Like I said,, I am not destined for an uneventful life. We finally left Grenada about a week ago and things were looking pretty good. We had enough time to enjoy sailing the Grenadines and enjoy our boat before the next group of guests arrived. It is always a big job making the boat nice for my guests and this time we are hosting six adults and two children. A handfull to say the least. I work very very hard to make every room look and feel like a nice little hotel. I am eager to see our grandchildren and Phil's children. As much as the boat will be crowded and it will be a wreck for the entire 10 days, I am confident that if I can learn to overlook the chaos, I will have a great time... We have planned many fun activites for them.
Problems with the boat have brought us back to Grenada. In an effort to resolve these problems "someone" put HIS knee through my washer door and of course nothing is better as a result of all our work and the boat being entirely turned inside out. My pantry is spread all over the boat, every drawer is emptied and every towel is trashed. It will take days to get this back in order. This is starting to look like a trend. It seem like everytime I get the living quarters looking nice, my husband decides to take something apart and manages to trash every room in the process. We had to give up our planned relaxation in favor of more repairs on the boat and to keep everything safe and up to date. I am pissed off and tired... who ever says everything in this cruising life is hearts and flowers is fooling themselves and definately not painting the picture of this life exactly as it really is. The environment is harsh. Everything requires great effort and the rewards are few and far between.
We often talk about our long term plans and they sound wonderful. There are many planned destinations and I look forward to taking Moon Dancer to all these wonderful places. The reality however must include all the disasters to expect along the way... In case you have not worked it out yet, this is not one of my better days...
09/29/2009, St Georges
I have decided that and uneventful life is not my destiny. We left Trinidad with everything working and noticed that we could not get the engine power up and we had no running lights. No worries we have sails and a masthead tri-color.... We sailed to Grenada in near perfect conditions. Moon Dancer was in her glory averaging 8 knots all the way. We arrived in time for sundowner cocktails and all was good with our world.
We noticed a large military vessel anchored not far from us and determined that it was British. We invited the "Lads" for a day of sailing and believe it or not the Captain, his XO, his engineer and an officer in training named Ann turned up ready and eager to put Moon Dancer through her paces. Being proper English officers they came with lots of beer and wine. It was a "Kicking" day (my new British word.) We sailed her hard and put the rails in the water several times. It was very exciting. Moon Dancer performed like the tough lady that she is, cocktails and snacks followed and everyone had a great day. The Captain gave us a comemorative plaque and two ball caps as a gesture of his appreciation.
The following day they buzzed our boat with their helicoptor. It was a lovely way to say thank you and good bye.
Another bit of good news is that the engine problem was only due to prop cavitation caused by a million barnacles which Phil and I removed from the prop as well as the rudder and hull of the boat. Boats and men rot in port. It's an old saying but true.
The bad news is that we had a problem with the aft cabin air conditioner. I was alone on the boat and turned on the aft a/c when it shorted out. We are making this repair a priority and will do our exploring once I am sure everything is working as designed. It's too darn hot to be without a/c.
Today was my well earned decompression day so I took off on the local busses and explored. I ran into two sets of cruiser friends, Becky Dudley of SV Altair and Mark and Alex of SV Blue Beyond. It was wonderful. In additon, I found a lovely gallery that makes batik designs in clothing and other items. It's called Art Fabrik and they are on Young Street in St Georges. Even if you buy nothing, this place is a must see. The workmanship is wonderful and unique. The shop is quaint and the owner is delightful.
So overall, a good ending .... More adventures to come...
Moon Dancer is on the Move!!!
Next stop,,, Prickley Bay for repairs and to hit the cruiser happy hours; Thursday I am headed inland to explore the Belair Estate with the cruiser ladies club and Friday Phil and I and our friends Karen and Mike from SV Chapter Two are off to the Island Fish Fry in Gouyave. It's lobster season so the party should be especially tasty..... And finally, our friends, Mike and Karen of SV Chapter Two have invited us to join them for a full day tour of Grenada. We are looking forward to that as this island is known for it's beauty and I want to see the wild monkeys and swim under the waterfalls.
If all goes well, by the end of next week (provided there is nothing brewing in the Atlantic) we should be heading to Carriacou and Petite Martinique for more exploring and SCUBA diving.
Cross your fingers and wish us luck... More Adventures to come....
09/20/2009, Chaguaramas, Crews Inn
Well, Phil and I are finally having a quiet Sunday breakfast together
on Moon Dancer. Still on the dock but getting close to departing
toward Grenada once again.
Although I really don't like being on the dock, the time was very
productive. In addition to accommodating Daisy and Nancy during their
visit. We accomplished many needed goals such as running the wires and
installing an external sat phone antenna and also an external wifi
antenna. We also repaired the grounding wires for the ssb which was
corroded. We re-seated the forward and aft lower mid ship chain plates
which were leaking. Both power winches were serviced and our windlass
was finally fixed. I also had a solenoid installed that now allow
power up and down on the windlass. I purchased the solenoid a while ago
in Miami and was waiting for the time and talent to get it installed
with a new heavy duty hand held switch. This was a big safety problem
This Tuesday we are having welding done on the davits and the bow
roller. The davits bent due to the new bigger engine we put on the
new larger dinghy and the rocna kept hopping off the bow roller so we
are welding cheeks on to the sides of the bow roller to keep it stable
and reinforcing the davits. I was always worried that Phil would get
injured. On two occasions the anchor jumped off and chewed up the bow
of the boat...Not fun;Not safe.
This Tuesday we re-provision and head off to sea. Phil and I are
happiest when we are at sea. Phil's kids are meeting us in St Lucia
in November; Diane, Rene, Pete and Tanya are coming in December and
the Jaimesons are anticipated to visit early next year. We are
looking forward to these visits. Sail, Sun, Swim and great fishing are
on the agenda for all. We will keep you all posted on our developments
and if you want to hop aboard just let us know..
We keep discussing our plans for next hurricane season. Trinidad is
not in the plan. We are considering touring the carib this season and
then heading to Columbia and Panama for next year's hurricane season.
We will either go through the canal or cruise north along the central
American coast, work our way toward Miami, get a refit done, head
north along the US east coast and jump to the UK from New York. Phil
wants to visit Daisy once again before we depart and Daisy wants to
come back to the boat as soon as possible. I want to get in some fun
diving in Belize, Cancun, the Caymans, the ABC's and other world class
dive sites. I'm also eager to see Cartagena which other cruisers are
saying is super nice and has richly preserved Spanish historical
sites. The good news is that we are FINALLY not in a hurry to do
anything and everything important is fixed and working.
Of course anything can create a change in plans but this is what it
looks like for now. The ONLY down side is how very much I miss my sweet dog, George. Nothing can fill that hole in my heart so for my birthday I
have committed to fly to Miami and spend some time with George and my
Our love to you all...
Nell and Phil
PS - for those of you who don't know Daisy. She is my sister and has
severe Downs Syndrome. She LOVES sailing on our boat and we LOVE
spending time with her. Nancy is my older sister and Daisy's caretaker.
Our plan is to fly Daisy and Nancy once a year to Moon Dancer so she
can see the world from our boat. Daisy has the heart of a sailor and