Sailing to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean 1500

Passage Notes

A couple of sunset pictures from Day 2. In the right-hand picture, you can just make out a sailboat on the horizon, probably another Caribbean 1500 boat. Click on the right-hand picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.

 Sunset a few days later, after the spell of rough weather.

The next seven pages have pictures and notes from the voyage—a potpourri of bits and pieces.

Sunday, November 4, 2007 (Day 1 of the Passage)

We noticed a fuel leak right away on the first day, shortly after topping off the fuel tanks. In the bilge on the port side, there's a part of the hull that can accumulate a small amount of liquid, and we saw the characteristic red color of dyed diesel. The fuel leak problem was to plague us for the rest of the voyage, although it's likely that the problem evolved and worsened during the rough weather we later experienced. (Little-known fact: In the U.S., boater's diesel is dyed red since boater's don't pay road taxes on their diesel fuel. If a road vehicle like a truck ever has red fuel in its tank, it means the driver is using boat diesel and didn't pay the road taxes. Diesel from regular gas stations isn't dyed and the price includes the road taxes.)

Monday, November 5, 2007 (Day 2 of the Passage)

We had been motorsailing at a pretty good clip in light winds, but we had to reduce RPMs to conserve fuel. This early in the voyage, we don't want to use up too much fuel.

The weather forecast is reporting an approaching cold front with squalls; this is becoming a concern.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 (Day 4 of the Passage)

The weather deteriorated due to the approaching front; we had a strong squall for a few hours in the afternoon.

Thursday, November 8, 2008 (Day 5 of the Passage)

It was a rough night last night with numerous problems: the jib was shredded and destroyed, the main was damaged, the anchor got loose and damaged the bow, the bow deck lockers flooded, both berths got wet with saltwater from deck leaks, the fuel leak worsened, the high-water alarm went off, the genset became dislodged.

For the rest of the voyage our progress was very slow, due to damaged sails and the risk of running out of fuel which required us to motor sparingly and at low RPMs for fuel efficiency. Jeff actually used the satphone to call the people who installed the engine, to find out what the fuel consumption was at various RPMs.

We're still using an informal watchstanding schedule which is causing me to become very tired due to inadequate rest.

Friday, November 9, 2007 (Day 6 of the Passage)

Today we finally established a workable long-term watchstanding schedule; it's a really good schedule that CiCi has used before.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 (Day 7 of the Passage)

Today we had good sailing weather, and it would have been great sailing if we had sails to sail with. We're sailing under our very small (but undamaged) staysail, plus we've unrolled an undamaged bit of mainsail.

Due to our SSB transmission problems they can no longer hear us during the radio check-ins.

Sunday, November 11, 2007 (Day 8 of the Passage)

We started having significant problems with the freshwater pumps repeatedly losing their prime; we may be running low on water. A little bird appeared and hung around the boat. We saw him a few times, but in-between he would disappear to who knows where. He reappeared on the 17th, flew below, and took a tour of the boat.

This evening we ate dinner in the cockpit and listened to A Prairie Home Companion via the Sirius satellite radio.

These sunset pictures are from Friday evening.

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