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THIS COULD BE EXPENSIVE August 18, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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The chocolate Festival starts later in the week and runs through the weekend. Looking at the schedule, it does not look real interesting. You can manage to eat al lot of chocolate if you are so inclined. I like a candy bar, but one will do me for the better part of a week. Our weekend social calendar is getting pretty full anyway. Plus it is at a resort that is a very long walk or a 2-bus, bus ride. Not fun.

Now to the week that could poke holes in the cruising budget. On our way down we developed loud noises in the mast. The wiring that goes up the mast for lighting, weather instrument, radar all run in PVC pipe up the inside of the mast. I think it started breaking loose going across the Gulf. By the time we crossed the Monon Passage, a few squalls, always heading east into the Trade Winds and seas, the PVC started swinging around like wind chimes. But with a sharp clunk against the mast.

The solution is to pull the mast and reattach the PVC or get new PVC if it has destroyed itself. Tomorrow, we head over to the local shipyard to have the mast pulled Wednesday morning. It is then scheduled to be reinstalled Thursday morning. The crane costs are about 3 times what I paid at the shipyard in Pensacola. They then charge you to come along side the pier for a days rent, while they take out the mast then again while they put it in. Yep, 2 days rent. Now we could spend the night, but it is the rainy season and a river of sorts comes right beside the pier to deposit its mosquitoes. In these parts they carry Dungee Fever. That is some sickness that attacks your nervous system causing great pain for about a week. We will anchor out. In fact if we can get away fast enough, we will come back to where we are anchored. An electrician does the work. Should only take a couple hours, thank goodness. I get charged $150/hour for his labor. That is US dollars. I have a friend who is a contractor here, says the individual doing the work get about 15% of the charged rate. The rest goes to the company. Contractors do well. I just hope they do not have to replace the PVC. They could stretch that into a days work easy. As you can tell, I am not very optimistic towards getting my money’s worth.

Oh, by the way, it is 9 P.M., 84 rainy degrees with 100% humidity and no wind. No AC. The rain is light which means everything will be streaked with red dust from the Sahara Desert. The boat can be worse looking then when it started. Now a good heavy tropical rain will clean things off. Ok, most of you know we have heating and AC. At anchor you would have to run the generator to run the AC. We only run the generator to make water or charge the battery banks. That is already 3-5 hours a day. The mate has 2 fans, one in the galley/salon area and one in our stateroom. If you here a fan running, you know the mate is very near the fan.

CARNIVAL August 13, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Remember the 8:30 yoga class. That lasted one day. We have a male instructor that like the 6:30 time slot. Therefore, we got shifted back to 6:30. There was much protesting. Even his wife who is in our class complained and said she would talk to him. Well, Wednesday at 6:30, our female instructor was there, and no John. He has a pulled ligament and may be out of commission for awhile. Must have been a hell of a talking to he got. We are now back to 8:30. The breeze is up, the bugs have mostly left. Much better.

This week was Carnival. This included Pan Band competition, many parades, great costumes all from an island 12 miles long with a population of 100,000. I have not been up to 2 am in years. After the better part of a week it is almost normal. The first parade that kicked it off started at midnight. That is island time mon. That means maybe 1 am, or 2, or whenever. We did not do that one. I don’t even know anyone who went.

Our first event was the junior Pan Band competition. Our band came in 3rd. Then you realize things have a political twist to them. Like figure skating. The competition was to start around 1 pm. It was only an hour late. Good thing. There were thousands of people and only 1 ticket window. There was no line, it was just shove your way to the front. The ticket printer ran about as fast as a credit card machine. Somehow I got designated to get the 4 tickets for our friends and us. For 40 minutes I did battle with these 200+ pound women who were forcing there way to the front. There is no civility in women on a mission to buy something. They each have money stuck between each finger to pay for tickets for them and their family, friends, neighbor and anyone else that could get their money to them to buy the tickets. When they got to the window they would take a stance like a football center and maintain there place. These are the most laid back, nice, courteous people you will find. It must be a female gene thing. It reminded me of the news shots of the stores opening on Black Friday.

That event was sometime late last week. The next one was Saturday night with the senior pan bands. At the ticket window there were 2 very large military personal with big booming voices that kept people inline. Took less then 5 minutes to get tickets. Our band tied for first. They got not only their fans involved but everyone in the stands and the judges. These people love to dance and it does not take much to get them going. Great time.

I think we did 4 or so parades. 2 of note were the parade of lights. It went by us about 10 at night. And the last parade, which actually started on time. That is where judging was done for costumes, organization and performance. It was probably the best parade. They sent home the grandmothers and the ladies that were at the ticket line and left in the daughters. I’m sorry, but those women my age should not be in public in those skimpy costumes.

The parade of lights was something to see. One of the groups had durby hats with blinking lights all over the top. Another group of 400+ had Viking helmets with lit horns, that blinked on and off. Each group was led by a sound truck playing music very loud. These sound trucks were large 18 wheelers. They had enough wattage that when they went by it could move your body sideways. Never seen anything like it. My ears are still ringing. The mate is posting many pictures and videos on our Facebook page.

One other parade that you are part of is the Jab Jab parade. It starts 3-4 in the morning and runs till sunup. You where the least clothes as possible and will throw them away when it is over. First you get covered in used motor oil. That’s right. If you are there, you will be found. You get covered with oil, all over, and I mean all over. Next there are people who are covered with various colors of paint. They will come up and hug you, rub you, what ever. Now everyone looks the same. A mess. I was going to go but chickened out. The logistics of getting back to the boat and cleaning up was daunting. This was not an age thing. Every age goes and does the same thing. My friends said being drunk helps. This parade has to do with the spirits that move around in the dark. That is why it end at sunup. If I am here next year, I will go.

Next is the Chocolate Festival. I saw the advertising copy for last year. Had this attractive lady being covered in chocolate. We will see. That starts this weekend. This last ordeal was heave with beer. The next is chocolate. I am going to gain all my weight back.

MORE WEATHER August 5, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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That was a warm up storm. Now we deal with named storms. We are in Granada because the insurance industry thinks the odds of getting a hurricane are small. That is good. I have had my hurricane and that was enough. This was a tropical storm that went north of us and into the Leeward Islands. We are south in the Windward Islands. The storm was probably over a hundred miles away.

This past week Carnival Granada got going. Thursday we went to a neighborhood that has a Pan Band. That is steel drums. We watched the Junior Band practice and play the music they were to use Saturday in there competition. There were around 30 members ranging in age from maybe 5 or 6 to early teens. The smallest was a girl that stood on a milk crate to reach into the drums. Yes you beat on the inside of them. They are made from 55 gallon drums that haul oil, chemicals etc. The drum maker uses a torch and heats the bottom and beats a shape into it. They then heat and beat the edge to get the notes the proper sound. They then cut off the majority of the drum and get it chromed. They also have tenor drums that are about half the barrel. They also have base drums that use the full barrel, and are tuned to 7 different tones. The drummer plays all seven. They sound like kettle drums in an orchestra.

Saturday we went to the competition. They came in third. This weekend the professional players have their competition. I think we are going.

I have been asked how far we have traveled from Pensacola. Well I figured it out. Now remember sailboats do not go from point “a” to point “b” in a straight line. Well when I added up our distance, I figured we went in a straight line. We have traveled about 2500 miles. We have put 584 hours on the engine. That is about 5 years of use in Pensacola. We have gone through some major items that had to be repaired or replaced, and that continues. The latest is the battery charger seems to be putting out less then it should. Not ready to spend a boat unit yet, but am shopping for a good price. So far I have only found one and it is made in China and is considered junk. I have one other marine store locally to check.

Oh yea. I am doing Yoga. I started doing Yoga when I was in my mid 30’s. It always was good for my back. Through the years I would do Yoga and then stop for a while. So here I an 70 years old trying to twist myself into a pretzel. Three of the ladies of our Canadian boat buddies were trying to convince the Mate to go with them. The Mate naturally suggested I go since I have years of experience. Well the rest of the story is I am going to a 6:30 am Yoga class. The best news is they just changed the time to 8:30. There is less humidity, less bugs and more breeze at 8:30. I personally think it is also a lot more civilized time to be out exercising.

EXCITEMENT AT 1:30 A.M. July 28, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Yea, on boats things happen at inconvenient times. If you recall, I wrote of coming home to a boat dragging anchor to find out it was our boat. That was one of those times that things happened at a very convenient time. We just stepped on board.

Blissfully sound asleep at about 1+ a.m. Now everyone has heard the noise of wind in the trees. Now our boat is a ketch. It has two masts and miles of standing rigging to hold them up in the air. It also has miles of running rigging to control the sails when they are up. Those are our trees. Our rigging starts making sounds at about10 knots. As the wind increases so does the noise. Both at some mathematical factor I do not want to get into.

As an example, years ago we were living at a marina in Pensacola. The mate and I were watching TV when a storm came up and the rigging started making more and more noise. The remote control is in my hand as usual and I am on the ball hitting the volume. More and more I mash that little button and the TV responds with more volume. The good Lord responds with more wind. After a couple rounds and we still can not hear the program, I concede. God one, Ralph zippo. Guess I should have know that. The noise from the rigging was as loud as I had ever heard it. Maybe still the loudest.

1 am the wind is screeching through the rigging. The Mate who is super sensitive about dragging anchor, especially since it was only a few days before is also screeching about getting out and insuring we were not dragging. I am the one dragging and get on some swim trunks that happen to be the handiest clothes available. Out into the cockpit and it is cold. The wind must be coming from 60,000 feet and did not warm up at all on the way down. It is also raining sideways. I can see maybe 300 yards. Beyond that things were hard to clearly make out. I am surrounded by 5 boats, all within 150 feet. If you drag, that gives you no time to respond. I get the radar up and can not make out any boats in the anchorage. Did I mention it was raining. I played with the gain controls and only get to see better rain images. When the GPS is on it tracks every inch the boat moves. That gives us a track to see when anchoring and how much you move around the anchor. This will eventually draw and arch from the anchor to the boat. That is good. I also take bearing on something on land to give me a visual point to insure we are not dragging. This is best if it is on your beam (off the side of the boat). We are in the trade winds and they blows from the east or close to it, always. Well almost always. The wind was blowing very much out of the south. That put my anchor bearing on the bow. Now the bow is dancing around on the anchor plus of minus 20 degrees. Anchor bearing is totally useless. My GPS track is almost as useless. It has never drawn an arch in this direction.

One of the boats behind me has a buoy on its anchor. That is usually 15-20 feet away. Because it is the rainy season, we have kept the windshield and side curtains up. That allow us to use the cockpit when it is raining. The cockpit is the coolest place on the boat. Now remember the rain is going sideways. I can therefore stick my body out the back of the cockpit without getting wet. So with binoculars I am leaning out looking for that little buoy. Finally with a lightening flash, I spot it about where it is suppose to be. Thank God.

Believe it or not, I did not check the wind speed. The GPS gives me a lot of data including wind speed, and I was to occupied to check the wind speed till it had died down to 14 knots. A lady we were talking with the next morning said 55 knots steady. Now she is in the bay beside where we are anchored and they and not as protected as we are. They say. We have an island with 2 hills about 150 feet high. There is a valley between the hills that is maybe 20 above the water. The other side of the hills and valley is open water to Africa. Because of our protection we were still probably hitting 50 knots. It was screeching.

After that the week was pretty calm. Saturday night we hosted a cocktail party for one of our boat buddies that are heading home to Canada for a month or so to visit friends. We did a wine tasting thing with everyone bring a bottle of wine. It was a good time.

We did go grocery shopping and stop at the boat store for a few hundred dollars of repair and spare parts. Should be about restocked after the trip here.

A BUMMER July 22, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Our granddaughter and parents were to come this week. My daughter who is in real estate was negotiating a deal and could not come. Therefore, all is delayed till October. All are bummed out. Hopefully all will turn out for the better. The real estate deal never happened. The parties were not even close, in my estimation.

It is Tuesday and there is a tropical low that is to pass north of us and die. In the mean time we will get wind and rain. A strong breeze is ok. The wind generator loves the wind, to about 30 knots. Hopefully all will go north all season. That is why the insurance company has us down here.

Some excitement Saturday. We had lunch with some boat buddies who are putting there boat in the yard for two months while they go back to California. When we got back to the boat I notice the neighbor boat seemed to be dragging anchor. They were not on board so I thought I would go and see if I could solve the problem. While looking around, I realized the boat drifting was not theirs, but ours. Really not good. It was fairly breezy and we were in pretty tight confines. The Mate got the engine cranked and I started pulling up the anchor. Got it up, reset it and it would not set. Take the anchor chain all back up again (165 feet of chain) and try again. The bottom is mud and rock shelves. We had dropped the anchor on a shelf and just pulled the anchor across the top. The second try we set and were further off to the left of the shelf. By the time we got the amount of chain out that we need we were very close to 3 other boats. The anchor was holding and we decided to wait until Sunday morning to reset it.

Sunday starts of with another tropical wave passing buy and we have lots of rain and a strong wind. Not the best for re-anchoring. Monday morning was busy with have to do things. Therefore no re-anchoring. Plus it was still pretty breezy. 6 o’clock Tuesday morning the anchor is coming up. Again hit the shelf on the first try, but got ahead of it on the second try. We are were we were originally and the Captain is happy.

Now the question is why did we drag after one month and a few good wind storms. We are right off a beach bar and beach. There are tourist catamarans that bring in loads of people from the resorts. They pull onto the beach and set a stern anchor (one off the back of the boat) to keep them square to the beach so the stairway from the front of the boat lets the people off in ankle deep water. I had already had a discussion with the Captain about dropping the stern anchor very close to my anchor rode. Therefore he became suspect number 1 in my mind. There is a boat that is anchored right beside my anchor. He is German and speaks little English. I asked him about what could have happened and he said Yaa, but he was quick to assure me he did not want to get involved in any problems. Well I was not happy, but I was not going to cause any international incident. There were others who saw him come in so close and drop his anchor to close to others. We were all out staring at him as he came in Sunday. He knew! He dropped his stern anchor in close where he should have all along.

I did get my cap rail refinished. Today we started on the Taft Rail. 9 spindles that have to be sanded and built up with fresh varnish. That will about do the refinishing this year. I did the cockpit cap rail, table and hatch last year and they are all in good shape.

TIME IS FLYING BY July 14, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Seriously, It is already the middle of July. There is much to do to the boat before heading out. We still have not nailed down a date for our daughter and family to come. That is a factor in getting work done on the boat. When they are here and how much is left to spend on the boat. I want to pull the main mast and have the yard get the electrical lines in the mast secured. That has to be done before we go out and beat this poor old boat some more. Have been discussing new strategies with our boat buddies on how to avoid the rough seas around the north and south ends of the islands. We have had our roughest and scariest seas in these areas.

If we spend another year in the eastern Caribbean we will need a bottom job. We tried a harder paint this time and it worked extremely well while we were moving. Being at anchor is totally different. I have to work on the waterline at least every other week. The algae here really adheres itself to the hull. I am also getting small barnacles scattered around the hull. They are small, but again really stuck to the boat. I bought a stainless wire brush with scraper on the end. A real painters tool. The scraper does a job on the barnacles. The brush is needed to work on the prop. Everybody’s tricks including mine to keep the prop clean, do not phase the algae. I think it grows right into the bronze. Looks like a big fuzzy basketball after a coupe weeks.

On the nicer side, a week ago Friday the Museum sponsors a jazz night. There were 4-5 sax players, drums, and base guitar in the main group. They also had up and coming bands, songwriters, poets and artist of the paint and photo type on exhibit. A most enjoyable evening.

Yesterday we went to a Boil Down. They through everything imaginable into a big pot and fill it up with a broth made of various seasonings and water and boil it away. Then you eat what’s left. It was very bland. I was expecting something more like gumbo. The mate was very disappointed in it. I am always happy to find something to eat after it is all in one pot. Goes against my picky eater ways. So to me this was good, I got enough to eat. And yes I also like Gumbo. I like my food a littleThis was sponsored by one of the bus companies that do the tours around the island.

I do not know of any big events going on this week, but it is only Monday. We do have 2 tropical waves scheduled for the week. The first one is to start tonight. It was to have started this afternoon, but the weatherman are the same all over. He missed. That’s OK, it was one of the nicest days of yet. I have been asked how many mile we traveled to get here. Should have that for next week.

Woops, it just started raining. Suppose to have 35 knot wind in the squalls. Lasting for the next 24 to 36 hours.

ANOTHER WEEK LEARNING TO EXSIST IN PARADISE July 7, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Alright we are 2.5 weeks into Paradise. I am learning the names of the various marines in the area and which do what. I go to one for; garbage, fuel, pick up for church and watching the world cup. And cheep beer. I go to another for cheep but fantastic lunch, expensive beer and to buy meat. It is also the closest and we can catch the buses to St George. That is an experience.

The mate went into St George last week to get her hair cut. They did a great job. And I mean that. She got the bus and transferred. The ride she found traumatizing. Today I did my first bus trip. For the first mile I would agree, then we got behind a truck, and had to do a reasonable rate. The roads are two lane very narrow strips of asphalt. Vehicles stop in the middle of their lane and talk, let people off or anything else. There are very few guard rails and the drop can be hundreds of feet. There drainage system is a ditch made of concrete at the edge of the asphalt. It is about 1.5 feet wide and 2 feet deep. When crossing the street you must jump them. When walking on the sidewalk, you are the other edge of the ditch. Sidewalks are wide enough for one person. The vehicles many times put some of their tire over the edge of the ditch to have room to pass, all at 40+ miles an hour.

The buses are 15 passenger vans. They would be 9 passenger in the states, but they add a couple rows, put in 4 people per row and have no problem putting 20 people in them. And that does not include any kids that may be held. The roads have no yellow lines. In fact, they have no lines at all. Therefore, you may pass at any place. And the bus drivers do, on corners, blind hills, etc.

Another interesting thing is there are roads that come up a hill so steep, a vehicle can not stop before entering the more main road. No problem, just blow your horn and pull out. The other cars seem to get stopped or maneuver around without to many deaths.

Sunday on the way to church we passed a 3 car accident. All were able to get away without a visit to the hospital. A van, a BMW and a small stake truck. Messed up a lot of sheet metal.

Another interesting thing is they have a driver and a helper. He open the door, collects fair, flips up jump seats, hangs out the window trying to get anybody interested in taking their bus. If he is successful, the bus slams on it poor brakes and stops for the person.

One last comment. If you are young, attractive and female, you get taken to your front door, no matter where it is. If you are an old graying, American, they get you somewhat close, ½ mile let you out tell you to turn left at that intersection and stay on that road till you get there. They are a very friendly, courteous people, but they really did not like getting invaded by us. They admit that things were going down hill quickly, but they believe they could have worked it out.

On the mates return from the beauty parlor, she told the bus driver the wrong stop. Big mistake. You can not even get a bus to the marina she mentioned because of construction. They dropped her off and said it was at the end of the trail. When she is off shopping by herself, she takes the hand held VHF radio so she can call when she wants picked up. This day she call right on the edge of its range. She is out of breath from climbing this hill. She says the road kept getting smaller and then it was a dirt trail. As I am consoling, she reaches the top of the hill and says she can see the bay. A few seconds later she says she can see the marina. I jump into the dinghy and speed off to pick her up. By the time I get there she in on the dinghy dock, and is not a happy camper. Like I told the driver where she wanted to go or that she had to walk over a hill to get there. Good thing she was real happy with the hair cut. Helped block out the other parts of the day.

Tomorrow she is going shopping with an organized trip with one of the cab companies do 2 days a week. She will go to the bank and the IGA for some groceries and then back to the marina. Same van will take her and bring her back to the same marina. This should work.

GRANADA July 3, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Let’s see, I went on vacation for a week, got busy, forgot. That last one could be for real. Ok, I just forgot and got busy, but it has not been a vacation.

We check in at Calaciou on the 16th. It is a very poor island. Customs was at the port, immigration was at the police station across the street. We spent the night and left early in the morning for Granada.

The plan was to stop at 2 snorkeling sights. The first one was very small and the mooring balls to close to shore for our size boat. The next one had good mooring balls, but the snorkeling sight was in open water. The mate said she was not ready for that. That is to bad. The sight has an underwater area where someone put many statues. All standing up like they should. The pictures look interesting. It has been in National Geographic. I still want to go. I’ll have to put something together with some others that are interested. Has to be a good calm day.

We therefore moved on to St George, the capital and a good size city on an island of only 112,000 population. We motored through the inner harbor which has 2 marina but no anchorages. The anchorage is outside in an open roadstead. That means you are just anchored out along the coast. It was a quiet night and not very roily. That is a good thing. I hate hanging on to the sheets with my fingers and toes to stay in the bed. Our weather window was closing and we were told that the anchorage at Hog Island was very well protected. We had a tropical wave that was to pass to the south of us and produce some squally, windy weather.

My daughter and family are coming either in late July or October. Depends on their business. They will be staying at a place called True Blue. It has a small bay and we went into it to check it out. It is small and crowded. The next bay over is Prickly Bay. We also check it out. Both have bad reputations for being roily. The next bay is Hartman Bay, which we skipped and went on to the bay at Hog Island.

We got really lucky. There was a place close into the island and its beach and bar that was big enough for us to have swing room. An old boat buddy of ours was anchored near by and said there had been 2 smaller boats anchored there and they left about an hour before we arrived. It was good that we were there and secure. That afternoon the wind started building. It got up to about 30 knots and stayed there for the better part of 3 days. Then it got back to the normal 15 to 20 knots. It makes the dinghy rides rough and wet.

You kind of get used to being damp to wet all the time. No mater what we are going to do we must start with a dinghy ride. We have found a couple bakeries and a great meat market that only sells organic meat. It is very good. He does his own smoking of meats and cheeses. Today we went there and he was experimenting with a new bread. He puts different spices in the dough. He gave samples of this right out of the oven. Oh, was it good. It was almost lunch time and I could have eaten the whole loaf.

Last Monday we did a tour of the island that included a chocolate factory, a ginger factory, a run distillery, the rain forest, a waterfall with a cliff diver, monkeys in the wild, stops at a couple historical homes and more information on what grows here then you ever wanted to know. It was a great tour.

Tuesday we went to the outskirts of St George to do grocery shopping, with stops at a bank, a hardware store and another grocery store that was like a small Sam’s. Only had groceries in bulk. A carton of this, a carton of that. Not real conducive to a sailboat. These shopping days are organized by a couple cab companies that bring 9 passenger vans. It is amazing how they stuff this van with people and then all their groceries. Then you go careening around the narrow mountain roads back to the marina and your dinghy.

Also have had a port(that a window) repaired. The glass cracked a couple weeks ago. Hopefully Saturday I will get to a marine store and the shipyard. I need some items to work on my bright work. I also want to see about having my main mast pulled and fix the swinging of all my electrical cables in the mast. I also was told to have a seal replaced on the main engine water pump. This is not the main seal that kills your water pump, it is the seal that seals a conversion piece for these engines when they are used in various configurations. Hopefully neither of those will cost very much.

Have also had my windshield re-stitched and my awning patched. Good canvas guy and very reasonable.

Well we will keep everyone posted on how one spend hurricane season on a small island in the south Caribbean.

GOOD SAILING…, FINALLY June 16, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Off again at 8 am for Canquon. About 4 hours. Nice sail till the north side of island then the seas built and it again got very roily. This was not any where near as bad as going to St Vincent. But 30+ degree rolls are a pain.

Nice bay, but open to the west. Was some shat roily. During the night we had a thunderstorm. At least one rumble or thunder and one flash of lightening.

First time in months. The area of both the Leeward and Windward has been with out rain for almost a year. The lush color of the island looks like New England in the winter. The local say the trees will come back after some good rain. I tried to break a small twig that looked very dead and it was green on the inside. Therefore I guess they know of what they talk.

The next day we headed for Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau. Great stop. There were big seas leaving the island and coming to the next. I guess we have to get used to that. These were not to bad. Got there in the morning and went to the resort for lunch. The hotel part of the resort is closed, (slow season) but the bar and kitchen are open. When I get a chance I get an hamburger. They are excellent. I think it is because they have a higher fat content then we are used to in the States. It might not be good for you, but what a way to go.

Lunch was great, and it was under little private pagodas. One direction you looked on the bay with the anchored boats. The other you looked across a 100 yards of sand and vegetation to the Caribbean. Really a neat place for an expensive lunch. I think we are getting used to this. We walked along the Caribbean and then went back to the bay and had a nice swim before returning to the boat for a nice afternoon nap.

The next day we sailed for an hour to Jamesby island in the middle of Tabago Cays. This is suppose to be one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in this part of the world. I do not think so. The water was a little murky. There were strong currents. Mostly rock and not a lot of coral, unless you went out to the outside of the reef. Not a safe place for us newbie’s. I did see my first sting ray in the wild. Otherwise it was a bust. Then the weather turned bad. Squalls and high winds. We left the next morning because the real divers were not getting into the water. Maybe next time.

We went on to Clifton, Union Island. These island are all with in a few miles of one another. Nice. It is where we will check out of St Vincent and enter into Granada. Our southern goal. We may spend some of the day here tomorrow, get some bread, check on laundry before moving on. The mate says there are 3 thing you need at any anchorage. Garbage, bakery and laundry. We got rid of the garbage today to a boat boy, Could stand some fresh bread. We are getting spoiled by having fresh baked bread, always. We could go several day before laundry becomes and issue.

Will try to get this off tomorrow.

BEING WRONG IS OK June 11, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Got the mechanic to the boat the next morning and found that a bolt that holds on one of the engine mount brackets backed out and is somewhere in the bilge. The bolt actually goes into one of the engine oil returns. Thus the oil leak. Take the mechanic back to shore, to be picked up later. Ten minutes after he is on board, it is fixed and after running for a half hour, no leak.

The next morning we head to the Petons. These are two peaks that have shed most of there sides in land slides. What is left are very steep peaks. We anchored about 300 yards from one of them which is 2460’ tall. That evening we had a ¼ moon and it made them just plain eerie. When you realize that this was caused by land slides on all sides, and we are close to it, what if a hunk were to break off and slide down. Would make one hell of a wave.

Obviously it did not happen and the morning found us off to Chateaubelair, St Vincent. It has a reputation of allowing cruisers to be mugged on their boats. The cruising guide says to anchor in front of this one restaurant that is beside the police station. I figure that is to make it so the police do not have to travel very far to fill out their report. The closer we got to the place, the less desirable it looked.

The trip across to St Vincent started with 4-5 foot seas and ended with the largest I have sailed in so far. Many 8 footers, breaking on our quarter causing us to roll to 40 degrees. I am not used to that. I will not say scary, but most uncomfortable. Even with the prospect of more seas like those, the thought of staying on our boat in Chateaubelair seemed even less desirable. So, on we go to the small islands south of St Vincent that are part of the country. That is Bequia. A protected little harbor with crazy wind that whips down a valley and into the bay. Since we have been here for three days is rare if the wind drops below 20 knots. It will frequently gust to 30 knots. It is a nice island and the town is quaint. Tomorrow we leave for Canouan. This looks like an interesting place for a day or two.

Till we see WIFI.

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