Turks and Caicos to Culebra (Spanish Virgin Islands)

Its been about 1 year since Bel Ami sailed into Ensenada Honda, the well protected anchorage on the Island of Culebra. Things haven't changed too much since last here! Ha!!! Victoria from Toronto joined Phil and I onboard on April 4th, flying into Provo in the Turks and Caicos. The three of us sailed Bel Ami southeast 185 miles to Samana Bay on the northeastern end of the Dominican Republic. This was a 2 nite passage that saw winds gusting up to 30 knots and heavy seas which pounded Bel Ami unmercilessly. Finally reaching Samana Bay was a welcome respite from the weather. We found good internet access in the local Chinese restaurant up on the hill overlooking the bay, ate Dominican Chop Suey (making sure there were lots of dogs and cats around the neighborhood...come to think of it, there were lots of dogs but no cats...!) as we continued to monitor the weather, waiting for the weather to allow us further passage east. After about a week of waiting, Phil decided not to wait any longer and flew back to Wisconsin. A couple days later we got our weather window and Victoria and I shoved off 4 AM Wed morning the 14th of April with a favorable (albeit rough) forecast calling for northerly winds 15-25 knots, and sailed about 240 nautical miles bound for St. Thomas, crossing the Mona Passage and the northern coast of Puerto Rico. Bel Ami flew like a freight train. We hoped to arrive in St. Thomas by Thursday evening, but decided to divert to Culebra to arrive at safe anchorage before dark. And so here we are, enjoying and exploring Culebra while we wait another few days for good weather to sail on to the US and British Virgin Islands. Victoria flies back to Toronto on April 25 from St. Thomas, and Bel Ami is due to get hauled out for bottom job and insurance survey. Never a dull moment!!

Phil and Patty in the Bahamas to Turks and Caicos

Oh, what a time it was...
Phil, Patty and I converged back to the Bahamas in Georgetown on March 23. Phil flew in from Wisconsin, Patty from New York, and me from Florida. Said goodbye to Georgetown bound for St. Thomas via Turks and Caicos. We did some island hopping to Long Island, Conception Island, back to Long Island/Clarencetown, then 30 hours overnight to Provo. Patty, who had never been at sea before, was a real trooper!! On the way caught a Mahi as well as a Big Eyed Tuna, so we ate VERY WELL!! Patty flew to Toronto on April 1st for her Dad's 70th b-day, and we pick up new crew from Toronto (Victoria) tomorrow, who plans to be onboard for 3 weeks. Phil's time onboard is indefinite at this point--might be turning him into a real sailor!! Although 80 degree temps in Madison are beckoning him. Last nite Phil and I watched Master and Commander on the big screen (53 inch by 37 inch) and pigged out on pop corn. Weather is here, wish you were beautiful (huh???!!!)--