Sailing "Three Degrees"
|Posted by The Crew on February 6, 2010 at 12:21 PM||comments (1)|
Post by the Crew:
What an adventure it has been! We have seen so many amazing things, met so many amazing people, and been through so many amazing tests. Unfortunatly our budget ran dry earlier than we expected (this always seems to be the case). The boat was taken back to the Virgin Islands where it will be sold in order to help us get back on our feet financially. The memories we will take from this adventure will never be forgetten and each of us will be changed forever. We look forward to hopefully exploring these beautiful islands again some day. Keep checking back over the next week or so for our last post of pictures and any other information.
It will be tough to return to normal life, but we look forward and realize that another adventure must be on the horizon. Where will it be, we do not know?...That's the best part about it all!!!
For probably the last time,
This is Three Degrees: OUT
"May the winds be fair and the distances far, because the longer we're on the open seas, the happier we arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!"
|Posted by The Crew on January 20, 2010 at 10:23 PM||comments (0)|
Post by: Ryan
Ethan and I have taken off on foot for a week. Since we have been on the boat for a long time without being on land for over a matter of hours Ethan and I are going hiking. Plans for the hike are unknown but there is great transportation services that can take us anywhere down island such as Saba or even Bequia. The only plan for us now is to be back with Three Degrees in Simpson Bay, Sint Maartin on the 30th. Happy sails to happy trails.
|Posted by The Crew on January 15, 2010 at 4:34 PM||comments (0)|
Post by the Crew:
We made it!!! No Tsunami's either. We didn't even hear about the quake down here until we got in to St. Martin. Being out on the open ocean would have been the safest place for us to be however as it would have rolled right under us. We have gone through what to do if one does hit now that we are all a little freaked out about it. Not to mention the volcanic activity at nearby Monserrate. No worries though it has been steaming and erupting for ten years.
The passage over was a bit rough but much more calm than it usually is. The BVI's to St. Martin is one of the most feared passages because it is always rough and almost always dead to wind.
Jessie, our new crewmember, got a taste of the open ocean and a taste of her dinner....one time on the way down and again on the way back up. She said it is way worth it to get sea sick and be where we are now! We are going to get her some stuff to keep her settled down on our next passage. As Capt. Ron would say "It could happen to anybody boss."
We spent the first few nights in Marigot Bay on the French side of the island. We took a day trip up to Orient Bay which was so much fun....especially all of the old people at the nude beach!!!
Today we sailed up to Grand Case which is also on the French side. I currently write to you hanging out in a small French Beach Bar that has a slow techno music playing in the background while the rain hits the roof and the waves slap the beach.....it just doesn't get any better.
We look forward to the arrival of our next guest, Mr. Tommy Lefere. He will be flying in to St. Maarten (The Dutch side) on the 23rd and spending the week, as well as his birthday with us. We would also like to take the time to say congrats to Pat!!!
|Posted by The Crew on January 11, 2010 at 3:13 PM||comments (2)|
Post by the Crew:
The crew has been getting restless and after much talk we have decided it is time to leave the Virgin Islands for awhile. The plan...down island to St. Martin. Our weather window looks to be holding and we plan to leave the evening of January 12 and sail through the night which will give us a daytime approach in to our destination. A full provisioning has been made despite the somewhat "short" distance of this particular passage. Our SPOT satellite tracking device will be very active as soon as we weigh anchor in Marina Cay sometime tomorrow. From there we will be heading to Virgin Gorda to clear out of the BVI's and then heading to the ocean and St. Martin. Our final weather check will be very conservative and if the winds are anything but light we will not be leaving the BVI's. So far all systems are go for go and we look forward to a calm peaceful sail in to St. Martin.
Let the adventure continue!!
|Posted by The Crew on January 8, 2010 at 5:51 PM||comments (0)|
Post by the Crew:
The morning of the fourth Jessie and Eric went diving with a dive group out of Leverick Bay. We have two full sets of Scuba gear on board but being that it was Jessie's first dive we decided it was best to go with a dive master to see how she did. The first dive was at Ginger Steps off of Ginger Island. I (Eric) saw an Octopus as soon as I got in the water and I'm not sure if Jessie saw it or not. She did great for her first dive and besides having some trouble with her ears, which can happen to anyone, we had a great first dive! The second dive was on the other side of the island and is called Alice's backside. The visibilty was not as good here because of the swell but Jessie looked even more comfortable each time she was in the water.
Nancy and Joel departed back for the winter weather of Michigan on the fifth and we took off to start our charter week with our guests: Lindsay, Katie, and Jessie. Our first stop was Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island, which is where we also spent Christmas. The winds were tracking to the south and besides being worried about the possibility of an approaching front the bay was not perfectly protected. The winds calmed down as the day went on and there were no concerns with our anchorage. We had some time left in the day to head over to Cistern Point, which is just a short dinghy ride, to do some snorkeling. Eric and Jessie went diving while the rest of the crew snorkeled over head. It was Eric's first time leading a dive and Jessie's third dive ever. I found the way back to the dinghy underwater and it was a great dive site for us to both get more comfortable in the water.
The following day we took off for the wreck of the Rhone on the east side of Salt Island. Ethan, Ryan, Lindsay, and Katie got their snorkel gear on and took off for the stern section while Eric and Jessie prepped to dive the bow and the stern all in one dive. Everything went so smooth with the dive. We swam through the bow in about 80 feet of water. Inside the ship Jessie spotted a lobster! We then swam up a slope to 30 feet of water and explored the stern section. It was another great dive, and we even managed to find our way back to the boat underwater. Swimming at the surface with dive gear on is no fun, and it is much safer to ascend under your boat as opposed to open water. Ethan managed to free dive down and rub the lucky porthole on the wreck which sits in about 35 feet of water. After swimming we took a short hike on Salt Island. We saw some graves from the wreck of the Rhone and got another great view from the top of one of the mountains.
After another good day at The Rhone we sailed a short distance east to Deadman's Bay on Peter Island. The water was so clear here and we saw many sea turtles while we were coming in to the bay. The following day we woke up to overcast and the winds were starting to track around to the north, indicating that a front was in fact coming through. It didn't slow us down though as Ethan, Ryan, Katie and Lindsay snorkeled around in the bay and saw a lot of really cool things, including a lot of Jelly Fish. Deadman's Bay is supposed to have some of the best snorkeling in the BVI. Meanwhile Jessie and Eric went for another dive on the north side of Dead Chest Island called Coral Gardens. Aside from the cloudy weather the dive was great and there was a lot of cool coral to see.
After another afternoon of water activities we sailed a short distance east to The Bight at Norman Island. We got in just around sunset and managed to meet up with friends, Josh and Julie, who we met waaaay back at Nanny Cay. They are now proud boat owners and had their boat anchored just off of the Willy T. We all came up to have dinner at Pirates Bight and then went out to the Willy T for another night of good times and great memories!
We woke up to rain today as the last part of the front is moving through and should be gone tomorrow. We will say goodbye to Lindsay and Katie tomorrow and look on to our next adventure. Eric's high school friend, Tommy Lefere, sailed with us while we were in Chicago last summer and caught the bug. He is looking to take some vacation time and come visit us soon. If he can make it in January we will be heading to the US virgin islands to show hime around. If not we will re-group and make a new plan!
We have heard that there is an abundance of snowfall back in Michigan! Enjoy the snow, at least it isn't sleet and ice!
|Posted by The Crew on January 3, 2010 at 6:41 PM||comments (0)|
Post by the Crew:
Wow, sorry for the lack of updates. We just have not been around the internet much.
We left Jost Van Dyke and headed over to Road Town, Tortola to provision. We ended up staying the night there and it was nice to get a good nights rest.
The following morning we took off for Cooper Island. The weather was not very good at all. There was heavy overcast, a little bit of rain, and a lot of wind. The sail over was not bad and we managed to tuck in close to Cooper Island in a protected anchorage. We spent Christmas here and made a special provision just to ensure we had a great Christmas Eve dinner. No pasta and beans tonight! Just as Eric fired up the grill the wind kicked up and it started to rain. Go outside and grill next time it blows 25-30 knots and rains sheets, cats and dogs, etc... it is a great adventure. After the squall passed we managed to cook up some great steaks and enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. Early Christmas morning we all woke up to thunder and lightning. Our first real storm! It was a bit scary as a house on the hill got struck by lightning, but everything ended up ok. We guess that Santa travels in squalls now. We woke up to three stockings and a present from Santa. It was nice to have some Christmas cheer! We laid low for the entire day as it was raining the entire day.
The following day we took off to snorkel the wreck of the Rhone. The stern section is in about 20-40 feet of water and is shallow enough to see while snorkeling. We have been getting better at holding our breath and it was so much fun to dive down 30 feet to the scuba divers below and watch them check their depth gauges in awe! After a great afternoon on the Rhone we headed back for The Bight on Norman Island, home of the Willy T. We went to shore, ran in to some Canadians and challenged them to a beach volleyball match. We had some stiff competition but won two of the three games. They were great people and we enjoyed the invitation for dinner later that night! Thanks for dinner guys!
The morning after our tough volleyball match we woke up again to rain. Today was the day to sail to Jost Van Dyke to save our anchorage outside of Foxy's for New Years Eve. Once at Foxy's, we met a man named Dick who takes care of the marketing for Foxy's and also does other projects for them. We all helped him out the following day, putting up Christmas lights for the new years eve party to come. Ethan and Ryan took the ferry over to West End on the 29th to meet their parents, Nancy and Joel, who were flying in to enjoy the new year and visit the crew. Due to Jessie's travel problems Eric spent the next three days helping out around Foxy's installing AC units, re-wiring electrical systems, and many other small projects. I (Eric) learned so much and enjoyed spending my days working around Foxy's and helping out. Ethan and Ryans friends Lindsay and Katie flew in on the afternoon of New Years Eve and Jessie finally made it as well! Dick invited Jessie and Eric to eat with him and his workers on New Years Eve upstairs at Foxy's. They enjoyed a wonderful eight course meal and drinks. Everyone met up at midnight on the beach for an amazing Old Years Night and an even better News Years Day! If you ever are wondering where to spend New Years Eve... consider Foxy's!
The morning of the second Eric and Jessie enjoyed an amazing ATV trip around the island of Jost Van Dyke. They traveled up to 1,100 feet and were met by a view that would take anyones breath away. After a short stop at the bubbly pool they headed back to Great Harbour and hopped back on the boat to leave for Leverick Bay. The sail to Leverick Bay was a lazy one. The sun was hot, the winds were light, and the seas were flat. We got in just before sunset and headed to shore for some dinner. The island was fairly quiet. Joel loves his hot wings and ordered some. We spent the next hour chugging water, slamming ketchup, and doing everything possible to put the flame out. Nothing worked....they were hot!!
Today we took a day trip to The Baths with everyone. It was another amazing day on the water with light winds and lots of sun! Hiking through the huge bouldars of The Baths was breathtaking and every photo was a postcard. The snorkeling is good but the visibility is a bit down as there has been a lot of swell the past few days. It has subsided now and hopefully we will be enjoying crystal clear waters again soon!
Jessie and Eric will be going on a dive tomorrow morning with Dive BVI and then will be meeting the rest of the crew either in Leverick Bay or on Cooper Island. The weather has been perfect since the New Year started and hopefully we will be blessed enough to have great weather for the rest of the time our guests are here.
Sorry for the "quick" descriptions throughout the e-mail we just had so much to catch up on. The next blog will be better and more descriptive for all to enjoy!
(More Photos coming very soon!)
|Posted by The Crew on December 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM||comments (3)|
Post by the Crew:
Wow what an amazing place! We headed up to Great Harbour, Peter Island to get away from The Willy T and Pirates Bight for awhile. It was a very deep anchorage and we found ourselves setting anchor in sixty feet of water. Twenty feet off shore it was 40 feet deep and then instantly two feet deep. The wind was blowing hard. We got in just before sunset and kept an eye on the anchor which seemed to be holding just great. The next day we snorkeled up the shore line and actually found some pretty decent coral. That night Ryan went to pick up a friend on another boat that we had met earlier that day. On his way back he was following our anchor light and suddenly beached the dinghy. It was pitch black. No moon and no street lights of any kind. What was going on? He just left to pick up Peter five minutes ago from the middle of the harbor. During his ride over to pick Peter up we got a wind shift with a combination of some backwinding. Due to our significant amount of anchor rode (line) we had out the boat was able to swing a great distance. The wind pushed us up on to the reef close to shore.
Ethan and Eric were sitting in the cockpit when suddenly...
"Three Degrees Three Degrees this is Ryan"
"Ryan Three Degrees one four"
"What is it Ryan?"
"Ummm I think you guys need to come up on deck"
Confused Ethan and Eric went up on deck. Ryan was waving his flashlight at us yelling something. It looked like he was standing up in the dinghy. Was Peter attacking him? No, he was standing on land and was no more than a stones throw away from the boat. It was so dark that we could not even see the mountains, shore, nor did we have any depth perception. Panicing Ethan and Eric grabbed the spotlight. Eric put the light on the water and his stomach dropped. It was probably two feet deep and all coral and rock.
"Ethan we are grounded!" he yelled.
What do we do? How can we be grounded? We were down below the entire time and didn't feel a thing. Ethan started the engine but did not put it in gear in fear of what may be resting on the prop. Eric started pulling with all his might (which isn't much) on the anchor rode (line). The boat starting to move. His first thought was that the anchor was slipping and they weren't going anywhere. Ethan ran down below and starting ripping hatches open to see if we were taking on water. It appeared that we were.
Somehow the pull on the anchor rode (you should know what I mean by now) was enough to pull the boat off of the reef and the winds that were now back to blowing from the east pushed the boat right back in to the harbor. Well we were off the reef but now we were going to sink in 60 feet of water.
We ran the bilge, and it filled right back up. We ran it again, and it filled right back up. (Insert four letter word) we are sinking. What do we do first? EPIRB? VHF? SPOT Satellite tracker? No lets just wait and see what happens. Keep the heart rates as low as we can and stay calm. Then it hit us....why wasn't the bilge running automatically? What happened to the float switch. It wasn't working. It hadn't been working for awhile. After about an hour of watching the bilge the water slowed down. All of the water that the bilge pumps out was backed up and was just now getting pumped out. Thank God. The next day showed no damage other than some paint getting stripped from the keel. Not fun.
We took off for Cane Garden Bay to get out of the wind and we finally got a break. The only problem was that now we had to deal with some swell. It was cool to watch the surfers though. One night in Cane Garden Bay was all we needed and we took off for Diamond Cay on Little Jost Van Dyke. We had two amazing days of hiking with some of the most amazing views that nature could produce. We will be posting pictures soon, but they won't do it justice. The first day we hiked down the north side of Jost Van Dyke to the bubbly pool. It was a fun hike and we plan on taking the girls and Ethan and Ryan's parents on this hike when they get here. The next day was a little more intense on the north side of Little Jost Van Dyke. Other than an occasional goat trail (you'd still be famous if you saw one in Michigan (Inside joke with the Adamczyk's)) there were no trails. Cacti scattered the woods and the cliffs were steep. We hiked a huge ridge and scaled our way down to a small pebble beach. Eric was sure to find pirate treasure but came up empty. The view of the lush cliffs and blue water was something from Jurassic Park. What a great workout too!
Now we are back at Foxy's on the south central side of Jost Van Dyke for some music and a BBQ tonight. We will be heading back to West End Tortola to provision and then back here to save our New Years Eve spot.
Hope all is well back home, and congrats to Stephanie and Steve on their engagement!!!
|Posted by The Crew on December 12, 2009 at 11:57 AM||comments (0)|
Post by the Crew:
We finally got everything on the boat taken care of at Nanny Cay. A rigger at the marina was able to repair our roller furling so we saved some money there. On Thursday we took the boat over to Road Town to provision. Our new friends Josh and Julie were also headed to Road Town so they came on the boat with us to save a trip in a taxi. After Road Town we raced the sunset across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to The Bight on Norman Island, home of The Willy T. It is said that the Christmas winds are here right now and boy was it blowing. We got in to the harbour right around sunset. As we were picking up a mooring the line slipped out of Eric's hand. The one time we did not shorten the dinghy line would hunt us. The wind was blowing fast and as Ethan put the boat back in gear he knew there was a 50/50 chance that the dinghy tow line was going to get sucked up, but we needed to move now as there was a catamaran directly behind us. Sure enough the engine stalled as the dinghy line wrapped around the drive shaft. Ryan told Eric, who was still on the bow, to drop anchor. It was 60 feet deep and Eric couldn't get that anchor on the ground fast enough. Three feet from the bow of the catamaran the anchor set and we swung around and stopped. Phew. Ethan and Eric hopped in the water to cut away the line, and thank God everything turned out just fine. Ryan drifted away in the dinghy and the boat we almost hit had to go pick him up. He thought he was out of gas but later found out that the gas was simply turned off. That added to our shame. We believe that our parents have done this once or twice while chartering down here so we don't feel that bad about it. We checked out The Pirates Bight restaurant and just last night found out that there was a volleyball court out back. We rallied some people at the bar for a quick game just before sunset. The Willy T last night lived up to its reputation and we strongly suggest making it a stop on your next visit to the BVI's. Yesterday we spent the day in the water snorkeling both the caves at Treasure Point and the Indians. The water here is not as clear as it was in The Exumas but it was still a very cool snorkel at both locations.
We plan to head to Peter Island tonight to get away from The Willy T and Pirates Bight. Hopefully we can the most desolate harbour in the Caribbean and relax for a night.
The plan is to relax for awhile and we will be heading to Jost Van Dyke sometime around Christmas to save our anchorage spot for New Years Eve at Foxy's. We hope that everyone back home is hanging on tight in what looks to be blizzard conditions. The weather has been pretty constant here; sunny and 85.
|Posted by The Crew on December 7, 2009 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
Post by Eric:
I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get in the water. I didn't care if I had to pay $100, I was going diving. I joined up with Blue Water Divers right here in Nanny Cay to do a two tank dive on the famous BVI shipwreck, The RMS Rhone. Our first dive was on the bow section of the ship which was in about 85' of water. How cool to see the anchors, the mast, and the bow which was still very much so in tact. We swam through the bow which was very very cool. It brought back memories of when I did it with my parents years ago and I was scared to swim through...hah I was a wimp. Right after I came out of the bow section our dive guide hurried me to look behind my head. Right there was a green sea turtle drifting around go about his day. We swam over to the condensor which was isolated from most of the ship. Inside was a fairly large lobster. Shortly after in some of the wreckage our guide pointed under another shelf. Tucked in tight was the biggest lobster I have ever seen. I honestly did not think they could get that big! Shortly after we surfaced for our first surface interval and heard the full story of the wreck of the Rhone.
On the second dive we would look at the stern section, the boilers, the tiles from the galley floor, and also weave our way through Black Rock. Just in to the dive we saw a Green Moray eel about six feet in length. They are ugly. There were some really cool things to see, including the very much so oversized propellars and drive shaft.
Wow it was finally great to get in the water and do some diving. I don't think I could have made it one more day. I hope to go back and do a coral dive with them in the near future as they will pick me up anywhere in the BVI's.
I will load some pictures soon!
|Posted by The Crew on December 5, 2009 at 11:09 AM||comments (1)|
Post by the Crew:
Now we know why it takes forever for things in the islands to get completed. We now understand the true meaning of island time. How you ask? Because we are living on island time. A week long vacation won't give you enough time to adjust and slow down. I'm sure any vacation to the tropics is very relaxing, but we have now found out that in order to truly slow everything down you need to be down here for awhile. Chores get done on the boat, and they get done with just as much, if not more, care and detail as before. The difference is that only a few chores get done every day. It's just too stressful to spend the entire day working our tails off on the boat while we are here. What is our hurry? I (Eric) sit here in my hammock up on the bow of the boat and watch a sailboat slowly work its way across the front of the mountains of St. John while the sun gets even hotter. What am I doing you may ask? I thought you guys were at Nanny Cay to get repairs done on the boat and get out. Sure we are, but why can't I waste away half of a day in my hammock first? That is exactly what I am going to do.
In other news, we have scheduled for our fuel tank to get cleaned out and that may happen today, or as late as Wednesday. Again...island time. We are also waiting to see if the riggers here at the marina have a spare furling head unit. Other than that we are pretty much done with our chores. So that gives us even more reason to waste away a day. We are waiting on someone else. I knew it was justified.