Similarities with the old days

A few things are still the same as when people voyage the sea in the old days, from the Vikings to Columbus and less in time distant sailors who cruised the oceans before the electronic age.

Leaving in sunset (Copy)

The sunset in the beginning of a voyage looks the same today as it did thousands of years ago.

The anxiety for deteriorating weather is maybe not the same but similar, we have good weather reports to relay on.

Not so good weather (Copy)

The ragged coast line looked the same

B lue water and clifs (Copy)

The discovery that the sea turned blue when approaching Puerto Rico was probably the same for more ancient sailors.

Blue water (Copy)

The Mediterranean Sea is claimed to be blue, but we just noticed that the sea when leaving Culebra now has similar color.

The joy and anxiety to explore a new country I assume is similar, the need to clearing in, provisioning and finally when all the procedures are finalized, the joy of entering a bar/restaurant emptying the first glass into a dry throat.

Tex Mex Restaurang (Copy)

Maybe the old sailors also had to share the bar with

Tex Mex Höna (Copy)

Hens, chickens and..

Tex Mex Tupp (Copy)

Rosters?

But there are of course some very fundamental differences, we have very good charts, GPS plotters, the latest updated pilot books, so the navigation challenge is very minor, we know what to expect from the well explored areas we are visiting. AND finally the determination which we seeking Wi-Fi or the almost “holy grail” a SIM card with unlimited internet, if that is found we are close to the” Shangri-La”. Connected with the World again! Hallelujah

Relaxing after anchoring (Copy)

Then we can rest peacefully in the cockpit knowing that nothing that happens in the world can pass by without our knowledge and concern. But wasn’t that one of the reasons we cast of, to get away from all the this? Politics, intrigues, banks doing money laundry, the North Korean issue etc. Well for us I think our interest in Politics, World economics, etc has increased, I do not know why, maybe we can now put it into another perspective?

Old people often complain on young people spending to much time in front of the computer or mobile phone, but I am rather convinced old “grown up” people are as addicted to the “net” as the young are. I am convinced grey-haired people are in majority among the one postings on Facebook.

But back to cruising, from St Martin we set course towards Culebra, which we visited not long time ago. This time we knew we must clear in which we did not do last time thus last time we were “illegal immigrants”. The boarder control officer in St Croix, where we cleared in to USVI answered on a direct question, do we need to clear in to Spanish Virgin Island or Puerto Rico or can we just sail over there? No problem now you are on US territory so no further need to clear in. Thus, we’d cruised the Spanish Virgin Island without clearing in last time. But this time we did it right, a walk to the airport on Culebra, the boarder control officer had to take a break in his lunch to service us, but everything went smooth.

Culebra Hotel (Copy)

Culebra is a very charming place not to be missed

Culebra kiosk (Copy)

I do not think they take things that serious, or?

Puerto Rico

As I wrote earlier that the water when leaving Culebra became blue, like it is in “The Med” It gave us a nice feeling of comfort and welcoming. The first overnight stop was

Isla Palominos

Isla Palominos (Copy)

Before we headed to Bahia de Fajardo where we anchored outside

Isla Marina (Copy)

Isla Marina, with a marina and a large condominium on a small Island

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The sight on the main land was also residential areas. No good dingy dock was to be found on the mainland, so we took the dingy to the Island Marina

For 5 USD a person we could park our dingy and take the Island water taxi for free over to the main land, not a bad deal.

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On the Water Taxi we got in contact with an American couple who had a house in the neighborhood, they offered us a ride to the shopping area, where the very much sought after Sim card could be bought. The walk back was just over an hour so good exercise that day.

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The area we walked was not very attractive, but in general US urban areas are seldom good for walkers, but better for cars.

 

Bahia de Fajardo (Copy)

Back at the Key and the Water Taxi, we could again see the damage from the hurricane 2017

PR Flag (Copy)

Not only the Sim card, we also got a courtesy flag for Puerto Rico

One find for us very strange root crops in the grocery stores

IMG_20190304_132309 (Copy)

but so fare we have been to coward to dare to try them, but maybe later we will find the courage.

Salinas

Salinas was a very nice stop, very different to approach compared to the old days as we have very good electronic charts to helping us to navigate the very shallow bay of Salinas

Salinas entrance chart (Copy)

The lowest draft we saw was 2,5 meters so about 40 cm margin, enough as it was very in shelter, but it was falling tide.

Again the 2017 hurricane damage was immediately visible

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The Marina had suffered damages

 

But the Sunday party was at full blast with loud live music and dancing people

Bar Salinas (Copy)

Salina anchorage

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We took a walk into the village and again not very walking friendly, and more evidence of the hurricane.  Hurricane Irma made the whole of Puerto Rico out of electrical power, Puerto Rico was badly hurt.

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Many houses in need of a lot of TLC

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But the municipality house and the market were in very good condition

Salinas community house (Copy)Salinas Market house (Copy)

As well as the town square

Salinas main square (Copy)

Fuel is very cheap from an European perspective

Low cost fuel (Copy)

We also found this very beautiful flower, do not know the name or what kind of plant it is

Salinas beautiful flower (Copy)

For the one with good eyes one can se that the bush has large pea pods

If one is not careful the nature takes back initiativePlant taking over (Copy)

Soon this electrical “installation” will be grown over, not strange, warm climate and rain the best conditions for plant growth.

An other interesting thing with Salinas is the Manatee, a mammal that lives in the water like a sea lion

manatee

They are an endangered spice, with less than 700 in Puerto Rico and ca 4500 in Florida (want to know more about Manatee click on the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico_Manatee_Conservation_Center  ). One evening we heard a snort and a splash, we quickly looked out and in the light from a flash light we saw a Manatee dive in under our boat, In the morning when leaving Salinas we could see one in the distance as well.

After Salinas we go further west ….

 

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A day pass very quickly

The first part of this blog is rather technical, and if you find it boring just scroll down until you see pictures of nature and people and hopefully you find it more interesting to read.

When cruising one have a feeling that one has an eternity of time, but the days pass very quickly. Maybe not strange we Swedes feel that way, as for us when it is warm it is summer, and when it is summer the days are very long. Around midsummer in Stockholm the sun goes down after 22:00 and is up already shortly after 03:00 in the morning and the nights does not get really dark, more like twilight. Then of course the days become very long and potentially very productive!!! Down in the Caribbean the sun goes down about 18:30 and up around 06:30 and it is very dark during the night unless there is a clear night with moon shine.

So the days are shorter, and planning for maintenance and provisioning are therefore? often overoptimistic. Like an oil change, it does not take long, especially as we do it rather often and gets some routine into the job, but it is always a messy work, especially to change the oil filter without some major spill. The oil change itself does not take long, cleaning, disposal of old oil, oil filter and a bag full of used rags in an environmentally friendly manner usually takes the longest time. And after completion of such a task the captain needs a bath, a beer and a rest and it will soon be dark i.e no more work that day.

The same day as I did the oil change I wanted to replace a rivet or two in the head sail foil that were a bit loose. Well it ended up with a rather big job that took a full day.Headsail furler

As I had to drill out all the rivets, separate the foil from the “drum”, clean out and attach it again and then of course put in new rivets, but then things started to go wrong as after each rivet I had to dismantle the rivet gun as the “center piece” refuse to get out of the rivet gun. Add wind gusting 25-30 kn, and that all rivets should be sealed with caulking I soon had 3M caulking all over my body.

The last rivet is the tricky one as access is very limited

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But a few m5 nuts solve the issue. But the whole process took most of that day.

 

Autopilot Problem

We have problem with our new Autopilot from Raymarine, it does not steer well at all when the waves are on the beam or behind. Therefore I decided to fully reinstall the old Autohelm Autopilot. To do that we need a switch that can handle a few cords and also the current to the drive unit’s. Browsing around in a few shops took most of a day before I found a switch that I thought would work.

The switch then of course needed to be mounted on a suitable place and all the cables to be installed.

Changeover switch

There are 12 + 3 cables to the two switches.

Chnageover switch in place

Now mounted maybe not the most beautiful but it works, now we can switch between the old and the new Autopilot and the black switch to the right switch between the two drives, so very safe redundancy.

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Old and the new control head both in place. All this in only one day that was faster than I thought. Add one day to find the switch.

But now you are thinking that I should make sure the new Autopilot performer well, and yes you are absolutely right, I have tweaked all settings that I with great difficulties identified in a sub-standard manual, but no success. In St Martin I found a Raymarine service person who gave me some advice. Download and upgrade all software (took most of a day). Then do the dock setup and sea trial set up again, and it will probably work (another day of work). Do not have the heading sensor below water line that cause problem he said, ours is just above water line, hope it will work, else minimum another day of work to move the heading sensor and pull the cable to a better position.

Not strange that times flies.

For the one who read the last blog we then had just left St Martin so what are we doing in St Martin again? We should be heading south towards Trinidad for laying up during hurricane season you might think, correct thinking, but one of the beauties with cruising is to change plans. We have been discussing our future cruising plan, not for very long but a few days, and suddenly we came to the conclusion we should cross the Atlantic again this time from Bermuda to the Azores, spend some time in the Azores, cruising the coast of Portugal.  Then during the winter we can work on Kerpa, it would be very convenient for us to have Kerpa in the marina in Lagos as we have our flat just a short walk from the marina. Make her ready for an extended Pacific cruise and then in the fall 2020 cross the Atlantic again visiting Columbia and San Blas, before transiting the Panama Canal, that is our latest plan, but….

What have we done besides changing plans?

We have visit three really nice places, the first we came to after leaving Basseterre on St Kits was

Deshaies on Guadeloupe we arrive rather early after a night’s sail. We know that it is a popular place and the anchorage is not that easy as wind coming from several direction and it is not uncommon to have the anchor behind your stern. Luckily it was rather strong wind when we arrived therefore boats and anchors where more or less in a straight line.

Deshaies close anchoring

Some beats were to close to each other for comfort, but there was no incidence that we noticed.

Deshaies Fishing

In the morning the local fishermen put out a long net in a circle, I could not see if they were successful but the Pelicans followed their progress with great interest.

Deshaies is know for the “feel good” British crime series “Murder in Paradise”, I could not recognize many palaces, but we found one bar they use to visit after solving a crime and found this photo in the bar.

Murder in Paradice

The commissar and the bar keeper, a highly recommended TV serie

The highlight of the visit was the walk up the Deshaies “river”, not much of a river, but a good exercise and a scenic walk.

Desahies River walk

An old bridge over the river

Desahies River walk 4

A bit further up there was not very much water, but more rocks. The funny thing is that we have talked about rocks. Rocks are in abundance in the archipelago of Stockholm and on the west coast of Sweden. We do enjoy jumping from rock to rock at the edge of the shore, we find it to be a very good exercise. As we now do exercise rather regularly, we thought rock jumping would be a good exercise as one gets older it strengthens your core and is very good for balance. So we were very pleased to negotiate this rocky trail.

Desahies River walk 5Desahies River walk 3

With some small “water falls” adding to the serenity of the place.

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The walk was rather demanding and took us to a rather high elevation, total time close to two hours, a walk we can highly recommend if you anchor in Deshaies

There is also a very nice botanic garden close by, but the day we planned to visit the garden the rain was pouring down so we stayed on the boat and admired the rainbow instead

Desahies Rainbow

We had this beautiful rain bow very close, strange when we see a rain bow in Sweden it looks as it is miles away, but here they are just in front of us, strange.

Les Saintes

We had a fresh wind on our south going route and the next stop was Les Saintes a few small islands belonging to Guadeloupe. They are a bit exposed and the places where one can anchor are of course more exposed than where one find buoys.

We anchored the first two nights but then the swell started to come in and we decided to move to a buoy, but that is not easy they are in high demand and there is a race as soon as a buoy is free, fortunately we found a rather good one.

Les Saintes is a rather laid-back tourist place who still have a lot of charm and one can still imagine the old days when this was an isolated fishing village.

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Houses in all kinds of status from very nice indeed to a need of a lot of TLC.

Les Saintes 7

Bananas in the garden

Les Saintes Dingy dock

And pelicans on the dingy

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Shore line of Petit Anse

We meet Think Twice and Glittra from our home cruising club OSK, and they took us on a very nice walk up a rather high hill

Les Saintes 1

Up to the top where one can see a small building

Start of walk

The hill is starting, and we now had company with another OSK boat with some youngsters who also wanted to negotiate the hill.

View Les Saintes 2View Les Saintes 1

We got very nice view on the way up.

The Top

The building at the summit

A selfi Les saintes

Time for a selfie at the top

Now we are up

A very nice walk and work out. The crew of Kerpa, Glittra and Think Twice.

The next day Kerstin and I took a walk up to the Fort Napoleon on the opposite side of the bay, not as demanding but a nice place to visit.

Ile Saintes Fort Napoleon 1Ile Saintes Fort Napoleon 2Ile Saintes Fort Napoleon 3Ile Saintes Fort Napoleon 4

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That hill also offered a nice view.

On the anchorage of Les Saintes we saw another Amel SM with a French flag, Reve De Lune IV was the name, we paid a visit, the Captain was French but the Admiral was a Swedish woman, they invited us aboard and told us that they were just back from an around the world cruise. They talked passionately about the Pacific and it was the meeting with them that made us tip over to change our plans and sail back to Europe and prepare Kerpa for the big jump.

Before heading north again we wanted to visit Dominica again the next island going south. We were there two years ago, and it became one of our favorite islands.

In a very brisk wind almost closed hauled we sailed down to Dominica.

Mot Dominica

 

Kerstin enjoying the sail, but soon she had to go out in pouring rain and 30 kn of wind to set the anchor. As always when approaching a harbor, the wind and rain sets in.

But soon the sun was shining again

Portsmout Cusroms jetty

Dingy dock at customs in Portsmouth, Dominica

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Portsmouth

PAYS Barbeque

We attended the PAYS barbecue not so many people as it was a Wednesday usually full on Sundays, but we had some nice talks with new sailing friends from Canada, we had meet earlier in St Martin.

Sun set Portmouth

Nice sunset in Portsmouth

The day after we had a nice trip on the Indian river with one of The PAYS guides.

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Now time to go north again

We set sail for a 180 nM trip to St Martin again, the forecast promised ca 20 kn following wind, it ended up being very little wind at all so we had to motor about half of the distance, why can’t the forecast be right when you want to sail in a nice fresh wind from behind?

One good thing was that we deployed our new cedar plug lure on a 15 m “short” hand line

Mahi Mahi 2

Does anyone who have not tried this lure that it will lure any fish?

Guess whatMahi Mahi 1

This nice Mahi Mahi was caught not fare from where we landed a Mahi Mahi going south from St Martin not long ago.

Mahi Mahi 3

Kerstin clean the fish with a happy face

Mahi Mahi 4

And a day later we enjoyed it, tasted divine.

So what to do in St Martin, besides all the maintenance I already described in the beginning of this blog. Provisioning, we need to fill the boat as we plan to go to Puerto Rico, then visit some places on the south side of Hispaniola, if time, weather and political situation we will stop at both Haiti and Jamaica, then Cuba, after that we have to see how much time we have to see The Bahamas again. Recon we will leave Bermuda around 1st of June for the crossing to the Azores.

Provisioning take some days, we made two trips, but we could not find we where looking for, so complementary provisioning in Puerto Rico we guess.

 

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Milk, Wine, Beer, Pasta, etc etc to last for a couple of months.

We meet a Swedish boat Sea Wind with Lars and Susanne Hellman, they were on the way to get on the hard, so we invited them for dinner and we had a very nice evening together and they gave good advice about visiting Cuba and Jamaica,

SeaWind visit

Tomorrow we set sail again heading for Puerto Rico.

 

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St Martin Again

We came back to St Martin again after leaving the Virgin Islands after a rather boring night sailing and motoring. It is always nice to be in Marigot Bay in St Martin, now there were more boats on the anchorage than last time as the season now got going. There is always interesting boats to be seen, such as the one below

St Martin Old boat

Some bots need more TLC than other, on the other part of the scale we found this

St Martin New Boat

Nothing special for a large yacht in St Martin, but I found the helicopter worth an extra picture

dav

As it was well taken care of.

More fun to see this Fisksatra S 30, not a very suitable live aboard or blue water cruiser

S 30 1

How do I know that?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well this is the one we had before we bought Kerpa, a wonderful boat to sail in the archipelago, but very inconvenient already out on the opened waters of the Baltic Sea.

Bellow follow some pictures illustrating how we had it when cruising the archipelago on the east coast of Sweden, might be of interest for some who have not been there, I can recommend to go there, it is very beautiful given that the weather cooperate.

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We have previously missed to visit Fort Louise in Marigot, strange it is well worth a visit and not very far at all from the dingy dock in Marigot Bay. One get a great view  from up there.Fort Louis St Martin 1

One can see the Lagoon all the way over to the Dutch side

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Fort Louis St Martin 6

St Kitts

From St Martin we set course south, we had hope to visit Saba, but there was to much swell to even try it, so we aimed for St Eustatius, but when passing by it was way to much swell, so we continued to St Kitts. Very much swell there as well, but it was already dark and one have to anchor at Basseterre to clear in. Else White House Bay about 5 nM from Basseterre is a very good option, but the coast guard do not like that, and one can be fined up to 300 USD for breaching that rule. As we did not want to risk that we spend a very rolly night at Basseterre.

Basseterre is a very lively place with some charm if one avoids the area where the cruise ships are.

Bassettere Imigration.jpg

But you have to clear in were the cruise ships are moored

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The Marina Dingy Dock and view

 

 

The water front area where the buss station is, are rather vibrant and interesting, with fishermen cleaning their catch, across the street there is a fruit and vegetable market, many small bars so it is a very lively area.

Basseterre 2Basseterre 1Basseterre 3

The town itself is color full and interesting to visit with both small and large buildings in many colors and in different stage of need for TLC.

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To our surprise we found rather good tomatoes at the local street market at a reasonable price

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This probably a remain from the British era

Basseterre 8

From the Basseterre anchorage, one has this nice view over the mountain and rain forest

Basseterre Anchorage

Next time we visit we will try to rent a car or attending a guided tour to see the rain forest.

On our trip down from St Martin we tried our new lure a “Cedar” plug, well not a traditional cedar plug but a more colorful one.

Fsihing luck 1

On St Martin, Island Water World had a fishing seminar that we attended and we were inspired by them to try a new Lure and to shorten our line to just a boat length. They also said when you see birds there are fish, but they also go for your lure so be careful.  We put out our new lure and one of our squids which we usually get some fish on. After just a short while Kerstin said to me look birds, I saw them, and they were definitely going for our lure so I quickly went aft to real them in as we do not want a bird on the hook. Guess what we got, a fish on the new lure so I quickly reeled in the other lure and then we landed a very nice Mahi Mahi. We also learned at the seminar, when you land a fish one should cover the eyes on the fish and they will become calm. We tried by putting a rag over the eyes on our Mahi Mahi and it worked, the fish became very calm and easy to kill.

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We enjoyed a very nice dinner, Mahi Mahi with stewed spinach and potatoes it tasted great.

White House Bay

White House Bay is a nice anchorage that is very protected ca 5 nM from Basseterre, we rode out some very bad weather on this anchorage two years ago, and now we were back again, nice to have a flat sea after the rolly night in Basseterre.

There is a posh bar in the bay, where people enjoy expensive food and drinks while admiring the sunset.

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So did we one day

White House Bay 3

32 USD for two rather watery Marguerites, not worth the money, so next day

White House Bay 9

We enjoyed the sunset from our own after deck drinking a homemade Rum punch, much better.

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Around the “corner” is a marina for Super Yachts

Perseus 3 1

We saw this very tall mast from anchorage, so we took the dingy around the “corner” to have a look

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Definitely a rather big boat, the name is Perseus 3, 61 meter long

Perseus 3 3

Can you see the man working on the radar at the first spreader?

oznor

That is not a toy teddy bear or a mascot, but a real person working on the radar!!!!!

Boating gears tip

We bought wheels for our dingy this spring and when we were on the Virgin Islands I mounted them on the dingy.

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Dingy Wheele 3

They are actually very good, work well, role rather well if the sand is not to soft, but it also lift the dingy so the swell will not fill up your dingy but go below, given they are not massive swell, but then I suggest an other beach for landing your dingy. Yes we do recommend this they are in stainless steel but only A2 quality so they rust a bit. We bought them from Defender.com, which is a very good US supplier of boating gears at competitive cost and good service, recommended

Dingy Wheele 4

This is after ca 6 weeks on the dingy

Dingy Wheele 5

But no problem to get them shiny again, I guess one has to polish them rather frequent, we polished with a product containing Phosphoric acid, works very well and do passivate the steel, it should corrode slower after the treatment.

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Virgin Island Part 2

 

Culebra

Culebra or Spanish Virgin Island is a part of Puerto Rico. Columbus as first European visited Culebra 1493. The island was a refuge for Pirates during more than 300 years. Now Culebra is a beautiful and sleepy place with less than 2000 inhabitants. Culebra really differ from USVI as the mood is very Latin American (at least for a Swede), not only the music that was played loudly, but also the way we saw the people, a great experience.

The main village is Dewey in a deep bay with a reasonable protected and large anchorageculebra anchorage

culebra dingy dock

Very convenient bar for cruisers just dingy over and have a sun-downer.

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carterpillar

We found this very large caterpillar on a fence, will probably turn into a large and amazing butterfly

alternative anchorage culebra

If one do not want to anchor in the bay near the village this nice anchorage (Ensenada Dakity) behind a reef is a good option just at the entrance of the bay.

Culebrita

One of the most beautiful anchorage we been to is on Culebrita a small island belonging to Culebra.

culebrita anchorage

Kerpa at anchor in Bahia de Tortuga, Culebrita

culebrita beachculebrita beach 3

So beautiful we just had to take a selfie

selfie

During day time rather many local boats but around 4 o’clock we were alone or just one other sailing boat who stayed over night.

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culebrita light house

This lighthouse from 1886 was the oldest working light house in the Caribbean until it was closed down 1975

culebrita sheep

Now the only tenant in the lighthouse are the goats.

Culebrita also offer a natural Jacuzzi

culebrita jacuzzi

The waves sweep in to the shielded lagoon and one can get some lively “Water-dance” when the occasional very large wakes break over the edge. No doubts who is leading the dance, we had the whole pool just for our self, very nice indeed.

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When one has visitors there are no time to explore in detail and as our son Kristoffer was with us we only stayed for a few days, but Culebra and Culebrita was highly appreciated by him, and we would not hesitate to visit again.

 

Virgin Gorda

We visited Virgin Gorda in March 2017 before the hurricane and we have heard that this beautiful place had suffered a lot from the hurricane, and it had, it was very obvious as soon as we entered the Virgin Gorda sound. Below follow some photos of the type before and after.

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There are many sailors who have had a few down the throat during happy hour on the Saba rock

saba rock after (copy)

This is how it looks today, no more happy hours. Just behind on the right-hand side used to be some exclusive holiday homes.

holiday home before 2 (copy)

They looked very attractive,

holiday home after (2) (copy)

but this is what remains

beach before (copy)

Beach before and after

beach after (2) (copy)

not very much left

house before (copy)

This house survived rather well but still a lot of work

house after (copy)

The new Marina looked like below

marina before (copy)

Now not very much left

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Last time we were here we saw this Swedish “Folkboat” in great condition even though it is probably made in the early 1970 th

if brefore (copy)

Now in not so great shape

if after (copy)

Obviously been lying submerged, but someone has salvage hear

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Two boats on the shore

The only place that was to be recognize was Leveric bay

leveric bay (copy)

The bar still in good shape

happy hour lervic bay - kopia

And Kristoffer handling the important stuff, making sure his daddy gets a cold beer.

Kristoffer really enjoyed being spoiled aboard Kerpa visiting many Virgin Islands

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Like Sandy spit JvD

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Norman Island

Who also offered very good snorkeling and nice weather.

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The last anchorage  before he headed home was

Christmas cove on Great St James Island

christmas cove sunsetchristmas cove evening

Kristoffer enjoys one of the the last evening before heading home. We had great sailing and splendid weather just a few showers, so he was really satisfied with his also well deserved holiday. We turned our bow south next port St Martin

 

 

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Virgin Islands Part 1

USVI was bought from the Danish 1917 and one still find Danish names on some of the streets, in that respect rather similar to St Barth who was a former Swedish colony, still with many Swedish names remaining.

The first Virgin Island we came to was St Croix, we did not know what to expect, but is was rather obvious that St Croix had suffered from the Hurricane. The border protection was no longer at the Marina as the building had suffered some damage and was not yet rebuilt. The only way to clear in was to take a taxi to the airport (45 USD for a return trip), first we were a bit disappointed about that but in the end it gave us an opportunity to se a bit more of the Island.

tug boat

First sight entering the rather narrow inlet to Christiansted was an old tug boat that had been around for a while, and that was the impression for the part of St Croix we saw, need some TLC. On the trip to the airport we saw one of the largest refinery in the western hemisphere, but it was moth bold, the only activity was storage of petroleum products.

christiansted 8christiansted

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The town was charming with a mix of well-kept houses as well as some in need for attention

christiansted 4christiansted 5

chair

This chair that we found outside the house above did not provide any rest or comfort for a tiered tourist, but it is always a water hole ner by for a cruiser to get a beer or two.

One very charming thing with not only St Croix but all USVI islands was that where ever you walked you saw roosters and chickens.

rooster

A very beautiful rooster walking just beside the streets watching over a part of his harem

chiken

Very cute indeed.

Less cute was to see all evidence from the devastation by the hurricane.

hurricane damage marina

Not very much left of this Marina

catamaran and fense

And how could this large cat end up on the wrong side of the fence?

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The catamaran is no longer home for holiday makers but for a new family of chickens.

albin express

To our surprise we found this boat an Albin Express (built in Sweden), a very popular racing class in Sweden during 1980:th, and still rather popular, many young families with children has spent their summer vacation cursing the archipelago of Stockholm in an Express, a huge contrast to the many 50-70 fot catamarans we now see with holiday makers in The Virgin Islands.

water front

There is a very nice walk with restaurants and bars playing live music along the water front in Christiansted

St Thomas

We did not stay long in St Croix as our two daughters with husband and boy friend were flying in to St Thomas, so we headed for Brewer bay on St Thomas, a very convenient place for picking up guests.

brewer bay st t

Brewer bay is not only a beautiful bay, but it gives you access to the air port as well as Charlotte Amalie either take a long walk or take the local Taxi/buss system that takes you around for one USD, very good indeed.

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The airport is very close by, the terminal is on the opposite side, so it takes maybe 25 to 30 minutes to walk, a taxi back with the guests cost 6 USD per person. One gets a bit disturbed from the plane, but they are not very frequent and after dark there are only a few smaller planes landing so no big issue

pelican

You can also get other flying visitors aboard,

taxi

Local Bus/Taxi in Charlotte Amalie

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ca house 5

Some houses in Charlotte Amalie, the one above with the old Danish street name. It is nice to walk around in the town the massive amounts of tourist from the cruising ships are only found at the shopping streets with diamonds and jewelry for sale, the rest of the town feels rather genuine

ca anchorage

One can also anchor in Charlotte Amalie, a large anchorage with plenty of space, good provisioning and easy clearing and departure at the sea plane terminal. But we prefer Brewers bay much nicer Charlotte Amalie is very focused on the tourists from the large cruising ships and many bars and restaurants closes when the ships leaves, often well before dark.

ca ferry

One of the large cruise liners approaching the harbor, they are huge but maneuver very swiftly in the bay even though several anchored boats.

sunken tug st thomas

Does not expect to see this on St Thomas, guess this is not due to the hurricane but poor maintenance.

 

St John

Cruz bay on St John is a charming place with good provisioning, customs and some nice bars, highly recommended at least for provisioning and customs.

cruz bay

Cruz bay with..

vrfuz bay fire station

Fire station

We cleared out from Cruz bay and headed for Jost Van Dyke BVI, one of the highlights in The Virgin Islands.

great harbor

Great Harbour JvD

customs jvd

The Polis station where one clear in, if you are lucky, they clear you in and out at the same time, very convenient.

jvd fire station

Another fire station

From Great harbor there is about 25 minutes walk to White Bay with one of the famous “Soggy Dollar Bar”

white bay jvd

White Bay

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View from Soggy Dollar Bar. Rather crowded some almost anchored on the beach?

 

Sandy Spit on JvD is a must

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Sandy Spit

We had Emelie with hear husband Axel and Linnea with her boy friend Felix aboard for Christmas and New Year during ca two weeks. The Virgin Islands is excellent for visitors as very close between the Islands and anchorage. Relative gentle sailing even though the Christmas weather in Virgin Islands is well known to have rather strong winds. Unfortunately, we had rain almost every day, not all day but enough to have a feeling of not the best weather. But for our kids the weather was a huge improvement from the weather in Sweden.

emelie jvd

Emelie Great Harbor JvD

sandy spit jvd 2

Linnea and Felix really enjoyed Sandy Spit

bar visit norman island

Visiting nice bars and getting both a beer and some internet. Here on Norman Island.

soppers hgole 2

Sopper’s Hole Tortola

sopper hole

Who also showed traces from the hurricane

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Hiking Francis Bay St John

Where we saw this fellow

unknown animal francis bay

Do not know what animal it is, anyone know?

holliday makers

Linnea and Felix enjoying a well-deserved holiday

linnea on a sup

Linnea try our SUP, can’t say the kids impressed me with their balance, the old man could still shine, at my age one has to take every opportunity as it is fare between them

rain bow

The rain gave us some very nice rain bows

christmas

Best Christmas present for us was to be able to have Christmas with the “Kids”

For new year they wanted a place with some nice bars, but as Emelie and Axel flew home the day after, there was not many options, we ended up in Charlotte Amalie. And after a nice New Years dinner we played Mexican Train

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And they become so absorbed by the game, so they stayed aboard the whole night. In distance at 12 o’clock we could hear the sounds from all kinds of guns that were fired into the water, a tradition in Charlotte Amalie, a strange tradition for us Swedes.

The day after Emelie and Axel left and our son Kristoffer arrived, but more about the VI in the next blogg.

 

 

 

 

 

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