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The Voyages of s/v Silverheels III
...a virtual ship's logbook, and some thoughtful (unabashed?) reflections on our sea-going experiences.
Mr. Fixit to the Rescue!
02/26/2015, Falmouth Harbour, Anigua

As we headed north from the Saints to Deshaies, Ken uttered a curse. Our "go to" chartplotter, a 7 year pole Garmin, had gone blank. We quickly ascertained that it was still doing chartplotter things, but the display had died. Yup, curses, indeed. We still had our other one, initially bought because it could work with our AIS unit, but we really don't like it for navigating. It's is okay, but the venerable old Garmin was comfortable. Kind of like the old comfy slippers versus the new ones. Yeah, the new ones are okay, but you really wish that if the dog was going to chew on a pair, it picks on the new ones...

We checked around Antigua's offerings for boat electronics. We even hopped the bus to go to the Budget Marine main store on-island. Nobody had anything to actually look at, but Cap at "The Signal Locker" had some good info for us.

We (we being mostly Ken) spent much of the evening researching online. We wanted something that may be compatible with our current depth sounder transducer from Garmin (we like the redundancy of another form of depth sounder), and that would still "talk" to our other electronics, such as the VHF radio. We were not excited about our prospects.

Ken decided to take another harder look at the plotter to really ascertain what was wrong with it. Digging down, he found a miniscule fluorescent, a thin cold cathode fluorescent, complete with a 90 degree bend, that had died. Great, like THAT will be at Radio Shack.... But, wait, didn't Cap at "The Signal Locker" have a whole lot of "stuff" kicking around? He may have an old Garmin with the right sized screen...

He did. He didn't charge us for it immediately, as he had no idea if it worked or not, or whether would work for us. We returned home and Ken got to work. He stripped down the 5 inch LCD display and did some meticulous transplanting.

We set it all back up and Ken threw the switch....sounds more dramatic than pushed the button, doesn't it? And IT WAS...ALIVE!!!

We have bought ourselves some time to analyze the replacement chartplotter situation in greater depth, but we do know that something will have to be done eventually. Ken saved the day again!

Limin' in the Caribbean
02/26/2015 | Michael and Barbara Turney
I can just picture Ken,
"'s alive! It's alive...."
02/27/2015 | Jonathan
It is always a thrill when a piece of valued electronica comes back to life, especially for a luddite like me!
Squalls, Showers, Sunshine and Rainbows
02/23/2015, Deshaies, Guadeloupe

We left the Saints this morning once there was enough light to make sure we didn't run over any buoys marking the fish traps. We knew that it was going to be a broad reach, so we left the mainsail tucked away under the sail cover; the aft lower stays really don't let the main come forward enough without chafing on that point of sail... I'm glad we did!

Once we were about 45 minutes out of the Saints the first squall came up. Torrential rain, about 35 knots of wind, and really lousy visibility. Since we only had the jib up, and we were on an easy point of sail, getting wet was the only hassle. Then the second and third squall came along.

By the time we made the turn up the lee side of Guadeloupe, it was much better. We still had some rain, but none of the squally winds.

A happy bonus with morning and evening showers is the chance for rainbows to brighten our day, and this morning was certainly a fine example of that! After every shower or squall, we were treated to amazingly brilliant rainbows, including one that looked like it went from one side of our cockpit to the other. I was fortunate to have the wheel at that time so I had the benefit of the full effect. The picture included with this post is just one of the many we have witnessed.

Otherwise, the trip to Deshaies, Guadeloupe was nondescript.

We have been hearing that Deshaies had installed mooring balls, and we were curious, and possibly even a little excited, about that. With the williwah winds and the squirrelly currents in the bay, the boats can end up every-which-way. However, the reality is that there are maybe 20 balls, and most of the 60 boats there that night were anchored. We dropped the hook in 45 feet of water (about 14m). Fortunately, the anchor dug in perfectly on the first attempt.

Since the wind was blowing a consistent 20 knots through the hills, and we were not close to the dock, we had to assemble the dinghy for me to go ashore to check out with Customs on the (sometimes) convenient computer located in some business or another. The business in the Saints that has the computer is closed Sundays, so that wasn't possible yesterday. We arrived ashore in Deshaies today just before 2:00pm to find out the store re-opened at 4:00... Explain to me how this is supposed to be cruiser-friendly? I chose to wander around while Ken opted to return to the boat to keep a wary eye on anybody anchoring over our chain (we want to get going when there is again enough light to see the fish trap buoys).

So, I wandered around Deshaies (pronounced day-hay, with a soft "h"). This is a town that seems to be losing its lustre. Lots of restaurants, but only one little supermarket with haphazard hours (it looks like the other two closed); it wasn't open in the afternoon as I wandered between rain showers.

We finally checked out, I helped a Norwegian lady make sense if things in the boulangerie, gave her our spare Antigus flag and we am finally dried out and warm.

Here's hoping it seems more desirable to be here next time we visit.

Limin' in the Caribbean

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