>I wana head south! Ilene going to Tortola

>My good friends Roger and Ilene are headed aboard their SAGA 43, a boat just like Pandora, to Tortola beginning this week to begin a winter of sailing in the islands.  Actually, Ilene will fly to meet Roger there who will make the trip to Tortola with crew.  However, the plan is for them to spend from November to May island hopping their way south and if they like island living, to leave the boat in Trinidad for the summer while they head north and home for a few months prior to heading back for another winter season in the islands.  I have a number of friends that do this and it sounds like great fun.  

Roger has spent months getting his boat ready to participate in a cruising rally from Hampton VA to Tortola.  This rally is a big one with some 75 boats that will head south together.  Participating in a rally is a great way to get started with ocean sailing as it allows access to a weather router and other safety services and know how that most wouldn’t have access to as easily. 

I wish Pandora was on the participant list but that will have to wait a bit longer. Each winter I am doing projects to get the boat ready for long distance cruising.  What a great trip it would be to head to Tortola.  For now I will have to be content with armchair sailing along with Roger and Ilene aboard Ilene the Boat and their site http://www.ilenetheboat.blogspot.com/

You can follow their progress on the rally site.  This link shows all the classes and this one class 6 which is what Roger and Ilene’s boat Ilene is in.  The tracker shows that everyone is still in Hampton but they will likely leave soon so keep checking the site regularly.  At this point the key issue is to get a good weather window to begin the trip. The group, The Cruising Rally Association, that organizes this rally also has other events including Bahamas and an Atlantic crossing rally.  Their site is quite interesting as you can follow the boats as they make their way south.  Each boat is fitted with a GPS tracker that “pings” a satellite with their speed, direction and location about ever 15 minutes. .  I want to go sailing and all I can do is write about it now that Pandora is on the hard.  Bummer about that.  I can’t wait till May when she goes in the water again. 

There’s not much to report about Pandora right now except to say that she is in a boat yard in Norwalk CT and I am getting started on getting upgrades underway and her ready for the freezing weather that’s on the way.   It’s hard to find interesting ideas for posts when Pandora isn’t in the water but I will do what I can to keep to a weekly schedule.   Yesterday I began getting the frame fitted to hold her canvas cover that will keep water and ice off of the decks.

I don’t get many comments on my posts and yet see that I am getting visitors.  Who’s out there?  Leave a comment, please and tell me what you think.

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