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2001-2002 Voyage
BVI and USVI

Second Wind

IP350

Dennis & Debbie Roth

Pittsburgh

Jump to the Latest Report

Date: 11/7/2001
Subject: Leaving Pittsburgh

Hi Everyone!

It's time now for us to get ready to leave Pittsburgh and head to Second Wind. She has been "on the hard" (on supports on land) in Virgin Gorda, which is one of the islands in the British Virgin Islands.

For those new to our sailing journals, here's the information you'll need. The sv stands for sailing vessel, and Second Wind is the name of our sailboat. We cannot receive attachments, photos or forwarded mail.(The e-mail is only text and not an internet connection.) In addition, it's very important that you never hit the reply button when you write. Just please compose a new letter. Our e-mail can not receive replies! I promise NOT to write that request again! Thanks in advance! We try to get our e-mail as often as we can, but it may not be daily.

You can start using this e-mail address now. We are leaving Pittsburgh November 12th. Our first few days will involve putting Second Wind "back together again." In anticipation of hurricanes, all the sails and canvas had been taken down. So, we'll be spending our time getting Second Wind in shape to sail.

And, you're wondering what our plans are this year? Well, we're curious too! After quite a rough season last year, our plans are to just cruise around the Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands. Maybe......we'll head further south to St. Martin, but really, we have NO definite plans. You remember how often we changed our plans last year???? We're hoping for a nice cruising season. Those visions that you had last year of us sipping rum drinks under a palm tree.......we hope to actually do that this year!! Stay tuned!!

Now that we're going to be in "Big Ship" cruising areas, we have some relatives and friends who might also be where we are. Please let us know the name of your cruise ship, ports and dates ahead of time, and perhaps we meet in a port!! We already have heard from a few people who will be on cruises. It would be fun to get together!

Hope to hear from you soon.
Debbie and Dennis

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Date: 11/16/2001
Subject: Arrival, BVIs
HI! We're here on Second Wind, very busy with all the details of preparing her to sail! You'll be hearing a longer story in a few days.
Debbie and Dennis

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Date: 11/17/2001
Subject: Back to Second Wind E'Nat

Hi Everyone!

As you know we arrived back to Second Wind last Tuesday. On the way we spent one night in Old San Juan, where we stayed at the hotel "El Convento", a converted/restored convent across from the cathedral. It is beautiful building, and a good location in Old San Juan.

Now we are back on Second Wind at anchor in Francis Bay, St. Johns, USVI. The past few days have been pretty busy for us setting the boat up! There were so many things to do......but we did find her in good shape. No bugs, a little mold but needing a cleaning. The only bad thing was the exploded and leaking pop cans. What a mess! Other than that, this was the easiest time we've ever had getting ready after time away. Everything had been planned to have Second Wind in the water when we arrived, but there she was "on the hard" where we had left her last March. They launched her the afternoon of our arrival, so it was no big deal!

We left Virgin Gorda Friday morning with almost no wind (less than 3 knots all day). We know the wind speed now because our wind indicator has been fixed. It's been broken since the Bahamas. Our plans now are to head over to St. Thomas in a day or two to do some provisioning and buy some boat parts. The selection of everything is so good there with lots of good fresh food to choose from almost like back at home.

Here in Francis Bay we're anchored in a beautiful bay surrounded by tall green hills. The water is a clear beautiful blue. The high temps are about 85 and the low is about 75 each day. The water temp is 83.

It's time now to go to the beach, do some snorkeling, and then back on board for some rum!

All the major systems are working; No reefs to worry about; no 30 kt winds on the nose; as opposed to last year....Yep, we're having fun.

We'll write again soon, and hope to hear from you!

Debbie and Dennis, s/v Second Wind

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Date: 11/23/2001
Subject: NO Pretzels and Ginger Ale this year!!

November 22, 2001

Hi Family and Friends,

We want to wish all of you a good Thanksgiving! We hope you have an enjoyable time whatever you do.

No passages this Thanksgiving for us. For those new to our emails, last Thanksgiving Day we left the Abacos, northern Bahamas, on our journey south. The overnight passage included 7-10 foot waves and wind gusts to 40 knots-a very rough trip. We had to hold on tight the whole day and night long trip. So our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of pretzels and ginger ale!! (Very pleasing to our stomachs!) That was the night that we lost our VHF antenna from the top of our mast. This year we are joining other cruisers for dinner at a nearby restaurant here in St. Thomas.

Currently we are anchored in Elephant Bay across from Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas. The winds have been unbelievably light (generally less than 5 kts). The water is so calm you could waterski. No, we haven't sailed yet this year. These calm winds are very unusual for this time of year. But winds are supposed to increase to their normal of 15 to 20 knots this weekend. We're anxious to raise the sails and sail!

The past week we've been getting Second Wind put together. We found her in good shape. Only a little mold in areas that didn't have good air circulation, the usual dust, and no bugs!! This summer we had the damaged stanchions repaired and the broken wind indicator replaced, had the hull painted and raised the waterline 1 inch But after looking at the hull in the water, maybe we should have raised it more.

Somehow over the summer the electric bilge pump wore out and the mast head light burned out. Dennis replaced the bilge pump and as a result earned many bruises on his hand from working in the tight spaces in the bilge. Just like last year as soon as one thing is fixed something else seems to break. The pump was replaced on Monday and on Wednesday the regulator on the gas grill failed.

As for the mast head light, we're waiting for the Sherman's visit in December for Bill to be hoisted up the mast.

We've had two new experiences (not really adventures!). When we were in Francis Bay a few nights ago, we saw the Leonid meteor shower. At about 3 AM we went up on deck and from our hammock watched the most incredible meteor shower we've ever seen. In about 1/2 hour we saw 30 to 40 or more shooting stars. We saw lights streaking across the sky and some with brilliant flashes. It was beautiful.

Then last night we experienced something new. We watched a DVD movie! Most of you know that we aren't big TV watchers. And we don't have a TV on Second Wind. But our new computer has a DVD player in it and we watched "Meet the Parents" while at anchor! Dennis really was able to relate to the father. It was fun!

Someone emailed us asking about E'nat. That's the name of our dinghy, the small boat that we travel to shore in. It gets us to shore to buy groceries, do laundry, explore beaches or go snorkeling. The name was the (disputed!) winner of our dinghy naming contest last year. In Pittsburgh, we tend to slur the phrase "and that" into "'enat." (Even the spelling was disputed last year!) It is used at the end of a phrase like "I'm going dawntawn 'enat." So, we're sailing Second Wind and 'enat.

We're sending this from the USVI's but we're heading back to the BVI's. We'll be back in touch when we can because the telephones in the BVI's don't work quite as well as in the USVI for pocketmail.

Hope that you and your families had a good Thanksgiving. We'll be in touch.

Debbie and Dennis, sv Second Wind ('enat)

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Date: 12/3/2001
Subject: It was a dark and stormy day.....

Hi Everyone,

WOW-what storms we had on Sunday and Monday. Heavy rains, thunder, lightning, low clouds on the mountain tops...aspects of Mother Nature that we hadn't seen here before. The entire day seemed filled with heavy rain, with foreboding clouds. Doesn't that sound just horrible? We were securely anchored in a beautiful cove with no plans to go anywhere or do anything. In between showers the sun would come out and blue sky would reappear. The double rainbow was spectacular! But that was as exciting as it has been for these first three weeks. Not like last year! And, although the emails might be a bit boring, we're enjoying the peacefulness.

This unsettled weather should last another day or 2 and then high pressure is supposed to re-establish itself with the return of the trade winds (15 to 20 knots)

Since we arrived 3 weeks ago, we have sailed more than we did during the ENTIRE trip last year. The anchorages where we stop to drop the anchor are calmer, and the scenery is fantastic. High green volcanic mountains, which make up the beautiful islands. And already we've read more books than last year too. This trip is so much more relaxing and fun!

Last year we traveled with a couple on a 64 ft ketch named Crystal Clear. Charly and Carolina are from Argentina, and are chartering their sailboat this year in the BVI's, as a captain and crew. Last weekend we celebrated Charly's 47th birthday on board Crystal Clear. (Last New Year's eve we celebrated Carolina's on Second Wind in Luperon, Dominican Republic. She turned 27) They had 3 family members on board and also invited a local guy who is originally from Chile. Most were able to speak English but much of the evening was in Spanish. We played guitars and sang. They are a very nice couple. Muy simpatico.

Our good friends, Roz and Bill Sherman from Pittsburgh, are now joining us to spend a week in Virgin Gorda. They're land-based, but we'll go sailing and snorkeling and exploring with them. We're really happy that they were able to visit with us.

It's been nice hearing from so many of you, and we want to thank you so much for not hitting the reply button!

Hope that all is going well for you.

More boring news soon.

Love, Debbie and Dennis, s/v Second Wind 'enat

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Date: 12/11/2001
Subject: Paradise!

Ahoy to all our friends! Have heard that the weather in the Northeast has been almost as good as what we've been enjoying here!! So we won't elaborate on our weather until the snow flurries start flying up north except to say it has been beautiful!

Our good friends, Roz and Bill Sherman from Pittsburgh, just spent a week down here in Virgin Gorda, BVI's with us. They stayed in a hotel at Leverick Bay Resort and we did some day sails together. Roz had never seen Second Wind. We did some touring on land, going to the Bath's on Virgin Gorda (enormous boulders at the water's edge), sampling restaurants, swimming/floating in the water, visiting a secluded beach and there was a pretty competitive game of backgammon continuing from day to day.

The winds have picked up to a more steady 15 knots now although it is forecast to increase to 20 to 25 for the latter part of this week

We are now returning to St. Thomas to met up with our friends, Ronni and Lew, from Gihon Dragon, whom we met in the Abaco, Bahamas a few years ago. When their cruise ship is docked in St. Thomas, we'll meet them for lunch on shore! It'll be good to see them again.

While we are in St. Thomas we'll also do some provisioning (food shopping) and go the Big K-Mart! It will also be Debbie's birthday and we know there are great deals on sparkly things!!

Nothing broke this week!

We hope that all is going well with you.

Love, Debbie and Dennis s/v Second Wind 'enat

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Date: 12/21/2001
Subject: Plan B...Returning Home!

Hi Family and Friends, Hope that all of you are doing fine. Just want to let you all know that we have changed our plans (again!!) Dennis has had a bad right shoulder (from years of racquetball) but it never was a problem on board before. But somehow it has become so bad that it affects his ability to do some of the things necessary on Second Wind. So we are returning to Pittsburgh for a doctor's appointment on 12/24. It might require surgery. So we've put Second Wind back on the hard (hauled out of the water and put on land) at Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, where we kept her this past summer. We'll be returning to Pittsburgh late Sunday night for a Doctor's appointment Monday morning. So the sailing journals will now be on hold for a while. We'll let you know what's happening though. We enjoyed hearing from so many of you. Please keep in touch!
Love,
Debbie and Dennis s/v Second Wind 'enat

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Date: 1/10/2001
Subject: Planes, Ferries and Taxis

January 9, 2002 Ahoy Family and Friends, After taking 3 airplanes, 2 ferries, several taxis and an overnight hotel stay, we are safely aboard Second Wind!! And our luggage finally arrived after 2 days! Our first plane left Pittsburgh, but had to return due to a problem. Fortunately we got on another flight, which let us make our connection to St. Thomas. Then a ferry to Roadtown, Tortola and overnight there. The next day off on a ferry to Virgin Gorda!! Even getting to Second Wind is an adventure! Now Sheila and her boyfriend Brett are aboard for a few days of sailing and visiting the sights of the BVI's. We're having a great time with them. Obviously we won't be seeing everything, but we'll try to visit the highlights in the 3 days that we have. Hope that all our friends are enjoying the snowfall in the North that we missed by only a few hours. The weatherman here told us that we'd have a high around 85 degrees today, and also for the next 3 months. Sunny skies today here, but it does rain every few days. More news in a few days. Hope this finds all of you well. Go Steelers! 
Love, Debbie and Dennis sv Second Wind 'enat

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Latest Report

Date: 1/27/2002
Subject: WIND....WIND....WIND

Even though we're a sailboat and like wind, the past two weeks there's been a little too much here!! Second Wind likes between 10 -20 knots, but we're getting 20-30 knots. That wind also makes the waves increase in size, which makes traveling uncomfortable. And with the winds come lots of squally weather! For the past 10 days we were anchored in Hurricane Hole, Coral Bay, St. John. Being named Hurricane Hole gives you the right impression! We were sheltered from the waves, having a comfortable place to work on Second Wind, and being protected. Around us were high hills with wild goats that daily traveled the same path among the cacti and trees on the steep slopes. After being there so long we recognized the goats by the colorings in their hair.

In Coral Bay there is a small settlement, but we were anchored about 3 miles from it. We only went to town twice while we were there, so that's why there hasn't been any email for a while. One of our trips to the settlement we traveled by dinghy for 1 mile, tying 'enat up in the mangrove trees at the shore. Balancing on the mangrove roots we got to shore. Then we had to walk for a half hour up and down a STEEP hill to get to Coral Bay settlement.

We needed to get to civilization to watch the Steelers game so we sailed over to Roadtown, Tortola, BVIs. Currently we're in a slip at the marina, and it's been a nice change having civilization right here. We can walk to food stores, and boat stores and a great bakery for breakfast. It sounds nice being in an isolated anchorage, but after about a week we really did need to move on.

The weather the past few weeks has been unusual. It does blow quite strongly here this time of year as high pressure builds and dominates the southern North Atlantic. It's usually clear and dry. But according to the weatherman the Atlantic's surface temperature, for some unknown reason, is about 2 degrees warmer than usual. This causes somewhat more evaporation and a slight rise in the humidity. (It doesn't feel more humid.) With the winds blowing from the east off the Atlantic and rising over the islands, more clouds and more rain than usual occurs. The rain tends to come between 4AM and noon. Then the afternoons are sunny. The BVIs had as much rain in December as they usually get in a whole winter. January has almost equalled December. Everything is quite green and beautiful.

On Sunday we were able to watch the Steeler game. Unfortunately, even using our terrible towel down here, we just couldn't help the team. Now we'll have to look forward to next year!

More news soon....Debbie and Dennis s/v Second Wind 'enat

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Date: 2/2/2002
Subject: Grease Monkey!

What a new experience! One of the maintenance issues onboard is to change the oil every 100 engine hours. So, it was time and there aren't any Jiffy Lubes here. Unbelievably, Debbie learned to change the oil and transmission fluid!!! It was an afternoon activity, and not that hard to do. I'm sure that I couldn't do it in my car, or would want to. You learn to do all types of self-sufficient items on a boat!

Yesterday we provisioned since the seas and winds are decreasing. We'll be leaving the marina here in Roadtown, Tortola within a day and going to explore some areas that we haven't visited in the BVI's. We just spent a week here at the marina, enjoying all the restaurants, delicious French bakery (new), grocery stores and walking around the area. It's so easy to meet people here, and met a couple who were going to the same restaurant as us one night. So we went together and sat with them. Their sailboat is 87 feet long! And with a captain and crew. So we took a tour of their boat after dinner. Looked a little different than Second Wind, but they just have more and bigger things to maintain!! Keep in touch!

Debbie and Dennis Second Wind 'enat

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