Shake, Rattle & Roll Pt 2

Well not too much rock n roll on this day!

Well not too much rock n roll on this day!

Just a few more images and notes from our passage south to the BVI’s from Hampton, Virginia. 11 days in total, and a slower than normal trip for most boats because of lack of wind or wind on the nose.

We never saw more than 26kts, and some days were completely glassed out…good days for washing and relaxing but not for making progress!

Alley partaking in her favourite pastime

Alley partaking in her favourite pastime

And again!

And again!

Our watch system of 2 on, 6 off between 4 of us worked well and meant we all got plenty of rest. We had to improvise a few things though – having not been able to source any red LED lights, we resorted to taping red plastic cups over the galley lights for our night-time watches. It actually looked quite pretty, like little Chinese lanterns!

Our 'chinese lanterns' in the galley

Our ‘chinese lanterns’ in the galley

We also found that the bouncing and slamming through waves had stirred up a lot of sediment in our water tanks, so Rob and I devised a filtering system using another red plastic cup (handy things, those cups) with a hole in the bottom, taped with several layers of pantyhose and a paper coffee filter inside. Slow, but it worked! They do say necessity is the mother of invention…

The Toucan water-filtering system Mk 1

The Toucan water-filtering system Mk 1

In general, the motion of the boat wasn’t too bad, except for one night early on when the beam swells were slamming under the hulls. A little disconcerting to start with, it sounded like a giant with a sledgehammer under the boat! The rear berths seemed to cop the worst of it, so Rob spent one night sleeping in the saloon. But overall it was certainly more pleasant than sailing at 30 degrees!

Rob and Alley on watch

Rob and Alley on watch

The provisioning was a bit of a challenge for 6 people, but we managed fine. I’d precooked 3 meals for the first few nights of lumpy conditions, and thereafter we shared the cooking. Jon was a dab hand at throwing together one pot meals, Rob made some delicious migas tacos for breakfast and Bruce’s chilli was a hit as usual. There was certainly no shortage of food on Toucan!

Rob the fishing captain

Rob the fishing captain

But surprisingly little marine life of any kind. Rob caught our one and only Mahi Mahi on day 5, and we saw two pilot whales just outside Chesapeake Bay, but no dolphins or seabirds, except for one tiny little finch who came to rest on Toucan for a short while before flying off again. It felt a little like travelling through a watery desert.

plenty of time for some drum practice

plenty of time for some drum practice

Alley filling in some time putting grommets in our courtesy flags

Alley filling in some time putting grommets in our courtesy flags

We had some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and lots of squall activity as we got closer to the tropics.

One of many squalls

One of many squalls

another stunning sunrise

another stunning sunrise

And then at dawn on day 11 we sighted the low lying island of Anegada to the north of Virgin Gorda, and the green hills of the BVI’s. Not surprisingly, all the crew were up early that day to take in the sights as we entered North Sound in Virgin Gorda and tied up to a mooring off the Bitter End Yacht Club. We made it! .

Land Ho!

Land Ho!

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