BVI to St. Martin 2013

Sunrise on Trellis Bay, Beef Island

Early morning on April 10, 2013
Wereda left St. Thomas and set
course for the Beef Island, on 
the North-Eastern tip of Tortola 
in the BVI. By the time I reached the Southern shores of Beef Island it was already getting dark.
Great snorkeling on a nearby reef . Trellis Bay.
I have started the engine and 
as I was rolling in the jib, it got stuck and would not roll in any further.
After many tries back and forth
to no avail, I dropped the mainsail and tied it to the boom. I lashed the steering wheel set to one side so the boat would run in circles, then I hiked out to the bow and after long several minutes manged to get the furling line inside the furling drum
View from St. Ursula's Church. Spanish Town, 
Virgin Gorda
By then it was already dark and I still had to round the tip of the Beef island to get to the Trellis Bay.
It was quite tricky to get around the reefs guarding the entrance
View  of the North Sound. and Saba Rock. 
Virgin Gorda
to the anchorage in the dark, with the hundreds of land and airport lights interfering with ones night vision.
Once there, I was trying to tie
on to a mooring ball and after
several unsuccessful attempts
decided to drop the anchor
Dinner on Wereda - prepared earlier by Jacek & Ilona
North Sound, Virgin Gorda
instead. The mooring buoys
are too close to each other 
here for anchoring so I moved 
towards the area close to the entrance, near the cardinal marker by the reef there. After a three or so tries, I was satisfied that the anchor held. It was already close to midnight and quite exhausted I went to bed.
Repairing the dinghy. North Sound, Virgin Gorda
I was awaken by the sounds 
of a squall that was raging 
outside. It was just past 0200.
I went topside only to discover
that Wereda was dragging her
anchor and we were less than 
10 yards from a downwind boat 
that was on her mooring. I prayed the engine will start, and  
View from Wereda of Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda.  
it did. (These days, I could never be sure if it wasn't the last time my Old Cranky would fire). After a couple of attempts the anchor finally held. 
Next morning, April 11, I went 
to Road Town to clear in and on 
my way back picked up Marcin 
at the airport. After rearranging 
some of his luggage we 
dinghied over to Wereda. Next 
Arriving at Marigot, St. Martin
day, on the 12th, we sailed out 
of Trellis Bay and arrived at 
Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour 
later that day to clear out before 
continuing on to the Leeward 
Islands. While shopping at the 
supermarket we have run into a 
Polish young man, Jacek G. and 
A chance meeting with Gosia & Chris
and with Brozka &Szymon
At La Sucrerie Marigot, St. Martin
his girlfriend Ilona. 
Jacek works at the construction
and the development of a resort 
at the Oil Nut Bay at the 
Eastern-most end of the Virgin
Gorda Island. We have invited 
them to sail with us the next day
to the North Sound on our way 
out of the BVI and drop them 
Marigot. With Chris, Gosia, Szymon and Brozka
off at the Saba Rock, from 
where they would take a water 
taxi to the Costa Smeralda 
Marina not far from their home.
So the next morning, after taking care of all the formalities and last minute shopping, Marcin and I 
Brozka & Szymon's 5m (15.5ft) sailboat, Lilla My
anchored in Marigot Bay
went first to the St. Ursula's church  not too far from our marina, to hopefully meet with a Polish priest that was supposedly a pastor there. 
Love is in the air...
Too many lonely days at sea?
We met Fr. John (Jan Pastuszczak) 
and were very warmly received by him. Everyone of the missionary priests I have met so far has a long and rich history of missionary work in many places on this planet.
Always a thrill to watch planes flying low at Maho Bay
Shortly after returning to Wereda our guests arrived and we left the marina. After a leisurely but brisk sail we tied to a mooring near the Saba Rock. Ilona and Jacek prepared a big pot of pasta and brought it with
Always a thrill to watch planes flying low at Maho Bay
(and trying to hold-on)
them. We had a real feast. By the time we were done it was already late and dark and getting a water taxi was out of question. We lowered our dinghy and I realized that it was loosing air. I brought the air pump with us and we set out towards Costa Smeralda Marina,
View of St. Martin from Pinel Island
about a mile distant leaving Marcin on Wereda. At about a quarter of a mile from the marina, the air pressure in port side tube became so low that we had to start pumping. The process of attaching the pump depleted more air causing
East shores of the Pinel Island, St. Mrtin
dinghy's transom to partially collapse and submerged the outboard. 
Jacek quickly re-inflated the tube
and luckily, the outboard started without problem. With Jacek pumping continously, we arrived
Beach on Pinel Island, St. Martin
at the marina without further problems. Jacek contacted one of his co-workers and they prepared company power boat to take the dinghy and me back to Wereda. Next day, early afternoon, April 14, we left the North Sound  and by 1630 we were sailing past the Necker Island, property of Sir
Orient Beach, St. Martin
Richard Branson. From there
we set course towards St. Martin.
On Tuesday morning, April 16,
Wereda arrived in Marigot Bay,
St. Martin. Following day, while 
clearing-in we've run into my 
good friends Gosia and Chris 
Dinner for six on Wereda, featuring "mielone"
(pan fried minced meat patties), mashed 

potatoes and sour kraut salad
from the s/v Aldebaran who 
had also just arrived from the
BVI. We all went to a nearby
La Sucrerie to have a bite and get on the Internet. As we were sitting there and chatting, a young lady approached our table and introduced herself as Brozka
(Dobrochna) and said she was 
here with her friend Szymon K. 
Wereda being hoisted out of the water at TOBY
We learned then, that earlier this year, Szymon crossed the Atlantic on a tiny, plywood, 5 meter long sailboat Lilla My and Brozka joined him in Martinique. 
St. Martin was their last of the
Caribbean islands they stopped
at, before crossing the Atlantic
on their way back to Poland.
Wereda out of the water at TOBY. With Edward
My plan was to continue 
sailing with Marcin all the way 
to Trinidad. Well, it was not
meant to happen that way, though.
My sister contacted me with
the news of my mom's health
turning to worse after she
Carnival Parade in the Dutch part of St. Martin
had suffered a stroke. I knew then that I would have to travel to England very soon so I began looking for ways to store Wereda for the summer months in St. Martin. Marcin's flight home was from Trinidad so I reimbursed
Edward visits to say good bye as I leave for the airport
him for his flight there. He has 
managed to get himself invited 
by Chris and Gosia to continue 
sailing South on the Aldebaran 
and they left St. Martin on April 
22 nd. 
There was another Polish yacht
anchored in Marigot Bay - the
s/v Atma and I finally made 
contact with her owner, Edward W. He was also preparing
for his voyage back to Europe.
I have made arrangements with
the Time Out Boat Yard (TOBY)
for storage of Wereda beginning April 29. TOBY requires that the mast
be unstepped, so I had to remove all sails and the boom prior to our arrival at TOBY. With Edward's assistance we moved Wereda from the anchorage to the yard and docked at a small "mobile" floating platform and the crane was already waiting. 
On May 1st, Mike the "Shrimpy" took me to the airport where
I boarded a plane to Houston. From there, two days later, I flew to London hoping I wasn't too late to see my mom.
For photo album or slide show click HERE

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