, where our old sails sounded much swishier  (yes, that is a word- I  looked it up). They look beautiful,  so clean and taut in the wind. What a difference in speed as well. Today was a light breeze and yet we still were going faster than we ever had. It really must have been time to get new sails. We were headed toward a favorite bay/snorkeling spot, but it felt so good to be sailing well that we took extra time to just enjoy the sails.