A Serious Ocean
You know it by the northern look of the shore,
by the salt-worried faces,
by an absence of trees, an abundance of lighthouses.
It's a serious ocean.
North Sea off Carnoustie by Anne Stevenson
Tomorrow will have an island
by William Stafford
Tomorrow will have an island. Before night
I always find it. Then on to the next island.
These places hidden in the day separate
and come forward if you beckon.
But you have to know they are there before they exist.
Some time there will be a tomorrow without any island,
So far, I haven't let that happen, but after
I'm gone others may become faithless and careless.
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at the horizon.
So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
you find, and after a while you decide
what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
you turn to the open sea and let go.
Trans Caribbean - North to South: St. Martin to Trinidad
Feb 1 - 10, 2009
Distance: 700 Miles
Conditions: Fair, Breezy, Mean Temp Mid 70s
Description: The crew will join Quetzal at Bobby's Marina in Philipsburg on the SE side of the island, the capital of Dutch St. Martin. We will depart in the early afternoon for the lovely island of St. Barts, just 15miles south. This will serve as the shakedown passage. The next morning we'll be up before the sun and make a long day sail to Jolly Harbor Antigua. This is a 75 mile passage slashing across the raucous NE Trades. If the wind has a northerly tint, it is a screaming reach. If the wind is due east, it will be a boisterous, wet ride. Either way it will be good to make it to Jolly Harbor. The next day we will make our way around the island to storied English Harbor and tie up stern to the historic quay at Nelson's Dockyard and have dinner ashore. The next morning we'll top our provisions and head offshore for the 100 mile passage to Portsmouth on the wild island of Dominica. We will make landfall early and spend the day ashore exploring this undeveloped island, the only Caribbean island Columbus would still recognize. After a good night's sleep, on day 6 we will head offshore again, for another 100 mile, overnight passage to Rodney Bay St. Lucia. We should arrive mid morning. After a leisurely day in St. Lucia, we will be ready for the long passage of the trip. The next morning we will depart for Chaguaramous, Trinidad, 240 miles away. This will be a two day, non-stop passage. We should arrive mid morning on Feb 10. Overall this passage will include two day sails, two overnight passages, and two day blue water passage. We will visit five islands and sail the length of the Leeward and Windward Islands.
Trans Caribbean - South to North: Trinidad to St. Thomas
Distance: 700 miles
March 14 - 23, 2009
Conditions: Fair, Breezy, Mild Temps, high 70s
Description: The crew will assemble at the aptly named Crews Inn Marina in Chaguramous Trinidad. From there we will blast through the Dragon's Mouth, the northern entrance to the Gulf of Paria. We will leave mid-day and the first leg will be an 80 mile, overnight passage north to Prickly Bay, Grenada, one of the most beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean. We will arrive in the morning and spend the day exploring and relaxing in Grenada. The next morning we will depart early and beat northeast to Cariacou. We then spend two days exploring the magical Grenadines, slowly working our way north to Bequia. Day six, we'll sail north to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. We'll dine ashore and have a leisurely morning before preparing for our big passage, the 300 mile run to St. Croix. This should be delightful passage with the wind aft of the beam, a rollicking tradewind passage. We will be at sea two days and two nights. After a night in St. Croix we'll we complete our passage by sailing 40 miles north to St.Thomas, tying up at the new marina in Redhook. This passage will include a great blend of day sailing, overnight sails, and a genuine blue water tradewind passage. The Caribbean is lovely in March, full of wind but with mild temperatures both day and night. We'll visit numerous islands and come away with a nice feel for Caribbean sailing.
Fountain of Youth: Retracing the route of fame explorer Ponce de Leon from Ponce Puerto Rico to St. Augustine, Florida
Distance: 1100 miles
April 24 - May 3, 2009
Conditions: Trade winds, mild to warm, a deep sea passage
This is a long passage, a genuine blue water passage. According to the pilot charts this is a near perfect route as we sail WNW reaching before the easterly trades. And the pilot charts only lie occasionally. We will make several landfalls and also make several extended passages. If you are looking for serious blue water experience, this is the passage for you. We will assemble in Ponce, a beautiful colonial city, at the Ponce Yacht Club. Ponce is one of the gems of the Caribbean. You will fly into San Juan and there's a cheap commuter flight to Ponce or a long but pleasant bus ride. Our first passage will be a 40 mile shakedown run to the Bay Boqueron where we will anchor for the night. The next morning our passage will begin in earnest. We will sail through the Mona Passage and into the Atlantic. We'll skirt Hispaniola and several dangerous offshore banks before making landfall at Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos two days later. This is a lovely spot, and a reputed to be one of many possible locations for the famed Fountain of Youth. We will spend the afternoon ashore and shove off the next morning for another 48 hour passage, this time to San Salvador. This may or may not be on the Fountain of Youth trail but is well documented as Columbus' first landfall in the New World. Cockburn Town is quiet, and the beach it fronts is stunning. After a night at anchor, we will continue offshore, this time non-stop for nearly 500 miles, a four day passage to St. Augustine. We will sail east of the Abacos before angling back toward Florida and catching a ride from the Gulf Stream. St. Augustine has more Fountain of Youth tourist gibberish than anyplace else but aside from that it is a lovely harbor with a thriving downtown and a great place to end the passage. I think we will all feel years younger after this passage. Flights out of Jacksonville are reasonable.
Kretschmer Sailing fleece jackets and long-sleeve t-shirts are available