Winter Cruising in the Islands

April 23, 2020

Serena arrived in the Caribbean last November as deck cargo in St. Thomas, USVI. (See “Heading South, Serena Hitches a Ride.”) Once underway, she sailed east through the British Virgin Islands and across uncharacteristically placid seas to a winter home base in St. Maarten. 

Serena Caribbean St. Kitts
Serena, en route to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Subsequent cruising took Serena south to St. Kitts and Nevis, and then to Antigua, farther east.

Ballast Bay St. Kitts Caribbean
Ballast Bay, St. Kitts

Projects performed or supervised by Captain Eddie during the winter months in St. Maarten included a light sanding of the teak decks and an acid flush of the raw water systems aboard the vessel.

Flushing engine room piping on Serena
Engine room piping maintenance aboard Serena

In late March, Serena reversed course and spent time in the BVIs and the USVIs, generally avoiding people while awaiting transport to Newport, R.I. scheduled for the end of April. Shown in the photo below is Serena in Newfound Bay, St. John, which is outside of the National Park and Coral Reef National Monument on St. John. It is one of only a handful of places where boats are permitted to take a mooring ball on St. John.

Serena moored in Newfound Bay, St. John, USVI

The Bay is protected from the north ground swell that rolls through the Eastern Caribbean in the winter and provides good shelter as well when the wind is east and south of east. The reef at the mouth of the bay knocks down most of the swell, although it can get rolly when the wind goes northeast. The mouth of the bay is narrow but carries 20 feet of water.  Once inside the bay, it gradually shallows to the shore but carries 8-10 feet through most of the bay.

As we posted this story, Serena had moved to St. Thomas for some maintenance and to give the generators a rest after a month spent at anchor.  She should be in Newport, R.I. in early May.