A Travellerspoint blog

Norman Island, continued

N18 19.048 W64 37.175


Carol was tired and asked that we lay over for a day at Norman Island, so we did. There is nothing compelling about this location. However, the mooring balls are secure, the Verizon cell coverage seems to be intermittent but generally workable. The predicted weather never arrived, although it was very breezy, 15-17 knots, so the boat moved a lot during the night. We were both tired and Carol was gone by 2000; I was tired, but not sleepy so did not sleep as well.

There are not many things on a boat more important than power management. During the walk through, Dale, the person showing me about the boat, said that we should leave the engine battery in the on position, making it part of the house circuit; do not touch the battery control panel. This goes against every boating manual ever written. He also recommended running the engine for an hour in the morning and two hours at night to charge the batteries. This has all seemed strange to me. The writeup for this boat said that it had more than 600 Ah, more than the 585 Ah on our boat. So, I have been paying close attention to the battery readout on the control panel. It did get extremely low overnight, down to 12.3v which, in my experience, is too low. So, as advised, I ran the engine. There are two solar panels on this boat, built in, not added on. It is early days yet, but they seem to be maintaining the power at an acceptable level. I am going with what I know: the start battery switch is in the off position when the engine is off.



There are things to love about this boat, and things to dislike. We are staying in the front cabin and it is delightful. I still do not get the two helms thing, but who cares. Beneteau makes a fat boat, broad across the beam. That extra width makes the boat comfortable. Most boats I have seen back in the day, a pronounced taper from the widest part of the beam to the stern. This boat, and the modern Beneteaus, taper very little, maybe only a foot or two. I do not know the reason for this. It does create much more space on the boat; it might be to accommodate the two helms. There is one feature that is entirely new to me. The entire transom folds down to make a swim platform. Just incredibly cool. My first thought was that they had created another fail point, of which all boats have too many, simply because they are boats. But there are no mechanics involved other than hinges. A total plus.

On the other hand, people want a boat, so they contract with the Moorings to purchase one and put it out for charter. The Moorings specifies interior boat design to cram people in like sardines for a week or so, not for functional cruising. Eventually, the boat is paid for and the owners want to use it. However, the boat they bought is ill designed for two people to cruise. The only explanation is that I can see is that the owners have never spent a lot of time on boats, so they do not understand all the tradeoffs.

The weather continues to be dead, solid perfect, maybe in the low 80’s during the day; down to the 70’s at night. The breeze is constant; out of the direct sunlight it is very comfortable.

These islands are quite different from the Bahamas. First, they are rocky, as in real granite and other stuff. These islands will endure, the sea will not take them away. The Bahamas are soft limestone and are eroding. Most of these islands seem to have some height, at least several hundred. The highest point in the Bahamas is about 260 feet. What is not different is the vegetation. It is all low, 15-20 feet tops and fairly dense, well able, it seems to me, to survive hurricanes.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we will be off to Virgin Gorda. There is a clinic there and Carol will get her stitches removed.

Posted by sailziveli 13:47 Archived in British Virgin Islands Tagged islands sailing british boating virgin bvi

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