Sailing Journal BVI-Bermuda It started out like any other day except… Well, let me take you back to the beginning. A chance to sail, to crew on the Anahita, a 62’ cutter rigged sloop. A 1500 mile journey from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to Manhattan. And me, like a kid, full of hope, optimism and a sense of adventure. The Anahita was built in 1991 and refitted in 2005. It is 62’ overall length with a 17’ beam, mast height 70’, a 9’ draft with a 125hp motor, primary winches are electric. There are 4 cabins, all with en suite heads. The round salon table will seat 10 and a bar table that will seat an additional 4 people. It is fully air conditioned and carries a water maker. Bijan, the Captain S/Y Anahita Monday May 22-Wednesday, May 24, 2006 First, the flights. Fortunately uneventful as plane travel goes with one small exception. The flight arrived safely in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, the departure to St. Thomas was delayed and delayed again and finally cancelled. The cause was volcanic ash in the air from the island of Monserrat, part of Leeward Islands. I vowed never to stay in Puerto Rico again after a less than stellar experience there in December 2005 but I had no say in the matter. Here I was. Hot, tired and a bit on the cranky side. American Airlines gave the passengers a list of hotels in the area. My flight was one of the last cancelled so most of the hotels were already booked up. Knowing I would have to stay the night in San Juan, I asked if I could retrieve my luggage but was told it was with thousands of others and it would be impossible to retrieve. I met a two others outside the terminal while we were all trying to figure out what to do. A Taxi driver said there was a tourist office in the building that could assist us in finding rooms. I said I don’t care where I stay, just so I have a room. Cost was not an issue at the moment so I expected something on the high end. As it turned out, the agent found 3 rooms for us at the same hotel for $68/nite about a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport. We took a taxi to the Coral Bay Hotel. The lobby looked okay so nothing registered that it would be less than desired. The room however, left much to be desired. A queen-sized bed in the middle of the room on a metal bed frame covered with a bedspread that I would not sit on. I immediately pulled off the bedspread to see a single threadbare sheet with no mattress pad underneath. There was a TV that was broken, a wall air conditioner that was also in desperate need of cosmetic repair… read that as replacement. And I couldn’t get it to turn on. After going down to the front desk, I was told there is a wall switch. It’s either on or off. Back up I went and turned it on. At least it worked. But it was on the coldest temperature. The floor and every item in the room had caked up dust on it from the humidity. It at least had a bathroom, en suite but no hot water. Still tired, cranky, hot and by now miserable, I took a luke warm shower. There was a restaurant off the lobby and since I hadn’t eaten all day, I took a leap of faith. Surprisingly, I had a decent Caesar Salad with chicken. After eating, I went back to my now freezing cold room and turned off the air conditioner and went to sleep on a very hard and lumpy bed. It was now 1a.m. and I had to be up at 6a.m. for an 8:30a.m. flight to St. Thomas. Not even this was straightforward. After my flight was cancelled, I immediately called American Airlines, knowing the line at the ticket desk would be long. I explained about the cancelled flight and told them I needed a flight out in the morning to St. Thomas. After checking schedules, the agent booked me on an 8:30a.m. flight on Cape Air as they had no morning flights available on American. She suggested I get to the airport early, between 6:30 and 7:00a.m. so I would have time to go to the American Airline desk and have them issue a new paper ticket for Cape Air. I went to the American ticketing counter with my information and record locator. I gave this to the agent and she told me, “you can’t fly on Cape Air, we have a flight at 4:30 this afternoon I can put you on.” I explained my phone call the night before, the booking made, the record locator etc. She said they would not put me on the Cape Air flight. I explained that I had to be in St. Thomas this morning and to find a way of getting me there. She finally came up with a flight at 10:20a.m. Once again I asked about my luggage and was told that all the luggage for St. Thomas was put on an earlier flight and would be there when I arrived. HAH! I arrived in St. Thomas but after going through all the luggage from my flight, my bag was not to be found. I went to the baggage claim office to inquire about it. They told me to look in their back room and through all the bags delivered earlier. It was not there. They said to wait an hour for the next flight. I did and it wasn’t on that flight. Then yet another flight and still no bag. I finally called Bijan, the captain of the boat I would be sailing on. He told me to take a taxi to the Crown Bay Marina in Charlotte Amalie and he would meet me at the dinghy dock. When we arrived at the Anahita, in Watermelon Bay, I met my fellow crew members, Will Sharp, an Architect and David Jacobs, a retired professor of art and a metal sculpturist, both of New York. Watermelon Bay Will and David The 4 of us will be sailing companions for close to two weeks. The intended route was to be St. Thomas to Manhattan and we would be sailing as much as 800 miles off shore and through the Gulf Stream. Since I have never sailed out of sight of land, this was to be a very exciting experience. Thursday May 25 I called American Airlines this morning and they found my bag. They delivered it to Crown Bay Marina early morning. I unpacked but found my new Gill Sailing gloves and a new red LED flashlight my son gave me for Mother’s Day were missing. I called American and made a claim to be completed when I return home and have the receipts. We motored to Charlotte Amalie and anchored the boat. After breakfast, we took the dinghy into town and started our errands of provisioning and picking up a few items for the boat in preparation for our sail to New York. We borrowed a pick up truck from a Maria Connor- Freeman who works at 1FirstBank in Charlotte Amalie and proceeded to various markets and then over to Red Hook. When all was purchased, Bijan and Will took everything back to the boat by dinghy which took two trips. Meanwhile, David and I stayed in town and walked around a few vendor stalls and then I walked over to the bank to let Maria know we were finished. In the meantime, Bijan and Will brought two kayaks from the boat to store at Maria’s home while Bijan is in New York for the summer/fall season. While they were moving and storing the kayaks, David and I attempted to put all the groceries away which was not easy. There is enough fresh foods to fill two refrigerators but we only have one. And then there are the canned goods and staples. As of midnight, we still hadn’t found room for everything. After most was stored, I started dinner prep. This was our first meal together. We had BBQed marinated chicken, salad, garlic bread and wine. The weather is lovely. The day was probably in the mid 80s, relatively clear and nice sailing wind but unfortunately we were not sailing today. The evening was warm and we had dinner in the cockpit. I’m up here typing and Will is asleep on the other side. It’s nice enough to sleep out here today but no doubt we’ll all or most of us will be below. Friday May 26, 2006 Today has been another boat prep day. The food is organized… not an easy task with a very small and not very cold refrigerator. I’m concerned about fresh foods. The fish in the freezer has already defrosted and I plan to BBQ it tonight. The chicken parts wouldn’t freeze and the ongoing freshness of dairy is now questionable. The produce will be fine for a few days. My concern is having to resort to Spam later in the trip. David likes Spam and bought plenty of it along with cans of Vienna sausages. Will is willing to eat it and Bijan and I said we wouldn’t. I will do all I can to avoid eating anything like this. Fortunately we have a fresh water maker on board as well as a generator so water and electricity are not concerns. These may be the only amenities we have in a few days. Bijan and Will have gone into town for a few more items and I did a bit more cleaning up. David is napping in the cockpit. After Bijan and Will returned, we put stowed the balance of items they bought and prepared to motor over to St. John. I didn’t know earlier but we have to go to St. John to pick up a crew overboard float and tomorrow to Road Town in Tortola to pick up parts to repair the auto pilot. Due to the late hour of the day, after 1600hrs, we motored rather than set sail. Once at our mooring ball, we, Will and I prepared dinner. David did the cleanup tonight. Note, we’re now switching to 24 hour time. I’m feeling very nautical. While Will, Bijan and myself were enjoying the evening in the cockpit, Bijan spotted some very large tarpons swimming around the back of the boat. He put the light on them and you could see four silvery tarpons out there. After a short while a manta ray swam over. It was the first one I’ve seen out of captivity so it was exciting for me. Bijan showed me the charts for our course from here to New York. Saturday, May 27, 2006 We put the Genoa on the headstay this morning and prepared for sailing. We left our anchorage on St. John at 0840 and headed to Road Town. Bijan has to pick up a part for the auto pilot and the water maker needs a repair. Bijan is expecting a couple hours delay here but I suspect it will be longer. We are anchored in Road Town, near the green buoy just outside the jetty at the entrance to the Moorings marina and near my own boat if it’s not chartered out. Some of the newly bought tomatoes are already rotting so I’m going to cut the bad ends off and make a marinara sauce. Bijan returned and told us we will not be able to depart for New York until Monday. The man who does the water maker repairs is in Antiqua and will not return until Sunday evening. This means I will have to bypass my visit to Susan and Hal in Amagansett. Sunday , May 28, 2006 Another morning prepping for our sail. We did some reorganization of the storage areas to make more space in general and more efficient space in the galley. Bijan and Will went into Road Town and took the leaking part from the water maker with them. As suspected we needed a new O ring. They brought it back to the boat and worked on it and fortunately the fix was done. With that and the auto pilot working, we were close to taking off. Bijan took David and me to Village Cay in the dinghy and from there we walked over to Bobby’s Market. I did a little more shopping and then back to the boat. We departed at 1600 hrs for Jost Van Dyke under a head sail and motor again due to the late hour of the day and the need to check the auto pilot. All seems fine so we continued on to Great Harbor. We anchored near the mouth of the harbor in 42’ water. The weather is calm. A tall ship came into the harbor just after us. The Picton-Castle, a Barque. The Picton-Castle We swam over to it to get a better look and then back to our boat. After drinks and hors d’oeuvres, we took the dinghy to Foxy’s for drinks. Yesterday was the Wooden Boat Regatta so it was a zoo there. Great fun though and still many beautiful wooden boats are anchored here. After a couple rounds of painkillers we headed back to the boat. We intend to set sail for New York in the morning. Monday, May 29, 2006 This morning is a flurry of activity. Bijan went up the mast on the boson’s chair to make adjustments on the starboard shroud. It was about 4” higher than the port shroud. That took several trips up and down the mast. Once that was done, the dinghy had to be raised onto the deck, using the winches. From my understanding, this was the first time the dingy is being put on the deck for a voyage on this boat. A set of chocks was placed on the deck and we spent a number of hours making adjustments so the dinghy would be solid for the passage. 1300 hrs. The main is up with light winds and we’re motor sailing from Great Harbor to outside the passage between Jost Van Dyke and Great Tabago island. The wind never picked up so we remained under motor sail. The last land sighting was Great Tabago at 1700hrs. The sky is hazy, seas relatively calm. It appears we may be sailing into a storm so we doused the Genoa and the main is single reefed. At 1800hrs, Will and I prepared dinner. The watches were set up. I am doing watch from 2200 to 2400hrs and back up in the cockpit from 2400 to 0200. Tuesday, May 30, 2006 0600hrs and I am back on watch until 0800. After my watch duty, I spent a few hours in the galley, trying to save some produce that is going bad and again trying to reorganize the food in the refrigerator. We’re sailing under full sail and we can see storm clouds building. Our speed at 1300hrs is 3kts. We have not had much wind since departure which Bijan said is very unusual. I saw one cargo ship sailing south at 1100hrs. Seas are running about 2’. I was on the helm from 1530 – 1730. Bijan showed me how to sail by instrument only this afternoon using the wind direction meter. Lynzie, sailing by instrument I’m back on watch backup from 2000-2200 and at the helm from 2200-2400. At 2400, we had squalls all around us. I went below to nap and missed one large squall and dolphins swimming around the boat. I’m back up for watch from 0400 – 0600 hrs. I checked radar tonight for the first time and spotted 3 squalls that looked like they may merge together. We had to motor sail again due to lack of wind . We did 125NM our first 24hrs out. Wednesday, May 31, 2006 I’m on watch again this morning from 0400-0600. It’s been a very hot and humid day with little wind so we have been motor sailing most of the day and on auto pilot so we spent a lot of time napping. It’s 1830 and we set the sails but were only doing 2.7knt. The refrigerator has gone out so I moved some of the critical food to the freezer. Bijan E-mailed the company for help with it but we won’t get a reply until tomorrow at best. (We never got a reply) He is making ice in the icemaker for the refrigerator but we’ve been running the motor so much for sailing, he hasn’t been able to do that until now. It’s 1930 and I’m on backup watch in 30 minutes although we’ll all be up above for dinner and then I’m at the helm from 2200-2400. I spent my first watch at the helm under full sail, no motor and no autopilot. It was an awesome feeling. I saw one shooting star and watched an orange glowing quarter moon dip into the sea. This low in latitude, the new moon crescent is on the bottom rather than to the side as we see it further north. Thursday, June 1, 2006 0400 hrs, in the cockpit on backup and then my watch until 0800. Bijan started the autopilot at 0600 so I didn’t have to sit at the helm. I did a few housekeeping chores, washed dishtowels and hung them to dry and took some sunrise photos.. The seas are still calm and almost no wind. At 0800 we shook out the single reef and reduced the motor to minimum RPMs. We picked up a bit more wind and are doing 6.3 knts. I read and slept most of the morning and afternoon. I was requested on deck at 1600 to take the helm while Bijan and Will checked the weather reports. There is no wind anticipated for 3 days but there will be more as we head north, so long as we can get enough wind to head north. We are also running low on fuel so we are now motoring only a little at a time. We were under full sail this afternoon and only doing .5 kt. We finally gave up and have been bobbing in the ocean. Tried fishing for dinner but no bites. We may detour to Bermuda, about 250 miles out of the way to get fuel. Still no refrigerator. Will cooked rice and beans for dinner. We have a few fresh veggies left and then on to canned food.. We dropped the sails around 1800 except about 25% Genoa and floated until 2030. Bijan turned on the motor and we’ll try to make a little headway. Friday, June 2, 2006 We averaged about 3kts after I went to sleep. I was up at 0400 and on watch until 0900. It’s getting cold at night. I came on watch wearing my foul weather jacket and thermal bottoms under my pants. As soon as the sun started coming up, I changed to a lighter jacket. We finally got some wind. We’re under full sail and cruising along at about 5 kts. Bijan said at this speed, by tomorrow we will have 850miles to go. We will try not to use the motor anymore. The inverter blew out last night with two computers plugged into it. We can charge the computers off the generator when it’s running which will also be minimal. It’s 0930 and I’m almost done with breakfast and cooking the carrots which were at the verge of being tossed overboard. And maybe they should be. Hopefully they aren’t bad enough to make us sick. We have very little fresh produce left and I’m trying to salvage whatever I can. The carrots were thrown overboard after all. 1100 – We’re cruising under sail but only doing 3.5 to 5.5 kts. Clouds are building and it looks like rain and wind. 1245 The wind died again and we’re doing to 2kts under heavy clouds but no rain so far. We’re back on motor. The main is up and the headsail doused. We still have 1000 miles to go having made only 400 miles in 4 days mostly under motor and motor sailing. The seas are light chop with 1-2’ swells. 1400hrs We just ran into a large squall. Our position is 25 29.684N 065 54.229 W. Heavy seas and too much wind for the head sail to douse it. Bijan’s intent was to go on the back side of the squall but we may have had a wind shift. The traveler came lose and slammed to starboard and then back to port, ripping the main in two places. We had to reverse direction as we were unable to continue sailing into the wind causing us to lose 6 precious miles it took many hours to gain. The GPS shows 455 miles down and 994 to go to NYC. The storm waves We have to make a change in course to Bermuda for repairs, fuel and more provisions. This will add 250miles to our course. Bermuda is 450miles north, Puerto Rico 400 miles south. Considering what we just went through, all spirits are good. 1930 Tried to nap before my 2000 watch but it is too rough to sleep. I’m not feeling great and am not looking forward to 4 hours in the cockpit. I didn’t eat dinner tonight. At least the mattress was soft and comfortable. A good thing as I was being thrown around on it. I kept feeling as though I was on an elevator going down and my insides stayed up. We’re sailing under the headsail only for a few hours and then will douse it and motor. We try to use the sail whenever there is a little wind to save on fuel. Watch was easy tonight since we are on auto pilot and I didn’t have to sit at the helm all the time.. Since we’re on motor and a little smoother, I went to sleep after my watch. for a few hours. Will be back up at 0400. We are hoping to be in Bermuda by some time on Monday. Saturday, June 3, 06 I went on watch at 0400. Will pointed out a large line squall at 0500 that he had been keeping an eye on. A small section of the line squall It was to the SE of us and seemed to be stationary. He said it had been visible for a couple hours. As it’s getting light, it appears we are in the midst of a series of storm systems that appears to be moving in the same direction we are. It looks lighter ahead. Hopefully we will pass out of this system soon. I am constantly reminded we are in hurricane season and on a little used shipping path. 0645 A single bird is following us and landing on the water. I took some photos and threw out some breadcrumbs. 0700 More storm clouds are building just to the starboard and aft of us. It’s lighter ahead but still solid clouds. True wind is only 11kt. We’re still under motor but I’m concerned about our fuel level on the last tank. 0730 we just entered a large storm cell. Radar shows it to be more than a mile deep. 0800 We passed through the current cell. I’m off watch until 2000 hrs. David is on watch and we turned off the motor and are sailing under about 40% Genoa. The wind picked to 10-15 kt but we’re still moving slowly. 1700 We motored all afternoon. Showered and slept from 1100-1700. It’s sunny again with light clouds. 1730 I made dinner again. I’m learning fast to make one pot meals. We’ve used most of the fresh produce we had. There are a couple pieces of peppers left and onions. We bought a lot of onions and garlic. Took the helm on watch at 2000. Dinner upset my stomach tonight. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten sea sick. The swells have a short fetch and we’re rocking and rolling tonight. There are large clouds building to the west but it’s still clear where we are. We tried sailing with the headsail but were only doing 4.4kts so we’re back to motoring and close to 8 kts. Sunday, June 4, 2006 0400 hrs and I’m about to go back on watch. Will’s door was banging again and it woke me up at 0200. He was on watch so I stuffed a towel behind his door. It was raining when I came up but stopped soon after. Took some sunrise photos at 0530. Sunrise on the Atlantic The sky is starting to lighten up a bit after 0400. We’re motoring. The seas look like boiling water and we’re having a lot of weather changes but the wind is still relatively light. We have 177 miles to Bermuda. Our position is 29 25.729N, 065 04.527W. 0700hrs It started raining again. Bijan took over the helm. By 0800 we were about to furl the headsail but the furling line was jammed in the drum. Bijan and Will worked on freeing it and finally removed the line with sail fully out. The only way to replace the furling line was to drop the Genoa but nothing was done about it. A while later, I asked Bijan if we could drop the Genoa. He said it would be a big deal to drop it so I let it go. About an hour later, we saw squalls up ahead and Bijan finally decided it might be a good idea to drop the Genoa. Bijan asked David to turn and hold the boat into the wind. David didn’t respond fast enough and Bijan in his impatience dropped the sail. Rather than falling on the deck, it fell into the water. We all tried to pull it on deck and couldn’t. Bijan went down below to get a block and planned to winch it in. Meanwhile, Will, David and myself managed to pull the sail onto the deck. When Bijan returned, I said, we got it up. Rather than saying thanks for a job well done,, he started yelling at us. We then discovered a small tear of a reinforcement strap at the head which had to be repaired. Bijan got his repair kit out and went to work on that. Once completed, we had to put the furling line back out, feed the sail back into the groove and raise it again. All was completed by 1100. Meanwhile, we used up more fuel and may not have enough to motor to Bermuda. At the moment, we have a 15kt wind and we’re sailing on the headsail at 4.5kts. I’m noticing that Bijan is not conservative enough in his actions considering he doesn’t have a full complement of experienced crew. This is frustrating for all of us. He goes into rages at crewmembers without a good reason and then shortly after, he acts as if nothing has happened. It’s starting to affect us all though. 1130 Lunch break for PB&J and taco chips. 1200 Large storm clouds building all around and over us. I’m sure we are in for more rain..1400 It’s sunny for the moment. I just napped in the cockpit and came down to my cabin to try and sleep more before my watch tonight. I couldn’t sleep so went back up. We’re under sail again doing around 5kts. We should be in Bermuda by some time tomorrow afternoon… hopefully. Fuel is running low and so is the wind. We had a little more rain this afternoon and then clearing. 1830 I’m going to make dinner in a few minutes. Gnocci w/alfredo sauce. By the time we’re done eating, it will be my watch. 0230 While on watch, I noticed the running lights were not working and apparently the mainsail hit the steaming light so we have no night lights other than the stern light. Still no wind and we’re very low on fuel. We’re motoring at 7.8kts. We are 80 mils from Bermuda but we will have to go on sail with or without wind or run out of fuel before we get there. 2200 Engine off and sailing under the headsail at 5.5 kts. The batteries have not been holding a charge well so it’s difficult to charge computers. We can only charge when the generator is running and that takes fuel as well. We are very conservative in our use lights and instruments. 2400 going off watch. I had the helm sailing downwind and did pretty well holding the course under the headsail only. Still, it was hard work. We finally put the helm on auto pilot. Monday June 5, 2006 0350, up for my 0400 watch. I didn’t get much sleep in my short 3.5 hours off watch. I was being tossed around and felt as though I was in a front loader washing machine. 0600 We’re in a squall with heavy rain that continued until 0745. My foul weather gear is keeping me nice and dry and the light thermals underneath are keeping me warm. 0720 turned on the engine and doused the Genoa. 0800 We are 25 miles from Bermuda. Hope we have enough fuel. 0840 Land ho, barely through the heavy clouds. 0930 Heavy clouds and motoring on to Bermuda. Bijan didn’t have a chart for the harbors in Bermuda. He made radio contact for instruction on coming into the harbor. We are to follow a large Norwegian Cruise Line ship into the harbor since the Customs and Immigration office is right next to the cruise line dock. Following ship into harbor (This particular ship left St. George for Hamilton on June 7 and went up on a reef. We had a horrendous storm and high winds. They were towed off when the tide came in). 1300, Docked at the customs house in St. George and cleared with customs and immigration. St. George, Bermuda Afterward, we moved the boat into the harbor and dropped anchor followed by a quick lunch. 1345 Took the mainsail off the boom and moved the dinghy from the deck into the water and loaded the sail on board. Lowering the dinghy into the water Bijan took the sail to the sailmaker for repairs. We completed this by 1600. The Picton-Castle arrived in the harbor this afternoon and once again dropped anchor not far from us. 1630 We went ashore to walk around and have drinks and dinner. While we were having drinks, some of the crew and the owner/Captain of the Picton-Castle came in and sat right next to us. Will and I went over to talk to them. Their web site is worth looking at, http://www.picton- castle.com. After returning to the boat, around 2100 I emptied the refrigerator and reorganized and cleaned. Bijan showed photos of his boat reconstruction on the big screen. Afterwards we all went to sleep although I stayed up later as usual. Tuesday June 6, 2006 0815 I slept in this morning but I heard everyone working on deck. Bijan repaired the steaming light and the boat was moved about 200 yds from where we were anchored at the request of the harbor master. By 1030 all was done and I made breakfast and did the cleanup. 1030 We went ashore this morning. Bijan needed to look for repair parts and I was trying to find an AC charger for my cell phone. I was unsuccessful so trying to use it as little as possible. I did find a taxi driver who let me charge on his car battery charger until he got a fare. Afterwards, I went to an internet café while Bijan and Will looked for the fueling area and David took care of having a copy of his passport faxed to him since he needed it to get back into the U.S. Not planning on going to Bermuda or to the BVIs, he didn’t take it. The rest of us had ours. 1500 Returned to the boat and I made lunch and did cleanup. It’s now 1730 and everyone but me is napping. We need to move the boat to the fueling area shortly. We have an appointment for fuel at noon. The tanker truck comes to the fueling area to fill the boat. The sail maker will deliver the sail to the boat while we’re at the fuel dock. 1900 We needed to clean out the refrigerator again. It was starting to smell in there. I emptied it and then Bijan got to the bottom where I can’t reach and cleaned the water out. We had to throw out the egg salad and chicken. Then for no reason, Bijan went off on me, yelling about the food and telling me not to put anything back in there, he would do it his way and then he stormed up to the deck. Bijan had gone on his rages against Will and David a couple times but this was the first time he went off on me. Enough was enough, so I refused to touch another thing. I stormed into my cabin and shut the door. David came down to me before I went to my cabin and said Bijan asked him if he was wrong to get mad and yell at me and David said yes. When he told me that, I told him I didn’t care, I would not be yelled at or talked to that way for no reason. About 30 minutes later, they all asked me to come out of my cabin and I said no. They kept asking. I finally did and had my say with Bijan, telling him, he can not talk to me that way, I have done a great job, I’m the only person on night watch, twice each night, I’m doing most of the cooking and cleaning and an equal share of on deck work. They all agreed that I was great in the galley and I never complained about any of the work or watches. Will and David told me that Bijan is used to doing everything himself, the way he wants it done. I said, if he doesn’t like what I’m doing, I would fly home from here, that his expenses and frustrations due to delay were not my problem. He got the message loud and clear and said I was doing well and he finally apologized and opened a bottle of wine. After we drank the wine, it was almost 2200 and we decided to go ashore for dinner. We went in the dinghy just as it started to sprinkle. By the time we were eating, it was pouring rain and high winds. I had my back pack with computer in it. I got a trash bag from the restaurant and put it over me and my back pack . Then the 1/3 mile walk back to the dinghy in the rain. By the time we got to it, we were all soaked. And then another 1-1/2 miles in the dinghy to the boat in waves, heavy rain and about 25kt wind. It was not a pleasant ride. Once back, we all showered and went to bed. Wednesday June 7 2006 0735 I’m up and dressed. It was stormy all night and still is. Bijan wanted me to go to Hamilton on the ferry to buy parts, about an hour ferry ride away . And we need to move the boat but there is concern about trying to dock it in the wind and rain. 0845, we’re still sitting here reading and eating and probably trying to figure out a game plan. Weather report said there is a tropical depression brewing. Not sure when we will try to leave. 1030 We pulled anchor and moved the boat to the fuel docking area. Bijan took the dinghy to the sail maker to pay and make arrangement for them to deliver it. David, Will and I are waiting for the fuel truck which is due at noon. The wind is blowing hard and slamming the boat against the tires on the wharf. A 4’ gutter from the wharf was sending a torrent of water onto the boat and I found leaking inside from it. When Bijan came back, Will told him the water was causing the leaking I was seeing inside. Bijan put a towel over the windows. Will told him we needed to put one over the gutter to divert the water flow. Bijan disagreed but Will did it anyway and presto, the water stopped hitting the boat. It pays to have an architect on board. Pretty logical though. We just heard one of the Norweigian Cruise ships that was docked near us went on the rocks in Hamilton and they have to wait for high tide to be pulled off. The winds were brutal last night and this morning which no doubt contributed to their going aground. 1330 The fuel truck never showed up and they are not answering their phones or radio calls. The rain is starting to let up a bit. We still need to fuel, put the sail back on, buy parts in Hamilton and provisions before setting sail. This is not likely to happen today. I went to my cabin to read and rest and heard a big commotion on deck. Bijan was yelling at someone… again. Then I heard noise inside the salon. I went to see what was going on and Will and David were in their cabins frantically throwing their clothes into their luggage. Then Bijan came down and asked what they were doing. They said they were leaving. I said, if Will is leaving, I am too that I didn’t feel the sail would be safe with just the three of us. We have all noticed that David seems to be suffering from short term memory loss here and there. He would be told to do something and forget immediately and go to his cabin and lay down. Or he would start something and then go blank. He is a very experienced sailor, has had his own boat for 30 years but this is not a good situation. I am inexperienced and Bijan is having his rages for no reason. Will has more experience than me but is still not experienced enough a sailor to be comfortable in the situations we’ve been in or what we may be facing. We still had the gulf stream to sail through and needed 4 able bodied people. Bijan tried to calm everyone down but we all had to say our piece to him. I told him his behavior was like that of someone who is bi-polar. He’s fine most of the time and then goes into rages, directing them at whoever is near, and then is fine moments later. He has put us into a number of situations and then blamed it on others. Additionally there are too many problems on the boat. He doesn’t have a complete tool kit to fix things so he’s doing some things makeshift. Our running lights are out and he doesn’t have spare bulbs which is on the list for Hamilton. The batteries are questionable and he said the generator will be enough. I would like to have had a red flashlight when I was on watch. I had one but it disappeared when my luggage was left in Puerto Rico along with my sailing gloves. Bijan talked David into staying on. They have been friends for 15 years. Will and I opted not to stay. Neither of us felt it safe under the circumstances. We left the boat around 1430 and caught a taxi to downtown. We went to the CyberCafe in St. George and made reservations to fly out of Bermuda the following morning, June 8. We told Bijan we would meet him at the custom’s office so our names could be removed from the manifest. I asked the custom’s officer if he knew where we could find a room for the night. He called someone he knew who came on his motor scooter to talk to us. He didn’t have a room available but called a woman they both knew did have one. She came to pick us up and take us back to her house. After changing, Will and I walked back to town for dinner. This morning, Lynn Hodsoll, the lady whose home we stayed in, took us to the airport and I am now on the 2nd leg of my trip home. Currently en route, from N.Y. to Cincinnati While Will and I were at dinner, he told me Bijan has had other incidents at sea including a rescue by the Coast Guard. As much as I wanted to complete the sail to N.Y., I feel leaving was the best decision. To add insult to injury when I was at JFK to make my connection to my flight to Denver, I was picked for a full pat down in security at JFK. Obviously they are not profiling. The other person I saw being patted down was a young black man. They patted me down, checked every compartment of my backpack, purse and shoes for explosives. Maybe it was because I bought my ticket last minute at the airport. Not sure but it just one more event in a long series of events. And so it goes. I don’t regret this adventure for a moment. With all the delays and incidents, I feel as though I still learned a lot plus I was able to sail. And that is the joy of it all. The negative incidents will fade over time and I’ll have good memories of sailing/motoring 850 miles from the British Virgin Islands to Bermuda through all kinds of weather. And to think, we were sailing through the Bermuda Triangle.
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