Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Change of plans... again!

We were planning to take Windsong across the Atlantic this year, but ran into too many problems with VAT, CE certification etc and finally decided to leave her in Charleston and fly to Europe instead.
Se here we are, in Denmark at the  moment, going to France in a couple of weeks.
Windsong is now listed for sale with Intracoastal Yacht Sales in Charleston, and Laurent and I are looking for new adventures in Europe.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


                                                       Charleston City Marina

We have had a couple of great days in Charleston, all of us falling in love with this beautiful place. It is one of the prettiest cities we have visited, and the people are extremely friendly and helpful.
The houses are amazing, many of them several hundred years old. You can walk around for hours admiring the old cobblestone streets and one mansion more impressive than the other.
The first day here we did a horse carriage tour of town, that was a great way to learn some of the history and get to know the place.

                                                 Horse carriage tour of Charleston

In a couple of days we continue North, passing Cape Fear and  Cape Hatteras. 
The Outer Banks as this area is called are notoriously known for being the graveyard for ships in the Atlantic, there are many shallow sandbars that are miles offshore and constantly shifting.  And many many shipwrecks!
We have been waiting for a good weather window for this passage,  but  it looks like we have to wait until the end of the week before leaving. And Charleston is not a bad place to spend a few more days.

                                                          Beautiful Old house in the South of Broad quarters

                                                                             The colorful houses in Rainbow Row

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fort Lauderdale & St Augustine

                                            Arriving in Ft Lauderdale

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on the 15th of June after a nice and calm overnight sail from the Bahamas.
When we got to the marina Mike was already waiting for us, and we all went out to celebrate our arrival.
It felt sooooooooooo good to be back in the US, and we were all totally overwhelmed by the variety of food, shopping and everything else. After spending the last 3 years in the Caribbean it is great to be back in the civilized world!
It was our plan to spend 4-5 days in Ft Lauderdale and then continue North, but tropical storm Debbie was lurking around us so we just had to wait it out.
Sam and Andrew decided to leave us and start their road trip thru the states, so they rented a car and said goodbye to us after 5 days of eating and shopping and having fun with us in Ft Lauderdale.
In the marina next to us we found our friends Brent and Amanda and their little daughter Zara, we had not seen them since we left Barra de Navidad and it was great to spend some time with them. And Amanda is a great chef, so we had some delicious dinners together.

                                                    Tropical storm Debbie over the Hall of Fame Marina

We never felt the full power of tropical storm Debbie, but for more than a week it was dark, rainy and windy, and a few nights we had more than 30 knots of wind. It felt good to be in a marina and not out to sea in this weather.

                                                       The beautiful beach in Ft Lauderdale

When the weather cleared up we were ready to continue North, and after spending two and a half weeks in Ft Lauderdale we said goodbye to our friends and left the marina early in the morning, hoping to arrive in St Augustine the next afternoon.

Leaving Ft Lauderdale, the 17th Street Bridge opening for us

The gulf stream was very helpful and we kept a speed of about 9.7 knots all the first day, but then the current suddenly stopped in the middle of the night. This meant that we arrived at the St Augustine inlet after dark the next day, so we spend the whole night going around in circles in front of the channel. It is too dangerous to enter at night, due to shifting sand banks that can't be seen in the dark and a very narrow channelNext morning at 6:30 we entered the channel, waited for the bridge to open and found our mooring ball right in front of the center of town.
We spend the first day exploring this charming old town, and have decided to stay here and celebrate Independence day before we continue to Charleston.

                                The view from the mooring field in St Augustine, the oldest city in the USA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

St Thomas - Bahamas

In St Thomas we finally found the hardware necessary to install our solar panels, so now they are mounted and working!

Our new solar panels!

Leaving St Thomas
We left St Thomas thinking we would have a quiet, calm passage to the Bahamas. And it was, for the first 5 minutes or so.. . We had not much wind, but 5 days of big swells that made the boat roll and roll and roll, making it nearly impossible to cook, sleep or do anything at all.
Cockburn Town, San Salvador
When we finally arrived in San Salvador island we were all very tired and happy to get a good night sleep. The next morning we went out and did a dive, the drop off started right outside the marina and continued down to 2000 ft or more. Nice and clear water but not a lot of marine life.

Diving San Salvador

San Salvador is a very quiet, dusty little island, a bit like Anegada in BVI. Not much for us to do, so the next day we continued towards Eleuthera island where we arrived a day later.
Cape Eleuthera marina was a nice surprise, there were nurse sharks swimming around the boat and we went in and did a little dive with them. We also rented a golf cart and explored the area.

The nurse sharks in Cape Eleuthera marina
The crew on a road trip
When we left the next afternoon we finally had calmer seas, and we sailed all night in 2-3 m of water inside the Eleuthera lagoon. Early in the morning we arrived at Atlantis marina in Nassau where we spend all day in the aquapark. Crazy feeling to do a waterslide passing thru a pool full of sharks!

Tomorrow morning we'll be on our way to Ft Lauderdale where Mike is waiting for us, we're planning to spend a couple of days there getting new batteries and doing some little repairs on the boat.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

At sea again

I guess it's time to start uploading the blog again, after spending the last 8 months in BVI and not doing much sailing.
We've had a great time in the North Sound, Virging Gorda, but now it is time for Windsong and crew to continue the trip towards Europe.
We have two new crew members, Samantha and Andrew (colleagues from DiveBVI)
We left Leverick Bay Friday, sailed to Tortola to fuel and then continued to Sopers Hole to meet some friends for a goodbye dinner.
Sunday morning we left early and arrived in Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, 3 hours later. We are planning to spend a couple of days here before continuing to Bahamas and Florida. Our next stop will probably be San Salvador Island in the Bahamas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


 I know it's been a while since our last blog update, so here comes the latest news since we arrived in BVI on the 21st of October. The last leg of our journey from Panama was the Dominican republic to BVI, and it also turned out to be the hardest part. The wind was against us 25 knots the whole way, and it took longer than expected to get to BVI. When we finally arrived after 36 hors or so we anchored off Norman Island and spend the night there. The next morning we continued to Virgin Gorda. 
We spend the first two weeks in Yacht Harbour, the marina in Spanish Town. Dive BVI where I work has its headquarters there, and it is also the "capital" of Virgin Gorda. It soon turned out that the marina was very expensive, so we moved the boat up to Leverick Bay in the North Sound, where Dive BVI also have a dive shop. So now Windsong is sitting two slips from the dive boat, and I'm literally 5 steps from work. Very convenient, and it's also a very nice place here with pool, beach, restaurant and a very lively beach bar with live music every evening in the high season. We might need earplugs!

The dogs´favorite beach at Mosquito Island

Afternoon cocktail in the pool

    The beach at Leverick and the mast of Windsong in the background

  Painkiller, the famous local cocktail

Map of BVI

 Saba Rock, probably the smallest island in BVI

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Panama - Haiti - Dominican Republic

Yesterday we arrived in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic.
After leaving Bocas Del Toro we had 4 days of flat seas and no wind at all, and a single day of big swell before arriving in Haiti where we made a stop to see our friend Jelle. We stopped in Port Morgan and had a nice lobster dinner before we continued the next day. It took us 48 hrs to sail to the Dominican Republic, and almost all the way we had 12 ft waves and 25-35 knots of wind in the nose, so needless to say the trip was less than pleasant and we were all exhausted when we finally arrived. It is almost impossible to cook, sleep or do anything at all when the boat is moving in all directions and you are nearly thrown out of your bed when trying to get some rest.
After a good night of sleep we all felt much better, and today we've been on a trip to the capital, Santo Domingo. Thanks to Jelle we finally got solar panels for the boat!
The weather here is cooler and much less humid than Panama, and the place is nearly bug free.
All in all things that contribute to much better sleep!
We'll be here until Tuesday when we continue on the last leg to BVI, hopefully with calm weather and less swell than when we arrived.