Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Kevin and I are gradually settling into the cruising life. We have spent most of our last few weeks in familiar territory in the BVIs anchoring in some of our favorite places. The temperatures have cooled down a bit so sleeping has been nice but the weather has been a bit finicky. Really windy some days and others no wind at all. Also, we have never been here over Christmas and New Years and boy is it busy! So many charter boats and massive yachts over 200 feet with helicopter pads, basketball courts and every toy you could imagine. If you have never seen a Lift Efoil, look it up. It looks awesome! Only $12000! Too bad we didn’t make friends with any of the rich and famous to try one.
So what do we do every day? Things you would expect like snorkeling, paddle boarding, hiking etc. It is wonderful to wake up, sit in the cockpit and slowly drink your coffee while smelling the fresh air. Sometimes goats are on the hillsides bellowing their goat calls, fish are splashing in the water and birds are diving for fish. There always seems to be something to look at and watch including other charterers in the anchorage providing comic relief as they try to pick up a mooring ball or anchor. We also have had a chance to meet up with some cruisers we met in Wilmington. But a lot of what we do does involve thinking about things you would never expect and more planning than you would think.
For the few followers I have for this blog, we would like to give you an inside look into what goes into being liveaboard cruisers and the things we never had to think about on land but experience daily here. Although a lot of our day is spent enjoying the best of what cruising has to offer, (sun, sand, and vodka ting in hand) there is a ton to think about every day to be able to enjoy it!
What’s the weather going to be like today? Better check National Weather forecast and Marine Forecast and Windy and Sailflow etc. One will be right! Let’s see, it is blowing 25 kts but the forecast says it should only be 10 kts. Seas are supposed to be 6-8 ft up to 10 ft with a northeast swell of 4-6 ft. Do you think the wind will die down? With today’s technology you would think the forecasts would be more accurate.
Should we stay where we are or move to another anchorage? Brings us back to weather again. Do we have to get somewhere to hunker down if the weather changes. Is it a place we want to be?
So once the anchorage is selected and we get there we then have to figure out, can we anchor or do we have to pick up a ball? If we anchor, what is the bottom like, sandy or rocky? How deep is it? How much scope should we put out? Do we have enough room between other boats to anchor here? How are we going to swing? Will we get backwinded? Well, we don’t want to be next to that boat- They have 15 people on board- you know they will be loud or why is nobody here, something wrong with the anchorage?
So lets say we get settled in an anchorage and start enjoying the day, then how to best manage power on a boat needs to be overseen. What is our state of charge? Do we need to do laundry, run the water maker, and ice maker? If so, we better run the generator for a while. What if we just turn down the ice maker to maintenance mode, can we get up to 100% charge with our solar in the remaining day light hours? Then we won’t have to run the generator at all which is nice. Better monitor the solar output of our panels using the Victron connect chargers Bluetooth app just to make sure they are being efficient.
What’s that noise? So many weird noises on boat. Better investigate.
What’s that smell? Lots of funky smells also. Better investigate.
What are we going to have for dinner today? Let’s go through the inventory of food we have left. How many days of food do we have before we have to move to go grocery shopping. When we do go grocery shopping again, how much do we need to buy to last us for three weeks, how long will the produce last, what meals do I plan on making- that involves figuring out what spices or ingredients I need to make sure we have on hand because there is no last minute running up to the store to get the thing you forgot!
We have to order some parts for the boat. Better set up a mailbox. This involved taking a one hour scenic bumpy bus ride in St. John to set up a mailbox for a month and then when the stuff arrives it will involve two dinghy boat trips back and forth to pick up the supplies.
Ordering stuff online: Amazon rarely ships to the USVI. We shipped some stuff to Kevin’s Mom and she repackaged it to mail to us down here. Or when you order things, you have to find other suppliers to do it and try to find if they will ship USPS because the post office is clearly the cheapest way to go. Fedex and UPS think of the USVIs as international. We spent several hours using huge amounts of data to find the stuff we need and then ordered it online. Our credit card was denied or we got call backs from the suppliers saying they ran our card and given we were in the BVIs, they wanted to make sure it wasn’t fraudulent. So more phone calls were made at 20 cents a minute to straighten it out but the stuff is no on its way.
How much data do we have left? We have used 10 GB and have 2 GB to last us 8 more days. Make sure we aren’t roaming. Internet is a blessing and a curse. We miss having easy unlimited access but having limited access means we are sheltered from all the negative news in the world.
So back to our nights in an anchorage. Many nights are calm and peaceful and sleeping is wonderful, but you do get those nights when the wind blows so hard, it shakes the boat and you feel the anchor chain tugging. Those nights you are up, checking your position, making sure the landmarks around you are still the same distance away and hope that your anchor holds. Is that rain I hear? Close the hatches. Did we bring the towels in hanging on the lifelines?
See, never a dull moment. Intermixed with all these thoughts, cleaning and fixing things on the boat comes into play too. Just like life at home, there are always chores to do. The lack of day to day consistency and routine throws you for a loop sometimes but the unexpected moments make life worth living. Cheers to 2020 and the adventures ahead!