May & June in the VIs

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  16 Jun 2010   Deja Vu - Yet Another Haulout    
 

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Wet

Very wet

 

Good opportunity for generator maintenance

  And hopefully the last for some time to come.....

Hauled out early on Wednesday 16 June and before the boat was chocked, the contractors were already removing the one prop and both prop shafts.

By the end of the day, both engines and the generator were ready for removal and the diving compressor was out.

Thursday 17 June, both engines and generator are out and work has begun on fabricating the new stainless steel saddles for the engine beds.

The port engine, which suffered a restricted exhaust and had taken on same sea water was stripped and repairs started on the cylinder head to ensure all ok.

Friday 18 June. All saddles fabricated and being tested and installation begins.

Meanwhile a tropical depression which was later to develop into hurricane Alex passed by. Torrential rain and strong winds for almost 2 weeks.

The boatyard is fun! Walking through 3 inches of water most of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
  Jun 2010   An almost named storm and a great sail to BVI for haul out    
 

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Honeymoon Bay, Water Island

Views from Water Island

 

 

 

  During our last couple of weeks in St. Thomas and Honeymoon Bay, we helped out Gene and Wilma who's outboard engine had failed and in for repair. Wilma was still working and needed to leave the boat at 6.20am, so we usually left Dreaming On at 6.15, dropped Iza off for her morning run on Water Island, while Geoff took Wilma ashore, then returned to Water island for a walk and to collect Iza.

Now June is officially the start of hurricane season, although it gets worse during late August and into September and October. But, here we are, waiting for an engine decision, not really being completely mobile if a storm should occur. Then one did, or almost. It came across the Atlantic, ready and waiting to be nominated as Tropical Storm Alex. The chances of it becoming a storm or hurricane varied from day to day, from 10% to as high as 60%.

We decided we could not wait any longer, so made arrangements to go to the boatyard to start the engine fix.

After a farewell dinner on board Ge-Wil with Gene and Wilma and another friend Gerry on 14th, we made an early start on 15th for the 23 mile trip to Nanny Cay. However, this is directly into wind, so we tacked way south into the very deep water between St. Thomas and St. Croix, (12,000' deep), until we could tack north, so ended up making a trip of 62 miles, but at a good average of 8 knots throughout.

 

Gene & Wilma from Ge-Wil. Joe's Bar Honeymoon Beach

Gerry & Sparkie from Poco Loco

           
  20-22 May 2010   Denis & Katia sail into St. Thomas    
 

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Wind Whisper. Waiting for loading call

Super Servant 4

Loading at last

It's just a mobile marina really!

 

  Our very good friends Denis and Katia on "Wind Whisper" (spent time with them in DR), sailed into St. Thomas from St. Martin on 20 May. By coincidence, they had booked to ship Wind Whisper to Turkey on board a Dockwise yacht carrier on 21st, but did not know that we were anchored just a mile from where the ship was berthed.

(There have been many yacht transport ships visiting St. Thomas. Many more than we expected. On most, yachts are craned on and lashed down, but occasionally we see Dockwise ships which submerge the loading bay for boats to be driven in, moored and then chocked as the water is pumped out).

We helped prepare Wind Whisper for her journey over a couple of bottles of wine and dinner late into the night on 20th, as she had to be available for loading at 0830 on 21st.

We followed Denis and Katia to the ship by dinghy and hung around in case they needed anything, to get some photos and to give them a lift back to Dreaming On where they stayed overnight.

It was fascinating watching the loading and post-loading process. As the water is pumped out each boat is chocked as in a boatyard, (but by divers), then, when the floor dries out, the chocks are welded to the floor. Looks much more secure than the crane on jobs.

Anyway, it was great to spend time with Denis and Katia again. They are very good company and lots of laughs.

Having been shopping in St. Martin, they had accumulated more exotic cheeses and other food than they could carry with them to Toronto, so we are still enjoying those delicacies. Thanks guys.

Took D & K ashore on 22nd to catch their flight to their home in Toronto, where they would stay for a couple of weeks before flying to Turkey and retrieving Wind Whisper for a summer in the Med.

We very much look forward to catching up with them again sometime, somewhere.

 

Denis & Katia. Happy that WW is safely onboard

Super Servant 4 during pump out

A harbour resident

           
  May 2010   St. Thomas, Honeymoon Bay and St. Thomas' offshore islands.    
 

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Charlotte Amalie Harbor

The Steps, St. Thomas, USVI

Charlotte Amalie waterfront and seaplane

Another landing

 

As anchoring close to shore facilities and finding a good wifi connection is not easy in the BVI, we based ourselves in St. Thomas, USVI while we sort out who pays for the engine mount repairs.

We make regular trips back to Nanny Cay in the BVI when another engine inspection is required, and we sail everywhere. Our sailing technique is improving and once again, we are managing with one engine, (no prop on port at the moment). It will be odd having two again. Anyway, we sail for a far greater proportion of our cruising now and make very little use of the one engine.

In between email sessions between surveyors, technicians, the installers in Fort Lauderdale, we manage to sail out to dive sites and fishing trips to maintain our sanity.

We've spent quite a lot of time at anchor in the main Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas. It's free, there's a wifi connection and it's a very active harbour with lots going on, including cruise ships. ferries and seaplanes. Being anchored off the waterfront, we hear music from bars, police sirens, the occasional shooting at night, (never a dull moment), and enjoy the wash of ferries at very close quarters.

But, time for a change. Cruising friends Gene and Wilma on board GeWil, (met them in the Bahamas in 2005), moved around from Charlotte Amalie to Honeymoon Bay on the east side of Water Island, still within the main St. Thomas Bay. We followed suit and it's a great little bay with a good beach, cleaner water than the main harbour, more shelter, a great view out to sea and to sunsets, and a quirky little beach bar. We can dinghy in to Charlotte Amalie in 15 minutes for shopping, so we are lot more comfortable.

Two miles southwest of Honeymoon Bay are some uninhabited islands designated as bird sanctuaries, Saba island and Flat Cays. We made many trips out to those islands, which we usually had to ourselves for some fine kayaking, snorkelling, diving, beachcombing and just "Chilling."

 

A visit to Brewer's Bay

Honeymoon Bay, Water Island

Rainbow over Flat Cays

Dem's clouds man!

           
  2 - 7 May 2010   Back to BVI for engine inspection, some great sailing and diving.    
 

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This was one of our best sails yet. Our trip east around the south of St. John back to Tortola was made in record time at speeds close to 9 knots.

We stopped overnight at Salt Pond Bay on the south of St. John, then sailed on to Road Harbour in Tortola to check in to BVI. Overnighted there and went into Nanny Cay Marina with a dinghy acting as our port engine on 4 May. Only spent a couple of hours there, then had another fantastic sail back to St. John.

Overnighted again on a mooring in Salt Pond Bay and the following morning, climbed up Ram's Head, for great views over the anchorage to the west and over to BVI to the northeast.

On 5 May, we made our second dive on Booby Rock. Strong current, which made it a hard dive, so not our favourite. But still a good dive, with a Nurse Shark and very large Lobster. See our Dive Log for info and photos.

Overnighted at Lamasure Bay on the south of St. John, (which is mostly National Park). Very nice bay. Quiet and scenic. Made a dive at a site within the bay on 7 May. Nurse Shark again. Asleep under a rock as usual.

From Lamasure Bay to Secret Harbor within the Lagoon on St. Thomas. Overnighted there, (good wifi), then out to Cow and Calf Rocks for our best dive here so far. Nothing spectacular, but very interesting and colourful. Lots of very tame fish and the place to find the small stuff. We're still looking for a Seahorse and a Frogfish!

And back to Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas.

 

 

 

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Email

prower@ondreamon.com

Telephone

USA: 1-954 4785948        UK:  +44 7855388258         Skype: geoff.iza