Dec 5, 2016
The 81 boats in the 2016 Salty Dawg™ Sailing Association Fall Caribbean Rally fleet arrived in the BVI earlier this month. The 1,400 mile voyage across the Atlantic from Hampton, Virginia to the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda was once again the largest rally from the US to the Caribbean. As always, Canadian boats were in the fleet – this year there were five.
Mild winds led to some sailing and motor sailing early on for the first group of vessels that chose to leave on November 1. A short period of 25 to 30 knot winds from the north, followed by good winds in the teens to low 20’s, gave nice sailing for the fleet in the middle of the trip and then a mix of variable winds and moderate trades for the final couple of days to the Caribbean.
The second half of the fleet chose to delay departure until November 5, due to possible strong N and NE winds on the back side of an approaching front that slower vessels might experience. The second group of vessels experienced more consistent winds, and also had a very favorable and timely passage.
Chris Parker’s weather forecasting was spot on and the fleet appreciated his sage advice. After arrival, owners and crew transitioned to an active Salty Dawg social calendar of regular happy hours, morning yoga, a daily morning net of Dawgs helping other Dawgs, hiking, snorkeling, a superb and entertaining Arrival Dinner November 18 at the Bitter End Yacht Club and a pot-luck Thanksgiving on the beach.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association hosts several rallies, rendezvous and a series of blue water sailing seminars. Memberships in the Association are available for anyone interested in blue water sailing. Over 1,900 sailors and 480 boats have participated in Salty Dawg Rallies and over 1,300 sailors subscribe to notification of Salty Dawg events.
For more information and to join the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, visit the SDSA web site. http://www.saltydawgsailing.org/