Caribbean Log

Ship’s Logs from BVI to Grenada

The following are the actual log entries while doodling around the BVI and USVI over the course of a couple of weeks. Not quite as dramatic as at sea, however they give you a feel for where we went and when.  These islands this time of year are actually pretty boring.  Very few tourists and the restaurants and bars are fairly empty. Lou and his “Jolly Roger Inn” at Sopers hole made the time worthwhile.  Fun place, great food, island atmosphere, killer rum and cokes.  You will notice that there are no Latitude and Longitude positions listed in these entries. This is due to the fact that one must use bearings to determine position rather than a GPS signal. The combination of inaccurate charts and questionable GPS positions along with reefs, etc. make it very dangerous to navigate any other way. Most of the BVI and USVI are “line of site” islands, meaning you can actually see “something” of the island you are headed for. At minimum, you can navigate to a median island to your destination. There are many unbouyed rocks out towards St. Thomas and great care must be taken to give them a wide berth.  Very beautiful sailing all around the Sir Francis Drake Passage. Thanks to Larry in Nanny Cay for taking us deep sea fishing.  We’ll keep in touch!- wvw


Tuesday 11/19/96
09:00  096º, Departed Sopers hole for Nanny Cay, Tortola. Wnds light 5-10kts.  Powered 1hr @7.5kts down Drake Passage.

10:20  020º, Arrived at Nanny Cay.  Very shallow for us. (9’ draft). Almost hit bottom pulling in.  (Stay close to the breakwater for deep water) Docked for now.

Friday 11/22/96
09:00  070º, Departed to Virgin Gorda, Winds NE @20kts. Boatspeed 8.2kts. Clear skies. Taking bearings to identify positions. Seas calm

11:17  180º, Arrived in Virgin Gorda. Rounded Mosquito Island giving care clear Colquhoun reef as well. Entered Gorda Sound. Moored at the “Bitter End.”  Terrific views. Large Turtle swam by the boat right at the mooring!

Sunday 11/24/96
10:05  Departed Gorda sound to George Dog Island to dive the Leeward side of the island.  ½ hr to get there.

01:30  Departed George Dog (ok dive, poor vis.) en route to Ginger Island. Powering.  No wind.

02:37  Arrived at Ginger Island to dive “the steps.”  Anchored in 40’.  Seas calm.

04:00  The steps were kind of cool. Poor visibility. Departed for Sopers hole. Wind on the beam.  Asymetrical out.  Beautiful sunset in front of us, Full moon behind us!  Boatspeed 9.0kts.  15-20kts wind NE.

06:00  Arrived in Sopers hole.  Heavy swells. Docked for night at “Sunsail.”

Wednesday 11/27/96
09:00  Departed for St. Thomas. Bearing 250º.  Through “Windward Passage.”  Staying port of “Two Brothers” and proceeding into “Red Hook” bay.  Very shallow in Red Hook Bay. Forced to use dock for the night.  Arrived in Red Hook @ 11:10. Seas calm. Wind NE @ 15kts.

Thursday 11/28/96 - THANKSGIVING
09:15  Departed for Magens Bay, St. Thomas. Sky’s partly cloudy.  Occasional downpour.  Boatspeed 8.0kts. Wind NE@ 15kts. Through “middle passage” and south of “Hans Lollick Island” taking great care to miss Hans Lollick Rock. (Unmarked, Big and in the middle of nowhere.)

11:02  Arrived in Magens Bay. Rounded “Picara Point” at 10:40. A little cautious to avoid “Ornen Rock” approx. ½ mile off the point. Very pretty harbour for Thanksgiving dinner! Boat is anchored 100yds off the shore. Small swells entering the harbor on the beam.

Friday 11/29/96
10:00  Departed for “Jost Van Dyke”.  Making water while rounding Hans Lollick. Close hauled into Great Harbour. Anchored into 45’ of Water.  Rocky bottom. Lots of charter boats. Met “Foxy” of “Foxy’s” playing his guitar. Cool guy.

Saturday 11/30/96
09:00  Departed for Sopers hole.  Very windy. NE @30kts. 2-3’ chop. Making water.  Arrived @ 10:08.  Raining.

Tuesday 12/3/96
11:15  Departed for “Salt Island” to dive the “Rhone” and “Blonde Rock.” Cool Site. Saw a Dolphin fish feeding on a large school of what appeared to be gobies of some type while snorkeling next to the boat. Right in front of me!! I’ve never seen that before!  (200+ dives)  Seas calm.  15kts wind. Partly sunny.

03:20  Wind out of the NE @ 20kts.  Set up “Asail” and proceeded to power toward Roadtown so we could “reach” to Sopers Hole. Wind clocked in front of us in less than a ½ hour!  Flopped around for a while and motorsailed until we arrived in Sopers @ 05:30.

Friday 12/6/96
11:45  Goodbye Tortola! Leaving Sopers Hole to clear customs in Roadtown. Sergei off crew list… And then there were three!  NE winds at 15kts.  Raised main and jib.  Still motoring, charging batteries and making H20.

16:15  Departed Sopers hole for Coopers island. Cooking up some burgers on our new barbecue and watching the sunset before heading for St. Martin. Winds 20kts E. Sky Clear.

18:45  Departed Coopers island COG 080 heading for Round Rock passage then heading SE toward St. Martin.  Wind 20kts East. Speed 5.6kts.

19:19  137º Through Round Rock passage heading south to clear Virgins. Wind on the nose.  20kts.  Seas 3-4’.

22:08  149º SOG 7.1-7.3kts boatspeed 7.8 8.5kts. Beating into wind 3-4’ seas.  Boat is hauling!  Wind 20-25kts. E  Clear Skies.  Tack soon. WVW

24:00  146º Steady winds at 15kts.  SOG 6.0kts. Uphill and a little bumpy.  Lights all around.  Keeping a close eye.  Lat 18 05 Lon 64 05

02:00  144º Visual of large cruise ship directly in front of us (3miles).  Wind 18kts E. Speed 6.8kts Seas 2-3ft.  Lat 17 57.66  Lon 63 55.55 WVW

02:15  040º Tacked Port towards Anguilla.  Speed 7.3kts. Wind 19kts.  Sky clear.  Cruise ship behind us.  Monitoring 16.  Lat 17 58.99 Lon 63 54.73 WVW

02:50  027º 8.8kts into the wind!  20kts E wind. Will need at least 1 more tack into St. Martin. Lights of St. Martin visible to Starboard.  Seas 3-4’! Sky clear. Lat 18 02.34 Lon 63 54.01

04:00  030º Boat hit 9.3kt! Uphill!  Very happy. Wind at 20kts apparent.  Waiting till lat 1814 to tack into Marigot harbour. 24.2 miles from WP. 17.  Moon rising over St. Martin. Sky clear. Seas 2-3’  Lat n18 11.55 Lon w63 52.02 Cruise ship in view again off port qtr. Approx 9 miles.  Visible on radar.

Saturday 12/7/96
06:30  159º Spectacularr sunrise! Green flash as it broke horizon! We thought this only happened at Sunset! Saba visible. Looks like a volcano climbing into the sky.  St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barths clearly visible on horizon.  Speed 8.3kts.  Wind 19kts. Lat 18 05.00 Lon 63 45.00

09:51  121º 15 miles from Marigot.  Motorsailing, wind directly in front of us.  ETA 2.52min.  Wind 19kts speed 6.7kts Lat 1812.53 Lon 6330.06

Sunday 12/15/96
11:05  Left Anse Marcel for daysail to Anguilla.  Sailed w/wind 8-10kts.  Motorsailing 6.5 kts. Lat 18 08.93 Lon 63 08.47  light rain.

13:00  Arrived in Road Bay and Anchored.  Cleared through customs.

18:10  Lat 18 11.08 Lon 63 09.91 Bearing 240º to clear Anguillita island then heading for Anse Marcel.  Powering. Cloudy skies, calm seas.

19:22  198º changed course South around the west end of Anguilla.  SOG 5.5kts Lat 18 09.58 Lon 63 11.16

20.20  112º motoring 6.5kts through Anguilla channel.  Calm seas, no wind. Lat 18 08.36 Lon 63 05.54

Wenesday 12/18/96, St. Martin to Saba
09:20  Departed Anse Marcel.  Wind true 10.0kts.  Motoring 5.6kts.  Sunny, clear skies, calm seas. Lat 18 07.31 Lon 63 03.54

14:50  Rounding Saba. This is absolutely breathtaking. We are motoring 100’ off the shore and the island climbs straight up to 3000’! Unbelievable!  Spectacular!  20 meters depth.  Wind 5.1kts. Lat 17 37.27 Lon 63 13.23

Saturday 12/21/96
12:15  Departed Fort Bay, Saba. 20kts. 90º Wind direction. Seas choppy. Sky clear. COG 076. Wind directly in front of us!  Yech!!

6:07   St. Barths 6.0m NE of us. Sky clear. 3-4’ seas.  Small squall over “Ille Forche”  Wind 18.0kts true.  Lat 17 50.64 Lon 62 56.04 St. Martin, Five island, St. Barths, Saba, St. Eustacius, St. Kitts and Nevis all in view.  WVW

Christmas Day 12/25/96  
18:17  168º Departed St Barths for Antigua.  Wind 16kts. Seas 2-4’ Sky clear. Making water and Motor sailing.  SOG 5.1kts.

20:17  147º Jib and Main SOG 6.4kts. 18kts app. Full moon. Beautiful evening. Clear sky. Boat settled down. Starboard lower shroud is very loose. (starboard tack) Seas 2-5’. Autohelm heading for waypoint. Alex 12-2, Bill 2-4, Nick 4-6 watch. Lat 17 43.40 Lon 22 40.91

22.27  152º 17kts wind.  Boatspeed 5.1kts. Why? I don’t know.  Very frustrating. Lat 17 36.08 Lon 62 31.96

24:00  148º Finally changed to 140% jib!  7kts sog. 2kts wind. Crew exhausted, watches started.

02:15  133º Speed 7.0kts. wind 21kts, sog 6.3 seas 3-4’.  Boat is close hauled.  Pounding uphill.  Tough to sleep. Clear sky. 10helm.  Lots of water on the bow. Lat 17 24.62 Lon 62 16.80

03:10  Tack ripped out of genoa.  North sails suck. Managed to keep it from flapping w/ sail ties. Sail may not make it till morning. Speed 6.6kts.  Wind 18kts. Boat pounding. Lat 17 21.44 Lon 62 12.94

03:48  137º Sail is holding. Speed 6.5-7.5kts. wind 19kts.  Sky clear. Full moon. Lat 17 18.58 Lon 62 09.91

06:15  Arrived in St. Johns harbor. Many cruise ships here.

06:15  Departed Falmouth harbor en-route to Barbuda.  23kts wind speed.  Seas 6’.  Sky is clearing after heavy squalls moved through during the evening.

08:10  066º Squall.  Lots of Rain. 28kts wind.  Boatspeed 4.0kts.  Seas 10’. Poor visibility. Sails down.  Lat 17 01.90 Lon 61 40.55

10:30  342º Wind 22kts.  Boatspeed 8-10kts!  Genoa out and main w/2nd reef. Seas 7-10’.  Overcast. Lat 17 12.60 Lon 61 40.53

12/29/96 Barbuda
13:28  067º Sails down, wind 20kts true. Approaching Barbuda shore. Taking bearings and backing up w/gps. To avoid reefs. Very dangerous area. Motoring 5.8kts. Lat 17 32.29 Lon 61 49.08

14:15  Arrived at Coco Point Lodge.

10:18  270º Departed Coco Point lodge for Antigua. St. Johns harbor.  Wind 15kts behind us. Alex and Nick are on Barbuda.  I am single handling the boat. Boatspeed 6.5kts.  Making water. Lat 17 32.20 Lon 61 48.44

12:42  207º Speed 7.7kts. Wind 18kts 120 SOG 8.2kts. Seas 2-3’, clear skies. Antigua clearly in sight.  6.0miles to go. Lat 17 15.77 Lon 61 54.47

14:01  Arrived in St. Johns Harbor for Yepson Beach Resort. Mark Thacker in View!!!

11:00  272º Departed Deep Bay en-route to Jolly Harbor. Light wind.  Motoring. Lat 17 06.78 Lon 61 55.43

Sunday 1/12/97 Antigua to Guadaloupe via Montserrat
07:55  195º Wind 10-11kts, seas flat, skies clear.  Motoring towards Montserrat to view active volcano then bear south to Guadaaloupe. Destination Anse Deshais.  Lat 17 04.56 Lon 61 54.73

13:25  170º Wind 20-27kts. Genoa out. 1st reef in main. Speed 7.8-8.5kts.  Close hauled. Seas 3-6’. Clear skies.  Guadaloupe in sight. 17.4 miles to wp27.  Lat 16 33.93 Lon 62 01.40

16:45  Successfully anchored in Anse Deshais. Very pretty harbor.  Mountains port and starboard. Pretty town. Lat 16 18.40 Lon 61 47.94

Tuesday 1/14/97
08:56  Departed Anse Deshais en-route to Isle de Saintes. Wind 10-16kts NE. Seas calm. Speed 7.4kts.  Skies clear.  Lat 16 13.49 Lon 61 49.97

12:42  139º 20-28kts wind E, SE on the nose. Speed 7 7.5kts.  Reefed Genoa, full main. SOG 6.5-7.5kts. Seas 1-4’. Saints in sight. Clear skies. Lat 15 54.90 Lon 61 41.66

14:00  Arrived in Isle de Saintes.  Anchored to starboard of Windsong.  Very pretty.  Lat 15 51.96  Lon 61 35.22

Thursday 1/16/97
14:44  Pulled anchor in Isle de Saintes departing to Le Marin harbor Martinique. Winds light E,NE.  Seas calm, skies clear. Jack lines run.  Lat 15 48.79 Lon 61 37.27

19:47  180º Wind light to 10kts NE, Speed 6.0kts.  Seas calm.  Boat settled down. Lat 15 19.20 Lon 61 31.64

Friday 1/17/97
24:00  176º Winds picked back up, 18-19kts.  Boatspeed 8-8.5kts.  Beautiful skies.  Everyone settled down.  Bill and Karen coming off watch., ATE on. Current eta to Waypt. 3:00am.

05:30  090º Motoring @ 6.0kts, wind on the nose 14kts.  2 large cruise ships within 6-8miles.  Seas calm, skies clear. Straight shot into Cul de Sac Marin. Keeping Rocher Du Diamont to port. Lat 14 23.59 Lon 61 08.26. Crew sleeping, main up.

Saturday 1/25/97 Martinique to St. Lucia
13:30  205º Departed Cul de Sac Marin en-route to Rodney bay. Wind 15-20kts NE. Seas calm, clear skies, speed 7.5kts., Genoa and full main up.  Dark clouds and haze to port.

02:30  205º Squall hits!  Furled Genoa to 30%.  Main to 2nd reef.  Fell off to 105.  Strong rain, wind 35-45kts., Gusts to 60kts! Crew performed well. Skies cleared. 15kts current wind at 50. Speed 6.3kts.  Seas 4-5’.  Lat 14 18.65 Lon 60 58.01.

Wednesday 1/29/97
06:30  285º Departed Rodney Bay en-route to Bequia.  Wind 15-20kts.  Cloudy. Seas 2-3’. Lat 14 04.67 Lon 60 58.12

12:57  Winds 25-30kts.  NE. Boatspeed 8.5-10.5kts. Hit 11.8kts surfing! Seas 15-20’. Clear skies. Big wave hit leeward side and drenched aft stateroom. Surfing! St. Vincent to port. ETA 4:00 in Bequia.  Lat 13 22.74  Lon 61 17.58

Friday 1/31 Mayreau to Grenada
12:40  Pulled anchor from Saltwhistle bay en-route to Grenada.  Wind 20kts.NE, Seas 3-4’, sky clear. Lat 12 38.68 Lon 61 23.47

16:28  230º  Boatspeed 8-9.5kts. Wind 18kts NE, Seas 2-3’.  Skies clear. Grenada to port. Making water.  Main and Genoa out. Lat 12 14.52 Lon 61 41.99


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