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Finally in St. Lucia!
02/07/2013, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

We arrived in St. Lucia from Houston on February 1st and got to Rodney Bay at 4:00 pm in time to unpack the essentials and grab a Piton (local beer sold only in St. Lucia) and dinner. Some people have been pestering us about not keeping our blog up to date, and our only excuse is that we are on "island time" now :)!

Uli and his wonderful crew have been helping us to get most of our construction projects finished including the installation of a new spinnaker pole, new dingy davits, new propane gas cylinders, new mini-blinds, new cockpit shade covers, new built-in book cases, etc. (see construction photos) And of course, being a boat, there is the on-going routine fixing what is broken today, which includes the tri-color light at the top of the mast, the hot water regulator, the starboard engine (running hot), ice maker, etc. And, we are making great progress! We took the boat out into the bay yesterday to run the engines and see if we could diagnose a previous over-heating issue. It appears that we have solved that issue for the moment and we also develop a chart to show the true rpms, vs. pilot house instrument rpms, vs. upper steering station instrument rpms. Fixed the hot water regulator by ordering a new one as well as ordering the ice maker part, which is VERY IMPORTANT for Tony. Hopefully, they will be here in the next couple of days, along with the last 5 boxes of stuff we shipped from home.

For those of you that have sailed with us before, you'll appreciate this one. We replaced the washer/dryer unit this summer and I redesigned the storage area in the tool/engine room (see photo of engine room) so that all the hundreds of tools are now stored in labeled tool boxes and all the oils/grease/etc. are stored in a contained organized area. No more disorganized tools all over the place! Another one of my projects was designing and installing mini-blinds to replace all the curtains in the main salon last summer. They came out beautiful (see photo of new mini-blinds) - they let light in, keep the sun out and provide total privacy when desired! The only catch was that the magnet brackets wouldn't work, so we had to come up with a different bracket. Tony bought a coat rack bracket, cut one part off and it works perfect!

The other noteworthy project was designing new shade covers to go with our new hard top over the cockpit. It was quite an ordeal to design them and then to explain everything to our friend Debbie Anderson (the shade cover magician). But, they came out beautiful and earned our boat the new name of "Cocoon" (compliments from our new friends from Canada)! See the photos and you'll understand!

We've been enjoying meeting up with old friends, making new friends and going to our favorite restaurants. Happy hour at the marina is great right now - a bucket of 5 beers for $20.00 EC (~$8.00 US)! It is cheaper than the grocery store! So we get our bucket, and bring what we don't drink back to the boat - our new form of provisioning!

Back to fixin' things! Later - Gail & Tony

02/08/2013 | Garrow
Hey, you are still alive!!! Now we know why we haven't heard from y'all. 2 many Pitons and 2 much fun. High jacking beers from the bar must have been Dad's idea!! Somtimes it pays 2 be a tight wad!!
02/09/2013 | Julie Gross
Love looking at your blog and hearing what you all have been doing! Sounds like you have gotten a lot accomplished. Love the bookcases and miniblinds. I just got back from a trip to NC for my nephews wedding and then a road trip to Charleston, SC. As a side note, finally met John Edwards, brother in law's best friend and law partner. Don't admire or like what he has done, but it was interesting to see him up close. No more traveling for us until spring break. Keep those blogs coming!
02/09/2013 | Laura and Tommy
Great to hear from you and LOVED the pictures!!!! Have a Piton for us. All the work on the boat looks terrific....keep us posted, as the "island time" permits. Much love to you both.
02/14/2013 | Garrow
What Laura meant to say was, have a Piton or 2 Pum Runches for her!! Love y'all!!
03/04/2013 | donna & Bill
hey guys ! Welcome to Bonaire ! Sounds pretty perfect . Your journey sounded somewhat challenging..a tad different I'm sure than 30' swells on Sojourn. We've had cool weather recently,which has been a nice change. Still haven't planted my veggies for the spring....hopefully in the next day or 2. Any requests ??
It was neat being able to view you today on google map.. Stay well,keep calm and carry on!
love to you both, dj & B
Trying to leave!
01/17/2013, Houston, Texas

It is very time consuming to shut down your life in one spot and move it a boat some 2,500 miles away, but we are doing it! We leave on January 29th to begin our new adventure as newly retired husband and wife who will now be together 100% of the time in a boat that is 53' long and 17' wide, a bit smaller than our condo on Clear Lake! The cars have been sold, the last 5 boxes have been shipped, and we are down to one checking account, one cell phone, one computer and one Ipad! - EEKS!

Our next post will be from the boat unless we get side tracked along the way by the thin skinned silver bird (American Airlines).

02/07/2013 | Garrow
We all know you are gone by now!!! How about some updates!?!? Maybe some pics!?!?
02/07/2013 | Laura and Tommy
Here, here, Garrow! We agree.....keep us posted! HUGS and love to all!

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