April 28, 2020

Quarantined in St Martin

On March 16, we were enjoying our time in St Barts when France issued stay-at-home orders and the closing of all nonessential businesses, including in the French Caribbean islands, and we heard rumors that island borders could soon follow.

St Martin or Bust

After checking out of St. Barts, and with fears of arriving too late and being denied entry, we rose before dawn on March 17 to motor 23 nm north in light winds and calm seas to St Martin to check in before the 12 noon business closing.

Unlike St. Barts, St Martin gave us access to more resources and anchorage options if we were "stuck" there longterm. We towed the dinghy behind Borealis (minus the engine), something we've never done on a passage before, but we couldn't afford the extra time it would take to launch it from the foredeck.

April 20, 2020

St Barts: A Whirlwind Tour

We left Frigate Bay, St Kitts on March 12 for the 30 nm sail to St Barts. We rose and were underway before sunrise and had a fantastic sail in 15-20 knots of wind on the beam and 4-6 ft seas.

Saint Barthelemy, known as St Barths or St Barts (depending if you are French or English) is a small French-speaking island known for its white sand beaches, designer shops and high-end restaurants. St Barts has a reputation as a Caribbean playground for the rich and famous, but it's also a lively and colorful island with numerous historical and natural sights. While it's definitely a high-end destination, we found St Barts more charming and laid back than expected and would definitely recommend it as a destination.

April 18, 2020

St Kitts and Nevis: Two islands, one country

On March 3, after several days exploring Montserrat, we weighed anchor for sister islands St Kitts and Nevis.

We wished we could have stayed longer in Montserrat, but a northerly swell had arrived creating washing-machine-like conditions in the anchorage. With no better anchorage option available in Montserrat, we aimed to sail 33 nm north towards Nevis.

April 9, 2020

Montserrat: the Pompeii and Emerald Isle of the Caribbean

On February 27, we weighed anchor in Falmouth, Antigua towards Montserrat, a British overseas territory and the 15th island we've visited on this trip!

Spinnakers Away

The forecast called for light winds and under 3 ft seas for our 30 nm downwind sail. Since the conditions were near perfect for it, we finally braved flying our large spinnaker sail. It was only the second time we'd raised it and the first time we'd sailed with it! (Until now we've been mostly beating into the easterly trade winds and have had few opportunities to do any westward downwind sailing.)

It’s hard to tell from the photos, but this spinnaker sail is more than three times larger than our usual headsail, making it a much more powerful (and intimidating) sail.