With fresh provisions on board we slipped the mooring in Elephant Bay, St Thomas on 12 March with only a basic plan—sail towards St John and proceed somewhere from there.
Until recently, while anchored in Elephant Bay, I had been rowing in and out of Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas, USVI. I purchase water there and sometimes ice. I load up to 35 gallons of water at a time, in seven 5 gallon collapsible jugs, to haul to the Far Reach. I also use the dinghy dock to get a beer or occasional meal at Tickles Pub or grocery shop around the corner.
After about two weeks of rowing in and out, the marina office sent a security guard to tell me I couldn’t row into the marina. “It’s not allowed….”. I responded with something along the lines of “I don’t even understand that comment.” So, I went and talked to the management. They were adamant. No rowing. “Why,” I asked. “Well because you might not be able to maneuver out of the way with other boats coming and going.” I said “It’s a no wake zone. No one is going any faster than me and I am far more maneuverable than any power boat.”
As mentioned in an earlier post, I was invited by my friend Kaj Jakobsen, to help him step the mast and splice the standing rigging on his beautiful Lyle Hess designed 34’ Falmouth Cutter. I flew to Vancouver Island in the middle of July. I had never been to British Columbia and all I can say is wow! It is gorgeous. It reminded me of Montana but with a lot of water. Many islands. Clear water. Deep fiords. Lovely Douglas Fir trees everywhere. Clear sunny skies. Perfect temps.
20 April 2016, The Far Reach, Anchored, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
At 1400 on 19 April I slipped the mooring at Elephant Bay, St Thomas and sailed SE down the East Gregory Channel headed for open water. My destination was St Martin(French side) / St Maarten (Dutch side), about 105 miles due east as the crow flies. This is often considered a difficult sail as the winds and ocean swell can be big and the wind is almost always on the nose. It seems most sailors motor this passage. The Far Reach does not have such a capability so sail we must, regardless the conditions.
The Far Reach, Moored, Elephant Bay, St Thomas — Back in February we met Richard and Eilish Wylie on their magnificent self built 35′ steel gaffer Granuaile. They hail from Northern Ireland and are wrapping up a two year voyage to the Caribbean. This is their second trip to the Caribbean. They are intrepid voyagers. They spent last summer on Grainuaile about 70 miles up the Essequibo River in Guyana, S. America before working their way back up the West Indies this winter.
The Far Reach, Anchored, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI–1 Mar 2016
Yesterday, we rented a car and drove the length and width of Tortola. Though I have been to many places in the world, Tortola probably has the steepest, most twisty, and narrowest roads I have ever driven. Lots of fun. It’s even more interesting as the roads are often not marked and the map we were provided was one of those cartoon maps. I wouldn’t I have wanted it any other way.