Welcome aboard S/V Islamnd Girl as we set sail with the Salty Dawgs for an exciting voyage from Hampton, Virginia to Bermuda and on to St. Thomas, USVI. We will be posting position reports, log entries and images as we make our way south and east during the coming weeks.Scroll down for all the latest news from Team Island Girl.
* Captain Mark Einstein - Master and Commander
* Captain David Fife - Chief Mate
* Bob Schafer - Chief Engineer
* Judge Jimmy Lynn - Chief Steward
* Land Support - Suzanne Einstein and Jackie Appleton
Island Girl - Cruise to the Caribbean
Wednesday October 25th - Midnight - Depart Rock Hall
Oct. 27th - Nov. 3rd - Spend a week in Hampton, Va. with Salty Dawgs
November 3rd - Begin Fall Rally to the Caribbean
Planned stop - Bermuda
Destination - St. Thomas
Log #1 Location
Island Girl's Caribbean adventure began the moment I first saw her in the early spring of 2016. Sadly unattended by her previous owner due to illness, I immediately recognized that she was destined to cruise the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. It was our great fortune to be able to adopt this beautiful lady and make preparations to fulfill our shared destinies.
Since 2016, Island Girl has completed over 600 90 minute cruises, a passage down and back up the ICW and has undergone extensive and expensive preparation for a southbound journey well beyond the horizon. Now, we are ready to go!
Question: "How do you know you're ready to go, Captain Mark?"
Answer: "Okay, stay with me now, Boss"...(pause) ""When I decided... to set out on this crazy adventure... I had just enough money to get the boat ready to go ... AND I AM OUT OF MONEY!! ""
The short list:
Add - WH below deck autopilot, storm trysail, storm jib, asymmetrical spinnaker with ATN sock, Skymate satellite communication system with email, weather and voice, Vesper Marine AIS transponder, 3000 watt Xantrex inverter, Professionally made lee cloths, third reef to main, Heinson boom brake/preventer, Forespar 13-24" line control whisker pole, Ronstan Whisker Pole padeye, whisker pole topping lift, major dinghy repair (like new), new Merc 9.9 four stroke outboard, new life raft inspection, Iridium satellite phone, two Ipads, Fortress anchor and stow bag, 24' Paratech sea anchor with 400' rode, Gale Rider drogue, new impellers and filters for engine and generator, new alternator (times 2), Signal Mate LED anchor light, new spinnaker halyard, new EPIRB w/hydrostatic release, Lifesling 2 and Lifesling 3 with Forespar Man Overboard pole, 10 auxiliary fuel containers with custom made stabilizing boards, Mack Pack w/lazy jack system, tethers and harnesses for all on board... and...there's more!
You can follow our journey by logging onto www.ocens.com/saltydawg, Facebook or checking our website. Logs and position reports will be posted daily.
Stay tuned! Captain Mark - OUT!
Log #2 Oct 26, 2018 Location
ISLAND GIRL and crew (Capt.Dave, Bob and Jimmy) have arrived safely in Hampton, VA (1730 hrs Thursday). The record breaking 22 hr downwind run from
Rock Hall was exhilarating. Today we check in with rally organizers and plan for passage to Bermuda and VI's.
Looking forward to re-uniting with First and Only Mate in St. Thomas.
Cheers! Capt. Mark and crew out.
Log #3 Oct 30, 2018 Location
Having a great time in Hampton and enjoying the pre-rally events. The organizers are doing a great job with preparatory activities and keeping the fleet informed. The weather forecast does not look good for an offshore passage from Hampton Saturday, so we are pretty much figuring on an inshore ICW run to Beaufort before heading out sometime late next week. Lots of fun places to see en route and a better opportunity for good weather south of Hatteras. Since we are not in a hurry, this is preferred to sitting in Hampton for the same amount of time going nowhere. Keep checking back for updates. Meanwhile, there are lots of activities keeping us entertained - including a Halloween trivia contest that we won, thanks to Capt. Dave's knowledege of scary songs. We'll keep you posted. Capt Mark and crew - out!
Log #4 Nov 2, 2018 Location
Visiting friends. Jim and Maryann Lancaster in Portsmouth Va. Weather doesn't look good for Chesapeake departure tomorrow. We have decided to depart from Beaufort via ICW instead. Probably Wednesday or Thursday if all goes well. Every day waiting in Hampton can be another step closer to Beaufort. South of Hatteras, warmer weather and closer to the gulf stream. We'll keep you posted.
Log #5 Nov 3, 2018 Location
Having decided to take the ICW south to Beaufort, we are glad we made the call. All hands on deck are happy and morale is high with beautiful warm sunny days and lots of wind from behind. Made 10.4 knots crossing Albemarle Sound this AM after delicious prime rib dinner last night in Coinjock. We should make Belhaven well before sunset, River Dunes for refueling and reprovisioning tomorrow and Beaufort by Tuesday. Hoping to head offshore Wednesday.
Cheers, Capt. Mark and Crew
Log #6 Nov 4, 2018 Location
Record breaker today for Island Girl. Topping 10 kts crossing Albemarle Sound. Coinjock to Belhaven, NC in 11 hrs. River Dunes for a last stop tomorrow and then off to Bermuda and/or St.Thomas (which ever comes first). Stay tuned!
Log #7 Nov 5, 2018 Location
Ahoy from Beaufort Inlet. This will be our last port of call until we get to Bermuda (or St Thomas, which ever comes first). Stay with us by tracking us at www.ocens.com/saltydawg or check our website at www.bluecrabcharters.com. Great weather here today. Hoping for much more along the way.
Cheers! Capt Mark and Crew
Log #8 Nov 6, 2018 Location
Captain and crew enjoyed a fabulous five day cruise down ICW as an alternative to waiting in Hampton for take off. Got to take advantage of some real nice weather conditions that might not have been so pleasant outside. Also got to catch up with some acquaintances that we met last year when Suzanne and I cruised the "Icey W". Our last stop at Beaufort City Dock gave us a nice opportunity to top off tanks and head to Cape Lookout prior to evening departure tonight. We see that a number of SDSA rallyers have gotten underway. Wishing everyone a safe passage. Cheers! Capt. Mark and crew - Out.
Log #9 Nov 7, 2018 Location
Ahoy All! Cleared Cape Lookout around midnight Tuesday. Sailed downwind most the night wth a touch of occasional motoring toward morning. Midway through the Stream as I write. Stiff north wind 20 - 25 w/higher gusts. Close reaching at 7 - 8 knots with reefed main and jib. Waves 6 - 8' . Lots of white caps but very manageable. Just no fishing yet. Maybe on the other side. CP forecast was right on. Love to y'all! Capt. Mark and Crew - Island Girl. Out
PS - Passed S/V Nirvana approximately 0430. Having transmission trouble and waiting for Boat US tow. All OK and did not need our assistance.
Log #10 Nov 8, 2018 Location
Ahoy All! Whew! Flew across the Stream on the northerly then SLAM – right into easterly headwind.exiting. A little bumpy so we played around with port and starboard tacks (going nowhere) until predicted wind shift S enabled us to tack onto onto close reach starboard. Not going fast, 5 Ki’ish, but very comfortable for now. 519 NM to Gibbs Hill. Could be worse. Maybe Bob can get to fish tomorrow while V- berth dries out (leaky hatch under dinghy). Have a good night XOXO
Capt Mark and Crew – Island Girl
Log #11 Nov 8, 2018 Location
Good Evening All, Sailed all night on brisk S wind and as predicted, by AM after squalls, wind went from directly behind and then died. After a fruitless gybefest downwind in crazy steep and confused seas, we did what any self respecting cruiser would do. Dropped the sails and started the engine. (Columbus would have motored too, if he'd only had a Perkins!). Then we rigged the fishing gear and Mr. Bobby caught a small black fin tuna within minutes (He will live to see another day). However, the 10 lb Mahi will not be so lucky. Within the hour, we had tonight's dinner gaffed, cleaned and ready to grill. Not sure what lies ahead, but there is more to cruising than worrying about type weather. Happy hour at 5:00, then dinner - then back to the business of getting to Bermuda. (430 miles). Sorry we haven't been able to join in on the SSB nets as yet. So much going on. Thankful that the seas have settled down and crew morale has been lifted. Also thankful for our Land crew for the message relays and love and support. Capt. Mark and Crew out until tomorrow.
Log #12 Nov 9, 2018 Location
Motored most of the night until light SW enabled us to sail w/no motor at 3-4kts on starboard tack. Nice quiet evening good for sleeping. (Not good for sailboat racing) Took advantage of light conditions this morning to refuel from external jugs. Saving 25 gallons for final sprint into St. George's which will probably be Sunday and include some bashing upwind around the North side to the Cut. There is a nice breeze right on the nose now and it is a shame to see such good wind going unsailed. More fishing later. Glad this in't a race!
Log #13 Nov 9, 2018 Location
Greetings all from S/V Island Girl. It's a beautiful day midway between Beaufort and Bermuda. Motored most of the night but was able to sail (albeit slowly) between 3:00Am and dawn. Billions of beautiful stars and galaxies to guide us until the full sun rose above our bow inviting us to enjoy our third day at sea.Trying to stay on the rhumb line with SSE wind, full main and jib close hauled. Hoping for a little more SW. No chance of reaching BDA before cold front passes this weekend, so we hope to use the stiff northerly to zip us past Gibb's Hilll, into the lee of Bermuda for a run along the south coast and around to Town Cut. Took advantage of light conditions this morning for refueling, a few minor repairs and more fishing for Mr. Bobby. Any queasiness from the Gulf Stream has passed and Capt. and crew are all having a great time. We'll see what The Weeknd brings. Maybe I'll try out that new third reef. From Island Girl - Capt. Mark and crew - Out!
Log #14 Nov 10, 2018 Location
Top o the morning from S/V Island Girl. Gorgeous sunrise at 240 miles E/W of Bermuda. Motorsailed until sunset when predicted S/SW wind began to build - holding us tight on the rhumbline all night. Cut the engine at around midnight and maintained 6+ Kn until sunrise. Fuel in the tank is like money in the bank. Positioning ourselves a little north and east of Gibb's Hill, hopefully to sync with predicted cold front arrival Sunday PM. Fabulous routing from the Parker crew. (Not good for the sea anchor/storm drought business, though - but that's OK with us!). Had a chat with Dawg, S/V Lazy Bones during the night. All good with them as they passed in VHF range on their way to BVI. Our tuna came out of a can for dinner last night, but today is another day. Mr. Bobby feels certain he may catch something today. BTW, TRACY, I rigged up an elaborate safety line system on the aft deck to keep Mr. Bobby on the boat while landing the fish. All good. See you soon in the land of very pleasant living.
Log #15 Nov 10, 2018 Location
Idyllic Sailing Today! Cut the engine this AM and proceeded to sail all day at over 6kts in 15-20 S/SW wind. Still laying Gibb's Hill Light on the south side of Bermuda and expect stiff N winds behind the predicted cold front to finish the job of getting us there.
Mainsail has been reefed in advance and fuel has been topped off with five gallons to spare for insurance. Still 180 miles from Bermuda so, we will probably arrive late Sunday/Early Monday. Protocol is to contact Bermuda Radio to notify them of arrival. We have already submitted the online form. Would like to proceed very slowly along the south coast in the lee of the north wind until daylight, when we can round St. David's to Town Cut., Last time I did this (2005), we had almost identical scenario. Also, same date, November 12th. How coincidental. The only difference is that I didn't wait until daybreak before proceeding to the Cut. The full story is on our website blog at www.bluecrabcharters.com. Title - "Bermuda Harbor Radio, This is Crab Imperial, Over!" Check it out if you have the time or the interest. I do not want to do that again! So, a beautiful sunset is in the making, happy hour and delicious chic ken casserole dinner (graciously prepared by Pam Appleton) is about to be piped. All is well and extra biscuits for everyone as we wait to see what tonight and tomorrow may bring. Expecting a "gybe ho", then a "crash" from everything previously secured on the port side flying across the cabin. That's a job for our chief steward and "ship shaper", Judge Jimmy to work out. Stay tuned - Capt. Mark and crew - Island Girl - Out!
Log #16 Nov 11, 2018 Location
Good Morning from 100 miles W/NW of Bermuda.
Light air last night and light motoring made for slow go. We planned it that way so as to reach Town Cut in daylight. Refueled and reefed down, we were ready to GO when the predicted cold front arrived at dawn. Perfect timing. I'm glad I decided to have the third reef installed (in Annapolis during the seminar). Island Girl is swimming well. Riding like a Cadillac on I95. Wind gusting to 35 with pretty big cresting waves. No fishing today. Also very glad to have had AIS installed just two days before leaving Rock Halll. It's like radar on steroids. Great job by master installer, Scott Hyland in Rock Hall. And... really glad I bought my Heinson boom brake back from Capitan Juan's consignment shop in Rock Hall. All good for the final sprint to Bermuda. As you might have guessed, we are not in a rush to get anywhere and I'm glad this isn't a race. Chesapeake to the ICW to Beaufort, to Bermuda to VI. Not a bad way to spend the winter. Cudos to Salty Dawgs management for class act organization and to CP and crew for spot on routing advice. Stand by for more. Capt. Mark and crew S/V Island Girl
Log #17 Nov 11, 2018 Location
Happy Veterans Day! Great sailing the last two days. No motoring, except for a little last night waiting for the front to come through.Big wind and high seas today made for exhilarating sleigh ride approaching Bermuda. We are just over 30 miles from Gibbs Hill Light and have decided to slow it to a crawl out here until morning. It's a lot easier to navigate out here than it is in there when you can't see anything. Very smooth ride with close reefed main and jib. Good for sleeping. We have contacted Bermuda Radio and are clear to come in. We plan to stay for a week before catching a window for VI. More later. Oh, Had a great pre-dinner sing a long with Capt. Dave tonight on Guitar. Capt Mark and crew - S/V Island Girl
Log #18 Nov 11, 2018 Location
Early morning report: Slugging it out along the south shore of Bermuda.
Long night! Had fabulous sailing for the past two days with post cold front wind. Big seas and good boat speed. Lots of fun, including guitar sing-a-long before dinner. (Too rough to fish)Winds started out from the north then has been veering northeast. We were hoping it would stay North enough to give us some lee on the south coast of Bermuda giving us a nice ride to Town Cut. No luck. Therefore we decided to slow way down some 40 miles NW of Gibb's Hill and round the coast after sunrise. (Did I mention were are not in a hurry?) We sailed with triple reefed main and reefed jib through the night at about 4 Kts reaching our turning point at daybreak. It was a smooth ride in heavy wind and seas, but Otto Pilot kept her right on course while crew got some shuteye. (Albeit, not much) Proceeding northeast now with strong headwind and rough seas. It's supposed to veer more easterly later so that might help. Not too uncomfortable though. W expect to clear customs and immigration this afternoon. Not liking the forecast for St. Thomas departure, but we planned to stay in BDA for a week anyway. R&R just ahead. Best of luck to all Dawgs heading south. Oh, A BIG SHOUTOUT to the folks at Bermuda Radio. They are a class act and most helpful. They have been in contact with us as they track our approach to the island and gave us excellent waypoints to help with our navigation. Next report will hopefully be coming from the White Horse Saloon, where I hope to find some good buffalo wings. All hands on deck for a few hours of bashing upwind. Capt. Mark and crew - SV Island Girl - Out
Log #19 Nov 12, 2018 Location
Oh my Gawd, are we the only ones submitting these long detailed reports?? Oh well, it doesn't cost us any extra, so here goes. Tough going uphill to the Cut today. Wind and waves all big and everything in the boat all wet. Cleared customs and Immigration at 1:30 PM then found a great place to dock at a private residence on sea wall. Too bad the owner doesn't know it yet! However, the customs official and the next door neighbor assure us that Carlton the cab driver and owner of the property will not mind our boat at his dock nor our cushions and clothing all over his porch. We'll see in a few minutes when we get back to the boat. Some people have asked us why we came to Bermuda rather than going straight down. The answer is the same reason we went down ICW rather than waiting around in Hampton - because it's fun!. There are lots of proud Dawg flags flying here along with ours. Down side - Might have to buy a new Hurth Tranny before our next departure. Dave noticed a strange rattling noise that I thought to be static from the radio. Turned out that the idle pin had come out and fell into the bilge. When I saw trans fluid leaking out, I immediately tried to stick it back in. No go, so I stuck it in backwards to stop the leak. Called Trans Atlantic Diesel and was told will most likely destroy the tranny. Not what we need to hear just a mile outside the Cut. However, tranny pushed on for successful arrival at Customs dock as well as a smooth landing at Carlton's place. In fact, the tranny seemed to run better than ever with the pin stuck in backwards. We'll see what happens next. From the White Horse Saloon in St. George's, Bermuda - Captain Mark and Crew - High and Dry
Log #20 Nov 13, 2018 Location
Ahoy All! We're writing from Wahoo's in St. George's tonight. Having a Salty Dawg get together with pretty much all the boats that chose to stop here en route to VI. Bermuda is too nice a place to miss if you are sailing south and have the time to visit. Quite expensive, but, without doubt, one of the friendliest and most beautiful places I've ever visited by boat. Lots of fixing things before the second leg. Got a new transmission on the way from Trans Atlantic Diesel in Virginia. Other than that, we've got everything dried out and figured out where all the water was coming from in the aft cabin floor. Clogged limber hole from the aft most part of the bilge. Also need to do some realignment on the steering cable. No biggie. What is it they say about cruising? - Doing boat repairs in exotic locations? How true it is. They say there are always at least five problems on a boat - and you only know about two of them. So it goes. We will most likely be here until Monday November 19th at the very least. St. George's is a
Fabulous place. We have dubbed our docking arrangement The Ritz Carlton. The owner of the property (Carlton) was very welcoming. He offered to let us stay complimentary, however, I have decided to pay him the going rate for seawall dockage. He is also letting us use his patio for staging our repairs and drying out activities. Could be worse. Stay tuned - Capt Mark and Crew - Out
Log #21 Nov 14, 2018 Location
Still here in BDA - Had to cut all email communication to boat today. So much incoming that we tripled our monthly character allotment. Great wifi everywhere here. New transmission is on the way and otherwise, Island Girl is in ship shape. We really lucked out docking at Ritz Carlton. We have access to full patio which really came in handy for drying things out. Even better, Carlton's next door neighbor, Mickie, boat builder and carpenter with a big time, fully equipped shop has offered to help us out any way he can.Hopefully, we can be back underway by Monday. A word of advice - no matter how rich you might be, consider getting a second job if you plan to stay here for any length of time. Even a rich person could go broke here in no time! Seriously, $25.00 fish sandwich and a $10.00 draft beer is a sobering thought. Good time to start a diet. Hope everyone is sailing safely to BVI and elsewhere. We're quite content here until all repairs are done and weather is as good as can be hoped for this time of year.
Log #22 Nov 17, 2018 Location
Trans-Mission Impossible! OK, here's the story.
Downside - Heard rattling from trans just a couple miles from Town Cut last Monday. Kept it going until we got safely docked at "Ritz Carlton" (formerly Limelight Lounge owned by taxi driver named Carlton, now abandoned except for a few makeshift apartments). Confirmed that trans should either be replaced or torn apart and repaired. Opted for new. Simple phone call to Trans-Atlantic Diesel in Va. and new unit was on its way scheduled for delivery Friday. Snow storm in US caused flight delay and no delivery until after customs closed, so no "yacht in transit" duty waiver until Monday. Meanwhile, I sat in Hamilton for nearly an hour waiting to find out that I could either take the trans with me (by paying $600.00 duty) or wait until Monday to secure the waiver. Well, $600.00 is enough for a full re-fueling (or a couple rounds of drinks at White Horse) So, we wait til Monday.
Upside - We're in a fabulous place that we planned to visit anyway. Weather looks good for later Monday departure. Temps are still in the 70's, even after that NASTY front blasted through over the last two days. One of our crew, Judge Jimmy has an appointment to meet the Head of State, the Premier of Bermuda ("The King of Somewhere Hot"), Meranwhile, the rest of us have an appointment to meet the head. Yes, beautiful public head right in the center of Town Square. Rivals River Dunes. Old trans came out in half hour - hope to install new one in even less time. Several Dawgs got underway today. Looking forward to getting underway Monday. Say tuned!
Log #23 Nov 19, 2018 Location
Underway and under sail! The Salty Crew departed Bermuda at 3:00PM today. Transmission was in hand at 11:00 and was installed and tested out by noon. Refueled, re-beered and sailing a close reach on a rhumbline to STT. Weather is great today and hoping for more of the same. Had a great time with the Bermuda Dawgs. Judge Jimmy got to meet the Premier and I got to meet the head of Fedex. All good. Crew is in good spirits and we are looking forward to some good times in VI. Thanks again to all the Dawgs for great camaraderie while in Bermuda. BTW - for the record, we were planning to stay in BDA a week anyway. Stay tuned!
Log #24 Nov 20, 2018 Location
Headwinds, headwinds and more headwinds! Very frustrating sailing today with light wind right on the nose. So much for the rhumbline! Nice and warm, though. Any chance the rally might want to visit Canary Islands? Could be there in no time. Sailing SSE at just under 5kts. Holding out on motoring to conserve fuel. Island Girl is swimming well and crew is in good spirits. No fish today - maybe tomorrow. Just a brief shoutout to Chris and Chanida from Bermuda FedEx. They'd went over and above to make sure we had new transmission in hand by noon yesterday. Chris, the top manager of the facility actually drove it to me personally in his car. How cool?
Log #25 Nov 22, 2018 Location
Happy Thanksgiving! More wind on the nose today as SW winds picked up to 25+ This morning, completely shutting down our motoring south. Sailing SE and not making much headway against wind and chop. Can't believe how much headwind we have encountered on this trip. Horrible. The best weather window this year would have been to depart from Jacksonville, Fl. north of Bahamas. Where are the east winds?? Anyway, it's Thanksgiving and we are bobbing around in 10' chop sailing southeast. Not much of an appetite as we wait to see what the next cold front has in store if it make it this far south. Stay tuned!
Log #26 Nov 23, 2018 Location
Good morning! Black Friday already? Big break last night as big SW wind and steep confused chop finally eased to give us some breathing room to go south. Wind veered to West and we were able to motorsail in much flatter conditions as predicted by CP. According to Chris, our S.Easting over the last couple of days has put us into position to miss the brunt of the front headed our way this afternoon. That's happy news. As for Thanksgiving dinner last night? Delicious home made turkey Salisbury steak pre-prepared by Cap'n Dave's wife Jackie. Yum! However - do you remember the scene in the Exorcist where everything in the room was flying around? Try to imagine. Too rough to refuel on deck yesterday, so we devised a way to pump fuel from deck tanks directly into the main tank with a Shureflow pump. No seawater into the tank. Looks like more overcast and rain this morning. Getting quite anxious to get there.
Stay tuned! Captain Mark and crew - Out
Log #27 Nov 24, 2018 Location
Trans-Mission Impossible Part 2
Had a great night of sailing last night. The wind came up out of the EAST (yes - EAST) and gave us a very smooth and comfortable moonlit ride along our lay line. Alone in the cockpit, I was reminded of the awesomeness of it all and of the reasons we do these crazy things. Hopes were high for more of the same, but suddenly - a brief squall, then nothing..!!. Back to motoring. Now, here's the problem - after being perplexed as to why we were motoring so anemiclally since leaving Bermuda, we have discovered that the new transmission, while an identical fit, is the wrong reduction ratio for this boat. Therefore, we are motoring very slowly, even at higher RPM's, and burning more fuel per mile than we can afford. Bottom line - we need more wind and we need it in the right direction. Hopefully, the weather forecasts are wrong and we will be surprised. Otherwise, it may take us awhile to make the last 364 miles to STT.
Stay tuned - Capt Mark and Salty Crew - Out!
NOTE: Since this update - thanks to the wind gods, Island Girl is now sailing and swimming well once again! Suzanne
Log #28 Nov 24, 2018 Location
Sailing SW on a gently rolling moonlit sea tonight. Great dinner prepared by Chief Provisioning officer Judge Jimmy and music by Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. Beautiful out here. Since I did not take up sailing In order to motor 800 miles to a destination, nor am I in the mood to deal with the frustration of an anemic transmission, I have decided to do whatever we need to do to maximize sailing, (I've sailed upwind before). Therefore, we will conserve our full tank of fuel for final approaches. No hurry - no worry. Stay tuned. Capt Mark and Salty Crew - Out!
Log #29 Nov 25, 2018 Location
Good morning - We seem to be knocking out two degrees of latitude a day tacking under sail or 120 miles made good. That is actually pretty good, considering we are not sailing in a straight line to our destination, nor are we using our engine. We sailed on port tack through the night until wind veered to south, then tacked to starboard. Hoping to get a lift later today as the wind is forecast to go SW and then W for a bit. How strange the winds have been during this passage. It's like somebody traded the easterly tradewinds for southerly and westerly winds. Had I known, I would have completely skipped Bermuda, run down the coast to N. Florida and left from there. Have to send email for replacement transmission to be sent to American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook. BTW, no fish out here!
Stay tuned...Capt Mark and Salty Crew - Out
Log #30 Nov 25, 2018 Location
WHO TRADED IN THE TRADE WINDS? Wow! Can you believe we are sailing on a STARBOARD TACK beam reach south to STT at just over 200 miles north? It's completely backwards!! I bought this boat because it favored port tack in the comfort department, easterly winds being the norm when saiing south from Bermuda. Anyway, no worries, because we are sailing at around 6kts straight to Red Hook. Finally! When all is said and done, let it go into the record that we did not use our engine to get here. Fuel in Bermuda is way too expensive to waste on an anemic transmission going nowhere fast. Even though we have been plagued by headwinds and big seas, we are feeling good about our progress. We managed to outrun the big cold front and we set ourselves up for a big lift tonight after a day of more sailing southeast. Hoping for more of the same or similar. Stay tuned... Capt. Mark and Salty Crew - out!
Log #31 Nov 26, 2018 Location
Dead Calm: Did you ever see the movie, Dead Calm? The only thing missing here today is Nicole Kidman (and Billy Zane, thank God). Anyway, we are gently motoring at 160 miles north of STT. No sign of trade winds yet. Made partial contact with Stormy on SSB this morning who reported not much wind until Wdnersday. We have saved enough fuel (by sailing) to hopefully get in tomorrow AM. BTW, caught three Mahi Mahi yesterday - and each of them caught a lucky break by freeing themselves as we tried to haul them over the lifelines in a rolling seaway. Maybe better luck today. Nice conditions for firing up the grill. Stay tuned - Capt. Mark and Salty Crew - OUT!
Log #32 Nov 26, 2018 Location
Trans-Mission Impossible - Epilogue: The correct transmission should be at American Yacht Harbor shortly after we arrive!
Very slow going today, but a beautiful day, indeed. No wind - go figure! We have picked up a little wind from the east so we have set the spinnaker. Tomorrow we will get serious about actually getting there. Isn't sailing supposed to be more about the journey than the destination? Think about it, we have had just about every adverse wind situation imaginable thrown at us. Too much, not enough, wrong direction, etc. But, I guess that's sailing. Saw a huge pod of dolphins today that stayed with us for awhile. What a show. Capt. Dave captured some awesome shots. Serious photo contest winners. (Is there a SDSA photo contest?) Mr. Bobby caught a nice amberjack today that found itself on the grill for dinner. Stay tuned - Capt. Mark and Salty Crew - Out!
Log #33 Nov 27, 2018 Location
AHOY ALL! We finally made it! After 34 days together as a crew, we are tied to a mooring at Soloman Bay St. John, the very same spot where I proposed to my beautiful wife, Suzanne, on December 19th 2005. (Check website blog article "Engagement Point"). We finished the drive to VI with a remarkable spinnaker reach at 7-8 Kts for almost 100 miles. We still have over a half tank of fuel and we're all still friends. If adversity is the anvil upon which character is forged, then we've got a bunch of characters on this boat. Tomorrow we check in to American Yacht Harbor to clean up the boat and install the correct transmission, then we are off again for a week of island hopping. Then, First sand Only Mate, Suzanne will arrive around Christmas to get the winter season underway. Thanks to everyone who helped make this dream come to life. Our support crew, Suzanne and Jackie, Chief Mate, Capt. Dave, Chief Engineer, Mr. Bobby, and Chief Steward (recently promoted to Chief Navigation Officer) Judge Jimmy. Thanks to the Salty Dawgs, especially, Hank, Seale and Crew for outstanding organization and running a fabulous sailboat rally. Chris Parker - what an amazing job personally communicating with each boat. If only Columbus had a Chris Parker to call when the going got tough, he might have actually reached the Indies, and who knows what kinds of spices he might have found. I'm sure this was not an easy year for weather routing. This will be the last official Salty Log, but there will be much more to come on our website.
Check in to stay in touch. We've got lots of pictures, videos and tall tales to share should we meet along the way. Fair winds! Capt. Mark and Salty Crew - OUT!
Log #34 Dec 6, 2018 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Ahoy All! I've been asked to pen a few words summing up our passage from Rock Hall, Md to St.Thomas USVI. While enjoying happy hour at the Green House in Charlotte Amalie with Mr. Bobby and free WiFi, I'll try to make a brief report for the website blog.
First and foremost, I and very thankful - happy and proud of our crew: Capt. Dave, Mr. Bobby, and Cousin Jimmy. We braved some seriously challenging situations while underway and everybody hung together despite some unpleasant conditions that presented themselves along the way. Of course, these were mostly weather related. I never anticipated such an abundance of great wind RIGHT SMACK ON THE NOSE. And then, nothing - AGAIN ON THE NOSE! However, we were able to do what any fearless sailing crew is prepared to do - we sailed left, then we sailed right - when most other rallyers motored. I'll be honest - I was not thrilled to learn that our new transmission was the incorrect reduction ratio - thus causing low speed at high RPM. That's not good use of fuel that costs $7.00 a gallon in Bermuda. Therefore, we sailed as much a possible. We arrived with our half tank of fuel to spare.
Second, I am thrilled with the way ISLAND GIRL swam through whatever was thrown her way. High seas, wind on the nose, bad trans - even a leaky rudder post, she sailed like a dream, delivering her crew safely to their destination unscathed. We're thankful for that. I'm so glad that we joined the Salty Dawgs. What a great organization! In every way imaginable!
Our support crew, Suzanne, Jackie, Bob and Pam Appleton, Randi and everybody else that supported us from home deserve a lot of credit. We could not have gotten here without their help.
Finally, it is GREAT to be here! This is the essence of sailing and cruising. The Salty Crew was able to spend some time in St. John (BTW - HORRIBLE ATTITUDE WITH CUSTOMS OFFICIALS - OFFICER STEELE THE WORST!!) , Red Hook, STT, Jost Van Dyke, Cane Garden Bay, The Indians, Norman Island and now, my favorite place of all -Charlotte Amalie, STT. It's been a great adventure from DAY 1. First, a record breaking 22 hour SAIL from Rock Hall to Hampton, Va, a week of seminars and events with Salty Dawgs in Va, a relaxing and enjoyable ride down the ICW to Beaufort. (We were able to meet up with some friends along the way.) A five day ocean passage to Bermuda, A full week in one of the world's most beautiful island nations - not to mention Carlton, the excellent amenities of St. George's and hanging out with other fellow Dawgs. Then - our eight day passage, mostly under sail from Bermuda to St. Thomas.
What an adventure it has been!! Now, I am looking forward to seeing my beautiful First and Only Mate when she arrives on Christmas Day. And then, a winter of sharing the dream with our guests who will be joining us every other week. We have a mooring in Red Hook and will be here until early March when we will start heading back to our dock at Waterman's Crab House for our 21'st season of providing day and sunset cruises.
More to come - stay tuned! Capt. Mark and Mr. Bobby - Out.