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Anthem Adrift
Angie Baby
05/17/2009, Gustavia, St. Barts

May 17

Despite earlier reports, Colombier was rolly and Gustavia more calm - probably due to recent imposition of north swell. Discovered when clearing in that moorings (fore and aft) in inner harbor are same price as anchoring awaaaay out there in very full boonyland. Anthem is surrounded by downtown.

Sidewalks were folded up for Sunday, but expect gracious welcome tomorrow... at a price. Small Diet Coke on ice at waterfront bar was 3 Euro, around $4.15. Yowee! Dinner at home tonight, but maybe breakfast ashore after long, restful, cheap night.

Gustavia is small and very prosperous. Looked for Glitterati, but the streets were bare. Really expect to see Brad & Angelina, tomorrow. They must know I'm here. I mean, I have a web site. Perhaps some prior notice would have been prudent in case they're out of internet range in Lower Agriblovia assimilating another child.

Notwithstanding indicated intent to accomplish boat maintenance in lieu of fraternizing with fellow cruiser trash, did bubkis all day. Possibility exists that tomorrow will be more productive unless importuned by someone to jet over to Monte Carlo for an evening of baccarat. Would demur unless proffered by first tier celebrity.

Jack

Progress?
05/16/2009, Anse de Colombier, St. Barts

May 16

Customs opened at 0900, so 1130 bridge was earliest escape from lagoon. Could have reached Statia on one tack, but St. Barts was closer. Nice two-tack beat to St. Barts in moderate seas and good wind (wind speed instrument is kaput, probably delayed result of previous lightning strike. Will fix or replace earliest opportunity). Picked up free mooring #13 in Anse de Colombier, a few miles NW of the capitol, Gustavia. Plan to clear in tomorrow and stay a couple of days until squalls ease on Tuesday.

Plans from then a bit fuzzy. Will either run down through chain that includes Statia, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat or make a 13 to 15 hour passage straight to Antigua. Wind, weather and whim will dictate. Since next season plan includes returning this way, compulsion to visit every island somewhat muted.

Have gotten addicted to socializing since Luperon with minimum boat maintenance resulting. Will try to correct that revolting development here and henceforth (or at least until catching up with more friends). Looking forward to a down day or two to recharge.

Really, really rough estimate for future progress: Guadaloupe last week of May; Dominica first week of June; Martinique second week; St. Lucia third week; St. Vincent and Grenadines end of June; Grenada first week of July.

Jack

Happy Place
05/15/2009, St. Martin

May 15

Johnson outboard is in it's happy place again, so Stabil (ref. yesterday), justified or not, will join 2-cycle oil in every tank. Total laundry bill was $9 to allow another three weeks of non-odorous living. Purchase of pineapple juice and coconut cream for rum allows non-odorous living to be worthwhile.

Philipsburg, with cruise ship in harbor, is livelier than without and yet, not crappy. Had egg, cheese and corned beef hash in johnny cake for breakfast (a Dutch/Caribbean Egg MacMuffin). Wandered around town perusing shops, eating Chinese lunch and allowing Gary (Inspiration Lady) to purchase an Acer net book for which he lusted. French side is more upscale and expensive; Dutch side accommodates most boat stuff and best cruiser bars. My favorite is...

Thanks to new wifi setup, conversation with Liz tonight(on Skype) was first since USVI. This unit may have a little better range, arguably, but the big deal is stability. Mac often gets no respect with limited market applications.

Tentative plan, written in jello, is to clear out tomorrow, French side, earliest AM to make 0930 Dutch bridge en route to some part of St. Barts (short sail on best weather day for awhile). St. Kitts next with possibility of either Barbuda or Montserrat (the erupting volcano island) to allow angle for engineless sail to Antigua, which is upwind of the Kittster. Will leave Anguilla, Saba and Statia (St. Eustatius) for another pass.

Enjoyed stay in Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. Hope to be back. Current thinking is another go at the Eastern Caribbean next season before??? All to be revealed in the fullness of time.

Jack

Responsible Avoidance
05/14/2009, St. Martin

May 14

Successful check-out will result (he said hopefully) in delivery, tomorrow, of new wifi system. Demonstrated better distance and stability expected to close the circle on perfect existence. Well... pretty close. Anybody want a slightly used long-range, marine, internet set-up that supposedly works well with Windows? Cheap?

Have religiously mixed Stabil with outboard gas resulting(?) in perfect operation until last tank at which point engine began idling and starting poorly. Coincidence or a message from God? Have now added appeasement dose. Sufficient to avoid wrath of Poseidon? The future awaits.

*Gravitas alert* Colregs are the maritime regulations for collision avoidance. There are no rights. Stand-on and burdened vessels each have responsibilities and, except in extreme circumstances, both are faulted by contact. The rules do not exist to give anyone power over another, but rather to facilitate felicitous coexistence. The concept translates well into all human interaction. We change the right to be left peaceably alone into a 'right' to virtually anything at someone else's expense at our, and our civilization's, peril. Whoa, dude. Way heavy. Uno mas cerveza, pour favor... oops, wrong country. Pardonez moi, s'il vous plait.

Trip to Philipsburg, Sint Maarten tomorrow? Trip to Anguilla Saturday/Sunday? Vegetate in European paradise until forced to beat feet to Trinidad? Will consider at later time... or possibly after that.

Jack

Mundanity (a real word)
05/13/2009, St. Martin

May 13

Even extra underwear won't save me sans (that's French, you know) a laundry in near future. Do it yourself at Lagoon Marina for $6 a load or $9 at Bob's Marina for elves to wash, fold and wrap in plastic. Hey! my time is valuable, you know, and besides we can't have little elfin beggars littering the streets of Cole Bay.

Maho Bay is off the approach end of Princess Juliana Airport - just. Fun-seekers (AKA numbskulls) were holding top of fence behind departing jets with feet lifted off the ground. FAA and Homeland Security would have a hissy. Group of us waited for scheduled B747 that either arrived early or canceled. Had fun anyway watching sailboats in adjacent bay, departures and smaller arrivals pass by at 50'. St Bart's beckoned on the horizon. Amstel light and veggie burger at nearby bar were good, conversation was better. Returned to Turtle Pier at 1700, where dinghies were left, for happy hour and cruiser's weekly assemblage. Live music was good, conversation was better.

Have been increasingly aggravated by long-range wifi setup, so finicky to become a nuisance, crashing computer more than working. Talked with a fellow who sells another rig, Wirie, that works, according to him and users, with Mac much better than does the WaveRV currently installed. Mac guy who bought one last week will schlep his over tomorrow for test. May dispense cash for one (which is upgradable and more flexible, but somewhat more cumbersome) and peddle disappointing Radio Labs unit to unsuspecting rube at first opportunity. (Hey, I'm not a bad guy. It works OK with XP!)

Rest of day to be spent (no pun intended) possibly exchanging dinero for various boat bits: boat pole to replace one attacked by wind generator, circuit board for lightning effected and now hinky ST-60 wind instrument, hatch brace, LED bulbs, stuffing box packing, stainless dry-wall tape knife for slaying stowaway barnacles and pineapple juice (not technically a part). Preceding is non- exhaustive list.

Tomorrow's offering will concern the always fascinating Colregs as they relate to the decline and fall of Western civilization... or not.

Jack

PS Too wordy. Sorry.

Chimps Not Allowed
05/12/2009, St. Martin

May 12

The 0930 bus road show to Grand Case (Grahn - lots of nose - Cahs) got underway at 1130, waiting for Gary to not fix his generator. Interesting caper. Inspiration Ladys, Night Hawks and moi (that's French for... oh, heck, everyone knows Miss Piggy) rode local transit to seaside town for stroll along waterfront packed with eateries and lunch of ribs, chicken and various other stuff, then, because it was getting late and Ray and I wanted to check out marine stores on Dutch side of lagoon, $1 bus ride back to Marigot. Eschewed, until another day, Baie Orientale (Orient Bay) where all parts of the anatomy are allowed to live free. Gary was devastated, but capitulated to will of majority.

Noticed a place named Happy Shop. Sounded interesting, but turned out to be misnamed grocery. Would have been happier serving adult beverages.

Budget Marine is impressive and has stores all along Eastern Caribbean. Bought really cool chain markers and scoped out future purchases before being thrown out at 1700 closing, just in time for happy hour at Lagoonies. The two other couples showed shortly thereafter for night of hijinks and not a few $1 Presidentes. Celebrated end of eastward motor-sailing with surprisingly mediocre Punch Cuban cigar purchased in BVI. Ray shared much better Dominican Partegas.

Meandered back to French side of lagoon for imminent shower and extended period of unconsciousness.

Tomorrow's plan includes safari to beach under flight path of B-747 arrivals for indeterminate mischief, then Wednesday night cruiser's gathering at Turtle Pier for continuation of monkey business (no monkey are to be harmed in this endeavor).

Jack

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