03/02/2011, Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and The Grenadines!
The first thing, for both of us, to enter into a relax mode is sailing, the more vigorous the better, and secondly, it's plunging into the water as if your life depended upon it for sustenance. This phenomenal wonderland, the Cays of Tobago, are the perfect peaceful escape for us. There are so many charter boats, but this time, knowing it will be our last time, we didn't even notice. We didn't notice how old and craggy looking Altair has become...we didn't notice the time of day, the list of projects, none of it. How beautiful to be here was the star today.
This amazing specimen of mother nature took me by surprise! He liked me to! He circled me, a few times, getting closer and closer each time, so I decided it was time to go! He and his two mates, freeloaders for real, the ramoras didn't mind whether or not I was there anyway.
I popped up to the surface to see that Dudley was back on the dingy and I started to work my way back to him! I saw a reef shark! He was not huge, but rocket streamlined, pointy, sharp, menacing and gone! I did NOT get a picture. I don't miss a thing that screams for my lens...but I could not get a shot of him..."Right...you never miss an opportunity to immortalize your subjects forever....and you didn't get the shark?", said my trusting, believer, my man Dudley. We never ever think of seeing shark in these shallow waters...hmmmmmm..
It's so nice to be here, REALLY...we are on vacation...no working on your boat in the Cays! Dudley said we can stay for two days and that's GOOD. We got weather on the net before we left Union to cover us until we get to Bequia. No internet/weather, that's NOT GOOD with the weather being so crazy this year!
-- Dudley and Bec S/V Altair skype name: dbaltair skype #: 305.600.2308 sailblogs.com/member/altair firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
03/01/2011, West Indies, The Caribbean!
It's time to send birthday and anniversary wishes for March! We miss you all so much and want to send LOVE every chance we get!
To Elna, happy birthday daalink....we love you lots and hope that your birthday on the 4th is as super as you! To cousins, Connie and Marv, we wish you 30 more years of blissful marriage and a happy, happy anniversary to you two lovebirds! To our magnificent son, Doug, we cannot even begin to tell you how proud we are and how much love we have for you...Happy Birthday on the 5th and here's looking at ya! To Pat and Bill, we hope you are tucked comfy and warm in your hideaway in the Virgina Mountains, enjoying your anniversary...wish you were here, anchored next to us so we could celebrate with you on the the 20th! To Suz, happy birthday woman...we have lots of celebrating to catch up on, since are birthdays are next to each other...soon come, irreeeee....Happy Birthday, March 22. Kelly, you make us so proud, we love you so much, and we couldn't have asked for a more awesome niece, Happy Birthday you wild woman...March 31 is your day...Big Love! Patti, it's been long overdue for a girls night out to celebrate your birthday...so Amy, Karen, Holly, Tierre, Jennifer, the whole bunch...let's make up for it when we get back, Happy Birthday girl, March 12. Last, not least, Feliz Complianos, mi amiga! Sally, where are you celebrating your birthday this year...te amo!
Love all around!
Dudley and Bec
02/28/2011, Clifton Harbor, Union Isle
Wow the Sun came out yesterday and the northern fronts are finally letting up...it's been crazy...REALLY! We arrived here @ Unity Isle, as the locals call it, a week ago...with the wind and seas hammering us from the north as we bashed into it for three hours, officially checking out and leaving Grenada behind us on the 21st.
The wind and seas are swinging back down to the east, starting tomorrow, so we should be able to leave on Wednesday and we couldn't be happier. We are shriveled, tired of the wind waves, and sincerely hoping that the dry season becomes dry. We like the wind, E/SE would be perfect...but "You can't always get what you want"! We can still see Grenada from this sweet, protected little spot at Union Island. Technically it's Carriacou that we can see, but it Grenada...and that is not a good sign!
We have sailed, or motorsailed, 42.5 nm so far, for an 1800 mile journey ahead of us..., at 5 knots...this should be very interesting.
We truly love it here! The hiking has been superior, I've been reunited with my friends, Sheena, Mae, Lorna and now her Mom, Deena ,Father Roach, Tony (blue eyed local that I remember by calling him Tony Curtis) Glen Roy, and many others ! It's really lovely to say hello by name and it's truly stunning here!
We must go...hopefully tomorrow, March 1, will give us a window!
02/15/2011, Grenada to Carriacou...
Dudley wanted to leave @ 6:30 as a safety net! It took us 9 hours for a 7 hour trip @ 5kts the last time we did this leg! We didn't leave until 8a because the office doesn't open until 7a to read the water and electric meters, return our $500 (EC) deposit for the internet modem and check us out! "If we get to Carriacou after dark I'm going to be ticked", says my captain!
I read in Doyle's guide that hugging the Grenada coast until you get to the NW tip and then tacking to Sauteers (in the middle of the north coast) will give us a lot of easting and we can skirt the volcano exclusion zone well to the east. We did just that, cut through the Three Sisters, sped by Isle De Ronde and had a superb sail! It was rough, but the day was gorgeous and boisterous just the way we like it! Oh, it's so good to be sailing again.
We are now in Carriacou! Granted, it's only 35 miles (only l,750 to go "as the crow flies", says my honey), but @ 5 knots we made it in 7 hours and were anchored in Tyrell Bay by 3p.
The seas and weather are still predicted to be unruly, big and riotous, but we will just have to wait and see when we can leave for the Grenedines!
We made it...loved it...and it's wonderful to be cruisers again! Hip Hip Horay!
Dudley and Bec
02/14/2011, Grenada to Carriacou...
We called our good friend Don and were checking on his father-in-law and Olga who had to fly home to Miami! We were talking about a possible weather window tomorrow, but it was me on skype, so he said "you have a long way to go Bec, so this opportunity to leave is as good as any to do a shakedown"! Darn, the voice of reason...not emotion!
Our friends on SV Epsilon, Josee and Michel, are leaving tomorrow too, so it sounds like this is for real this time!
We jumped into high speed mode and it took us all day to get ready. We had to put all the fiddles in, strap the fridge on the floor with a starboard tack, which will be the norm going north. We had to strap and secure the Yamaha and hoist it aboard, fill water tanks, solar showers and unhook the hose to stow it! After the rain dodger was removed, Shawn and Tan Tan helped put the dingy on the deck (very nice to see three men do what the two of us do), then said goodbye to Martin, Roger and all the marina folks! Good bye tears all around for Lucy and Richard on Marie Galante II. Fenders cleaned and stowed, dink tied down...and every single thing stowed or lashed for an 8 hour trip! We stow the two laptops, the printer, the cockpit light all bundled tightly between all the pillows and 'bed extension' and everything really fragile...but can't do that until we get out of bed in the morning.
We still have 15-20 knots of wind and big seas @ 7-10' but the waves are 10 seconds apart which makes the world of difference in our favor. We usually look for seas 4' or less and wind 15 knots or less...but like Don says: "Gotta go when you can, you have a big journey ahead if you want to get home by July"!
We put all the reef points in the main, removed the sail cover, and loaded the chart plotter with way points.
Wish us luck! We're rusty (right along with the good ship Altair)!
Dudley and Bec
skype name: dbaltair
skype #: 305.600.2308
02/13/2011, National Museum, St. Georges
Happy Love Day!
We bought tickets along with Lucy and Richard for the brunch at the National Museum...very serendipitous and very cool! Sunday not Monday, but it's LOVE day, even if it is early!
They took us downtown to the Carenage in their dink and it was a top shelf! The company was grand, the food was wonderful...the steel band were a group called "The Angel Harp Steel Orchestra, excellent really!
We had the pleasure of meeting Sasha and Samuel and they joined us for the meal, and then these two little actresses or hams couldn't have had more fun posing, and just plain giggling til their sides split!
Hope your day was full of love!!!
Dudley and Bec