Saturday, 24 May 2014

Finally Heading South ….. May 2014

11 – 20 May 2014:  St Thomas, USVI to Basseterre, St Kitts – 17 17N 62 42W

DSC_0078Playing the Waiting Game

After the festivities of the Carnival ended the anchorage at Charlotte Amalie emptied out rapidly, yachts headed north for the American Summer Season, many started heading south to Grenada and Trinidad for the Hurricane Season and the rest of us just stayed – we were waiting. 

Our watermaker drive assembly arrived and skipper installed it.  Although the watermaker was now functioning properly the quality of our water was not as good as it should be so we decided to replace the membranes.  P5120011 We had asked the local dealer if they had our membranes in stock when we ordered the drive assembly and they had said yes so we hadn’t ordered them in case we didn’t need them (at $1000NZ we hoped we wouldn’t need them).  So along we went to purchase two and whoops, no they only have one in stock but they had ordered more and should have them in a day or two.

We decided to wait, we wanted to get the watermaker sorted and we had more jobs to keep us busy, so wait we did.  Meanwhile Rob and Sarah were still waiting for their ship to arrive to take Serafina deck cargo back to the UK (see footnote below) so we kept each other amused as best we could!


P5030084Our First Tropical Wave

Our days were busy, the ever present “to do list” finally had a few items ticked off – all the shrouds/chain plates and some stanchions were rebedded at deck level (a time consuming and fiddly job done every few years to keep the water above deck and out of our lockers!).  P5080002Our gear cable was removed and checked for signs of wear – we hadn’t taken it out before and getting to grips with just how it went back together kept us both entertained or was that baffled for some time. 

Meanwhile the watermaker membranes had been placed on backorder, not what we wanted to hear but there was a Tropical Wave weather system heading our way so we weren’t going anywhere anyway. The weather was ghastly for 4 days, it rained and rained – who needs a watermaker anyway!!  The sewing machine was set up and whirred away for days.  Badly needed new covers for our outdoor chairs were made, cockpit cushions and squabs were refilled for more comfort, broken zippers on our dodger windows were replaced, a host of little jobs I had been putting off all got completed. P5120002

The Waiting Is Over

Eventually the weather settled and the sun came out again.  Our watermaker membranes arrived, Serafinas ship did not.  Skipper worked hard on refitting the watermaker, we flicked the switch and now have a fully functional, much quieter watermaker making perfect water again – job done.  Meanwhile Sarah had been very busy emptying lockers onboard Serafina and a huge food hamper came our way.  It was just like Christmas, all sorts of goodies now fill Balvenies food locker, lot of treats in store for us, thanks again Rob and Sarah for all the bits and pieces that now have Balvenie as their new home. 

P5160001We had our final farewell dinner ashore in Charlotte Amalie (we had already had 4 farewells but we just kept coming back to each other!), Serafina still didn’t have a firm arrival date for their ship and we needed to get moving.  This time it truly was goodbye.

Time To Knock Some Miles Off 

We left the US Virgin Islands the next day and sailed, (to windward of course)  back to Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands and just stayed a night in the pretty, quiet and flat anchorage of Great Harbour

We had a weather window to move southeast 130 miles to St Kitts, the best opportunity we could see for the foreseeable future.P5120004  There was so much more we wanted to see and do in the BVIs but we need to start moving south also.  Hopefully we will return early next season to enjoy more cruising in these lovely sheltered waters.  Meanwhile we set sail southeast in light winds, hard on the wind all the way.  It was a slow overnight trip but we eventually dropped anchor late afternoon in the commercial port area of Basseterre, St Kitts.  It was a rolly unappealing anchorage but the town anchorage was far more rolly and a reasonable nights sleep was much needed.  So we cracked open the rum bottle, had an early dinner and rocked n rolled ourselves off to sleep

Welcome Back To The Eastern Caribbean



Serafina is For Sale

Serafina is a Najad 46, Centre Cockpit Sloop, owned by Rob and Sarah since new in 2007.  They have kept her in immaculate condition and maintained her to the highest standards – she is, quite simply, a beautiful boat, inside and out.  She comes complete with an army of extras which has her totally set up for coastal and offshore cruising.  They have cruised the Med, crossed the Atlantic, sailed the Caribbean and journeyed up the American coast in her. Like Balvenie she is a serious offshore bluewater cruiser. P4300096

If you have dreams of selling up and sailing off over the horizon and just can’t wait till Balvenie becomes available then Serafina could be the boat for you.  She is being shipped (one day!!!) to Southampton, and will be lying in Lymington on the English south coast awaiting her new owners.  Check out Serafinas website for more details.

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