The up of the upside down

Back where I’ve decided is my happy place in the USVIs. We started here on the 24th April and after a few days, left to admin and shop. And now we’re back soaking up the last few days before we head directly for Miami.

Like everyone’s lockdown corona rollercoaster, WTF has happened, waking up in the night realizing this isn’t just a ridiculous nightmare, we have our fair share despite being on a boat in gorgeous weather and being able to change our scenery. Bowdie was in tears because she felt ‘mad and frustrated’ with ‘the disease’ and just wanted to go home. Watching her and not being able to offer a sensible or conclusive solution made me cry and we hugged and cried and felt better for it.

Best time of the day

Francis Bay is part of a reserve that makes up most of St. John. There is a resident baby Lemon Shark that swims up and down the shoreline all day long, in 1ft water. You can get within a foot of it and yesterday evening it swam up onto the beach (half exposed) and nearly onto Bowds’ feet.

The turtles in the bay are enormous and docile and it’s hard not to stroke their backs as they surface for air. The girls watched a huge ray flapping and sucking at the bottom under the paddle-board in 1m of water before he eventually swished off.

Happiness in a liter of cookies and cream

In further prep for this weekend’s departure, we have pulled out the paper maps and tested the stand alone GPS that plugs into Andrew’s computer that has the maps loaded onto it should anything happen to our navigation system.

Purple line intended route
Lockdown has been good for saving pocket money

There are a few boats anchored here (we’re all on permanent mooring balls, being a reserve) that are also leaving for Miami on Sunday that we are introducing ourselves to so we can try find a buddy boat that will go the same speed. Proving a little difficult when they may even be the same model Lagoon but have upgraded to folding props. Even a 1kt increase in speed will make it difficult to stay in contact. Andrew will be going up the mast for the 4th time in the last week. This time to replace our aerial as a last troubleshoot. We have such poor range which isn’t of course ideal when we’re out at sea.

Checking aerial connections

We have also been on the wild gas chase trying to fill EU cooking gas bottles in America. You would think that this would be a common problem but nope, none of the gas refillers, we tried 3, have an adapter! We eventually went to a junky looking area with mostly closed outlets of course and hurricane debri everywhere to track down some full EU cylinders we had heard about on Facebook that were there awaiting any vessel going back to Europe. We would then change over to the US style canisters once back on the mainland where it’s a lot cheaper. Turns out the cylinders were all empty but the one rusty bubbly canister had an elbow screwed into it that converted an inside thread to an outside thread and taking a chance, we sailed all the way back to the gas place and voila! they could refill. What a joy!

Curious iguanas, slightly scary but so cool

We anticipate that the next passage will be 10 days. Andrew has assured me we’ll settle into a new mode, may this be true for the kids too. It’ll be full moon when we leave which will be our favour. When you cross an ocean you earn the right to have an anchor tattoo, something I never felt I needed to prove to myself or anyone. But here I am, about to earn the rite of passage, literally! I’ll be bald……….but hardcore, and perhaps even an anchor tattoo!

Seems somehow weird that we’re heading towards a country with high infection rates. But hopefully we will be able to get some family time and Megs, her girls and other family can come visit us. And quite frankly I cannot get over the worlds reaction to corona, still only know 1 person who contracted it, and is of course he’s fine. Perhaps something we just cannot afford to contract on a 10 day passage, but quite frankly that would apply to a common cold when it’s just the two of us at the helm.

We spent a fabulous evening with another boat (Dalliance) and their 3 girls before they decided to self quarantine before they headed off to England. And explaining that we couldn’t see them again to the girls made Erin cry and want to go home. It was hard to explain that their friends and family at home haven’t been able to see anyone and luckily they have had some interaction. And in an about turn, Dalliance decided to change tack and sail to America as well. How fluid we need to be during these ridiculous times. And how living on a boat means trying to figure out how the blanket regulations apply to us. But we wouldn’t swop our living quarters right now.

Dinghy sailing with Sophie their friend instructor who is 10!

Last year I was apprehensive about going home in December after 10 months and after 7 glorious weeks being home with family and friends and familiarity, it was near impossible to come back to LodeStar. And once we were settled back in to boat life, the idea of going back to land living is too much to bear right now. Two exceptional but such different lives, with such different advantages. So right now, living LodeStar is where we are supposed to be. And happy.

Tomato bread rolls!


  1. Dear Claudia, glad to hear all is fine and that all of you are safe! 👍👌
    I think you will find a rather strange atmosphere in Miami, but Hope you get the administrative procedures done rapidly. Better not to hang around.
    For who has not had much contact or feed back of the situation, it’s all a little frightening and daunting, plus the regulations change every week.
    People traveling have been asked not too, unless necessary. Let alone coming from other countries which is not allowed and neither socialising 😔
    I feel sorry for your little daughters who up to now have lived a beautiful existence.

    A nephew of mine, is working on a private yacht, now in Miami, American owner, but crew can’t go on land. They will set sail to Fort Lauderdale same time you set sail for Muami,. They will go north to Alaska far from the terrible situation in USA. Great Britain and USA have worst situation at this moment!😵🙏

    Just to let you know, Monaco is now opening up slowly, and this evening Macron, the French President, us going to give the new derogatory info.
    We hope in 10 days time we can sail⛵ out✌️ although navigating very difficult and there is the necessity to fill documents. Bla bla bla.

    You guys stay safe and enjoy your sail up to Miami, and I looked forward to hearing about this trip! Lol⛵⛵⛵⛵ Foggy!!!!😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing you a happy crossing you very adventurous people. I wish I had been as brave as you guys as would have loved your life of the last years. You and your children will have such wonderful memories for the rest of your lives.

    Much love Bruce and Sally


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