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Anthem Adrift
04/29/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

April 29

The Liz induced two week relief from boat maintenance has come to an unpleasant, but typical end. Simple project became labyrinth of Minotaurs. Homer might not be impressed, but hey, he's dead, Theseus was probably a wimp and this project, like many, has turned into an interminable Odyssey. Simple switch of alternator reveals that promised "exact replacement" was slightly errant. (The expression "liar, liar pants on fire" is inappropriate for a high toned weblog such as this) Will not expound sleep-inducing details, but stud size (not what some of you think, Amy), jury rigged wiring and a machine shop are involved.

Retreated from field of battle about 1830 to feed the army of one a fantastic grouper dinner at Hook, Line and Sinker in Frenchtown (notwithstanding, pretty sure everyone spoke a version of English) and to abuse a number of rum punches (bartender at said establishment, a fine human being, supplied one such concoction gratis). Met a vociferous former Navy/American Airline/corporate pilot who contributed to wasted, but interesting evening.

Will make some effort to arise before noon to locate previously implied technician for creation of alternator adjuster part to make previously mentioned equipment more useful than as ballast.


PS In the interest of clarity, not normally a high priority, if any above is too abstruse (e.g. mixing of ancient legend and literature), please contact with suggestion to be considered while uninfluenced by previously mentioned imbibation (

Grisly Business
04/28/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

St. Thomas Harbour

April 28

Fruitlessly struggled to give someone, anyone a large amount of money to rent a car. Instead paid for a tour of the island with two other couples - diverse, fun group. Driver Dennis made tour guide noises and returned us to starting point unscathed by the thousand other tours clogging roads around hot locations. Magnificent views from 1547' peak to Puerto Rico, west and Tortola, east. St. Thomas Harbour view was postcard perfect, even including three absolutely identical thousand foot Carnival ships, nose to tail, Freedom, Liberty and Glory. Missed Justice.

A large black pirate-ship-looking schooner is anchored off the Charlotte Amalie quay that looks to be for charter. "Hello, my name is Jack and I'll be flogging you today. Roger will be handling keel-hauling and Maurice has plank duty. Grog and wenching promptly at 1930 in the orlop."

Relocated Anthem farther out this afternoon to move 100 dB, 2 AM music from forward deck back to shore. Nice background when not shivering timbers and rattling ratlines.

With Liz leaving tomorrow, will again plunge into the grisly business of boat maintenance. Removed, after a luscious meal of every leftover in frig. and customary masterful salad, the old, temporarily fixed alternator. Plan to rebuild, swap double pulley to new unit and install that, using old for spare. Shop in town opens at 0700. Owner promises completion tomorrow before renouncing work for duration of Carnival. Hope to return from airport, 1445 flight, before renunciation commences.


04/27/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

April 27

Set out at 0900 to replenish depleted gas. No, not what you think, it was propane. Abundant supply of other is mostly useless for cooking without some contortion and extreme caution. Hundred mile trek (possible slight exaggeration) across two harbors to St. Thomas Gas was more fun outbound than against 20 knots on upwind return.

Later, we rode the tram up to Paradise Peak for spectacular view of St. Thomas Harbour and the most beautiful boat at anchor, a Cabo Rico cutter... well shiver me timbers, that could be Anthem. Paid $1000 (possible slight exaggeration) for virgin strawberry daiquiri and local Island Summer Ale (brewed in Maine). Still and all, an agreeable afternoon. Between us, choked down eleven tacos and 3 rum punches at Wikked happy hour before returning to boat pleasantly mellow.

If able to rent a car (V.I. Carnival has attenuated supplies) will tour island tomorrow evening and Wednesday morning before seeing Liz off on 1445 Delta flight to Atlanta. Further plans murky. May stay in area a few days for boat-related activity, then sail St. John, St. Croix (the Danish were heavily into saints, apparently) and BVI before overnight to St. Martin. (Caribbean is eat up with saints. At that time in history, a primary activity seems to have been converting or killing all the non-Christian indigenous population. Well, that and taking all the gold)


Cheap and Muted
04/26/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

April 26

Two Big Ugly Tourist Transporters (all adjectives refer to boat - tourists are mostly not that ugly) were at dock this morning causing all shops to be open and in aggressive pursuit of passers by (even the small attractive ones). We E & Eed around the hordes to find a Pueblo supermarket and K-Mart for minor purchases. That and refilling dinghy gas tank was extent of productive activity by late afternoon. Hope to engage in revelry ashore, later. Still hoping for world peace, as well.

Have actually begun a web page/blog. Should be ready for publication in a year or two, possibly earlier. Will advise.

- Later

Wandered around county fair rides, pricey food kiosks and loud music loving crowds for awhile, then retired to Wikked for a bushwacker and "Fun With Dick and Jane" on the telly. Raucous partying and tympanic membrane puncturing music was never a preferred environment. Plan for tomorrow's dinner at Carnival sites under review. Inclination toward aforementioned establishment with happy hour taco, rum and beer specials is escalating. Quite, frugal dissipation is a more comfortable milieu.


Say What?
04/25/2009, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

April 25

Didn't expect to like Charlotte Amalie very much, but am pleasantly surprised. Last time here was about 1980 and the place has been cleaned up. Also, locals speak English. (By the way, has anyone noticed that the English, who invented the language, have apparently developed a very peculiar accent? I can't believe they get even little children to do it) Of course, this means that all the effort to become proficient with Spanish, all thirteen words, is now wasted. It's very discouraging. Even worse, there are islands farther south were people speak yet a third language. Man, this cruising thing is getting way complicated.

This week is carnival in St. Thomas - music, food and products from all of Caribbean plus general mayhem. Main effect for us so far is music blaring into V-berth hatch (that's bedroom window for the nautically challenged) until 3AM or so. This is less a problem than usual as nightly squalls often keep deck holes closed. Rain awning experiment tonight may be mixed blessing.

First Cabo Rico seen since US is anchored near us, owned by friendly Australian couple (haven't really mastered English yet either) who are headed to Oriental, NC to lay it, Jabiru, up for summer, then decamping Down Under to feed cruising kitty for next season.

Out of propane, so borrowed tank from Night Hawk until Monday refill. Now obliged to make breakfast in situ tomorrow. The sacrifices one makes!


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.


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