Many of you reading this page know that in 2011, Joy and I sailed Ocean Angel from Snead Island, Florida all the way to Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands. Most of you probably think we sailed South. Well, we did sail south, but if you look at the Big Picture to the right, you’ll see that we sailed much further East than South. In fact, we sailed about 540 miles south, and 1030 miles to the East. You could say we sailed East to the Virgin Islands! Now that’s a surprise, isn’t it?
In the upper left corner of the chart you spy Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida; in the far lower right corner, you can just see Trinidad poking her nose into the picture. That’s where we are headed this year. We already have Ocean Angel’s haul out scheduled at Power Boats Mutual Facilities in June, 2012. Now I’m sure that decision requires explanation – Power Boats?
Chaguaramas, Trinidad is home to perhaps 10 or more marinas popular with locals and cruisers alike. Two of the largest are Power Boats and Peakes Yacht Services; both are great marinas, and I was torn between the two. In November 2011, we again attended the SSCA Gam in Melbourne Florida to visit with cruising friends, and to learn from various seminars and group sessions. At the closing ceremony and dinner there are raffle prizes and several packages are auctioned off; after speaking earlier in the day with visiting dignitaries from Trinidad, we knew we needed to bid freely for the Trinidad auction package.
As luck had it, we were one of three cruisers winning one of the Trinidad packages. Ours included a free haul out at Power Boats Marina! So our decision was simplified. I know we won’t regret this opportunity, as we are already making new friends and acquaintances on the island. We’re looking forward to our time in this country. Oh, by the way, Power Boats hauls mostly sailboats!
As you will soon discover, our sailing plans for this year are much more relaxed than 2011. First, we plan to sail back west to Puerto Rico for a few weeks to work on the yacht, see some friends, tour the country a bit more, and reprovision for the season. Prices in the BVI are roughly 3 times what they are in Puerto Rico, so we don’t plan to buy any more than we absolutely must have to get back on the water and underway. No doubt, we’ll have a few days getting the boat ready for open water sailing as you’ll recall we stripped her to the bare hull and deck before we left her for the 2011 hurricane season.
When we leave Puerto Rico, we plan to sail east, then south through the Lesser Antilles – the Virgin Islands, the Leeward and Windward Islands. We hope to spend time this year with some friends along the way. I’m sure we’ll meet many new cruisers as we point our bow southeast through the islands on route to Trinidad. Stay tuned as we go.