captain’s log
October was mostly a down month for me and the first half of the month was spent in Victoria, British Columbia. The weather was cool and the normal summer hustle and bustle around the Inner Harbour was pretty much finished for the season. It was nice to just chill out with time spent cycling around town, working out at the gym and visiting with friends.
Later in the month, I flew back to the BVI to get ready for my first charter of the season. I took a 47ft sailing catamaran named "Shawna Raye" from the BVI to Antigua to pick up a family that was flying in from England to join the boat. We met the group in picturesque English Harbour at Nelson's  Dockyard Marina on the south side of Antigua. Our first destination after departing Antigua was the very chic St. Barts, island playground for movie stars and the rich and famous. We were expecting to have a nice sail on a broad reach on a starboard tack to St. Barts, however an extra tropical low pressure system was moving west from the Atlantic into the Caribbean and we were faced with northerly winds right on the nose. The decision was made to motor to St. Barts for ten hours rather than to sail for two days, while tacking numerous times to get there.
After a day or so at St. Barts, we had a nice off the wind sail to Marigot on the French side of St. Martin. The sea was a bit rough but we had good winds for the sail.
"October-All-Over" is the saying for the month of October when it comes to hurricane season, which officially ends at the end of November. But as they say "don't hold your breath." Tropical Storm Noel formed south of Haiti, a result of the extra tropical low that had passed to the west over our area. Noel set a track north over Haiti towards the Bahamas and eventually became a hurricane. We were very lucky, but were still having unsettled weather in our area. When we departed St. Martin on a 90 mile sail to the BVI, we set off on a down-wind sail with the jib and mainsail set wide. Soon a squall merged with us and we sailed hard on the wind in driving rain for several miles along with the squall at speeds of over 10 knots at times. It was a pretty exhilarating experience. Soon afterwards, we lost good sailing winds and ended up motoring the rest of the way to the BVI.
Fortunately, the weather soon began to return to normal and we had a good few days of sailing, snorkeling and beaching around the BVI.
November will be a busy month with two motor yacht charters and one sailing catamaran charter booked already. It looks like it will be a busy season overall for everyone in the BVI!
October 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007