You may recall that the Anegada Passage (a stretch of ocean that lies between St. Martin and the Virgin Islands) was never my fave.  And so, the very thought of taking the pups on their first overnight sail through it was making me feel ill. Even when Chris Parker personally reassured us that we were picking the calmest window, I had my doubts. Two words from his email stuck out in my mind:

NORTH. SWELL.

Yup, even with tiny waves of 1-3 feet and wind at our backs, we still managed to have an extremely uncomfortable ride (albeit a fast one, motor sailing at 7 knots per hour) because we were being rolled every 15 seconds by a six foot swell that was hitting the boat at just the wrong angle. The effect was something like being stuck in a washing machine, and it got old after about 5 minutes – only 15 hours to go!

I got sick, as did Nico, Brian, and novice sailor Cole (dogs hold a surprising amount of barf, even if they haven’t eaten for hours). Only Marigot, our doggie with a stomach of cast iron, was spared.

We are so proud of both the pups. They remained calm all night long, put up with wearing harnesses, life jackets, and tethers, and still enjoyed sticking out their snouts and letting their ears flap in the breeze at the end of the sail as we rounded the end of St. John. We pulled into Cruz Bay on St. John at 7AM and piled into the dinghy to go to Customs. Just like that, Cole and Marigot became American dogs on their home soil for the first time, and we all headed back to the boat to catch up on sleep in the beautiful, choppy waters of the Virgin Islands.