24 January 2011

Sailing to Marina Cay, BVI Day 6/10

As of last night, our plan was to spend another day here at Saba Rock and Bitter End Yacht Club. But the morning is going to be overcast with a few cloud systems and a little rain marching across the eastern horizon.  I enjoy rain in these latitudes, its warm and refreshing, and as long as there isn't a big pressure change the wind isn't too much of a concern.
We decide to postpone the days activities til our next trip, and spend the morning sailing to our next destination, Marina Cay. I wanted to spend more time hiking up on Biras Hill, out to Jack and Burns Point, and then go spend a few hours snorkeling in Eustatia Sound.
With the $25 mooring fee at Saba Rock, sailors get a free water refill and bag of ice. After stowing everything securely below, we leave the mooring and motor over to the dock. Saba Rock's staff comes to meet us and helps tie us off.
This Beneteau 50 is well equipped for its 4 cabins, and with just two couple on board, we've only emptied one of the three water tanks. Clearly, this calls for longer showers from here on out.
One of the dock hands offered to snap a picture of us on the boat. In the photo of the four of us on deck, you can see the red main halyard has been pulled down and temporarily hitched to the boom vang. This was done during the night to help quiet the main halyard, but unbeknownst to us, the halyard had developed a little too much slack in it. As we headed out into North Sound, I discovered that the main halyard had wrapped around the upper spreader and steaming light. This is an undesirable situation on a 50 foot tall rigged boat. And its the kind of quandary a skipper would prefer to discover before leaving the mooring.
Fortunately, and much to the delight of passing yachtsmen, I was able to perform a series of carefully choreographed aerobatics up on the boom which eventually, though arguably ungracefully, freed the halyard.

Mainsail raised, we sailed around Moskito Rock and into Sir Francis Drake Channel, following in the footsteps - er - wake, of so many famous pirates. (Though technically, Sir Francis Drake was a privateer, not a pirate.)  

Our dinghy deserves special mention here. We named her Herbie, after the Disney movie car with a mind of its own. Before we sailed each day we tipped the outboard up so the propeller wouldn't drag. However when we arrived at Saba Rock and things quieted down near the mooring, the outboard had tipped back during our sail, and we could hear the outboard sputtering along as if the dinghy, with a mind of her own, had started her own outboard. It turned out that the slight current near Saba Rock was spinning the propeller just enough to turn the engine over, a lot like push-starting a car. So we named her Herbie. This explanation calmed the conspiracy theorists on board. Still, I kept a close eye on Herbie all the same. Last thing I needed was for Herbie the Dinghy to take off on her own.

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