Passage to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Saturday, December 20
Miles: 51.4 nm

We woke a little after 6am and started making preparations to leave. I was going to listen to Chris Parker under way so got out the noise canceling headphones, extender cable and finally after a lot of searching, the 1/4″ to 1/8″ phone jack adapter. Now I can listen in the cockpit so I don’t get seasick. Yes!

After raising the Main sail, we raised the anchor slowly because there was a branch that looked like dear antlers with dried vegetation attached and wire. Then the anchored had a large cloth and a plastic bag caught on the head (pointy part) of the anchor. We had also been wandering around last night, so the last 30′ of chain and the anchor ended up aft of the bow and tight, so I needed Phil to reverse to loosen the tension so I could pull in the rest of the chain and anchor up. Finally it was up at 635am. This is the first time that we had so much debris on the chain and anchor. We talked to Seaquel and they had the same when raising their anchor in Chateaubelair harbor.

We motor sailed out of the harbor then changed course to 20 degrees. As we went north and got out of the wind shadow of St Vincent, the wind filled in out of 100 degrees true. We started to sail at 735am on a beam reach. The speed was 6+kts and it stayed that way for 30 miles. The waves at the start were confused 4 footers making a very bouncy ride. After several hours St Lucia blocked some of the seas and the ride was much smoother. 1203pm, We rolled up the jib and started the engine with 20 miles to go due to being in the Lee of St. Lucia. Along the way we thought we saw Tomorrow’s Dawn sailing south and we also saw a cruise ship with 4 of the 6 sails out sailing along at about 8kts per AIS. We motor sailed the rest of the way dropping anchor about 330pm close to Seaquell. We had been trying to get in contact on and off during the trip with Vision Quest using MMSI but all we heard was static when they we trying to talk except for the last time when we heard them but they didn’t hear us. Hope everything is ok with them. The plan was they were to leave Bequia at 4am and meet us on Rodney Bay. We expected them to catch up with us shortly after we left Chareaubelair but they never did. They did not arrive yesterday so hopefully they will come in today (Sunday). (We later received an email letting us know they had a great sail and made it to St. Anne, Martinique by 430pm).

Andy and Sally hailed us on the radio to offer to take us in to check in on their dinghy for the price of beer and of course we accepted thankfully. Now we didn’t have to take the dinghy off the foredeck today.

Customs and Immigration wants only the Captain of the boat to be present, so Sally and I waited in a local bar/restaurant Cafe Olé, for Phil to get checked in. Typically I go with Phil when checking in. Phil first had to go to the Health Office to fill out papers saying if we had been to Africa for the Ebola scare. Then to Customs and Immigration. The Port Captain charges $30EC to clear in and there was a $100EC ($36 USD) overtime charge for checking in on the weekend. Boy, was that steep!!! We want to be sure when going to Martinique that we arrive on a Monday during normal hours!! Andy took Phil to the marina office to make reservations to be at the marina for Christmas with Seaquel and Tomorrows Dawn, but the office was close, and Phil got more EC money from the ATM close by. Phil and Andy joined us and we caught up with life since we had parted in June. Sounds like Andy and Sally had a good summer.

Back at the Boat, I fixed the last sailfish steak, black beans and rice, and warmed up the pumpkin. My fish steak was good but Phil said his was dry and not anything like the first day.

Phil read and I finished the right pink sock. I liked how it turned out and it’s really fancy. We can tell that it’s getting cooler as we have gotten further north. We’ve been having a good breeze blowing in the forehatch while we’re sleeping so haven’t needed to use the fans. In fact, we had ended up covered with a sheet in the middle of the night, gasp

We went to bed with music playing at a local bar until 330am.

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