Friday, February 26, 2010

Ahoy, Matey!

Yeah! We officially have our ASA Bareboat licenses! What a week... we sailed completely around Tortola, in order to practise maneuvering, navigating, mooring and anchoring. Our instructor, Captain Erin, did a fine job! And she even let us make the odd stop for fun things too! Hee hee! Along the way, we met up with some amazing folks from Pennsylvania. Bob and Lori (I apologize if I don't have the spelling right!) were also learning to sail, and they were taking lessons from our Captain's hubby, Captain TC. It was great to meet them and we spent a couple of evenings enjoying the local attractions as a big group. After spending two nights at different bays on Jost Van Dyke, we sailed to St John today to clear customs. Then we motored over to Red Hook on St Thomas, where we unloaded our belongings from the monohull and moved aboard an absurdly luxurious catamaran! Next we made a trip to the market to get our provisions for the week, and after a brief lesson in sailing a cat this weekend, we will be on our own... look out! Ha ha, just kidding. Sandy and Pete are excellent shipmates, and we are all really looking forward to exploring more of the region.
The BVI and USVI are far more rugged than I expected, since the majority of the islands are volcanic. But they are still very beautiful and the water is gorgeous! What a fabulous place!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Upon the Ocean Blue

Well... internet is pretty much non-existent around the BVI... at least from onboard a sailboat... so I have to make this short and sweet! We set sail from Nanny Cay on Saturday, and headed over to Norman Island where we snorkeled around the rock and reef formation called The Indians and then moored at Pirate's Bight. Sunday morning, after uber practice at catching mooring balls, we sailed to Cooper Island and moored in a beautiful bay after some more fabulous snorkeling around the Wreck of the Rhone. We wrote our first test last night and we all passed! Yay!! Today has been a long day... After spending a few hours in the middle of the night, untangling our keel from the mooring ball pendant, we got up early and sailed up the Sir Frances Drake Channel, from Cooper to Virgin Gorda, and we learned how to execute the all important 'man-overboard' recovery drill. Then we went north, around Beef Island and several other small islands, and came in via the northwest passage to Marina Cay. Now we are moored here for the night, and we'll continue on around the BVI (Jost Van Dyke) and into the USVI over the next few days.
I have been finding it fairly intense; although it's not nearly as crazy and hard as I thought it was going to be! I haven't really felt seasick or anything either - we've been busy and it keeps my mind off of things. And... the best part... today we saw two sea turtles and a pod of dolphins! How lucky are we! It was awesome!
Well, the rest of the crew finally found the elusive Bushwhacker (a tropical drink) and are ordering one up at Pusser's Bar on Marina Cay as I type this... so I'm going to join them!
Sorry that there may not be many posts on this trip, but I'll do the best I can! We are having a superb time and hope all is well with everyone back home!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Wow... we hit more than a few airports today (YYC, DFW, SJU, EIS)... but we made it! To Tortola! Yeah! Tomorrow, we have a bit more time to explore Nanny Cay, and then it's on to the boat and out to sea for us - I can't wait! I'm not sure how the posting will go while we're sailing... but I'll keep in touch as best I can.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



I've been back in Canada for less than three weeks... and the winter blahs are getting to me already! The grey chilliness is very demotivating. Hence, I am super stoked to be leaving in about 48 hours for much bluer skies and warmer temps!
I haven't even looked at my camera since we returned from St Lucia, so today I forced myself to get outside and find something to take a picture of. Frosty, frozen berries on leafless bushes aren't that great of a subject... but it was the best I could do. And I decided that I really like sunny, sandy backdrops better than snow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seven more sleeps...

In just one short week, we'll be sailing around the British Virgin Islands! Yeah! However, I am currently swimming in a plethora of books and maps... there is more to read and learn than I ever imagined! But it is all good; I still have a few free days to study, and it is super interesting. I'm hoping to get through all the material this weekend or early next week. And... I've been watching the weather and the average temp is +28C in Roadtown... Whoo hoo! That in itself is major motivation!
Anyway, the weather here has certainly shaped up - it was clear and sunny and not that far below zero today. I'm sure we are just being teased though, since it is still February. Oh well. We'll be gone until the 9th of March, so I really shouldn't complain - we have been fortunate to miss a big chunk of this year's nasty winter!
My biggest problem at the moment is deciding what camera gear to take and how I'm going to pack it. I'm thinking that, on a sailboat, there won't be much reprieve from the humid, salty air. Do I take the Pelican case? Or just the all-weather LowePro pack? Maybe I should skip the SLR rig altogether and make do with the point'n'shoots... hmmm... I still have some time to peruse this subject. Anyone have any suggestions?
Of course I'll take a laptop and keep up with the blog... Todd now has an i-Phone and has assured me we'll have an internet connection no matter where we are... so we'll see how that goes! Pete and Sandy are joining us, so stay tuned for some fun shots from our amazing upcoming holiday!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

**PHEW** Imagine the FedEx guy's face, when I flung the front door open as he was getting out of his delivery truck... and practically leapt off the porch to grab the envelope from him as he came up the sidewalk!! Of course he had no idea he was holding the most important thing I've ever owned... my PASSPORT!!! It's back! Yaayyy!! Last weekend, as we were coming through Pearson Int'l in Toronto, I was obviously not paying attention and dropped my prized possession... somewhere between baggage and security. Oh, the horror!!! The few saving graces of the event however, were that I definitely knew the approximate whereabouts of said possession, and also, it happened on the way HOME from vacation, not on the way there. That would have been a complete gong show! Still, how much of a dumbass am I!
Anyhow, the Customs and Border Services folks in Toronto were all fabulous, and I am tremendously grateful they have a process to deal with important lost documents. And trust me, my very important document will never be lost again! Oh happy day!
Now, I have a few last minute details to attend to with respect to our trip to the BVI and Puerto Rico... which I am super relieved will not be affected by my lack of a passport... I am finally not stressed and am getting excited! Yeah!