170 miles. The question was -- break it up in two (stopping either at St. Kitts or St. Barts) or push through. We opted for the latter. Anchor up, we motored out from behind the reef, raised the sails and off we went -- westward ho. Fabulous sail that day, the weather was beautiful, and we saw whales! We don't know how many, but did we ever hoot and holler! We tried speaking whale to get them to come closer so that we could get a photo -- but no dice. Must have been the wrong dialect of whale. By sunset we were passing St. Kitts and Statia, and the stars started coming out. Promised to be a nice night.
Not to be. By 9pm the winds were up to 25 knots popping to 27. We had reefed the main to prepare for night sailing (forecast was for 15-20 knots), but now we thought we had to change headsails -- roll in the jib and raise the staysail -- just to slow the boat a bit. Patti made John wear a harness and tether so that he wouldn't fall off the boat while trying to make these changes. (It's been too long since the last man overboard drills...) Successful changes got the boat speed down to 7-8 knots and the heel up to 20 degrees. But the winds roared through the night, finally easing at around 4am. Neither of us got very much sleep. But it is always wonderful to see the sun come up. Then the winds came down. By dawn we saw St. Croix in the distance and the Anegada Passage was almost behind us. We motored to the anchorage near Gallows Bay in Christiansted, set the anchor behind green marker #13 and collapsed!
Christiansted, St. Croix: 17d45.026'N 64d41.938'W