An account of the wanderings of Perry, Captain of ALEXANDRA, a 31' Cape Dory cutter rigged sailboat.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tail end of the BVI's
Here I am at the tail end of the BVI's, on Virgin Gorda about to order a pizza and a beer. I am experiencing the true essence of low budget sailing by enduring at least one broken item per sail. I now have a jammed roller-furling jib and two banks of dead batteries. We left Tortolla under engine power only b/c I got a jump, thinking that the engine would re-charge the batteries over the course of 40 minutes. When I went to start the engine again at Virgin Gorda - no joy - so we sailed to our anchoring spot and safely dropped anchor near Spanish Town. Why didn't they charge properly? Is there a wiring problem? Is the batteries life simply over? I left one bank charging with the solar panels all day in a last attempt to charge for a good start. We shall see. I may need to have a new battery delivered to the boat. As for the Roller furling jib, it is a sad affair. J hoisted me up the mast today in my harness so that I could have a look. The inner cable for the roller has snapped at the top, who knows how the hell that happened? I suspect the entire deal needs replacement, which is going to cost... I can't think about it, thousands. So my last sail was quite basic, my only force of movement coming from 2 out of my 3 sails, no engine. Trouble in paradise. We hiked down to the Baths, which came highly recommended. They were worth the visit, quite beautiful. We've visited Tortolla and Norman Island before here. Norman Island featured a two masted, 90ft schooner which was moored and a popular restaurant. It's theme seemed to be people getting drunk enough to lose their clothes, and we watched two drunk women fall accidently into the bay while trying to get to their dingy. Unfortunately, most of the people doing what I'm doing around here are over 40 or well over 40, and they are chartering massive catamerans. So there aren't as many young bikini-clad girls romping around as I would have hoped. I'm starting to feel that this trip will be limited to a Clockwise tour of the Caribean sea, which I feel is enough of an accomplishment. I am thinking my route will go from here down to Grenada, then West to the ABC islands and Venezuela, and then a return stateside, arriving in September. That's my best guess right now. We'll see. Even though I am living quite modestly on the boat, the unavoidable repairs that have and will come up are casting a menacing shadow on my savings.
The photos are of the snapped roller furling jib cable and one of the Baths. And one tired looking dog
If I can get the engine started tomorrow, we'll be off to St. Martin. Until then, fair winds.
A Charleston, SC native, Perry graduated from The Citadel (The Military College of S.C.) in 2005. He spent 4.5 years as a Naval Officer operating out of Florida and Virginia. In 2007 aboard the USS Arleigh Burke he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and spent several weeks off the coast of Somalia conducting Anti-Piracy operations. 4 months before leaving the Navy he bought a 31' sailboat and began to prepare her for a great adventure; a sail from Virginia to South America and back by way of the Bahamian and Caribbean Islands. This blog picks up at the beginning of that journey. Perry is currently preparing to find a job, sell the boat, and make a move to Japan by summer 2011.