Monday, April 9, 2012

A Sailing Passage

Just as predicted (for once) the winds came round from the east at about 15 knots which made for a fabulous day of sailing from St. Croix to St. John. We upped anchor 8:45am and by 3:30pm dropped it in Hansen Bay in Hurricane Hole at the east end of St. John.

Excitement for the passage was minimal although we got caught in one squall that dumped an incredible amount of water on us and had us wishing there was some way we could funnel it into our water tanks – for a free fillup! We also kept an eye on one freighter that appeared to constantly be on a collision path with us and as we got closer we could see that he was really just drifting westward with the current, obviously awaiting the appropriate time to head into port. Unfortunately as we came up to the point where we needed to deviate our course to avoid him, there was a particularly nasty squall – what do you call it when it is bigger than just a little squall? - running down onto him. We decided to divert considerably behind both him and the rain/wind and managed to avoid both very nicely.

Our other excitement was an escort of 5 dolphins running ahead of our bows.

As we approached the east end of St. John, we were particularly happy with our destination since the rest of the island and all of St. Thomas were almost invisible in rainfall and clouds. Hansen Bay made a peaceful anchorage for the night with only a few other boats around. By late afternoon we were sitting contemplating the state of our stomachs when the folks from the boat in front of us popped over. Karl and Gail who have been making their way down from Maryland since early in the year made our acquaintance and then returned after an exploration of the bay to enjoy a couple of bottles of wine and snacks into the evening. This is definitely a fun component of being out here – you never know who your neighbours will be and the fun and interesting stories they will tell.