Our first destination from the dock was Peter Island, a short, easy hop from Road Town that didn’t even warrant raising the mainsail. There we spent most of the afternoon scrubbing the bottom of the boat to remove the forest of weed, barnacles and what we think were sea anemones that were about 2 inches long! Howard donned his scuba gear and used a full tank of air in the process while I did my best to clear near the waterline using my snorkel and mask. Ablative bottom paint doesn’t seem to work so well in these waters. Afterwards we celebrated the beginning of our ‘new life’ in good company (Sue, Ash, Vicky and Warren) aboard Osprey of Newport with champagne and smoked salmon followed by chilli made by Sue – a very enjoyable evening.

Next morning (Sunday) we set off fairly early for St Thomas to pick up Steve Thompson, a good friend of Scott’s but first had to clear out of the BVI at Soper’s Hole. We also swung by ‘Saphire’ to meet Linda Knowles, the organizer of the Salty Dawg rally and to pick up our SD burgee. We had a great sail in 15-20 knots of wind on a broad reach but were still cause for concern by Steve who expected us around noon so sent lots of messages via Scott and Sonia in case we had left without him. We finally met up around 4:15 in the immigration building, whew! Another social evening this time onboard Second Wind with Sue, Ash, Kim and Marinez for pasta.

On Monday, after refuelling, we set off for Culebra. The 26-mile trip took us about 3 hours under mainsail alone and one reef. A beautiful day, 18 to 24 knots of wind but a bit rolly poly. We anchored in Ensenanda Honda, which is the main harbour and has good holding in about 17 feet of water and lots of space. We cleared in by phone but then had to go in person to the airport to pay $27.50 for a Coast Guard decal…. the joys of officialdom!

Culebra is much less developed than the BVI or USVI so it has been rather fun exploring the little local stores, cafes and watering holes. Can definitely recommend the taco place as a good lunch place – excellent food in a cool shaded spot.

Howard has been nursing a cough over the past couple of days so has been taking it easy while I made good use of laundry facilities and Steve took care of some business (amazing what can be done by phone and internet). Today he is showing signs of improving so he enjoyed towing first Steve, then me behind the dinghy while we hung onto our new toy, a Sub-Wing. It was a blast angling ourselves downward and from side to side then up for a gulp of air and doing it all over again. Steve chased a turtle while we both enjoyed seeing the coral and reef fish. It’s a much easier way to see way more than when snorkeling.