March 6, 2015, White House Bay, St. Kitts
After 10 windy days we lifted our anchor and headed south on a short passage to Nevis.
The combined nation of St. Kitts and Nevis is a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth as Head of State and represented by a Governor General.
The two Islands are separated by The Narrows, a two-mile wide channel. The Island is approximately 8 miles long and 6 miles wide with Mt. Nevis in nearly the center. Mt. Nevis, which is 3232 feet high, loomed over the hills at the south end of St. Kitts which we had been looking at for the last ten days. On most of these days their was a cloud hiding the top of the mountain. Today there were no clouds and we could see the beautiful green island with all of its mountain. The main anchorage is between the Island's principle town, Charlestown on the south, and the Four Seasons Hotel on Pinney's Beach on the north. Between these two points there is a beautiful nearly three mile long beach.
As we anchored along the beach in relatively calm water we wished we had left White House Bay earlier. Given that winds were still in the 25 knot range from the east I was surprised how well this relative small Island and it's Mountain protected the lee side of this Island. Even with the calm lee we needed our rocker stoppers to dampen the waves from the ferry boats that ran between St. Kitts and Charlestown every hour or so. We had not needed them in White House Bay even with the 45 knot wind gusts we had experienced.
The Four Season is a beautiful Hotel on a great beach.
March 8, 2015, Nevis
We headed through The Narrows for a windward passage to Antigua 50 nm to the east. During the 12 days we had been at St. Kitts and Nevis, I had talked with Chris Parker at least 5 times looking for a window. Before moving to Nevis two days earlier Chris had said this day, March 8th, would be the best of the bad weather days that had been with us for the last 12 days and would be better than any of the days for the next week. Chris is also a presenter at TrawlerFest.
As Chris predicted we experienced seven foot plus seas with an 8 second interval. Winds were blowing at 17 when we left and were a constant 22 knots as we approached Antigua.
During the passage we had two rain squalls with gusts of 30 knots. The swell was due east and our course was slightly south of due east giving us a little edge in these short seas. With the deep entry of Catalina Sunshine with her steep "V" extending to the bottom of the keel just aft of the bow, she does not pound. Although the spray rails make noise as they enter the water they don't pound. Notwithstanding, straight into these waves there was a significant upward thrust as we entered each wave. There were two 12-lb. exercise weights in the pilothouse that were adrift and went airborne on the first wave we entered straight on.
As our autopilot veered from time to time and our course was just south of due east, we took a number of waves straight on. Fortunately we were able to take the majority of waves at enough of an angle that upward motion was less severe and we averaged 8.3 knots, only a little less than the 9 knots we normally average.