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Gone Sailing.......

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craig48uk says:

Will update whenever there's something interesting and when battery power allows.
Plan today is to load the provisions, as the heavy stuff is all there, sail to The Bight at Norman Island and relax. A friend is sailing over in his old Hunter 25 to rendezvous, but as he's going on shift at the Willy T on Tuesday, we won't see him again until our last night and his last night of shift.
Probably have to do a bottom clean at The Bight as well.
5:38AM, 25 May 2009 PDT (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

Day 1..

Finally left the dock at West End around 12.15, hoisted sail and set off for The Bight at Norman Island, about a 6nm sail. Of course, as cruises always go it was hard on the wind in about a Force 4. Around 90 minutes later we were on a mooring ball beside the Willy T, nice sail, overcast and warm. Put paid to a couple of 46ft catamarans, but everyone knows upwind is not their strong point!
Funniest event, as is quite normal, was on the Willy T. A boat load of American Tourists that were, to put it politely, pissed as newts left one of theirs behind. Unfortunately they were heading back to the US Virgin Islands, which involves Customs/Immigration etc. They appeared around 1 hour later looking for the guy they thought had fallen overboard!
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

Day 2.

Left The Bight around11.15 with the loose plan of getting to North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Again wind on the nose made for a 20+ mile beat into 15-20 knots, so we tentatively reefed the main, a good call.
After having some fun passing the regular bareboat traffic and a crewed trimaran, (photos later) we came across a Bavaria 39 from Horizon Yacht Charters fleet with a blue ensign. After about 7-8nm we entered the sound exactly the same distance behind as when we first encountered him. Being the gent he obviously was he congratulated us as we passed in the mooring field.
Tonight is Bitter End Yacht Club and tomorrow we have free run of the resort and drink passes, so I think it's going to be a lay day. Think we need it after that sail! 5 hours more or less and my back and shoulders are reminding me I don't sail in these conditions so often these days!
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Skykomish E29 says:

soundas like you are having fun, especially considering you are in a 7 metre!! Nice to hear that the Achillies is still capable of showing the "big boys" what she is made of
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

Day 3.

Didn't do any sailing. Sat on the mooring off of Bitter End Yacht Club and had a make do and mend morning, until lunch with the management. Did a little PR for the respective charter companies we work for, got shown one of the villa's, very nice, then chilled by the pool for an hour or so.
Did the mammoth 1 1/2nm passage across North Sound to Leverick Bay under motor (I'd just hooked up the charging system) then relaxed with a gin & tonic as we dried the forepeak cushions. The cushions got wet on the 5 hour beat up here, as the damage that the pullpit sustained a few months ago when a rogue boat hit us, had opened up a gap at the foot of one of the uprights. That gap is now filled with sealant.
After a short forage ashore, we had dinner aboard. Have this pasta cooker thingy, very simple. Pour in hot water, chuck in pasta, veg, potatoes or whatever, stick on the lid and hey presto. Pasta, potatoes and chilli never tasted so good!
After a post dinner aperitif we called it a night.
Intend to be off around 9 or 10am Thursday, to sail down the Sir Francis Drake Channel, maybe outside the islands into the deep Atlantic, with the eventual destination of Benures Bay, back on Norman Island.
We need to hook up with our friend Todd who finishes his shift on the Willy T on Saturday, then we'll sail in tandem to Jost Van Dyke for the last night.
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craig48uk says:

Day 4, well, morning of day 5!

Left Leverick Bay around 11am, beat out the North Sound channel, then bore off onto a port broad reach. This would carry us down the north side of Virgin Gorda, past The Baths and Fallen Jerusalem, then onward past Round Rock, Ginger, Cooper, Salt and Peter Island(s). Only a few knots of wind, but enough to maintain 5 knots with bursts of 6+ in the gusts on jib and main.
A short beat from the west tip of Peter to Benures Bay saw us dropping sail and anchoring in 20ft of pristine clear water, not 100ft from the beach. We quickly put out a second anchor knowing the backwinding problems experienced here and settled down to boat tidying, shelling/exploring ashore, picture taking of Pelicans and Boobies (not that kind!), dinner and sundowners. Benures is one of those beautiful unspoilt places as yet not frequented by tourists, although there was 1 Sunsail and 1 Moorings boat there. The most exciting thing is watching the Pelicans et al dining at sunset, then being glad you weren't swimming when the big fish came out at dusk!
I am so impressed with Chiron and her extra weight. After loading probably 1/4 of a tonne of gear, she now bursts through waves, rather than leaping, crashing and shuddering through them. Me thinks the extra anchor chain and the 4D gel cell battery may stay aboard, except in the very light weather!
1 more night after this to go, it's flown in. We may squeeze another and to be honest I could easily go another week, but work won't allow, cest la vie.
Oh yes, the reason I'm typing at 1am, is that I've been lying on the deck watching the stars and the Milky Way. In fact I can see all this out the main hatch above me and will be going to sleep watching it out of the forehatch from the vee berth in about 10 mins.
Happy Sailing!
ages ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

How the other half live... sounds very Idylic..... I think the truth is you are sitting in the office Craig typing this in a hope to drum up some business... haha!! Enjoy the rest of your trip, looking forward to the pictures (especially the Boobies). Thanks for keeping this diary
ages ago (permalink)

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Andrew Curry says:

Going sailing today. We are heading across to Portpatrick on the Scottish coast which is a 21 mile sail from Bangor will stay over night and sail home on sat. love the buzz you get packing up getting all the gear for heading away.
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

I love Portpatrick, used to stop in with the half tonner we had when on passage from West Highland Week to the Isle of Man.
Enjoy!
Malcolm, it's no joke, I'm just eating a boiled egg and having a cup of coffee, before attempting to climb the hill behind the salt pond in Benures Bay for a sort of aerial shot of Chiron.
We'll nip round to The Bight after lunch for the last night, before heading back to West End tomorrow. It's gone too fast, but at least I'm not back at work until Tuesday!
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
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Amrum 9171Y says:

I've really enjoyed sharing your trip with you - thanks for the regular updates. My trip to Watchet fell through this week with no wind on Monday, f 6 to 7 on Tuesday and rain on Wednesday - not as good as the Caribbean! However, the club regatta is this weekend and the forecast looks hot and with some wind, so I'll dream it's the Virgins!
Enjoy the rest of the trip!
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

Day 5.

Forgot to mention yesterday that on the way down from North Sound we happened upon 2 turtles. Like most wildlife pictures we didn't get any as they dove down the minute we got the camera to hand. Nevertheless nice to see.
Day 5 turned out to be the lazy day I expected. Tooled around on the boat, went ashore about 11.30am and tried to hike uphill for an aerial photo op. Made our way through the brush, swear I saw Dr Livingston and got stung by nettles. Didn't know those buggers were here and haven't been stung since a kid, not as bad as I remember! Unfortunately the brush was too overgrown and I couldn't get a clear shot, some other time.......
Lifted both anchors and reluctantly left Benures Bay around lunchtime and went to The Bight.
We initially anchored inshore of the WIlly T in about 20ft of water. Sally went snorkelling and found a mooring block not 50ft away, so she free dove down and got a line to the surface. We attached our own line to the decent chain from the block, as the one there was very questionable and picked up the anchor. Free mooring, usually they are $25/night.
Went to the Willy T around 3.30pm and ended up bussing tables and doing the dishes at dinner, as there was an unexpected rush on.
Left the staff and the tourists to their own ways and paddled back to the boat around 10pm.
Tomorrow is heading home day. West End is an easy 6 nm or so reaching and downwind, so I only expect a 1 hour trip. Our friend Todd who's off shift this morning from the Willy T will probably join us for the sail, wonder if I can convince them both to put the big spinnaker up? Not that we need it, there's a steady Force 4 blowing, pretty much the same as it's been all week.
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craig48uk says:

Day 6.

Woke early and was glad we didn't hang around at the Willy T. Woke around 3am for a call of nature and the party was still going on. Found out later that a bunch of MIT students (120) were partying until they got kicked out!
Moved Todd's boat onto the mooring we had, got his gear and set sail on a run/reach to West End. Beautiful day and if Todd wasn't there we may well have carried on past West End onto Jost Van Dyke.
Unloaded the gear and the waterline recovered an inch and a half!
Sally got a taxi home to pick up the Jeep and brought the dogs down to The Sandspit where Chiron lives. So damn hot with summer knocking on the door that I was a ball of sweat when she arrived, so after loading the car we jumped straight in the sea with the dogs and hung out like fish for a good 30 minutes.
Ended the trip as we started, with a glass of champagne (cheap champagne, none of that expensive stuff) and headed home.
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

Round up.

So, I think we've proven that a week aboard an Achilles is definitely doable, at least in this climate. We could have gone another week comfortably, although we might have been hunchbacked by the time we came off!
A toilet is a must, however the bucket and chuck it method served us pretty well this time.
The solar showers have to be the best invention ever. The last one we used after our swim at The Sandspit was up to 110F and I know a friend who used them in the UK on his boat. All you need is 3 hours of sunshine for a piping hot cockpit shower.
Nothing broken, no ailments and we used about 1/4 gallon of petrol. We did however burn a whole lot of wind, hope Odin doesn't mind!
Always amazes me that the little boat can keep and beat the big boys. The Bavaria 39 we encountered on our way up to North Sound was the sweetest moment, plus the Yacht Shots photographer that we know commented that only 3 boats came into North Sound with their sails set properly, us, the Bavaria and a big W class classic called Wild Horse. The rest of the bareboats have half sheeted headsails and their mains pinned in, how do these people ever get past the resume stage for charter?
Great week and can't wait to do it again sometime, although Chiron really needs to be lifted out for antifouling, but I'm considering keeping her out and putting her under her tarpauline for the summer to dry out, she's been in for nearly 10 months now.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
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neptunesnephew says:

It has been a great log. I've throughly enjoyed reading it. Many thanks!
ages ago (permalink)

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Skykomish E29 says:

yes that makes two of us well done Craig and thank you
ages ago (permalink)

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craig48uk says:

My pleasure, I enjoyed it.
ages ago (permalink)

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Mike A1 says:

Excellent log Craig. I really enjoyed reading it but found it difficult to concentrate on working afterwards!

I look forward to seeing pictures of the places you visited. If you are able to tag them with the location (as discussed on another thread) we would be able to follow your route.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
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craig48uk says:

Pictures up, in no particular order. After I captioned them they went in alphabetical order.
I've pinned them on the map, I can see them on there, I hope you can.
ages ago (permalink)

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