It's been a great day!
Joy has confirmed that she's coming down to spend some time with us in January and then we can look forward to H&S Craig in February! Looks like I better take some sailing lessons if I'm going to be responsible for such revered company!
Had a bit of a set to with the Greeks the other day and probably set relations back to sometime before Phil got hitched to Lizzie. Someone needed to do it and I'd been up half the night and was doing an early morning mercy run on behalf of my stomach to the landbased bog. Pollution being uppermost in my mind as it often is at that time of the morning I was less than amused to see this converted Greek ferry spewing oil out over the water from it's generator exhaust. Feeling anally constricted and not full of good will towards my fellow smarmy, oily aired , plate smashing lothario, I asked a passing Pilipino marine peasant for the duty officer and actually got the captain. I lodged a detailed complaint and insisted that it be entered into their log. RESULT!, the generator was turned off and their shore side one was turned on instead, resulting in a flood of complaints from everyone on the landward side of this Piraeus registered floating bucket. Today, even better they left.! 70 foot of so called luxury charter motor yacht headed seawards and left us all in relative peace to enjoy the rain and 30kt. squalls without a thin film of black diesel smuts.
Spent last night in a semi awake mode as a small steel yacht from Townsville in Oz decided to anchor
dangerously close to us and our immediate neighbours. I'm sure the registered in Townsville bit had nothing to do with their recent travel plans but one can't help but to give anyone from that far away the benefit of the doubt. Tonight we retire with the anchoring pattern having reverted to the old status quo. Unlike last night we're not having to contend with heavy squalls and so will be retiring in the hope of a not too interrupted night. Truthfully, weather since our arrival has been pretty so so with rain most mornings, clearing by midday and settling in again for the night. I've 'invented' as near to the best automatic hatch as I can manage but would be really keen to hear of any suggestions/patents/ideas of alternatives. My system involves a length of rope led through a jamming cleat that if pulled on opens the hatch and if yanked sharply aft shuts it. So far I've only identified one snag but it's a major one; once the rope is soaking wet then the loop that hangs down into the cabin acts like a wick and sets up a steady drip onto one's bed - perhaps a more 'synthetic' rope might be the answer?
Had a couple of good meals out recently but without any doubt the current "BEST BUY" if in English or Falmouth harbours is at Caribbean Taste, about mid way between the two and a couple of blocks inland. Antigua remains pretty much the same with the whole hospitality industry trying to pull a fast one on any punter that looks dumb enough not to ask if the price is in E.C.$'s or U.S.$'s, which at a current exchange rate of nearly 3:1 can result in a tidy little profit thank you very much. Having said that, your regular Joe is still a good natured fair trader. I got a guy called Greg to come out and strip down the carburetor on my outboard a couple of days ago and replace the idle jet; he came out on a VHF call in his own dinghy to my mooring , worked for 45 mins, supplied the part all, for 35$US or $100EC - try getting a Jackson's mechanic to do that! And the outboard worked properly afterwards as well.
Weather forecast says we're in for a week of strong winds and plenty more rain, at least for the first half of it anyway.. So don't feel too hard done by back in those Jersey gales at least you can enjoy the duvet when you go to bed.
Lots been going on since the last blog entry but not really of a seafaring nature.
Antigua is all a buzz because of the up and coming charter boat show (Dec.5) followed by the mega yacht charter show (Dec. 9).
For us non-commercial folks afloat this all translates into: loads of lovely boats to look at, currently we have several Fife's, Eleanora, Mariette, Adela and Persephone. There are other notables like Velsheda and the world's biggest yacht, or so I'm told, "Mirabella V". These monsters are all crewed by young nubile lovelies, actually there are some men as well but they don't count!. Wandering the docks is great because everyone sort of recognizes you, you're over 28 so you can't be crew and anyway you're not wearing a T shirt with a yacht picture or name on it, therefore you must be an owner or someone very important - which is fine by me, I am very important just not quite as rich as they've decided I must be.
A week ago Rosie arrived from home, long overdue and only just in time to save Mike and I from degenerating into dock rats! Three days later Mike Smith had to return to civilisation. Back to Melbourne by way of South Beach, Miami, Eastbourne, England, all courtesy of Lufthansa whom we learnt fly to the UK direct from here (albeit via Venezuela) but they haven't told any Australian travel agents about it!
Myth of Bristol and her crew are anchored just over the hill in English Harbour effecting repairs to their stemhead roller, helping crewman Mark get his yacht ready for launch. Dave and cousin Steve are conducting hikes to the Islands' highest points in the heat of the noonday sun before heading back north to Bristol, R.I. on Saturday.
Life is pretty lazy here despite a list 'jobs to do', perhaps the most significant of which is still to locate a replacement section for our badly bent mizzen boom. Current front runner in the suitability stakes is an older model Hobie Cat boom.
Weather is currently very showery but most of them seem to be limited to overnight and a.m. Watch this space for further riveting developments or better still call your travel agent and come and visit.
Tony & Rosie, Thursday, 29 Nov 2007
11/25/2007, St. Bart & Antigua
3 days of luxury in St. Barths, - well, not really, yes, it's all very smart and more surprisingly it's no longer that much more expensive than St. Martin. Unless, of course, you wish to frequent the row of 'magasins' that line the harbour; Chanel, Chopard, Gucci, Versace- but it's easy to see that it's all going downhill fast as they've let in the rubbish; DKNY, Lacoste are now vying for space as well.
Admittedly it's early in the season yet and everyone says the real money won't be here for another 2 weeks. Judging from the mega yachts, that may well be 130'+ with rainbow ambient lighting and mini helicopters but sadly are all called "Starship", "Milk and Honey", "Chantal Ma Vie"," Monte Carlo", there can be no doubt that the taste certainly hasn't arrived yet!
Mike and I are conducting a survey of establishments to see why ginger beer is no longer available in the French Leeward Islands. This means no " Dark and Stormy's" which may not be a bad thing as after a few it's quite easy to do a Mrs. Malaprop and ask for a "Stormy Darky", which can bring a variety of responses depending upon the bar person!
Today, Wednesday 21 November (see, brain's not completely atrophied yet!), we set sail after lunch on what will be the last leg of his particular jaunt. We're off to Antigua to pick up Rosie who's flying in on
Friday. Hopefully our arrival in Falmouth Harbour will coincide with Wayne and the crew aboard "Myth of Bristol" making landfall after their slog down from Newport, Rhode Island.
This will be an opportuniy for swopping many tales of bravery, aka stupidity, out on The Atlantic. As "Myth of B", was built like an icebreaker I doubt she will carry the scars that we do, but crewman Dave's Norwegian raconteurship will more than make up for any shortcomings!
Norumbega sails on under her 'modified' mizzen boom and I scout around little ship graveyards in the hope of finding something like a mirror dinghy mast than I can cut to length. I'm hoping that Antigua will throw up a suitable candidate. I suspect it'll be cheaper to negotiate a price for an entire rotten dinghy than let the vendor know I'm trying to replace a boom on a 50' yawl.
Our 'blogmistress' is away in Connecticut for a few days having a well deserved rest so this will all be out of date by the time you get to read it. We'll include a few general 'warm, sunny 'tropical' pictures just to make you all feel envious and I'll sign off with the wish that it's a benign winter for all. Look forward to relaying our impressions from Antigua, which should be on Tuesday.Tony
Well, the last 2 intrepid explorers are have now moved to St. Barts, where they will probably spend two days before they sail down to Antigua. I understand that he wind was on the nose the whole way and that their current anchorage is a bit rock & roll. They will move further into the harbour and hopefully find a more comfortable mooring.
I'm hoping to speak with the boys today, so will update you when I do.