Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | September 1, 2011

Time on the Hook

N 18° 26.5′  W 64° 45.5′

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

This is the longest stretch we have spent without marina time – 25 days and counting. We enjoy time at anchor, and there are an abundance of wonderful places to drop the hook here. The only uncomfortable part is that it has been extremely hot some nights when the breeze dies down, making it hard to sleep. We run the generator and AC for a couple of hours before bedtime to cool the cabin but usually don’t run it all night due to the fuel requirement.

So what is a typical day like at anchor? Bob starts his day with mechanical checks – best done in the early am before the engine room gets too hot – and studying the weather. He gets up way earlier than I do, usually well before sunrise, and often naps in the afternoon. Some days he has routine maintenance or repairs that take more time depending on the nature of the task du jour. On sea days, the captain is busy almost all of the time, so he really enjoys the days at anchor.

A large part of my day is spent taking care of basic needs like cooking, laundry, maintaining inventories, cleaning inside & outside which takes somewhere around 4 – 5 hours per day. We aren’t talking about gourmet meals or excessively high standards of cleanliness. Food preparation takes a lot of time, especially for one whose best dinner plans in the past involved making reservations. We dine aboard most of the time which is another huge change from our past vacation cruises.

Most days we get to shore – if only to walk the dogs. When we are in a harbor with good internet service we both spend lots of time on-line to keep up with mail and personal business. Shopping excursions to search for any needed fresh items can easily take a couple of hours depending on logistics. We both try to keep up on researching and planning for upcoming destinations. After we visit the Leeward and Windward Islands in early 2012, we will have some big decisions to make about where we will spend the next hurricane season and our future route back to the States.

Both Then & Now: Bob could easily spend all of his non-waking free time reading


The only change today is electronic books have replaced most of the paper ones. Bob is burning up his Kindle reading sci-fi and murder mysteries and making up for many years of little time for his favorite activity


I spend free time keeping up the trip photos and blog, reading & exercising. The Kindle helps provide my fix of non-fiction reading materials and current events since I have very few paper books aboard. Exercise consists of aqua exercises & swimming, small weight training, and walks ashore when I get the chance. Kayaking is a work in progress. Since I am a novice and travel solo I am cautious about where and when I venture out. I’m trying to learn basic Spanish via a computer course and studying the US Coast Guard Captains course materials. I also enjoy spending time each week trying to keep in touch with everyone back home via whatever means I can. Being so far away for such a long time has reinforced the importance of staying in touch with family & friends.

We don’t have TV, but enjoy watching a DVD from a TV series each night. We have gone through the whole Stargate series (started before we left home) and have moved on to Battlestar Galactica. One of the nice traditions of the cruise is when anchored or docked we don’t “work”, other than cooking, after 5:30 pm – sometimes earlier depending upon when “Happy Hour” is declared, so evenings are our favorite time on the Mar Azul.

There is a lot more to learn about ship operations and cruising, and I don’t envision becoming bored any time soon. My biggest surprise is that so much time is spent taking care of basic needs and I’m worried that the trip will go by too quickly to meet all of my cruising goals.


Bob helping to prepare dinner on the boat . . . no, wait . . . that was an earlier trip about 20 years ago . . . hmmm . . .


A younger Elaine also took more turns at the helm . . . no auto-pilot then . . .

We are watching Tropical Storm – or is it a Hurricane again? – Katia and tomorrow will have to make some decisions about how we will handle this new threat. The forecasters say the storm is going to make a turn away from our area beginning tomorrow am. It hasn’t started turning yet, and the storm is at a latitude of 16.1. We are at a latitude of 18.2. If the storm doesn’t turn as forecast it will be heading our way and our opportunity to run back to the marina at Palmas in good weather will be limited.  Shall we trust the forecast?

We’ll check again in the am and then make the call. It is so nice here in the BVI & VI, I’m hoping we can stay longer.



  1. Elaine, thanks so much for the update and for your excellent description of life on board. The Hines family is enjoying following your trip very much. Enjoy yourselves and stay safe.

  2. Trust Bob’s prediction in the morning! I say stay put and enjoy more time in the BVI’s! But, I don’t have years of experience studying those weather charts… No matter what decision you make, NEVER second guess after the fact! Whether in Palmas or BVI’s, you are still in paradise! Make the most of every day, just as you have been doing!

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