All good things must come to an end
05/08/2012, Simpson Bay Marina, Sint Maarten
The time has come that we must depart our cruising lifestyle and get back to land. At least for 18months.
The passage crew is Captain Jim, Dr. Frank & Bob along with adventure seekers Janet & Rachael.
The talk on the docks is "When are you headed out?" Where are you headed?" Who do you receive your weather from?" "How many gallons of diesel are you carrying?"........... always gleaning information from each other. Last night we joined the passage crew of s/v Wild Woman for dinner and had a great time exchanging stories and now we have some new friends for the years to come. Both crews may dine together tonight as I think Stephen enjoyed being around someone closer to his age - Tom is 19, @ the end of his gap year and has joined his dad and friend captain Judy (along with Emilio & 'Hobbie') for the passage across the big pond.
Well, my job is done as the upper and lower decks are clean, bulk items stored, laundry done and beds made. No cooking for me as Marty (Dr Frank's galleywench) has prepared and sent along some tasty meals for their passage.
May the winds be steady and the seas favorable!
I have enjoyed sharing our adventure with you - thanks for tagging along.
Until January 2014 - Ciao,
From the rains come sunshine
Sunny & calm
05/05/2012, Road Bay, Anguilla BWI
Thursday afternoon I sat and wondered what life in the islands would be like during the rainy season as it rained all afternoon and well into the night. I mean, this is the dry season. 3 people in 46ft of space we did what landlubbers do - a movie marathon of "The Godfather". When the sun shone its beautiful rays Friday morning I was outside hanging towels & t-shirts, raised the cockpit cushions to dry and admired the crystal clear blue water which happened to be even more clear as the seas were flat.
The guys went out for another dive with Doug (aka Double D). As the dive boat was approaching I was on deck to receive the stern line and noticed a rather long, dark object below. I jokingly said, "it looks like a small shark". I pointed it out to the dive boat as it moved slightly upon its approach and informed it was "a barracuda coming to meet its neighbor". Thanks Punky, guess that will keep me onboard for a while. They left and after awhile (30-40minutes) I braved the underworld for a swim. Of course, it was not until I lowered myself slowly down the ladder to see if the coast was clear.
They returned talking about all they saw and after a swim to shore we decided to go to Sandy Island for lunch. I loaded the snorkel stuff and stating such, we headed out on our 1-2 mile crossing. Beach the dinghy and begin to 'snorkel up' only to find out I left their snorkels behind.!? ARGH, I totally forgot they do not keep their snorkels on their masks when they dive and did not grab them from the deck. Silly me.
Jim was resourceful and borrowed one as he met a couple headed out of the water while Stephen swam along without. After a while he just hung around and practiced making blow rings - he actually made some really good ones and now knows a new trick so all is well. Of course there was much ribbing of my neglect but that's life!
Pics in the gallery
Stephen and 'remmy'
After a full day of rain I thought I would just show you some pics
Montserrat & Anguilla
05/02/2012, Road Bay, Anguilla BWI
Presently sitting on anchor - the last drop we will make on this voyage - in Anguilla and were able to find a WiFi connection reachable in the cockpit which is pretty lucky as the WirieAp has a little problem that we decided could wait to be rectified once we returned.
We arrived in Road Bay after an overnight sail from Montserrat. Thinking it was going to take 17hrs we dropped anchor in 14hrs. I would like to say it was due to my fine sail trimming but I did not touch a thing while on watch. Kudos to Captain Jim!
Backing up - Montserrat is well with the stop. There was only one other boat @ anchor with us (well a cataraman showed up at dusk and left at daybreak so we are not counting her) and fortunately they had not done an island tour yet so we joined them (Jon & Dianna s/v Scooby II form Germany) along with our guide Sam Sword on Monday. Basically what everyone wanted to see was Portsmouth and similar areas of the volcanic devastation. The only words to describe it come from someone else " a modern day Pompei" except only 19 persished on Montserrat. Please note the captions on the pictures as they explain the scene/shot better than just seeing what you think you see. It is amazing that the island has gone from 13,000 people and presently has approx 4500 due to folks relocating. 75% of homes were destroyed as Portsmouth was the major area of people and businesses.
The volcano is still active as we were able to actually see steam/sulphur rising while viewing from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (which has a great informative 20minute video to watch). It reminded us of the fact that we smelled suphur the night we passed the leeward side as we sailed back down to Dominica in early April as well as the weather report stating earthquake activity in that area. It would also explain why we have yet to see the top of Montserrat anytime we have sailed passed. With that being said, I could se why so many have fled as it would be hard for someone to decide to build a business on the island with the risk that it may blow again.
The northern side is full of new homes and businesses - a museum, a cultural center and plans of a marina complex. Road construction is going on and the area is very green. We stopped at a spring along the side of the road and it was the best tasting water we have had in a few weeks. I wish I had brought along the gallon jug that was sitting on the boat. Our guide said that many of the springs sprung after the volcano erupted and that the islanders all have spring water directly in their homes.
The guys set out on a 2tank dive with Doug while I sewed the flag (again), did some laundry and was able to clean the interior of our "home" which is easier while they are away. Maybe they were shallow enough to get some pictures to enjoy.
Happy 22nd Birthday to our son Ches!
04/28/2012, GreenIsland, Anitgua
Charm III finished the Regatta taking 2nd place in their class and received the Spirit of Tradition Award due to their late night hours replacing the bowsprit from their Day 2 collision. Congratulations!
We left Falmouth Weds morning and had a pleasant sail up to Jolly Harbor for the night. Most people drive to the grocery store, we sailed. Provisioning for the next two weeks is complete. Well, maybe we will pick up a few things along the way. I would like to advise anyone headed there - drop anchor vs a mooring ball as the mosquitos were not enjoyable.
Thursday morning we had a quickie internet opportunity and not sure when we will again so these words may be days earlier. The fuel dock/marina offered free Google services - Thank you for gmail!
Once leaving the fuel dock we headed south to the south eastern part of Antigua - Green Island. Along the way the fishing line was out and Stephen reeled in a tuna not worth keeping so it was thrown back in to live another day. Once we turned the corner of Anitgua it was sailing dead into the wind as well as seas hence Captain Jim engaged the "iron jenny". Moving right along another bite on the line. Both guys jumped back there where Stephen took over (I pulled back on the throttle but evidently to much.!?) and reeled in our first Wahoo! Not being a big fish eating person it was the best of the three kinds we have caught. We had enough to share with the boat next door and a dinner for three in the freezer.
We are sitting on a mooring ball where the only thing that separates us from the Atlantic Ocean is a reef. Very similar to the Tobago Cays except this location only has about 20 boats and is filled with kite surfers. There are anywhere from 2-8 flying most of the day.
The night time/morning rain washed off the much accumulated salt we received on our beat here and today's snorkel was enjoyable. Stephen spotted a rather large crab and of course spent some time coaxing him out of his hole. All pics in Green Island gallery are by him (or me taking them of him) - he is becoming quite the photographer.
Saturday morning we will depart this beautiful sunrise location back to Falmouth to check out and on to Monserrat - the volcano island and inspiration for Jimmy Buffet's so named song.