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Crewless once again ...
Jules
22/04/2012, Woburn, Grenada

All quiet(ish) on the Buzzard. Tony left for Indonesia last Wednesday after refusing all offers to help him get sorted out here in Grenada. We ended up taking him back to the hospital on Good Friday and although the doctor reassured him that he was not in any danger he remained adamant about going back. One thing that was quite poetic/funny was the doctor he saw at the hospital was a 26yr old female, very much to Tony's chagrin. When Mike was dismissed from the translating duties (like having to put 'bowel movement' into something Tony would understand) the doctor asked him to remove his clothes and lay on the table ... the look on his face was priceless, especially given his strong chauvanistic tendencies ................ LOLOL

Anyway, there was not a great deal we could do about it in the end, just pay for the ticket and wish him the best. Can't see that we'll ever meet again.

James has, finally, been in touch and may be back next week, or not as the case may be, so we're on our own. It makes for a calm boat which is good, and we're still managing to get a few jobs done, but unfortunately it also means our few days off the boat, has had to be put on hold.

My tooth is still not sorted and I had to go back for an emergency abscess draining and more antibiotics (the only side-effect of these being photo-sensitivity which made my toes go pink) BUT, fingers, pink toes and everything else crossed, it does seem better and hopefully when I go in the morning the hole in my tooth can finally be filled permanently. Then I apparently just have to have splints put on to check the mobility issue and it's done. I'm a little bit anxious about the cost as I haven't paid anything yet and I've had almost fifteen appointments over the last six weeks ... but I guess a front tooth is worth it.

We managed a quiet night out at Sep's with June and Jeff the night before June returned to Toronto. Just the luck of the draw that we really didn't get to spent much time with her this trip, but you never know we may get to see her in Canada sooner rather than later as Mike has to go back to re-new his driving license before September.

We helped organise a 70th birthday party on Hog Island for our friend Don on Easter Monday which was good and much appreciated, especially the cake I made. He's now in Trinidad painting the bottom of his boat, and Rudi is now in St. Martin looking for crew to sail back across the Atlantic with him.

Mike, Jeff and three others had a guys fishing/bilge pumping day out on the Buzzard last Friday. They took off around 1 pm and went out to the 12 mile bank, getting back just before dark. In amongst the beer and the rum they even managed to catch three barracudas and a tuna. I spent the day on Jeff's boat, in the rain. We seem to be having an awful lot of rain considering it's still the dry season.

Jeff kindly went down and cleaned the prop before they went out. Our friend Scott had gone done a few weeks before to replace the anodes, there being no sign of the ones we attached before we left the UK, surprise, surprise. While Scott was down there he took some video footage of the bottom. We have a scarily big eco-system living down there where we haven't managed to reach with the scrapers, and even our own resident crab colony around the intake valves. All quite beautiful; maybe we could start an in-house reef diving centre. Or maybe we have to start thinking about the necessity of hauling out ... no, that's even more scary!

We're still having outboard problems unfortunately. The 8 hp proved not only to be frustratingly slow and unable to plane but also a worse gas guzzler than the 25 hp. Mike switched them round again and took the 8 hp to get looked at. Apparently it needs a new diaphragm for the carbuerator and also a new reed valve, both of which have to ordered from the States so we're hurrying up and waiting on those.

Ron and Jeanne's heat exchanger went and Mike just happened to have a spare one down in our hold so he's been helping Ron reconfigure his system to incorporate the new one. I sometimes wonder what we don't have down in that hold, well except for the stuff we seem to need.

I still haven't finished the new blog site yet. I'm struggling to find a way to transfer the photo albums from this blog to the new one, without having to individually copy and paste all the photos, of which there are quite a lot. If any of you computer literate folks out there have any ideas please let me know.

Toby and Nellie are fine. There are quite a few young kids around Hog Island at the moment so Toby gets lots of attention and play-mates to help him dig holes. And we actually get to have a couple of beers without constantly having to throw sticks or coconuts in the water, which is a good result all round.

Love to all .... Don't be shy about commenting either !!

Happy Easter
Jules
05/04/2012

Well, two out of, how many(?) isn't bad.

We finally got the new generator on board and down in the engine room. Then the tool chest had to be taken out and the radiator had to come off the Lister so that it could be put in position. Which Mike, with the help of Tony and Rudi, did by floating it across the engine room on chain blocks. Mike then had to cut a hole through the deck-head of the engine room to attach the new exhaust ... no longer will we have water coming in and flooding engines, apparently.

So it's now installed and running, which is wonderful. It's not quite as quiet, or vibration free, as we would have hoped but at least it works!

We had to have Spanny the welder back for a couple of days to weld the exhaust on deck and a few other odds and sods, like welding up the passage-way door we never use and finally finishing off the overhead hatch on the bedsit door which has never worked anyway.

Unfortunately both the fridges we were trying to get fixed turned out to be NFG. Although we did find a small old one we'd had in the hold since leaving Maryport which works so at least we have something, and we've moved the beer fridge down nearer the galley so we can put food in there as well. So we are functioning on that front, even if not quite on all cylinders.

Mike did a much needed dinghy overall and stopped the leaks (it was like getting into a floating paddling pool every time we went anywhere). He also managed to get the Yamaha 8 hp outboard running so we've switched that for the gas guzzling 25 hp. It's frustratingly slow after the 25 but hopefully something that I can run once the initial teething problems have been sorted out.

There's still no news on the inverter, apparently the guy's waiting for parts, so lights out really does mean lights out (plus fan, and music, and anything else that needs power).

I've been going to the dentist at least a couple of times a week, including this morning, and am now on my fourth set of antibiotics but the infection still hasn't cleared and they can't refill my tooth until it does. With the last lot of antibiotics I developed oesophagitis which was particularly painful and worrying but which thankfully got slightly better once I started to take the Zantac ... I'm starting to feel a bit like a walking pharmacy which, after years of not having to take anything, is not a good feeling.

On another not very good note. Tony went to the hospital on Monday because he had a pain in his side and was feeling sick. It turns out he has a hernia. Being a typical Indonesian (and this really is a cultural thing) he thinks he's going to die (or at the very least never be able to have sex again). His first response was to want to go home, somewhat understandably I guess. Since then we've shown him videos and translated articles from the NHS website (thank God for the internet ... it really does have it's uses!), and we've also had Rudi talk to him about his experiences with hernias. He seems to have calmed down a little but is walking around feeling exceedingly sorry for himself. We'll go with him to the hospital after the holidays to talk to doctor about getting surgery done here, but ultimately if he wants to go we can't stop him ... well apart from the fact that he sent most of him money back to Indonesia already so doesn't have the airfare.

There was a fire on Hog Island last Monday night which was quite a blaze. It raged for well over ten hours and left a large part of the island under ash, but luckily it didn't make it down to Roger's Bar so that was ok. We also had some excitement yesterday when the customs came and impounded one of the local boats for drug-running and arrested the local drug baron.

Sorry it's not a particularly inspiring blog, oh well ... Wishing you all a Happy Easter, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

Love to all ...

PS What's with all the weather ????

Back on the buoy
Jules
20/03/2012, Woburn, Grenada

So ... we finally finished our stint with the freighter, after five days at the dock. I was over at Port Louis Marina, pointedly not watching as they towed them off the dock. Just as well I wasn't watching as the steel hawser line broke and the pilot was going ballistic at the freighter crew who weren't paying attention. Later that evening we met the pilot, Lazarus, and his wife for supper at Port Louis and the service was so bad we ended up banning ourselves from ever going there again; it's not the first time we've done it but this time we definitely mean it.

Then on the Saturday morning I went to Angie's and Mike went out with the Buzzard to get fuel off Tobago and then head up to Carriacou. The weather wasn't in our favour though and they got a licking going back up.

People think that because we're a relatively big boat that we can handle the rough stuff, which on one level we can (or at least the Buzzard can), but it doesn't mean we don't roll, get green water over the wheelhouse and two foot deep on the side-decks, and have things flying all over the place. Mike said it was a good job I wasn't on board and I have to say I totally agree with him.

But, anyway, he got to Carriacou ok and spent the next few days working hard to try and sort out the mess that was our boat. I got the ferry up on the Thursday after my first root canal appointment, and the vomit comet most certainly lived up to its name that day. Mike was on the dock to meet me and was looking very un-Mike like, with the tiredness barely concealed beneath his multi-coloured (mainly white) salty sea-dog beard.

Of course instead of going back to the Buzzard we went to Tanya's boat for five hours to help her sort out more of her electric problems, so when we finally did get back it was about 9 o'clock and we were both over tired. Which didn't help my mood when I walked into our cabin to find that stuff was still all over the floor, we'd had a diesel leak in the hold, oh and the fridge wasn't working again, and on and on ..... welcome home!

We tried hard to have a somewhat relaxing weekend but that didn't quite pan out, mainly due to some fairly serious issues between Tanya and her partner Jason. I also had the job of sorting out our cabin and the saloon and realising we'd become very complacent about the amount of stuff we had that wasn't secured, and having to do a fairly major cull. Then I had to catch the ferry back on Sunday afternoon so I could be back for my next dental appointment on the Monday morning (for which I arrived on time and then had to wait two hours because the chair was broken).

Mike left Tyrell Bay at 6.30 am Tuesday and headed back down to Woburn. They were shadowing Don whose old wooden boat was drastically in need of a haul-out and who wasn't sure it would make it down to Grenada. We had the bridles, ropes and spare pumps ready but luckily everything went well and they weren't needed.

They were back on the mooring buoy by 2 pm but had managed to get water in our one functioning generator so he had to fix that before they could get the crane going to launch the dinghy. I think he finally made it into Sep's around 5.30 pm, and then we went to the yacht club to meet up with June and Jeff, only their outboard wouldn't start so that didn't happen, and now they're up in Carriacou so we still haven't managed to see them. Just hope they get to come back to Hog before June leaves next month.

The last week has a been spent trying to catch up on sleep and sorting out some of our myriad problems. The new generator is now on the island, after leaving Florida a week later than it should have done, and hopefully we'll be able to pick it up tomorrow. The Onan generator has been un-installed. The fridge broke, got fixed, and has stopped again. The awning split and we had to take it down and get it sown up because having no shade is not an option and the 'new' awning is nowhere near being installed. We had a problem with a leak in the sea-chest and salt-water was seeping into the fresh so that had to be taken apart and fixed. We still don't have a working inverter so we're down to torch light once the generator goes off, and the batteries aren't doing what they should either.

It's almost like there's just so many problems to fix at the moment that we don't know where to start. Luckily though we are beginning to catch up on sleep and the world is beginning to seem slightly more manageable. I had hoped that Mike and I could get away for a couple of days but that's not really an option until James gets back (hopefully soon), as Tony can't always start the generator. Although he has now got over his home-sickness, has decided he does want to stay with us (good job), and has become slightly more motivated.

I've now had four dental appointments but when I went yesterday the abscess still hadn't gone so I'm back on anti-biotics and they can't pack the tooth until it's cleared up. It's starting to hurt quite a bit too. On a positive note though I went and got my blood results from the hospital and I don't have AIDS, hepatitis or syphilis, so that's ok.

It's also so good to be back on our mooring and among friends, and the weather is finally starting to calm down, although considering we're officially in the dry season there's still an awful lot of rain around.

Tony went off on Saturday afternoon and spent the night with Devon so we had the boat to ourselves for a while which was wonderful. And we had some people over for brunch on Sunday and even managed a few hours on Hog Island in the afternoon. So normal life is starting to be resumed.

I'm hoping that the next blog will be all about how the new generator is up and running perfectly, the inverter has been fixed, the outboards are now working, the fridge is keeping the beer as cold as it should be and we've just had a wonderful three day stay at a luxury resort (that isn't Port Louis) ... anyone like to bet???

Love to all ...

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