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The Last Episode of sv’AllWays’ Under Our Command.

Sailing from Fajardo, Puerto Rico

sunny 84 °F

Well, we had the boat sold in Fajardo, Puerto Rico so we headed south to get our stuff off the boat by closing November 15, 2009. We boarded the boat again on November 10 and diligently removed and mailed back home 6 years of accumulated sailor stuff to get it ready for the new owners. But low and behold on the evening of the 12th we checked or email when we returned to the hotel, only to find that the buyers had a problem and wanted to cancel the sale. Needless to say we both looked at each other and immediately started practicing our sailing words. We now had to put what we hadn’t mailed home back on the boat and proceed to put ‘AllWays’ back together again and make it ready for sea. Our broker was adamant about getting the boat back to him in Tortola so he could show the boat for the beginning of the season. We had only thought we would be gone a week and hadn’t prepared to sail or take care of the critters (cat and dog) which we had left under short term care with friends. So now we had to arrange for them and impose on our good friends to take up the ball and run with it for a couple more weeks till we could get the boat to our broker in Tortola and try to sell it there at the beginning of the sailing season.
After cancelling our return tickets and rescheduling them for the BVI’s and arranging for a slip at a marina in Tortola, we were ready to splash the boat 3 days later. It would be a 3 day sail to Fat Hogs Bay on the east side of Tortola that we had never been to before but I did have my GPS chart plotter to guide us in to the shallow small marina. We planned to sail back to Culebra from Puerto Rico about 20 miles and anchor up for the sail the next morning to St. Thomas and anchor at Charlotte Amalie and the next day to Tortola in Road Town to check in with customs and move on to Fat Hogs for that evening.
Putting 'AllWays' back together Before and After
We needed to provision up and so we had to find time between fixing a few things and putting up sail and making sure everything still worked as it did when we left it almost 7 months ago and prepare for sea, weather permitting.
The morning of our departure the wind again was 90 degrees at about 12 to 15 knots and would be on the nose all the way to Tortola with 3 to 4 foot seas. As we shoved off from the concrete slip at Puerto Del Rey and our stern and spring dock lines came on board, the bow line got stuck in the cleat and with the cross current caused the boat to snag forward forcing the fender cushions to smash. Hether tried to shove the pier away from the boat and managed to get her bare left two toes caught against the concrete dock and the boat. As the dock line released from the cleat we were free and proceeded to head out into the channel going through the markers between the reef and the open water. I then realized that Hether had severly sliced her toes and was bleeding profusely. She hadn’t said a thing but just looked discussed with herself for doing what she knew was absolutely the wrong thing to do - fending off the dock with her bare foot. She managed to make her way back into the cockpit and wrapped her foot to stop the bleeding. When we were out in open water I slowed the boat enough to keep us on course and was able to get a bucket of water aboard to wash off the deck and see about how to mend her toes or would we now need to stitch toes back together? She would have nothing to do with that curved needle so we made do with soaking and cleaning. When we got to St. Thomas we had a doctor look after it and to my relief and hers he said he wouldn’t have to take her foot off or the toes. So we did the painkiller and antibiotics thing and it finally healed up on it’s own with Hether’s constant attention. I just had to carry her around for awhile as she couldn’t walk without pain and possibly opening the wound again. While we were in Tortola at the dock I borrowed a kids wagon to haul her around at the marina to get to the WIFI spot, restaurant and bar for more “Painkillers” and ice. While at the marina I sanded teak, polished stainless, fixed gel coat, varnished the companionway steps and interior cherry trim and put in a new maintenance free companionway entry to spiff up the appearance of the boat for prospective new owners. We left Tortola Dec 1st and made it back to Colorado just in time for the seasons first blizzard. ‘AllWays sold to a Brazilian January 15th 2010 who took her back to Brazil to serve his family on their island.
We have loved this 2 cabin 40’ boat and the adventures it has provided us. It’s shallow draft has been very forgiving in many an anchorage from West Palm Beach, Florida to True Blue Bay, Grenada. It’s electric winch at the helm has hoisted me to the top of the mast untold number of times with Hether’s safe operator skills and furled the self furling main flawlessly for 6 years. The new electric windless I installed after the original burned up in Georgetown, Exuma has brought up our 44 pound Bruce anchor hundreds of times as well as the 6” hurricane chain we snagged in English Harbor, Antigua. The self furling Genoa has seen us safely through 50+ knot winds and 15+’ seas as a storm jib on our passage to Inagua, Bahamas as well as at 9 knots under full sail in normal 20 knot winds. Our BQ grill on the swim platform has cooked many a steak or fish fillet at a red sky sunset listening to Taj Mahal’s Sacred Island CD’s and others. The boat friends we have made and continue to keep in touch with are to be cherished for the rest of our lives. This has been a wonderful experience and one I might want to pursue again with a slightly larger sv’AllWays II’, say 2 cabin 46’, with Hether’s approval of course and after the new Telluride house is finished later this fall. Tonga could be our next adventure.
More later,
Chuck and Hether
Residing at Rocking Horse Ranch as of this moment.
N 38.441 W107.51.540

Posted by Sailtales 13:12 Archived in Puerto Rico

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