Recently in Caribbean Images from 2008 Category

Back in Boston and looking forward to some fine New England sailing with Elizabeth. Of course, we have the sail-the-Caribbean on our own boat fantasy. Who would not. It is a beautiful place and the sailing is superb.

Some of the sights one sees follow.

Anegada Island in the BVI is a low island north of Virgin Gorda. It is usually a pleasant three hour reach from North Sound in Virgin Gorda. The harbor holds about 50 yachts at anchor or on moorings. Ashore, the harbor is ringed with outdoor dining restaurants featuring the famous Anegada Lobster and fresh, fresh fish.

One cannot see Anegada from any of the other Virgin Islands. On a clear day, one can see all the VI from Anegada. Upon arrival in the harbor, Ruddy Turnstones visit and demand attention in the form of cracker crumbs. They don't seem to go for the chilled white wine or a runny brie, however.

Back in Virgin Gorda's North Sound, the fleet of super yachts, charter boats, and a few cruisers are busy doing the Caribbean cruising thing: party, party a bit more and then finish up with a party. One night a large group from a fleet of eight super yachts had a party with live band, cookout, etc. That night, Vixen point rocked until the wee hours. We liked the music. A couple on my boat tried to get into the party. They got a few twirls around the dance floor before being politely turned out by a super yacht officer. Next morning as we had coffee on deck, we watched the super yachties as one boat discovered a sign in blue masking tape advertising a Mirabella as "4 Sale." Laughter and taunts from the others as a scowling skipper supervised removal of the offending ornimentation.

Sometimes we see some small yachts. A few are noteworthy, Whisper, an Albin 27 from the Maryland was seen in the BVI and Antigua. I tiny little Swedish 20 footer showed up in a few harbors in the VI. It had the look of having been out a long time. My favorite is a Pogo 30 footer from France with mom, dad, and three young children aboard. Ty-Rando sailed from Brest, France to the Antilles (another term for the Caribbean). They are now in Bermuda making their way home. I saw them in Dominica's Prince Rupert Bay just before they departed for St Martin and on to Bermuda and home. The family looked excited to get under way.

Thinking of Dominica. Elizabeth and I had a few happy days there exploring. It was a few years ago as I skippered the race boat, Three Harkoms. During my most recent sail to Dominica during a training cruise we experienced a real cruising event. We fouled a piece of floating fishing net. Of course it was at night. Of course there was not a lick of wind. We stopped the engine a drifted in fickle winds until morning. Just after sunrise, one of our crew made the dive and freed the yacht from the net. Ashore, we passed off the trash to a fisherman who said he'd put it to use. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Back in the USVI for my final cruise of the season, we spent time at all three major USVI islands. A remarkable feature of the US waters is how clean they are. Pollution regulations work.

Great St James Island has a nice anchorage called Christmas Cove. In the early morning, I got a picture of two interpretations of "cruising yacht." The large vessel is the old IOR maxi, Kialoa 5. The other an old classic ketch.

St Thomas is the loading port for many of the yachts transported overseas. Here is an image of an old Waterman Lines LASH (Lighter Aboard Ship) now converted to yacht transport. Will Averisera fit aboard? Inexpensively?

St Croix's Buck Island National Park is stunning. Walking trails on Buck Island are beautiful. Swimming around the island is no less stimulating.

More to follow.

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