04/12/2009, Marigot Bay St Lucia
On a mooring Marigot Bay St Lucia
Check out my new spot on the planet. Remember you can double click on the photo to expand it out. One of the nice things about this portion of my journey is the distances are easy. Take today for instance. I had the anchor up and stowed by 0 9am and just two hours or so later on was on the mooring in Marigot. Same island but a completely different vibe due to the large Moorings Charter boat fleet based here.
Upon arrival I had the usual interaction with what Tom Larson calls the "banana mafia." The boat boys come racing out to the bay entrance as soon as they see you. They offer all kinds of services and attitude. With the charter fleet based here everything is just about twice as expensive. Charter folks generally pay top dollar for everything. So the boat boy who approached me started to badger me about getting a mooring, telling me it may not be safe to anchor yadda yadda. I am in the mood for a couple days on a mooring so I asked how much. $40 US. I say no way buddy, do I look like a charter boat? On we go and settle on $15 US per night. Then he tries to pull a fast one with the conversion to Eastern Caribbean dollars which is the currency. I tell him, ya know what maybe I will anchor he quickly backs down and says "I not trying to rip you off." And I quickly remind him the original price for the mooring was $40 US. I've just about reached my limit with the boat boys.
So not that I'm taking a turn to negative town. The beauty of the bay is magnificient. Later on today I'll take the dink to the head of the harbor for a snokeling expedition and then wrap things up with the Sunday New York Times I downloaded to my Kindle.
Have a good Easter!
PS: Don't forget to skulk on over to Christa's new website. I'll be shutting down sailblogs soon.
04/10/2009, Rodney Bay St Lucia
Anyway, the picture was taken likely in 1993 timeframe aboard CGC Washington (WPB 1331) homeported in Honolulu. I spent four years aboard that ship. I still have the sword from that fish. Hence the term "marlin spike." Rope work, slicing and such is an art that originated in the old days of sail. A spike is an essential tool, even today aboard ship today that has so many applications. Today we use metal spikes, but back in the day the spike was cut off the Marlin. After we sawed the spike off the pictured fish, I spent many hours with 400 grit sandpaper and honing oil sanding it to a smooth finish. Anyway the picture was sent to me by Pat Hood, the big gorilla looking dude on the left. It was a great time in my life and likely the best tour I ever did in the Coast Guard. Things just seemed to get more complicated after my time in Hawaii Coast Guard wise.
So Marlin Spike Seamanship should create an avalanche of comments!
PS: Don't forget to bookmark or even better, subscribe to Christa's New Website. Pretty soon I will stop posting to sailblogs. Thanks!
Sadly this morning I awoke, peered out the hatch to see an empty patch off my port bow. Tom & Amy aboard Sandpiper departed yesterday just afternoon noontime bound for St Croix and eventually Charleston SC.
These are the tough times, not just for singlehanders, but for anyone who have to say adios to dear friends. Tom and Amy made the bid for me to come with them back to Charleston with them. We could have buddy boated back through the Virgins and Bahamas. Very very temping, that herding instinct kicking right in. I wrote a bit about the herding instinct in my article in "Windblown" magazine. You can get to that article by click here.
It is tough to say goodbye always. I have known Tom and Amy for a longtime and as many of you know Tom and I were stationed together on the Morgenthau where we shared a stateroom. This was after we had lived in the same marina, The Presidio Yacht Club for a number of years. Pure happenstance that we ended up on the same ship together. Now fast forward another set of years and we end up spending a delightful two weeks here in El Carib together. If the USCG would have let me retire early, I surely would have buddy boated around the planet with Sandpiper. Wasn't in the cards.
So that is that. Back on my own. I really like it here in Rodney Bay St Lucia. As is my habit, I could sink into this place for quite sometime. But I plan on moving further south sometime this week. I have been asked to post what my future plans and intentions are. As soon as I figure it out myself I'll write about it. Or maybe I'll just write about my options and in that cathardic way, the correct path will emerge. How Zen is that?
Don't forget to bookmark Christa's New Website
04/03/2009, Rodney Bay St Lucia
You can see a graphic of my worklist that I saved as a JPEG for this blog entry. Ever since the early 90's, when the Coast Guard (thank you Capt Mohn) sent me to Franklin Quest's (now Franklin Covey) Time Management seminar I have loved to compile and manangae lists. Right up until the day I retired I used my Franklin Covey Day Planner with great success. In fact I still have most of the years saved in paper format that is an archive of what I was doing when over a good number of years.
I now have a hybrid system to keep me on task with all the goals and jobs, parts lists and expectations I have set out for myself. All now are in the electronic format as the paper Day Planner of the old school just does not work on a boat. That is okay because the information revolution has given me plenty of tools to work with.
This organization of information in my opinion is important to the cruising sailor. Managing a boat that is on the move or getting ready to go on the move has a ton of stuff to organize, each is important in its own right.
Just as an example of a small thing that needs yearly attention is the CG Documentation for Christa. Why my former employer wants to renew the doc every year is beyond me, but that is another issue. I know 45 days prior to expiration the CG sends out a renewal notice. How do I remember? That's right, I dash it down in a list, but wait. I also have an electronic calendar that sends me an email to remind me. So I make a note to email the mail forwarding service to see if it has been received. Okay they have it and ask where to send it? Well now that is a hell of a question. Better get that on a list, consult the calendar and check weather to determine where I may be? Antigua? Does Jolly Harbor have FedEx? Can I stomach the $45 shipping charge to get my documentation? Guess I better because if I don't get it, the documentation expires holding me up at Customs or causing an international incident at the next port with my expired registration and a vigorous round of ink stamping. What a hassle, but one that is made easier by being proactive. I can think of 100 things I need to be more proactive on, but one of them is not getting things on my worklists. Getting them checked off the list is much more time consuming. In fact here is a shocker. I've had on my worklist to mount my oars for the dingy for well over a year. That is right, I have been motoring around in the dingy with no oars for a long long time! What happens if the engine quiets you might say? Good question, ask Janina she'll tell you first hand. No matter though, it's on the list. But today I can proudly say with Tom Larson's assistance 4 holes were drilled in 15 minutes, job complete and task swept away with one keystroke.
And here is my point. Just about everything I jot down on a list eventually gets done. I still have the "Goal Planning Sheet" from 1995 that says "Retire, go sailing." Done. Maybe I should make a new one with the heading "Get a Job." Sometimes I'll assign myself the task of reading the worklist, that way I know right off the bat I can strike something from the list. I'm jazzed straight away.
The graphic is my MindMap. The software I use is free from Freemind. This is what I use to manage all the things I have going on in terms of worklists. I first learned about mindmapping while reading a book by Michael Gelb chronicling the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Now Leo was a pioneer in the use of mindmaps but certainly not the first. The concept of the mindmap has to do with how the brain processes information. A mindmap looks similar to a brain cell with the root and dendrites branching out in different directions. The knockin simply will be move efficient when looking at a mindmap as it processes the connection between between seemingly disconnected items.
I use mindmaps for anything that requires advance planning which for me is just about everything. That's how I roll.
PS: Don't forget sailblogs is now my secondary blog and I will stop updating this site pretty soon. So don't forget to bookmark Christa's New Website. Here is the URL. http://sailingvesselchrista.blogspot.com/ or just click on the hyperlink "Christa's New Website."
04/02/2009, Rodney Bay St Lucia
Ahoy! You can see Christa framed in the open air doorway to the thatched roofed cafe. Sandpiper and Christa are really in a delightful spot tucked right under the NW corner of the Rodney Bay. The cafe has excellent food, a bookswap, art and whatnot, cats, free wi-fi and an incredible view of our boats. It is tough not to get welled up with an acknowledgment of my good fortune when confronted with such a scene.
Amy from Sandpipers mom Pat and her boyfriend Dr. Bob are staying at the Sandals resort, so Tom and Amy have been doing some "all inclusive" visitation including long hot showers and marveling at the pasty tourists. During this period of Sandpiper/Christa inactivity I have been enjoying myself with a daily NY Times downloaded onto my Amazon Kindle and trips into the Rodney Bay Marina complex. Nice and mellow.
Tom has been over a couple of times to help out with boat projects. Tom during his Coast Guard time spent mucho time servicing Aids to Navigation which are electrical appliances. So he understands electrons pretty well. I have been having trouble with the starting of the Yanmar for a long time. Longtime readers of the blog may remember me changing out a starter and adding a dedicating cranking battery about a year ago. The problem of "click click" and then an eventual turning over of the engine has persisted. Even Mike from Adamo, no engineering slouch swung by Christa while in St John to troubleshoot. Mike made some progress by eliminating some trouble spots and zeroing in on the ignition system. Well Tom has narrowed the problem even further and I am confident we found the weak link in a connection within the ignition system. As Tom says, "Its alwasy the stupidst thing." So I think the problem may have been fixed. We shall see. I will refrain from trying to crank the engine for several days and then give it a go. If no click, I will be confident that the problem is solved. If we do get the click I will replace the ingnition wire. If that doesn't work it will be time to commit harikiri.
So back to touring. Team Sandpiper and I are heading to south end of St Lucia to tour a Rum Factory!