Danny and Yvonne Simms
Owners, Ocean Pearl, Amel Super Maramu
We are a Kiwi couple and from 26th June we have been cruising the East Coast of the US, from Ft. Lauderdale up to Rhode Island, Marthas Vineyard, and Nantucket, then over to Maine for a month before the cold turned us around to head south again. Down we went through the Cape Cod Canal, Long Island Sound and New York. As we turned, we sought advice on the best way to the Caribbean and numerous people recommended the Carib 1500 leaving Hampton Virginia 2nd November.
For us, one of the most important aspects was the help they gave in finding experienced crew, as we wanted two more for the crossing. Coming from New Zealand we had no contacts, but Steve Black found us Pokey Frazer and Bruce Brooks, two very experienced sailors who fit in really well. It was great to be involved with 60 other boats and crews as they prepared and socialized in the lead up to the start.
We set off on time into a building northeaster and crossed the gulf stream off Hatteras in 30 knots. Ocean Pearl revelled in the conditions as we powered through under full sail. We loved our fully enclosed center cockpitno wet weather gear for us! And we were down to shorts and T-shirts by day two.
The run down to Tortola was a dream ride with wind aft of the bean almost all the way. A front was following us down and we broke out ahead of it on day six into 10 to 15 knots, leaving behind the 35 knot squalls and strong winds we had had most of the way. Our best 24 hour run was 210 miles and our best two hours was 19 miles. We sailed over the line at 0930 hrs on the 9th into the exquisite waters of Tortola. What a paradise.
Since June, we have done 4000 miles of sailing in areas we have never seen before. We have met so many people and formed friendships that will last for years.