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January 2006

It was nice to get back to Colorado to spend some quality time with family and friends. While we are having a great time bumming about in the Caribbean, we truly miss those in Colorado, in particular son Chris and the pets.

No white Christmas this year in CO. Which means it was neither as cold nor as shocking to our systems although we did have problems with the truck not warming up.

Lots of parties, had friends and family over and visited friends, nice trip but I was glad to get back to the boat and the warmer weather. It has been cool at night here in the Virgins and we have even had to pull up the sheet occasionally.

January was a big month for us on the Rose as we had guests. My sister Kathy came down from Florida to spend a week and although she has historically been touchy on the sea sickness side, she did great and had a good time. We did some sailing and sat around at a few of our favorite haunts. It was really great to see her and she was a great first guest. The gal is a first class traveler having brought only one small bag and she seemed to do fine with that.

Also in January we had Bill Cagle and Barb Lott on board after they spent a week on Lazy Bones. Bill and I had partnered originally on Lazy Bones and he has maintained ownership with a new crew. We did quite a bit of stuff, pretty much going someplace new everyday. We of course had to find a place to watch Denver in the playoffs and Bill and I parked at the bar in Sopers all day to ensure a good seat in front of the TV. I had tried to pace myself on the drinking side since we were going to be there for eight hours or more but about midway through the game I started in with Margaritas. We met some nice people from Pittsburgh who were on a bareboat and they took pity on the losing team fans and kept my cup full. Not really certain how Bill and I found the boat that night but we woke up in the right place the next morning.

The next day we went to St. John and anchored in Caneel. We took the dinghy over to Cruz to check in and spent some time walking around the city. Many years ago we found a jewelry store there that had Spanish reales set in gold for pendants and had purchased one. Found the same shop but no more reales. After returning to the boat Bill, Sue and Barb went snorkeling along the beach. They found after awhile they were too tired to swim back to the boat and waved for me to bring the dinghy. Well you’ll never guess what, the dinghy refused to start. I messed with everything and all seemed in order. I finally check the fuel tank and found it EMPTY. It seems with four persons in it the fuel consumption is very high and we had returned from Cruz Bay on fumes. Bill finally swam back and the girls were able to hitch a ride later.

We felt the dinghy might need professional help since filling the tank, cleaning the filter and everything else failed to get her going. Having wanted to explore Coral Bay we decided to head over there the next day and seek a mechanic. After we arrived we phoned and were told it would be a week, so Bill and I went back to work on the Honda. On a lark Bill decided to try new spark plugs and voila, first pull she fired right up.

We spent one night there in Coral and headed up to Virgin Gorda to prepare to go to Anegada for the lobster feast at Anegada Reef Hotel. Had a very good and fast trip up, wind and angle were perfect to make it in one tack. We ran into Hank and Jare Whitmore of ‘the Journey” in Leverick and had a wonderful dinner there at the old Pussers. Really great food if you are in those parts.

Next day we motor sailed under light wind and had a nice, fast trip over. That evening we had a great dinner and dodged a heavy rainstorm on the way back to the boat.

It was really good to have Bill and Barb on board. It has been over a year since we last sailed together.

The Virgins have been fun but we grow tired of the bareboat rat race, trying to dodge lake sailors who believe they have to go as fast as possible even as the rudder comes out of the water. It has been interesting watching the various companies and the clientele they cater to. Sunsail comes to mind as we had to literally dodge one of their boats mid channel. I will admit that being on a port tack I was the give way vessel but considering when I first noticed the bottom paint on the Sunsail boat it was apparent I would cross well in front, it was only about ten minutes later when Sue pointed out the boat was closing on us. With a quick look at our heading it was apparent the fine Sunsail vessel had altered course by about 20 degrees with the intent of making me cross to his stern (as the stand on vessel it was his requirement to hold his course which he did not). Although we dodged that one with some ease it was the race into the mooring fields that always got my attention. I had never seen a sailboat try to pick up a ball going downwind at five knots under power. When the boat hook was ripped out of the persons hand we nearly fell out of our boat laughing as the Captain threw off his hat and quickly dove head first into Trellis Bay to retrieve the hook, meanwhile leaving the Sunsail boat heading into an already full mooring field with NO ONE at the helm. Needless to say the bare boaters are great for that economy but I have had enough for one year and we will head south in hopes of not having to dodge crazed racing bare boaters.





























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