07 April 2009

07-Apr-2009 Noon Update

Up-Island Caribbean Crossing day #1
Noon Position 15'24.2N/62'12.6W

  • 108nm last 24hrs
  • 108nm from St. Lucia
  • 195nm to St. Croix
  • Winds E 10-15 Knots
  • Seas NE 3-4ft
  • 1414nm to Charleston SC
Sandpiper is back at sea eating up the miles northbound! Sunday night we had one last dinner at Jambe de Bois with Captain Chris from S/V Christa. Sitting next to us having dinner oddly enough was Chris Doyle, the man who wrote the guide book we were using the sail thru the Windward Islands. He was in town with his boat working on updates for his next edition of his guidebook that just about every boat in this area has aboard.

Early yesterday morning we upped anchor and motored from where we had been anchored off Pigeon Island and dropped the hook inside the tiny lagoon off Rodney Marina. After one last breakfast ashore with Cap'n Chris, clearing customs and immigration, spending our last EC dollars on groceries and a movie from a guy who sells bootlegs out of the back of his car, we were ready to head out.

Sadly we had to say good bye to Cap'n Chris who we have been good friends with for many years. But we were most fortunate that our schedules worked out so we could spend the time anchored together in Rodney Bay. Chris is southbound for hurricane season (Starts 01-June) stopping either in Grenada or Venezuela while we are northbound for Charleston, SC.

Once we cleared the harbor we had perfect winds right off the starboard quarter in a nice rare Caribbean easterly blasting the Piper along at 7 knots. We were estactic that we would be making this speed all the way to the U.S Virgin Islands. But once behind Martinique the winds dropped slowing us down to 2 knots. We were hoping with this leg to St Croix being more then 20 miles offshore the Windward Chain that the islands would not block the winds, but even this morning being 40 miles off Guadeloupe Island we were in the wind shadows, causing us to do a few hours of motoring.

One bummer is that the new part that Amy's mom brought us for the autopilot did not fix the problem. After about 12 hours it gave out, resulting in us having to hand steer when motoring. So while under sail we are using 'Haywire', our wind vane, to steer us along.

One exciting new development is that before we left St Lucia we called Sirius Radio and had our account reactivated after a 4 year freeze. We we are now just starting to back into their satellites footprint. Sirius and XM have merged, but Sirius' satellites have a larger footprint to the south and we are just on the edge. The last time we had a connection was 4 years ago when we were west bound across the Pacific from Mexico. Just another sign we are getting closer to home.

While in St. Lucia we updated our photos and videos so what are you waiting for, check em out!!

More in 24
Tom and Amy

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