05/10/2013, Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands
Beach off Grand Turk Island
We were planning to take the boat back to Texas before hurricane season starts instead of spending the year dodging hurricanes from St Thomas like last year. In 2012 Mother Nature ignored the usual beginning date of hurricane season and the first one was making a ruckus on May 19th. So we had a reason to be in a bit of a hurry but also to stop and smell the roses along the way, therefore we opted for the middle of April, but as with any plan, it will change. By the time we finally had a firm date set so the folks that stated they wanted to come along could get tickets, we blew the port engine, as noted in the prior post. We were so busy getting ready, I haven't even had time to update the blog to say we got a "new to us" engine and got it installed for a total of about $2k.
Old Engine.... poor thing
Once that problem had been resolved we found out a few days before the latest departure date that our US Coast Guard documentation was expired in March. How is it that we had been in two different countries, the BVI and the US and no one had noticed? Now what? Well the US Coast Guard used my Fedex International Overnight mail service and got us a $5 renewed document in two days! Way to go! Then there was Diego's birthday party and since we didn't know if the documentation was going to get here on Friday or Monday, it was Sunday at Magens Bay. It gave us one last day this year with all of our boat friends, Diane, Kelly, Randy, Frenchie and Ms. Doggles herself, CoCo.
Frenchie and CoCo with her Doggles
With our crew of Joel Roach, son of Lori Roach, an old friend and co-worker in Utah at the IRS, on board, we finally got underway on DATE and off to Culebra, Puerto Rico. We had planned to go to Flaminco Bay and drop the anchor but we didn't want to get run off at 5 p.m. as it is a natural park and then have to find another place to stay in the dark! So being the creatures of familiarity we are, we went to Ensenanda Honda and stayed out on the little reef where we had stayed last year when we attempted our trip home. We got in one last Spanish Virgin Island snorkel and mainly saw hundreds of starfish (left the camera on the boat! Grrr!) in the stirred up waters by the reef.
Sunset from the reef
The next morning, with no wind we motored to Fajardo, Puerto Rico for a last fill up on fuel, water and ice. When we came into Puerto Del Rey Marina, we passed an old boat that looked like it should be scrap as it had no masts and was who knows how old. While Jettie and Joel hit the marine store, I got the scoop on the boat. It is the ship for the Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Suddenly it didn't look like such a piece of crap.
B4 Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Filled up and ready to get to the Turks and Caicos Islands, we had no wind to speak of. Like 1 to 2 knots. Hopefully we would not be plagued with light winds for this trip or crazy ones either! On came the motors again because we don't have time to be making a half a knot an hour if we want to get back before 2014.
We finally got the sails up and the main with one reef so we did not have to contend with doing it in the middle of the night. Then came the first storm of the trip. Jettie was on watch and woke Joel and me up with a start. "It's blowing 25 with gusts to 30, we need to get the sails down," she yelled down the stairs.
The next day we had the wind vacillating from side to side off our rear end. Now with a new crew member and the two of us without a whole lot of experience sailing down wind without a whisker pole (to hold the jib out on one side of the boat) and without a boom preventer (more like accidental jibe preventer to keep the boom from slamming over from one side of the boat to the other when then wind or the motion of the boat changes its position to the wind), I opted to just run with the motor. Just keeping the boat with the wind and waves (which gladly were coming in the same direction) behind us was considerable work at the helm. Turn right, turn right some more, wait, okay, she's coming back, wait, oh no, too far, turn left a lot, turn left some more, oh no, too far again (and that is every minute). See why I was concerned with sailing down wind? I didn't want to rip the cleat off the side of the boat or take the mast down on day two).
We put two reefs in and put up the sails and we good until a big ole storm got us. Wind, rain, lightening, waves 8 to 10 feet crashing into side of the boat. We got everything taken down when we got up to 30 knots. Speaking of 30 knots, that is what our jib sheets (lines that control the jib) looks like.
What a mess! (pic of knot)
Our course had been to go down below the Navidad, Silver and Mouchoir Banks, but with all of the weather issues and our taking some big hits to the side of the boat, our heading changed. We did not want a rouge wave to knock us over, so our plotted course was shelved and we turned our butt to the wind again. Now we were going close to the banks than out closer to Dominican Republic. We had been in water as deep as 12,000 feet so the depth finder reports only the last one that it got a response back on, which might be 150 - 175 feet deep. So when I was at watch and it suddenly started ticking off 100, 98, 96, 93, 90, 85, 80, 70, 60, 50 feet, I freaked out. OMG we are going thru the Silver Banks not around them. "Jettie, we need to talk!" (She was cranky as she hadn't been getting much rest and here I was waking her again...sorry, but it's urgent.) We looked at the chart and started seeing coral head sticking out of the water in the middle of the ocean. It's a wonder it's not called Shipwreck Bank with little islands of coral and rock breaking the surface. We hung a left back towards the Dominican Republic again to skirt all of the shallowness Silver Banks contained and kept ourselves in thousands of feet of water hoping like hell our GPS unit had us in the right place and not a mile to the right where the coral was!
Note the 12000 depth and the 42 and a half foot mark in less than a few miles!
The next morning Joel got the knots out of the poor jib sheet (why is a jib sheet a line and not a sail? It seems more like a sheet? Anyway....) and since the winds were good we wanted to sail. We got into the wind, and Jettie and Joel got the main up, the 2nd reef we put in the other day removed and just one reef as we were getting some pretty good gusts. While they were pulling it up, I noticed two rips in the back side of the sail. :( That's not good. We have the tools to patch and sew it by hand, but it is too rough to be doing that out here right now. May if it calms down. Good thing the solar panels are not on the bimini or we'd never get the sail dealt with at sea without shredding it more on the sharp corners and not being able to walk up there. So do we hang a left and go backwards to the Dominican Republic (DR) and try to get it fixed or continue on our way? Jettie opted for adventure and not turning back. So off we go. We should be close on fuel if we can't sail just with the jib. We'll have to wait til the wind changes from vacillating behind us before it will be worth fighting every minute at the helm to keep the wind in the sail.
There was a huge lightening storm off to our starboard (right) so Jettie turned us back towards DR so we could avoid having to go it. Then there was one off our rear, but the sky was clear above us. One night we even saw the beautiful Milky Way given we have no moon and little light pollution. We kept the jib rolled up and motored along in the black night watching the bio-luminescence get aggravated by the waves and the prop. They glow bright green and look like fireflies or thousands of shooting stars darting through the black water. I can be mesmerized by just watching them dance like the licking flames of a fire.
As I write this, we are adrift while Jettie tries to change the fuel filter and bleed the fuel line on the starboard engine while we roughly bounce around. Just like Russ, our fuel probably got stirred up and brought sediment from the bottom of the tank up into the the filter. I believe the term is polishing the fuel to pump it out, filter it and put it back. Not sure if that is possible in the Turks or Caicos, so we may have to do it ourselves. We can sail on the jib possibly, but getting into port with one engine is a bitch. :: sigh :: Are all trips fraught with difficulties? I'm not sure I can deal with then punishing physical needs of a passage. I'm better just hanging on a mooring ball in Christmas cove!
Time to go investigate the situation! More later along with the pics.... as soon as I have decent WIFI!
04/04/2013, American Yacht Harbor, Vessup Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Well as I sit here typing, Jettie and Kevin are out buying a replacement engine for our leaky port diesel. The blasted thing has had a slow oil leak since we bought the boat. Moorings did nothing to fix it and then the repair guys in Tortola would not even look at it last summer when we had the seals replaced on that engine's saildrive. So as directed, til we got back to the States, we were just adding oil as needed. Given we are to leave soon, Jettie changed the oil as it has been a year since we got the boat. Then these folks at the marina made us move as they rented the slip we were in (don't even get me started on that ridiculous procedure). So while we were backing in the new slip, the port engine alarm went off indicating low oil pressure. How about NO OIL pressure?
While backing with wind and current, the port engine dies. We aimlessly drift into the outside piling and it settles against the new solar panel rack and next to the dingy and outboard motor and bangs around til we get a line tied to it. We get tied off to the other slips piling midship and are pointing directly at the big 50 foot sport fishing boat. The marina guy runs and got the owner so he could stand by if we were going to hit him. Luckily for us, the crew of Quest was in their dingy going past and stopped to help. We got two lines tied together and taken to the dock by the dingy. It was attached to our starboard aft cleat and then the dingy tried to pull us around. It was too much for the little 9 HP engine, but he could push us from the other side. I stuck fenders between us and the piling to keep from marring up the boat and more lines were tossed to those on the dock to pull us the rest of the way into the slip. Whew! That was stressful.
Once again we have to call Kevin. How will he stay in business when we leave? He came over and tried to turn the engine with a crowbar. No such luck. She is frozen solid, but by heat with metal to metal with no oil. BOAT stands for Bring Out Another Thousand and it surely will apply now that the engine is ruined.
Kevin calls a guy that is a diesel mechanic at a Volvo Dealer, I believe, and oddly enough some guy came in with a dual engine like ours with one that was bad. He replaced both engines, so the guy has our Volvo Penta 2040 sitting in his shop for $500. Wow, what a lucky coincidence. Now we just have to get the old one disconnected, out of the boat as it weighs about 400 pounds, and the other one fitted with all the stuff from the old one and back in the boat.
Kevin came over and disconnected and hauled it out with the help of our trusty dingy motor lift and several lines to help it from bending under the weight, since it was made for 150 pounds not 400. The defining moment of this whole mess was when Keven lifted the motor and the oil drain plug fell out. That means it was Moorings fault and the repair guys could have spent five minutes and found that it was the plug, in stead of telling me they couldn't do it, it would take too long, too much work, blah, blah, blah. Just a little look, where they knew to look and we didn't, as the engine would have been fine. :: sigh ::
Poor baby... all seized up. ::sigh::
Snuck a pic of Kevin doing his thing with our little motor lift. The screen is one of those Magic Mesh things as seen on TV, works great on the boat.
At one point, Jettie and Kevin thought it was the wrong oil filter as the one she replaced was longer, despite the fact that they looked up the engine and supposedly gave her the correct stuff before we left Road Town. It was thought that it possibly leaked out due to the filter, but that does not seem to be the problem once the plug fell out. I suspect that it was barely holding on in there and between Jettie pumping the oil out and the movement generated by the boat, it finally was completely dislodged. By the time the alarm went off, the motor was showing no pressure and you cannot move one of these beasts with one engine. Someone was looking out for us with the cheap motor. I just hope it works well.
More of the continuing saga to come...
03/29/2013, Great Harbour and White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
(Picture above from Jost Van Dyke, Great Harbour)
We had planned to take Gloria and Neal sailing so they could get acquainted with the boat, but of course Mother Nature had other plans. High winds and rain all of the holiday weekend. Go figure. That did not discourage the kids from getting in the water when there was a break in the weather or if it was pouring down rain. We took Halley, the seeing eye dog, that Gloria babysits after school for Zane, one of the kids at her school. She is a great dog and adapted pretty good to the boat but the dingy was not her favorite thing. I knew I liked her for a reason!
We stayed in Great Harbour as the weather was looking nasty as we rushed in to anchor and then get checked into the British Virgin Islands. It was a little nerve racking as we due to anchoring since there were no moorings available. I was worried we would swing around and land up in the reef just off shore. I think we had 100 feet of chain out for a 5 foot depth. "Better safe than sorry," said Jettie. They checked the anchor and it was snug in the sand.
The kids and Gloria went snorkeling. I think Jettie went too. But Neal and I stayed on the boat. He was lifting the dog out of the dingy onto the dock at Foxy's Restaurant and Bar and lost his sunglasses. When he dived for them, he slipped and gashed his knee on the dingy's pad lock. Took 4 stitches from some nurse / doctor down the beach for a $100. Poor Neal either gets hurt or falls off the boat.
I don't know what is worse, swimming horses or swimming dogs? Halley got in the water and would not come right back. It was like she was out there swimming and not knowing where to go. Once we got her back to the boat, Gloria's son, Diego, had to push Halley's butt up the stairs as she could not climb the sugar scoop alone. Whew!
Gloria's kids, Diego and Bella, where making circuits around the boat, going inside, then back out the hatch. I was worried they would leave it open and fall through, so they were told time and time again, not to open the hatch. Well, it wasn't the kids that fell in, it was the poor unsuspecting dog. She had no idea that the deck could open into a 20 inch by 22 inch hole for her to fall through. She was unharmed but the sliding screen and shade did not fare as well. I think the kids finally got the picture because we didn't have to address the hatch further.
The kids and Gloria snorkeling while Halley watches diligently.
After planning on leaving to go around to the bubbly pool over by Foxy's Taboo, the weather hosed those plans so we just stayed where we were anchored. The next day, the group minus me and Halley went over to White Bay around the corner. I could see white caps and had no desire to get banged around in the dingy as it still really hurts my poor knees. While Halley and I stood watch, Jettie came back stating they secured a mooring with Russ' dingy (Who is Russ?) and we were moving which we needed to do before dark. We get over there and I cannot see the reef at all! Now I really know why they only want you to traverse these areas in the height of the day so you can see. Gladly Jettie had already been through there and the chart plotter showed where the reef was. But without visually being able to see it, I felt like I was blind.
We got in without any trouble but we worried the boat owner behind us as he stood on his cat's bow with hands on hips as to say "You better not hit my boat!" We snugged up to the mooring more so than mister worry wart behind us. One would think he would do the same, but not a chance. It was quite rough out there as the only thing to break the oncoming waves was the same reef behind us. Both anchorages were beautiful and I hope we get to go back there again when the weather is not so crappy.
I sat up all night with Neal. We talked and played cards. Too bad no money was wagered as I beat him in every hand. Ha! I was more worried about the location that night than the one we anchored at because of how rough it was. We were swinging at least 180 degrees and pitching constantly. I felt better just being outside and watching the situation.
From White Bay
Oh yeah. Who's Russ? Russ has a cat as well and was anchored out behind us. Jettie talked to him at the bar and they used his dingy to tie off to the mooring to hold it for us to motor back from Great Harbour.
After four days, we left for Cruz Bay to go check back into the US of A and opted to sail. We had way too much canvas up and Dutchess refused to cooperate with 20+ mph winds. We rolled in some of the jib, but it was the main that needed to be reefed. We did not have the reefing block out and it was already after 2 p.m. so down came the sails and we motored down wind to Cruz Bay.
For the first time, they charged us to dock at the Customs dock. What? We have never had to pay before. "Well, you must have been getting away with it all this time," said the Customs guy. That is not the point! It is like they decide to charge when they want to and what they want to. ::sigh:: Wait til I get my hands on one of those comment cards. I forgot to pick on up before we left.
Off to Christmas Cove for the night and then to American Yacht Harbor so Kevin can put our 4th solar panel up. We have that big hole up there, might as well fill it with 7 more amps of electricity!
Good thing we took the sails down as when we got settled for the night, Jettie found the bale that Kevin replaced for us last year. It holds the blocks (pulley like wheels) under the boom in a track. It is riveted in and should not just fall out like it has done TWICE. The rigger thinks we jibed and did it. Nope. No accidental jibes and probably not even a controlled one since it was replaced. Kevin is going to install the old fashioned bales that go through the boom and look like big U's instead of little elongated V's. We may have to secure the boom differently to take the load off the bales. If it ain't one thing, it is one of the thousand others on the boat!
Until next time....
03/17/2013, Christmas Cove, Great St James Island, St Thomas, USVI
Happy St. Patty's Day ya'll
(Pic of Dutchess' new solar panel location over the dingy davits)
One would think that I would learn not to update the blog in the blog as it does not save anything when you accidentally change the page. ::sigh::
Nevertheless, it has been sometime since I updated the blog as noted in the prior update. We were not sure when we were leaving and if we were. We landed up leaving Dutchess in the capable hands of Kevin Dumolin. We keep him busy and employed with working on the boat.
He tried to figure out why our solar panels were not charging up fully. Come to find out that the boom was shading two of the three panels frequently in the prevailing wind, so while we went back to Houston for my double knee surgery and to see Jettie's family for the holidays, Kevin moved (did I say I wanted them over the dingy in the first place?) the solar panels over the dingy davits at the back of the boat.
I was concerned that there was not enough room to walk around on the bimini (top cover on the boat) if it was rough. I figured we would put a foot through the $400 glass covered solar panel. See how little room there was?
So while we did Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and that crazy Mardi Gras in Galveston, Kevin worked on and kept an eye on our girl. If you need a good repair person in Red Hook, Kevin is your guy. Ask me and I'll have him contact you.
So, now the plans are to leave here mid April and sail to the Turks and Caicos Islands with Gloria and Neal and Joel. We'll drop off Gloria and Neal and then sail on to the Bahamas and then take a left into the Gulf of Mexico. We will get back to Texas by the end of May if we stop and smell the roses frequently or sooner if we tire of where we are and continue to sail.
I have been posting some comments on other people's sailblogs trying to get info about the trip from people that have already made it. I looked on the map and there was not ONE boat in Turks and Caicos, but tons in the Bahamas.
Well, I think this is enough for today. I'll be back with updates on the trip. Anyone who has made the St Thomas to Florida or even to Texas or close by, is welcome to contact us. Thanks for reading the blog!
12/30/2012, Houston / St Thomas
(A pic of the boat with the solar panels on the bimini)
Well everyone, it has been way too long. I didn't know what to say that was not the same comment that I had already made. "We don't know when we are leaving, we don't know if we should sail back or leave the boat in St. Thomas, we don't know where to leave the boat, whom to leave it with..." It was the same questions over and over.
Finally, we decided that it was time to leave to fix both of my knees and go visit Jettie's family for the holidays. The weather in the Gulf is not pleasant nor very predictable, therefore we decided that it would be best to leave her in the hands of our friends and go deal with my knees. Then hopefully when we get back, I will be able to get in the water and kick around, which I could not do since March.
Now it is time to start planning our return and our sail back to Texas so her family can see Dutchess. Right now Dutchess is having her solar panels moved from the bimini top to a rack off the back and over the dingy davits. This should decrease the shadows on the panels from the mast and sail pack which seemed to be the cause of our inability to full recharge daily. We also got a wind generator installed and it too, was obstructed by the sailbag. It had to be raised and was done shortly before we left. Of course it was not very windy once we got the generator installed. But hopefully when we get back all of the work will be done (it might not get all done since there were purchasing issues) and she will be running smoothly. It has worked out well that we have been gone so Kevin can stay on the boat, has free run of the boat, can work on it when he chooses and is the security for the boat. Thanks Kevin!
I might have some pics to post from stuff that was done before we left. I will have to try to find them.
Also I am trying to redo this page so the old stuff is on the other pages and I can't figure it out. So this page may get posted more than once unforturnantly.
Well, here goes. Thanks for sticking with us. More to come in 2013.
08/24/2012, Maho Bay, St John, US Virgin Islands
(Pic of Issac sometime today on his way to visit Castro!)
Well we made it through the 2nd night of Issac with no problems. Actually I think it rained more last night than the night before. We did have one casualty on the boat. The US Virgin Island flag line broke, then the flag hooked itself to the end of the spreader and then got ripped off of the line. I thought about having one of the million fishermen try to hook it and pull it down but it started raining again and we went inside and I forgot about it til I kept hearing something clanging around 2 a.m. Damn! I need to get a picture to post in here as well. I might still try asking the fishermen if we get over there before it flies off as it has my two fairly expensive flag hooks on the flag. I am so glad that is the only thing that happened.
Air conditioning! I so want some damn air conditioning. I want my air conditioned. I will take it just in our berth and the others can suffer. Ok.. the whole boat can have it. I think I might have solved where to put the generators. I think we should make the back berth on the port side, a generator / work room. I think the a/c unit should go in there possibly and the hot ass air from the refridgerator needs to be plumbed outside of the boat, unless we want it inside for heat. It's a thought anyway. Sucks that it's one of the bigger cabins.
Well here is a pic of what we are in for now... both are 20 or 30% but I think Issac started out that way too.
Hurricane season ends November 30th which seems like a long way off right now. We are planning on sailing back to Texas for a visit somewhere around that time frame, but I know it will be earlier as Jettie wants to be at her parent's house for Thanksgiving, her birthday (12/14) and of course Christmas. But that means we have to leave in late September or the first of October and not dink around too much in order to make it back with time for breakdowns and such. But it has been a busy year for named storms already given we are into Joyce (10th storm worthy of a name). ::sigh:: Just gotta wait and see what the decision is later this fall.
Well, it is raining pretty heavily, so I am going to try to hunker down and go to sleep withOUT the hatch open and no A/C. ::heavy sigh::
Over and out!
08/23/2012, American Yacht Harbor, Vessup Bay, St Thomas, USVI
(Flowers from Jettie)
Just a quick note to say we made it through the night with Issac. It was a little bumpy but made for a good sleep. Well except for when it would rain on my face and confuse the hell out of me in my dreams and then when the hatch was closed and it got warm in the cabin. I got up at 630 a.m. to check on the many fenders and make sure they are properly keeping us off the dock's hard sharp parts.
Try as I may, I could not stay awake last night so yesterday's post will be posted here in a bit with the preparations and pics. I was exhausted from prepping the boat, although I didn't do as much as Jettie, of course. I just can't do the things I used to be able to do. :O(
Anyway, me, Jettie, Dutchess and Duke are doing fine.
Bye for now.
08/22/2012, American Yacht Harbor, Vessup Bay, St Thomas, USVI
We spent all day getting the boat ready, as did 95% of the people we saw at the marina and in the mooring field next door. Everyone gathered things that could fly away, flap and beat the gel coat off of the boat (the finish), tied up, taped up, strapped down things that could not be put away. Our boat is tied up with lines going everywhere, crisscrossing here and there, til the Marina was happy we were secure. Guess they didn't want what just happened in Fort Worth to happen here but with loose boats banging into each other til docks broke away. Can you imagine? A whole dock of expensive boats floating away in a tropical storm with 80% of them with people sleeping aboard. It would likely be video tapped for our enjoyment of others misery. Let's hope it doesn't happen.
Jettie worked for an hour tying the left over red line that was attached to the mast around` the boom to keep the main sail and it's cover / pack safely tied up and then added a green one at the end as she needed more line. Then this guy came over and asked if we needed help taking down our head sail or jib (the one in the front of the boat that is wound up on a furler). Given we did not know this fella, we thought we had best ask our friend Kevin what he thought about taking the furled sail down. He said "Yes, you should take it down as they like to come unfurled in high winds. I'll be over to help you get her down in a little while." "Great!" What a nice guy.
We set out nearly every dock line and every fender (air filled tubes or balls with holes end the ends to attach lines to and hang from where ever you can find a spot, on the dock or on the boat) we had on the side of the boat next to the dock. The boat next to us had already put out two huge round fenders to make sure we did not hit them on our difficult attempt at putting the boat in the slip, so that side is covered. Plus the lines to the dock and the pilings (big telephone poles pounded into the ground that hold the boat in the slip should keep us off of them, unless a line or cleat breaks. Pics with captions
Lines tied to mast with other lines = knotmare!
Port Piling and other boat's fender
Starboard fenders from front
Starboard fenders from back with great pic of splash
Jettie was off buying a few more fenders and while she was gone, Kevin and I figured out that the line we needed to take the sail down happened to be red. The red one Jettie spent an hour tying on to the boom. We took down everything she did and took down the sail. As it was unfurling, the wind had begun to pick up a little and had the sail flogging (beating back and forth violently) quite a bit. Kevin was still hanging on to it trying to get the last bit to unfurl, when a big gust of wind snatched him off of the deck, sent him to the left. Thank goodness I had a hold of the line when that all started and put a wrap on the wench to hold him. The sail then snapped back to the right and had Kevin at least five feet off the ground, which is not bad when you have something nice to land on. I thought it was going to flick him off on to the dock next to the boat, or worse between the dock and the bouncing boat or on the lifelines, but nicely the sail snapped right over the mostly flat surface of the boat. He let go and dropped safely on the deck. Whew! Ambulance ride averted! I was so glad I had a hold of that line and that it was not let out further. It was perfect! This reminds me that I need to get a picture of Kevin!
Pic of sail on furler
No sail on furler, lower pic
No sail on furler, top pic
Jettie came back not too pleased that her beautiful job had been taken down, but we had not choice. We got the sail pulled down and found there were no seizing on the thumb nuts (seizing is a stainless ring, cotter pin, or plastic ziptie that keeps the pin from unwinding itself. That means the sail could have fallen down, the furler come apart, or the bottom of the sail to come unhooked, all of which could have had bad results. Geez, those Moorings folks do lousy work in the safety department. We got the sail folded up and stored in the boat til these storms pass. Then the boom had to be tied up with the sheets (control lines) from the sail we just took down. Perfect. I had been wondering where I was going to put them so they would not unwind out of the little open cubbyhole the lines are supposed to go in.
Mainsail wrapped up
We hoisted up the dingy, tied lines to and above it, hopefully that will not rub off the material covering the handles this time. Some of these lessons we learn are damaging and it sucks! :O( We took the BBQ down to keep it from smacking the edge of the dingy.... this is a lesson we will not have to learn! I watched a boat push it's dingy toward a dock and pop goes the dingy!
Duke hoisted and bbq down
We sat in the cockpit where it was comfortable as there was a good stiff breeze at time. With the humidity as high as it is and without all of the windows and hatches open, it is miserable inside the boat. I can see St. John from where I sit if I turn around and look out the windows in back and through the saloon (kind of a living room / eating area name on a boat, not an old western bar). So I would take a peak every so often when it would start to sprinkle. If I couldn't see St. John anymore we high tailed it back inside, usually just in time for a down pour. The other island is only two or three miles away at the most so with visibility of that poor, you know you are in for a drenching usually. Usually has been the key word... After nearly killing myself to get inside, I started waiting and letting the fine sprinkles make their way between the bimini (top over cockpit) and what would kind of be the dashboard or the hood of a car, so the space is small and you might not get too much rain on you when it is a rain storm that lasts 1 or 2 minutes and is gone. It is those little storms you see on the radar on the outer edges of the tropical storm. They appear quickly and then are gone. Kinda strange little rain showers. I have only had to run in twice for legitimate rain storms that would have soaked me. There is a 8 inch tall and 8 inch wide step (yes, I measured it) that you have to clear to get inside and my poor knees and toes have not re-acclimated to the height and width for which one must clear or else the toes get scraped along a metal door track. So my ulterior motive was to not have to jump up (okay, pry myself up) and try to be an Olympic hurdler (okay, try not to fall over the 8 X 8 threshold), and get over that toe buster instead of hurrying in from the rain. Ask Jettie, she hits it more often that I do.
We have a storage compartment on the port (left) side of the boat forward that always has stuff that leaks. Usually it is gallon jugs of water if you can believe that. We usually take the empties back to the store and for sixty cents to a dollar we can refill them instead of $1.65 to $2 for them at the store. So at one point I thought it was always the refilled ones that leaked and that is not so as some of the new ones made a mess. Well, if you do not find the leak right away, it will mildew EVERYTHING in that water tight compartment IN 24 HOURS OR LESS. We are not sure about the less part, but we have been in the compartment to get something and then a day later came back to that mess. Well, we left a case of Diet Coke, a case of Sprite and a 12 pack of Orange Sunkist and apparently the 89 degrees with 95% humidity, mixed with a bunch of rocking and rolling in the boat and 2 of the Sprites blew the pop tops out backward and 3 had slow leaks somewhere in the can along with 1 Orange Sunkist did a slow leak but none of the Diet Cokes imploded. So it was a black mildew mess that was unbelievable. NO pictures were taken....ewww, didn't think about it at the time as I bathed what seemed like 1000 cans, top, bottom and sides, having to scrub the tops to get it out of the groves while the boat jostled around with winds gusting to 35 mph and steady at 20 mph. Another one of those lessons, don't leave sodas on the boat while you are gone for a month or a day apparently.
Well, I think this is it for this post. Hanging on for Issac and calling it a night.
08/22/2012, American Yacht Harbor, Vessup Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Okay I wrote the whole blog out and got that stupid little message about it not going to save anything but I usually ignore it and it works just fine but not this time. So since I'm tired and don't feel good I'm going to try using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to write the blog.
Well we had a five leaf clover that protected us from five storms so far. Now here comes the real test. Isaac is on its way to us, as can be seen in the image above. We are between the r and the t in Puerto Rico above. We have been very lucky thus far. But now we get to experience our first tropical storm up close and personal. I believe it's to be here sometime tomorrow evening which kind of sucks as it will be dark and even more spooky scary.
We moved from our other mooring into the Marina, where we feel like we have a better and more stable place to tie up to. We just have to watch for other people's stuff flying at us. Good thing we're a sailboat with a mast sticking up and not these big wide and tall fishing boats.
It appears that thing is going to get us is a lot of rain and a lot of wind as shown on the picture above. We are between the R in (Puerto) Rico.
I better get to bed so I can try to help Jettie with tying down anything that could fly off the boat.
So please send us some good vibes, good thoughts, prayers, or whatever it is that you do to send good stuff, please send it our way. Another blog tomorrow, errr later today. Over and out.
While we have been here in Texas, Cindy gave us a five leaf clover...yes, five. So with the extra leaf and the special gift from her for the safety of our boat while we are away from her, it has worked wonders. As soon as we left Ernesto came along, then Florence, and then Gordon. I am scared to look and see what is next. We will be going back on the 20th so I can stop worrying. Next time it will be only a 2 week trip.
Then my other boat, Jibsaw Puzzle, a 1986 Hunter 26, that is for sale at Lake Country Marina in Fort Worth, Texas was hit by a storm which caused all kinds of havoc including tearing apart and moving the entire 200 foot plus dock up against the breakwater and other slips and moved it 500 yards in to the lake!
Here are the pics of the dock disaster... you don't have to have Facebook to view them.
And here is a video...
As noted we will be home to our girl soon and I can stop worrying.
07/26/2012, Houston, Tx
Well, what can I say? I have been bad. We have been in and out of areas with Wifi and we have not left St. Thomas for a host of reasons. If you noticed in the heading, my location is Houston. We have come back to Jettie's parent's place so we can deal with some things in Houston, like going to the doctor for refills, scheduling my double knee replacement, making sure the doc, hospital and procedure is on my insurance before we get back here this fall to get it done and over with, back to see Jettie's parents as they are in their eighties, and to get some stuff out of our 40 foot container, before Jettie buys everything we have in the container for the boat all over again. Now we really need to have a gargage sale since she has nearly bought everything we had set aside in the container for the boat. Since we were not able to sail back due to the weather, she has been doing "a little" shopping. There are a few odd things we want that are tooooo expensive down there, like kayaks. Now we have to see how much it will cost to ship one back to St. Thomas.
And then the weird part was leaving Dutchess by herself for the first time. She is in capable hands with Mack as he is sitting in his boat like 100 feet or so from Dutchess with no one between us in Vessup Bay. This is the first time we have left her for more than a few days that we spent with Shaun up at the house. I thought that I would have sea leg issues but I haven't had it at all, even going over to Shaun's house. I wonder why that is. I would get it just in a weekend on my boat on Eagle Mountain Lake and the movement is definitely greater on Dutchess even though she is a cat and Jibsaw Puzzle is a monohull.
So I am going to try to post some pics from the memory card from my camera. I didn't want to haul it back here as I did not think we would be taking too many pictures, yet I wanted to try and catch up on some old posts. I am also going to try to make a committment to post something, if possible to the blog once a week. Now... let's see how good I do with that! I will do my best!
05/23/2012, American Yacht Harbor Marina, Vessup Bay, St Thomas
(Image of Hurricane Ivan from 2004 path across the Atlantic, Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico)
Jettie was talking to her Mom the other day and she informed her that there was a storm in the Atlantic. We had not been monitoring the weather because we have been loitering around American Yacht Harbor (AYH) and back and forth to Christmas Cove depending on what we need to do. We are back at AYH because our Raymarine Instruments that were removed from the boat and sent to Raymarine to be checked out, have been returned and are to be reinstalled in a few hours as I write this blog. Word has it, that the compass is dying. Our choices are to reinstall it, buy a new one and keep it on hand til the other one completely conks out or buy the new one and install it now, and keep the old one, in case the new one happens to die in between Puerto Rico and the Turks and Cacaos (the only place we would really need everything to be properly working). Given the current one works for a month and then quits, but this last time it refused to be "swung" aka twirled around in circles a slow moving boat to calibrate it back to seeing all directions properly, I think we should go with the latter option. This option will only cost about a third of a BOAT buck - a thousand dollars from the Bring Out Another Thousand definition.
So back to the storm in the Atlantic: NOAA says that the Hurricane Season in the Atlantic starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. The Eastern Pacific starts on the 15th of May and ends the same time. Well, someone did not get that info out to Ms. Nature. She drummed up a Tropical Storm in the Atlantic on May 19th but Alberto fizzled out in to nothing as of today, 10 days prior to the official start of the season. Given Ms. Nature can be a Mother, is a Mother, our latest discussion is to not to try to out fox her this year, and just head south down the chain of islands to the equator (oh my, I will have to get an air conditioner now!)
But given we are women, we may just change our minds again as we would really like to get the boat back to Texas for a little while. We shall see.
05/08/2012, American Yacht Harbor Marina, Vessup Bay, St Thomas
We came back to American Yacht Harbor for the usual (water, do some laundry - altho we heard about a boat pickup service we may use while we are here, charge up the batteries as it has been cloudy) but mostly to meet up with Neil from TropicComm, a service provider for Raymarine, as our Autopilot keeps forgetting which way is North. This has happened three times now since mid February. We cannot sail back to Texas or even South for hurricane season without an autopilot. Well, we could but we don't want to!
When I first got my 26 foot Hunter sailboat back in 2005, I think it was, I could not understand why anyone on a sailboat would need, no less want an autopilot. That was because I was sailing in a small lake where the following applied:
1) We were busy enough tacking (changing direction turning the bow through the wind) not to need something to steer the boat as we needed control of the helm (the steering area).
2) Being off a degree or two meant we would still see the mark, if racing
3) The waves were not big enough to make a significant change in our course
BUT... being on the ocean, the following applies
1) There is little to do for miles and miles and an auitopilot is like another crew member that rarely complains (unless it is malfunctioning)
2) Being off a few degrees over miles and miles could mean missing a whole country / island.
3) The waves will move you 1 degree to the left, then 2 degrees to the right, then 2 more to the right, so it is tool that will make those corrections constantly as you sail.
So my trip to St. Martin several years ago enlightened me as to why having the wheel automatically move, eek, eek, eek, to the left and right is the best thing since pre-spliced ldock ines when it comes to a boat. :O)
I just looked at the weather today and it is as follows for St Thomas:
84 High, 77 Low, Scattered Showers, Winds E 13 - 16,
Enter any day, +/- 1 to 2 degrees or knots of wind speed, as it is relatively the same for all 10 days. Pretty nice, eh?
Now I have a big block of missing dates that I am trying to catch up with from our being out of wifi contact. I think I asked this before, but I will ask it again. Anyone local have any info on the best and most economical way to stay connected in the US or BVI's? If so, comment here or hit the email button on the top right above the map icon.
04/28/2012, American Yacht Harbor Marina, Vessup Bay, St Thomas
The pic above is Dutchess with her solar panels. Kyocera 130's - three of them should give us around 22 - 25 amps per hour during the hours that full sun is bearing down on them. It is interesting that even a cloud going by will drop it to 10 amps or less. It will get like 4 to 6 if it is raining and kinda bright outside.
This means that we don't have to crank up the engines and run them for hours to charge the batteries up or go to the marinas and pay $100 - 200 a day to be able to hook up to shore power to get them charged back up. The only time we will have to do it, is if it is raining and overcast a lot and the amps going in during the day, do no equal what we are using during the day. We have the fridge, lights, fans, bilge, fresh water and shower pumps, the gas valve and instruments that all need electricity each day. Add to that, the laptop, the cell phones, rechargeable batteries, maybe the tall fan (haven't tried it on the inverter yet). For those that don't know, an inverter is a little device which plugs into the cigarette lighter and will convert your battery's 12 volt power to 110 volt so you can charge things like your laptop or power other small devices. Not only can they be used in the boat, but you can use them in your car on long trips.
If we find that we don't have enough energy with the solar panels, we can get a wind driven power generator, but it is going to have to be really quiet so as not to disturb me or the other folks at an anchorage or a marina. I can hear one right now. Bbbrrr, bbbbbbrrrrrrrrrr, brrrrrrrr, bbrrrrrrr Some sound like a plane with turbo props like the sea planes around here are about to take off . Or a helicopter is coming in for landing. I don't know how they can stand it when I am not sitting on their boat but across the water away from them and it is making me crazy. But it is only a short drive for me to be crazy especially as repetitive noises as such just get on my last gay nerve!
I can't wait to see how well the panels will work. The hardware was about $1,600 and the same to install, ship and deliver. I am not sure how long it will take to recoup the cost, but just not having to listen to or smell the engines was enough benefit for me. I am not sure how we would compute wear and tear on the engine, but that has to be a fair amount.
The only draw back is that they are mounted on the hard top bimini and that reduces the places we have to walk up there and deal with the boom , lazy jack, various reefing lines, sail cover with PITA zipper, and not to mention the main sail. Now if it is calm as can be out there, it will be no problem, but on a windy day, it will be interesting, to say the least. The solar cells are covered in glass. Now who's bright idea was that? How about plexiglass or some other indestructible covering that I can step on and not break the first month we have them? I just don't understand some people. It's not like these are not to be put on sailboats or anything. What about hail storms or those birds that pick up shells and drop them on hard stuff to break them open?
If they become a problem up there, then we will have to have a custom stainless steel thing built that will go over the davits (which at the arms off the back of the boat that hold up the dingy, Duke, out of the water).
B.O.A.T. B.O.A.T. B.O.A.T. ::sigh::
Here are the pics showing one panel on the right side since there is a sliding hatch over the helm so the one sitting at the wheel can open it to get sun burnt or leave it shut to see through the window so they can tell what is going on with the main sail and the wind. Then the left side has two panels. We need to get the sail up and the traveler moved around and make sure the lines do not get caught on the panels and snatch them off. Maybe we should adhere some flotation device on the backs of them so we can recover them if they go in the drink. They could sell that as a safety device, eh? Nah, they want you to buy a new one for about $400 each instead.
This is our American Flag that is attached to the topping lift, the line that hold up the back of the boom which is attached to the top of the mast. The country of the boat is displayed back here and then a courtesy flag of the country you are visiting is flown up front off the speaders that are attached to the mast. Then the other side, depending where you are visiting is left for what is called the "Q" flag. It is short for Quarantine and means that you are new to the country and are waiting for the plethora of government officials to come board your boat. Usually immigration, customs, the military or coast guard and sometimes the health department to make sure you are not bringing sickness, illegal plants or food or animals aboard. That flag stays up there and you stay in your boat til they come to inspect you, your boat and your papers. There are a whole set of letters and numbers that are each represented by a flag so like in racing they are used to signify groups to start racing, to come to the committee boat for course changes, and such things that need to be communicated. Or when you are bored while lost at sea with a bag of flags, you can try to spell something and hang from a palm tree on a deserted island. LOL
Are all of you non-sailors learning something? :O)
Until next time....
04/18/2012, Cinnamon Bay, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
(Picture of houses to the side of Cinnamon Bay, which might be Peter Bay.)
Since Trinette is with us, we had to decide where to go and with so many choices of places to go, we gave her the cruising guide to look at and help decide.
We moved over to Cinnamon Bay to see the other beach and be closer to the little store over there so the girls would have ice for their drinks. Looks like Trinette has found a new cocktail. It is called a Painkiller. The secret ingredient is fresh ground nutmeg. I had never seen a fresh nut of meg. It smells so much different than the crap that is ground up in the bottle. I did not have one as I have not been able to have any alcohol due to the meds I am taking. I guess I could have had a virgin one, but some drinks are just not worth it without the alcohol. Maybe next time. I am sure there will be many more Painkillers mixed on this boat. It sure would be nice if Jane Massie would get her butt back to this part of the world and start serving some!
The Painkiller® is a blend of Pusser's Rum with 4 parts pineapple juice, 1 part cream of coconut and 1 part orange juice served over the rocks with a generous amount of fresh nutmeg on top.
This is the day that Trinette swam to shore to see about taking a wind surfing lesson. It was like $300 for the class. What is the deal? Trying to charge so much cuz they think everyone is rich? Whatever. They don't deserve our money and they did not get it.
In the pictures above it is hard to tell which is the sea turtle and which is Trinette, until she gets close up, there is no resemblance at all. LOL There are quite a few sea turtle around. I wish I could go snorkeling and get a picture under water, but my sore knees protest about being used as aquatic fin joints or upright human ones. Bummer. Maybe they will heal up in a few weeks if I can stop tweaking them going up and down stairs and squatting (all those things they tell you not to do, but how can you avoid it and live on planet Earth?).
04/17/2012, Maho Bay, US Virgin Islands National Park, St John
(The above shot is of the shore at Maho Bay and the beach facilities.)
We were tired of being jostled about so we went looking for a more secure anchorage and we found it. A huge cove with at least 25 mooring balls. It had deep water and shallow areas great for snorkling especially since we were needing to move to more of a leeward area to get away from the north swells. Otherwise the waves will not let you stay in one area and they can smash you into the rocks if you are too close to them.
Over at Caneel Bay the prior day, I got out my floatie and layed down on it and smartly tied myself to the boat which was a good thing as in less than a minute, my line was taunt. I had to work to pull myself back to the boat and then I was worried I was going to be hit by the 29,000 pound boat as it rose and splashed back down roughly as I was getting close. Then in no time I was being jerked aound the other side of the boat.... ok... I give up. I can't snorkle or lay on the floatie and relax. Jettie and Trinette tried snorkling but I don't think they had much sucess either.
But Maho Bay looked to be a great spot.....except Ms. Trinette has watched way too many news reports! While out in Maho Bay, Jettie and Trinette were on their way to go snorkeling across the bay from where were moored, when Big T spies a Big silver barracuda about eighteen feet long (in her mind). Given there was nowhere else to go, Trinette chose to climb on Jettie's back to avoid being eaten by "the shark". If it were not for the fact that Jettie can swim and outweighs Trinette, the two of them would have drowned while Trinette was screaming hysterically. Terrified and only away from the boat ten yards, Jettie calmed her down and they went back to the safety of Dutchess. However, the very next day she swam all the way to the shore and back by herself, thus conquering her fear of being eaten alive. There was a sea turtle in her path back to the boat. It did not appear that either the turtle or Trinette could see the other so Jettie stood with the camera waiting for money shot, but the turtle chose to dive before an encounter could occur. Rats!
We were lucky to have Trinette aboard and as such an eager learner, but it was a plus that boats were in her younger days with her family. She wanted to catch the mooring ball when we came into Mayo Bay as can be seen by the following picture. She did a great job!
When Trinette got back home she did a web search for "Sharks and St John" and she did not find much on the subject as typically it requires a healthy reef to have sharks around. But what she did find was an older post about her friend, the huge barracuda. Apparently other folks have encountered the 5 foot long inquisitive and beautiful fish. :O)
Here is the info from a different, more terrified perspective: Trinette's.
"I can laugh about it now but the day of and a few days after I was still shaking.
Jettie and I had been snorkeling the bays but not really seeing many fish. Stingrays, turtles, star fish, but not much else. Until one day we moored at Maho bay in Saint John.
We snorkeled almost all the way to shore and saw nothing... We then hopped aboard, had a drink, then jumped back in to what looked to be a darker area which sometimes means coral. We were 20 meters away from the boat when this huge barracuda swam underneath me. I of course do the one thing you are NOT suppose to do and FREAK OUT!! I scream through my mouth piece and scramble onto Jettie's back. Somehow she stays afloat and I keep floundering (again logic is not being used). She says I jumped on her back a couple of times.
After I am a little calmer she says swim back to the boat, we are done!"
Jettie said that the look on Trinette's face was of pure terror. Poor thing!
This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Here is a pic of a 'cuda' I found online.
04/16/2012, Lind Point, US Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
We moved down to Lind Point to be close to Cruz Bay as I had Trinette sign up for Small Vessel Reporting System so we would ALL be able to use it, otherwise if we went to the British Virgin Islands (BVI's) and then had to check in with Customs in the US Virgin Islands, then we would have to have her go in and check in or be stuck on the boat til they came over which on island time can take a long time. Unfortunately she left out of Tortola on the BVI side, so she did not come back through the US with us so it was all for not (go figure).
Now if we thought Caneel bay was rough, Lind Point was worse. Rocking and rolling with stuff falling off the counters and being thrown about in your cabin for at least two or three minutes which is forever when something crazy like that is going on.
Later in the evening, some other boats showed up. Ok... not boats, one was definitely a ship. I posted it as the first pic. I used the company photo as my little one was not as good but it is below. This is the Club Med 2. A five-masted sailing cruise ship that is 194 meters or 637 feet long carries 386 passengers and 214 crew. Then another monster boat showed up. It was a monohull (one hull, unlike us, which is a multihull - catamaran - 2 hulls) with 5 spreaders on the mast. Our mast is 61 feet tall and has 1 spreader... so this is a HUGE sailboat. Go figure that my pic of this boat has the Club Med 2 behind it. Who knows who owns this beast? Wonder if we dingied over with a bottle of wine if they would let us low life folks on board? They were gone in a flash. Maybe lots of people try to get aboard.
More pics to come on the next post.
04/15/2012, Caneel Bay, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
As I was reminded....there is more to this story on the prior post. It goes a little like this: Trinette and I had been texting back and forth and even talked about where to fly in and out of. If we left St. Thomas there would be San Juan and then nothing til the Turks. And either she could go with us up there or if we were still in St. Thomas, just meet us here. Or, or, or, or....
Well once Trinette decided she was coming and when, she texted me and let me know. Since nothing was finalized, I had only mentioned to Jettie that I had invited her since her Divorce was final and she could use some fun time away. So I was telling Jettie "Remember the girl I told you about that was getting a divorce, blah blah blah, well she is going to come hang out with us for a week or so...." At which point she was now off doing something but not listening to me. I figured I would bring it up again when she was more focused on what I was saying.
I was using my phone to access the internet the night Trinette and I had talked on the phone about which island has an airport (surprisingly a lot of them in the Turks/Bahama's do). I had Trinette call me on Jettie's phone so I could keep using the internet thus she had Jettie's number (this is an important part of the story).
Several days later, Trinette texted me and told me she would be here on Friday. Cool. Well, a few weeks prior I tweaked both knees and both shoulders. Go figure. The knees were still screaming so on that Friday the 13th, I went to the Doc to see what I did to them. Of course while I was in the Twister pose on the Xray table, Trinette calls. I let it just ring as it was sitting on the chair and out of my reach anyway. I was late for my appt as it took freaking forever to get the xray (Island time, man... is so slow and laid back it is a wonder they don't forget what it was they were doing). So, I go up and get the word "You need two knee replacements" and she filled both of my already swollen and sore knees full of a steroid. (You should have seen Jettie do the "I've got to use the restroom, when the Doc broke out the needles for the lovely injections. LOL) Oddly enough right next door to the doctors office, is the VA clinic. Perfect! So Jettie went over there while I did the xray stuff. Of course while she is at the counter talking to the two ladies, Trinette calls. Well, Jettie hadn't paid enough attention to her name to even realize who was calling and told her promptly that she had the wrong number. Now if you know Trinette, you will not be surprised at the response of "No, I do not." Trinette can hear lots going on in the background and thinks she hears me laughing. No, I was grimacing on the Xray table, that was Jettie and the ladies talking. So after Trinette convinces Jettie that she is calling for me, she relays the message that I am at a Doctors appointment and will call her back.
Now after all of the goings on, knee replacements and shots, I forgot to call Trinette back on the way to dinner at a slow island Sushi place (that pollutes their Teriyaki Chicken with disgusting mushrooms and totally screwed up my dinner choice and the place sucked) Jettie reminded me during dinner that "Some girl called named, Trin something called for you. I thought she had the wrong number. She said "NO I don't." Then I figured out it was your friend but she called while I was getting checked in at the VA." "Cool, I'll call her back."
Ring.... ring... ring... as soon as I got in the car after dinner. "Hey Trinette! How are you? Sounds like you and Jettie had a fun convo." "Yeah, I thought you two were playing a trick on me, like you didn't know who I was. So can you come pick me up?" "Huh? Where are you?" "At the St. Thomas airport." "Holy cow Batwoman! Sure, we will be right there...(Jettie, OMG I totally spaced she was coming in today. Good thing we stayed in St. Thomas!)"
So now you have the rest of the story.... isn't that what that one guy said....was it Walter Cronkite? I am sure someone will correct me if I am incorrect about that.
04/15/2012, Caneel Bay, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
Trinette, one of my old co-workers from IRS, crazy friend and ever the smiling and fun gal, was encouraged to take some needed time off work. I had invited her to come go sailing with us and she took us up on the offer and showed up in St. Thomas on Friday the 13th. Her visit gave us something to do while we are waiting for our solar power supplies to show up from the US since we couldn't leave St. Thomas to go North yet. She has never been in this area and there were so many places that we had not visited and some we wanted to revisit.
After hanging out in St. Thomas a bit longer, we went to St John. This place is amazing. With more than half of the island set aside as a National Park, it is very pretty and primitive. Cannell Bay had several beaches that were only accessible by the water. They were so peaceful and not too many people were there. I expected it to be a lot more crowded. You are only allowed to stay 30 nights a year and no more than 7 consecutive days.
Trinette found a spot on the tramp right away. I told once we got out into deeper waters and lay face down and look down into the incredibly beautiful water. She was oohing and aaahing and then sqealed as we went over a few big waves and she got soaked. LOL I did not intend for her to get wet.
She had bought a pink St Thomas hat (as seen above) and did not have a tether to hook it to her shirt and off it went into the Caribbean Sea. She was like "Oh well" but Jettie was slowing the boat down and telling Trinette to get the boat hook. I should have gotten pictures of her running from the bow to the stern from one side to the other, almost getting the hat, circling back, take another shot at it, backing up and bumping into Duke but I had to pull Duke up to make sure we didn't foul the line (get it wrapped around the propeller or the rudder). Each time I would go to tie it off or let it go, they would miss the hat. It was a good Hat Overboard Drill. :O)
It was a bit rough due to a north swell (wind pushing waves from the north), so Cannell Bay was a bit of a rough anchorage. We opted to stay and see how the weather was the next day. Our mooring was right outside of a resort. We have a cruising guide that tells you things about each anchorage and such. This one had the nerve to say that those at the resort would appreciate it if we did not hang our laundry out on our lifelines (the stainless steel lines that serve as something to leave a bruise when you fall off the boat). Now let me get this straight. It is my boat, my clothes or towels and we are on a national park. So the reason is that you don't want to look at our underwear? Wait, that would probably be too hard to see. Wait... I think I get it. You don't want your pictures of our beautiful boats to be littered with laundry? Well tough... everyone had laundry out.
Plus there isn't even anyone out there right now to take picture or be insulted by our laundry. The nice thing about St. John is that the beaches are public so you can get to them from the water and the resort cannot do anything as long as you don't leave the beach or use their precious beach chairs. Maybe I should bring our beach chairs, a clothes line to string between them and hang our laundry up to dry on the beach! LOL See what happens when people get me started?
Despite the rocky anchorage, there was a beautiful sunset.
04/13/2012, American Yacht Harbor, Vessup Bay (East End and West of Red Hook), St Thomas
Well, we have been here at American Yacht Harbor over by Red Hook in Vessup Bay since the 8th of April. We had to decide what to invest our money in... new alternators / regulator packages, solar panels and a charge controller and/or new batteries. So after many debates , we decided that we would replace the alternators when they die with heavy duty ones with regulators, but for the time being, if we put the solar panels on, we should have enough energy to not have to be pverly concerned with the alternators abilities. Kevin, the father of most of the solar systems around us, ordered the stuff, I paid for it and now it should be here in 10 days or so.
It was a good thing we did not leave St Thomas as an old friend decided she needed to come take me up on my offer. Trinette, one of my old co-workers from IRS and crazy friend, was encouraged to take some needed time off work. I had invited her to come go sailing with us to celebrate her D-I-V-O-R-C-E and she took us up on the offer and showed up in St. Thomas on Friday the 13th. Her visit gave us something to do while we are waiting for our solar power supplies to show up. She had never been in this area and there were so many places that we had not visited and those we wanted to revisit.
We took off for St John on April 15th.