Tag Archives: sailing

Patouche Sailing cruise

This is probably the best day of the whole trip.

We signed up to do a snorkel trip with Patouche charters. They were one of the few places that returned our calls AND would take credit cards.

Fay and Shane were a good crew, took us to nice places, and pointed out the best places to go. Fay was from Maryland, out here to get her captains papers. Shane was from the Dominican Republic (I think).

The boat wasn’t big, but neither were the number of guests. There were four other people besides Ginny and I: A married couple from Florida and a couple of guys from New York.

They had plenty of things to drink, and some tasty snacks. They didn’t push the alcohol, which was nice.

We did 2 snorkel stops, had lunch, and did another snorkel stop. Lunch was quiche, unfortunately, so I had to pass. The pasta salad was pretty good though. We have GOT to remember to tell people about my lactose intolerance.

The two guys from New York were also staying at Fort Recovery, so we gave them a lift back. We stopped at the Rite Way grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner just sandwich stuff.


Woke up at the normal time but the boat was strangely quiet. Half the passengers were gone. They had to get up at 4:30am to get transferred to the airport for a 7am flight.

We decided to wait until most of the people who had deadlines were gone, so we just relaxed on board.

Around 11:30, we loaded our stuff onto the launch, said our farewells to the crew, and headed for shore.

A bit of talk with the guy at the local taxi stand determined that the Avis location we needed wasn’t as close as we thought it would be. We were told that it was walk-able, but a very long walk. A $4 cab ride, however, wasn’t unreasonable.

We got taken to a local car dealership that doubled as the Avis location. Unloaded the cab and checked into pick up the car. Not a very efficient or professional looking operation. The rental form was written out by hand. We were told to return the car with the same amount of gas that we took it out with. After we started I noticed that the tank was only half full. I had expected them to fill the tank at least.

A few items about driving in the British Virgin Islands

  1. Driving on the left had side isn’t that hard to get used to. I did it in Scotland, and then I was on the other side of the card.
  2. There are very few speed limit signs those they do have do not specify if the speed posted is in kph or mph.
  3. The car is left had drive, just like in the US, but the speedometer is scaled in kph not mph. I suspect it’s manufactured for the European market.
  4. The roads are VERY narrow and in very poor repair. The road to Hana on Maui is far better than the roads on Tortola.

We arrived at Fort Recovery and find that it’s not at all what it’s cracked up to be.

The room is fairly nice, but not $300/night nice. On Maui, during the high season, this kind of place would go for $150/night. That’s WITH an ocean view and direct access to the beach.

The beach is small and kind of dismal looking.

Wifi only works near their office, not in the room.

Had dinner at The Jolly Roger Inn which is run by a couple of guys from New York. It specialized in “Pan Asian, SOHO, and Tribeca cuisine. I didn’t even know SOHO and Tribeca were cuisines.

Finding the place was a challenge as it was at the end of a very dark and forbidding road (actually, all the roads are dark & forbidding at night). The food was pretty good, but the service was kind of slow. I suspect this is going to be a pattern.

Saint Barths

We realized that the one bottle of Dayquil wasn’t going to last long enough, with both of us not feeling great, so we wandered around town a bit looking for a drug store & grocery store, maybe the beach.

Found the stores, never got to the beach. The drug store was interesting, as they carried absolutely no American or British products. No Nyquil or Dayquil. We spoke to a pharmacist, who only spoke marginal English, and she gave us some cold medicine. Not sure it worked very well. We’ll have to pick up some more familiar stuff tomorrow in Tortola.

Almost went on the island tour, but decided we weren’t feeling up to it. We went back to the boat to relax.

Saint Martin

Work up around 6am still feeling lousy. We decided to go ashore to find some cold medicine.

Had a very light breakfast of some honeydew melon and toast I’m sure that anything heavier would screw me up something fierce.

Turns out that every morning the captain hosts a ‘Story Time’ where he tells us what’s going on for the day and any other bits of info. I did my best to give a hearty “Good Morning Captain Sir , but my head & throat rebelled so I only croaked a it. Ginny was able to belt it out I suspect she’s going to regret it later.

The captains’ name is “Fernando he introduced the crew including Debra, the ‘Activities Mate’, and Laurie, the Purser. He also covered important stuff, like safety guidelines, etc.

We had lunch at a little French place called Antoine’s. Ginny had some good gazpacho soup, I had a chicken sandwich. I would have liked the soup, but wasn’t feeling very adventurous in a food way.

We wandered back into town to find a drugs store and found one. They didn’t have a lot of stuff, but they carried Nyquil & Dayquil, so we bought one of each. Not sure if that will last us, but it should get us past the next few days.

Ahoy Mate

We’re on our way … wake up at 4am, cab arrives at 5am, flight is at 7am. OMG am I tired.

Arrive at San Juan, find a place for lunch. Nothing special, but ok.

Fly to St. Martin in a puddle jumper. We sat right next to the prop.

After clearing customs, we went to the main lobby of the airport and found the windjammer rep. We had to wait a bit to get on the bus because they had to wait for some other people. Bus ride was ‘interesting’, as the roads were very narrow. Everyone joked about inhaling a bit to squeeze by.

Bus stopped a few blocks away from the dock, so we had to hike down to where the launch for the boat was.

Check went fairly smoothly, although we had to go through the safety briefing twice. Were taken to our cabin, which was VERY VERY small.

Around this time I noticed a slight cough and dryness in my throat.

We went to bed around 10pm, after having dinner and wandering around on the deck.

I woke up around 3am feeling lousy. Head ache, sinus congestion, scratchy throat. Oh crap, now I have a sinus infection.

Preparing to leave

We’re off on another vacation … this time to the Caribbean for a Windjammer cruise and some time on the British Virgin Island of Tortola.

Riley has figured it out he’s seen the duffel bags and knows we’re going away. He’s not in a good mood.

Ginny has a cough that hasn’t gotten any better probably caught it from some of her co-workers. She thought it was gone a week or so ago, but it came back. I was quite surprised that I hadn’t caught anything. I’ve been taking Echinacea and 1000mg vitamin C tablets for the past 8 weeks to avoid getting sick.

I aimed the web cam at the chair Riley likes to snooze in, so we might be able to watch him when we get to Fort Recovery.

Ginny realized that we forgot to get more dry food for Riley so she left a note for Pat, our pet sitter, and a ten dollar bill, in case she need to get a small bag.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again,
   to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
   and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song
   and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face
   and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again,
   for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
   that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day
   with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
   and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again
   to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way
   where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
   from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
   when the long trick's over.

— John Masefield

More on this later.