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Arctic Tern
Boat gremlins
05/12/2009, Grenada

It would appear that Deb and Jay's presence kept the boat gremlins inactive. For two weeks the gremlins slept. The day after Deb and Jay left the gremlins started playing on the boat. On our sail from Grenada to Carriacou we heard a thunky noise from the auto pilot. Fortunately we had already landed our tuna and could hand steer. When we got into Tyrell Bay Hunter checked the bolt that holds the steering arm and sure enough it was about to snap- no worries, we have a spare.
As Hunter was doing his work on the auto pilot I noticed that the fridge was not cooling. Without a pause or grumble Hunter got out the refrigeration gauges and got to work or trying to get the coolant pressure in the correct zone. Hunter worked on this all afternoon and into the evening. By the next morning we could see that something else was going wrong. We had the choice to sail south to Grenada and try to get an appointment with the very busy refrigeration man, or go north to St. Vincent and give Albert a call to see if he could see us. Albert (AKA "High Tech") was very responsive and dedicated to helping us so we gave him a call for advice and to see if he was available. No, he could not see us in St. Vincent just now because he is in Petit Martinique (said Petty Martinique). Petit Martinique is 2.5 miles east of Carrioacou and 10 miles from our location. Yes, he would be delighted to make a boat call if we got to Petit Martinique (PM). We got the boat in sailing shape and were in PM by 16:00. We called Albert and he said he would be available at 18:00.
Albert blew out the line and got rid of some obstruction in the gas line and stabilized the gas, ate tuna and a beer and checked into a SSB net and was off. Albert is a very active Ham radio operator and is part of a group in the eastern Caribbean that helps with disaster management planning. His group is on Petit Martinique to install a single side band antenna on the island. Until yesterday there was no single side band radio or ham operators on the island and n the event of an emergency (hurricane, tsunami or earthquake) they would have no communications with the outside world beside the VHF radio (which is line of sight), assuming the cell towers were down.
After 18 hours the fridge quit cooling and Hunter has diagnosed the fridge as having a blockage that needs more professional help, so tomorrow off to Grenada we go- after we buy ice

Yes, that is an upsidedown photo of me upside down in the fridge

05/16/2009 | Nani
Arrgh, gremlins! It's amazing how connected you two have become to the folks who know how to tackle the gremlins. I hope you have refrigeration soon!
Blog entry from Deb
05/10/2009, from Anchorage, AK (we are in Grenada)

Just want to add a few facts about the time we spent with Hunter and Devi. 1) They have a three-toed sloth on board. Okay, it's a carving. 2) Devi (all of her) can sit in their refrigerator. 3) Jay and Hunter sang Elvis and the Everly Brothers to us - a not to be missed moment in nearly 28 years of backcountry trips. 4) Hunter has a chainsaw on board. 5) We ate with a guy called Shark Attack and they took us to eat at a place called the Cow Heel. 6) I fell out of a taxi before I even had a chance to get a boat bruise. 7) The boat gremlins visited them immediately after our departure.

Devi fed us a new fruit or vegetable every day. (She and Jay shared recipes.) We snorkeled, swam with green turtles, met old favorites like parrot fish, and made friends with new sea creatures and said hi again to our beloved Sooty Terns. We loved getting to share their life and we already plot to return. It was too long between visits.

Jay at the helm
05/07/2009, Grenada

It has been really fun to show Deb and Jay how to manage a large sailboat. It is also very nice to have the extra hands.

Babe spit
05/05/2009, between Carriacou and Grenada

Deb is preparing this lure for fishing. My friend Ann (Ann Vanderhoof- An Embarrassment of Mangoes) has passed on the secret fish attractant that was revealed to her by a 70-ish gentleman on the island of Culebra, off Puerto Rico. "If a pretty lady spits on the lure before you put it in the water, you'll almost certainly catch a fish."

Well, did catch two fish; a barracuda and a cero (mackerel), so it will be fish for dinner tonight and tomorrow too. We had a really nice sail from Carriacou to Grenada and now we are in Grenada giving Deb and Jay a quick look at one of our favorite places.

terns and turtles!
05/01/2009, Tobago Cays

Well, it has been a lovely few days in the Grenadines. Yesterday we saw Sooty Terns, swam with Green Turtles and snorkeled on a reef that made you feel like you are in a fish tank. A territorial damselfish give Deb a message to move out of its territory by biting Deb's knuckle.
Deb and Jay are great company. We have been snorkeling and exploring islands on foot and having nice sails between islands. We have lots of catching up to do because we have not seen then since we left Alaska four years ago.

Whaling on Bequia
04/27/2009, Bequia

Timing is everything if you want to see a whale hunt in Bequia. We were talking to some folks in Port Elizabeth in Bequia when we learned that a humpbacked whale was just harpooned in the waters between Bequia and Mustique and that the fleet was bringing the whale onto the island just off the south side of Bequia for butchering. We got a ride across the island and looked out to see a cluster of boats towing a large mass with orange buoys attached. We were assured that nothing was going to happen until morning until so we made a quick visit to the Bequia Whaling Museum and headed home.
The next day, Saturday, we got up early packed a lunch, water and sunhats and hopped a bus to a spot where we could get a water taxi over to the island to watch the butchering. There were a dozen or more fishing boats anchored out and boats coming and going from the island. There was no place to land the boat on the rocky coast so you just had to jump out of the boat and wade to shore.
The small rocky island has a concrete bunker like building with a giant winch that is used to haul up the whale and hold it in the water for butchering. Inside the building people were selling whale meat and blubber. About a dozen men were on top of the whale hacking with large knives hacking off chunks of meat and strips of blubber and tossing it ashore. Several men were swimming back and forth with laden with chunks of whale.
Meanwhile on shore there were about 500 people watching, roasting whale or cooking up whale pelau, selling beer and sodas, buying and selling whale meat. I walked around and chatted with folks, tasted roast whale and touched the very firm blubber. The meat is red and of course it is rich with oil and the taste of the sea. I was told that the roasted whale meat is better with lime, salt and chili and when I poured a bit of saltwater over it the meat I enjoyed the taste a bit more. It was quite tasty.
Fishing boats continued to ferry people and goods all day. People and beer into the island, and more people and whale meat off the small island, back the main island. We got a boat ride back to the main island and shared the bus ride with a bucket of whale meat. Many islanders would be eating whale tonight night.

Whaling is a very important tradition on Bequia and the international whaling commission has approved the take of four whales a year for the island of Bequia. Whales are hunted from small sailboats that are built on the island and the harpooners and boat captains come from families with long histories and generations of whalers. The whale is traditionally harpooned from a sail boat, but this time when the sail boat was close to the whale there was not enough wind to get close enough to drive in the harpoon. The harpooner jumped into a motor boat and harpooned a bull whale.

04/28/2009 | Dolin
Yes, I captured some great pictures myself. Slight correction - they are allowed only two whales per year - not four. While they are allowed two, they have averaged only one per year recently. The last whale was about a year ago. I agree that while I would raather not see it happen, the tradition is important to Bequians. Athneal Oliverre is almost legend on the island and he has trained Hazell who actually captured this whale.
Ready for the Tropics?
04/22/2009, St. Vincent

We are in St. Vincent eagerly awaiting the arrival of our dear friends Deb and Jay Liggett. We have known Deb and Jay since 1981 and have shared so many wonderful adventures with them. This is a photo taken in 2004 on a hiking trip in Wrangell- St. Elias National Park.

04/27/2009 | vjs
Tell the Liggetts "Hi" from us-

Deja Vue rum
04/15/2009, Martinique

One of the great pleasures of cruising is reconnecting with friends. After spending one night in St. Pierre, Martinique, we made a quick sail to St. Anne at the south end of Martinique, so we could spend some time with Heather and Don on Asseance. We spent so much of the last two years with Heather and Don and have not seen them in four months, so we did not want to miss the opportunity for a quick reunion.
It was a great reunion. We watched the sun set while drinking adult beverages and caught up with each other's travels. The next day we took a nice hike, and like we have done so many times, we brought the hair clippers and gave the guys haircuts on the beach. You need to get far away from the boat with all those little bits of hair.
The next day we rented a car. Don drove with Hunter in the front navigator's seat and Heather and I chatted in the back. We visited two rum distilleries. Of course we spent a bit of time at the tasting bar deciding which of the old rums was best for sipping. Don cheerfully drove me around on my last trips to French grocery stores to load up and cheese and wine.
In this photo Don and Hunter are listening looking into a storage area full of casks of rum.

Baby trunk fish
04/11/2009, Dominica

This has been some of the best diving we have done in the Caribbean. This little fellow is a post larval juvenile Trunk Fish- is about the size of you thumbnail.

turtle watching
04/10/2009, Dominica

Just a quick note to share a photo of Hunter watching a Hawksbill turtle eating sponge.

The photo was taken by Billy of Aldive in Dominica. He runs a great dive service. More photos in the near future.

04/15/2009 | Nani
Wow, that's a fantastic photo!
05/05/2012 | chantal baptiste
the babys is sexy
chilling in the Saintes
04/08/2009, Iles des Saintes

The Saintes are five small islands south of Guadeloupe and are part of Guadeloupe, which is a department of France. The French islands are have better roads and are more prosperous as they are supported by France.
Les Saintes are very quaint with lovely beaches and small shops, bakeries, small houses festooned with flowers. You can smell the fresh baguettes in the early morning. The snorkeling and dive is good and there are many nice trails to hike on the islands. We spent a few days taking it easy and hiking.

The same island twice
04/07/2009, Guadeloupe

There is a saying that "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man", and so it is with the islands. We have been spending time in islands that we visited two years ago, our first year in the Caribbean and the islands do indeed look a bit different. We are enjoying the opportunity to see a bit deeper into the culture of each island, and they are so different. We have met several boats who are in the first year and have yet to discover some of the little things that make our life easier, safer and more fun.

We are in Guadeloupe. Hunter is enjoying his café au lait and croissant and watching the cheeky little finches snatch crumbs off the abandoned plates. Tomorrow we plan to dive at the Jacques Cousteau Marine Park.

04/09/2009 | vjs
was in AZ for some training ans swa Anne W. She is doing well and fits right in at Hubell

miss ya
Across the Atlantic in a little boat
04/01/2009, Antigua

Two days ago Paul Ridley arrived in Antigua after an 88 day row across the Atlantic. Paul started his journey from the Canary Islands on January 1, 2009 in effort to raise money and awareness of cancer research. It really is an amazing story and you can read about it at:

04/06/2009 | Fru
Do tell! Small boat, extrordiary adventure. I guess if you got sea sick in this vessel the up side is you would have to lean over very far to spill your guts. :).
A wonderful sail
03/30/2009, Antigua

I have been a bit delinquent about keeping up with our blog. It has been a busy few weeks for us. We sat at anchor on the Dutch side of Simpson's Bay Lagoon for two weeks without a motor. During that time we had chores to do to prepare for the return of the engine as well as regular chores. The engine compartment is insulated with special heavy foam that has a mylar side to keep heat in and a dense center core to muffle noise and stop the transfer of heat. First we had to remove the old insulation, remove the glue and catch the disintegrating pieces of 13 year old foam. It was a really messy job that I found very satisfying. We bought new foam and used the old pieces for templates and glued them back in.
One of our chores was to get Devi's annual mammogram and medical check up. The very nice French Dr. was concerned about what something that he saw and strongly suggested that I go to the US for a further test. Thank goodness for Hunter's sister Brooke. I flew back to Raleigh and got tested and the short version is that I am fine. I enjoyed a quick and chilly trip to North Carolina that included 4 yoga classes.
Meantime it was blowing a stink in Simpson's Bay Lagoon and Hunter was completing all the engine prep and varnishing the woodwork.
The engine was installed (I just made that sound really easy) a few days after my return. We topped off fuel and water and stowed the objects that become missiles while sailing. We also made a last minute dash to a French supermarket and bought cheese and wine. After a month we were ready to leave St. Maarten and St. Martin. We saw many friends from the past few years and had some nice reunions.

On March 24, the weather seemed good so we caught the morning bridge opening and anchored for a short time for Hunter to clean the propeller. We hoisted the sails and had a very nice three hour sail to St. Barth's. At six that evening we set out for Antigua and arrived at seven in the morning. It was a beautiful starry night, the seas and swells were low and the wind was pretty consistent and from a favorable angle. It was a perfect sail.

A dirty job
03/12/2009, St. Maarten

I am removing the old engine compartment insulation and cleaning the surfaces for new insulation.

03/19/2009 | Bob Oakes
What's the problem with the engine? Hope you are both doing well. Sam Sawkins is supposed to make a visit soon.
03/20/2009 | Blain Anderson
Hi Devi,
You inspired me into buying a sailboat and taking off. My term at NPS ended and my wife and I decided to take a couple of years off for a mid-life "adjustment". We bought a motorsailer in Saettle and are planning to work it up the Inside Passage for a couple of years and really see the country. I hope to post a blog to this site or some other. Thanks for the updates. Too bad on the engine, as they say - love the boat, hate the motor.
out it goes
03/12/2009, St. Maarten

Our engine is on its way out of the boat and to the shop.

St. Martin/ Sint Maarten
03/12/2009, St. Martin/ Sint Maarten

St. Martin/St. Maarten is smallest island in the world ever to have been partitioned between two different nations. This island has been shared by the French and the Dutch for almost 350 years. The French side is 21 square miles and the Dutch side is 16 square miles. The border is almost imperceptible and people cross back and forth without ever realizing they are entering a new country. The French side is dotted with bakeries, cafes, fine restaurants and upscale beach resorts. On the Dutch side, St. Maarten has a busy cruise port and bustling commercial district, and has long been an active center for trade and tourism. There are three languages and you can spend Euros, Gilders or US dollars. Both sides are duty free and offer a good selection of electronics and boat parts and services.
We have been busy adding a new solar panel and having the engine rebuilt

03/14/2009 | Michael
Diane and I stopped in St Maarten as part of our Fall cruise. Needless to say we were on a slightly bigger boat. The beach was beautiful and the water was warm and wonderful. Happy sailing

Dominica to Sint Maarten
03/01/2009, Sint Maarten

02 23 2009 Sint Maarten
Photo 280001

We enjoyed carnival in Dominica. On Monday we hopped on a bus from Portsmouth (north end of Dominica) to Roseau at the south end of the island. We joined several folks who had been participating in j'ouvert or dirty mas. If you recall from last year j'ouvert is a street parade that starts at about 3 am on carnival Monday and is that is notable for the costumes, paint, beverages and loud music. Well, needless to say some of the folks on the bus had partied all night and were a bit inebriated. The driver was sober and even though we had to stop to separate two fellows who were in a shouting match about their heritage, we did make it to town to see many of the t shirt bands marching. Of course it was not as grand as carnival in Trinidad, but I don't think that makes it less enjoyable to the partiers.

We took another three days to sail to Sint Maarten. We did not sail all this way to eat baguettes and brie. We have a date with a diesel mechanic to help us sort out an issue that Hunter has not been able to solve with other mechanics in Trinidad and Grenada. It is not that there are no other good mechanics in between, but both Martinique and Guadeloupe are in the midst of national strikes and the shop here on the Dutch side is known for its good work.

We have not been this far north since January 2007 and we are enjoying contrast of the cooler weather, as well as the French and Dutch culture. It is a bit a culture shock to be in an area jammed with mega yachts. The yachts are mostly powerboats and are in 150 feet range. They have tenders (little boats) about the size of Arctic Tern. Some have helicopters on top. I woke up in the middle of our first night here and looked at all the lights and muttered something about Las Vegas. This is quite a change from the island of Dominica.

Dominica Carnival
02/23/2009, Dominica

The last time I wrote was a few weeks ago and we were in Grenada. We are now about 210 miles north anchored at the north end of Dominica. We left Grenada a week ago and have been traveling north to St. Marteen. We have put in some very long days sailing and stopping only for the evening. We are now in a windy cycle so we are hanging out in Dominica until the wind and seas lay down. We have done some spectacular sailing with record breaking speeds. Since most of you drive a car, going 9 knots will not seem very impressive, but for us it is fast.

We usually move from island to island very slowly, but we have a date with a diesel mechanic in St. Marteen in early March. Our engine is in need of a good mechanic and we have not been able to find the right shop in the southern islands.

While the wind is blowing we will be enjoying Carnival on Dominica. What a change from last year when we were in Trinidad for Carnival. Dominica is a beautiful island. The volcanic mountains reach above the Caribbean Sea and catch moisture, giving the island a carpet of lush vegetation. The volcanic soil is rich and many different kinds of tropical crops can be grown.

Time to check out carnival...

Hashing again
02/08/2009, Grenada

It is hard to pass up a Hash. Last year I explained the Hash House Harriers.
[Hashing is an organized run or walk. Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a casual group of British colonial officials and expatriates, would meet after work on Monday evenings to run, following a paper trail, through the environs of Kuala Lumpur to get rid of the excesses of the previous weekend.
The template for a hash run is loosely based on hare hunting. One or more hashers (the "hares") lay out a running trail that the rest of the club follows. The trail may include false trails, short cuts and trail breaks. These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness levels or running speed. The pack or 'hounds' follow the trail from check to check, searching the surrounding terrain to attempt to find the continuation of the trail. A well-laid check will have the effect of allowing slower runners to catch up and rejoin the main pack, while the faster runners try to find the trail again.]
In this photo Hunter and Sue Tournquist are getting ready for the beginning of the Hash. Sue and Her husband Dirk Lanning came to Grenada on business and stayed a few extra days with us on the boat. Dirk and I went to college together and after college did some field work together. That was a long time ago, but we do keep in touch.

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Migration of the Arctic Tern
Who: Hunter & Devi Sharp
Port: Valdez, Alaska
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