Bob, Don and Ron's
Most Excellent BVI Adventrue
Here are the chronicles of what happens to 3 lake sailors when they are given the keys to 33’ sailboat in the BVIs.
We were very disappointed in the BVI this year! Temps only in the eighties, winds at 25 knots to thirty on the second day with high teens and low twenties the rest of the week. Worst of all--here's some of the awful scenery we had to put up with all the time. We're never going back. Can you imagine power boats in the BVIs, God awful
Here's from the first day, Wednesday 3/08/06. We left Roadtown at 1015 hrs. Winds were calm around 3 to 6 knots but out of the NORTH. Changes to come and that they did. It took us forever to cross the SFD Channel to Salt Island. Our intent was to stop at the "Rhone" for a snorkel over the wreck and onto the Bite at Norman Is. However by 1400hrs and with the wind dying to nothing we scrapped the Rhone idea as well as the Bite idea (we'd never make it with these winds). We doused sails and motored to Cooper Is. snorkeled at the rock after grabbing the ball. Coming back "MEZERON" ( the boat's name) I saw dark clouds over the mountain tops. Don dingyed over to the point facing the Baths and there she was a-comin. A squall. we raced back to Mezeron closed the hatches just in time for the spike about 25 to 30 knots. It rained hard for 15 minutes however the winds did not let up much for the night. The front has arrived!
Wind 25 to 30 maybe a gust to 33-35, white caps with spray blowing off the tops of the three to four foot rollers. Not much sleep even though we were at a ball. I rigged a double sling, cleated to the foredeck cleats, through the fairleads and through the ring of the mooring ball. I kept worrying that the lines that I rigged would chafe through. I checked them at 0200, 0330 and 0430 hrs. With breakfast and morning hygiene completed we again changed our plans from beating through this chop to the Baths to a downwind run to the Bite at Norman Is. We dropped the ball at 1015 hrs. Headed into the wind and deployed a reefed jib alone. As I fell off to fill, Mezeron heeled twenty five degrees to port but immediately stood back up for the broad reach to Norman. I gave the wheel to Ron who's teeth were about to fall out for grinning so much. We unfurreled the jib completely and reached Norman in less than an hour--5 n. miles. We opted to continue past Flanigan's island and do a circumnavigation of St John Island and head to Jost Van Dyke for the evening. With the barometer rising, the wind began to subside to the low twenties and high teens. We hoisted the main at "Rams Head" Saint John Island to the #1 reef set a new course to enter Pilsberry Sound between St.Thomas and St John. Past Cruz Bay, Two Brothers Rocks, Johnson's Reef and back out on the North Side of Great Thatch and some BIGG WAVES. We made it to a crowded anchorage at Great Harbor at 1640 hrs. Exhausted
OK! we're at Foxy's where the big guy comes out to play at 1100hrs. My crew, Don and Ron get their picture taken with this icon. I, however as you can see, get my picture taken with a sexually aroused orangutan. The PSC burgee is still there but much dirtier even than last year. Our neighbor in the harbor accused us of crossing our anchor rodes with his. After weighing anchor and proving that we didn't foul, he weighs his and is stuck on the bottom. Not even a "sorry" or "thank-you" from the bastard! We get under way at 1230hrs and beat to Cane Garden Bay for Friday evening. It's a short hop so we beat out in the Atlantic six to eight miles and tact back in 15 to 20 knot winds. We're on the ball by 1600 hrs. and have dinner at the Myett's Restaurant. The music played from the Beachfront Club until 0230. Tomorrow it's a beat to Marina Cay and dinner at Donavan's Reef.
3/11/06 Saturday---We're under way at 1030hrs under full main and 110 jib. Our destination is Marina Cay through the Monkey Point Passage. The wind is on our dead reckoning noise so it will be a beat. With three tacts going out into the Atlantic 5 to 7 miles and back. The wind is at high teens and frequently the low twenties. Seas are 5 to 8 foot rollers. There are very few boats out this side. We think they are all in the SFD channel where it's probably calmer. Our first tact is a 035 degree heading. By 1400 hrs we were at Monkey Point doused the sails and motored through the pass with the wind on our noise. Now I know I'm being a wuss but I believe in staying out of the "red zones" set up by the chatterers. I know all you hot shot sailors with the big balls (Snyder, Ace, Phillip, the Bix) go between Little Camanoe and Beef, we however took the Little Camanoe and Great Camanoe Passage steered to port and headed to Marina Cay. We were there by 1500 hrs and there were no balls available. That early and no balls. We cruised for a while and none became available. We dropped the hook by 1530 hrs and settled in with cocktails and made reservations for dinner at 1830 hrs on channel 12 with Donavan's Reef.
Don and I took quite a few pics on this leg and I'll send them tomorrow without any of my jibber.
TO ALL SAILING DUDES AND DUDETTES!
I know I promised no talking but I can't help rubbing it in! Descriptions of photos are ; Ron Wedekindt AKA helm hog! ; some sailor that obviously needs work on his 36 pack! ; White Bay Guana Island, It's just before Monkey Point This beech is beautiful but private with a day anchorage,; Marina Cay. : Ron, Me, Don, and Pam (the owner of Donavan's Reef Restaurant) What a gal. She picked up our bar tab. Naturally I drank the top shelf!
Side note---After dinner back on Mezeron. Sleeping arrangements were as follows; Don in the forward cabin, Ron slept on the converted table in the main salon, I had the aft cabin. I retire first to my "after birth". Ron has been complaining about mosquito bites on his legs that happen at night. We come to learn that these bugs are called "no see-ums" Neither Don or I have any. There is a smoke detector right above the table in the main salon. Being ever conscience of potential problems, Ron moves to the galley to spray his legs with "Off" Unfortunately there's a propane detector right under the stove that he sets off. It sounds like a dump truck backing up with a steady beep-beep. Fu&^%g loud I'm sure the whole harbor is waking up. Trying not to be the alarmist, I let it go for 5 minutes opting to nurse my throbbing head in bed. I hear a lot of commotion between Don and Ron in the main salon. When finally I open my door, I find Ron with the smoke detector in his right hand and it's battery in his other hand. To make matters even funnier Don is blowing on the detector trying to give it fresh air. After fruitless attempts to shut off the smoke detector we realize that it's the propane detector not the smoke detector, making the noise and simple push the reset button located under the Nav. table, and it immediately quiet downs the harbor.
Don Sproul’s rebuttal
You heard of Bob's story of the propane detector set off by Ron spraying "OFF" in the main cabin & making us looking somewhat stupid -- now here is my two cents
I just settled down in my V-berth State room when Ron spays his legs with "OFF" and suddenly I hear the smoke alarm. Imagining the worst I jump out of the V-berth to see what's going on. Ron quickly explained what happened and we try to shut off the smoke detector. After depressing the reset button it continues it God awful shriek. As I try blowing fresh air into the damn thing, and Ron fans it with a chart map it still keeps going! Ron & I then proceed to remove it from the cabin ceiling. After a minute or so we get the bastered down & Ron removes the battery. Oh - yes the alarm is still going!! Finally after about four or five minutes of this noise Bob emerges from his "after berth" and sees Ron holding the smoke detector in one hand, and the battery in the other and very calmly asks "Is there something I should be aware of." At this point both Ron & I are sort of bewildered and break up laughing.
Running around trying to find the new culprit we FINIALLY determine that the alarm is coming from the propane sensor box under the nav table and after I find a reset button with a flashlight there is silence.
My opinion of sailing in the BVI's --- Next best thing to SEX!
Did I enjoy it? -- Well
We were going to go to Virgin Gorda Sound today but decided to go to the "Baths" instead. We weighed anchor at 1030 hrs. set the #1 reef (winds at high teens and low twenties). It was a close hauled beat to the Baths where we arrived at 1145 hrs, had some lunch and spent 3 hours of incredible exploration of these rock formations. The Baths are granite rocks that have been piled on top of one another at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda. The interesting thing about the Baths is that the British Virgin Islands are all volcanic except for Anagada which is coral. These Islands are at the seventeenth parallel so we know that the glaciers didn't get down this low. So the question is #1 where did these rocks come from and #2 How did they get here? They are huge!!!!! The size of a bus and bigger. One can walk between, under and around them with water slowly washing in and back out. I'm particularly proud of image 052 where it's documented that I saved an entire group of people by holding this rock up while everyone escaped! "Don't worry about me, save yourselves" I screamed. Anyway We dropped the National Parks day ball at 1530 hrs and headed over to Manchioneel Bay for the evening. One last note on the day --someone left a cap off a tube of sunscreen--All over the cockpit sole. Ron tried to turn a winch handle and instead of turning the winch his feet slid in circles on the floor. after an on the way clean-up we reached the bay by 1630 hrs and grabbed the last ball available. Whew! Don't ever want to drop the hook at Manchioneel Bay. It's very unprotected.
Monday 3/13/06 After an early morning squall, we awoke to a rainbow fanning across Sir Francis Drake Channel. After seeing hundreds in my life they never seem to become boring. We are running out of fresh water aboard Mezeron. Fresh water is a commodity in the islands. We can buy it for about $.10 per gallon or get it for free at the Moorings Marina only six miles away across the SFD channel. Being the cheap bastard that I am I opt for the skip across the channel for reprovisioning. We drop the ball at 1030hrs and reach across the bay to Roadrown and are there at 1205hrs. Lines and fenders to starboard, dock A, slip 29 was the dockmaster's instructions. Don says we need butter and he wants real milk not this soy milk shit. So he comes back with a pound of butter (which we didn't need and a half gallon of 2% milk--real milk????) We were watered up by 1245hrs. but another brief squall forced us to wait 20 minutes to leave. After leaving Roadtown it was a port reach with full main and jib to Treasure Point and the Caves for some snorkeling. Another brief squall hit us at Pelican Rock where we doused the main but there was no spike in wind just rain. We overnighted at the "Blight" (Bite) where we took power naps preparing for the infamous Willie T. RJ, Mike, and Gary--Two years ago you guys and I were there. Compared to this year that episode was a Sunday School Class with Sister Misconception. Sorry! I have to leave it at that! We closed the Willie T at 2430hrs, back on Mezeron by 2440, passed out by 2442 hrs. I do remember a violent squall at 0400 hrs where I got up and tried to make my way forward to the foredeck to check for chaffing on the mooring ball sling. The wind was pounding at 30 and I thought "F$%@ it" It's gonna blow me off the deck. My head hurts too much to do this and besides If we break free we'll have a lot of time before we run aground at Saint John Island. Tuesday is our last full day.
Tuesday 3/14/06 This will be our last full day of sailing. First I need to back up to one picture from yesterday. The blurry one. It's a picture of a Paupack Sailing Club burgee that I affixed in Roadtown on the first day. If you look close you can see the "P". I guess the shutter speeds on these digitals are too slow to freeze the action. Anyway this burgee is semi-retired. It is the burgee that we flew from Fort Lauderdale to Tolchester last spring when John Ace, Mike Anderson, Brian Delany, Ron Wedekindt and I sailed Brian's "Dreams Come True" to its new home in the Chesapeake.
The squall at 0400 hrs brought more wind. We left the Blight (Bite) at 1030 hrs and headed for our destination Trellis Bay. We needed to be in Trellis tonight because Ron had a 1145 hr flight from Beef Is. the next day. We would leave him off and Don and I will return Mezeron to Roadtown by noon. With the wind at 25 we set the #1 reef on the main and deployed the full jib. Ron took the first tact at the helm doing 6 -6.5 knots. We made it past Roadtown on the first tact but the second seemed like going back to Peter Is. Not a good tact if we were racing but this was a leisure sail. After a few more tacts Don took over the helm. We passed Trellis Bay by 1330 hrs and decided we had more time so we sailed toward the Dogs where we began creeping up on a 42 foot Beneteau. Mezeron is a 33 footer. They had a full main (that was trimmed like shit) and a 150 genoa deployed. We were not racing these people but I was sitting on the bow pulpit and I could hear the winches clicking one at a time for adjustments. THAT PISSED ME OFF! I went back to the cockpit and told the guys that these bastards are racing us. With a few adjustments of our own and within 20 minutes we were along side, to weather and passing them out with a reefed main and 110% jib. How demoralizing! We exchanged smiles as we blocked wind. We gave a pleasant wave. I'm sure they wanted to give us the finger. I could hear their female companions bitching them out. Donnie's smile was knocking his ears off and I think his pants were wet. The message--DON'TF#@K WITH THE PAUPACK SAILING CLUB! After we cleared they tacted off to port like a dog with its tail bitten off and the remaining stub tucked between its shaking legs!
We had a victory lunch of sandwiches and beer. Our provisions are very low. I made Donnie a sandwich consisting of a pound of butter (that he bought but we we didn't need) wrapped with a single slice of baloney. We reached Trellis at 1500 hrs where not a single ball was to be found. We motored looking for a place to drop the hook but I began to panic when I read 6.5's and 7's on the depth gage. We motored to Marina Cay but again no ball to be found but we did find anchorage. All our hard booze is gone. We broke open the complementary bottle of Mooring's rum and toasted the day and the completed trip.
Such pressure! Today will be the first day since the 7th of March that I will have to be somewhere at a certain time. Mezeron must be at Roadtown by 1200 hrs. How does the real world do it? The attached images are moon rises on the 14th at Marina Cay. Full moon on the evening of the 15th. We weigh anchor at 0830 hrs and motor the 1/2 mile over to Trellis where now we find plenty of balls. We grab one and Ron prepares to disembark for his 1145 flight out of Beef Island Airport. We make our good-bys and Don dingys him over to the shore. Don is back aboard by 0900hrs and we are on our way to Roadtown seven miles away. The winds are out of the east /southeast at ten minus. Making great time we sail toward Salt and Peter Islands and just for shits and giggles we did a few jibs that can be violent but not in these light winds. I was determined to make this a perfect landing with a crew of two at the Mooring's Marina. After calling the Dockmaster our assignment was A dock Slip 23 with fenders and lines on port. I requested some assistance from personnel being that we were short handed. After Don and I went over and over how the docking would be done it was time to execute. Odd number slips are on the marina side of the dock so we would have to motor between A dock and B dock find 23 and slip in. With fenders deployed to port and our docking lines carefully affixed to the deck cleat and threaded under the bow and stern pulpits, we led the bitter ends over the top of the pulpits so we could simply either jump onto the dock or throw them to the docking personnel. I shortened the dingy painter so it would not foul Mezeron's prop. everything was perfect--or so I thought! Between A and B docks I saw the docking personnel waiting for us and identifying the slip. Donnie went forward to throw the bow line. I would throw the stern line when we were in. The bow enters the slip, I shift to neutral and now adrift, Donnie toss the bow line--perfect--I throttle in reverse to brake Mezeron, stopping her in her tracts--perfect! I throw the stern line to the other docking personal. I shift the engine back to neutral, shut her down like the true professional that I now think I am. When I turn for congratulations and high fives I realize what I have done! Mezeron has two backstays coming aft from the masthead to both corners of the stern. When I threw the stern line it was under the stern pulpit OK but I threw it over the top of the backstay. The docking personnel is pulling against the backstay! WE all got our yucks over that one. What a ironic ending to a great trip. O Yeah! "NeverF@#k with the Paupack Sailing Club." After cleaning up and the debriefing with the customer service staff we bade Mezeron good-by and headed to the airport.
This concludes the still images and the log of the trip. On behalf of Don and Ron I hope you all enjoyed our little adventure. It was meant to be entertaining for you and not "rubbing" it in. I have 7 or 8 video clips that I will start sending out one per day starting Monday. We love you all and may God bless the good ship Paupack Sailing Club!