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Collision @ Anchor!
02/15/2008, Pidgeon Isle St Lucia

We are moored outside Rodney bay with many other boats today. After having spent the morning climbing to the Fort on Pigeon isle and splashing in the water we returned to the Omarsea for lunch. Within a short period Stevie who happened to be on deck cried out. I ran up to the deck and found that another boat was crashing into us from the port side. A lifeline lay twisted and loose on the deck stanchions bent and toe rail banged up. The offending boat was threatening to tear herself down the entire port side of our beloved Omarsea. Jean rushed to fend it off. I jumped to help calling to Julie for a line. Pushing with all our strength we forced the 40 footer down our portside and tied it astern with the line. But the Island Packet was to heavy for our single anchor and we started to drag down toward another vessel astern of us. I ran forward and started releasing chain on the anchor rode. In the fray I let the chain run out and the 30' of 5/8" nylon line making up the bitter end caught with a terrible jerk. With both boats now pulling in the 20 knot breeze I was unable to pull the chain back to the gypsy on the windlass. I called for Jean to start the engine and drive us forward so I could recover the end of the chain. Suddenly the wind caught our boat and swung the Island Packet (IP) to port threatening a catamaran moored next to us. Jean gunned the engine and pulled us away from the cat. I brought the chain up to the windlass and locked it in place with our snubber. The anchor was holding fast now so I went astern to see what I could make of this derelict vessel. She had an anchor dangling straight down. Less than 40' of chain had been laid out. I jumped in the dingy and motored over , pulling the smaller boats secondary anchor off the bow, I kedged it far ahead and to the port. The heavy danforth bit right away and we held steady waiting for the owners to return.

MArigot Bay Fun
02/15/2008

Enjoying the breeze just off the beach in Marigot

St Lucia
02/15/2008, Marigot Bay & Castries

After ten days in St Lucia's Rodney Bay we head south toward the capitol city of Castries. On entering the harbor we are immediately aware that there were no other cruising boats. We anchored in the inner harbor and had lunch here. The music was blasting from several restaurants and a cruise ship was disgorging hundreds of passengers to shop in the small downtown district
Searching our trusty cruising guide we discovered that only a couple miles south there was Marigot Bay of song and movie fame.
Marigot a small and tidy bay is home to a fleet of charter boats and a place where most cruisers stop because of the wonderful bakery to be found there. If you have not guessed by now, yes we cruisers are a floating hoard driven by our stomachs. As we descended on the bakery with 3 children in the lead the other patrons stepped back. Chocolate croissants were to die for and the kids were cajoled into going in for seconds.

Where next you ask?
02/15/2008

Our next port of call will be Bequia in the Grenadines. It is the whaling capitol of the Caribbean and visited by thousands of yachts each year. Our trip there should be exciting. The weather has established what forecaster's call an Omega Block High. The result is nonstop 30 MPH winds and 15 foot sea's offshore lasting as long as 3 weeks according to NOAA. Stay Tuned and see how the Trefethen family weathers the storm.

Home School
Scott Trefethen
01/01/2008, US Virgin Isles

Home school is a fluid affair. We are focusing on Math, spelling & Grammer, reading, physical and life sciences. This morning we took the inflatable to the beach and on the way to the old sugar mill we spent time examining gastropods living in the intertidal zone. There are a half dozen species of snale living on the rocks here. We discovered that after the snail dies and it's shell is cast up on the beach that it provides a used home to the species of land hermit crabs indigenous to these islands.
It is quite a suprise to lean down to pick up a nice shell and have it either run away from you or pinch your fingers.

New Year!
Scott Trefethen
01/01/2008, Nanny Cay Tortola

Jeans Sisters Mary and Margaret have joined us for a great 2 week visit and we have put them to the test. I am happy to report that both ladies have taken to the Caribe like pirates and have been a ton of fun aboard the Omarsea. This picture was taken on St John near the old sugar mill. There is a wonderful trail leading up the mountain to the ruins and we all found it a great stretch of the legs.

Long Lost Travelers
Scott Trefethen
12/30/2007, Tortola BVI

Long Lost Travelers
We are finally back on the radar screen. Paradise has a new meaning for me. If you have never been here I heartily recommend the book "Don't Stop The Carnival". It is full of colorful examples of the way life works in "De Islands".
After arriving we have met our share of challenges. Within 3 weeks the onboard refrigeration died. We are loading the fridge and freezer with blocks of ice while I work frantically installing the new refrigeration system. As to why it has taken me 8 weeks to update the Blog. Well let me tell you our story. When Ben and I arrived we had but 2 weeks to get the boat ready for Jean and our younger two kids. A charter boat for those who have never seen one is like a rental car that has been only rented out to teenagers with bad habits. Maintenance is a word that is taboo here unless the boat is sinking and that does happen as well. A boat from the same company we bought Omarsea from sunk in less than an hour after the guests went snorkeling. They left the boat with all their personal items on board and came back to a new dive spot, three weeks after we bought our boat.

We have been Busy
After playing tourist for nearly 2 weeks, washing ashore with a broken outboard, getting blistered by the sun, plying the waters once habited by the worlds most famous pirates, Ben and I worked like fiends for three days to get the boat ready for the rest of the family. Mildew was scrubbed from everywhere. Bilges washed , rewashed and then scrubbed again till the shone like a china plate. We installed the Bimini top. Replaced a broken water pump. Re-plumbed the fresh water system. Repaired the Bow rail. Went grocery shopping and otherwise did all the activities guys do on boats that women refer to as nesting in a house. All the while we searched for Internet access that could at least get email out. WIFI in the good 'ole US of A is different. We being from Portland are particularly spoiled what with free metro service in the city. There are numerous WiFi spots in the islands. But most require you load their special little access software(AKA AOL'ish little viruses) and the speeds are dismal at best. There are those bright spots however and we are sending you this update from one of those.

Life is good again Jean Juli and Stevie in St Thomas
As Jean, Juli & Stevie arrived so did 2000lbs of stuff. I am not sure stuff is the right word to describe a full ton of, well stuff but it did arrive and we did manage somehow to pack it all away somewhere. Finding anything after such a world wind of packing is completely another story. I am still looking for my pop rivet gun. If any of you happen to be psychic with tools I would be grateful if you could pass any information on to me.
The first thing we did right down here though is get Jean and the kids Masks, fins and snorkels from a reputable dive shop in ST John. The corals are fabulous and the turtles, rays, fish and other underwater life are a must see on anyone's list. Swimming and hiking are a regular part of our days here. Combining the exploration of underwater with visiting historic sites and parks is great fun and very educational for all the family.

Are we there yet?
Scott T
10/19/2007, Portland, OR

Hey Mates, it's the middle of October and "Crikey" we are busy. Under the threat of severe storm warnings here in the Portland area Jean and I just loaded 1500 lbs of gear on a pallet bound for the Caribbean. The Oregon coast was battered with Hurracane force winds wednesday night and we were really lucky not to have been cought in the middle of that one.
Part of the challenge is the lead time to get things to the islands. It will take 35 days for our pallet to reach St Thomas.
Using a local shipping agent we had our items loaded on a pallet and shrink wrapped in record time to avoid the coming deluge. Good thing we own a boat. Luck being on our side we made the shipping deadline with hours to spare and breath a heavy sigh of relief that all that packing is done.

It is quite a battle to decide what to take and what to leave behind when your planning on travelling for 3 years. Then there is all the stuff we collected over the past 10 years. You just would not believe the things we have put out front of the house for free.

Dan Trefethen & New Auto Pilot
Scott Trefethen
10/01/2007, Portland

The Omarsea got an autopilot this week!

Thanks to a very generous gift from my father Dan Trefethen, Jean and I were able to purchase an autopilot for the Omarsea.
For those who have never been offshore, a boat like the Omarsea must have a watch 24 hours a day when sailing the oceans of the world. In the past this required someone to man the helm for 2 to 4 hours at a time in all kinds of weather. Often exposed to cold spray, extreme winds and unable to leave the helm for various duties.
After our many years of experience aboard our first boat the Southern Toy ,Jean and I realized how much better it is to let a machine steer. While the person on watch stays warm and dry under the spray screen/ Dodger keeping a lookout for shipping traffic, doing navigation and log entries as well as making the odd cup of tea the auto pilot keeps the vessel on course.
On the Omarsea the kids will do watches with Jean and I up until 10:00pm and then we Adults will do the night shifts. Late evening is a great time to learn the constellations, take moon and star shots with the sextant and develop nautical skills like learning the light patterns that different ships display at night.
The freedom to do many of these things is only possible with the use of an autopilot like the Raymarine unit in the picture.
The package contains a central core processor programmed to control a vessel up to 77,000 lbs.
There is a fluxgate compass to read direction electronically and a rudder angle indicator that tells the processor where the rudder is in relation to the centerline of the boat.
This unit can and will be combined with our Gps unit and automatically steer from point a to point b.
I want to thank my Dad for his wonderful gift !

Boat
Dave Pelton & the new H20 Maker
Scott Trefethen
10/01/2007, Portland

As many of you know Jean and I decided to install a water maker onboard the Omarsea. This will supply all our fresh water needs for the next 3 years.
Good quality fresh water is somewhat difficult to get in many places we plan to visit. Often water is captured from rain and stored in large cisterns and then sold to passing cruisers on the docks.

The system is simplicity itself. A high pressure pump is used to drive seawater at 800psi through a one way membrane made by the Dow corporation. Coming out of the membrane is 99.99% pure water. Better than our own Bull Run resevior water here in Portland.
In the photo (Center) you can see the blue high pressure pump astride the ingenious "Carriage" designed and built by Dave.
Dave, an airline pilot and ex-mechanic spent many an hour creating just the right mechanisim to allow the pump to be serviced in the back of the crowded engine space. He and his drill press were an invaluable resource getting our water maker up and running. Many thanks Dave!

Boat

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S/V OmarSea
Who: Scott, Jean, Ben, Julianna & Stephen
Port: Oregon
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