Captains Log


The 68 strong fleet in the Fall Salty Dawg Rally are in the B.V.I. and Bahamas and thoroughly enjoying life in the sun. The passage south started on November 3 and was a fairly slow one with some head winds, a trough of bumpy weather and then not much wind once south of the Gulf Stream. Weather guru Chris Parker, who gives the daily weather briefings and helps skippers with routing and is sponsored by Blue Water Sailing, had his hands full trying to find wind for the fleet. In the end, fuel management was the seamanship issue of the passage.

The SDR recommends that every boat in the rally carry enough fuel to motor 500 miles or more, which is just prudent seamanship on a passage of 1,300 miles. The SDR fleet all got in fine under power and most boats had fuel to spare. One SDR boat, Sea Tiger, even had the opportunity to go to the aid of a boat sailing in the Caribbean 1500 that had run out of fuel. Sea Tiger was able to rendezvous with Southern Cross north of the B.V.I. and handed over enough fuel for the vessel to make landfall safely. When the skipper of Southern Cross offered to pay for the fuel, Sea Tiger’s crew declined the money. But, when candy bars were offered instead, the deal was done! For their generous and thoroughly seamanlike assistance, the crew of Sea Tiger was given the first ever SDR St. Bernard Award.

Following the arrival of the fleet at The Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda—where the SDR members get free moorings until December 19—the festivities began in earnest. Sundowner parties became a daily event at The Bitter End, Leverick Bay, Biras Creek and Saba Rock. The BEYC plays host to the SDR fleet and on November 19 put on a gala dinner for a modest fixed price for more than 80 Dawgs. A good time was had by all.

The Dawgs had planned to have a potluck Thanksgiving feast on the beach in front of the Sandbox beach bar, but due to the planned arrival of a cruise ship, they shifted the date to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Sixty-five Dawgs gathered on the beach and in the bar to share delicious offerings.

Members of the Salty Dawg Rally are eligible for a wide range of services and discounts through the rally that includes discounted fuel from Voyage Marine in Soper’s Hole, discounts at supermarkets in Road Town and, of course, the free moorings at The Bitter End. The Salty Dawg Rally is sponsored by leading companies in the sailing industry that have come together to help the non-profit SDR organization put on free rallies and educational seminars of offshore sailors and cruisers. Blue Water Sailing and Cruising Compass are proud to be co-founders of the Salty Dawg Rally with the actual founders Bill and Linda Knowles who sail board their Jeanneau 54 Saphhire.

The Salty Dawg Rally is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that hosts events for cruisers all year long, so stay tuned to Cruising Compass and by checking out the Salty Dawg Rally Facebook page and website at And, check out the many sponsors who are listed on the website ( and please give them your business! They are making the whole free rally and seminar concept an amazing success.



Author: Blue Water Sailing