Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | October 14, 2011

Puerto Rico to St. Thomas

N 18° 19.8′ W 64° 56.9

Water Island, St. Thomas, USVI

We left Palmas del Mar as planned on Monday. After stops in Culébra, St. Thomas and St. John, we will take a couple more weeks to enjoy our very favorite cruising spot, the British Virgin Islands, before the big day on November 7th when we will have the boat hauled for bottom painting at Nanny Cay. After the boat work is completed we will look for that perfect weather window for the overnight trip to St. Martin. I should clarify – Bob will be looking for a “good, safe” window. I’ll always be searching for calm winds and flat seas.

Conditions on Monday approached my limit. We spent the afternoon steering from the lower helm where the motion is not as great. Winds were about 15 knots or so – not so bad – but seas were in the 4 – 7 foot range with additional swells coming from the east and later from the north. Bob says this will be a good travel day in the winter months here when it gets extremely windy. Although I am finding my motion tolerance has improved over the past six months aboard, I do not looking forward to venturing out in this kind of weather for lengthy trips. We might be spending a LONG time in that lagoon in St. Martin! Since we plan to spend several months in St. Martin it will be a good location to rendezvous with visitors, and we are looking forward to that possibility.

We stopped at our favorite Culébra anchorage, Dakity Harbor, and tied up to one of the free park mooring balls. It is an amazing location. Even with all the wind and surge coming right at us from the southeast, the reef provided wonderful protection and the anchorage was almost as smooth as glass. After checking the forecast we decided to spend Tuesday there and travel again on Wednesday. The swell was forecast to subside, although the winds would hold steady before picking up on Thursday through the weekend.

On Wednesday we made the 3 ½ hour trip to St. Thomas. The ride was a little smoother except for some suddenly rough and confused seas in one spot that seemed related to the tidal flow. We decided not to tie up at a marina since they are expensive here in St. Thomas and there are anchorage options. We motored through the pretty beach anchorage next to the airport, then decided it would be best try to find an anchorage closer to town where there are dinghy docks. At some point we want to leave the dinghy ashore and rent a car to explore the island.

The anchorage at Honeymoon Bay, just inside the harbor off Water Island was pleasant enough the first night. On the second day we got more roll, and had a better opportunity to test the new roll-stopper device. It seemed to moderate the motion, but it was still uncomfortable at times. We decided to try to find a better spot farther into the harbor.

We dropped the anchor several times before settling near Sandy Point on the west side of Water Island. Deployed the roll stopper and all was comfortable. We are just across the harbor from the cruise ship dock where the Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, often calls. Not particularly enjoying the cruise ship crowds, we made sure the Allure is not going to be in town during our time in St. Thomas. Although it would be interesting to have a front row seat while they dock that mega ship.

We have been a little lazy since arriving and have not arranged our shore day yet. Bob is enjoying time away from the marina and chores and is appreciating the shipment of books he received from his pilot friend Steve, who has similar tastes in reading material. We have good internet here, and I am enjoying catching up on correspondence, researching our future destinations and working on the blog. The Spanish lessons are on hold for now and I have pulled out a French refresher course in preparation for St. Martin and the upcoming French-speaking islands.

Honeymoon Bay anchorage near St. Thomas, with a pretty beach ashore. Those little swells in the water don't look like much, but make an uncomfortable roll when they hit the boat sideways.

Wrecked boats can be spotted all along the shore here in busy Charlotte Amalie harbor. Heaven knows what hazards are under the water and out of sight. This sunken sailboat is one example, and we came close to another one that was fully submerged. It's a shame they don't clean up the harbor.

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Responses

  1. I’m glad to hear you are still headed for St. Maarten! We will be on the island from 2/11- 2/25/12, so hoping to hook up with you! I’ll be following your blog and we are close on FaceBook, so I will know where you are in February!
    Stay safe and ENJOY! Say hi to Bob!

    • That would be awesome and we will keep in touch. The plan was to be there through January, but it might be nice to stay a little longer. I’m hoping we will find the Lagoon to our liking. We hear it is quite busy there in the winter season, lots of mega yachts, and the water not so clean – i.e. can’t use the watermaker in there – but a very sheltered place to be in windy weather and lots to see and do. We can take the dinghy to both the French and Dutch sides easily. Only need to go through customs if we move the big boat. If the weather calms, we can explore the anchorages around the perimeter of the island. Hopefully we can take the boat to your favorite place – Isle Pinel- at some point. It looks like a gorgeous place.

      Elaine Ebaugh elaine@ebaugh.net https://marazuladventures.wordpress.com/


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