Over the next couple days we made a few last minute preparations, then a short wait on weather before we hauled anchor bright and early, or should I say O Dark Thirty, on Feb 13th for the 100 mile run up to Sint Maarten. Our sole reason for heading north this season was an invitation from North Sails to be their guest in the British Virgin Islands for a few days to showcase their new product, our new sails, to a number of sailing publications from around the world. How could we refuse their offer?
Sint Maarten / St Martin, the Dutch / French island, is a great place to carry out yacht repair. Recall that we replaced our standing rigging and made several improvements to the boat in 2016 while we were there. This year we planned to look for deals; we wanted replace Joy’s inflatable pfd with the new Spinlock Deckvest Pro Sensor harness system, replace some running rigging, and top off our larders. Between the French and the Dutch sides, you can find anything you need or want for you or your vessel. That is why so many sailors make this place their home, including no less than 75 mega yachts this year.
With shopping behind us, we motored out of Simpson Bay Lagoon Feb 18th on the 16:00 bridge to anchor in the outer harbor for just one night, then head off early the next day for the BVI. Though forecast winds were extremely light, leftover seas were likely to be big and rolly, but Neptune decided to smile though, and seas were flat, smooth as a mirror all the way northwest to the BVI. Anchor up to anchor down was twelve and a half hours of monotonous motoring, so Joy and I were more than happy to drop the anchor in Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda at 17:30 that evening.