Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trying to Get Out of Dodge!

Checking out the wind instruments at the top
of the mast before heading down island.
We had planned to head down island as soon as we got the boat ready after arriving on New Year’s Eve. Once we had everything working – except the water maker, we were scheduled to leave on Friday. The weather report looked good; we planned for clearing out and the overnight sail. But someone didn’t tell Mother Nature! Friday was one rain squall after another. Every time it stopped and we opened the portholes for some air, another squall came over the top of the island!

Saturday morning was beautiful and it looked like a perfect day to leave. As we pushed off Dock A and headed to the fuel dock, there was a terrible clunking noise! It sounded like it was coming from the engine. Once we got to the fuel dock, Dennis and several other sailors diagnosed the problem which turned out to be barnacles on the prop! Dennis put on his snorkeling equipment and dove under the boat to confirm. Apparently, they found a good place to grow while we were back in Michigan.

Chief Barnacle Scrapper!
The next challenge was removing the barnacles before leaving the BVI. Since it is not safe to dive in a marina due to stray electricity, we limped out of the harbor and out into Sir Francis Drake Channel to put up the sails and headed to Virgin Gorda where we had to clear out of the BVI. It was a perfect day for sailing, too.

We had to rush to get to Customs and Immigration before they closed or we would be stuck for the week-end. We were able to secure a short stay in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor while Dennis ran across a field to get the government office before closing. He made it and we cleared out! Next we anchored in front of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor so he could dive under and scrap the prop clean of barnacles.

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