Fri 20 Feb 2009 03:51
Well as our last blog only went today due to photos being too big here is an update already

We are currently in San Juan Puerto Rico 18:27:53N 66:05:37W

After the Necol man miraculously fixing our B & G we left St Marten on Friday 13th and had a good overnight sail to Spanish Town Virgin Gorda - after a stop to clear in and to swim we headed round to the 'Bitter End' to take a look then cruised on to Marina Cay behind Tortola to a mooring next to Falbala and a good 'Valentine's meal' ashore all together. Nick's friend Simon cleverly found us at Marina Cay having flown via Miami and San Juan

Up early next morning we moved across to 'The Baths' at Virgin Gorda and had a great day snorkelling amongst the rocks etc. and Ed took a special photographic trip swimming ashore with his camera in plastic bags - That evening we motor sailed down to Sopers Hole at the end of Tortola for a peaceful night on a mooring.

On 16th we sailed through the Islands from Sopers Hole to the Crown Bay Marina in St Thomas. Nick and Simon travelled by ferry as without a visa Nick was obliged to arrive in US waters on a ferry or plane not a private yacht. On arrival we all had to go to Customs and Immigration to be photographed and fingerprinted.

Unfortunately the only bit of B & G not fixed was the echo -sounder but as our forward looking sonar works well this was not a problem until that too decided to 'retire' leaving only a leadline.... we spent two nights in St Thomas and Ed went diving (including a night dive) while the rest of us snorkelled at Bolongo Bay... A new echo-sounder transducer (at great expense) delayed Gulliver's departure but unfortunately it turns out this was not the problem.

Leaving St Thomas at 0930 on 18th we enjoyed a very blustery but fast sail under main and genoa with 20 - 25 kts wind on the beam arriving in San Juan just at sunset and mooring in the Marina in the dark - this trip it was the turn of the two GPS units to play up so the passage was made by DR and eyeball navigation. A very friendly chap at the marina drove us all to a nearby cafe for a typical Puerto Rican meal which was fun (as long as you liked Plantains.)

Today of course the GPS worked perfectly (until we were ready to leave) but we have a new hand-held just in case... after a tour of the old town and lunch in a famous hotel made from an old Convent our planned departure tonight was frustrated by the harbour entrance being closed due to havy swell - we plan to set off in the morning for the 270 mile hop to the Dominican Republic

Watch this space for further updates - Catherine today moved onboard Falbala (as planned) partly for some female company (or to escape the boys dorm) but also to help out on the long passage.

All the best

Mark, Ed, Nick and Simon