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 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies

Little Harbour, Peter Island, BVI
This journal is a log of all the messages from Susie & Lance. For pictures, please see the Gallery.
Sunday, January 19, 2003.
    Back in one of our favorite spots. We left Christmas Cove, and went back to Brenner Bay, St. Thomas to see if the chain was in. This involved anchoring in a somewhat questionable location, so I (Susie) stayed in the boat, while Lance dinghied in to the Budget Marine Store. The chain was in, but in a barrel and they couldn't find the end. So three guys ended up tipping over the barrel and pouring chain out, cutting the wire around sections until they found the end. Getting the chain into the dinghy means you haul it over to the dinghy using a cart and then with help from someone standing nearby, you unload the chain from the cart and into the dinghy by hand over handing the whole two hundred feet into the dinghy. Repeat process to get from dinghy to boat. We pulled up anchor and headed back to a mooring in Caneel Bay on St John, where we could dinghy in to Cruz Bay. In the morning, after taking care of errands in Cruz Bay, we sailed over to Red Hook, St. Thomas, to pick up the shower hose which had actually gotten ordered and delivered! We dropped anchor, and I waited in the boat again, while Lance dinghied over to the store. From there, we sailed back to BVI-- Great Harbour in Jost Van Dyke, where you can clear customs and immigration. Somewhere along the way, we discovered that it was Friday instead of Thursday, so we had to hurry up, because we wanted to get there before the weekend -- you have to pay extra to enter on the weekend. It was a fast sail, 6 - 7+ knots. We got anchored and through customs, before the 4:30 closing time, had an
embarrassing adventure we'd rather not talk about. Next morning, we left for Road Town, Tortola, where the Radio Doctor had fixed our radio/cassette player, and everything closes at 2pm Saturday, and doesn't open until Monday. The weather guy said scattered showers. They weren't very scattered. So we got soaked, several times, as we tacked back and forth up hill to Road Town. Made it to Road Town 1pm, another anchoring, Susie hangs with the boat, Lance dinghies into the store, and then we took off for Little Harbour at 2:45. A fast reach across to Peter Island, heading straight into another squall. We tacked back and forth, and the rain stopped, and the skies cleared so we could see to go into the bay and anchor. This is the spot where you drop anchor and back in to shore, then swim ashore and tie a rope to the stern. Lance swam ashore and tied the rope, and then went to examine the anchor. The anchor was not set, but meanwhile another, much bigger boat was backing in beside us. He kept swinging over towards us, and then driving forward, trying to get next to his friends on a boat already anchored. Very exciting, with Lance in the water, dinghies buzzing around, boat going back and forth etc., and Lance is really trying not to get run over. Finally, they gave up, we untied, and pulled up anchor and moved to the other side, where we anchored solidly and had somewhat less drama.
     It was a beautiful evening, and I decided it was time to try out my oven, and see if it works. I made a chocolate cake, but it got burned on the bottom and sides, and the oven kept getting hotter, even after I turned it off, so I decided that for my next attempt, I would preheat much more,
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and wait until I got the temperature starting to go down before baking. My cheese biscuits were very successful, but the experiment is incomplete, because we ran out of propane during the baking, so there was an unusual factor affecting the oven temperature. Fortunately, the boat has a second propane tank, and it even has propane -- always discovering things in your boat, you know. So another first, first time we changed the propane tank -- reverse threads.
     Today is Lance's birthday, so we've been taking it easy, amazed that today is so sunny, clear and calm after yesterday's multiple squalls. Since it is calm, we decided it was time for me to go up the rig and fix the lazy jack that has been jury rigged for the last week. We got out the bosun's chair and safety harness and discussed this for a while, so I could build up courage, not fond of heights. And then we did it. There were cheers from a neighboring boat, and they took pictures, so I'm hoping I can get some.
    The Deliverance boat just came around -- they come by these remote places, with ice, ice cream, beer, wine, sodas, bread. We bought some ice and bread, and they pointed out that there was a large barracuda hanging out under our boat. The water is so calm and clear today, you can just look down and see the fish. There is a turtle who hangs out in this bay. He swims by occasionally sticking his head up to say hello. He's not as big as the turtles we saw over by Cruz Bay -- those guys were 3-4 feet across, this guy is just a foot or two. There are lots of conch, and way too many of those evil sea urchins.
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