Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Passage Therapy

Over two months have passed since we left the Chesapeake Bay and with all the island hopping around the Virgin Islands, we are out of “shape” for passages.  BVI to St Martin is a simple passage, only 80 miles, only one overnight…we usually don’t bat an eye at such a distance, but we were slightly scarred from our previous squally 12-days on the North Atlantic.  We went out expecting the worst, despite the forecast for less than 15 knots of wind (though still on the nose, of course). 

Everyone (at least 5 people) we have met said this passage “just sucks.” due to usual strong trade winds  from the east and strong current in the Anegada Passage between the BVI and St. Martin. No one said, “Hey, sometimes you get lucky and it’s mellow and you sail…” Since we were expecting the worst, we were able to deal and manage better.  For the first 60 miles, I did feel like a load of wet towels in a small washing machine and had to take a couple of antihistamines to settle my brain.  Poor Kala agreed with me, so I slipped her one as well.  After about midnight, the fuzz started to lift and the passage slowly convinced me things would not be so bad…it was it’s own therapy in a way. 

Our ETA for St Martin was actually sooner than we expected (around 3 am) so we turned off the motor and sailed for about 8 hours back and forth across the rhumb line with lots of traffic (cargo ships, unlit fishing boats and other sailboats making the trip east) in the area and lots of light from a waning moon.  As we pulled into Marigot Bay, the sun was rising over the hills and we were happy to start another beautiful day further south and east in the Caribbean. 

It has been exactly one year since Baxter and I moved out of our house in Utah and decided that we would live aboard the van or the boat full time.  Since then, the boat has changed, the plans have changed, but we have still covered approximately 35,000 land miles, 2,500 sea miles and we are only getting started.  

Sunrise over the east side of St Martin as we pull into the anchorage.

Terrapin in Marigot Bay. (Thanks to Steve for the hat!)

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