St. Martin to Virgin Gorda, BVI’s

Thursday February 19 to Friday, February 20
Miles Traveled: 81.6 nm

Overnight to Virgin Gorda

We had moved Changes out of the lagoon at St Martin on the 2:30 bridge and anchored off the beach. Once again following the 8 coordinates we wrote down after a cruisers Net, we saw water 5.8ft under the keel to be the shallowest water. We got Changes ready for a 9 PM departure then I took a nap. Around 8:45pm, we started to do the final things to depart and we put up the main sail. At 9 PM Lorraine raised the anchor and we motor sailed out of the Marigot Bay anchorage. Once clear of anchored boats we turned off the engine so we wouldn’t catch any fish trap floats. We were going 4 to 4.5 knots so I rolled out the jib. This helped the speed as it went up to 5+. The seas were blocked by Anguilla for the first 2 hours and the wind angle was good enough to keep the jib full. The wind kept going south causing the jib to flapping so we changed course to 300 from 290. As time went on we got more north (right) of the rum line. Lorraine came on watch at midnight and kept the wind angle in the 130s to keep the speed up and the jib not flapping. By the time I came on watch at 3 AM and we were 5.6 miles north of the rum line and the sea was up and Changes was rocking and rolling a lot. We decided to roll up the jib and motorsail the rest of the way. This we did and though the boat was rolling a lot the auto pilot kept us on course with an adjustment from the watch once in a while. With the motor on, the speed was over 6 kts so the arrival time went down from 330PM to 10:30 AMu. We got to the first Virgin Gorda way point at 10:20AM and were in the sound and anchored next to Prickly Pear Island at 11:30.


We dropped anchor about 1130am after our second try. The first try dragged and after we raised the anchor, a charter boat left where there was shallower water and that’s where we went. We were tired and hungry, not having anything substantial while on passage. We each had the other half of a sandwich left over from the passage, pre-cooked beets and the tortolini pasta salad. This place has good protection from the NE to E winds but is rolly a lot from the boat traffic during the day. Soon we got the dinghy into the water and outboard on the dinghy. While Phil went in to Gun Creek to check in while I took a nap. In a reverse of what usually happens, Phil slept a lot better than I did when he was off watch.

Phil was back about 330pm and had met Bob from SV Walkabout at Customs. They had sailed the entire way and had a rougher passage than we did getting caught in a squall and it was so rolly back and forth that a partial can of bilge paint opened and spilled. We’ll get together with them tomorrow after everyone rests up.

I made a one-dish meal of chopped up chicken breasts browned, with cut up zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and the last of the pearl couscous mixture from Trader Joes. It was good and we have enough for another meal, which we always like.

When we first got here, we were able to get wifi from a hotspot, but as the day progressed, it stopped working, so we read in the evening and went to bed about 1030pm after falling asleep on the settees.


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