Hi All~


I have posted a recapitulation of the events occurring during the second half of 2008. Read about single-handed, sail-tearing, rockin'-ocean voyages; paradise found and thoroughly explored [over and over again, with every new class . . .]; cycling adventures on the new Dream Police Ti; the near-sinking of Windigo; the sixth (and FINAL!) version of Windigo's bow roller system; and yet ANOTHER hurricane attempts to reek havoc with Windigo, this time one named OMAR [spoiler: NAH-NAH-NAH-NAH-NAH-NAH, Windigo lives! / Omar is dead].


See all the photos and read of the adventures at:

<http://www.ciekurzis.org/2008 Finale/2008 Finale.htm>





(ALSO, the attachment to this emailio gives way to interesting discussion.)





A movie, available for free download or viewing at:



Some interesting disclosures are made -

and some actual ways to improve conditions in YOUR world are given.

Also check out the Final Edition of the first movie made by the same people, at the same site.


And now, the eLetter:

2008 in Review


Part 1- Welcome to the BVI.


They say the important part of life is not the arrival, but the journey. Sailing the 100-miles from San Juan to Road Town proved that adage as several days were taken to chill out the upwind rigors of the trip and enjoy interesting stops along the way.

Nonetheless, on the evening of the very first leg of the trip, while off the north coast of Puerto Rico, the newly installed cringle on the clew of the foresail gave out. Karin had ridden her bike 35 miles to Fajardo [before she flew home] to get a cringle put in that sail, and it turned out to be imbedded in inadequate material. So when I got around to fixing it again, I did it the way that has proved to be the most reliable = I did the whole job myself. Windigo is much more reliable because of all the work Karin & I have done ourselves rather than pay someone else to do an inferior job.


Stopping at Vieques to search for a geocache gave me the opportunity to chat with locals there, and I found them to be extremely positive and engaging. They are very happy to get their island back from the US military after years of using it as a bombing range [see previous eLetter]. I really look forward to the future cruising time when these "Spanish Virgins" can be fully explored.


After a short stop in Brewer's Bay, St. Thomas (behind the Harry S. Truman / Cyril E. King Airport), I sailed into the BVI, and immediately found the German couple I met in Puerto Rico. Bernd & Verena were in the last month of a year of cruising on their catamaran, Orion, they had sailed across the Atlantic from the Med. We had a blast exploring many BVIslands by sailboat and dinghy, hiking and kiting and snorkeling a vast area. I also introduced them to geocaching and before they left; they placed a special geocache on Peter Island just for me. Because of teaching, charters, weather windows, another set of Puerto Rican adventures and a visit to St. Croix, it took me four months to seek it out; but there it was, chock full of fun [more later].


Another geocache adventure, my most difficult to date:

I am sitting calmly in a crappy harbour at Virgin Gorda, with plans to sail to a chain of small islands and meet up with the Orion crew. But a weak i-net connection shows a FRESHLY PLACED geocache on the northwest shore of Tortola! I could be First-To-Find![FTF!]


So I check the location, logistics, weather, distance, blah, blah, blah; even though it seems only remotely possible, I decide to go for it. Oh man, what an adventure it led to.


FIRST, I leave at 0515 to walk to my last geocache on Virgin Gorda. Thinking it will be a 2-3 mile walk . . . it turns out to be SIX miles. Whew. At least it was paved roads all the way.


Then I get back to Windigo and prepare to sail. I've been sailing very gently with Pedigo's floats inflated by pinching and going slow, instead of removing them as is standard procedure when venturing out into the ocean. With the conditions I expect in Shark Bay on the north side of Tortola, I certainly do not wanna be screwing around installing them, so I sail quietly with Pedigo assembled.


I sail around the east end of the island and the wind is perfect. Even though the north shore is open directly to the ocean, there are absolutely no waves! No white horses at all, only a gentle, 12-second swell. I am not healing and making 5.5 knots! Things in the Sir Francis Drake Channel were much worse.


I get to Shark Bay, and find shallow water, and carefully pick a clear spot between rocks & coral for the anchor. I use the CQR for quick retrieval, but still attach a tripline [ALWAYS use a tripline].


Timing the waves and being able to dismount and wade Pedigo ashore, I now begin the ascent to the top. Basically, the climbing skills I learned in Arizona 30 years ago were all utilized = handholds become footholds and never let go!


Up & up & up. Then through the bush. Descend upon a house; actually end up in their backyard. "Hello, Good Morning". A nice British man comes out and is quite gracious to the rambling straggler invading his turf. He walks over to a spot in his "yard" where he can see Windigo and is duly impressed. He gives directions to enter the park (where the geocache is).


I screw up the directions a little bit, and end up all the way down at the next bay, Brewer's Bay. I look at it for a while. It is nice. Then I climb all the way up to where the cut-off steps lead to the park. The park trail is incredible, with not much of a trail when there is one. Very primitive.


Of course, the GPSr leads me to the very end of the trail [and then some] and I search 74 holes in the rocks until I find it. FTF!!! Realizing I am very tired and a misstep would not be good, I sit in a small cave and rest while writing on the log. It is VERY hot out, and my quart of water for the "quarter-mile hike" is gone. There is an awesome lookout platform to rest at during the return trip.


The log says the geocache is maintained by a family with a five-year-old boy [o.k.] and younger twins. I can easily believe a five-year-old boy scrambled to this cache site, but FOUR-YEAR-OLD TWINS?!! That's GREAT!


On the way back, I stop at the house and meet Robin Tattersall & his wife. They give me water and I explain geocaching. They are impressed. In the 10 years they have lived in the house no one has ever wandered through their yard, and NO ONE makes the climb from Shark Bay.


Rehydrating and resting, I discover that Robin was the only surgeon in the BVI in the 60's. He sailed here from England, and one day in 1967 a guy asked to charter his boat. The very first BVI charter company was born. Being a good surgeon but a bad businessman, the business went bankrupt and was sold to the fellow that eventually started . . . . The Moorings! What a story.


Robin is an accomplished sailor, representing the BVI in two Olympics having crewed on the clipper ship that broke the 100-year-old transatlantic record three years ago. He is about 75! He owns a little GRP sailboat in Hodges Creek, and a 110-year-old boat built by Nathaniel Herreshoff. There are things "designed" by Herreshoff all over [even on Windigo], but to have a boat BUILT by him . . . wow.


I intend on visiting them again when I become more established here. Robin still runs a clinic in Road Town.


I say good-bye and find my way to the top of the cliff above Shark Bay. Using my famous "controlled fall" descent, I reach the beach and launch Pedigo through the surf.


Returning to Windigo preparing to sail, I spend a half-hour using the tripline and unshackling the CQR to retrieve it and the chain because it became hooked under a rock ledge, just like in Oakes Cove in Canada. I am VERY careful with my fingers and am successful to recover all the gear unscathed; but it is quite difficult and the bow roller takes a hit with a broken weld. I am going to have to examine and reevaluate the whole situation up there and make big changes. I believe I will spend some money in Puerto Rico on some stainless steel for a new setup.


Sailing back to the east and around the end of Tortola and Beef Island, I make my way down to the little islands across the Drake Channel to continue geocaching adventures with the Orion crew.


So that was my Father's Day. WHEW!


After Bernd & Verena left, I taught several classes for the Sunsail Tortola Sailing School, and captained a charter for two Moorings boats [at the same time = good trick, eh?]. I concentrated on several Windigo improvements and performed lots of preventative maintenance. I was very busy until the 12th of August when they put my teaching boat into the mangroves for the hurricane season.*

*They move over half of the 500 boats at this [the largest in the world] charter base out of the marina at Road Town and into more protected locations such as: the Hodge's Creek maintenance facility, mangrove-surrounded Paraquita Bay, Spanish Town's Virgin Gorda Harbour, and several dozen actually get shipped up to the Mediterranean to be chartered out of bases in Greece during their busy season.


I left the BVI and had an uneventful 18-hour, 100-mile sail back to San Juan (sure is easy sailing DOWNWIND!)


Part 2- Return to Puerto Rico.


Immediately upon arrival, I started tending to the business I came to do. I went shopping for enough clothes to support my teaching weeks that sometimes are scheduled back-to-back. I began the removal of the old bow roller on Windigo and made measurements and plans for the sixth and most awesome bow roller system in the history of . . . me making bow roller systems for Windigo! I commenced other large Windigo projects that required being in a country that actually has affordable supplies.


But living on a sailboat also required the imperative social task of renewing old acquaintances and making new friends both on land and around the marina. It was great to see Hector & Maritza at the San Juan Bay marina, and my friend Juan the security guard. Hector was always there, cheerfully helping me to get fuel or the key to some gate and Maritza was amiable to finding me a spot in the boatyard to do the welding I would need to do on the new bow roller. Hanging out with Juan and meeting the other security guards would become helpful in a couple weeks when I had to steal the Travelift . . . oh, I'll wait to tell about that later.


My good friend Hector, the manager of the San Juan West Marine, was a VERY instrumental character in this visit because of the vast amount of discounts I required there! I reconnected with some of my geocaching friends -- the number of Puerto Rican geocaches had increased by over 50% since I left only a couple months ago!


I saw my adventurous friend, Bill Butler, almost every day; and was fortunate enough to celebrate his 79th birthday with him and meet his lovely wife, Lilly. I knew all the other liveaboards at the marina and enjoyed some time with: Peter, Jorge, Judi, Joe, Dane, Jim & Marti, Loraine & Bill; and especially Mat & Pat, the crew of NSS Pattam, as she is the most marvelous chef on the water When I was invited for dinner, she actually served HOMEMADE ICE CREAM! What a treat!!


But the person that affected my stay in Puerto Rico the greatest was Ramon Maturana. He was readying his newly purchased boat for a voyage back home to Chile, and we became instant friends after going with another dockmate, Reno, to an art opening. Ramon enjoyed doing unusual activities as I do; he was willing to go with me on extended bike rides and Pedigo adventures. He had at least as many "stories" as I do, and we shared many, many of them over dinner or in the cockpits of our boats. He was a huge help to me in my quest to learn Spanish, and it turned out I could be a huge help to him, too.


He has been trying to get the old, dysfunctional electronics upgraded on his boat; and install a new autopilot; and set up a sound system to satisfy his love of music. As is the case in many places, reliable technicians are impossible to find, so I agreed to do the work for him. Although I was very busy with Windigo's projects, I had also spent the last of my money and could certainly use the extra cash.


So spent a great deal of time getting everything just right on Ramon's boat. And designed, fabricated, assembled and installed a thoroughly rugged stainless steel bow roller system for Windigo. [The new system has been tested in the most extreme conditions already, and has performed flawlessly.] And received, assembled and rode my new bike, the Dream Police Ti, 600 miles in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, most of those miles were simply running errands and gathering supplies for my multitude of projects. (The REAL test of the bikes capabilities came in St. Croix . . . more later.)


So I was so busy every day, I barely got to see my friend Tony, the ultramarathon champion of Puerto Rico, much less go riding with him. I never got the chance to ride to the south coast to visit Alexis and his wife, the geocaching mountain bikers. I only got to ride up one or two additional mountains near San Juan, although I did score a first-to-find on a cool, very spread-out multi-cache; went kite-flying several times to El Morrow on Sundays; shared music files with Dane [I now have over 64-days of continuous tunes . . . ]; enjoyed several Bar-B-Qs with master BBQ chef, Joe; got Ramon's boat 100% electronically sound; fought a life-threatening infection; and stopped Windigo from sinking in the middle of the night.


Yes, Windigo tried to sail to Davey Jones' Locker.


At midnight one night, the bilge pump began running. Then the second one kicked in.

Then I had to pump the manual for eight hours to keep up with the flow.

I couldn't find the leak, so I weighed anchor and sailed to the launch slip of the boatyard because I heard it is really shallow. It was, so I ran the boat aground.

Then I found the keys to the Travelift, so I pulled Windigo out of the water (only partially because the wrong straps were installed on the Travelift). The security guard was having a fit. In Espanol. Which made it important to have all the lessons from Ramon, and a relationship with Juan, the other guard.

When the yard guys got to work, we pulled Windigo all the way out, and there was a 3-foot crack at the top of the leading edge of the keel; but unlike the Charley crack, this one went all the way through.


This is the LAST place I wish to haul out [very $$$$], but what could I do? [Good thing I wasn't in the ocean, on the way to the BVI . . . ]

Therefore, I spent two more sleepless nights: the first grinding & grinding, then filling & glassing the next day; Many layers of fairing & sealing happened the second night. Waiting for each coat of epoxy & bottom paint to dry pushed the schedule, but I got it fixed by Monday morning, so the yard fees cost me only a medium fortune instead of an astronomical amount.


My best guess is that when I filled the keel with epoxy at YachtWorks, ten years ago, I stressed the skin around the lead, and it took ten years to pop open the seam.

The boat was molded in two halves, and joined together. At YachtWorks, I faired the seam and ran a 2" strip of glass along the entire length of the underside of the boat. That little tape has held the thing together throughout our journey, including Charley. [Remember the huge non-leaking crack the towboats caused at the port side of keel/hull joint? this crack is adjacent to that repair, so I KNOW that the area was sound back then.]


Well, it was all ground out & glassed; 25 layers of composite, including two of carbon fiber. Faired with West System epoxy & filler, several coats of epoxy barrier coat, and a few of bottom paint. Stronger than new. . .


And the infection? I picked it up on the last charter in the BVI (sixteen passengers for a week, mostly kids) and it erupted on the way to San Juan. Drugs knocked it down for the stay in Puerto Rico, but it came back . . . read on.


Ramon left for Chile the same day I was launched from the crack repair. Joe was accompanying him on his voyage. Late the following day, I see Joe on the dock, and ask him what the heck is he doing there? Turns out the sails and the hired captain were not up to the voyage, and Ramon was in Fajardo on his boat. He had run out of time and his daughter was requesting his return IMMEDIATELY as she was running his business affairs and had been doing  so for six months, which was the deal. So I stopped in Fajardo to see Ramon before he flew home. He must come back to Puerto Rico at a later date to sail his boat to Chile after buying new sails and securing a sound crew.


Part 3- Cycling St. Croix.


After a couple stops at the islands to the east of Puerto Rico, I made it to St. Croix, a part of the USVIs. I will save all the blah, blah, blah about the government and lay of the land and peoples and such for a later date and longer visit. This visit had three specific purposes:


  1. To visit my friends Dan & Kimberly that I had met in George Town, Bahamas last year,
  2. To seek out all the geocaches on the island (9),
  3. And last, but hardly least, to rack up many miles on the Dream Police Ti; get it adjusted; and determine possible improvements.


Dan & Kimber were gracious hosts and we had a blast; I found all but one of the geocaches, leaving it for another visit; and I rode the DPT 300 miles, mostly in the mountainous rain forest. (St. Croix contains a huge tract of rainforest, some incredible stretches of beach, and in the east, many regions of desert. A beautiful and diverse place . . .)


Snark is the name of the boat Dan & Kimber live on, but they have scored a cool house-sitting gig on St. Croix. They are avid cyclists, Kimber works part-time and Dan just started a new job as a tug captain for the largest refinery in America, so he works a rotating shift conducive for us to get a couple rides in together. They were a lot of fun to take geocaching, also, so we covered most of the island together. We geocached in the heart of the rain forest, along the coast, and on the beach. Kimber found her fear for snakes does not extend to dead ones, even though this one recently died with his tongue out!


Once I got the DPT out of the rigging, I had several days to cycle by myself, and I explored each of the islands roads, climbing and descending the 21%- 27% grades on paved and unpaved surfaces. Wow, what a ride the DPT has turned out to be! I rode from the eastern tip of the island (easternmost point of the US) to Frederiksted on the west coast. I stumbled upon an old friend, the VLBA Radio Telescope System; the easternmost station for the VLBA telescope being on the easternmost island of the US- duh. I have now been to half of the ten stations, and really should go to Hawaii to see that other end of the system (put a little something extra in my Christmas card -- it is too far to go with Windigo right now . . .)


The geocaching in St. Croix was the most intense group of caches I have ever encountered. Only a couple were simple walk-to-and-record caches. Most were VERY far off the beaten path, only accessible by foot. Some are so remote, they are visited infrequently and required extensive maintenance, so I carried my repair kit with me and serviced many caches.


To describe it among the dozens of fine bikes I have owned and ridden almost a half-million miles, I would say this, "it is the 'easiest' bike to ride that I have ever owned.


Yes, it is fast; has INCREDIBLE brakes; is quite light; carries lots of tech; has comfy positions; has extreme MOJO; is VERY sturdy - capable of carrying HUGE loads; but far-and-away, the finest feature is the Rohloff Speedhub and the fantastic shifting through the humongous range of gears. There was no grade on the mountainous island that wasn't simply a dream to scamper up. In fact, the factory gears are a tad low, and I have a special titanium after-market gear coming from Germany that will provide a higher top-end speed; but the ease of negotiating varying terrain, steep grades, and stop-and-go city traffic is astounding. I am thrilled to have built this bike and wouldn't have put Rohloff gearing on it without the advice and experience of my friend Peter Ludwig in Austria & Noel at Wheel & Sprocket.


I hope to have more experience and stories of BVI rides in the next eLetter.


The last thing to mention in this section is the voyage from St. Croix to the BVI, which is nearly a straight north trip. I was delayed one day because the morning I wished to leave looked VERY nasty out on the ocean as a tropical wave was passing the area from east-to-west. The following morning seemed more settled, but after a rousing sail in 20 knots of wind for the first hour, things picked up to provide very fresh winds and some formidable seas. Let us just say that a couple hours into the day it was proven once again that I am not nearly as tough as Windigo and am NOT immune to seasickness. But single-handing a small boat on the ocean requires that certain work be done, and I was able to sail safely through the worst part of the day, but as Windigo recovered and began sailing great, I was still carrying mal de mar.


Entering the waters of the BVI should have been a relief, but the trough was still affecting the weather and yet another 45-knot squall hit Windigo square on the stern. This was a little easier to handle as the forces of a storm are reduced relative to a boat moving the same direction, but it was still exciting to sail right into Road Town Harbour under reefed-main alone at 8-knots. The only damage Windigo suffered was when the wind bent the flag forward and it snapped the bronze rod that holds it on the stern of the boat. A tether kept the flag and staff with the boat; which was cool, as I carry some of my dad's ashes inside the hollowed out wooden flag staff. Mert is still sailing with Windigo every day . . .


Part 4- Settling in the BVI.


I was excited to be back in Road Town and was anxious to see the boats start coming out of the mangroves for the season. Upon getting Windigo moored next to the Sunsail / Moorings base, I saw that it was filling up with some of the boats that were put away. But the next morning saw many boats being taken back out of the marina and heading in the direction of the mangroves. I asked someone what was up and they said, "Omar". It seems that the very same tropical depression that kicked my ass on the St. Croix crossing had become a full-fledged hurricane [CAT 3] and was heading BACK - straight to Road Town. Why does it seem like I have such timing and luck with these things?


So the next two days were spent preparing Windigo for yet another hurricane encounter. Lots of anchors, chain, mooring lines, snubbers, etc. Omar continued to bear down on Road Town when in the eleventh hour, it veers slightly, but continuously, to pass beneath Tortola and head out to the open ocean right down the Anegada Passage. The north side of Tortola had severe winds and some damage; in the Road Town Harbour, Windigo was protected by the thousand-foot mountains surrounding 205° of my anchorage, all of them where the strong winds originated. So Omar was pretty much a non-event here; a "fire drill" one of the Sunsail guys said. Could have been VERY serious if it continued into Road Town Harbour . . .


So after all of that "storm preparation practice", I end up with a bunch of tangled ground tackle, which my friend Chris helps me retrieve later. I also spend much time greeting all the friends I made during the summer, and meet several new neighbors in the harbour.


It was also the during the first week back in Tortola that the staph infection once again returned, this time very quickly and I knew I had to eradicate it once and for all. So I went off to see my friend Robin Tattersall. What a great thing to have a surgeon friend in the islands - he too saw the seriousness of the situation, and immediately put me under general anesthesia and scraped away all traces of the infection [the latest drug series forced the bug to one spot near my knee] and had me take one final course of antibiotics. I was very glad to be rid of that malady!


The very best thing about Omar is that Karin's visit got cancelled. NOW WAIT A MINUTE! That didn't come out quite right . . . let me tell the whole scenario: Karin had been gone for six months and really missed Windigo [she said she missed me, too] so she had plane tickets to come but Omar's visit cancelled the flights. This was a very good thing because when she rescheduled her trip for a week later, she was able to stay TWICE AS LONG!! WooHoo!


So the last week of October was spent aboard Windigo while we completed the "Karin BVI Tour". She was here just long enough to see every big island, sail well over a hundred miles, hike on a few of the islands, seek out several geocaches, enjoy one night-sail, and only experience one disastrous mishap. I suppose we usually had one-a-week when we sailed the Bahamas, so it should have been expected . . .


I had sailed the BVI extensively in June, July & August; the "Karin BVI Tour" was the first voyage around the islands after summer was over, and things change ever so slightly. Such as, the northerly swells once again begin to come from weather in the US instead of the summer pattern where everything comes out of the east, from Africa. The African weather pattern is very predictable "waves" every second or third day, but the swells from the distant weather in the US comes and goes more erratically, and can be intermittent OR persistent. 


The day we visited The Baths on Virgin Gorda was a great sailing day with good steady wind and a long-period ocean-swell running down the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Karin was eager & willing to go ashore, and after my evaluation, I agreed and prepared Pedigo for the landing. The two things I did not appreciate fully were the a)direction of the swell and b) the fact that waves breaking on a beach appear more benign going away from the viewer. I KNOW these things, and consider them EVERY time I make for the shore in Pedigo; and at The Baths, I studied the conditions for an extended time to evaluate the situation.


Needless to say, the landing was affected by the seas. Affected = FLIPPED Pedigo completely over upon reaching the beach. We didn't receive any type of warning and a wave four times the size of the ones I had observed snuck up behind Pedigo and capsized it in a moment. Karin was tangled in the rigging and painters, and quick reactions freed her from the rope around her neck and she ran up on the beach. On the other hand, I had to stay with Pedigo as the each receding wave used its full energy to attempt to sweep it out to sea. Must have been quite the picture: a guy that just had surgery on his knee, trying to keep the dressing dry, wrestling a capsized 13-foot dinghy that has two recumbent seats buried in the sand, while wave-after-wave presses the sorry sight further out to sea.


There just happened to be another fellow nearby (the only soul in sight) that lent a hand to drag the affair to safety. [He was a charter captain with passengers ashore in the next bay over, and he was trying to figure out a way to launch the loaded conventional dinghy to return to his boat.] Other than filling every orifice with sand, the event gave Karin a monster-sized bruise on her thigh, rope burn on her neck, rinsed my wound in sand & saltwater, and tweaked the front seat of Pedigo just a tad - no one died. We were very lucky.


After going for a short walk [and assisting the captain to get his passengers & dinghy launched] we collected ourselves and with careful timing were able to launch Pedigo an return to Windigo without further ado. The whole matter really bothered me because I realized how lucky we had been there wasn't as disaster. It was quite a bad judgment call and I will endeavor to be more thorough in the future.


Oh yeah - another casualty in the mishap was my camera; even though I had Zip-loced it in a bag, it got ever so slightly damp and quit working right then. No more pix of the "Karin BVI Tour". Just a couple of our hike on Peter Island [ONE . . . TWO . . . THREE . . . FOUR] to find the special geocache Bernd & Verena left for me in June. It was a delightful package of toys and useful trinkets; the best part is that I get to keep and use the entire cache myself!


I will say the rest of her visit was superb with all manner of adventure on land and sea, aboard Pedigo and Windigo, and we are looking forward to her next visit so she can show off her recently acquired sailing skills and calm & patient attitude.


As soon as Karin left, I began teaching & chartering.


The only other break I had was the first week in December when I had free time and needed to leave Road Harbour to clean Windigo's bottom and get out in the wind to charge the batteries fully. It so happened that my friends Klaus & Martha were preparing to sail over to St. Martin just as I was finishing the last Windigo Project in the harbour, so the Swan Victoria joined Windigo and we went exploring together. We spent a week checking out islands and harbours neither of us had visited before, places we do not take charterers or students. Some exciting sailing (up to 30+ knots of wind) and exploration by hiking, snorkeling and dinghy filled our days. We even found some time to fly my kite. (My nickname for Klaus is "Aquaman", so he was game to brave any conditions to be in the water . . . rather exciting for Captain DryBoy.)

I got Windigo scraped clean and the batteries topped off. A very nice time was spent with very wonderful folks on a completely beautiful boat. [An especially special treat, for Martha is an award-winning chef, so Hors D’Oeuvres time on Victoria was reminiscent of the time spent on NSS Pattam with Pat's cooking. I must introduce these two fabulous culinary experts just to reap the benefits of any "competition"!]


The Trip(s).

1- San Juan to Road Town [MAP1]


This 100-mile trek would take more than two days if sailed in one shot because it is exactly into the prevailing wind. So instead of worrying about making it to the destination, the preferred method is to visit as many of the islands in between as possible. There is usually only one or two dozen miles to get from one island to the next. The hazards in this area are well marked and usually have an obvious position identification, so it is line-of-sight sailing, just don't hit any islands! After curving around the northeast corner of Puerto Rico and entering the area among the "Spanish Virgins" (called Vieques Sound and now part of Puerto Rico and the US) most of the sailing is fairly protected and there are lots of harbours to spend the night. Windigo could spend many months exploring this whole area, and its crew is intending to do that sometime in the future.

2- Road Town to San Juan [MAP2]


Ah, the luxury of a long downwind sail; It has been many years since Windigo has had a chance to do just that. The 100 miles was covered in about 18 hours, so many interesting places were explored as I tried to sail through the rockiest and shallowest places. Only one spooked me a bit as it was VERY shallow and being alone on the boat, I had to steer, navigate and be lookout through the corals and rocks. Luckily is was a short distance, and a fairly calm, sunny day; no one died.

3- San Juan to Christiansted [MAP3]


This was another upwind trek so although I tried new anchorages, I did stay at Mosquito Pier off Vieques once again as I had in June [I love that anchorage!]. I also spent a couple days with Ramon at Marina Del Rey in Fajardo.


It was interesting sailing to St. Croix as it is off the beaten path and a very large and incredibly beautiful island. I did not 'cruise' the island, but explored many bays and anchorages during my arrival. I must definitely return to explore more of the water and land attractions.

One of the most interesting things going on in Christiansted Harbour was the horse trainer exercising one or two of his fold every morning in the harbour. Yes, IN the harbour; it seems swimming is an intense and enjoyable exercise for the steeds. Very cool to have huge, beautiful horses swimming around Windigo.

4- Christiansted to Road Town [MAP4]


Simple sailing plan = sail north 'til you hit the BVIs. I just picked a VERY rough day to do it; It was a struggle with shifty and strong winds and the seas were huge at times. Usually, this would be a glorious sail, but it is across an open stretch of Caribbean Sea . . .

5- "Karin BVI Tour" [MAP5]


Completely fun tour, with many "full" days [a couple with FOUR anchorages], geocaching hikes of 2 to 12 miles (of course, the 12-mile hike was up-and-down Tortola's tallest mountains . . . and this 4-mile trek where Karin rode the Dream Police Ti up Fort Hill was no piece of cake either!), and a few Pedigo trips of 2 to over 4 miles. Didn't miss an important spot, but I would be nice to dawdle at some nice places during Karin's next visit . . .

6- Sailing with the Swan Victoria [MAP6]


Although we both charter in the BVIs and have explored on our own, we found several interesting spots that we, "have always wondered what that would be like . . ."; congested shores that are overlooked by cruisers and charterers and remote places that 'normal' people wouldn't imagine going to . . .

We experienced challenging weather [winds gusting over 30-knots at times], to the point I delayed the trek up to Anegada for a day because I saw no sense in getting beat up just to go exploring. Again, all these voyages can be sailing in paradise, but if tried on the 'wrong' day, they can be very tedious. We had a glorious time and marvelous adventures.




The creatures found on the USVIs & BVIs are similar to the Bahamian islands: goats, sheep, a few horses, LOTS of lizards, including large iguanas, and a multitude of insects. The mosquitoes are very prevalent in the autumn after the rainy months, but only attack during the twilight and dawn hours.


A short amazing story:

Soon after I anchored inside Wickham's Cay II at Road Harbour, I got settled and made a Skype call to Karin from the helm of Windigo because of the congestion and number of good signals available in the biggest port in the BVI. So imagine my shock & surprise when a 2-foot+ Spanish Mackerel jumps into the cockpit.

This is especially funny because of my legendary lack of fishing prowess; it was especially scary because of the strict and severe fishing regulations in the BVI. I felt extreme empathy for the poor fish, also as he was just chasing food and ended up out of his element. A very healthy specimen, he fought against his return to the ocean, but I did get him back in safely.


Other types of world-famous wildlife can be found at the Soggy Dollar, Pirate's Bight, Willy T's, Fat Virgin, Bitter End Yacht Club, The Pub, Last Resort, Ali Baba's, Corsair's, De Loose Mongoose, Bomba Shack, Leverick's, Pusser's Landing, Ivan's BBQ, Foxy's or Foxy's Taboo, Cooper Island Beach Club, Big Banana, Big Bamboo, the Inn at Cow Wreck Bay, or one of the other dozens of happening places dotting the BVI. Enjoy!


Other Activities.


Geocaching and Windigo maintenance were once again priorities on an ongoing basis. I did go out with Ramon and others to experience Salsa Dancing in Puerto Rico. I MUST take lessons to learn this traditional Hispanic pastime. It is exciting and fun when people are really into it; Wonderful to watch, but it will be much more fun to do.


Cycling Notes.


I have had lighter bikes. I have had more expensive bikes. I have had more unique bikes. I have had very fast bikes, bikes that handle well, bikes that climb, bikes that roll over any terrain I attempted.

Before the Dream police Ti, I have never had a bike so EASY to ride.


With the dual hydraulic disk brakes, descents down the steepest roads are under full control.

Using the Rohloff 14-speed hub with it's incredibly wide range and positive "anytime" shifting, going up those same roads is no problem.

Lying out on the extended aerobars allows cruising on flat, smooth roads at speeds in the mid-twenties, and top speeds on those roads near forty.

The multitude of adjustments incorporated in the front fork provide tuning of the comfort I have never before experienced.

And other than a dozen or so bolts I have not yet found in stainless, the entire machine is corrosion-proof; and the titanium, carbon and aluminum are beefy enough to handle my hard use and misuse.


Although it will always be a work-in-progress [as Windigo is also], the Dream Police Ti was superb out-of-the-box. The months of planning and construction that Noel & I struggled through paid off by providing a machine I could push hard right from the start. A couple sizing issues and substitute components were easily corrected, and I will continue to look for upgrades and tweaks to allow the DPT to evolve as funds and technology change.


Cruising Notes.


Here are the anchorages used with coordinates and wireless i-net used. Conditions of each anchorage are apparent on the chart; i.e., if it looks like a well-protected, quiet place, then it is -- if you think it may be a bit rolly when swells are present, you are probably right. But each place was used in comfort for the time spent there, except as mentioned.


Isleta Marina anchorage, PR N18° 20.159'  W065° 37.291'

signals from mainland unsecured [SSID: Motorola], but Isla Marina has pay-only signals


Mosquito Pier, Isla de Vieques, PR N18° 08.720'  W065° 30.870' no apparent wireless

Awesome protection; smooth, sandy bottom; wide-open approach possible at night or in bad conditions even for the first visit; shallow water allows nominal rode length.


Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI N18° 20.440'  W064° 58.690'

VIU wireless from up the hill.


Sandy Cay, BVI N18° 26.117'  W064° 42.700' no apparent wireless

Swells present when large seas running.


Green Cay, BVI N18° 27.320'  W064° 42.618' no apparent wireless

Swells present when large seas running.


in front of  Wickham's Cay II, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.448'  W064° 36.774'

BVIYC; VCMarina[A123456789=password]; Dlink; linksys; wireless; others

Swells present when large seas running. VERY uncomfortable in squalls or windy weather.


Great Harbour, Peter Island, BVI N18° 21.274'  W064° 34.998' no apparent wireless


Prickly Pear Island, Gorda Sound, BVI N18° 30.517'  W064° 22.310'

Unsecured signal from across the way.


Pomato Point, Anegada Island, BVI N18° 43.664'  W064° 24.263' no apparent wireless


Big Trunk Bay near The Baths, Virgin Gorda, BVI N18° 26.290'  W064° 26.685' no apparent wireless


St. Thomas Bay, Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, BVI N18° 27.278'  W064° 26.375' no apparent wireless

Can experience swells from the Drake Channel.


Shark Bay, Tortola, BVI N18° 27.001'  W064° 38.805' no apparent wireless

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


Manchioneel Bay, Cooper Island, BVI N18° 22.939'  W064° 30.884' no apparent wireless

One of the more protected anchorages in the BVI.


South Bay, Peter Island, BVI N18° 20.292'  W064° 34.247' no apparent wireless


The Bight, Norman Island, BVI N18° 19.160'  W064° 37.198'

Pirate's Bight has signal, buy a drink for the password.

One of the more protected anchorages in the BVI.


Deadman Bay, Peter Island, BVI N18° 21.412'  W064° 34.162'

"Crow's Nest" or other unsecured signals from the hill to the west.

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


in front of  Wickham's Cay II, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.470'  W064° 36.786'

BVIYC; VCMarina[A123456789]; Dlink; linksys; wireless; others

Swells present when large seas running. VERY uncomfortable in squalls or windy weather.


inner harbour, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.580'  W064° 37.000'

BVIYC; VCMarina[A123456789]; Dlink; linksys; wireless; others

Security and protection nearly all-around. Crowded.


Michel's Mooring, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.580'  W064° 37.000'

BVIYC; VCMarina[A123456789]; Dlink; linksys; wireless; others


San Juan Bay Marina Anchorage, Mooring, Launch Slip, Yard, & Marina Slip,  Santurce, San Antonio Channel, Bahia De San Juan, PR N18° 27.593'  W066° 05.505' / N18° 27.567'  W066° 05.503' / N18° 27.536'  W066° 05.230' / N18° 27.483'  W066° 05.276' / N18° 27.468'  W066° 05.250'

1Centennial BluZone - have to sign up, but free! (used Condado wireless as 1Centennial was out for days)

Great protection, but fairly deep and LOTS of junk on the bottom. BEWARE craptastic moorings and scary derelict boats.


Demajagua Bay, next to Puerto Del Rey, PR N18° 17.449'  W065° 38.059'

Puerto Del Rey signal was jazzed [Zolli=password], used linksys from ?

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


Mosquito Pier, Isla de Vieques, PR N18° 08.311'  W065° 30.820' no apparent wireless

Awesome protection; smooth, sandy bottom; wide-open approach possible at night or in bad conditions even for the first visit; shallow water allows nominal rode length.


Ensenada Fulladosa in Ensenada Honda, Isla de Culebra, PR N18° 17.569'  W065° 17.122'

NETGEAR best signal

Ensenada Honda is HUGE with all sorts of nooks and crannies to snuggle into.


Druif Bay, Water Island, St. Thomas, USVI N18° 18.995'  W064° 57.472' no apparent wireless


Sprat Hole, St. Croix, USVI  N17° 44.141'  W064° 53.472' no apparent wireless

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


Christiansted Harbour, far southeastern corner, St. Croix, USVI  N17° 45.060'  W064° 41.767'

signals from various hotels

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


inner harbour, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.568'  W064° 36.991'

BVIYC; VCMarina[A123456789]; Dlink; linksys; wireless; others

Security and protection nearly all-around. Crowded.


Deadman Bay, Peter Island, BVI N18° 21.414'  W064° 34.158'

Dlink from house on Sprat Bay Point

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


The Bight, Norman Island, BVI N18° 18.983'  W064° 37.322'

Pirate's Bight has signal, buy a drink for the password.

One of the more protected anchorages in the BVI.


Brandywine Bay, Tortola, BVI N18° 24.872'  W064° 35.094' no apparent wireless

Small swells nearly ALWAYS present.


Big Trunk Bay near The Baths, Virgin Gorda, BVI N18° 26.320'  W064° 26.669' no apparent wireless

Swells nearly ALWAYS present; untenable when large seas running.


Robin's Bay, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI N18° 29.452'  W064° 22.084' no apparent wireless

Isolated and lonely place to anchor in North Sound = BEAUTIFUL!


Trellis Bay, Beef Island, BVI N18° 26.862'  W064° 31.815'

weak signals


Brewer's Bay, Tortola, BVI N18° 26.761'  W064° 38.972' no apparent wireless

Small swells nearly ALWAYS present.


Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.637'  W064° 39.603' no apparent wireless

Very busy harbour, lots of activity, including the nefarious kind . . .


Sandy Cay, BVI N18° 26.160'  W064° 42.740' no apparent wireless

Swells present when large seas running.


Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, BVI N18° 26.547'  W064° 45.030'



White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI N18° 26.498'  W064° 45.683' no apparent wireless

Swells present when large seas running.


The Bight, Norman Island, BVI N18° 19.127'  W064° 37.187'

Pirate's Bight has signal, buy a drink for the password.

One of the more protected anchorages in the BVI.


inner harbour, Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola, BVI N18° 25.565'  W064° 36.999'

VERY strong signal on commercial secure service

adequate signal from charter base new system [TUI]

Security and protection nearly all-around. Crowded.


Salt Island, BVI N18° 22.400'  W064° 31.892'

Wireless only from across the Channel


Goose Hole, Beef Island, BVI N18° 26.502'  W064° 32.944'

linksys strong signal


outside Well Bay, Beef Island, BVI N18° 26.446'  W064°32.912'

linksys strong signal


Buck Island, BVI N18° 25.590'  W064° 33.707'

weak linksys and Penn's Landing signals


Pomato Point, Anegada Island, BVI N18° 43.693'  W064° 24.301' no apparent wireless


Horseshoe Reef near The White Horse, Anegada Island, BVI N18° 36.044'  W064° 12.501' no apparent wireless



Stay tuned for updates of the Caribbean adventures of the crew of Windigo. In the mean time, I will be teaching sailing in Road Town, Tortola, BVI in case you care to go for a Pedigo ride in paradise for yourself . . .


See where Windigo has been since Puerto Rico:

Enter Windigo's callsign: W3ooo

(and zoom in when it starts tracking)

[to see Windigo's anchorages from St. Pete to Puerto Rico, Enter the callsign: W3igo]


Where we are right now:



My permanent and EXACT address:


Capt.KL Hughes

S/V WindigoIII • PMB 365

88005 Overseas Hwy. #9

Islamorada, FL  36033-3087


Text-only emailio addresses aboard Windigo, checked daily:


[reliable communication]


Karin's emailio address in Wisconsin:



emailio addresses checked when at a land-based computer

(infrequently, but good for attachments):





And of course, the Windigo Travelogue Catalogue: