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Anthem Adrift
Yo Comprendo
04/24/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

April 24

Passage conditions to Charlotte Amalie as expected, confused five foot, short period sea with ENE wind at fifteen. Yesterday better, but enjoyed additional night in Culebra. Crew moved to cockpit shortly after 0400 departure, when sea berth proved too stuffy, and did well until engine lost enthusiasm for continued operation. Different motion of close reach while maintenance personnel drained stinky fuel and replaced Racor filter was poorly received by gastric system. Re-motivated power plant soon delivered all concerned into smoother water approaching downwind side of St. Thomas.

Currently anchored off Yacht Haven Marina, Long Bay, east end of St. Thomas Harbour. Morning travail was followed by nappy time for all hands, delaying exploration of surroundings. Wind descending from hills into anchorage vacillates between five and twenty knots, but proximity to land keeps dinghy dry for short shuttle to shore.

Included all three daily meals at Shipwreck Tavern with a rare burger (Friday is half price for that culinary delight) then cruised shopping mall mostly closed due no cruise ships in town. Recently completed marina very up-scale with stores to match (Rodeo Drive by the bay) that must be passed in exiting to "cheap" stores. Booze and gold are, in fact, reasonable. Interesting experience to understand answer when asking questions in local dialect. There is broadcast television - mixed, to negative, blessing.

Tentative idea to abuse happy hour with friends and friends of friends at local hangout eschewed. Nappy time to recommence early this evening.

Jack


Doing Good Is Its Own Reward
04/23/2009, Culebra

April 23

Yet another long, easy breakfast at the Dinghy Dock advanced our efforts to be totally unproductive for as long as possible, but unfortunately the shower sump vented loop required cleaning to avoid a siphon induced flood. Reverted immediately following goo removal.

Afternoon snorkeling with Mike & Barb substantially avoided devastation of very nice reef. First use of new dinghy entry ladder met with marginal success as depth adjustment seems critical. Further refinement of technic anticipated.

Early dinner of previously uneaten hog parts and mashed potato patties with a typically succulent salad aboat will be followed by endeavor, with Astarte crew, to aid Culebra bar economy. Newly arrived couple with whom I attended Captain's school last year may contribute to this selfless work. Way early departure, tomorrow, will require a dedicated effort to achieve appropriate good before retiring. Confidence runs high for success.

Jack


Leisure Again?
04/22/2009, Culebra

April 22

Leisurely breakfast at Mamacita's (what's with this leisurely thing. Criminy, don't you do productive stuff anymore?) after which we shopped and sent out snail mail postcards to family. Finally left anchorage late mid-early afternoon to a mooring behind Dakity Reef for snorkeling and early start, AM, for St. Thomas. Best laid plans... Mike and Barb showed up in Culebra and, since Friday is possibly better day for beat to Charlotte Amalie, decided to return previous anchorage, near them, for fun and frolic. Frolic somewhat curtailed by their necessity to retrieve sleep lost in early departure from rolly, noisy Monkey Island layover. Plan snorkeling tomorrow at better places as revealed by buddy on "Buddy", John, who is familiar and imparted local knowledge.

Culebra is new favorite place on earth so far, plus close to full-service Fajardo, a $2.25, 1 1/2 hour ferry ride away.

Silver lining of motoring out and back was warm shower tonight. Some crew pleased. Some crew, although accustomed to invigorating ambient temperature, enjoyed more balmy experience.

Muse has abused various mind altering concoctions and fallen asleep on the sole, achieving a state of profound ataxia, so will stop the nonsense and go to bed. May or may not perform keyboard manipulations, tomorrow, depending on state of previously mentioned entity.

Jack


Singing in the Rigging
04/21/2009, Culebra

April 20

Official song for the cruise is a piece by Guinness (who I listen to regularly, Bud). Refrain includes minor modification:

I'm a rambler and a gambler. I'm a long way from home
And if you don't like me just leave me alone.
I'll eat when I'm hungry. I'll drink when I'm dry
And if the rum drinks don't kill me I'll live 'till I die.

Curiosity reference forecast wind increase has been relieved. Now whistling through standing rig, making wind generator happy and trapping boat and crew in Ensenada Honda. Late start to day due excessive deposit from sandman - Goofy and Daffy, but not Grumpy. Day two of negligible ambulation. Hoping to bank rest for looming five hour trek to USVI.

April 21

Spent all day confirming suspicion that traversing San Juan from east to west and back is completely impossible. Eventually got to Arecibo to discover that telescope and caves are closed on Tuesday. Three hours of ferry and extra charge car rental eventually vindicated by El Yunque, purchase of bunny taming Swiffer and humongous sparerib dinner. Returned to boat after cerveza at Mamacita's, where dinghy spent quiet day communing with nearby red mangrove.

Lusty weather to continue until next Tuesday, but may attempt St. Thomas Thursday or Friday with slight easing. Crew exhibiting tepid response to tentative plan.

Jack


Leisure
04/19/2009, Culebra

April 19

Enjoyed leisurely breakfast with friends from Night Hawk at Mamacita's, then leisurely dinghy ride to ferry dock for schedule, then leisurely day on the boat reading. Well hey, it was Sunday. After dinner played dominoes in the cockpit with Night Hawks. Nobody was much interested, so just sat and shot guano.

Culebra (means snake in Spanish for it's shape) is about 7 miles by 3 and has 15 separate car rentals listed in the cruising guide? Thinking to rent bikes Monday, but competition may drive down driving cost. Tuesday plan is to brave ferry to Fajardo for tour of El Yunque and/or Arecibo; Wednesday move to reef for snorkeling; Thursday, with cooperative weather, sail to St. Thomas. Again, way too much planning.

For those living in sin and wanting a more legally punitive relationship, spurn Reno for Culebra. Contact Sandy at www.weddingsinculebra.com to "set up a free consultation". They also do Vieques.

After today's somewhat dry message will leave you with a deep thought.
"Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy." - George Carlin. This quote is unrelated to previous paragraph as far as you know.

Jack


Do We Like Dewey?
04/18/2009, Culebra

April 18

Returned car, ate desayuno at Isleta and hit the road to Culebra before onset of pesky high trade winds tomorrow. May or may not return via ferry to visit El Yunque, Arecibo radio telescope, etc. Future activity depends on persistence of roughage (

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