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PLANNING AND CRUISING…,OXIEMORON December 15, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in ICW, Florida, Durbeck, Sailing the ICW, South Florida, Pensacola, Restoration, Repairs, Sailing, FL, Carabbean.
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We ended up in town again getting supplies and whiling away the day. Thursday we moved to St Pierre, Martinque. It is a small town on the northwest end of the island. It is best known for being blown away by Mt Pelee in May of 1902. All but 2 people died out of about 28,000. The rest died from the hot gas and volcano bombs that fell on the town. Volcano bombs are large semi-hard rocks of molten lava that get blown out of the volcano and fall on you. Some are the size of buildings. Those destroyed almost all of the buildings in town. Most of the buildings were built of rock and got knocked down. We spent Friday driving around the area and almost down to Fort de France to go to the botanical garden we were going to see. It was very nice and included a series of swinging bridges that covered about ¼ the garden. Some great mountain driving. A good day.

Sunday we moved on to Roseau, Dominica. Got here Sunday late afternoon. Got a boatboy to rent one of his moorings. Been 6 months since we got a mooring and we were a little rusty getting the line on and all that stuff. That is where the boatboy helps and earns his money. Today we did a tour of 3 waterfalls including the one in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest or what ever it was. The Pool where the mermaid was is the pool at the bottom of the fall. You have to swim to it and we felt the water was a bit cold. So we hided up over the top and took some pics. Tomorrow we leave for Les Des Saints, Guadeloupe.

Make sure you are checking our Facebook page for all the latest pics.

KIND OF ON THE MOVE December 10, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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St. Ann’s was a nice small town with a Club Med on the North side. Club Med is one or the best if not the best resorts in the world. They have a few sights and spend the money to make them the best. They cater to a younger crowd then many of the resorts do. On our level, the town has a good bakery that made this apple thing that we would go get in the morning. We had to go to a restaurant for WIFI. A bit of a pain, but I am getting to like French Espresso. I never got used to Italian Espresso.

After about 3 days including a 13 kilometer hike that almost killed me. My knees can not take the long hilly walks. We moved on to Anes Chaudiere. We had been there in the spring when we were having problems with my alternator bracket. We went back this time to do some snorkeling and visit the town. The town is quaint, but we were there on a Saturday and the place closes at noon. The snorkeling was maybe average.

The French islands are part of France. The island are part of one of Frances states. It is like a county. Same government, rules, etc. Martinique is a modern island like a European country. They take a 3 hour lunch daily, then the stores stay open till 8 pm The restaurants do not start serving dinner till after 7 pm. They believe you should enjoy your meal, so there is lots of time to talk between courses. Kind of nice but makes for a late night. That does not bother them, because the 8 am start time is very fuzzy. If you do not show up till 9 am you have a better chance of finding someone at work.

This place has no Wi-Fi and no Gin. I do not miss the Wi-Fi, and can live without being connected for a few days. Now running out of Gin during the weekend is not acceptable. We went to a liquor store and was told that Gin was an English substance, and we were in France. He also mentioned that I was an American and should be drinking Whiskey. I did mention that both Americans and English drink wine. He was not impressed.

Sunday we moved on to La Trois Inlets. It is a town with 3 small islands right off its shore. We went to anchor by the golf course, and motored right into the middle of their 2 man scull races. One of their official boats came racing out, shouting and waving blue flags. I asked if I could anchor where I was and they said yes. We had the best seats being anchored in the middle of the course.

We dinghy into town and was greatly surprised by the smell. There sew plant must discharge right by the dock. We did not even go ashore, but beat feet back to the boat and had a quiet evening in this almost deserted anchorage. The cruise book said it was seldom visited. Now we know why.

Monday we moved around to Anse Mitan about 2 miles away. It is also where our cruising buddies came from Anse Chaudiere. It is across the bay from Fort de France. The town had a large resort that went belly up after a major tropical storm. That has taken most of the area with it. They have a new shopping area filled with boutiques and restaurants. It is a couple blocks long and has about everything you could want. Even has a grocery with Gin. Veva La France. So we got acquainted with the new town and did Wi-Fi at a coffee house and ended up back in town for dinner.

Today the mate got the laundry done, got groceries, while I did a good 4 hour service on the main engine. Tomorrow we May go to Fort de France, rent a car and tour a botanical garden up in the mountains. At least that is the plan.

HEADING NORTH December 2, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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The wind and seas were to be settled by Thanksgiving…. There got to be a lot of boats heading north that ended up in Bequia. Thursday morning was like a big exodus. We were in the early group leaving around 5 am. The second group made up mostly of catamarans. There is a short passage of open seas to Africa between Bequia and St Vincent. The winds were in the 15-20 not range and the seas were 5-6 foot with a decent period. The period is the time between wave tops. The shorter the time the rougher the seas. We were wanting to make a small bay most of the way up St Lucia. Therefore we motor sailed.

We stayed off St Vincent about 1.25 miles. This got us away from the gusts that come down the valleys and can be quite strong. The seas, although a little larger tend to be more regular in size and period. Going around the headlands at the north end of the island is bad. I had my most scary sail coming south and being to close to the coast in about 20 knots of wind. The seas rap around the headlands and get large and steep. We almost broached in those seas. That is when a sea hits you on the quarter or stern and pushes the boat on its side. We went over 45 degrees and scared the life out of me. This time I wanted to stay far enough out to avoid pounding into seas like that. No such luck. The wind built to the high 20’s and I got to experience 10 foot, square, breaking seas. Glad I was going into it but was very rough for about 2 hours. One wave of solid water made it back into the cockpit. Never saw that before. In a split second, I saw the wave coming and sat there with mouth wide open is amazement. My mind told me I better shut my mouth because I did not have time to duck. Hit me square in the chest. I was glad we were in the tropics and the water is around 80 degrees. I was totally wet. I kept angling the boat trying to catch the wave in the easiest way. We got passed by another monohull that was under full sail. He was probably a great club racer before cruising. I started adding more sail slowly. I am always shocked at how well the boat sail in the rough weather all be it a bit slower. The passage between St Vincent and St Lucia was slow until the very end when the greatly reduced seas and lighter wind shifted around to where we were on a broad reach. We also picked a northerly current of at least 1.5 knots. That helped us to run in the high 6 knot range with periods at 7 knots and did see 8 knots a couple times.

The bay we wanted to go into is difficult during the day and is was getting near dusk when we went by it. We continued on to Rodman Bay and dropped the hook for the night. Had a couple of well deserved cocktails before dinner. No turkey dinner, just leftovers. Thankful we and the boat came through without and breaks. Did get the mates fear level up to where it used to always be. We had about 4-5 hours trip to Marin, Martinque the next day.

What a difference a day makes. The north end of St Lucia can be as bad as St Vincent. We left in about 10 knots of wind and as we went by the headlands the seas were 4-5feet with 6 foot growlers. They had about a 7 second period so the sailing was fine. Once clear of the headlands the seas settled down to 2-3 feet and we wind blew steady 15 knots. We had a couple rain showers as we cleared St Lucia, but then it was clear blue with puffy white clouds. That is when they take pictures for the adds for the charter companies. Some day I will have to write about the charter crowd.

We stayed in Marin till Monday. Got my electronics checked out, got the email then move to St Ann’s. That is an open roadstead about 3 miles away. Marin is a small city with a dirty bay and hundreds of boats. I did not want to make water there. St Ann’s water is nice and clear.

STILL HERE – BEQUIA November 24, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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It is Monday night and the Christmas Wind is still here. It has not rained since last night, so maybe the Wind is getting ready to go also. We were hoping to leave Tuesday of Wednesday, but now it looks like Thursday, Thanksgiving. If it is nice that would definitely be something to be thankful for. There is to be another Christmas Wind coming next week. We have about 65 miles to go to our next port. With the short days we will be leaving between 4 and 5 in the morning. That will get us to our next port about 4:30 to 5 PM. Should give us enough light to get in and anchored.

Then we are on to Rodney Bay. There we will replenish on food and other supplies. I believe they have a Furuno dealer and I would like to have my gyro compass checked. We are in an area with a 17 degree difference between true and magnetic north. My wind direction readings are suspect. The wind always blows from one side of the boat…, I don’t think so. If they do not have a tech there, I can live with the strange wind reading. I have a mast fly at the top of the mast that point to the wind. I also have tell tails in the shrouds that show wind direction. I have also been blessed with sticky out ears that are excellent wind direction finders and have served me well during these many years.

Rodney Bay on St Lucia has a reputation about as bad as St Vincent for the way cruisers have been treated through the years. We just pray we stay safe.

We did the walk to the Whale Museum Saturday. It was longer higher and a bust. The museum is in a house that is lived in. They are renovating the place. It looked like it needed it. They had a couple bones laying on the porch, but that was it. We then walked about a mile more looking for a place to eat. Heard of one, a nice place, about 1 block up a 45 degree grade. It was closed. Enough of this stuff. We took a bus back to town and ate at the Whale Boner. That’s right, that is the correct name. That was not all that good either. Half the stuff on the menu they did not have. They just opened for the season and the kitchen was not fully stocked.

Sunday we went to church at an Anglican church that was built in 1829. Very unique. Quite simple other that it is totally painted white with bright blue trim and pews. Very high ceiling and very large windows that open all the way. Very airy. Especially with the Christmas Wind blowing. The birds fly in and out. That could be interesting, but no problems. The exterior is of stone construction. The walls are a good 18 inches thick. The interior is built like a poll barn. Holds the roof up and that is about it.

The people of the islands are very musical. Even with something as formal as an Anglican service, they can work in some colorful ways of doing things. They have a greeting time in which you move around and say hello to almost everyone. That’s normal. Here you are singing some song and clapping and dancing in between saying hello to everyone. Lots of fun.

The 3 boat buddy wives went shopping the other day. They are all complaining of running out of cloths. On the small islands, they do not have laundry where you can do things yourself. Instead someone does it for you.

Sometimes the laundry comes back worse then when it went out. Clean, yes, but they have a tendency to get stains and rust spots that they did not start with. Bleaching…. It better be a white, because it will be when you get it back. Underwear…, it just gets thinner and thinner till it just falls away. I had 3 weeks supply. Now I can make it through a week.

Hopefully next week will find us in St Lucia.

GOOD TIMES AND THAN THERE IS THE WEATHER November 18, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Went by Petite Martinique for Petite St Vincent. Petite Martinique is a fishing and boat building town. It seems industrial. Even though it is not. Petite St Vincent is a resort island. Private except you can go to the beach bar. The local beer is $25.00 EC’s a can. That is $9.25 US. Keeps us riff raft out of the place. The second day our cruising buddies and us went to a very small island with nothing on it but a thatched umbrella. The whole island is about 100 feet by 200 feet. Super clear water. A little breezy, a little choppy, but we all made it by dinghy. Anchored the dinghies in 3 feet of water, jumped into the 80 degree water and had a blast for a couple hours.

From there we checked into the Grenadines at Union Island. Than we went on to Tobago Cays. One of the best diving and snorkeling places in the world. Got there just as a heavy squall came roaring in. This is our second time here and this time we did not even get into the water. It stormed, on and off, all night and into the morning. We left in the morning.

Went to Salt Water Bay at Mayreau Island. We was greeted by wall-to-wall boats. Not even enough room to turn around. So we turned around before entering the bay and headed for Carriacou. The weather was to start turning bad with the first “Christmas Winds” to arrive next week. We motor sailed with just the staysail and Mizzen up. With a favorable current we were making over 7 knots and occasionally touching 8 knots. We want to spend the Christmas Wind storm in Bequia. A nice little island with good protection from the NE, the direction from which the Christmas Winds blow. The seas were building and we were flying, so we kept on going to Bequia. Two of our boat buddies arrived the next day and the day following. The wind had stayed about as strong, but rotated a little more easterly. That allow them to both sail here. So here we are for the next week waiting for a weather window to go to St Lucia. St Vincent is the next island north, but has a bad reputation for muggings, boardings and other bad stuff on cruisers. It is a pretty island and I would like to visit, but not worth the risk. Seems they have a hard time arresting and prosecuting their relatives. After all, they only hurt rich yachties.

Today we walked to a turtle sanctuary. Neat, educational, very interesting and a very long walk over a big hill. In Florida it would be a mountain. Killed my knees and hips. It was about an hour and a quarter one way. Going, although steeper, was easier. I was fresh. We will see if I can move tomorrow. Need to, tomorrow is a project day. The following day we are to walk to a whaling museum. Looking forward to that I think. Longer walk, bigger hill. I keep telling my friends that there are only so many rotations built into my hips and knees. They have to last another 50 years before this whole body is used up. Used to be able to get replacements, but I figure with the new health system they will tell me to go away and buy some aspirin on the way.

We will see how our storm goes. Suppose to be winds in the mid 20’s plus lots of squalls with winds in the mid 30’s. Then it lasts for 3-4 days. Oh, and 9 foot seas.

WE ARE ON THE MOVE November 10, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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We decided to move north to Carriacou. They have a yard and I figured they would have a rigger. They did and we took the mizzen furler down Wednesday late afternoon. Thursday I disassembled the foil. There are about 14 small screw per section and there are 12 sections. That is a lot of little screws. There have been some bends in the foil since I bought the boat. I believe there were some additional bends caused when we removed the mast before we left the States. Three of us taking it down Wednesday added to the problem. The sections of foil are extruded aluminum. I built a table to hold my vice, that fits in the forward berth. I had the mate sit on the table, put the section in the vice and I pushed and took the bends out of the sections. Did not want to push too hard as the extrusions could have easily broke. It was successful. To keep from bending them again, we installed the cable by itself and then sitting in a boson chair for 5 hours, I reinstalled the sections. I had cramps in my fingers, cramps in my hands, in my feet and legs. You hang on with your feet and legs. It was a breezy day and got up to about 27 kts. Oh, and there was the thing about blisters on both hands and getting sunburned. I use suntan lotion, but being at the same angle for 5 hours got me.

About the wire shroud. There was nothing wrong with it. I scrubbed it and found no breaks. Some polishing, but not bad for 35 years old. The inside of the foils were very dirty. When Hurricane Ivan hit, there were large asphalt tanks beside the marina. The insulation was ripped off one of the tanks and I still find the stuff in strange places. The foil is open at the top and bottom. About 1/3 the way up the foil the sections were stuffed full of insulation and an accumulation of dirt and aluminum oxidation. The one section I had to pry apart. Even when open it was difficult removing the wire. I scrubbed the inside of the foils and now you can spin the whole assembly with 2 fingers. With the labor of 2 workers from the yard for 4 hours, it was a cheep fix. Getting a new cable with new ends pressed on would have been expensive.

All this happened in Terrill Bay, Carriacou. This is a very popular stopover for both cruisers and the charter crowd. Cruisers anchor with a lot of caution. They rarely drag anchor and are very careful in a crowded anchorage. Part of this care is laying out a lot of chain scope. I believe the charter crowd probably do not currently own a boat or have rarely anchor out. There common method is to come into the anchorage to fast, there are always swimmers in the water, make a quick run through the anchorage and decide where to anchor. They then choose a spot stop the boat and drop the hook. Then proceed to pile most of their chain on top of the anchor. Then they back down a little. Not enough to stretch out the chain, but enough to allow the boat to stop. By this time the dinghy has been launched and most are onboard ready to find the closest watering hole. Any increase in wind speed or direction and the boat is off through the anchorage. If there is a storm, it can be sheer pandemonium. Many of us have a air horn in the cockpit just to get some attention when this happens. There was a time you could jump on the way ward boat and get it hooked up. Not no more. Standby to get sued. Arrested for trespass, accused of stealing cash, computers, etc. We had one on Saturday went through between our boat and so close to one of our buddy boats that he started his engine and drove away from the stray allowing his anchor do give him a wide arch and avoiding his beautiful new finish from Trinidad. The boat finally hooked up about 100 yard before it would have hit a seagoing barge that was at anchor. If it had missed, the winds would have taken it to Honduras.

Today we went around the western point of Carriacou to Hillsborough Bay. It has a little island named Sandy Island. It is my favorite snorkeling site in the world, so far.

Tomorrow we will check out of Grenada for a while…, I think. We will stop at Petite Martinique and Petite St Vincent. Two small islands on the way to Union Island and the Grenadines. There are several small islands we missed and will try to visit this time. One of the islands has great snorkeling and a hike to the top of a hill with a great view. It is 730 feet high. I may pass on the hike.

We will see what breaks next.

DO NOT LET IT SET FOR 5 MONTHS! November 4, 2014

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It got to get better. This was one of those days from hell. The Plan. Start our new cruising year. Have 2 people scrubbing the bottom at 7 AM. Up at 6 and ready. 7am comes and goes. Hey…, we are on island time. 5 after 8 and my A personality is starting to show. Call the man. No answer. He returns the call about 5 minutes later saying he will be here in 5 minutes. Right. About 10 minutes later the man comes and picks up his coworker who has been setting in his small boat since around 7:30.

Now at home I have the bottom done every 3 months. It takes 1 man about 1 hour to do the work and clean his gear and leave. Now I have not had the bottom scrubbed since we left Pensacola with new bottom paint. When we got here in June the bottom looked like we just came out of the yard. Now the stuff here in the tropics is different then Pensacola. These black spots grow on your hull. Not hard to get off. Then there are little barnacles. Tough little suckers. When you scrape them off they take the paint with them right to the fiberglass. Finally there is the grass. It does not like to be scraped, brushed or scrubbed. It likes its home and wants to stay. Now on the prop you have all the above plus when you think you are getting to metal, you hit oysters. Hard as steel. You just beat them to pieces.

About 2 weeks ago I cleaned off most of the hull down to about 4 feet. Now I did not do a professional job because I knew the pros were coming. But it was a good start. It took these 2, 2 hours to do the job. My speed increased from about 3.5 to about 6.5. Other then being now 3 hours behind, the job seems to be good.

Take in the garbage and put the dinghy in the davits. This is the second time we have put the dinghy in the davits since having the solar panels installed. Still on a learning curve as to how to secure it for sea. With mistakes it took about an hour, twice what it used to. Well it is lunch time so we will eat and get underway. Bread for the lunch is getting dry.

Time to haul up the 230 feet of anchor chain, 3 inches at a stroke. Well the breeze of 5-10 has now piped up to 20. After you get almost done, the boat starts to drag its anchor and occasionally snagging and bringing the boat back toward the wind. In the meantime, the mate at the helm decides to become the decision maker and starts driving the way she thinks we should go. I have a different idea. Not a good time. Needless to say, we did finally get underway, clear of all boats. Off to St Georges in record time.

Oh anchoring. Made it on the 3rd try after 2 and a half hours and 3 different spots. The island is the remains of a volcano. Hard to find a good holding bottom. This place has a couple sand places, but in very shallow water. That don’t work. My Delta anchor, my main anchor just plows through the rock and gravel bottom. My secondary anchor is a Bruce. That is what we are on this evening. After the other tries and failures, this became the anchor of choice. It seams to have set and set good….

The wind died, the current is strange and has us about 90 degrees from the lite wind, On top of that there is a 2 foot swell from the NW that is causing us to roll about 3 degrees per side. Why not.

Oh yea, the mizzen sail is a roller furling type. The wire that runs up through the furler is breaking, strand by strand. A strand of the wire is hanging up and not allowing the sail to go out all the way and is very hard to get in all the way. We have decided to go on to the next island and try their yard. We worked with the sail and rigging people here and we have decided to not bother each other again. Remember my radar problems.

With our changes in direction I have ended up close to the boat behind me. He is concerned. I have taken in about 20 feet of rode. We are still close. It is 8 pm and dark. I am not going to start anchoring again at this hour. It is supposed to be nice tonight. Lets hope so. If we drag I vote for dragging out to sea. Then we will worry about it when it gets light.

Oh hate that. He just upped anchor and moved a couple hundred feet behind me and re-anchored. Hate that he felt he had to move. I did put my 20 feet back out. I was the guy who came in last, I was the one who should have moved. I have been taking a fix about every 15 minutes and we have not moved. I have been anchored closer than that a few times on this trip.

IT ALL WORKS October 20, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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At least for today. What a week. The kids left last Saturday along with the wind. There had not been much for the last few days, but the hurricane that past a couple hundred miles north, sucked the wind out of the trades in this area. The temperature climbed and everything got hot. Jumping into the 85 degree water was good for a couple minutes, but then you were hot again. In the middle of this we had to go into a marina to have our generator repaired. You think Marina, water, electricity, everything you get at home…. Water yes. The boat got a good wash down with fresh water. Other then a bit by bit during rain squalls, it has not had a good soap and water wash since the British Virgin Islands. That was a while back. Electricity…, well here it is 220 volts. Like your electric range. Ah but they have transformers. Not so fast. There electricity is 50 hertz. Good old USA is 60 hertz. To convert you need this big mechanical thing. Therefore no electricity. Did I mention it was hot.

Now the mechanic had a nice light and a real nice fan helping to cool him while he worked. Well, I was in the engine room with him on occasion, it was hot.

Because we would have ran the main engine to get to the pier on Wednesday, we went in a day before. Running the engine even for a little while gets the engine room real hot. The marina is mosquito heaven. Remember these are the mosquitos that carry Chick-v. One bite and you’ve had it, or should I say your going to have it. You cover yourself with bug repellent and hope for the best. Oh and I may not have mentioned the island is about out of bug repellent.

Our plan was to have the generator fixed on Wednesday and leave at least to go anchor out away from the marina. Well, he did not get done. We therefore went back to our regular anchorage. Less bugs and actually more convenient to the mechanic by boat. Around here the mechanics have trucks and boats. He did finish up Thursday morning. Thursday night the mate decided we needed air conditioning for the dinner meal to be prepared. We were also going to have to eat below because of no wind and the mosquitoes can manage to fly the ¼ mile to the boat. So, we had air conditioning for dinner. That was Thursday evening. It is now Monday evening and the air conditioning is running again and it is 2 hours after dinner. New theory. Cool the boat down for a couple hours and it stays confortable all night. This may burn maybe a gallon and a half per evening. Not a bad deal if it keeps a mutinee from happening.

We are starting to study the charts and restock the boat for the trip north.

TWO WEEK! HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG? October 13, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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The grandkid was here for 9 days. That ate up most of the two weeks. It was wonderful. They got here Wednesday night. They stayed at Le Phare Bleu. It is a boutique resort and marina. They had a 2 bedroom villa. It was really neat. The living room and kitchen was open to a porch that faced the Caribbean about 100 feet away. It has a beach, but not a nice one. They also have a pool with bar close at hand. Weather wise we were lucky. It rained Friday evening and Saturday morning. Friday night was Jazz night at the National Museum. I took the daughter and son-in-law while grandma babysat. All were happy.

We did not move the boat to the marina because our anchorage is centrally located and there is a nice beach just a few hundred feet away. We spent a couple afternoons at the pool, the rest at the beach. One day we took an island tour that lasted about 5 hours. Enough for a 6 year old.

Another day we took a kayaking tour. That lasted about 3 hours and was fun. It also got my daughter’s feet and legs sun burned. The rest of us faired better. We got a good education on the local environment and especially what Mangroves do for the ecosystem. We also learned about a poisonous tree. Can not remember the name, but I think I would recognize it. The sap is poisonous. If it rains and you are under it the rainwater running across the leaves will burn you severely if it lands on you. The Indians use to tie their enemies to the tree and let rain slowly kill them.

Out Facebook Page has pictures of the kayak tour. Other pictures to follow when we get them posted. The time together was the best we have had. Those from Colorado did have a hard time with the heat. It was in the mid 80’s. The temps here only fluctuate a few degrees from day to night. Does not give you much relief if you are from and area that hot summer days may hit 80 once or twice a year.

Weather wise, they just missed the real stuff. A large tropical storm passed a couple hundred miles north of us. It sucked away the wind. Started on Saturday, They left in the morning, and has continued through today. There was a little breeze for a while this afternoon, but no more then 10 knots for a couple hours. It is dead still right now. If I had a generator, we would run it this evening. It is 87 in the boat and with no wind, very buggy outside. Well somebody has to do it. The mate does not think she should have to do this again….

We get the generator installed Wednesday. Thank goodness. It is also time to start replenish for this years cruise. With out a car, that is a lot of bus rides. We will be heading up through the Windward and Leeward island and stop at those islands we did not take the time to see on the way down. From the north end of the Leeward islands hard decisions must be made as we would start heading west. That means heading back. There is some discussion about spending next hurricane season in the Exumas in the Bahamas. That would be near Georgetown. They do get hit by hurricanes, but we are in the zone where we have insurance, kind of. Got to study that a little more.

ONE WOULD THINK BEING ON ANCHOR WOULD BE CHEAP September 29, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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One would think. The generator’s new back end is covered by warrantee. Not freight, labor, and not import fees and taxes. That will be about as much as the new back end. But we are thankful for what is covered.

The wind has been around 10 knots, not enough for the wind generator to make any difference for the batteries. But things did make a positive turn mid week. I picked up the controller for the solar panels a week ago Friday and spent the weekend pulling wires and setting up the controller. Monday I picked up the panels and the man building the frame got started building. He only got a half day in because it was pouring down rain all morning. Tuesday he finished the frame and the supports for the davits. We got the bolt on feet all cut, drilled and installed. The feet for the frame will be welded to the legs and the whole thing will be bolted on. That will allow everything to be removed for hurricanes. Wednesday was install day. It was about 5 pm when we finished and to late to test the system. I got the wiring connections started and finished Thursday. We found that although the connections are the same, there not the same. China! The connections do not really fit together, kind of, but not good enough to make good connections. After fighting with these thing for the better part of a day, the frame builder came buy and said they may be water proof, but not moisture proof. After about a year the salt moisture is bad enough to corrode the inside and makes for a bad connection. A quick cut of the wires and I installed rings on the wire, bolted them together and schaaam! Good connection and the system works.

Just in time. My engine alternator is not big enough to charge up my batteries in less then 8 hours. That amount of hours at idle would do a lot of damage to the engine. Have to run a diesel under load.

The solar panels produce enough power to run the water maker, refrigerator, normal lights and fans and still put some juice into the batteries. That is what we were hoping for. Now we just need sunny days, or windy days till the gen gets here in 3-4 weeks.

The Grandkid and parents arrive Wednesday night. We are excited.

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