15/04/2016 – Heading North

We cleared out of St Lucia as planned on Monday morning for the trip back to St Martin. What a trip! We had everything thrown at us: no wind, strong winds, torrential rain then back to no wind. Of course it usually goes wrong in the middle of the night and this trip was no exception to that rule. For the first time in a while we had shaken out the two reefs in the mainsail and made good progress Monday afternoon and evening. When the wind built a bit the full main and jib were a bit unbalanced and the autopilot couldn't cope. It resulted in both of us in the cockpit for a large part of the night. Poor John was hand steering when the squall hit us with torrential rain and gusts up to 32 knots, it wasn't nice! (John: When I finally got a waterproof jacket on the wet shirt and shorts warmed up!) Our second night at sea was almost the complete opposite, warm, dry and practically windless, at least we both got some sleep. .... .... The few days we have spent here in Marigot Bay, St Martin, have been spent provisioning in both Super U and Carrefour with three trips to Super U and two to Carrefour. The reason for the shopping frenzy is the wider choice here than we will find in the BVI (and particularly the low alcohol prices! says John). This morning we went to Carrefour on the Dutch side of the island for the second time. Unfortunately the heavens opened while we were in the store. We waited until the rain had largely stopped before heading back to the dinghy. Half way there the rain started and by the time we set off for the trip back to the boat it was torrential again. For the second time within a week we were both soaked to the skin. At least it was warm though the cockpit hasn't fully dried out 8 hours later. This afternoon John cleared out as we intend to leave tomorrow late afternoon and the chandlery where he does the clearance is closed on Sundays. Our next destination is the British Virgin Islands, about 80 miles away. We had hoped to leave on Friday but there was no wind so we postponed, allowing us more shopping time! .... ..... I think this is possibly the shortest blog I've written. Normal service, i.e. drivel, will be resumed next time. ... .... Joyce

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