Captain Mike's Travel Blog
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Today, was absolutely one of the wildest days of the trip. We left the Vieques around 7 AM and got out into seas about 5-7 feet with wind that was behind us and Howling. Immediately we broke the shackle between the vang and the boom and it popped. We tied off the boom with some ropes to get us back into whatever was the next port. Then, we stay close to the land all the way across to San Juan until we got into this island chain that was puzzling . The wind picked up again and we were howling around 35 miles of wind. At times we were moving over 13.3 kn in speed and just loved it so much that we had to ride it out until we needed to find the channel. But most of the time there were islands in our way before we could cut back into the mainland. We got there in plenty of time and checked into Ponce yacht and fishing club and Docked in a serious breeze of 30 mph. (Thanks to Neil) We had our challenges with the local customs officers who wanted us to check in an island back so I'm still dealing with that issue but I think it should work out. The crew is phenomenal today and so I took them out to dinner and we had a very good night. We are not only in port but docked tonight and 8 hours sleep is ahead of us.. A challenging day tomorrow, in that, we have to get the yacht fixed and clear customs before heading off to the very tip of San Juan Island. This could work and I'll update more tomorrow. Sail On!
It's a great morning in paradise as we wake up and Neil's and Dana's home in St. John Virgin Islands. Above the harbor looking down and seeing all the yachts and one of them is Shangri-La. Early morning pick up and then onto the harbortown what we have a great great little breakfast coffee and provisions for the boat.
I had my challenges trying to get my back end of the yacht upto the dock to get fuel and water. Perfect weather day and a great sail about six hours along the coast of St. Thomas and Vieques San Juan Islands.
This is our harbor at Sun Bay and it is tropical beautiful. Kenny Chesney and Jack Johnson are here playing music for us and we are using the grill for appetizers and everybody below is making potluck dinner. Yes we had a few cocktails but basically An early night as tomorrow is another 10 hour sail along the coast of San Juan Islands to Ponce yacht and Fishing Club, our next stop. Sail On!
15 hours in sunny skies, 4-6 ft waves and light winds. Wind is behind Us. And making for surprising surfing of the yacht. Sails up all day but motor sailed a lot of it. All of us are very tired by fortunately 2 of our crew have homes on the island. Off the boat tonight for a shower, dinner and a bed. That works!
Beautiful and fun sail from St. Bart's to St. Martin on the French side. Wind at 15 knots and wonderful seas at 4-6 ft. Sunny skies and the sailing team is coming together. Guys understanding how the yacht operates and taking roles. This is a short day before the long haul tomorrow to St. John's USVI about 15hpur trip. Weather report looks good with higher seas but less rain. Hope so.
Neal is a bit like me that if he sees a bulb out it has to be fixed. This bulb was up about 39 feet.
Yesterday had every type of weather, high winds 20 to 30 gusts, seas 6 - 9 but with swells at 12 feet. She sailed through it all with power sailing at 50%. Most of us were feeling the waves but hardly did we chum. 11.5 hours for the 85 miles. Antigua to St. Bart's. So, tired cooked on board and slept well.
Day 2 in port with lots of prepping and checklists. Neil is installing the electronic tracking backup devices. Solar panels and home made fishing pole. (More on that one later)
All 4 of the starting crew are here. Les and Tom came in last evening from different islands, but both 2-3hours late on Liat Airlines. Now I know why the locals say the airline means "leaving island anytime"
All provisioned with new equipment onboard. Leave Antigua for St. Bart's in the morning. 85 miles northwest.
You can now track us on an App called Marine Traffic. Saul On!
Quite a reunion with our sailing yacht Shangri-la that I have been separated from now... for 20 months. She looks great, smells great (hey that's important for a 21 day sail)! Neil and I will start installing new equipment onto the yacht tomorrow.
Morning has broken (sun up at 5:50) and the workdays begun. Beautiful morning in Jolley Harbour. After coffee, we unpack onboard and install whisker pole (photo later will explain) solar panels, new grill, transponder,(this will allow you and coast guard to track us) and plenty more.
Another post later today
Thanks for checking this out and have fun with us ... during this Life Trip.
"The Skipper" Mike Currie
I have cruised with many of you (following us on this trip) and while I am not opposed to a good time, I bet you're wondering just how I will get up at 6:00 am to shove off each day. And, how we can manage martini time without a " Joey" and a staff of many. Cruising is fun, but sailing is my passion and I hardly sit down until the day is anchored.
"The Professor" Neil Neal
The Professor is a new grandpa to week old Emma (their first thanks to Lucy and Pedro). Dana and Neal are avid sailors and Neal has Captained yachts our size and larger (above is their latest) Neil is the "Professor" and you will get a chance to see his technology and inventions during our next month together.
"Mr. Howell" Les Otis
Les (lobster hunter on the left) is a resident of St. John, US Virgin Islands and has sailing experience. That's appropriate given he lives on an island. We are happy Les is with us to interpret islandese.
"Gilligan" Ryan Currie
Son, Ryan is a sailing Captain as well and the soon to be key Manager of Shangri-la Charters in the Northwest. A marketing manager at Starbucks in Seattle headquarters by day and a Ironman competitor in freetime. Gilligan, mostly because he's the youngest and is always up for an outdoor adventure.
"Top Cat - TC", brother, Tom Currie
The elder statesman and a power boater (it's ok, we will forgive that for now). TC could talk his way in or out of most new adventures, so our newest sailor will be key to island reconnaissance.
"Top Chef" Dave Garner (Wildwood and Fish City Grills)
Many of you know Dave from his exceptional restaurants or from traveling with Shangri-la Club. So, it may be surprising that the guy that seems to work 26 hours a day would drop his menu planner for an adventure... Believe me this is not the case. Dave will join us in Turks and Caicos and we will be sooooo ready for a yacht cooked meal.
Over the years, more than likely, I have talked sailing with you. Our family and friends have spent great adventures sailing the Caribbean. Life, laughs and we love it. Sail Plan for Shangri-La
On April 6, a great life adventure will begin. Son, Ryan and I, have been planning to move our sailing yacht, Shangri-la, from the Caribbean to Northwest USA. Specifically, over 4,000 miles from Antigua, West Indies to Anacortes, Washington State.
Come along with us on this sailing adventure. 1581 Nautical miles onboard Shangri-la our 44 foot Beneteau sailing yacht for 21 Days at sea. Once in Ft. Lauderdale, we will disassemble the yacht and lift it to a wide-load truck for 16 more days to Seattle. There, she gets put back together and will charter the San Juan Islands for more Northwest adventures. Next, blog will introduce you to the wide-eyed crew. Sail on!