Chronicles of a Sailing Yacht Charter Week in the BVI’s: Day 5

Tuesday 29th September 2009

A classic yacht chartering blunder was made on Monday. Instead of filling the tanks with water when the conditions were calm at the east end of Cane Garden Bay we elected to do it Tuesday morning because we were having so much fun on Monday. Overnight, a swell began running out of the North which made the water surge next to the dock. This created a very uncomfortable situation for refilling the water tanks. Even with spring lines, the boat was moving around quite a lot and created potentially dangerous situation. The lesson there was – when conditions are right do what you need to do.

The swell did create some fun waves over the reef and so on Tuesday morning we took the sea kayaks into the waves to play.

After refilling with water, we needed to get away from the dock safely. Simply engaging reverse would have sent us side scrapping the boat along the dock all the way back with the swell surge slamming us in. Not good!

Using a spring line to get off the dock with a catamaran

Using a spring line to get off the dock with a catamaran

We used a classic spring line – reverse out method. We left the spring line running from the forward cleat aft to the dock and released all others.  We positioned a buoy between the dock and forward hull, turned the wheel towards the dock and engaged forward on the engine opposite the dock. When the spring line was taught, the aft end of the boat begun rotating away from the dock due to the opposing forces creating a turning moment. We helped this with a little reverse on the dock side engine all the while keeping the buoy between the hull and dock and spring line taught. When the aft of the boat had rotated sufficiently away from the dock we engaged reverse on both engines, released the spring line and back quickly away from the dock.

This and more is described in the Catamaran Sailing Confidence Clinic

Clear, we then pulled the dinghy up on the dinghy davit and set sail for White Bay on Guana Island next to Monkey point. Using the dinghy davit is usually a good idea. It reduces drap on the boat and thus increases speed, reduces wear on the dinghy and boat cleats and reduces the jerking on the painter line as the swells pass. A Catamaran is well suited for raising the dinghy on the davits because the catamaran is so wide and having a dingy of the back presents no interference.

Dinghy Davit on a catamaran

Dinghy Davit on a catamaran

The winds to Guana Island were 15 knots out of the east and just below the reefing threshold. It’s important to reef a catamaran at the designated wind speeds because since the boat does not heel over, the full area of the sail is always presented to the wind. More about this in the NauticEd Catamaran Sailing Confidence course.

We set out the two fishing rods and trolled for a yummy Tuna which I have caught on many previous trips to the BVI. Alas, we were skunked for the whole week on any fish. Not even a Baracuda!

White Bay on Guana Island

White Bay on Guana Island

The sand on White Bay, Guana Island is so soft and almost silky like. Guana Island is a private island and so you can go on to the beach but not too much further. However White Bay made for a very nice stop for a long lunch. Unfortunately due to time we missed the snorkeling at Monkey point which has been very impressive on previous trips to the BVI where two mooring balls are provided for day mooring.

We then made tracks under power to Lee Bay on Great Camanoe Island. Lee bay is a small bay with a rocky beach.

Lee Bay on Camanoe Island

Lee Bay on Camanoe Island

The rocky cliffs on each side are impressive and the swell was creating a blow hole into a cave next to our anchor point that made a very ominous whooshing sound with a shooting high blow of water. Its obvious that a swell out of the North could make this bay uncomfortable, however today it was slightly North west and laying down. We therefore elected to stay the night in Lee Bay.

We took the dinghy ashore so that we could walk across the low saddle of the island to Cam Bay on the other side. The waves on the beach made for an interesting landing onto the beach with the dinghy. We had to wait for the swell surge then ride it in slightly behind the wave. We pulled up onto the beach and tied off around a large rock. Cam Bay was relatively unimpressive with washed up seaweed and some trash on the beach so we didn’t stay to long. There were some very impressive homes overlooking Cam Bay. The night produced a heavy but short lived thunderstorm  and so there was a great scramble to close all the hatches about 3am.

2 replies
  1. yachtdavits
    yachtdavits says:

    it is very nice topic Chronicles of a Sailing Yacht Charter and spring line moving around a lot and created potentially.

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