Monday, March 21, 2016

Update 0f Arrival at Last !

Hi everyone,
Finally I have arrived in St Thomas, its taken a while, mostly because of the wind and seas I experienced, but, also my bilge pumps, and, to top everything, the seams that had been moving due to the the pounding GL took on the passage. I have now made temp repair to 3 of them and in my latest journey from Isla De Vieques, in the heavy waves another 2 have shown up. I left Sunday morning and arrived Crown Bay Marina at 1000hrs for fuel, water, petrol, and to fix 2 seams, plus locate the fitting for bilge p/p. so  the water is not discharging into the cockpit ! Will only stay 3 days here then move to anchour at Water Island, fixed or not.
As an update to the passage log, at 0701hrs this morning a milestone was passed I had completed 700 NM through the water logged with my Walker IV Log. With 521.6 Nm only from Blue Haven Marina to Water Island via my route, just shows how much extra miles were done having to tack against the wind.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tuesday 15 March 2016
Left Ponce Marina with all p/ps working with new float switches, missing overboard discharge temp into cockpit and working ok. 104.6 to Destn.
Noon Position 17°54.56' N 066°36.23' W. 103.5nm to Destn speed 5.1 knts, wind East 10-15 knts, achieved 600 nm through the water at 0000hrs. Very good sailing conditions, not too much wind and not a big swell. Boat going great, but more than normal amount of water coming in.

Wednesday 16th Noon Posn. 18°04.52' N 065°31.83' W. 652.0 nm through the water 450 nm over the ground towards Destn. Yesterday and today it became obvious that a serious amount of extra water was coming into the boat, hadn't really noticed that before because of the bilge problems that made me stop in Ponce. At Ponce the boat was normal with no extra at all. P/p repositioning is a success but much to much water coming in. did an investigation and found ALL deck level mast chocks had fallen out and mast not supported at deck level ! They had obviously fallen out with all the pounding I was getting in the bad winds and seas. This was causing the frames on both sides of the mast to flex, and now the caulking had worked loose between the frames, again on both sides. You can not fix that underway or even heaved too. So again looked for a safe haven to stop and fix, I was now tacking along the coast of the next island east called Isla Vieques having left Puerto Rico behind. I found a promising bay called Esperanza and decided to check it out, took me an hour or so to get there, dropped sail and motored in. I very slowly edged my way into the anchourage and saw a boat that looked very familiar, as I got closer I could tell it was Susie's Boat 'Spirited Lady' ! She spotted me and got very excited and jumped in the dingy with her new crew member. To say hello, then very kindly they both helped me to a mooring. What a lovely surprise though, what are the chances of going or stopping somewhere you hadn't planed on, I mean I was sailing past and had no intention of stopping, then meeting up with a friend you didn't think you would see again? Well its either fate that's written down in the stars, or as I believe, the only way is to be a traveller yourself, if you stay in one place you only meet the people that pass your way.
So Posn. Today is 18°05.51' N 065°28.42' W on a mooring ball in Esperanza, Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico, still with 36.8 Nm to go to Destn. ! Didn't want to unship the dingy, so Susie and Moty invited me ashore for drinky poos at the many beach bars in her dingy, of course had to celebrate a bit didn't I..........

Thursday 17th March 2016 @ Esperanza, St Patrick's day.

Well I got up 0500hrs and got stuck in right away, lifted the floors and located all 11 mast wedges in various places around the bilges, and left them in the cockpit to dry out a bit, then all the rig was undone running and standing, with boom in its crutch. This allows me to move the mast to get the wedges back in, a beautiful dawn arrived at 0630hrs it will be a nice day today.
Susie promised to come and help with the wedges, as it will take more than one person to achieve, She duly arrived and after approx an hour all wedges were in place and the standing rig hardened up. I then finished off by locking all the bottle screws again, and putting all the halyards back. I made lunch then I just had to have a kip.
Decided to temp repair the seams tomorrow, and as Susie had an electrical problem I went over to help find it, found one part, but still need to find the next bit, it got dark so we went ashore for a local restaurant fish meal, back early and straight to bed zonked out.

Friday 18th March, @ Eaperanza,

Got up a 0500hrs again, and have written this blog post first, have to go ashore and post it today some time.................

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hi Everyone,
Some Pics to post at my journeys interruption in Ponce Bay, Puerto Rico, alongside 'Ponce Yacht & Fishing Club'  the most prestigious berth BR1.

They are mostly USA type sport fishing boats here, I was lucky as one of them was having a haul out scrub and paint job.
The Sunday before I left Adam invited Porsche and myself for a Lamb Sunday Roast Dinner !!!! as a farewell get together. What a magic time I have had here at Blue Haven Marina. 

Porsche in the foreground and Adam & Vicky in the background
 Could only find 1 pic of the leaving party at the Salt Bar, please.. guys gals, if you read this and took some email me on the contact tab and attach the pics.

I need more pics!

Then the 521.6 Nm journey began.

First Sunset
After 3 days of flopping about and going no where fast, I hadn't even gone any further East than Grand Turk Island, this pic of the plotter shows the true story having only making a northerly course all day, as night came a gentle wind from the NE came, I did 3 knts to begin with but was on course for the first time, spending all night doing no more than 1.9knts all in the right direction.
track shows tacking north during day, then suddenly a wind shift and then on course.

Next morning wind starts gradually getting stronger.
As it began to get rough, I did report on one of the missing and still missing posts that I was treated to one of those rare moments of nature during the journey. This concerned at least 3 humpback whales in the ocean side of Hispaniola, one whale on my horizon was head down tail held vertical and was sending signals by smashing its tail onto the sea, it was a spectacular sight, huge spouts of water shooting skywards, it did it again and again and again, I have taken some pics of that and hope they will be ok to send in my next post. While I took pic's a big humpback sounded about 20 feet away from me, WOW and about 10 mins later another one did the same thing on the other side, of course couldn't get the camera switched on quick enough, but they were both moving majestically through the water going twice as fast as I was (8.5knts) towards the one sending out the call. The way they were moving through the rough water is the way Guiding Light moves, not fighting but just going with the waves, gives me a further clue just how clever they designed this boat in 1934! I was having a really good time in rough seas, I must be crazy, but I was enjoying it so much.
The pics didn't come out as good as I hoped but you can get the idea from them.

Hope They all post OK
more as usual coming.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Absolutly up to date

Hi all,
Looking on the bright-side of things, I had a great sailing experience on Guiding Light, its the longest I've ever done against such a strong wind (don't forget I cannot reef the main, and I was flying both jibs as well), she goes so well through the water so hard on the wind, 2 things have shown themselves up.
1) float switch positions and bilge pump positions were defiantly not in the right place for sustained travel heeled hard over at 30 or more degrees in big Ocean waves ((12 feet or more)my first time in GL)).
2) I know no-one is going to believe me, but, my record of sustained speed has gone up from  9.2 Knts to approx 10 Knts! this was on Tuesday before I changed course and during the days journey into the lee of Puerto Rico,  my plotter was showing 9.5 as a low end speed and 11.8 as a top end speed and not dropping below those speeds, sometimes for over an hour at a time, even the current could not account for that! because I had streamed my walker Excelsior IV Log! and I was double checking speed though the water with it! it's a bit unbelievable to me too.

SMS Update

Hi Everyone,
Sat comms not completely successful, but learned a lot on what to do and not to do to make it work, this took a few days  to find out, so some went missing, I will not post the past only bring you up to date from last SMS MSG.

Thurs 10 March,
In the morning 0730hrs I had been blown downwind heaved too south and east over 35 Nm in a screaming north east wind, further I went the bigger the seas, I managed to get a weather forecast at 0730hrs that predicted the same till after Saturday, started sailing again to get back on course, the bilge pump I use on that port side was not coping very well, float switch at 30-35 deg. heel was leaving too much water in the bilge, other pump was above water level. had to move the pump hose and pump from yesterdays disaster to drain into cockpit (not good) and turn the other one off. with no float switch, which meant engine had to be on all the time. Not enough fuel now to do that, and with still 78nm to Destn. in this wind and seas, another big decision had to be made. I looked for a safe Haven and found a Yacht Club on the coast called Ponce Yacht Club (????) and made the wise choice and headed for that, it was quite a distance back the way I had fought for yesterday, and it took all day to get there, I arrived at 1800hrs and tied up alongside the fuel dock safe, very sadly the Distn. to Destn, has now gone up to 104.6, and a lot more work to do before I can carry one. I went for a beer!!! 7 days at sea and still not there. (Failed)

Friday 11 march
Arranging USA customs clearance today, I was moved to a temp. slip in the morning and went to the marina office to report arrival details to USA customs San Juan. I had to wait on board for them to check the boat, they got delayed and didn't get here till 12 noon. I passed that test, then had to get a taxi to their office at the airport to do the paperwork, didn't get back until 1530hrs, with that all done I booked a berth here till Tuesday next 15th, hopefully all will be fixed by then.

Friday, March 11, 2016

SMS from

Wed. 9th Forgot To take log today but in evening had 96nm to Destn. Had problem with bilge not pumping in morning, prop shaft not turning & engine made strange noise! as well! found lashing had caught shaft coupling which caught bilge hose that wrapped around shaft and caught eng exhaust hose pulling it off! Rest of day I battled my way along the coast then had to heave too again for the night. Roy

SMS from

Tues. 8th, 12 Noon Posn. 18*31.77' N, 067*34.31' W. 101nm 186 to Desn. 393 from Blue Haven. Big Decision at 0800hrs this morning after being heaved too all night, to go south of Purto Rico to gain the leeward side out of the storm waves, this I did, and I heaved too again at 1900hrs after passing through the Mona Pasrage. Roy

Monday, March 7, 2016

SMS from

Hi All, Seems Fridays post went missing, here it is Fri. 4th 12 Noon Posn. 21*00.82' N 072*05.88' W wind East 10=15knts slight low cloud First 24hrs 105nm through the water. Could not make course, speed 3=6kts Beating hard into the wind with lots of tacking. 443.4 to Destn. Roy@@

Saturday, March 5, 2016

SMS from

Saturday 5th 12 Noon Posn 20*52.62' N 071*22.42' W wind N by E 15kts slight high cloud. 2nd 24hrs. 92nm Speed 2=2.5kts till 0845 when wind backed round to north, Then 4.5=5.5kts. Now finally on course 112* (T) 393.6nm To Desn. Roy@

SMS from

Journey To St Thomas USVI Hi everyone, Left dock @ 12 noon Thursday 3rd March 2016 with 521.9 Nm to destn. 1500hrs Posn 21*53.90' N 072*18.17' W rounding Northwest Point Provo Wind Eastally. Roy.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hi everyone,
Well a weather window has opened up, I have made the decision to make a go for St Thomas. I will be leaving Blue Haven Marina today Thursday 3rd March 2016 @ approx 1200hrs.  I cleared customs  yesterday, and am re stowing all the equipment back on board, preparing GL for the trip. There are quite a few other boats leaving so we all got together at the Salt Bar last night to say our farewells and have a few drinks. I will attempt to send updates via the sat comms, as I make my way back to Water Island, here's hoping  all will go ok there, as I will have no way to see what happens till I make landfall again. I leave here with a bit of sadness as the people and new friends I've met  made the boat and myself so very welcome. I enjoyed every minuet and got so much ticked off the work list in magic surroundings. A Special thank you to Adam Foster, Porsche and all the Girls in the office, not forgetting all the bar and kitchen staff  and guys who look after the docking at the pontoons. All the very best to you all for the future.
Roy on board Guiding Light.