Bareboat Sailing - St. Martin travel blog

Our course today from Crocus Bay to Ile Fourchue around the eastern...

A playful dolphin surfed our bow off the northern coast of Anguilla

Motoring through Seal Channel near Scrub Island two more dolphins caught our...

Hauling up the main sail after clearing the lee of Anguilla

Main sail up, haul out the jib sail next

Jib sail set - ready to set our course for Ile Fourchue

Ile Fourchue is a private island in the St. Barth Overseas Collectivity...

The waters surrounding Ile Fourchue are one of St. Barth's Marine Parks

A storm passed over Ile Fourchue and St. Barth before we arrived

Motoring into the Ile Fourchue mooring field

Picking up the heavy mooring ball is a two-person job

The black sand beach hinted at Ile Fourchue's volcanic past

The island is recovering after being denuded by goats for centuries

Our mooring field with "The Groupers" rocks in the distance

Our mooring field and Saba in the clouds to the west

A Marine Park buoy marker and St. Martin to the northwest

St. Barthelemy to the south

A flowering Barrel Cactus

A clear starry night was heralded by a raging sunset

Sunday, January 18th -- Crocus Bay to Ile Fourchue

Today was to be our long sailing day from Anguilla to Ile Fourchue -- approximately 28 nautical miles. Too bad there was none of the wind which had made our exit from Oyster Pond so rough.

By the time the rest of us were ready to eat breakfast Hubby already had coffee percolating and papaya served. We didn't rush but didn't waste any time either.

Almost at exactly the same time as yesterday (~7:30) the small reef shark swam around under the boat again. We took time out from readying for our sail and actually caught a glimpse of it today. It wasn't as small as Hubby said it was yesterday -- about 5 feet. After about 15 minutes the girls returned to the galley cleanup while the fellows closed hatches and started the casting-off process (started engines, moved slowly toward the anchor until it was safely winched up and locked away).

We motored northeast along Anguilla's northern coast. A dolphin surfed at our bow, weaving from side to side just ahead of us, as if to show off its superior speed and agility. It soon lost interest in us. Near Scrub Island two smaller dolphins swam near our stern for several minutes. WOW!

Once out of the lee of Anguilla we thought there might be enough wind to sail. With sails up and motor off (ahhhh!) we cruised quietly along at 3 knots and as high as 5 knots with the help of a few gusts. At 10:00 we snacked on orange slices. At noon we served cups of soup accompanied by sardines, salami, crackers, etc. By 15:00 our speed had dropped to 1 knot -- time to start the motor. Arriving at Ile Fourchue before 16:00, we took one of the two remaining mooring balls (although a few more did free up later). There was still time for a hike up the hill for a view of the nearby islands of Sint Maarten and St. Barthelemy. The hike had some steep, rocky patches and was not well marked so we were glad we had taken the time at the black sand beach to switch to running shoes. The views were worth hiking to see.

Dinner on deck was basil-tomato feta cheese pasta, coleslaw and wine. On this trip the fresh veggies were keeping better than during our previous trip but we had to throw away almost the whole head of cabbage. We couldn't be sure why because the outside leaves were firm and useable. It may have been bad at the time we bought it.

The frequent and varied boat traffic passing this little bay kept us entertained and rocked the Tartane all evening, until a magnificent sunset announced that it was time to find a port for the night. The large cruise vessels continued to pass in the dark, their lights looking like a moving city. In this peaceful spot nestled below the rim of what could be the remains of a volcanic crater, the night sky seemed particularly dark. The glow of lights from Sint Maarten and St. Barth silhouetted, but were blocked by, Ile Fourchue's hills.

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