Sunday, January 11, 2015

Peter Island Sojourne

Returning to the BVI and after a night at Leverick Bay in North Sound, we have now moved down to great Harbour on Peter Island with the intent to stop for a couple of days and work on some boat projects. What more could we have to do, you might ask!

Well, remember that we bought a new dinghy in St. Martin? We have been hauling two dinghies around with us since then but with an agreement to sell our old dinghy to Da Life our two-dinghy life is (happily) about to come to an end. We lifted the new dinghy onto our bow for the crossing from St. Martin and after three weeks of sitting in Marigot harbour it will be good to give its bottom a scrub before we drop it back in the water. We'll reinstall the engine and then clean up the old Carib before handing it over to Rick tomorrow. Very pleasantly we have made arrangements to meet up at The Bight on Norman Island since Rick is down on vacation on Da Life, which he and his wife co-own with Jay and Debbie.

Farewell to our old Caribe. But I bet things will be jus' fine on De Life!
Now that we are back in the beautiful clear waters of the Virgins, Henry got busy and has given Mowzer's bottom a real good scrubbing. Even though she was pressure washed in Nanny Cay back in November, Caribbean water, especially harbour water, is very fertile and we were starting a bit of a farm down there.

All squeaky clean again, well almost... And water so clear you can see the keel and rudder.
The last couple of months have been like a break-in period for us where we have learned what we did right and not-so-right with the projects we completed back on the dock in St. Thomas. One item we need to change is the layout of our solar panels. We've found that the curve of the bimini on the port side is too great and angles our two mid-size panels away from the sun just a little too much when we are at anchor. Given that the winds here are predominanlty from the east or some variation thereof, our panels need to be on the starboard side of the boat as much as possible. We had tried to avoid the boom shadow with our original placement but now realize that it will be much better to pull the boom far over to port and move these two panels as far over to starboard as possible, still leaving room to walk on the bimini to access the sailbag. This involves removing the whole bimini and sewing on new attachment plackets, although we are going to leave the old plackets so that if/when we travel somewhere where the winds are from the west, we can move the panels back to a more optimal position.

Panels in their old position, but too angled for our usual position at anchor.
New plackets on top, ready to catch more rays, once we swing the boom to the side.
Finally, and only if there is time, we purchased new life-lines to install on both sides and at the transom. Rather than going with wire strand and swaged fittings we have decided to try Dyneema line which we can splice ourselves and easily adjust or repair as needed. We have all the line and the fittings and I've done a practice splice, so this just needs us to remove the old lines and install the new. However, I think getting some of the old fittings off may be a bit of a challenge.

Dyneema and my practice splice, now just 11 more to go.
On top of all that, this Peter Island anchorage is a wonderful place to sit. We are tucked up in the eastern corner, completely protected from any swell with just the winds whistling over the hill to keep us cool. The water is deep, we're anchored very close to shore but still in 40' of water, and we can see the bottom so no problem making water here. And finally, the views looking north west over Tortola are stunning, especially as the sun sets and the distant lights start to twinkle. Again, after a month with the noise and lights of a busy harbour, it is almost mind-numbing to sit in a dark, silent anchorage with the full panorama of the stars overhead.

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