Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

16 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
12 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters
09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
04 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
04 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
02 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
27 July 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
24 July 2017 | Curaçao
24 July 2017 | Curaçao
24 July 2017 | Curaçao

Over the weekend and back to Digicel again.

16 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
Bill/Partly cloudy
Here in Curacao, like many other ports, there is a morning "Cruisers Net" on the VHF radio(Channel 72). Normally giving out information to the cruisers and some locals and bring to solve problems for boats that have them. Here's in Curacao, it's a bit different. For the most part, if you could hear crickets chirping on a VHF(nothing talked about)that's about what you learn in a day to day listening of the net. It starts at 0800 and is normally done by 805 or even earlier. It goes like this: "Anyone need any assistance?" When we came in to Curacao, we had problems with our start batteries getting over charged. When I put out our problem hoping for some help, well, as I said, you could almost hear crickets on the radio. Nothing was the response and there are a good fifty boats here in the bay. It's that way every day or when someone comes on the radio and asks for help. Next topic: "Any one offering services?" I don't think I've heard anyone ever respond to that call except the people that sell water t othe cruisers. Next topic: "Any events". Here you will probably get some information--"Captains Dinner" on Thursday night at the local restaurant, or maybe an up coming hike to town or up the side of one of the mountains(more like hills)close to the bay. It's the most active section of the net. Next: "Anyone have anything to sell or give away?" We've heard of one boat that wants to sell a printer/scanner/copier and another boat that's giving away an old out of date life raft for kids to play on once it's inflated. It surprises us that no local businesses participate in the net talking about their services and where they are. No advertising about themselves and Curacao is supposed to be one of the Big places to have work done. No discussion about the local free bus to the super market, no talk about the schedule of buses that take people to town for checking in. Just about nothing. If you yawn, you just might miss this net.

It's about 0830 and the generator is purring away on the stern. Should be able to turn it off about 0930 and do the gasoline filtering and filling I wrote about in the last post. Then, a shave and a shower for me. It's time to feel clean again. As always the winds are still blowing in the mid teens.

It's now 0940 and we just finished our fuel project. We poured all the existing fuel that was in the out board motor tank into the "Baja Filter" to make sure there was no water in the existing fuel. That fuel went into another spare gasoline tank. Once it was out, we then we poured what came out back through the Baja Filter and into the outboard motor tank. So far, the fuel looks nice and clean but we will see in an hour or so if any water pools up at the bottom of one of our Tostitos jars. We save them for just such projects. Gasoline or Diesel, unless you are sure of the cleanliness of the source, it should all be filtered. Here in Caribbean, there is so much fuel getting pumped every day into the hundreds of boats that we have little fear of any problems. One of the last things any boater wants is dirty fuel in their tanks. With the now cleaner fuel back in the outboard motor tank, we then poured two gallons into a smaller jerry can(three gallons) we keep for transferring fuel to different tanks. With the Tohatsu out board being a 2 stroke engine, the fuel has to be mixed with oil unlike a 4 stroke that doesn't need it. I keep a measuring bottle(maple syrup jug) for the oil to make sure we get just the right about of oil for the fuel. I pour that oil into the filter in the opening in the top of the outboard tank and then pour the gas from the 3 gallon jerry can(has two gallons in it). This then filters the fuel(again) and gets the oil mixed well into the new fuel so there is no problem with it. With that being done, we're just waiting for the generator to cool down(just stopped it) before topping up it's tank and combining what's left in the two jerry cans on deck(stern deck tank and one of the primary jerry cans we keep on deck)and then all that will get stowed and strapped down. With the winds still hitting the high teens to low twenty knot range, it's amazing we didn't spill much fuel onto the deck.(Happy to report after 24 hours, no water showed up in the fuel)

Here's how the rest of Saturday unfolded. After the generator was done, we stowed things and Tracy started making lunch(Chili cheese hot dogs with a side salad. We tried Bushes Cubano Baked Beans a few days ago with another meal. Not bad. Nice flavor. As she cooked lunch on the stove, we suddenly ran out of propane! Well rats! Out I went with two wrenches and off came the regulator and hose and out came the fiberglass tank. I then attached everything to our back up tank(normally used for barbecuing )and we were ready to finish heating everything for lunch. We switched out to fiberglass tanks four years ago when we were in Pohnpei, Micronesia. They use the US Postal Service so we had two shipped in from the US. The old style metal tanks we had been using just rusted to death quickly in the salt air. It's now four years later and the tank look almost new. Now we have to rent a car and find out where we can get it filled. We've run into boats that have one tank(stupid), two tanks and as many as four tanks on their boats. One is just wrong since if you run out, well, you're out of fuel and it can realy screw up what could have been a great meal.
About a week ago, the ignitor on our stove went crazy. It just kept making the spark to ignite the burners. Normally, you push in on the knob, the ignitor snaps and the burner lights. A couple of weeks ago, they stopped working so I'd taken the ignitor apart and readjusted the prongs that make the electrical connection and then the spark. While doing so, I misplaced(OK, lost) one of the ever so small washers that go in one of the knob assembly. I found one that looked close and substituted it and all seemed fine. Well, I guess it decided to be a stinker and stop doing it's job. As we were about to have lunch, I simply pulled the battery(under the stove)out. No power--no spark. It was time to fix it. The last time I played with the battery assembly for the stove, I found that the wire that leads off the positive end of the battery had become disconnected. The metal fitting had decomposed. I'd made a replacement out of a screw and some rubber and steel washers to keep the wire isolated from the rest of the fitting. It seemed to work fine but for some reason the battery(at that time) got super heated. I ended up wrapping the battery(little AA) in electrical tape and that seemed to solve the problem. Now I had to get the battery back exactly as it had been so the ignitor would work and battery not over heat. Just to be safe, I put in a new battery with the electrical tape wrapped around it and after a few tries, it's up and working just fine. Took two flashlights and reading glasses so I could see it clearly as it's under the stove. I checked the burners and just the one I'd screwed up doesn't work but the rest are fine. Problem sort of solved. At least we can use the ignitor again.

We also took the time to check out water tanks as the last time we filled them, we were in Bonaire and that was a month ago. They are still half or more filled so we will need to get them topped up in a couple of weeks. It's good to have over 270 gallons of water on board.

Tracy just finished cleaning out the screen on the filter for the sump pump for the stern head. It's a job that needs doing about every thirty days or so. It's gets quite clogged if its forgotten. If that happens, the filter gets full of yuck, that stops the flow of water and that causes the pump to over heat and that blows the fuse. I speak from experience there. It's a job we put on our calendar to make sure it gets done regularly. I had to be done more regularly in Bonaire as we took more showers with all the diving we did there. Here, not so much(dirty water).

It's now Monday evening and we have the engine running to put a few more volts back in the batteries. Still not back up to snuff but it takes time.

Earlier today we took the bus to town to head back to Digicel. Last week, on Thursday, we topped up our account and ended up with 20+ gigs. As of Sunday, we were at over 16 gigs left and what we had had slowed down to a crawl. It was going to take close to four hours to download a show off the internet instead of the normal 30-40 minutes. I set up a "Chat" with Digicel to find out what the problem was and was told by their agent that the plan I was sold last week wasn't intended for use with a wifi dongle, only to be put in a phone. Say what? The sales person stood in front of me when I bought the plan and I had the phone and wifi dongle right in front of me on the counter. She couldn't resolve the problem and told me to go back to the Digicel store to get it resolved. Once we disconnected with the "Chat", Tracy checked the amount of gigs we had left this morning and we had a whopping 5 gigs left????!!!!! Digicel had swiped a bunch of gigs off my plan and slowed down the speed I was supposed to get. This is the second or third time they have done this and we are not the only cruisers that it's happened to. Others here have told me the same story. It was off to town on the 1030 bus.

Once at Digicel, I spoke with the "Data Doctor" who looked up my account(same sales person that had helped me before). She confirmed that Digicel had taken the gigs but she got them put back and assured me that the slowdown of my wifi was also resolved and I should have no more problems. Once back at the boat, I fired up the wifi dongle and booted up the computer. To download a show on their supposed 4G network was going to still take over 3.5 hours!!! Nothing had changed other than us getting our missing gigs back. Looks like I'll be heading back to town tomorrow to try and get it resolved. One option the Data Doctor gave me was to get another plan that was for just 10 gigs and would cost $149 guilders or $83US. The plan I had was for 18 gigs and just $50.56US. Somehow that just didn't seem right. Pay lots more and get lots less. Guess I will find out tomorrow what's going to happen.

And so ends Monday afternoon.

Off to the store and working with our batteries,etc.

12 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
Bill/Partly cloudy
It's now Friday late morning after another freebee trip to the grocery store. Picked up a few more things--pork loin for Chipolte Encrusted--YUMM!! We actually ran out of salt! Amazing that that could happen. It's one of the reasons we headed for the store. Picked up a few extra things while we were there.
Yesterday(Thursday) we headed for Willemstad as we were just about out of gigs again for our internet fun. Took the 1030 bus in and walked over the floating bridge to Digicel and got everything taken care of. For $50.56US, we got 18+gigs of internet and that seems like a pretty good deal. We hiked back over the floating bridge just in time to see a ketch rigged sailboat heading into the harbor. Whistles were blow, horns were honked and bells were rung and the bridge started it's arc to open to let the little sailboat into the river/bay. We watched as it passed and the bridge swung closed again. Then off to Subway for lunch. Cheaper than most local restaurants and neither of us get ill eating there.
We made it to the bus station in time for the 1330 bus back to the docks and were back on board by 1420 in time to run our generator again. I topped up the electrolyte early on Thursday morning and the batteries don't like it when I do that. The acid sits in the bottom of the batteries and the distilled water is in the top and it takes a while for the two to get together. Because of this, the batteries tend to loose their charge much faster as there is lots less of the chemical reaction needed to keep the volts in the battery. We ended up running either the generator or the engine(after the Sun goes down) at least three times. This morning, we ran the engine for about an hour as it was sprinkling and now that we are back from the store, the generator is humming away on the stern. I figure a couple more runs today. In a few days, everything will be mixed well and the batteries will be back in fitting trim again. We go through this every time I put more distilled water in them.

It's now Saturday morning and I'm sitting in the cockpit watching boats maneuver around the bay. Spanish Bay here in Curacao is separated into four areas, each requiring an "anchor permit" at a cost of $10. If you move from B to A, well you're supposed to go to town, hike to the offices that issue the permits(about two miles from the bus station)and get a new one. People are moving here regularly. Some coming in and some going out and some just jockeying for a better location. At 0615, I watched as a boat off our port side pulled up their anchor(we're in B) and as they were doing that, another boat(K DAN) was motoring out of the harbor. Once the boat had it's anchor up, it motored over to A and probably took K DANs place in that anchorage area.

Our batteries are still getting better but it's going to take a few more days. They charge up well and are still discharging quicker than normal as the new distilled water I put in is has still not totally mixed with the acid in the batteries. It takes about a week to get everything mixed again. We ran the engine for about a hour early yesterday morning, then the generator once we got back from the store run and then the generator again late in the afternoon. We're down again this AM but better than we were yesterday so we are making progress.

Today, we're going to drain out the gasoline from the outboard motors tank and put it through our "Baja Filter". Its a big funnel with a metal mesh screen in the bottom that won't allow water through it separating it from the gas as it goes through. We use it for diesel as well. The outboard runs a bit rough early when we start it so I think it's gotten some water in the tank as it's been a long time since we actually drained the tank and filtered the fuel. Once that's done, we'll refill our primary storage tank on the stern, separating it into some for the outboard(normally two gallons) and some for the generator and some that will stay in the primary tank on the stern deck. We have four jerry cans on the deck that will then need refilling so I'll be going to the fuel dock in the next day or so and getting them filled. It will be interesting to see what gas goes for since Bonaire was some of the most expensive gas we have ever taken on board.

The first signs.

09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
Here's what the plug looked like. You can see the slight melting around on of the prongs. Not a good sign.

Inside the plug.

09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curaçao
More of what I found.

inside the plug 2

09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters
Here's what it looked like inside.

The last few days here in Curacao.

09 August 2017 | Spanish Waters, Curacao
Bill/Partly cloudy
We just got back from a trip around Curacao. We needed a few things around the island so we grabbed the 0900 bus to Willemstad and climbed on the 2A bus that was to leave at 1015 and began the tour. We were in town in plenty of time to catch the 2B bus I took the other day to the chiropractor but I guess it got canceled as we never saw it. We sat back and let the driver take us around the island clear out to the airport on the north side of the island. We needed to go to Building Depot and Kooymans, both hardware stores looking for some new plugs 110 volt plugs for the electrical wires from the Yamaha to the connection on Zephyrs deck. It's been getting hot recently and there seems to be a bit of the plastic melting near one of the prongs. So it was off to town for us. We hit Kooymans first and looked to see what they had. Yes they had plugs but we wanted to see what Building Depot had as well. Kooyman even had a place to get lunch but what we wanted(Philly steak sandwich)they were out of. Off for Building Depot, right around the block. We found some plugs there and picked up a couple as well as some more ant killer and a plastic pad to put on one of the seat cushions in the cockpit so we don't get them so dirty coming in and out. We didn't like what their "restaurant" had so it was off to Van DenTweel after buying what we needed. As it was close to 1300, we stopped that their "restaurant" and had lunch. I had the Roti Rol(curry inside a Roti) while Tracy had a chicken, cheese, and onion on a panini roll. Both were quite good and I know I felt better after eating. It was a long time since my 7 crackers with jam breakfast.

We toured the store picking up a few items we couldn't find elsewhere in the other stores we have shopped at before and since we had to carry everything, we didn't get a lot. Off for the bus stop and back to the main station for the trip back to the "round about" outside the fisherman's dock where everyone puts their dinghies and then back to Zephyr but 1515. It's still blowing so the DuoGen is spinning nicely on the stern. Making some but not enough power to keep the batteries full but enough to let us get through the rest of the day. It was fun seeing the sights around the island and I figure we will do it again, maybe on the same route and maybe on a different one. They have a movie theatre in town so we might be heading in on Monday to see a movie. At just $5 guilders($2.79US) how can we go wrong.

It's now Monday and Sunday was a day we spent on board, never leaving the boat. It sprinkled off and on much of the day with the winds still staying in the high teens spinning our DuoGen on the stern. One neighbor, Serenity(Ann and Roy)came over and dropped off a bok for us to read. We'd discussed our book collection a few days ago when they were here for "sundowner" drinks. Tracy spent a great deal of yesterday reading it as I read an other book or surfed on the internet. She's been using a Kindle for quite some time and finds that she's having to get used to holding an actual book again. Much thicker than her Kindle. The rains came and left throughout the day so not much happened. One thing I did do was take a picture of the bow on Puff. We had her upside down a few days ago and found that the Hypalon is coming loose right at the bow on a small flat area. I sent an email to Highfield about it and they want us to take a picture of it and send it to them. Seemed quite concerned as they called it "dangerous" in their response. I got the pictures taken and sent so maybe we will hear from them today. We've had a problem with the paint on it peeling and they are sending us a complete set of anti skid treads to glue to the bottom once we strip it of it's bad paint. For a dinghy thats just over three years old(I think--got it in Thailand) the paint sure isn't holding up well. Guess we will see what their response is.

Ran the generator again this morning and I'll be taking apart the plug that goes into it and brings the volts to our deck plug for charging the batteries. It's been getting a bit hot of recent so I want to see if something is wrong. We bought replacement plugs on Saturday when we were touring the island. I'll let you know how that goes as well. Other than that, it's still blowing and we've had a half dozen little squall come through with more on the horizon. Should keep the deck nice and clean.

It's now Wednesday early morning and I'm sitting in the cockpit with Snowshoe(trying to get back to sleep again)as I sit here typing. Yesterday was a busy day with us heading for the free bus to do a bit of grocery shopping. Didn't really need much but it gets us off the boat. Back by 1030 and we ran the generator. I was going to do the change out of the plug when it was done. It ran till lunch(had tuna melts-yum) and then onto the plug. As you can see from the set of pictures, it was pretty well fried so it was a good thing to get it changed. Here's the new plug.

About 1600, there was a meeting of some of the cruisers that planned on heading for Panama given by another cruiser that has done the try several times. Probably close to 35 people showed up. We were split into two groups--foreigners-those that speak English and non-foreigners--those that speak Dutch. The presenter even came with some memory sticks with info to put in our computers(better charts and his tracks of where he has been). Talk lasted till about 1730 when we returned to Zephyr and stowed Puff on deck. Many of the group headed to one of the local restaurants down the street. We opted out.

Today? Not sure yet.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
Extra: We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. We're now in the Caribbean in Grenada after making the crossing from South Africa 7 months ago.
Home Page: http::/
Zephyr's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 54 of 54
The electrical connection with switch for the new Spectra Watermaker.
Our new watermaker--it still needs the hoses run but we are getting closer to getting the job done.
La Panga Restaurant and Marina Palmira office
You put your trash out in trash cans by the curb.  Here, they put it in raised steel containers to keep animals out of it while awaiting pickup.
OK, sounds like a restaurant I want to try.  Nothing wrong with a skull on the sign.
Boats in Marina Palmira.
Bigger power boats in Marina Palmira.
More boats in Marina Palmira.
Marina Costa Baja
Looking West from the marina.
Looking North towards the hotel La Fiesta.
Boats at Marina Costa Baja.
We sat for quite a while just watching the sun go down and see all her changing colors.  Each night provided a whole rainbow of colors.
La Fiesta Hotel.  Nice place and just about empty.
Matt getting some relaxation at the pool.
They stroll the docks each day.
Along the sidewalk at Marina Costa Baja.
Looking down from above.  Boy, it
The view from the top of the mast of the marina.
Out into the bay.
The "Beach Club at the hotel.
More of the Marina and the hotel.
Pangas along the beach at Los Muertos.
The dingy dock at Los Muertos.
Looking out from the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Pelicans and the pangas along the launching ramp at Los Muertos.
The Sun glinting off the bay at Los Muertos.
What used to be the Giggling Marlin restaurant.  Now El Carbon.
Rock walls out by the dingy dock at Los Muertos.
One of the flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.  Look closely.
More flying Manta Rays at Los Frailes.
The Eastern end of Los Frailes.
Ensenada de Los Muertos.
The ceiling of the restaurant at Los Muertos.
Blue goes hunting.  She knows there is something on the barbecue grill
With her toes spread, she is weaving on the life line.  The camera is still, she is not!
At anchor in Los Frailes.
The anchorage in Los Frailes.
At the pot luck dinner along the beach in Los Frailes waiting out the wind.  The wind won!!
Our new Fender Step.  It will make coming into dock much easier.
Our new Spectra 200T watermaker.  Now all we have to do is find the time to install it.
The Immigration Office in Ensenada, Mexico.  At least it is all in one building now instead of spread all over town.
The big flag by Baja Naval Marina.  An easy land mark to navigate to.
The Port Captain
The Mexican courtesy flag flying from our mast spreaders.
Celebrating crossing into Mexico.  The white wine had gone bad so we gave it to King Neptune instead.
Looking towards Ensenada Harbor.
25 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
Around Kudat and the Penuwasa Boat Yard
39 Photos
Created 18 November 2013
Up the hills till an opening shows up in front of you and then see if you can get down into it. Not always.
36 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Some photos of our diving on the reef.
30 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
Our trip around the north end of Borneo
20 Photos
Created 16 November 2013
10 Photos
Created 23 October 2013
Our trip around Malaysia starting at Tawau.
36 Photos
Created 21 October 2013
51 Photos
Created 13 October 2013
Our trip from Tawau around the top of Borneo down to Brunei.
6 Photos
Created 9 October 2013
13 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
24 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Pictures of our dives off Musket Cove Marina
20 Photos
Created 7 December 2011
Avea Bay on South Huahine and on to Raiatea Island.
39 Photos
Created 25 July 2011
Our arrival in Tahiti through Huahine
91 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Getting Zephyr ready to go.
37 Photos
Created 28 October 2010
My three days getting not only knowledge and some self confidence but nice and dirty.
8 Photos
Created 26 August 2010
Heading South from Escondido.
23 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 30 April 2010
An old salt factory.
33 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Incredible sandstone
17 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
A great place to spend time exploring.
48 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante
25 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 30 April 2010
47 Photos
Created 14 February 2010
Our continuing adventure as we head North farther up the Sea Of Cortez.
47 Photos
Created 22 January 2010
8 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Our visit to the famous "Mushroom Rock" bay.
12 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Art and statues along the waterfront as you walk through downtown La Paz, Mexico
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2010
Still heading South but now in Cabo San Lucas
24 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Making our way South along the coast of Mexico
25 Photos
Created 28 November 2009
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