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December 17, 2005

We are now back in Parker, having left the Rose at Village Cay. The last month has been spent fixing sails, leaks and damage from leaks. We took some water in the electrical panel and had to have wires replaced and a lot of cleaning. This took ten days of hanging out in the marina which was nice at first but became old quite quickly.

If you are in need of repairs Village Cay in Road Town have a lot of really good tradesmen who are fast, attentive and the work quality is very good.

After escaping from Road Harbor we took the boat to the Bight on Norman Island and were expecting Hugh and Charlene O'Neill on Leprechaun to show up shortly and join us for dinner. Later that afternoon Ben and Candy Wilson from New Wave showed up so we asked them to join us. About sunset as we were enjoying drinks on the aft deck Hank and Jare Whitmore pulled in on the Journey and joined us shortly. So began a round robin impromptu drinks and dinner that included this group as well as Chris and Marsha Kellogg on Endorphins and Mark and Janel Seier on Nana Maria.

After four days of reveling in the Bight with new friends Sue and I took off for Sopers so we could check out the next day to St. John. We needed to find a UPS office so we could box and ship our spinnaker back for a recut.

I must mention that in June we purchased a all purpose cruising sail from Elvstrom Sobstad and had finally been able to fly it as we left the Chesapeake. The sail was spectacular but appeared to be three feet to long in the luff. After arriving in Tortola I sent an email to Sobstad to see if they could send specs so I could have the sail recut in Road Town. Phillips Sail and Canvas had repaired our jibs, had done work for me previously on another boat and was going to do the recut if I could specifications from Sobstad.

Now rather than taking the easy out, six months after the sale, they asked me to send the sail back on their Fedex account and they would repair it for free. I cannot say how pleased we are with this level of quality service from a sail maker. The sail is in transit back to the BVI or is already there waiting for us. Great company, great people, great service and I really like their sails.

After getting on the internet in Sopers I found a UPS and Fedex on Tortola so we set off the next morning to Village Cay to ship our sail. This was a most interesting encounter since the UPS shipper had NO packaging material and looked at the bagged sail with huge eyes. Our cab driver said no worries we will make our own box so off we went whizzing by stores looking for large boxes being thrown away. After stopping at a shoe store on Waterfront picking up several smaller boxes and two rolls of shipping tape we ran back to UPS and began building a box. The ladies at the store must have thought us nuts as cut cardboard and taped it back together, after about 15 minutes and a roll of tape we had would looked like a box that might make it to Cleveland in one piece. If you are interested in starting a business in Tortola they are in desparate need of someone to package and ship for yachts in transit.

So the box is gone and we once again escape from Road Town and head to Gorda Sound to just hang out for awhile. As we went east that morning I could not get the genoa to unfurl and noticed it did look funny compared to before. After looking at the manuals it was obvious that I had put it on in the wrong slot and furled it in the wrong direction. Not a problem I thought just pull it out and furl it correctly, but each time we pulled on it the halyard swivel wanted to wrap and I knew we were going to have to go up and disconnect the halyard to drop the sail and perform whatever repairs were needed at the top. So now the plan was to hand in Gorda, fix the sail and go sailing. We spent the first night at Saba Rock but moved the next morning to Leverick because the wind was really whipping through Saba.

Leverick was not a lot calmer so we spent one night there and moved over between Bitter End and Biras Creek hoping the hill would shade the wind. After three nights of spinning on a ball and no reduction in wind speed we set off for other places winding up in Trellis Bay which was flatter but the wind still whipped. The first night there I turned on the wind instrument and the winds were in the high 20's to low 30's. This was the best night sleep we had since leaving Village Cay and I think it was because we could only hear the wind and it was like the passage all over.

Sue had been dreading going up the mast and wanted to wait for a calm morning before doing so. Two days later up she went, the sailed unfurled instantly and plopped to the deck. We greased everything we could, checked for binding of the furler and hauled the sail back up. It works fine but still has a bit of tightness in a small area of the rotation that will need professional review before we damage something expensive.

While at Trellis we received a call from Pablo and Mary Vitaver, who owns Alegria a Hylas 44 that had been docked in Village Cay. We agreed to get together for dinner on Saturday at Skyworld which is a beautiful restaurant on top of one of the tallest mountains on Tortola. Pablo and Mary showed up with Ditmar Weselin from Romany Life. Ditmar had lost most of his rudder on the trip from Hampton and had been stuck in VIllage Cay since arriving. The evening was great, food and view were spectacular and the company more than enjoyable. Pablo and I agreed to meet the next day at Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke.

Sue and I left Trellis around 0900 the next morning and the wind was right on our stern so we motored the entire way arriving around 1200. For those who have not been to Great Harbor there are no balls and anchoring can be a challenge as there is mostly a hard bottom in the middle and the depth is over 25'. We dragged the anchor for about 50' before we got her hooked and Sue applied 1800 rpms of reverse for a bit to ensure we were stuck. We also had over 150' of chain out which is needed for the hard bottom.

Later in the afternoon we picked up Pablo and Mary and went ashore for drinks and no seeums. The bar at Foxy's had run out of insect repellant and Pablo and I went back to the boats for more. While gone Sue who had no repellant on picked up over 100 bites on her legs, it was really wild looking. So the moral of the story is, wear lots of repellant when you go to Foxys. Again great food and company.

Since we were getting close to our trip to Colorado Sue and I left early the next morning to sail to Peter Island so we would be close to Village Cay were we were leaving the boat. I found during this that the genoa will not slip through the slot between the staysail stay and if we are going to do a lot of tacking I need to remove the stay and only use it on passage.

Peter Island in Great Harbor was as usual, very quite, few boats and just a great place to sit and relax. We feed the fish during the day, mostly yellow tail snapper, which is always great entertainment for us. We tried that evening but all the fish had gone elsewhere.

The next morning we were off to Village Cay, ran into Candy and Ben Wilson as well as Anne Poor, had a good visit and left early the next morning.

Colorado is cold and I was ready to go back to the islands the first morning after we arrived. Sue got to experience Denver traffic and if it were not for being with family and friends for the holidays I believe she would have gotten back on the plane as well. Being home is good but the boat is becoming more like home and home becoming more like a place you go to visit.

Happy Holidays to all.








































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