Delivering “Xcape” from USVI to Turks & Caicos
In addition to sailing charters on Moment and Momento, we offer captain and crew delivery services. From May 18-23rd, Captain Chris flew to St. Thomas, USVI to deliver the Catalina 44, Xcape.
Upon arriving in St. Thomas, I had my complementary obligatory Cruzian Rum shot at the welcome center. Without a working cellphone, I had to use the old fashioned method of meeting at a pre-planned location. Just after the sweet shot, I turned and saw Rod and his other crew member, Curtis, sharing a beer at the airport bar. We quickly met and crammed into a taxi van bound for our Crum Bay drop off location. And by crammed, I mean, that I didn’t have an actual seat. None the less, the driver collected his pay-per-head fair as though we were fully accommodated.
After dropping our luggage in the dinghy, we went to the local store to provision. Rod had gotten the boat mostly provisioned and said to pick out a lunch meat and any other snacks that interested us. I went with the flow and got my turkey lunch meat and a couple cans of yogurt. After a few more items, we went back to the boat to go over some safety and operating items, meet our fourth crew member “Molly,” a fluffy white geriatric terrier that was def, blind and 107 in dog years. After the final introduction, we returned ashore for dinner then had an early night for the boat as we were to depart first thing in the morning.
Despite a fairly sleepless night, we were up at 6am and off the mooring by 6:30! The first hours were spent motoring and then by 9:30, our NE winds filled in to allow us to be under full sail. We began the watch keeping and settling into our 3-5 day passage.
On the second day we had winds that allowed us to fly the beautiful, barely used spinnaker. Once doused, we stopped the boat to swim despite the rolley seas. Even with the ocean’s movement, Rod took Molly in with him to try to get her to pee. The poor pup had been clinching for a couple days. No success. Rod took dinner duty and we Motor sailed overnight. During this day, we sailed in 22,000 feet of water over the Puerto Rican trench. At it’s deepest point it is more than 26,000 feet!
On the third day, we had building winds so we reefed the main and jib. Having a strong equilibrium on an offshore passage usually means getting tasked with chores below deck … like cooking. Breakfast was omelette, potatoes and sliced avocado. The presentation was about to be marvelous, except for the wave that caused Xcape to heal dramatically and the plates all to slide and topple into the kitchen sink. Lunch was a little easier with sandwiches. As the afternoon progressed, the winds built into the 20s. Effectively the only issue that came about on the delivery was a jib furler line overriding, which meant we couldn’t reduce the sail area of the jib and were a bit overpowered. We decided to sail a longer path to wait for day light, grab a mooring behind the lee of west end to drop the jib and reset the furling system. After that fiasco, we had a 3hr motor into Southside marina where Bob, the owner guided us in from his VHF radio watching us from shore. It is a fun, quirky marina with a bar fittingly Called “Bob’s Bar” open from 5-9 daily.
Our remaining time that we had on Turks & Caicos was spent cleaning up the boat, clearing into customs and exploring some of the Island’s roads and estates including the late Prince’s compound. Overall, the delivery was smooth sailing and a chance to sail in the deepest water I’ve ever been over.