Barbuda to Ile Tintamarre

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Sailing has been incredible as the major storm off the USA East Coast moves offshore. That weather system then pushed against the Caribbean Tradewinds blowing from Africa and held them back a bit. The normal winds here are 20-25 knots out of the east, but when  large fronts heads off the coast, the trades die down to 10-15 knots and sometimes clock towards the south. We have been sailing these calmer winds from Antigua north to Barbuda 30 miles, then Barbuda to St. Barth’s 75 miles and then 15 miles to Ile Tintamarre off St. Martin. We sailed 90% of these legs and mostly under our code zero headsail. What a dream. Thank you to all the USA East Coast friends and family who have taken one for the team by enduring that major winter storm. svIslandSpirit appreciates it!

This is the calm Caribbean Sea with 2-foot waves, 10 seconds apart and we are under full sails.

When you see the Southern Cross for the First Time

Classic rock fans who know Crosby Stills Nash and Young will know this lyric. It is in the song SOUTHERN CROSS and is one of the key lines…”When you see the southern cross for the first time, you’ll understand just why you came this way…” Well, as we were preparing to leave Barbuda, it was 4-5 am and the Southern Cross is always up around 2-6 am. The first time we spotted this was when we were sailing south and off of Dominican Republic after 2 nights at sea. There it was right off our starboard bow as we pushed south. That was very very cool.

Here the Southern Cross was even brighter than ever, as there is no light off Barbuda. So, looking south with the dim glow of the island of Antigua on the southern horizon, the Southern Cross was bold as ever pointing the way to the south. This is the guiding constellation for the southern hemisphere just like the Big Dipper is for the northern hemisphere. I took 20+ photos with my Google Pixel 5a set to the “night shot” setting.  Sure enough, I got one good photo. Look at this! For all, you rock fans, listen to and watch CSNY play this song here: https://youtu.be/iuLBhxZUkmU

The Southern Cross over Antigua, looking south from Barbuda!
Leaving Barbuda as the sun rose off our stern

Sailing Experiment

We are new to using this furling code zero 165% headsail. We have learned that it sails best upwind to 60 degrees and downwind to 150 degrees. Lower than that, it is not happy as it is a reaching sail. For dead downwind, we would set a wing on wing with our jib and a whisker pole. It is a fun challenge learning the best points of sail and wind conditions with this sail.

Today was one of those perfect angles. We set up on a course of a 150-degree wind angle in 12-15 knots of true wind, starboard reach. We set a full mainsail as well.  Soon after we set sail, we thought, why not roll out the staysail? This little sail gave us another 0.25 to 0.5 knot of speed. We sailed 50 miles like this and averaged 5.5 to 6 knots. It was fantastic. Eventually around 1400 hours, we needed to turn dead downwind, or else we would sail right past St. Barth’s. So we furled the two headsails and motored downwind. We wanted to make the harbor by dusk and we just so made it. This was a 12-hour passage.

We started the day with a full mainsail and a full code zero set on a 150-degree wind angle
We added the staysail and found that it helped and did not hurt the headsail’s performance.
My favorite photo from the foredeck, looking up at three full sails.
Looking over the bow with the two headsails and the blue Caribbean Sea.

Autopilot Wind Angle Sailing

I wanted to point this out one more time. We set sails, we trim to course, next we look at the wind angle and then we set the autopilot to hold this given wind angle. NOW, the boat will sail at this angle and the pilot will steer right and left as it maintains the specified angle. Look below at a 1 hour time plot of our wind yesterday.  This is very typical. You will see a low of 078 degrees and a high of 108 degrees. That is a 30-degree wind shift over time. The boat follows this. If you were steering by hand, you would have sails luffing or overpowered because it would be very difficult to follow these wind shifts. We sail with the autopilot set to “Wind” instead of “Heading Hold” or “Navigation” 99.9% of the time. It really works!

Wind direction on the left 078 to 108 with an average of 093 direction. On the right is speed 10.1 to 15.8 with 13 knots average. This is over 60 minutes as shown with the center numbers. We love the B&G equipment.

Tuna For Dinner

We first landed one barracuda. I saved its life and let it go, but the football tuna we gladly kept and filleted for the frig.  It was pan-seared in olive oil 2-3 minutes per side and enjoyed with buttered carrots. Yum Yum.

Nothing better than fresh tuna. No photos of the whole fish, as I was a bit busy with three sails set, autopilot and now bleeding out a tuna over the side and then filleting it on deck.

Arrival at Ile Tintamarre

This is our first stop at another beautiful beach to anchor near after a great day of sailing. We like to take the dinghy into the surf line, as the beach is steep with waves crashing onto it and landing is not my fav. So, we drop the anchor and swim in from there. Then we enjoy the beach and hikes and swim back to the dinghy and use our great dinghy ladder to climb back in. It is difficult to get into a dinghy from a swimming position when you cannot stand. It is possible, but a ladder makes it so much better.

The beautiful beach off Ile Tintamarre

Sunset time

After a great beach walk and a swim and a tour of the yachts in the harbor, it was time for hot showers and watching the sunset. Caribbean Sunsets never disappoint. This one set over St. Martin as we watched from Ile Tintamarre. 

Sunset over St. Martin as seen from on anchor off Ile Tintamarre
Hayden and Radeen enjoying the sunset and I had to take a selfie….PhotoBoy at work :-)…..my beautiful wife!

Live tracking and Tracking Map Archives

We have a live tracking map that shows where we are 24/7. We also pay for and use a service called SpotWalla. This programmer is brilliant as he created a program that allows us to archive tracking pins into individual trips. We feel this is far better than one massive archive like Garmin does. Sure, it is fun to see where we have sailed over the past many years, but, where have we sailed JUST THIS SEASON? That is the solution SpotWalla created. 

      1. See where we are anytime here: 
        1. https://share.garmin.com/IslandSpirit
      2. See our Archive Trip Maps here!
        https://new.spotwalla.com/trips/browse/1?un=svIslandSpirit
      3. See our CURRENT SEASON here: Nov Puerto Rico to Maryland June
        https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/029c-222ed31e-ae72/view

Thanks for sailing along, send us a message, we love to hear from you.

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7 Replies to “Barbuda to Ile Tintamarre”

  1. Great Blog and pictures as always…Would have loved some of that Tuna
    Somehow I missed the part where you stopped at St.Barths…The spotwalla seems to show you anchoring in St. Barths…am I mistaken?
    When I tried the Garmin link I got
    “Whoops!
    This MapShare URL does not exist.” Hmmm?

  2. I love hearing how you are using your Code 0, and leaning about the places you visit. Hopefully we’ll see the Southern Cross some day!

  3. As always, love your blogs. You really do need to write a book! Wish I was sitting in the cockpit with you enjoying your company and stories. You both look so happy. Life doesn’t get any better! The Southern Cross sighting must have been sweet! And that Code Zero is a lifesaver! Stay well. Stay safe. Hope Saltbox 13 fared well in the snowfall! Loretta

  4. Wow you guys are living the good life. Radeen you look gorgeous!!!!!! Truly!!! Miss and love you both. Savor the journey.

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