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Arctic Tern
It is Mango Season
04/28/2012, Portsmouth, Dominica

We are in Dominica and it is mango season. You can buy mangoes or just go ashore and pick the freshly fallen mangos off of the ground. I celebrated this bounty by making mango chutney. You can use any firm fruit like peaches. You can find this and other recipes in the April issue of the Caribbean Compass.
Mango Chutney
5 Cups ripe mangos- diced
1 Cup raisins or currents
One and a half to two Cups apple cider vinegar
One and a half to two Cups brown sugar
Three quarters Cup diced onion
One quarter Cup diced ginger root
One half to two tsp hot pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until thick.
Cool and pour into clean jars and refrigerate. Makes about 6 cups.

This is the basic recipe. You can also add one half tsp cardamom seeds, a few cloves or a bit of cinnamon, or use cranberries or other dried fruit in place of the raisins.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
04/27/2012, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is over and it is time to move south. We both had a great time participating in the regatta. Hunter helped Alexis get Genesis, a traditional West Indian work boat, ready for the race and then crewed on Genesis. I had an article to write and I sailed on two different boats. I spent two days sailing on the 51 foot ketch Saphaedra and one day on a 120 foot boat Zaca a te Moana. Interesting names...Saphaedra is the goddess of tides and currents (Greek?) and Zaca a te Moana means for the love of the seas in Polynesian.
This is a photo of Zaca a te Moana undersail.

While I was sewing....
04/13/2012, English Harbor

While I was sewing Hunter was oiling Genesis' mast in preparation for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.

Winch Covers
04/13/2012, English Harbor

In general I am not much of a procrastinator; I would rather get a job done than have it languish on my "to do" list, but there are a few sewing projects that I have been putting off for a long time. In the summer of 2007 I decided to make covers for the winches but the project seemed a bit complicated and I lost interest. Yesterday I decided to take out the instructions and the sewing supplies. I simplified the design a bit and spent a few hours listening to NPR podcasts and made two winch covers before dinner. Now I only have 7 more to go. You can see why I did not jump in with both feet.

04/13/2012 | ConchyJoe
Very cool! I like the sting idea. We used velcro and it seemed to wear out quicker than the sunbrella fabric.
04/09/2012, English Harbor, Antigua

If Genesis does not do well in the upcoming Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta it is not due to a fouled bottom. Hunter has been helping Alexis get Genesis, his traditional Carriacou sloop, ready for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Genesis was built in the traditional way, with traditional tools and mostly local materials on the island of Carriacou, part of Grenada. Boats like Genesis served as fishing and freighting boats since the early 1900's. These versatile nimble boats have a rich history connecting the islands in the Eastern Caribbean for trade of all kinds, including smuggling liquor and other contraband.
You can read a short article about the building of Genesis at:

Seduced by a Guava
03/28/2012, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

The aroma of ripe guava overcame my senses in the fresh market in St. John's and I bought a bag of guavas that were just a bit green, but almost ripe. On the boat I left them to ripen in the little fruit and vegetable hammock in the galley. This morning the sweet smell of guava was strong it inspired me to make guava juice.
Guavas have thin skins and little hard seeds that you cannot eat around. You make juice by washing the guava, cutting off the ends and bruised or bad spots. Cut the guava into small pieces and blend with equal part water. Heat the mixture and add a bit of sugar and dilute to desired consistency and a chill. The results were delicious.

03/30/2012 | ConchyJoe
Nothing better than Guava Jelly...
Market Day in St. John
03/24/2012, St. John, Antigua

There is a fresh fruit and vegetable market every day in St. John, the capital of Antigua, but the big day is Saturday. The streets are lined with vendors and there are little stands with local foods simmering in giant kettles and chicken parts on the grill. Hunter and I wandered around and bought vegetables as I created the menu for the week. I bought two fresh red snapper that I plan to stuff and grill tonight.

Good News
03/23/2012, English Harbour

I am happy to report that the windlass is back on the boat and works, the hatch over the bed has been rebidded and the water pump is working. Dassa is an excellent mechanic and we can highly recommend him. Meantime I have been busy sanding teak and writing. At this point this is a record year for the number of my articles published in the Caribbean Compass and All At Sea.

Gremlin Be Gone
03/20/2012, English Harbour, Antigua

We attribute the small and unexplainable malfunctions of gear aboard the boat to "gremlins". A few months ago both heads (toilets) mysteriously were in need of repair. We left Saint Martin where you can buy just about any boat part easily and duty free and out of the blue the fresh water pump quit working. It had served the boat for 16 years, so it owed us nothing, but the timing was not great. We do have a hand pump, but before we primed the hand pump and got it going Hunter was able to use the sea water deck pump to pump water into the accumulation tank. This was not a perfect fix, but it worked well until Hunter could buy the correct pump.
Gremlins also attacked a hatch over our bed and on the sail from Nevis to Montserrat we had waves pouring over our bow and the hatch leaked more for Hunter's list. We cannot attribute the next problem to gremlins, but the windlass (the motor that hauls the anchor chain up and down) has been in need of servicing and Hunter just lacked the tools to pull it off. We got in touch with a man named Dassa and he brought his wheel puller and as I type two brains and two tools boxes are attacking that problem. It appears that we need a can of Gremlin Be Gone.

Nevis Peak
03/17/2012, Nevis

Nevis, the little sister island of two island country of St. Kitts and Nevis, is 36 square miles with a population of about 12,000 people. As you approach Nevis from any direction Nevis Peak (3,232 feet) stands out as the major landmark and almost always wears a shroud of clouds. I mention this for two reasons: the first was the welcome rain shower from the cloud on the peak that we got our first night here after a wet salty passage; the second is of course our desire to get onto the peak and into the forest. We did find a hike that got us onto the peak and into some very nice forest. The hike is called the Source and takes you to the source of the drinking water for much of the island. When you get to the "Source" you can climb a 55 plus rung rusty ladder, or you can just admire the forest. We both climbed the ladder.

Surf's up
03/11/2012, Saint Martin

Okay, I did not surf any waves on my first day out on a surf kayak, also called a surf ski, I just paddled and wobbled a bit and said whoa and a few other words, not appropriate for my blog. . A surf ski is a long, narrow, lightweight kayak with an open cockpit and a foot pedal controlled rudder. It kind of feels like sitting on a long tube with an indent for you butt cheeks. When you get past the wobblies you can catch waves. Hunter looks very relaxed in this photo, but he has a few more kayak hours under seat.
Our friend Thomas is a coach for the Saint Martin surf kayak club and offered us the opportunity to try out the surf kayak. It was really fun and I think I would enjoy the sport, but the kayak is nearly 12 feet long and would not fit on our deck. We are getting ready to leave St. Martin and head south. It has been a busy and fun four weeks, but it is time to go.

Hunter's turn for a challenging job
02/25/2012, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Martin

Saint Martin is a great place to buy stuff for the boat, get work done and do work. We both have project lists and today Hunter serviced the outboard motor. We used the boom to hoist the motor into the cockpit so Hunter could change the oil, change the impeller and lube the engine. The cockpit is not the ideal workshop, but it is better than working in the water, especially with high winds. This has the potential to be a very greasy job and Hunter did a great job keeping the mess contained.

02/28/2012 | Doug Wilder
Are you planning to sail to the N. Pacific to view the Transit of Venus in early June?
02/28/2012 | Devi & Hunter Sharp
Doug, No plans to go to the north pacific, but it was an interesting link.
Carnival in Saint Martin
02/22/2012, St. Martin

For us St. Martin is mostly about doing boat work and taking advantage of really good boat supply stores that are duty free. We always meet friends here on similar missions and we have a few friends who have settled here and it is nice to visit with them.
It is carnival week and we finally took a break from chores and errands (buying stuff) and went to the French side to watch the evening Carnival parade. A band is a group of people in similar themed costume. There is a sound truck, usually an 18 wheeler with really BIG speakers and a beverage truck behind the people. The people dance to the music behind the monster sound truck and do this for hours. At one point one of the band staff made his rounds with buckets of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)- yeah, for real.
Carnival happens once a year and people really let loose. As I took photos a few of the band members came up to me to get me to dance or pose for a photo. Of course I complied in all cases.

Red on Valentine’s Day
02/14/2012, Whitehouse Bay, St. Kitts

I did not expect this much red on Valentine's Day. Yesterday we left Montserrat and sailed to St. Kitts in very light wind. Hunter thought it would be great to fly the spinnaker (actually it is an asymmetrical sail). This sail is rigged when needed and lives in a long sock made of very light nylon. Hunter rigged the sail and did not get it quite right and the red monster got in the rigging and the sock got torn.
The task today was to patch the hole and repair two ten foot rips in the sock. The sock is about 50 feet and is quite a monster when out of the big sail bag. Not to worry we did the repairs and the red monster is back in the bag.

02/19/2012 | peter clarke
go devi go. Heck of a project to complete inside the boat. But these events make the whole trip that much more interesting. We are still sanding, sanding, sanding. Very mild winter here. Robins are being seen already, months early.
The island with an active volcano
02/12/2012, Montserrat

The people of Montserrat are pretty amazing. In 1989 hurricane Hugo wiped out much of the island's infrastructure. Over 90% of the houses were damaged. People rebuilt and resumed their lives. In August 1995 the volcano that had been dormant for four hundred years awoke and buried almost half of the island in ash rocks and debris, including the capital city. People evacuated the area and got on with life. Many folks were evacuated and told that it would be a just a few days. That was 17 years ago. Just two years ago in February, 2010 a dome collapsed sending more ash and rock fall onto the island.
We have dropped our anchor here a few times but never went ashore. There is very little protection in the anchorage so you need good weather conditions. We took advantage of the opportunity and spent two days in Montserrat. We took a tour which in included a visit to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Our guide took us to lookouts where we could see the impact of the lava and debris flows. In this photo our guide, Joe, is showing us what the house looked like before the lava flow and you can see that afterward you can only see the top of story of the house.
PS. The Jimmy Buffet song "Volcano" is about Montserrat.

02/13/2012 | MoonSail Chris
And, the Buffett song Volcano, was not only about Montserrat, but was written by Keith Sykes in Montserrat and recorded in a studio owned by James Taylor in Montserrat.
Happy Birthday to Me!
02/09/2012, Ilet a Fajou, Guadeloupe

I spent my birthday anchored in a beautiful secluded anchorage in water so clear we could see starfish beneath the boat. We had a great birthday lunch aboard Oceania. Kathy cooked colombo curried chicken, rice and salad with birthday cake and wine. Lunch was delicious, the company was great. It was a lovely day!

02/17/2012 | Sue
Happy Belated Birthday Devi!
It is always a gift to take a minute out of my bureaucratic day and read about your latest adventure. Sue.
02/08/2012, Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe

We are in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe and took a trip to the Aquarium. This little fellow is a yellow headed jaw fish.

Gentleman don't go to into the wind
02/04/2012, Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

We are in Les Saintes, Guadeloupe. We left Dominica yesterday for Marie Gallant, but a few gusts over 25 knots helped us decide that it was not a day to go into the wind.

Picard River to Indian River
02/04/2012, Portsmouth, Dominica

Yesterday we (Kathy and John from Oceania and Deb and Chuck from Neytiri) set out to take a short hike to a nice swimming hole, take a swim and return to the boats to do chores. When we got to the swimming hole on Picard River a man was taking a swim and we did not want to disturb him so we continued walking up the trail and found signs for the Waitukubuli Trail. Hunter and I realized that this was the piece of trail that we saw a few days ago that connects to the Indian River. We explained to the group that this trail would have to go up and the ridge between the rivers and then down again. Well, it turns out the trail went up, up, up and then down and did that two more times before we got to the Indian River. The trail passed through beautiful tropical forest and offered a few great views. Here is the group descending into a creek bed.

Chaudiere Pool
02/01/2012, Bense, Dominica

Today Kathy and John form Oceania, and Deb and Chuck from Neytiri joined us on a hike to Chaudiere Pool. We took a bus to the trail head at Bense and hiked through plantation and into the deep jungle, where a small waterfall pours into a pool. The falling water creates air bubbles and the effervescence gives you the feeling of swimming in champagne. In this photo Hunter is climbing the rock beside the waterfall and the rest of the group is testing the water temperature with their toes.

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Migration of the Arctic Tern
Who: Hunter & Devi Sharp
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