Thursday, January 26, 2012

St. Martin to British Virgin Islands & U.S. Virgin Islands

A brief weather window - time to haul anchor after two weeks on St. Martin!  Our friends are arriving in St. Thomas on February 1 - we now have a schedule to keep.  This is the time of year that it seems one gets a weather window only every 7-10 days due to the Christmas Winds and squalls making their way from way up north. For you non-boaters, the weather on the island is great, never hampering any activities.  Those squalls and winds I referenced, however, kick up the seas and the Atlantic Ocean, making for HUGE waves, sometimes very closely spaced.  The norm has been 20 foot waves this week out there where we need to go - NOT what we want to bounce up and down on!  

What Sharon will miss in St. Martin

What Andy will miss in St. Martin
We cruised through the narrow bridge on the French side from the Lagoon to Baie de Marigot at the 2:30 pm opening so we’d be in position to get an early start toward the US Virgin Islands the next morning.  Small world again, we dropped our hook a bit behind Elaine and Bob, aboard Mar Azul, who was out there making water.  Another excuse for a party!

Someone had a very bad day outside the French bridge

The Witch's Tit on the French side.  Look closely.

Scary.  Looks so narrow!!!

Here comes Finally Fun, ready or NOT

Made it thru the narrow bridge into Margot Bay!

Crap,  Now the rocks and reef to squeeze past!

Daybreak over Margot Bay
Up at 4:00 am, with a planned departure for 5:00 am, we found ourselves squinting, trying to see in the pitch black night.  No moon, no stars - only a few anchor lights in Margot Bay providing some faint illumination.  

Not wanting to risk picking our way out of the anchorage in the dark as many boats have no lights on at all and not wanting to shine our spotlight all about, waking boaters as the light would flash into their cabins, we settled in to wait.  Finally, a bit of light at 6:00 am and off we went. 

Got a little rough out with big swells
Six to eight foot swells, almost beam to us, rolled us all day.  Thank goodness for the stabilizers.  Andy was a pale shade of green throughout the 9+ hour cruise and I know he hates it when I sit there reading a book!  The only company we had along this long route were a pod of small dolphins who played in our bow wake for half an hour, providing much needed entertainment.

Ah, we missed our chance to make water all day and we are really low.  Once out, there was NO WAY Andy was going below to turn on the water maker in that hot rolly engine room.  I was useless.  I could not remember how to do it & Andy’s oral instructions just glazed my eyes over....Missed opportunity and another key learning.  This one - Turn on the watermaker just as one clears an anchorage, well before getting out into the unprotected seas!!
Pulling into Key Cay on the western side of Peter Island, British Virgin Islands, we dropped the hook in this beautiful, isolated anchorage and hunkered down, yellow Q flag flying.  This is ‘out of the way’ as we didn’t intend to clear in and out, planning to depart early for the USVI where we’ll spend a week til our first guests arrive and we head back to the BVI.

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