Getting the sh*t kicked out of us from Virgin Gorda to Anguilla

Well we made it to the West Indies in one piece, but the crossing kicked the living daylights out of us! We left Virgin Gorda, BVI at 3am on Thursday March 9th and arrived in Anguilla sometime after 8:30pm. We battled 30 knot winds, 12 foot seas and scattered squalls for 80 miles and about 18 hours. To add to the fun, about 20 miles out, the autopilot decided enough is enough and died. Needless to say, we were quite happy when we finally dropped the anchor and could let go of the wheel safe and sound in Road Bay.

Rising early on Friday March 10th, we ventured into town to find someone to fix our autopilot, and purchase various other boat pieces that had broken during the voyage (bolts to secure the anchor that had been washed away by a rogue wave and an alternator that had kicked the bucket). No luck with the autopilot but we fixed all else which provided our silver lining for the day! We stopped at Roy’s restaurant on the beach to have some celebratory lobster bisque and hang with our new friend (pictured below). Roy, the restaurant owner, mentioned a friend of a friend on Sint Maarten who might be able to help with our autopilot woes. Never sure how these leads will pan out, but not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, we hurried back to the boat and picked up the anchor in search of the elusive autopilot mechanic.

He was real! But our autopilot motor was frozen and irreparable and it was now Friday night and our hopes for getting it fixed before the weekend had faded. Francis, the mechanic, knew a guy who knew a guy who MIGHT have a motor, but he was in Simpson Bay Lagoon and was leaving at noon on Saturday. Saturday morning, we picked up the anchor again and motored up to Simpson Bay in time for the 9:30am bridge opening so we could get into the Lagoon. After finding a good spot to anchor for a few days, we hopped in our trusty dinghy in search of our second elusive contact.

Welp, the doors were locked and there was no one around but he’d left his cell phone number posted on the door. After a very confusing phone call, we figured out he was not in fact that same person Francis had directed us to (however they knew each other), but he may have a motor that would work (YAY!) and to come back Monday morning.

So that’s where we are, waiting until Monday for our autopilot motor. Truthfully, there are worse places to be stuck than on Sint Maarten surrounded by beach bars and beautiful boats and rumor has it some of the best bread and croissants just across the border on the French side of the island. Fingers crossed the autopilot motor pans out and we can continue our sail south early next week. Until then we will be eating and drinking our way around the island!

Happy Sailing!

6 Comment

  1. Sarah says: Reply

    Looks like the jacket got a good trial run – hopefully it kept you dry! I am sure you will manage to while away the hours with yummy croissants 🥐 Good to see your smiley face! Love, Mumsie xxx

  2. Shannon says: Reply

    Such exciting adventures. I can’t wait to see the next chapter. 🙂
    Stay safe and enjoy every moment.

  3. Shelby says: Reply

    I love that pic of you in the yellow jacket! You look so happy 😀

  4. Sarah says: Reply

    Check your email – I sent you some info

  5. Andy says: Reply

    This is Andy and Kristy, we just happen to find your blog by chance. We are fellow sailors that own a Hans Christian 33 and are going to start cruising full time next May. Our boat is in Puerto Rico………anyway we really like your blog. Funny thing is we are looking to sell our boat and buy a Mason 44 as well, I wanted to ask you guys what you thought about her? We plan on circumnavigate and want a sailboat that will keep us safe and is built like a tank!! Our Hans Christian is a tank but we want more space otherwise we would keep her, she’s an awesome cruising boat!

    Hope to hear what you think about the Mason 44

    Thank you and good luck : )

    1. admin says: Reply

      Hi guys! Wow, that sounds exciting! We usually have the boat in Puerto Rico by November, she’s currently back in New England now for the summer, though. We absolutely love our Mason – definitely very safe and comfortable. I would live onboard year round if I could! I’ll send you an email to connect and chat details!


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