What’s Up? Island Spirit

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What’s UP? I know. We have not been blogging here for a long time. That is because so many people have moved to social media, Instagram and Facebook that we too have been posting photos and videos there far more than we post here. Yet, I know there are many of our followers and family that do not use social media, so here is a quick update for all of us to share.

Full Moon rising as we wait on the west coast of Puerto Rico for the weather to sail NW to the Bahamas 500 miles+

Our Caribbean Adventures 2022

We have had a different but calm and easy Nov to April Caribbean season, our 4th winter here.  This season we started in Puerto Rico in Nov and departed the dock on Dec 20 for the USVI. We have fallen in love with the USVI. St. Thomas, St John, and St. Croix. Each has its own distinct personalities and plusses and minuses.  We can’t pick a favorite because we like them all for each aspect that we sail to them for. Then from the USVI, we pushed east out to Antigua and then after a great time there it was back north to Barbuda and westward to St. Martin. Talk about love? How about the FRENCH ISLAND of St. Martin. OUI OUI.  From there it was back to the BVI and onto a week or two at the Bitter End Yacht Club. A quick sail north to Anegada for lobster with Nina and John of IP 40 Sunkissed and back to the BVI. There we moved to Red Hook for the month of March where we had a full new canvas job built better than we could have ever imagined. Now, we have moved west down the south coast of Puerto Rico as we are trying to sail the boat back to our home port of Rock Hall, MD. Here is a map of our route this season.

Our tracking map of the Caribbean Season 2022

What? New Canvas?

Yes, we decided to search for and schedule a replacement full canvas job in Annapolis or Rock Hall, MD, when we got home in May June July Aug. After several bids and many not able to fit us in until the fall, we asked the local Island Packet dealer in Red Hook, Andrea, and Skip King, if they knew of a canvas guy in USVI. That was when it all turned around for the good. They connected us with David Livacz, of Neptune’s Loft, who was available to do our canvas in March. When he sent photos of his work, he really impressed us. Without ever meeting up, we committed to him and paid our 50% deposit. Then we moved quickly from the BVI over to Red Hook and we meet to overview the job on March 4th. He started the next day and within 3 weeks and 3 days he finished a completely new design full canvas job on Island Spirit. The job included a full cockpit enclosure as we have had for 20 years, plus some shade covers as well.  In the end, we were 100% pleased and thrilled with his work and his incredible skills.  He did exactly what we wanted and his work is better than any canvas job I have ever seen.

The goal of the new design was to get rid of the low Chesapeake Bay (not cool) dodger that upward sloped fill into the high bimini. What kind of design is that? With the inspiration of IP38 DREAMCATCHER which has a flat roof and full enclosure, we modeled it after Dean and Kim’s yacht. Now we have a full-height roof that we can walk vertically underneath right into the companionway steps to go below. For 20 years we were bent over 90 degrees just to trim a sail. NO MORE, now we can actually stand up and sail. UNREAL, So wonderful. It feels like a spacious new boat to us!

OLD, low dodger with upper bimini. Out with that….
NEW High dodger, forward bimini roof making the space far better.
Strataglass crystal clear enclosure and windshield
With a one level bimini roof design, 13 feet x 8 feet, the cockpit, seems even bigger
Custom shade fabric completed the job. This is 80% screen, so we can see out, but we take these down for driving and sailing.

Sailing For HOME, now

We dedicated all of March to David for the canvas job, and he met the deadline of not going one day into April. He completed the job and we started our trek westward to Puerto Rico. That means we went back to Charlette Amalie and of course the Green House for lunch to reflect on how lucky and grateful we are. 

One of our happy places since 1986, Green House St. Thomas USVI

Onward to Puerto Rico

From the USVI it is a dream to sail west to Puerto Rico and also the days down the south coast as well. There are fun places to stop like Culebra, Vieques, Salinas, Patillas, Gilligan’s Island, and Puerto Real. Each stop is a sail downwind from anchor to anchor in Caribbean Blue waters. Sailing west on the south coast of PR is as good as it can get…..that is unless you sail NW 1000 miles back to the USA east coast. Here is a social media post of sailing the south coast of PR:

Here is one more video:

Ready to Go to Sea, Thur

We are now on the west coast of Puerto Rico in a great harbor and town called Puerto Real.  We have been waiting here a week, as the severe weather north of the Dominican Republic dies down. That TROF and updraft of thermals dissipate Wed night and then Thursday at 0600, we will head to sea. The run will be 300+ nm to our first possible stop, BIG SAND KEY south of Grand Turks. If we press on past that, we will go to South Caicos or up onto the banks, another 24 miles. If we feel good and the winds are as predicted, we may just sail past the Turks and onward to the Bahamas. There, our target is Long Island, Clarence Town, another 210 miles where we can check into the country. Please follow along as we sail.

Our Live Tracking Map is…

https://share.garmin.com/islandspirit

Our Social Media PUBLIC web page is:

https://www.facebook.com/svIslandSpirit

Thanks for sailing along with Team ISLAND SPIRIT
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8 Replies to “What’s Up? Island Spirit”

  1. There’s so much fun to be had in the northern Caribbean. We miss it, on land and in the water. Like you said, each island has it’s own personality and eccentricities. Thanks for sharing your travels and allowing us to reminisce through your posts. Happy sailing!!

  2. Nice new Bimini, but I’ll have to see it to appreciate it – hopefully sometime this summer.

    Sadly, I’m one of the curmudgeons who is not into instagram and rarely use Facebook. I only joined that cause my son, Ben, wrote the book about it. I say sadly cause so many venues for interaction have diluted the experience…Ah Well.

    Look forward to following your trip North….
    We’re up in Boston now, awaiting your arrival
    –Reuben

  3. Luv yur new canvas design.
    I wish I had done that 22 years ago
    How dumb were we???
    Turn right when you hit PR and we’ll keep a light on for ya.

  4. Your new canvas work is perfect.So much easier to have a working cockpit.
    We look forward to a Rendevous in Rock Hall and some of Tommy’s dry rub ribs and Orange Crushes.

  5. So there’s a real Gilligan’s island?! Canvas looks great- can’t wait to spend time onboard. Safe travels back to Rock Hall.

  6. Love the new dance floor you’ve created in the cockpit. Next winter you can hold line dancing parties. Maybe even set up a tennis court.

    Happy trails & smooth waters as you make your way back north.

    We leave for the East Coast on Sunday, and then onward to the UK May 15.

    TalesFromTheHighway.com

  7. Wow! Such a smooth sail relaxing on auto pilot. Looks like you had time too refinish the companionway teak too!
    Looking forward to your return.

  8. Wow! Such a smooth sail relaxing on auto pilot. Looks like you had time too refinish the companionway teak too!
    Looking forward to your return.

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