Traveled to Tortola. Left Madison at 2am. Got all our bags (9 checked bags all around 70lbs and 2 or 3 carryon items each including 3 computers, several cameras, a fishing pole and an African style drum, one of the checked bags had an inflatable dingy in it) through the airlines and customs without getting charged. Got everything onto the boat and then went to the "Hole in the Wall" for dinner. -DWH
Finished unpacking. Got the "Ladybug" stickers on the back and sides. Now I don't have to refer to her as "the boat". -DWH
Sailed to Trellis Bay. Dinner at the 'goose. -DWH
Stacy fixed the seat with her new sewing machine. The surveyor mentioned that the seat was "perished" in his report. It looks much better now. Also installed new stereo (thanks Dean), fixed the kitchen drawer, scrubbed the bottom, etc. Later in the day I made a spear and tried spear fishing. We saw lots of fish. At one point we swam through a school of minnows that was about 100' long and maybe 30' wide. I saw a few good sized fish, but they knew better than to let me get close to the spear. No fish for dinner. -DWH
Sailed from Trellis Bay to Cane Garden Bay to hear live reggae music at Quito's. Laurie said all she wanted was to see dolphins. Early in the sail we saw several. This is the first time we have seen any. Cane Garden Bay is a beautiful place to anchor and a nice little town. The music was pretty good, but the bar was too crowded. -DWH
Sailed back to Trellis Bay for Easter dinner and to listen to Marcus at the 'goose. It was the usual good time. The first time I saw Marcus was the night that Jo and I arrived for boat shopping. He was great that night and has been great every time since. He does a wide variety of covers including an amazing Louis Armstrong. -DWH
We were going to head to St. Thomas, but found out at the bar last night that this is a holiday and the customs office is closed. I'm not sure if it is actually closed or if we would just have to pay overtime to clear out of the BVI and into the USVI. -DWH
Sailed from Trellis Bay to West End to clear out of the BVI (British Virgin Islands). We were charged $1.25 (.75 to clear out, .50 for "misc"). We then sailed to Cruz Bay, St. John to clear into the USVI (U.S. Virgin Islands). This was easy and did not cost anything. Bought five fish for dinner from local fishermen. Then went around Lind Point to get a park service mooring. Most of St. John is national park and they have moorings which are first come, first served and are free. A boat is allowed to use the moorings up to 14 nights a year.
After securing Ladybug we rowed to shore. Jo and Laurie went swimming and Stacy and I walked to town. There was a nice trail from the beach to town. Town was pleasant. When we returned, Jo and Laurie said that the snorkeling was great with lots of fish. -DWH
Sailed to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. This is where we will try to get supplies. Went to shore and found a good place to call home (5 cents/minute) and connect to the internet. The whole setup even has a bar. We also went to K-Mart and the supermarket. -DWH
Sent email and updated the web sight. Everything worked except for downloading pictures. Went to Island Marine (expensive), Marine Warehouse (in the process of changing to Budget Marine), and Lighthouse Marine (used stuff, way cool). Also made another trip to K-Mart.
I picked up some poly line and made a new painter for the dingy and started a line for the life ring. - DWH
Took gypsy off our manual windless to check against chain. Went to Marine Warehouse. Gypsy fits 5/16 high test chain which is what we would like to use. Bought 5hp outboard, 44 lb claw anchor, 55ft of 5/16 HT chain (closeout deal at $1.71/ft), 75 lb Barnacle anchor (used for $150, we called it "the beast"), epoxy, flare kit, Cetol, some line, etc. We carried everything except the Barnacle anchor and outboard down to the dingy.
Once we got back to the boat we hooked up the 44 lb claw to the 5/16 chain and tried to pull it up with the windless. No problem!
Jo started scraping the wood trim on the saloon table. Half of the "wood" on the boat has a really ugly finish. The other half is fake. We'll take it one piece at a time and eventually it will look great.
Stacy and I went out for dinner and drinks. There are streets downtown where 9 out of 10 shops sell jewelry. It's the whole cruise ship economy. The cruise ships come in early in the morning. Feed the passengers rum punch while ferrying them to downtown to shop. In the late afternoon they ferry them back and head for the next island. Once the cruise ships pull out, most of those shops lock up. I suspect that the cruise line even gets a cut on anything that is sold. - DWH.
Picked up our outboard and "the beast". Jo and Laurie carried the anchor from the shop to the dingy dock. On the way we met several sailors who had nothing but enthusiastic praise for it....."my 65lb Barnacle held my 50 foot boat in 70 knots of wind with only a 5:1 scope", etc.
Once we got back to the boat (much quicker now that we have a motor!), we hooked up the beast to our chain and gave it a try. Laurie was able to raise it with some effort. I tried it and thought it was pretty easy. I think it will get easier as we get our technique down. A two handed winch handle would help a lot also.
I finished the line for the life ring and JO put the first coat of Cetol on the saloon table. -DWH
Sent email and talked on the phone. Then hit the grocery store. This is the "major provisioning" trip that we have all been dreading. We bought mostly basic ingredients.....rice, beans, canned corn, canned tomatoes, flour, mac&cheese, sugar, beer, rum, etc. In the end we had two cart loads for $261.
After shopping we took the groceries to the dock and then went to get Ladybug. We brought her into the the dock, loaded the groceries, and filled up with water and diesel. We took on 116 gallons of water (two tanks - approx 50 gallon and 60 gallon, plus a 6 gallon emergency jug) and 21 gallons of diesel (16 gallons to fill 30 gallon tank plus 5 gallon emergency jug).
Engine hours at 984. Engine hours when last filled was about 940 (hours were 951 on 2/26 and estimate fan 10 to 15 hours between fill and 2/26). We used 16 gallons in 44 hours for 2 diesels. That's about .2 gallon/hr per engine. Not bad. If we motor/charge for 1 hr/day, we should be able to go for about 2 months on one tank. We will need to change the oil more often than we fill up the fuel tank.
With all the water, fuel, food, new anchors, and chain we have added almost 1500lbs to Ladybug. She is definitely sitting down farther than before. I measured about 4" above the bottom paint line when I lean out the port safety hatch. She still sailed upwind well with no major pounding, so if we don't get much heavier, we should be OK. It should be noted that most of the extra weight is water. The water alone is over 800lbs.
Sailed to St John and picked up free mooring pin north of Lind Point.
JO put a second coat of Cetol on the table. It looks good! - DWH
Went to Cruz Bay to get propane tanks filled. We can pick them up tomorrow, so I guess we'll spend another day here. Had lunch, went to the hardware store, looked for material for making flags, and bought squid for bait. Went back to Ladybug. Fished......nothing. Went skin diving. Saw some cool fish including a spotted drum. Stacy made a French flag (for St. Martin) out of Red sumbrella, Blue sunbrella, and white material that was part of the door to the port aft cabin. JO and Laurie are hot and heavy into refinishing the wood trim in the saloon. -DWH
Left the fish poles out over night. Checked this morning........nothing. Laurie got up for a little while at 5am and said that there were lots of fish under the boat. Got ready to head into town to get the propane tanks and clear out. As we left there were two sharks under the boat. Cool. While we were in town Laurie bought a bottle of red wine so we can celebrate when I finally catch a fish.
Sailed to Jost Van Dyke. On the way I caught a small shark (maybe 5 lbs). Nasty teeth! Once at Jost Van Dyke I caught a pile of small fish. Cleaned and cooked 16 of them. There were lot's of bones.
JO put the last coat of Cetol on the table. It looks great. -DWH
Cleared into customs (office was closed when we arrived yesterday). Told the customs guy that we were leaving for St. Martin early the next morning, so he also cleared us out of customs.
Sailed for Trellis Bay. Caught a Barracuda on the way. When it rains, it pours. Now we just need to catch something that we can eat.
Nice sailing up wind, tacking through 100 degrees with wind 10-15 and moderate waves. Tacked past Monkey point. There was steady wind and almost no waves. Tacking through less than 90 degrees.
Dinner at the Loose Mongoose. This will be the last time for a while. We are heading for St. Martin tomorrow morning. -DWH