April 14, 2023
We have arrived in St. Kitts early yesterday morning after an overnight run from St. Croix, USVI. I have to say, it was almost calm!
As mentioned, taking the path from west to east through the Caribbean is very bouncy as you fight wind, waves and current, but we departed on Wednesday just after noon (after the important conference calls) and took advantage of a great weather window.
While we did see winds get up into the 15 knot range for a brief period and we did experience a couple of rogue waves over five feet, the bulk of the time, was just a slightly rolly run at over six knots. By comparison, that was awesome!
The path between St. Croix and Saba offers a very large area of ocean that is protected. Vessels over 300GT are not allowed to transit the area, but Home Free with her tiny little 40GT size is not a problem. Still there are warnings (and observations) everywhere about nets, low water levels and more. For that reason we chose to cross the area in one of the ‘narrowest’ areas which added about five or ten miles to our journey. Still, because we were passing through this area at midnight, spotting nets or other fishing gear would be difficult and so it was ‘safer’ than a straight line to St. Kitts.
As we departed, David, the former owner of Home Free (originally Minky) texted to wish N47-43 a happy birthday. Home Free was christened on April 12th, 2007 and is now 16 years old. As we were well underway, we avoided breaking out the champagne until last night! Thanks for the reminder David, the bubbly was awesome, if a day late.
Because sea conditions were vastly better than we have been experiencing since leaving the Turks and Caicos, we were way, way ahead of schedule. We arrived off shore of Saba just after midnight (a bit exhausted) and considered staying for the night but it is a new harbour, would require grabbing a mooring ball in an unknown location and there were so many bright lights on shore I couldn’t make out the near shore features adequately. Put another way, too much risk, so we pressed on southward.
As the sun rose, the light behind St. Kitts was beautiful. I didn’t catch any of those sunrise photos because I was too tired to think straight.
A little later the bump of the St. Kitts volcano surged into the sky and a few photos may help you see the stark contrasts in light and sky. It was quite nice to see (also see the featured image) and those clouds produced a short rain shower just as we arrived at the Zante Marina, to clear some of the salt off the decks! Thank you universe.
If I was less tired, I would have been able to take quite a few photos of brown boobies again on this run. They visited the boat a number of times as we scared up flying fish. I was too lazy to get the camera out and take photos. I will continue my lethargy as I avoid brown booby jokes!
Below is a different sort of bird. I have no idea what it is, but it made a number of unsuccessful attempts to land on the bow pulpit before giving up and going back to hunting from above.
We were also visited by dolphins in the middle of the night. This isn’t as spectacular as during the day, but as I was sitting, exhausted, in the pilot house around midnight watching a cruise ship pass in the distance I heard strange sounds, and something in my brain went back to my childhood watching ‘Flipper’. I jumped up and looked outside and a dolphin was swimming along with us. Very exciting, even in the dark.
We have tied up at Port Zante marina for a few days. This is tourist trap writ large. The cruise ship port is just outside the marina entrance, and there is one ship in today. Some days they have four apparently. We are watching the excitement over a morning beverage but then we will rent a car and go see some of the island this afternoon.