Leeward Islands to Greater Antilles

Dubbel Zout at Sea
Nik Ormseth
Tue 28 Feb 2023 14:55
We had a lovely sail overnight from Antigua with spectacular view of the moon, Jupiter and Venus in alignment.  Also a beautiful sunset over (I think?) Nevis.

Road Bay in Anguilla is a beautiful beach with a sleepy village.  Once again, so different from the previous islands!   Taxis to explore the island were thin on the ground the next day, but happy to just relax at anchor for the day (and visit Elvis’ Beach Bar in the evening).

On departure, the windlass isn’t working, but that had happened in Antigua and we've perfected the technique for raising the anchor without it. (The trick is in breaking it free once all the scope has been brought up.)

The passage was uneventful until we caught part of a fishing net on the prop (i.e. it was uneventful for all of 45 minutes).  We'd seen several nets in the channel and avoided them, or at least so we thought.  But then, why are we doing less than 2 knots in this breeze?  Tried a bunch of adjustments to the sails, but still just creeping along.  Then Kitty noticed the giant kelp — oops, no, fishing floats — being dragged from our stern.  We managed to free it without getting into the water, though we had to cut the last couple floats off the line.  

Yesterday we made landfall in Fajardo, Puerto Rico — first time in the US since December!  Discovered a variety of little issues — such as we don’t have a US-compatible shore power connection nor a water hose with the right fitting — but these were going to surface at some point, so why not now?

Motorsailed most of the way from Anguilla — it was the first light air since leaving St Lucia, so can’t complain.  We had been planning to stop in the British Virgin Islands, but re-routed here to pick up a third crew member for the longer passages ahead of us.  The bay and islands at the east end of Puerto Rico are beautiful, though the approaches to Fajardo have enough reefs and rocks to make us very careful with our navigating, especially after the incident with fishing floats earlier. 

After a couple of false starts dealing with customs, we got ourselves checked into the country.  Non-US citizens are required to have a particular visa when entering the country via boat — which fortunately Kitty already had from her crewing on the Clipper world race.  This morning I have to walk over to Customs House to take care of vessel import duties, and then it’s provisioning and meeting our new crewmate this afternoon!