The "Live-Anywhere" Boat - Cruise 2016, Part I, the BVI, Home, and Heading South Again
Updated February, 2017
Rainbow in Great Harbour

It has been a long time since we have updated this story. We were very busy all summer and into the fall, and somehow I could not summon the energy to write. Now, however, safely settled in Great Harbour, we shall see how it goes.

The last entry ended with our arrival in the British Virgin Islands, anchoring in Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke. Here, except for brief excursions to shop, or (sadly) to take Carl to Tortola, where he could get a taxi to the airport, we stayed until the end of February.

Barbara Window-Shopping in Cruz Bay

Ali Baba's Newly Painted Tables

Barbara, as usual, volunteered in the school, helping children who needed a little more individual time than the teacher could give them, and I worked on the boat, which was showing a little wear and tear from her voyages, and from the lack of access to our usual suppliers.

We went to Ivan's Campground in the next bay to hear our old friend Reuben Chinnery play, and again to a celebration put on by many local musicians in honor of Ivan, who was himself a featured professional in New York in his younger days. The music was excellent, and it was a good party in every way.

Since we had planned to cross the Atlantic in November, after hurricane season, we knew we would be in the British Virgin Islands for Christmas. We had missed our usual family Christmas celebration of course, being in Holland, so before we left Europe we determined to have all our children and grandchildren come to the BVI, specifically to Jost van Dyke, for Christmas. Tortola would have been logistically easier, of course, but Jost is our home in the BVI, so we never really considered anywhere else.

Reuben Chinnery at Ivan's Stress-Free Bar

Our first problem was where to put everyone up, because Barbara can't accomodate that many people, and in any case we had two very new granddaughters, whose parents, we felt, would be anxious about their daughters crawling around a boat.

Jost is just not the kind of place where a visit to will produce a list of ten hotels with availability dates and a confirmed reservation in a few minutes. It is a place of small guest houses, charming, but in many cases with only a tenuous relationship with the internet.

A Neighbor

Stad Amsterdam Anchored Just Outside Us

Emails did not really work very well; trans-Atlantc phone calls worked better, but everything was still a little less solidly nailed- down than I would have liked when we left Tenerife.

All worked out in the end, however (although the travel was an epic in itself), everyone had a wonderful time, and I finally had a chance to meet our new granddaughters.

The Cargo Vessels that Supply the BVI

View from a Hammock on the Beach

By the kindness of Sherman, owner of North Latitudes Marina, we could lay Barbara alongside one evening, so the whole family could come aboard for dinner. The new mothers were perhaps a little anxious initially, but all was well, and the babies seemed to enjoy the new setting.

Our good friend Baba had made some parrots in the off-season, so Barbara bought me one for my birthday, and it makes a great addition to our pilothouse.

Our New Parrot

Ali Baba's

The Old Town Hall - Culebra

As it does every year, the time came when we felt we had to move on. The urge was a little stronger this year, because I wanted to get back into U.S. supply channels so we could restock our depleted spares lockers.

After my birthday party, we reluctantly left (on Sadie Hawkins' Day) and headed for Culebra. After brief stops there and at Salinas, we headed to Ponce for bunkers. Here, to our surprise, we found that there was no fuel, but the truck was expected imminently. We waited, and eventually were able to take on just over a thousand gallons of fuel.

Cabo Rojo Light, at the Southwestern Corner of Puerto Rico

This was fine, but it was almost 16:00 before we were finished, so we decided to spend the night in Ponce Harbor and go on in the morning. After a little set-to with a snippy French woman (who thought we were anchored too close), we had a peaceful night, and by 14:00 the next day were anchored in Boqueron Bay, where Carl came out to meet us in his yola.
Iguana on the Beach at Boqueron

David Setting Up Shop for the Day

As always, arriving in Boqueron felt like coming home, and afer pizza at Terramar with Carl that first night, we set about restocking. We bought more of the belts that always break and found a source for the engine oil we always use. We refilled our propane tanks. We bought groceries.

Carl took us around in his newly-acquired car, which was very helpful, especially for bulky and heavy groceries.

The Pescederia, The Bar of the Fishermen's Association - Boqueron

A Bar in the Hills - Maricao

One Sunday, we went with our old friend Ita to a little bar high in the hills, near Maricao, for an afternoon of traditional music, which we loved.

The wharf at the Pescaderia, where we tended to hang out, was getting a little tired, and one day it became time to do something. The wharf, and the bar, are owned by the Fishermen's Association, and Carl and I joined one of the men and David, who sells jewelry nearby, to put it back together. Somehow I became the chainsaw man, cutting the ends off boards and making notches, and before the day became really hot, we were finished.

'Downtown' Boqueron

Dinner at Terramar - Boqueron

I was able to get quite a bit done on the boat in Boqueron Bay, but in late May and early June we had graduations to atttend, and there were those charming new granddaughters to be spoiled, so we left a little earlier than usual, on April 27th, and headed for Bermuda.
Shore Corner - Boqueron

The passage was a little bumpy, but otherwise uneventful, except that the navigation computer showed a tendency to crash. It seems that it sometimes gets a lttle corrosion in a connector, and a little fuss straightens things out until next time. In any cae, we only really need it offshore for the AIS readout. I had a laptop ready as a backup, but in the event did not need it.

The night of May 2nd we made up the sweep of the Gibbs Hil light, and early in the morning of the 3rd we were alongside for Customs.

Crowd of Boats in St. Georges Harbor

Dragonera Rafted Outside Us

Alongside - Front Street Shipyard

In the Slings

We stayed in Bermuda longer than we intended because of the weather; one storm after another. The harbor got very crowded, and another Maine boat, the beautiful Dragonera, rafted outside us. We enjoyed our stay, although the weather prevented us from going to Dockyard, as we normally would. It was good to see Steve and Suzanne, and I got some work done on the boat.

Finally, on May 10th, we thought there was a window, so we cleared out and headed out the Town Cut for sea. We had a little trouble with eddies around the Gulf Stream, but very early in the morning ot the 15th we were anchored off Hamilton Beach.

Backyard in St. Paul Ready for a Graduation Party

At home there was a lot of work to do: start up the vehicles, get our mainland car off the island and registered, turn the water on in the house, get our accumulated mail, among other chores. Since our mooring was not ready, we also had to arrange to leave Barbara on a mooring at the Boatyard while we traveled to our various graduations.

The first of these, Daniel's, was in Middletown, Connecticut, and after our return from that we unloaded 3 truckloads of clothes and gear from the boat, changed her main engine oil, and generally got her ready for her first visit to the shipyard in two years.

Wolf Point, from the Train

The Edge of the Rockies

We did have one very good event in this period; on the way back across the Atlantic, one arm of our helm chair had cracked and I had emailed Llebroc from Boqueron to ask how I could go about buying another. On June 1st, however, I found a package in the shop with two new arms, at no charge! Excellent customer service!

On the morning of the 5th, in thick fog, I set off alone for Belfast and Front Street Shipyard. Barbara would drive up to pick me up. I did not see much of the coast, but we arrived in Rockland without incident and anchored for the night.

Mt. Hood

It was cool enough that I made a small fire in the stove, the first since leaving the Netherlands. The next morning we went on to Belfast in improving visibility, and the day was filled with meetings with yard workers about the jobs to be done.

Our next graduation was in St. Paul, and since air travel is really no fun any more, we decided we would take the train, and then go on after the festivities to California, where we would visit our daughter, Anne, and spend a little time with her and her new daughter.

Union Station in the Other Portland

Victorian Houses in San Francisco

So we left Belfast on the 7th and drove home and packed. On the 8th we dropped the liferaft off at Chase-Leavitt for service and drove to Boston, where we stayed in the house of our friends Bob and Irene . On the 9th we caught the train to Albany at 12:50 and arrived late on the 10th at St. Paul, where our son Stephen picked us up.

Alena's graduation from St. Paul Academy was the 12th, and the evening of the 13th we got back on the train and headed west across the Dakotas toward the Rockies.

Heading Into the Cascades

Red Buttes and Muddy River

Our bedroom was tiny, a little like living on a boat, but very comfortable. Some of the scenery we passed was awe-inspiring, and quite a change from the neat little cities, with their strict rectangular layouts. The only problem with the trip was that the dining car menu was identical on every train, and we soon tired of the choices offered.

On the 16th, we arrived in Emeryville, just outside San Francisco, and Anne and her dughter were there to meet us.

The Colorado River

We stayed through the weekend, and would gladly have stayed longer, but we still had things to do, so on the 20th we left Richmond on the train for home, traveling this time to Chicago by the southern route, through the Cascades and Utah. We arrived in Boston in the evening of the 23rd and headed home the next day.

I had been thinking for a while that our trusty station wagon was getting a little tired for long trips, so we had been discussing a replacement with our friends at Bath Subaru, and just after our return we went to have a look at the new models and to take one for a test drive.

Another View, in a Steep Gorge

18th-Century Houses - Philadelphia

Because I used my drawing file for chart storage on Barbara, I was in desperate need of a place to store drawings and charts in the shop, and with all the new European charts, this need only became greater. I found that new drawing file drawer sets were very expensive, but I found some on Craigslist, so the next day I went to look at them and we came quickly to terms. They were big enough that I rented a van to pick them up, and moving them was something of a chore, but eventually we got them in place, so that was done.
Part of the U. Penn. Campus

Schooners in Rockland Harbor

Meanwhile, I was back and forth to Belfast, checking on the boat work and doing a few jobs myself, and also doing some presonal maintenance, doctor and dentist appointments. Our son Seth and his family came for a too-short visit, which was a delight, and on the 10th we left for the Rencontre Internationale Assyriologique, the annual international conference of Assyriologists, taking place this time in Philadelphia.
Lucy Reinauer Getting Underway, With Jason Reinauer Helping - New Haven

Turning Her in the Roadstead

Contrasts - Thye Classic Oyster Dredge S.W. Sheppard Passing Lucy Reinauer

Sunset - New York Harbor

On our way back from the conference, we picked Anne and Sojourner up at Logan Airport and brought them back to say with us for a few weeks.

On July 26th, I went to Belfast to help launch Barbara, but she was still waiting for parts and not yet ready to leave. On the 28th we picked up the new car and left the old one off to get a new clutch before being brought to the Island. On August 10th, Barbara was finally checked out and ready to come home, this time to her own mooring which had meanwhile been overhauled by the Boatyard crew.

The Crane Barge Curtis Bay Yanking Out the Pilings of the Neighboring Marina - Baltimore

In early September we had a niece's wedding in Maryland, so we combined it with a run to Pennsylvania to look at Barbara's family land and visit Seth in Pittsburgh. Our first trip in the new car, which performed beautifully.

After this trip, we finally had a little time at home to see friends, get the boat ready for the winter, and relax a bit. We also made the arrangements for a little remodeling and an addition to the house, something we had long been planning. The work is supposed to start early next summer, and we hope it does.

In early November we loaded the boat, filled up with fuel, got the heater working again (at least for a while -- we would not get it really working until we arrived in Baltimore), and on the evening of Nov 13th dropped the mooring and left in time to make the tide the next morning at the Cape Cod Canal. We laid over at Pt. Judith, Stonington, and New Haven, waiting for weather.

Barbara's Christmas Tree

Evening in Baltimore Harbor

Finally, we left New Haven on the morning of the 18th, thinking to go only as far as City island, but the tide served, the forecast looked promising, and we continued on through New York and down the coast; the evening of the 19th we were eating burgers in the bar in Chesapeake City. We lay over again until a gale blew itself out, and then headed down for Baltimore in front of a brisk northwest wind.

Just after noontime on the 22nd, we came alongside in our old berth at Harbor East Marina, where we stayed among old friends until after Christmas.