I am sorry if you have been following my blog.
As you can see I haven't updated it for soooooo long, you would have thought I may have fallen off the boat.
I have found that Facebook has been easier to get my message across to friends and family.
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Currently sitting in Taina Marina having farewelled two crew and now awaiting my friend Tony from Sydney. Should depart 26 April for Bora Bora
08/12/2011, St George’s Harbour Grenada
We arrived in Grenada eager to get the boat in ship shape condition and ready for a long voyage over the ocean. I must admit I realised I had some time up my sleeve to make sure long ocean passages would be undertaken after every aspect of the boat was surveyed. Ie rigging, electrical, mechanical, etc.
The first three nights were spent at La Sagesse while we travelled down to the boat yard each day and worked in high humid conditions. Most days I had sweat dripping from me for at least 8 hours non-stop. This lead to battles with cramps in the evening when the muscles relaxed and cooled down.
Anyway, from fixing leaking heat exchanger return gaskets to putting the sails on, we had the boat ready for the Caribbean leg of the journey. Grenada Marine did get the boat in the water only one day late, which was a surprise considering many other people were waiting days to achieve the same result. I subsequently heard that the project manager that had been there for some years left after short notice after a run in with the boss. It appears this project manager actually kept the yard running and generally gave the clients what they wanted and on time.
Interestingly when it came time to launch, another boat was sitting in the water in the launching slip unable to start their engine because of a misalignment between the drive shaft and the motor.
Another one hour delay, as it was lunch time.
Sitting at the bar having a drink, I watched the poor wife be abused and ridiculed by the husband for what clearly was a problem with the workmanship of the boat yard, not the wife. I felt like stepping in to save the wife, however this would have only have compounded the problem. The guy did settle down after a while. What a bastard!!!!!
Anyway, with their boat out of the way, it was time to launch Sea Falke and free her from the sling she had been suspended in for the last two hours.
We tied off within the slip and checked all remain aspects of the boat before we motored off. This included "burping the bellows" around the drive shaft.
At 2.20pm we were off. Next stop St George's (the capital of Grenada), only 12 miles away.
On arrival at St George's, I let Barry off on one of the jetties and then proceeded back to the anchorage to settle the boat in for the night with the intention to return to shore on the dinghy within 1 hour. Well all good plans can come unstuck on boats at a moment's notice. The dinghy outboard engine started and within 5 metres of the boat it stopped again. Damn!!!!
Well it was me this time, I was still getting use to things and forgot to put the fuel valve in the right position.
And I thought it was some other serious problem even though only one day before hand the boat yard actually started the engine before returning it to me after storage.
Needless to say, Barry was wondering what the hell was going on, especially as he decided to go shopping and had 10 bags of groceries sitting on the dock waiting to return to the boat. With the help of two local "entrepreneurs" I made it to shore to tell my tale to Barry and then return with the second entrepreneur to the boat with all groceries in tow.
The larger petrol tank was used for the outboard which worked without a hitch. Well of course it would have, because the fuel valve was in the position for an external tank connection. It wasn't until about 4 days later I realised my mistake about the correct valve positions for the external and internal tanks.
Anyway, we decided to head off to town for dinner and a quick view of the sights, albeit at dark. We settled in at a restaurant on the water which also had a dinghy dock. A pleasant evening was had by all.
Next stop Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou
03/12/2011, La Sagesse, Grenada
Barry and I arrived in Grenada after a whirlwind trip across America.
I started in Hawaii on November 17th, while Barry started in LA on November 19th.
Three days in Oahu and one on the big Island was enough for me, as I knew there would be more tropical islands to explore in the south pacific on the return journey home.
From Hawaii, I stopped in at San Francisco for two nights. This place is the New York of the west coast. Definitely a city to return to at some future date. I did all the tourist things including Alcatraz, bicycled over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, Lombard Street, Fishermans Wharf, Cable Car ride and ate Clam Chowder for lunch on both days.
Next stop was collecting Barry at Merced, about 120 miles south east towards Yosemite National Park.
What a sight Yosemite NP is!!. Great hiking and spectacular views.
We drove on to Las Vegas after two nights in Yosemite NP and stayed on "The Strip" for three nights. I have never seen such a concentration of extravagance. The Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, The Luxor, were some of the highlights. The water fountain show in front of the Bellagio, the pirate show in front of the Twin Towers and the magical display of beautiful girls and "silver" musicians on the grounds of The Venetian, where also great. See photo of the two girls dressed in white with me.
A Grand Canyon helicopter flight and landing on the base of the canyon was one of the highlights. The budget took a hiding, but then, you only live once. A Cirque de Soleil show called "Love" at the Mirage, was the best "circus" type show I have ever seen. Performed to the music of the Beatles, the cast put on a brilliant show with acrobatic feats once considered impossible. The choreographer deserves to be knighted.
Then it was time to test my nerve on the rides at the Stratosphere. To be shot off the top of the spire from 0 to 45 miles per hour in 1 second, does get the heart pumping. Then to be spun around like a top hanging over the edge of the building at 1,149 feet above the ground and finally, be catapulted over the edge of the building 4 or 5 times from a stationary position was again death defying. Afterwards I decided the "base jump" off the top of the building was a little too expensive, otherwise I would have been "in like Flynn" (yeah, right).
I tried taking a couple of photos of others defying death, however I couldn't keep the camera still, as my nerves had yet to recover.
It was sad to see a number of buildings left in a state of incompletion, due to the economic situation America is in. One building was 80% complete and at least three others were waiting for things to improve.
From Vegas we travelled on to Houston to catch up with Jack and his beautiful wife Betty. Real Texas hospitality on arrival, being issued with a Magnum 44, a 10 gallon hat and instant accent change only found in the southern areas of the US of A. I can understand the Space Centre having signs stating "Leave your guns at the door" but the local yacht club???.
Jack's postal service worked well as did his chauffeur limousine service. Unfortunately Betty had to work, but we plan to catch up with her in Hamilton Island as Jack does part of the journey with me from New Caledonia to Mackay then Hammo.
Miami was our next stop. A bus ride around town to the main areas, cocktails by the water, beers by the beach (South Miami Beach) mixing with the locals for a short while then off to Key West where tourists flock for the US winter.
Key West was a great experience, especially the tour of the restaurants and off the beaten track bars that" Guy" took me to, then being kidnapped by this mother and daughter team on a "pedi-cycle" or rickshaw, only to be taken to more bars with dancing, drinking and de-bourchary included. Lucky for technology, I was able to be guided back to my accommodation by a trusty sole from Melbourne Australia using google maps and the mobile phone at 3am in the morning, Key West time.
From Key West we headed back to Miami for our flight to Grenada the following day. We found a picturesque restaurant crying out for our patronage along the way. It over looked a harbour, sold good sea food and topped off an enjoyable trip to the area. The long stretches of highway, island hopping down the "Key West Peninsula" was also interesting to see.
Finally, we were heading to Grenada on Dec 4th, via a stop-over in Trinidad. Don't the authorities like me or something. Twice I had to go through additional security searching. Then when I arrived in Grenada, I noticed the TSA in the States actually had done a search of my bag having emptied its contents. I hope they enjoyed the dirty undies. Not once did Barry go through the same thing.
Anyway Trinidad was only seen from the airport and we arrived in Grenada at 8pm Sunday night and spent the next three nights at La Sagesse resort. A hotel located one bay across from my boat. This really is a picturesque place to stay while having to deal with setting up the boat for the return trip to Australia.
I was just surfing the net and came across this rally. Looks like we might have some company
It seems as if it is Déjà vu. This happened when I was in the Chesapeake and heard about the Caribbean 1500 with only 2 weeks to the start. Those that have read my blog would know that I did that rally and was more the better for it.
Their itinerary almost replicates Sea Falke's
Leg / Miles / Days / Start / ETA
Saint Lucia - San Blas Islands / 1,100 / 6-9 / Sun 08 Jan 14-16 Jan
San Blas rendezvous Wed 18 Jan
San Blas - Cristobal (Panama) / 80 / 1
Transit Panama Canal 20-30 Jan
Cruise Panama Tue 31 Jan
Las Perlas rendezvous Tue 07 Feb
Las Perlas - Baquerizo Moreno (Galapagos) / 850 / 6-8 / Thu 09 Feb 15-17 Feb
Cruise Galapagos Islands
Puerto Ayora (Galapagos) - Hiva Oa (Marquesas) / 2,980 / 15-22 / Sun 04 Mar 19-26 Mar
Cruise Marquesas and Tuamotus to Tahiti 830
Tahiti rendezvous Wed 25 Apr
Cruise Society Islands / 170
Bora Bora rendezvous Thu 10 May
Bora Bora (start 1) - Suwarrow (Cooks) - Niue - Vava'u (Tonga) / 90+540+230 / 15-18 / Sun 13 May 28 May - 01 Jun
Bora Bora (start 2) - Suwarrow (Cooks) - Niue - Vava'u (Tonga) / 690+540+230 / 15-18 / Wed 16 May 31 May - 04 Jun
72 hour stops in Suwarrow and Niue
Cruise Tonga and Fiji 580
Musket Cove (Fiji) rendezvous Wed 04 Jul
Musket Cover (Fiji) - Tanna (Vanuatu) / 450 / 3-4 / Sat 07 Jul 10-11 Jul
Cruise Vanuatu 210
Rendezvous Port Vila (Vanuatu) Tue 17 Jul
Port Vila (Vanuatu) - Mackay (Australia) / 1,150 / 6-8 / Thu 19 Jul 26-27 Jul
Cruise inside the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island 750
They continue on ...........
11/09/2011, Melbourne Australia
I have prepared an itinerary for the return trip home. It is not set in stone and will change as more homework is done highlightling places of interest to visit along the way. eg sponge fishermans convention, etc, hahaha. The general plan will be maintained.
I will endeavour to stick to the schedule, however weather can also interfer with the plans. Hopefully this will help with budding crew to plan their holidays and prepare for the adventure.
See table above.
Stay tuned for more details on this blog or facebook.