More sailing please!!!

Projected route – Titusville, FL > Kemah, TX
Gulf of Mexico currents

Apparently I didn’t get enough sailing while I was in the BVI the last two weeks, so I have signed on as a crew for a sailboat delivery from Titusville on the East coast of Florida to Kemah on Galveston Bay, Texas.

If my calculations are correct, our course should be around 1400nm (nautical miles = 1.15 regular miles) and at 7.5kts this should take us about 7 days of sailing to complete the journey. It should be tight quarters on a Beneteau Oceanis 40 from the mid 1990’s.

Hopefully, we’ll be departing Titusville on June 30 and arriving in Kemah somewhere around the 6th to the 8th of July.

Living my dream – Gone sailing, will return whenever…

Sunny and Windy

Lambert Bay

Now that we are on our way back to the yacht basin, we FINALLY got some perfect BVI sailing weather, clear skies, bright sun, and strong 15-20kt winds. We made the most of it and set the sails for a couple of hours of wonderful sailing in before returning to Road Town. After distributing our leftover alcohol, we made good use of the Moorings/Sunsail facilities in Wickham’s Cay.

An exciting cab ride across the island brought us to Lambert Bay where we splurged for a restful night at the Wyndham Tortola.

The Indians, and a night dive at the Sandy Ledges

Basket Starfish

We headed across the channel back to the Indians once again. This time I was lucky to come across several Basket Starfish closed up for the day during our dive around the Indians. Lots of great sea life and a fun little swim through!

After the dive we went out for a sail, then over to Privateer Bay where we were the ONLY vessel in the bay. Quite the treat for our last night on the water. As the sun set, we hopped in the water for a night dive. All kinds of fun, we found a rather large octopus roaming around the rocks on the side of the ledge. Near the end of the dive, we played with several little shrimp, then turned off the lights to enjoy the bioluminescence. Once directly under the boat, we laid on our backs on the bottom and watched the tarpon circling our underwater light on the boat. It was really cool to lay back and watch them feeding, and knowing that we would have to swim directly through them to get back on board Bliss Point.

Lobster Omelets, the Soggy Dollar, and Sandy Spit

Sandy Spit

Once again, the Tipsy Shark cooked us a fantastic meal, we had lobster omelets for breakfast, what a treat! Since some of you wonderful people purchased drinks for us via the Soggy Dollar Drink Board, we headed over to the Soggy Dollar for some morning drinking.

We left Jost Van Dyke shortly after noon and headed over to Sandy Spit, a tiny little island that is barely more than 3′ above sea level. After playing around there for a bit, we headed back into the Sir Francis Drake channel and grabbed a slip at Nanny Cay.

Scrub Island, Coral Garden and Jost Van Dyke

Basket Starfish at Scrub Island

Taking advantage of the facilities at Scrub Island we took the shuttle over to the beach at North Bay. It was magnificent, we had the whole beach all to ourselves,

We left Scrub Island shortly after noon and headed over to Great Dog for a very pleasant dive and snorkel around the Coral Garden. We picked up the wrong mooring ball to find the shark planes but enjoyed a wonderful dive nonetheless.

After threading our way through a heavy rainstorm, we arrived at Jost Van Dyke a little to late to make it to the Soggy Dollar so we stayed in the Great Harbor. The Tipsy Shark provided the best meal that any of us have had in years. The king fish was fresh and cooked to perfection, and the presentation was impeccable.

We finished the evening off with some drinks at Foxy’s where the girls were able to cut the rug with Foxy himself.

Diamond Reef and Scrub Island

Scrub Island

We left Anegada and headed south towards the Dogs. After a pleasant nap under sail on the bow with cotton candy clouds floating overhead we had to drop the sails because of another strong storm headed our way. It was still a little rough when we made it to the Dogs so we skipped that dive and went directly to Diamond Reef. Diamond Reef was a fantastic site for both snorkelers and SCUBA divers.

We were able to grab a slip at Scrub Island for the evening and took advantage of the marvelous facilities at the resort. The pool and hot tub were quite the treat for our weary bodies.

Anegada

Anegada Sunset

Today we slowed things down and spent the day on the mooring ball at Anegada.  We took a boat over to the conch islands, where the locals have been dumping the empty conch shells for centuries. After checking that out, we motored out to the barrier reef for some snorkeling. I came across a small 4-5 foot long reef shark, while Chris, Deana, and Lori found a turtle.

We finished the day off with an amazing sunset and a meal of Anegada Lobster.

Lemurs, Gumptions Nature Experience, and Anegada

All of the mooring balls were taken so we had to anchor at Necker Island.  Gumption showed us all of the fun stuff.  We played with 79 year old tortugas, fed a flamboyant of Flamingos,  and were let loose in a cage with a conspiracy of Lemurs.  The tortuga recently successfully reproduced, this is the first captive reproduction of these turtles outside of the Galapagos Islands. There were even several month old baby lemurs.  A storm came up during our experience, so Gumption took us into Richard Bransons old office to wait out the storm.

We waited out another storm on the hook, then weighed anchor to set sail for Anegada.  There’s something special about sailing off to the horizon that makes this sail so special to me.

The Baths, too much current at the Kodiak Queen, and Leverick Bay

An early start had us arriving at the Baths before the crowd, we were the second boat on site.  Lots of exploring the fascinating geological formations both on land and in the water.  By the time we were finished, there were a dozen boats on the mooring balls with far too many people for my liking.

We set sail north looking for the Kodiak Queen.  After grabbing the mooring ball, Deana and I donned our gear and set off for a dive.  It was quickly apparent that the current was too strong so we scrubbed the dive for another date.

Leverick Bay had a slip for us where we were able to top of the water tanks and set foot on terra firms again.  Sadly, the laundry and shower rooms were under construction so we weren’t able to clean up as planned.

The Wreck of the Rhone and Cooper Island

We did some light provisioning in the morning, then set off for a fabulous sail across the Sir Francis Drake channel to visit the wreck of the RMS Rhone. The RMS Rhone was a UK Royal Mail ship that was lost in a hurricane on October 29, 1867 killing 123 people. Sitting on the bottom in ~75′ of water, she now makes for a spectacular SCUBA dive. There was a bit of a current so Deana and I weren’t able to spend as much time exploring as we would have liked to. Still it was a wonderful dive.

After the dive we grabbed a mooring ball at Cooper Island for the evening.