Well, my apologies for the long delay since my last update of the blog.
My first delivery for the year was cancelled and at the same time I was offered a land-based position in Cape Town assisting the delivery company with the handover of new boats from the Robertson & Caine factory to the skippers and, in some instances, directly to the owners. It has been a hard slog but, as I had already agreed over a year ago to assist the purchaser of a new Admiral 40 catamaran to deliver their boat with them to Chaguaramas on the island of Trinidad, I have now left my land-based work to get prepared for the delivery, which should begin in early November.
Luke Tod, who has previously undertaken three deliveries with me, will be the 1st Mate and together with the owners, Adrian and Jackie, we will try and keep everyone updated on the trip.
I will shortly be adding a link on the side-bar of the blog to the "Oceans Dream" blog as well as updating the ShipTrak link to show only the position reports for the delivery and not all the position reports for the past few years. Reading the views of the delivery from two different aspects (my own v. the owners) should give a person a better insight of our daily lives on board.
So, in a few weeks we should be up and running with the blog again.
Greetings. I have received a list of deliveries for the first half of the year and booked myself on the following deliveries:
1. March - 46' Sailing catamaran - Cape Town to Mahe, Seychelles
2. April - 40' Sailing catamaran - Cape Town to Abacos, Bahamas
3. June - 46' Sailing catamaran - Cape Town to Tortola, BVI's
It is a busy schedule for the first half of the year with not too much rest between deliveries. During the second half of the year I am in discussion to undertake a private delivery and will know more about this at a later stage.
If any of the readers of this blog wish to crew on a delivery, you are most welcome to contact me via email at: zs1jnt AT gmail DOT com.
Once I am getting closer to the launch date of the first boat, I will once again start posting updates to the blog.
Well folks, this report is a bit delayed as we arrived in Tortola in the early hours on Christmas day. We motored down the island and into Road Harbour, where we tied up for a few hours at the Moorings base. Just after 8 am we cast off our lines and motored to the customs and immigration jetty and spent a frustrating two hours going through the process of checking in officially and declaring the cargo we had picked up in St Maarten. Then it was back to the Moorings base to off-load the cargo - all four truck loads of it.
We had Christmas lunch at the pool-side restaurant and then spent the remaining hours of the day cleaning the boat. The next day (Wednesday) was not much different and on Thursday morning we handed a sparkling clean boat over to the operations manager, had breakfast and headed out to Beef Island and the airport in a taxi.
Our flights had been changed and Terry flew to Miami via San Juan whilst Shaun, Shaheda and I flew to Antigua and then on to London. We then caught the BA flight directly to Cape Town, where I now sit and type up this closing report.
Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to read my ramblings - may 2008 be a year of happy sailing, be it in reality or from the comfort of your armchair. After a holiday in the Cape mountains I will know when an where my next adventure will be and will post it on the blog.
And, for those who are wondering about the photograph above, it was taken by Shaun from the hills behind Roadtown looking down onto Road Harbour, Tortola.
Best regards - John
As I type this, we have the island of Montserrat on our starboard side with its smoking volcano (photo above). It is quite amazing to see how the lava flowed down the mountain side and basically buried the village at the bottom. It must have been a bit of a nightmare for the people living there as there appears nowhere for them to have escaped the two flows.
Yesterday morning we stopped off in Marigot Bay, St Lucia, after spending the night navigating from the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean Sea. I had not slept the previous night and was a bit bushed. We tied up a the fuel jetty at 06:00 and waited for the fuel guy to arrive. He did, just after 08:00, and I purchased 66 gallons of diesel which cost me US$222.00. We then cast off our lines and headed for the sea. As we were heading out from the dock, a fellow in a green shirt was busy shouting and whistling at us. I was so tired that I ignored him and continued on our journey. It was only later when I figured out who the fellow was on the dock - the St Lucia Immigration officer - we had not checked in or out! Oh well, maybe next time.
We expect to arrive in Sint Maarten just before sunrise tomorrow morning, get our load-gear and be on our way to Tortola within a few hours. Hopefully there will be no delays as we will then arrive in Tortola just after sunrise. At the moment there is a lot of packing and cleaning taking place on board. It is weird how much junk we actually have on board that will be thrown away before we hand over the boat to the Moorings representative.
It is fortunate that we did stop and purchase fuel - we have little or no wind at the moment and the engines are working overtime. Richard, on the 46' behind us was just transiting the channel between St Vincent and St Lucia this morning and is two days behind us. He is making for Tortola for fuel and water and hopes to arrive on Christmas morning. He is sailing directly there and will then continue his voyage to Fort Lauderdale, his final destination. I am sure his crew must also be looking forward to spending Christmas day with their feet on dry land.
Our "Ship Spotting" competition came to an end just before entering the Caribbean Sea. The final score was: Shaheda 7, Terry 6, Shaun and myself drawn with 12 each. So, we have a draw and will thus each have a bottle of rum to drink or take home.
I will put out a final blog report tomorrow but wish to take this opportunity to thank everybody for taking the time to follow my travels and hope that something of interest was found in my ramblings. I also wish you all a pleasant festive holiday and may the fat man in the red coat and white beard leave you something you wished for under your tree. Please remember to leave him a cold beer in return as his work generates a great thirst!
Regards from Shaheda, Shaun, Terry and myself, John.
At noon today we are exactly 100 nautical miles from Marigot Bay in St Lucia, where we are going to make a quick stop to take on fuel and fresh water at the Moorings base. We will also have to obtain two oil filters for our Yanmar engines and give the engines a service as we are just hitting the service period.
One thing we collect at sea is garbage. All vegetable scraps are thrown overboard but all plastic and containers are bagged and stowed in one of our lockers for disposal in the correct manner. This is another item that we will be leaving in St Lucia together with as many 25 litre plastic drums that we used for diesel storage. They are all empty and we need to get rid of them to create storage space for gear we have to load in St Maarten.
Our ETA in St Maarten is now Monday morning, the 24th December and our ETA in Tortola is about noon on the 25th December. A bit of a shame as I had wanted to arrive the day before Christmas so that we could book a table at some restaurant for a Christmas lunch.
We have received our flight details back to Cape Town and depart Tortola on December 27 and arrive back in Cape Town just before noon on December 29. The flight is from Beef Island (next to Tortola) to San Juan to Charlotte in the US to Frankfurt to Cape Town. More on that in a future report.
This is another short report. The next one, after we depart St Lucia, will give you a bit more information on what is happening and how we are getting along to our destination.
Regards from Shaun, Terry, Shaheda and myself, John.