the adventure of a life time!

“Go sailing now my friend,

                it is later than you think”


“Debora and Steven lead a wonderful and charmed life aboard Magewind sailing around the Caribbean. Come and join them on their adventures as they sail from island to island and you too will enjoy great food, white sandy beaches and the beautiful colors of the water.  Chef Debora, always an enthusiastic cook. Captain Steven, a great sailor.  Magewind, a 46ft luxury sailing catamaran great for 2-3 guest for over night or 6 people for the day. Located out of Coral Bay, St John, Us Virgin Islands for day charters or  she sails out of Fajardo, Puerto Rico and Red Hook, St Thomas VI. “

Arrived ~~~~~~~~~~~

We flew into St Thomas (SST) my sweetie Jean and I, where Steven greeted us at the gate with a Magewind sign with our name on it!  We were pretty toasted after our flight from San Francisco and this took all the hassle out of arriving in a new place for the first time.  A short walk out of the airport parking lot found us at a white sandy beach with Magewind anchored in a small bay.  Kicking off our shoes and stepping into that 87° Caribbean water. . .   'Toto, this isn't the San Francisco Bay!'

From Lindbergh Bay at the airport, we got on board by mid afternoon, Magewind took us on a route through Charlotte Amalie inner harbor as we enjoyed cocktails, to Frenchman Bay.  A small bay with a nice sand beach all to ourselves, where we dove in and washed off all the thoughts airports, planes and uncomfortable seats.  Debora prepared fantastic dinner for us. . .  I won't bore you with the details. . .

Day 2 ~~~~~~~~~~~

Our first morning was a lazy start, waking in that quite bay with morning swim to our 'private beach'.  Steven had cappuccinos ready for us when we climbed aboard and rinsed off.  Debora had baked a fantastic apple treat that was to die for.  So went the daily routine. . .  Didn't seem to be any reason to break it!  There are many pictures of Debora's great cooking on their website.  My mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

From Frenchman Bay, Magewind took us to Coral Bay on the far east end of St John where Debora has a interior design shop which is what she does when She and Steven don't have charter guest.  We had lunch at Aqua Bistro while Debora did a little last minute shopping.  My Sweetie, discovered Debora's next door neighbor, Raini who makes custom bikinis.  Between the three women, Debora, Raini and Jean, as it was explained to me, it is necessary to have a different swim suite for every day. . .  

After the better part of the midday, Magewind took us across to Round Bay, A quick trip where we anchored off a very nice white sandy beach.  We were able to get back into the water next to Peter's Angel's Rest.

This is one of the coolest, must visit island bars.  It is what Willie T's once was.  Much better that White Bay.  Peter goes from Coral Bay to Round Bay/ Vie's Beach just about every day weather permitting. If you call him, you can ride with him.  For the villa based people, he leaves Coral Bay, 12-1pm and is back in Coral Bay before dark.  You can hang out with him anchored just off the beach and drink like a fish, swim with the fish, bake on beach like a fish and if you get hungry you can eat fish at Vie's along with all kinds of great food.  The crossing back to Coral Bay with the sunset in front of you is fantastic!

We dove off Magewind and swam over to visit Peter who  served us these killer rum punches of his and listen to stories of his wild life and those of other locals that came in by boats and swam over from the beach.  With the naturally cautious nature of people who enjoy their life in and and around the ocean, Peter pulls up anchor before the sun dips below the peaks of St John.  Everyone dives off and he returns to Coral Bay. We swam back to Magewind where we enjoyed the sun setting behind St John and Debora had another great meal waiting for us.

Day 3 ~~~~~~~~~~~

Next morning we snorkeled off the back of Magewind watching the turtles breakfasting off the grass on the bottom and seeing Mr. Sinister himself, a barracuda hanging under the boat on our return.  Then the, by now, routine, coffee and breakfast treat, we were ready for the next day's adventure.   Steven explained that this was a light wind day and a perfect opportunity to get 'up hill' in a hurry.  With the prevailing wind out of the East and Northeast, the rest of the Virgin Islands are up wind. . . 

Magewind is not your run-of-the-mill production catamaran.  Aside of the luxury for her guest to have the master suite which rivals most hotels with its queen bed, private settee, large head and walk in shower.  She is light (16,000lb), narrow hulled and over powered.  With twin 75hp turbo diesels, she will do 15 knots under power.  The pull toy that Debora and Steven have is not for the dinghy, it is for Magewind.

So we powered past Eastern BVI islands of Norman, Peter, Salt, Cooper and Ginger to Virgin Gorda where we arrived by midday.  Jean and I went ashore with Debora to clear in to the British Virgin Islands and Steven remained on board for anchor watch.  After clearing in, Debora treated us at a little cafe and we wandered the shops while she prowled for fresh fruit and vegetables.

With the light wind and no swell, Steven took us up to another fantastic little stop with a white power sugar sand beach, Pound Bay.  With stern anchored toward the beach, we could almost walk up the beach.  Debora and my Sweetie swam ashore and wandered up and down the beach, Steven rigged up one of the two small sailing dinghies they have on board, a Laser, I was very soon ripping up and down the beach.  The light morning wind that we had coming up the Sir Francis Drake Channel had built to very nice afternoon wind of 18 knots which was being accelerated into the bay through a saddle in the island.  The two of us were taking turns to see who could round a mooring buoy and back to Magewind. Steven said he want to teach me to sail and make sure that I was safe. He seemed to be having a little too much fun.  There was a beer drinking aspect to the course, so I am not sure who came out ahead. 

With the stern anchored to the East and into the wind keeping the inside of the boat cool and very comfortable, the bow was anchored west toward the sun, which made a very romantic spot for sunset for my Sweetie and I.  Debora gave us some delightful goodies to munch on and Steven kept our wine glasses topped off.  We slept very peacefully that night hearing the little waves on the beach and enjoying the breeze blowing in from the back of the boat.

Day 4 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Steven kept the Laser rigged but pulled up onto the forward trampoline.  So this morning's 'routine' was taking Jean for a morning sail to a secluded part of the beach at the end of the bay for a swim and back to Magewind for coffee and breakfast.  This was a very lazy morning off this gorgeous beach in this pretty little bay.  By late morning Steven had the Laser stowed on the foredeck and we powered the rest of the way North along the island and into Virgin Gorda Sound.  Steven found a vacant mooring near Saba Rock.  My sweetie and I sailed the Laser in and amongst the mega yachts and other charter boats ending up at the Bitter End Yacht Club where we beached the Laser in front of the bar.  I nursed a beer and Jean went off to the visit the local shops.

Instead of staying for a second drink, I scooped up Jean and we sailed over to Saba Rock to 'explore the facilities".  Me the shop and Jean the bar. Steven had said that he needed good over head sun light to get out the passage to the East of Saba Rock to get in behind Prickly Pear Island where Magewind would spend the night at anchor.  So as we were crying in our beer at miserable this life was, Magewind pulled up in front of our table to say that they would be around the corner and to take our time and sail over when ever we were ready.  Jean said she was jumping ship and Steven gracefully backed Magewind up to the dock and Jean even more gracefully but quickly stepped aboard.  I jumped into the Laser and raced Magewind to the anchorage, of course taking the short cut across the shallows.

Day 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another great culinary treat watching a gorgeous reverse sunset.  Another great night's sleep and another routine morning complete with swim, coffee and breakfast.  We popped out the Northwest  of Virgin Gorda and Steven set the spinnaker.  Magewind broad reached through the Dog Islands and entered into the North end of the small passage between Great Camanoe and Scrub Island.  Ghosted past the resort and not quite enough wind between the islands, Steven socked the spinnaker and we motored past Marina Cay.  Once clear, the spinnaker was reset and we were on course for Peter Island. . .  "No, Peter Island Resort and what?  They have a spa?  Great massages? Debora can call ahead and get us in?"  This day just keeps getting better! 

Well, not really on a straight line, two jibes and one of Debora's wonderful lunches later, we were anchored in Deadman Bay on Peter Island with plenty of time for the short walk to the spa.  It was the walk back that was difficult.  My muscles seemed to be just a little too relaxed!  One can only mention how pleasant the evenings are onboard Magewind so many times.  I, just run out of words. . .  The anchorage was very pretty.  The resort wraps the bay with its sandy beach and palm trees.  Across the sound is Road Town on Tortola.  Civilization  looming in the night distance.  The gnawing thought of what I will have to return to.  Well, not just yet!  We have many bays to visit on several islands!

Day 6 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another 'routine morning' out of the way, Steven set the spinnaker and we sailed off to Norman Island.  These islands were the setting or inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson's book Treasure Island.  It is said that Owen Lloyd did hide some treasure on the island and said to be in the cave.  Norman Island is a well-known destination because of 3 water-level caves at the base of cliffs just outside the western edge of The Bight. The caves are ideal for snorkeling, and, if one goes deeply enough into the cliffs, darkness makes the experience like a night dive.  A must see for us.  We sail right up the the outer most mooring and Debora grabbed it with a boat hook, much like I would put quarters into a parking meter in San Francisco.  That is, if I could find a spot to park.

We swam the bigger cave.  I was grateful for the little flash light that Steven gave me, even thought I sort of snickered at its size.  But it was perfect once we were inside and our eyes were accustom to the dark.  It may take a little while for the marks in my arm to heal from Sweetie's nails. . .  Once back on board Magewind, we dropped the mooring and made a pass through The Bight.  Where there is a restaurant and bar named "Pirates" also an old barge, the "Willie T", has a bar which looked nowhere as much fun as Peter's Angel's Rest.

The day was running out and none of us wanted to rush down to Cruz Bay to clear US customs.  So the spinnaker was set and Magewind headed down between St John and Tortola.  Steven had his eye set on a solitary mooring off of Mary Point on the outer edge of Francis Bay on St John.  The wind did get light and before we made the turn around the point, we were all on the foredeck sitting under the spinnaker watching the sunset with St Thomas in the distance. The last light of the day was lingering in the sky when Steven brought Magewind in and Debora let me grab the mooring line with the boat hook.  A good thing it was dead calm!

Another one of Debora's splendid meals.  It was the evening we were introduced to a very fun evening of a maddening game of dominoes!  I am sure that if Debora went to Las Vegas, she would be chased out of town for card counting!  None of us had a chance!  She knew were every domino was.  This is just a warning to future guest of Magewind.

Day 7 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The little pass between Mary Point and Whistling Cay is rich with sea life.  But it is only at the most restrictive point between the two land masses.  Just a little distance either side and then it disappears.  Magewind's mooring was just out side of this rich zone.  So for the morning swim, when we started it looked pretty good, but the farther we went it just got better and better.  With out paying attention we kept swimming and all of sudden everything disappeared until we turned around and swam back.

Once back on board and rinsed off, Steven took Magewind over to the park floating pay station, backed her up and Debora stepped off to show our appreciation for the use of using the mooring for the night.  There were Magewind coffees and Debora put together a quick light breakfast as we traveled toward Curz Bay to check in.  My Sweetie and I sat up on top of the boat enjoying St John as it went by answering the occasional question from Debora as she filled out the ship's paperwork.  Magewind was brought up alongside the custom's dock and we all went in to pay our respects.  Very quick and smooth.  once out the back door, we helped Steven and Magewind get underway from the dock.  Debora took us over to a cute little collection of shops and restaurants called Mongoose Junction and turned us loose.  She was off to the store with her little cart and on a mission!  She explained that Magewind was in a three hour anchor zone and there was only about three hour with of interesting things to see in Cruz Bay, if we included lunch.  She wasn't far off!  We called by phone and Steven came in with the dinghy and picked us up at the dock near the ferry.  We were out the channel and had the spinnaker up by 1pm.

Steven sailed us across the sound between St John and St Thomas heading Northwest below Grass and Thatch Cays.  We were going to a large bay on the North side of St Thomas, Magens Bay. A big bay with a shallow spot toward the bottom but in the center. With the tall hills blocking the wind, we were anchored far enough out from the shore as not to be bothered by any bugs. Magewind was again anchored by the stern to collect the nice cool breeze.  The sandy bottom was covered with sand dollars.  Jean and Debora dove down and collected a whole pile of them while I took the Laser out and explored the bay.  Debora put Sweetie's treasures into a bucket of fresh water and bleach.  By morning she had about twenty beautiful white dollars which Debora carefully wrapped up for me to carry home.  Jean slowly doled these precious dollars out to friends and family once she got back to San Francisco.  Thank you Debora.

Day 8 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning we left our big gorgeous bay for the sail to Culebra which is part of the Spanish Virgin Islands.  This was about a three hour spinnaker run with a Easterly swell system almost perfectly off our stern.  A very mesmerizing trip under sail as Magewind would take off surfing down the face of the waves.  Because of the issue with ciguatera poisoning from eating infected fish, Debora and Steven don't fish except on the longer passages between the island groups in the deeper water.  Debora went on to explain that in most cases the fish that are caught are so big that they have more fish than they know what to do with.  They had a couple in which the woman caught a fish that was as big as her, she was tiny and the fish was big.  As it turned out we got a nice little three meal tuna.  Ceviiche appetizers when fish first came onboard. A great fish dinner that night. Fish tacos for lunch the next day!

This is the part of the trip that Steven was most looking forward to and was very interesting to me.  These islands, Culebra and Vieques the two largest, are surrounded by many smaller islands.  This group is part of Puerto Rico and belonged to the US Navy up until just recently.  They are sparsely inhabited and relative pristine.  If you don't count all of the unexploded all over the place.  There are warnings all over.  My favored is "stay on the path".  The life in the water is fantastic!  The waters in and around the islands shallower, warmer and richer.  Spanish is the spoken language, this being The Spanish Virgin Islands.  Good thing for me, my Sweetie speaks the local language so I will not go for lack of food and drink!

The island of Culebra lies approximately 17 miles east of Puerto Rico, 12 miles west of St. Thomas and 9 miles north of Vieques. Culebra’s series of bays, peninsulas, and bars create a long and intricate shoreline, some of which end in abrupt cliffs, sandy shores, or mangrove forests.  The topography of Culebra is irregular with low elevation hills. Mount Resaca is the tallest hill on the island at 650 ft. Our first landfall was to be Isla Culebrita, the little Culebra.  The Easterly most small island, or shall I say, isla.  There is a gorgeous beach on the North side of the island facing to the Northwest.  Very susceptible to Northwesterly swell.  As Steven says, sandy beaches are made by wave action.  Gorgeous sandy beaches, by a lot of big waves, a lot of the time.  As it turns out we were very lucky on this trip with the wind and waves.  We had a very pleasant night in Bahia Tortuga. 

Day 9 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Culebrita has an old light house on the top of the island that was complete in 1886.  It is very nice hike to the top with a commanding view all around.  Debora packed us a great lunch.  Fresh baked bread that morning, cheese and meats, a bottle of wine, complete with wine glasses.  There were several trails that we hiked that day, lighthouse, Southeast beach and to the pools along the Northeast cliff.  When we arrived back to the beach, Steven was there to serve us an Ice cold beer on the beach, then we stripped off and swam out to Magewind and he brought all our gear back out for us.

Shortly later, we cast off the mooring for a little three mile trip to the Southeast corner of Culebra to spend that night in a bay called Pueto del Manglar which has a cove behind two little islands, Pela and Pelaita called La Pela.  A bay with a barrier reef to the ocean which the wind comes straight across clean and steady.  A perfect bay to learn to sail in with the Laser. 

Day 10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That morning was swimming and sailing. It was Jean's turn to sail the Laser.  She just needed a woman's touch, Debora went with her.

The principal harbor, Ensenada Honda, is considered to be one of the most secure hurricane harbors in the Caribbean.


in the canal between Ensenada Honda and the West facing bay where the ferry landing from Fajardo.

Day 11 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Magewind grabbed a mooring in Taminrindo Bay and we walked over the hill to Flamingo Beach.

Flamenco Beach is horseshoe shaped, half-mile-wide, is bordered by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, one of America's oldest preserves from 1909. What makes this particular Culebra beach so special, is the surf break over the reef which is about a quarter-mile offshore on the west side. We all walked out to the old World War II tank, half-buried and rusting as a reminder that Culebra was once a firing range for the military.

Debora packed up Magewind's little dock cart with mask, fins, boogie boards, snacks and a freezer bag full of ice and beers.

Day 12 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cayo de Luis Pena the largest of the small islands to the West of Culebra has a little beach on the North side with a very pretty little beach.  There wasn't any waves or swell from the Northwest, which is why I didn't bring up the boogie boarding at Flamenco Beach from yesterday, Steven was able to back Magewind in through a little slot in the reef to anchor almost walking distance to the beach.

Day 13 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isla Palominitos is Debora's favorite little island.  Had to make a quick stop there for a swim to and walk around the little motu.

Fajardo, the big city!  Well the larger of the towns on Puerto Rico's East coast.

Sunbay Marina  A beautiful modern marina tucked into the hillside and run by a wonderful woman, Olga Diaz de Perez.  Very friendly and helpful, I can see why Steven loves returning.  It is like coming home.

Day 14 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The last morning, hardly rotten any more, had coffee and Magewind Benedict. Topped with Hollandaise sauce made from scratch!  Debora want to make sure that Jean and I had a good jump start and the fortitude to keep going on our day of plane travel.  We relaxed and packed, if you can do both and Debora slipped off to get a rental car.  Our flight wasn't until late afternoon so we weren't panicked but had to stay on track.  Steven was busy settling Magewind into her marina slip.  We only see the icing on the cake as we enjoy the wonderful end product of Debora, Magewind and Steven. There are all kinds of systems that support this little floating world that looks like a simple hotel room on the ocean.  I known, I just took it all for granted!

My Sweetie Jean had us all packed and ready to go, a little too quickly, must have been the Magewind Latte.  Debora had already returned with the car.  As Steven said, a metal box with four wheels with an air conditioner.  Debora decided that it was a great idea that we leave for San Juan early.  Where that woman gets all of that energy. . . 

The drive to airport in San Juan takes about forty-five minutes by car, if it is uneventful.  By taxi a little longer and about $100.  We were treated to a free ride by Steven, as he went on to explain, the rental car is only $20 per day and it is a supply trip to Costco on the way back to Fajardo.  Also it is part of the total care free experience, airport to airport. 

Of course, we were early.  But better to have gotten most of the drive out of the way not knowing what traffic does on this island with all of these great drivers.  Steven took us on a drive through Old San Juan and then back to the airport.


All this now brings me to back to this airplane seat,  which I have now been sitting in for many hours,  transporting myself back through this scribble to the last two fantastic weeks.  Soon it will be midnight and I will be landing in San Francisco.

Pictures of Magewind!Pictures_of_Magewind.html
Two Week  trip write up

Me, myself and I prepared this for you, some of our most frequented stops.  Download this file for Google Earth. 

Here are a couple web links on the weather that I use all of the time that you might find interesting;

ATSA_latest.gif 896×716 pixels

CAR_latest.gif 896×716 pixels

WunderMap Interactive Radar & Weather Stations : Weather Underground

7-Day Forecast for Latitude 18.35°N and Longitude 64.73°W (Elev. 249 ft)

Marine Point Forecast for Latitude 18.31°N and Longitude 64.68°W

Hourly Weather Forecast for 18.35N 64.73W (Elev. 249 ft)

If you really want to get into it. . . 

If either one of you have an iPhone, here are a couple great applications for this area;

Weather   Who is Hot? for iPhone

Charts     NAVIONICS: The Leader in Electronic Charts    Also available on Android market

Google Earth anchorages DownloadTwo_Weeks_files/Virgin%20Islands_1.kml
Charter OpportunitiesOpportunities/Opportunities.html