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Galena's route West from the US Virgin Islands through the Spanish Virgins (Culebra and Vieques).

17-20 January 2006
Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

The incoming swells are still causing us to roll a lot… read: uncomfortably. About 30 boats have anchored in the harbor and it's getting a bit crowded. Not at all like the crowding we had on New Years Eve, but still…

We met Rick and Diane from around Baltimore. They're down here with friends on a charter. Rick was an extraordinarily dynamic guy. I don't know what kind of business he was in but it probably included dealing with the public. Also, Rick looked exactly like Antonio Banderas. He stopped by to chat with me when when he saw the Red Eye's Dock Bar T-shirt I was wearing. [Later Note: I met Rick and Diane again at a pub on Kent island in September of 2008 and actually recognized them.]

I also spent a lot of time talking with Kevin. Over more than a few beers we wapped sea stories. His were much more dramatic than mine and with his years on the water he had many more tales to tell. Kevin would paint a story about sailing between St Somewhere in the Windward Islands and the Virgins hauling cargo and people; some legal… some not.

Jane and I spent all day on the 18th just sitting around. We went to Foxy's, of course. Going to Foxy's was just the routine thing to do when at Jost Van Dyke. Just after we arrived there we met Tony (s/v Ceyenne III). He lives aboard and usually stays near Venezuela or St Croix. S/v Ceyenne is an old Moorings 50-something. He loves to race in regattas. He sails with his “current wife” and was entertaining his son and daughter-in-law (who was not having a good time at all).

I also shared a couple of beers with Brian and Mindy (charterers). They have a 50-ft houseboat somewhere in Minnesota. He's a retired air transport pilot. Very nice couple. But then I usually say that about people who are willing to buy me a beer. They happened to anchor next to Galena and had a little trouble getting the anchor to set. Brian dinghied over to ask how much rode I had out and to ask if I was comfortable with where his boat had ended up. That's always a nice thing to do if there's any question. So when he saw me at Foxy's he and his wife bought me a beer and sat down to talk about the 'cruising lifestyle.'

We remained anchored at Jost Van Dyke several days longer than I had planned. I had planned on clearing out of the BVI and heading down to St Johns on the 19th. But the wind didn't die down like I expected it to. In fact the wind was still blowing at 15- to 20-kts out of the east-southeast. We spent time going between Galena, Ali Buba's, and Foxy's. On the 20th we went to Foxy's after dinner. But Jane was feeling a little sick again. Her stomach hurt and her skin hurt and she was tired of the wind. So we went home early.

That afternoon I noticed that the Air-X Marine wind generator was acting a little differently. Normally the generator will shut down after running at high RPM for no more than a few seconds (the alternator coils get hot, I'm told). But for the past couple days it's been running at over 20 amps for minutes at a time without shutting down. Good for making electricity, maybe not good for the generator. One more thing for me to watch and worry about.

Since anchoring here a few days ago we've been plagued by a loud scraping sound from the anchor rode. It sounded like the chain was dragging over rocks or coral as we swung back and forth. It was driving Jane crazy; really starting to bug her. Finally, I had a BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious). All I had to do was add a second snubber line of nylon rope to isolate the chain from the boat. It worked and we had a silent night.

Jane's feeling a little better but not much. The wind was still blowing with gusts to 30 kts. Jane wants it to stop. I tried but I didn't have much success.

21 January 2006
Cruz Bay, St John, USVI
(N 18° 20.01' W 064° 47.71')
Trip: 8nm/ 2026 nm. Eng: 961 hrs

We tucked up into the NE corner of the Cruz Bay. Then we dinghied in to the dinghy dock behind the National Park Service HQ to check in to the US Virgin Islands.

We had cleared out of the BVI at 1030 hrs and had Galena heading out of Jost Van Dyke's Great Harbor by 1100. The wind was blowing at 18-20 kts from the ENE and the seas were 5-6' on the beam. Galena flew only a staysail and we were still making over 5-kts downwind. Jane stayed below. As I turned to go between Hawksnest Point and Ramgoat Cay (really, those are the names) the wind and seas increased dramatically. With the wind on the quarter, the dinghy tried to pass Galena on just about every wave that rolled by. The waves were breaking and I thought sure that the dink would get rolled. But it didn't. Once behind Hawksnest Point the seas were calm and the wind was blocked. All the commotion ceased and we had a nice sail into Cruz Bay. When we passed Lind Point we dropped sails and looked for a place to anchor.

The main anchorages in the middle and south part of the bay were completely filled with long-term boats and moorings. So we dropped the hood in the north end, near the NPS building. We were swinging out into the north ferry channel so we decided to use the stern anchor to hold Galena out of the way. We used the dinghy to carried the stern anchor toward shoreline. Then we winched Galena's stern into 5-feet of water very near the shore until the bow was clear of the ferry channel. Very secure and out of the way. We dinghied into town and cleared customs. No fees were charged (since it's a US territory) and there was just a single form to fill out. Then we wandered about the town for a while.

22 - 24 January 2006
Caneel Bay, St John, USVI
(N 18° 20.49' W 064° 47.59')

At 8 AM we were awakened by the sound of a siren just a few feet off Galena's port side. I stuck my head out of the companionway to find a park ranger's boat lying about 3-feet away. I guess he wanted to talk with us. He asked how long we'd been anchored there. I said about 24 hrs. He said ‘You can't anchor here for 24 hrs. There's a 3-hr limit. You have to move. Now. You don't see any other sailboats anchored here, do you?' So we moved.

Well of course it wasn't that easy. Recall that I had dinghied out a stern anchor and used it to pull Galena's stern toward the shore. I cast off the stern anchor rode and dinghied out to pick up the hook. But it was really stuck and I couldn't budge it. Finally I dove down and all I could see was the chain disappearing into the muck. So we winched Galena's stern back toward the anchor. We were going to use her main winches to pull the anchor out. In order to get over the achore we had to put her stern in less that 5-feet of water. After a lot of cranking we finally managed to break the stern anchor free (it's a 25-lb Danforth, by the way). That whole thing took over an hour to do. Then we motored north around the corner to Caneel Bay. Once safely on a mooring (it's part of the Park system and you have to use a mooring for $15/day) we dinghied back into town and did the tourist thing again.

Our route into Cruz Bay, and then out of Caneel Bay

I found a very nice bar named “The Quiet Mon Pub.” Nothing but locals and great conversation. Kenny the bartender was a trip. He was one of the most friendly and entertaining bartenders we had seen on this trip. He was also quite a sailor. He told tales of sailing a racing trimaran from Rhode Island to USVI in 5 days and of his many trans-Atlantic trips.

We also met Kelly who owns the place. She's a great lady. Jason is a regular who owns a restaurant down by the bay. According to Kenny the place is frequented by people like Kenny Chesney and Don Johnson when they're in town.

On the 24th, Jane went shopping and I went drinking at the Quiet Mon.

26 January 2006
Christmas Bay, St James, USVI
(N 18° 18.45' W 064° 49.99')
Trip: 5nm/ 2036 nm. Eng: 963 hrs

We had read in a cruising guide that Christmas Bay on St James island was a pleasant little anchorage. I decided that we would take a look as we passed by on the way to St Thomas's main harbor, Charlotte Amalie.

It's only about 4 miles across the channel between St John and St Thomas. It's such a short little sail that I wasn't paying much attention to what was happening. I committed the beginner's error of just pointing the bow toward the destination and not watching the compass. While I was pointed toward Current Cut (the cut between St Thomas and Little St James islands) I was also being swept southward with the current. But I didn't realize that until the sails started to luft as my heading went from 230° to 265°. I was turning to the north, heading into the current and wind, slowing down, and being carried onto the shoals along the northern shore of Little St James. I was about to hit the starter on the engine when the wind veered just enough for me to save face and sail through the cut.

Christmas Bay looked like a nice quiet place. Unlike similar bays in the BVI there were no 'Rent-a-Boaters.' There was also no real beach and nothing on shore. It was just a quiet place to pause. Looking across the cut to Cowpet Bay we could see a little resort and beautiful beaches.

Our poor dinghy had been in the water since early December. And we hadn't cleaned her bottom once in all that time. We collected scrapers, Staybright pads, soaps, etc and headed to one of the small, gravel beaches. We beached the dinghy, took off the engine, flipped her over, and spent the next two hours scraping over 3-inches of grass of her bottom. Good to go for another 2 months.

27 January 2006
Cowpet Bay, St Thomas, USVI

We moved north to Cowpet Bay (about 1/2 mile) just to see what was here. What we found was a beautiful beach an a quaint little beach bar of all things! It's “Bunny's By The Sea.” We talked with some vacationers and drank a few beers. We ate chicken wings and fries. One of the people we met was Steve. He has a 44-ft Carver in Florida that he wants to bring down here. But he doesn't know much about the boat or the process of piloting it here from the States. He said he'll probably hire a captain to go with him when he does get around to moving it.

We headed back to Galena at dusk. On the way back the wind was picking up and there was a bit of misty rain in the air. Just after we got on board, the rain started coming down in buckets and the wind picked up to about 25-kts. That kept up all night long and into the next day.

28 - 29 January 2006
Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI
(N 18° 20.17' W 064° 55.60')

Cowpet Bay is wide open to the south. And the wind and waves were really bouncing us around. We tried to move back to Christmas Bay on St James, but the wind was just as bad there. Also it was more crowded than when we had left the day before and although we drove through both the east and west side of the anchorage we didn't see any good place to anchor. So we decided to head off to Charlotte Amalie.

The wind was blowing at 25-28 kts on the starboard quarter. It was a fast ride downwind. On a couple of occasions I could see air under our poor dinghy as she danced at the end of her painter. To get better control of her I shorted the painter until she was almost touching Galena's stern. Once we were inside the harbor at Charlotte Amalie it took a couple of tries to get the hook to set. We saw s/v Half Moon but didn't get a chance to talk with him.

This strong east wind was to continue for the next several days. I didn't know where Wandering Albatross was, but wherever they were, they were once again stuck until the wind dies. The marina that is shown as being in this main harbor is under serious reconstruction and is not open for business. We needed water and showers so we planned on going over to Crown Bay Marina in a day or so.

We dinghied into shore and walked around the main tourist part of town. There are two dinghy docks in this harbor: one around the corner (NE) from the USCG dock to the East of where the mega-yachts are med-moored to the sea wall. The other is a temporary dock near the construction site of the new marina at the east end of the bay.

We were hanging off one hook for three days. By the second day I started thinking we should have been on two in a ‘V' formation to better hold us. The wind and chop were fierce. By the 28th the wind was blowing at a steady 25-kts with gusts over 30-kts. We're swinging wildly and really jerking on the hook but that trusty 35-lb CQR and 100-ft of 3/8" chain were holding fast. Still, it was a lot a strain on a single anchor.

But none the less we went to town just to get off the boat for a while. Another day of walking around town. We found the K-mart and grocery store.

30 - 31 January 2006
Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas, USVI

By the 30th we'd moved about 1 mile west (at least it's in the right direction) to this marina. It is a very nice, new, clean, marina. But the place they put us was very,very small. While they have several mega-yachts berthed in here, the entry is so small that the marina has to do traffic control for vessels moving in and out.

As usual, we told them we were 32 feet long to pay a lower rate. That was probably a mistake since we are really over 41 feet long overall. They tucked us into a narrow, short slip off a narrow fairway. As we started the last turn to port and into the slip I really thought I was not going to make it. And I said as much. The people on the boat (s/v Tortuga) next to us looked like deer in the headlights as Galena's bowsprit swung over their cockpit on the way into the slip. I was going too fast to stop. Full reverse usually swings the bow to starboard and the stern to port but I was going fast enough to keep turning to port into the slip. Then a full throttle burst to the kick the bow around for the final few feet into the slip then hard reverse to keep from overshooting the dock with the bowsprit.

But I managed to pull it off without touching anything. Another case of luck being more important than skill, I think. Anyway, Galena acted as though she knew where she had to go and went in like a hand into a glove.

We took showers, Jane did a bit of a survey of the area, and then we went to the local dock bar (“Tickles”). During my shower, I talked with another sailor. He asked what boat we were on. I said “A Westsail 32.” He said, “Oh, that green one that just came in?” He asked “Can anyone on your boat snorkel down to 16 feet?” I said (proudly) “I can.” That was a mistake. Next words from him were a description of a part he had just dropped off his boat. He has an ear problem and can't dive that far. What time do I get up in the morning? He has to pick up his charter guests at 0900. He'll stop by at 0730 to show me where the part was dropped. When will I learn to be quiet?

The morning of the 31st dawned cloudy and cool. I didn't want to go into the water. But the guy I talked with yesterday came by and showed me where the part was. He said his depth sounder was reading 15-ft. I really didn't want to go into the water. But I did. I swam from Galena to his slip and positioned myself over the place he said he had last seen the part (it was a stanchion base plate). I dove for the part. The water was as cloudy as the sky. I went down and down. Suddenly I saw the bottom and there about 3-feet to my right was the stanchion base, plain as day. I grabbed it and surfaced triumphantly.

As I was drying off he asked if I liked wine or beer. I said beer and he came back with a 12-pack of Bud. Not bad for 20-seconds work. Now I needed another shower and a couple of those beers.

We talked with our neighbors, Heidi and Stanley (s/v tortuga). They were the ones who we thought were a bit taken aback when Galena's bowsprit swung over their cockpit as we entered the slip. Stanley said that he was impressed with my boat handling skills. He said everyone else who had come into that slip had turned way too early and ended up having to be warped in with lines. They live aboard their boat (which was smaller than Galena!). And they were there doing some major repairs so they had had quite a few different neighbors.

In preparation for the run to Culebra we put the dink on deck and went to the bar. At the bar, we met Paul Borghi. He's an artist and a fisherman. When we said we had had no luck catching fish he said wait here. He returned with a lure that he called his Tuna-magnet. We told him we would try it.

I'd like to say a few words about the Virgin Islands, now that we're about to leave them.

Overall, I don't like them as much as I thought I would have. The sailing is great. The islands and anchorages are nice. The people, for the most part, are nice. But the BVI is filled, and I mean filled with charters, or Rent-a-Boaters. Now I'm sure most of them have boats back home and most of them probably know a lot about sailing. But they don't interact much with other boaters, except when arguing about how close they are or aren't when anchoring. They rent these 50-foot boats and bring 3 other couples with them. They have their own little community and don't have much desire to talk with people on other boats. Unlike the Bahamas where everyone is cruising on their own boat and everyone wants to talk to everyone else.

Also, they are all on a tight schedule. They are going to be in the islands for 10 days and they have to see them all in that time. So they come into a bay, drop the hook, run into town, have dinner and a drink, spend the night, and leave for the next bay the next morning. At Jost Van Dyke, we'd lie at anchor and watch the migration: At 0900 they would start heading out; by 1400 the new crop would start coming in.

The mooring balls are a pain in the ass. Good for the charterers I guess. But not for those of us on a budget. Having to pay $20 to $30 per night to sit on your own boat sucks. I did find that if you sail to the inside of the mooring fields (toward shore) you can usually find enough space and water depth to allow anchoring.

A strange thing I noticed was that in the BVI, in every public office, government office, store, even in the hospital, there's a PA system playing gospel music or a TV showing a religious program.

The USVI has little to recommend it to cruisers. Cruz Bay, St John, is the only exception. I liked that town. The prices are high on almost everything, although you can usually find almost anything you need. But again, the sailing is great and it would make a great 2-week vacation. By coincidence, that seems to be what what the locals want.

01 - 03 February 2006
Ensenada Honda, Culebra, PR
(N 18° 18.38' W 065° 17.97')
Trip: 21nm/ 2080 nm. Eng: 963 hrs

We departed Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas at 0800. The plan was to get out of there before the trades kicked in. About that, you see, the trades never really stop, but at night the cooling of a land mass such as St Thomas or Puerto Rico causes a disruption of the trades within a mile or so of the island. So before about 1000 hrs if you're near shore you will not feel the full trades. We left the slip without a problem. I had watched other boats leave the slips at Crown Bay after the trades picked up and they all had a lot of trouble. The wind blows across the slips and makes backing out and turning very difficult.

The problem today was that the trades were light all day. I thought that once we got out of the harbor we would be flying downwind to Culebra. But we had to motorsail all the way in very light airs; maybe east at 5 kts.

Two miles out I sighted the markers for the entrance channel into Ensenada Honda, Culebra. The final part of the channel is narrow, maybe 80 feet wide. But the entrance was straightforward and while a I was, as usual, a little unsure of what I was doing, we slipped in without incident. We arrived at 1300 hrs. We headed toward the northwestern end of the harbor, near a small island. There were maybe 20 other boats in this very large harbor. Finding a place to anchor in 12 feet of water was no problem.

There is also an anchorage just inside the harbor entrance. As you come through the reef, you turn to port and follow a row of (free) mooring balls until you find an empty one. The problem with that is that you are over a mile from town. It's a long dinghy ride.

After getting the hook down, the sails covered, and the dink launched, we were ready to find customs and clear in. While waiting for Jane to get cleaned up, I noticed a dinghy coming from that mooring field near the entrance of the harbor. They looked like they were heading toward the airport and looking for someplace to tie up their dink. I figured I'd just watch them. They went back and forth and stopped to ask someone directions and were directed to the little dock that I had already picked out as a likely place to tie up the dink. (“May the Schwartz be with you!” Seriously, if you haven't seen it… )

We went there a few minutes after them. While walking to the airport, Wandering Albatross called on the phone (which was working now that we were in PR). They were leaving Jobos, PR this PM and would get to Culebra in a day or so. We have been looking forward to seeing them for about a year now and they were only, what, 80 miles away. Getting closer.

Customs is at the airport. So we took our documents and headed out. It's about a mile walk from the dinghy dock at El Batey (a restaurant/bar). The dinghy dock isn't marked but it's just north of the power plant that is visible from the bay. At the airport there's a door with the Dept of Homeland Sec seal on it. Inside is Tom, the customs guy.

Inside we also met Frank and Cathy (s/v Traumerie, a Bavaria 44 cc). They were the couple in the dink we had watched. They were coming back from cruising the Med. They had had their boat shipped from Spain to Tortolla and were heading back to Burn, NC. They were going to leave the boat in Puerto Del Mar for a few weeks then come back and sail to Florida and then up the coast.

Tom the customs guy said that since we already had a customs sticker, and were coming from a US possession (St Thomas) all we had to have done was call him and we would have been cleared in. But then we wouldn't have met Frank and Cathy. Frank wanted to talk about the trip from here to Florida and wanted to buy me a beer. Tom said the best place was Mamacitas, a restaurant on the canal just west of the bridge. So we dinghied over there.


Mamacitas on the canal

We tied up on the canal and walked across the dining room to the bar. I was ready to practice my only Spanish phrase (“I want a beer”) when we met the bar maid, Kelly. She's from Illinois. Her family had bought the place a couple years ago. Her sister, Monica, also tends bar, her brother-in-law, Zach, cooks and tends bar. Kelly was a great bartender. She had just the right personality to make you feel right at home. And the bar was nice, too. Frank and I talked boating, routes, weather, all that nautical stuff. Jane and Cathy talked… whatever wives talk about.

I'm putting away the Virgin Island charts and cruising guides and getting out the charts and guides for PR and DR. It started lightly raining about dawn. Not enough to catch water yet, but I rigged the bimini in case it rains a little harder.

We walked around town. It's small enough to do that in about an hour. Jane shopped in a couple of the little boutique shops. Many of the shops are run by ex-pats. For example, Botiki (one of Jane's favorites). We had dinner at Mamacitas with Frank and Cathy. It was very good but a bit expensive ($70).

I tried to oil my trolling fishing reel. It had been left on deck for the past several months and was a bit crusty. Of course, as I'm reassembling it, a piece falls onto the cockpit floor and right down the drain scupper. The water there is cloudy but I figured I might be able to find it down there. So over the side I went. I couldn't see 2-feet a head of me. I suddenly came upon a pile of crap on the bottom that did two things: It made me believe that I would never find the dropped part from my reel, and two, I should have put a trip line on my anchor. Another thing for me to worry about for the next couple of days: will I be able to get the anchor up or will it be hooked on debris on the bottom?

 

On the third of February, we walked to Flamenco Beach on the Northwest shore. It was about a 2 mile walk north of the airport. But it was a very nice beach with a little concession area in the parking lot. Yet again, we ended up at Mamacitas. There was Frank and Cathy. We met the owners of Botiki (a nice little shop) and his wife at Mamacitas tonight. It was her 21st birthday. I met Chris and his wife. He's a drummer and wants to sail. Or maybe motor around.

 

Flamenco Beach

04 February 2006
Sun Bay, Vieques, PR
(N 18° 18.05' W 065° 27.37')
Trip: 32nm/ 2112 nm. Eng: 970 hrs

We left Culebra in the morning without incident. Sailed on a beam reach all the way to the East corner of Vieques. Then rounded the corner and ran downwind to here, Sun Bay. There is only 1 other boat here. We tucked way up into the east corner of the harbor and it wasn't too rolly although the waves did bend around the corner of the harbor and find their way right to the side of Galena.

The beach here is great! The water is a bit cloudy, much as it was in Culebra. We walked over to the bioluminescent bay. But it was still light out, and the bugs were biting. So we headed back to Galena for bug-juice. Then back to the bay (about .7 miles each way). But as we splashed around in the shallows it became evident that the bioluminescence was only out in the deep water. There are tours, and a pontoon, but they had already left and were out on the bay. So we walked back to Sun Bay. What a waste of time (except for the nice walk, of course)

05 February 2006
Mosquito Bay, Vieques, PR
(N 18° 05.06' W 065° 27.37')
Trip: 32nm/ 2112 nm. Eng: 970 hrs

We moved over to the mouth of the bioluminescent bay. But we should have moved further into the mouth. It is really rolly here. I've put out both bow anchors and winched the port anchor to the stern of Galena to turn her bow to starboard and into the waves, but it hasn't helped much. We dinghied over to a beach just east of here. It was very nice and very deserted.

After dark we dinghied into to bay and, yes it was very bioluminescent. You could just dip you hand into the water, move it a little and the whole area around you hand would light up! Very cool.

06-09 February 2006
Green Beach, Vieques, PR
(N 18° 06.98' W 065° 34.64')
Trip: 9nm/ 2121 nm. Eng: 973 hrs

Lousy night last night. We need sleep! The rolling was more than we had expected. I really need to build a “ flopper-stopper” to dampen the rolling motion in places like this.

Wandering Albatross said they were on their way from Monkey Island, PR to here. So we headed this way although it was not on my list of places to go, it also was not out of the way. We had a great downwind sail with just the 130% genoa out and making 5-6 kts.

We saw a cutter leaving Esperanza Bay as we passed, they went a lot further south than us and then turned west. Later I heard some radio traffic with them and found they were s/v Que Sara Sara (see 08 Nov 05). I remembered the name and we talked for a while. They had been on their way to Chili, but were now on their way back to the states. They had already been around the world in that boat and didn't feel bad about changing their plans.

As we rounded the southwestern corner of Vieques, I saw a boat anchored at Green Beach. It was Wandering Albatross. Finally. We hadn't seen them since last March at George Town, Exumas. We anchored about 50 yards away and quickly but Galena to bed (anchor down, sail covers on, lines coiled and hung on pinrails, dink engine on the dink). Then over to WA for a reunion. After a little catching up we retired to Galena for a little needed rest (remember that we hadn't slept much the night before).

S/v Que Sara Sara pulled in behind us and anchored. I have to go and meet them face-to-face. Chris and Mary Liz came over for drinks, games and talk. We exchanged cruising guilds and impression.

The next day I saw that Que Sara Sara was getting ready to get underway. I dinghied over to talk with them. Don and Lois are two of the nicest people we've met in our two years of cruising. They have over 50,000 miles under their keel and just love being on the water. They are going to pick up their son in Puerto Rico and then cruise the BVI for a couple of weeks before heading back to the States. They are from Vermilion, OH and were surprised to see 'Lorain, OH' on Galena. Maybe we'll meet them again. [Later Note: We did see them again in George Town, Exumas.]

There was lots of rain this morning. WA has built the best bimini/rain-catcher I've seen. They actually have gutters on the sides to catch water and channel it into a couple of 5-gal jugs. We played dominos until late (2300hrs). We learned the Luperon Rules. We had dinner with them, drinks and more catching up.

On the 8th, I ran the engine to charge the batteries (one of the rare times I've had to do that. But they were down 110 AH and that's enough). I have to change the oil soon and I told myself that running the engine was really just to heat the oil so I could change it. I didn't actually change it, of course, but that's what I told myself.

We went to the beach with WA and the girls collected shells while Chris and I stood knee-deep in the water and talked. We found a small conch in the shallows and I tried the “just add boiling water” trick to get the critter out. But it didn't work. Later Jane found a book reference that said you had to “…boil it in water for 20 minutes, then let it cool, then lift the critter out.” Oh, well, next time.

Jane's back is killing her. She thinks she hurt it while running down a ramp at Sun Bay the other day. She can't sit and bending is hard. Even lying down isn't comfortable.

WA came over for dinner and stayed till after midnight. They will head to Culebra tomorrow morning; we will head to Salenas tomorrow night.

Wandering Albatross left on the morning of the 9th. Seeing them again after all this time was great. Last year when we parted I knew we would see them again; as we just did. So that 'goodbye' wasn't that big a deal. This time, however, I don't think we'll ever run into them again. At least not on the water. They are heading south to Trinidad and will not cruise back to the states for years, if at all.

Fair winds, my friends

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