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Last update June 02 2012.
JoHo enjoyed one more week in St Maarten en left with SY Pipe Muh Bligh and SY Storyville to the BVI's (British Virgin Islands) on May 5th. It took a night sail, but the sailing trip was a beautiful one. We arrived very early in the morning and anchored off at Prickly Pear Island on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. SY Island Dream, Pat and Darnell showed up again as well, so now the whole USA-Dutch group was complete again. We celebrated that with a sundowner at happy hour on Saba Rock. Happy hour and fast internet, what more can a sailor wish for.
On May 7th we sailed with the group to Anegada in the North. This low island lies only 8 m above sea level. We anchored in the lagoon at Setting Point and Rene arranged a pick-up for the next day to explore the island. Therefore Rene is our designated driver for the day as well and the rest went in the back of the pick-up, exept for co-pilot Troy. The roads on Anegada are generally unpaved, it reminds us of the Bonaire East coast. The coastline is beautiful, this coral island is surrounded by outer reefs, leaving a calm inner sea with white-sand-shores where the swimming and snorkelling is good. In the Centre of the island is a salt pont with Flamingos in it. We had homemade lunch on a beach, but first we cooled of in the water with a drink in our hand, another beautiful day in the sun.
We left the group the next day to sail to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, one of the largest attractions of the BVI. These bizarre boulders are from the Jura-time and lying on the beach. We climbed over, under and through these giant boulders and walked through tidal pools to idyllic beaches. It was like a natural cathedral. We had a short swim before we went back to JoHo. Incredebly beautiful.
Back on the boat we sailed five miles to our new anchorage for the night. The bay we chose looked better then the other packed ones (Trevis and Marina Cay), up at the beach were only three catamarans. Then a dinghy came to JoHo from those cat's, and with it appeared Kevin from SY Windigo. We met him and Karin in the Bahamas in 2007. After a short talk he had to go back, as charter captain on the catamarans he had to go back to the marina with his guests. Maybe we'll see each other next year again.
That night we had the anchorage to ourself.
Next morning we sailed to Jost van Dyke. This island is named after a 17th-century Dutch pirate. We met up with the group and that evening we held Happy Hour with a BBQ on board JoHo.
On Friday (not too early in the morning) we went with part of the group to the Bubbly pool. It's a small walk with a wonderful view on the anchorage. The bubbly pool is a tide-pool, when there is swell the waves get in the pool and there's small bubbles every where. Big fun.
Back on board we set sail to the Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke. We looked at the weather on the internet, uploaded two movies (click the 'films' button on the left). The weather looked good so we decided to leave after the weekend to Los Roques in Venezuela.
May 12th, JoHo is now on the road to Peter Island about 15NM south from Jost van Dyke, anchored in White Bay and enjoying a beach BBQ with the group. The anchorage is not too comfortable, but for the night it will do. Just before sunset, we stand with our drink on the white beach, the BBQ glows all nice and we know that tomorrow will be the last day that we will be with our friends. We end the day with a fire on the beach.
It's Sunday May 13th, as the wind is not what was predicted we sailed to our (last?) BVI-island. The bight on Norman Island. Got a new grib, looks as if the wind came a bit later then expected, but will be there tomorrow. Late in the afternoon, a cannon shot was fired from the side, this is the Happy Hour signal. We go to the bar and enjoyed our defenite last evening with the group in a beautiful sunset. We said farewell to our dear friends and hope we will meet again in the new season somewhere in the Carieb.
Monday morning, JoHo is ready (John not quite, but he'll get us there) and we depart from the BVI's. Late afternoon we were at St.Croix, much too early so we decided to stop for a night at St Croix, USVI. After a very short night we sailed towards Los Roques. The sea was quiet but that changed further on. Our goal is to stop at the Islands of Venezuela before we proceed to Bonaire. These uninhabited islands are wonderful. After 60 hours days of sailing we arrived on May 17 on the archipelago of Los Roques in Venezuala, logging 380NM.
Isla Sur - Aves Barlovento, Venezuala
We stopped on two Islands of Los Roques, each Island was different. The first had mainly low vegetation. The second had dunes and a beautiful enclosed Bay.
After a few days Los Roques we went to the Aves Islands. We stopped at Aves Barlovento, we went ashore, this Island looked like Bonaire. There were many birds on the Islands and we met another sailboat, at anchor there for 21 days. We had a sundowner on SY Mabel, nice Italian couple in a secluded bay miles away from civilisation, good conversation, wine and fresh sushi... hmmmm delicious.
Sometimes we really wonder if life can get any better.
The morning of May 22th we sailed on to Aves Sotavento. We stopped for the night in Aves Sotavento where we were boarded by the Venezuelan coast guard, nice guys with a real welcoming, warm attitude towards yachties, another nice surprise.
May 23, wednesday we arrived in Bonaire for a week. We had a full agenda, but enjoyed every minute of it. Many thanks to Gerard of Plaza Marina who made us an offer we couldn't refuse, our stay at Plaza Marina made life easier. Special thanks to Ans en Rob, our Lagoen Hill neighbours for the nice BBQ where they also invited our friends Daan and Maarten (SY LoLa).
We saw many people in a short time, but after only a week we had to sail on for John has to start work June 4th. So we sailed to Curacao on May 30.
Today we arrived in Aruba. Not nice. The 'douane' person was a mean and very demanding person. First he told John we MUST come alongside the cay, where in most countries you can check in by dinghy. Not only his demeanor was a problem, also the commercial cay is totally not suited for yachts and can easily damage your hull. Then when alongside I asked him to please take of his shoes before boarding. He refused and threathened with fines and even throw us out of the country if we insisted on having him take his shoes of, what an awful way to be 'welcomed' into Aruba.
We had a warmer welcome in most third world countries we've been and always and everywhere they came aboard barefeet, no problem except here.
If you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES or BONAIRE have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
JoHo is at anchor in Oranjestad, Aruba at 12°29,6' N - 70°00,9' W.
To go off again and sail to less explored areas and generally nice cruising grounds, maybe begin the start of a circumnavigation (although to circumnavigate is not the goal).
JoHo will be our main address, floating office and home for this year.
Still we'll have to work some in between where and when possible, we may also compile a few cruising guides on our way.
John and Jolanda