Well, I don’t know where the time has gone. It is ages since I took the photo as we were exiting the lagoon into Simpson Bay and thence heading back to St Thomas with our newly acquired used dinghy on the deck. It was a much easier and less eventful overnight passage than on the way to St Martin; downwind sailing in winds ranging from 5 to about 17 knots and initially in the company of 3 or 4 other boats that exited the lagoon with us, then in the early morning by dolphins playing in our bow wave for what seemed like a 1/2 hour, what a joy.
We headed straight to Charlotte Amalie as our friends, Sue and Ash, were putting their Moody 47 onto a ship (see photo) the following day and we had offered to have them stay onboard Timing until their flight back to the UK. They were fantastic guests and were very understanding and helpful with our preparations for the Salty Dawg Rally. We unfortunately experienced more engine issues on our way back to Tortola, we just couldn’t get the revs to go above about 2000 rpm so our speed over ground dropped to about 3.5 knots in the brisk head winds. At least it didn’t die on us this time. We headed straight to Penns Landing where Second Wind is moored because we had expected to be prepping her for a sea trial on Wednesday. Sadly the buyers backed out of the deal at the 11th hour so the sea trial never happened and we are faced with making sure she will be insured, managed and kept in a safe spot (I.e. on land) for the hurricane season until she finds new folks to take over ownership. However, the silver lining on that rather large cloud is that Penns Landing Marina was able to almost immediately arrange for an excellent diesel mechanic to troubleshoot the problem. He methodically worked through various scenarios and made several improvements, one of which was to install an electric fuel pump so that in the end the turbo kicked in just fine, revs went back up to where they should be and we are much more confident about the engine’s performance. Another task we had to tackle while at Penns was to fix one of the heads, which as always took longer than expected and wasn’t any fun for poor Howard.
We did, however, manage to have a bit of fun for a few days when we went up to North Sound, met up with a few of the Salty Dawg folks up there, and had what is becoming a traditional trip to Hog Heaven for their excellent ribs while taking in the fantastic views over Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear, Eustacia, Necker and Anagada islands. But then it was time to deliver Sue and Ash to Trellis Bay which is close to the airport and where they had booked a room for a couple of nights. Meanwhile, we had to high tail it back to Red Hook in the USVI where we met up with Mike McGovern who will be crewing with us all the way back to the States.
We are now in Nanny Cay and making our final preparations for setting off to Bermuda tomorrow. We managed to have the water-maker checked out in Soper’s Hole. It seems to be working but will need some maintenance when we get back to the States. We also had our rigging checked out again and replaced 3 sections. So, we now feel confident that we have done just about as much as we can to prepare for the trip. We have provisions onboard and the weather for the next few days looks good for departing tomorrow. We will try sending updates as we go but do keep an eye on our GPS (DeLorme) track. You also might like to follow the Salty Dawg fleet …. the link is on our website, just enter SDR as the group.