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.

30 July 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
28 July 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
20 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
20 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
18 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
17 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
14 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
14 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
11 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
10 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
08 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
07 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
07 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
07 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
06 July 2016 | Power Boats Yard, Trinidad
03 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
03 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
03 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
03 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad
03 July 2016 | Power Boats yard, Trinidad

Visiting our second boat.

30 July 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
Bill/sunny and cool
Today was the day to drive up to see our other sailboat. When we lived in Colorado, we sailed a Laguna 26 that we've had since 1987. We'd trailered her all over the country as we moved about. From New Mexico to Colorado, Colorado to Louisiana and Louisiana back to Colorado. She's the boat we really learned about sailing on. We put her into storage back in 2008 in a storage lots about 40 miles north of our home. Every time one of us comes home, we drive up and check her out. When Tracy was here, she put a tarp over her replacing the one I installed the year before. As I drove up to her, she looked nicely covered. After climbing aboard, the tarp Tracy had put on was still fine but was showing the signs of a years worth of weathering. I'd found a nice big tarp in our garage and had tossed it in the car and then stopped at Home Depot and picked up some good rope to tie it down. The tarp was big enough that I had to double it over so it will add two more layers to what was already there. I tied it down and then put more lines over the top of the tarp from side to side and pulled the ropes tight in case any wind should try and move it. It took a while but now our boat has four layers--one cover of Sunbrella that we made many years ago, and then three layers of tarps. She's well protected for the next year or so. The biggest problem was wasps.

As I worked on getting the cover tied down, I was buzzed by bunches of wasps. None came near enough to make me worried but I didn't dare take the existing covers off as I'm sure there are several hives packed under the covers. They didn't seem concerned about me as I left them alone. Ours was the only sailboat I saw in the yard as we were surrounded by motor homes.

I finished the covering and took off for lunch. As I ate, I got an email from Canon about the repairs to our binoculars. Somehow, they decided that they were out of warranty and they wanted $232 to repair them. As I'd bought them in July of 2014, I knew they were wrong, so after lunch as I sat in the car(fuming), I called them. After pleading my case and explaining my situation, the service person I was talking too conferred with a supervisor and they saw the error in the date of the purchase of the binoculars and all charges were waved. I would get them either replaced or repaired. Don't know which but I'll find out in a week or so when they arrive. I advised them of my time restrictions for when I was heading back to Grenada. With luck, they will make it back in time.

Tomorrow its off I go again. Still have things to do and get.

The first two days back in Colorado

28 July 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
Bill/Sunny and hot
I'm home or at least back in Colorado. Left the marina Saturday at 1130 and flew out at 1420. Into and out of Atlanta and into Denver at 2320. An expensive taxi ride and I'm back at our house. Now the fun begins.
I've got appointments to go to, phones to get activated, parts to order and invoices to consolidate. Add on getting used to being at 6000 feet from sea level and it may take a day or two to get used to not only the altitude but the dryness. I'm used to 80% and now I'll be at 15-20%. Same 90 degrees but lots dryer but with a 50% chance of rain again, just like Grenada.
I'll report in as the days go by. I've already ordered a bunch of stuff so it's here waiting for me but there is still more needed. It didn't help that someone snitched our credit card numbers to get a tattoo in California. Now I have new cards and have to get a phone activated so I can get them up and running.
Tracy is still on Zephyr taking care of other small projects. Still lots to be done.
Stay tuned. The fun here in Colorado is just beginning.

It's now Tuesday just before 0100. Wasn't sleeping well so I got up and started typing. I was up and out of bed on Sunday morning at 0530, which was 0730 according to my body since it is still on Grenada time. I killed some time looking around the house before taking off for McDonalds. I needed a breakfast and they offer free wifi. My first Egg McMuffin in a while. Got on line and let Tracy know all was well and then took off for King Soupers, the largest grocery store chain in Denver. As I walked in the front door, everything anyone could need or want was laid out in front of me. Having traveled around most of the world, not many countries have stores like this. South Africa, Singapore and maybe Malaysia being about the only ones. Fruits, veggies, meats of all kinds. It was all there in front of me. I wanted to get a few items so I could eat at home and not at restaurants. Cheaper and better that way. I brought what I bought back to the house and set out again. It was now after 0900 and I thought some places might be open. I'd forgotten it was Sunday and most stores don't open till at least 1100. I tried T Mobile--nope, 1100, Apple--nope, 1100. I did find Walmart open and got some more food there so my pantry will be decently stocked for a few days. I made a tour of Costco while I was in the neighborhood. My membership lapsed long ago but I wanted to see if there was anything I HAD to have. Nope, all was good so onward I went. I found West Marine open as I needed a new pelican hook for the lifeline gate. The pin that keeps the gate closed had broken and I needed a new one. Now this West Marine is geared for small lake boats and fishermen, not deep water cruisers. I was told that their "sailing" man wouldn't be in till Tuesday so that was a bust as the two people there knew nothing about what I needed. I headed down the road as it was now time for Lunch. Off for Tokyo Joes, a fast food oriental restaurant that makes a mean chicken curry meal with a drink included for a reasonable price and it tastes great. One "Manager's Special" and I was set--YUMM!

Off for Apple again. I have two "vintage" Apple MacBooks that I've had for years. "Vintage" means they don't carry parts and won't fix it if it should die. I needed a new power adapter and that at leas they did carry so one down. I'm still shooting for a new battery for it. This one is so old(made of plastic) that I can change out the battery. Price was just $79.95. It goes for $120 in Trinidad On to T Mobile for phone service and a data plan. When Tracy was home, she bought one of their phones and signed up for prepaid service. I took her phone and did the same. For $60, I get unlimited phone, text and 10 gigs of data. If I turn the phone into a mobile hot spot, I can use it with the computers I brought back. Should work out fine. I headed for home having done a bit more than I wanted to as I'm trying to adjust to the 6000 foot altitude. It was taking a bit out of me so I spent the rest of the day playing with the phone and on the computers getting a bit of rest all the while. Since it's now Monday, I'll be off again, hitting the Post Office, letting them know I'm back and to resume the mail service and then on to either Fed Ex or UPS to get the binoculars and clock returned to their parent companies since each is covered under warranty. I've got just three weeks to get these to them, fixed or replaced and back to me so I can take them back to Zephyr. It's going to be tight if I know these companies.

I do have to admit, I'm not used to the cold. It was down to just 60 last night. I haven't been in an environment that chilly for quite some time. The 90s I'm used to but not the 60s.

OK, that takes us to Monday night.

Some rest and meet up with old friends.

20 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Bill/ partly cloudy
I took a bit of time off today. Particularly the morning by downloading some shows and reading a book. It was nice to take a bit of time off. As I was doing this up at the lounge area, Tracy was on the boat straightening up stuff and running "Pledge" wipes around the woodwork trying to get it back in a clean condition as all the sanding and grinding on deck had slowly filtered into the cabin. Every flat surface and many others were littered with thick dust.

Earlier in the day, as we listened to the morning VHF net we found that some friends of ours, Emerald Sea had arrived here in Grenada and after talking to them after the net, we found that they were coming to our little cove here in Grenada later in the day. We made plans to meet up later.

After a wonderful lunch of steak, potatoes and a great side salad, we wandered up to the lounge area and found Steve and Rose from Emerald Sea having just come from the office where they had made reservations to come to Secret Harbour. We sat and talked and even took a walk up to the swimming pool for the marina. A nice enticement to being here.

Tomorrow, I'll be walking over to Prickly Bay to fill out the forms for the two items I'm taking back to the US for repairs--our Canon Binoculars and a Weems and Plath clock. The binoculars had failed about 2 weeks after we started using them as the door that holds the batteries in had failed. They come with a three year warranty so they have to go back. The clocks mechanism has quit and it came with a life time warranty(already replaced once) so it's going back also. To avoid paying the import duties when I come back, I have to fill out some forms showing them leaving and Customs has to stamp and approve it. Sure beats paying a 12.5% duty on something you already own. As it is, I still have to pay 2.5% anyway.

Tonight was "chick flick" night here at the marina and we just couldn't get into it. They were showing "Silver Lining Notebook". We bagged it early as no other cruisers were watching the film, only locals had shown up. The cruisers we busy swallowing drinks while the movie played off to the side. We settled in and watched a few shows for the night.

We've got power!

20 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Bill/Sunny with rain coming
Well, Tuesday has come and gone and we've finally got electricity to Zephyr!! The day started out nice and sunny with Tracy taking one of the vans into town to hit a hardware store as well as one of the larger grocery stores(IGA) here in Grenada. I stayed behind since the electrician was coming and I had other jobs that needed attention. One of the ignitors on the stove has stopped clicking a spark so I took the electronic sparker unit apart and fixed it. All it takes is to ever so slightly bend a pair of metal prongs so when the handle is pushed, they come in contact with the wires running through the box and it makes a spark igniting the gas. I then started cleaning up inside and outside the boat, putting away things that were just dumped into buckets and boxes before we left Trinidad. Lots got put away before Tracy came back. She did well getting lots of things we needed. Now we always thought Trinidad was strange that they had no pretzels or Johnsonville Brat Original variety. Here they do but they don't carry Cheetos(only Jalapenos style) or Pepsi in large two liter bottles(just cans). We've jumped from one place to another, each with it's benefits and shortcomings. With luck and time, we might just find what we are missing but I sure enjoyed the pretzels as a snack tonight. I had them along with Pepsi I brought in from Trinidad. The best of both islands.

I spoke to "Sparky" or Dexter the electrician in mid morning and he explained that he was hung up on an emergency call but would be by later in the afternoon. And about 1500, he showed up. When I saw him earlier, he was cutting some huge wires for the electrical room and was having a friend bring in some other parts that he needed for the job. He seemed to know what the heck he was doing. By 1530, he as all ready to go and when we hit the switches on Zephyr, this time the lights stayed lit and the AC power came on line and we started charging the batteries. It was great to finally get power back on board. Now we no longer have to worry about the charging the batteries or they running flat should we forget to charge them. PLUS, we can now run our air conditioner!!! Oh, it's a happy boat tonight!!!

Mount Hartman Bay was apparently named Mosquito Bay some time ago or so I'm told and I can see why. It's a bug fest in this place. If you value your skin and don't want to continually itch, you spray with bug spray when ever you go out. I, personally, hate the stuff and have resisted using it for years but even I have given in and am now covered in "OFF". I can see hundreds of the little varmints buzzing all around me and if I've missed a spot, I spray again.

Tomorrow, it's on to other jobs that still need attention and make arrangements for getting a cab to take me to the airport on Saturday.

Still no power but a beautiful day.

18 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Bill/cool with lots of mosquitos
It's now our third day here at Secret Harbour Marina in Grenada and things are moving along. I took off this morning to get some money as we had little of the native currency(Eastern Caribbean Dollars). Along the way, we stopped at one of the local chandleries(Water World)where I got a few things we will need down the road and now. Late in the morning, the electrician showed up and we got to work trying to figure out why the marinas power system won't work with ours.

Dexter, alias "Sparky" checked our connections and he redid a few of them. We ran the wires from one of the power posts to the boat and promptly blew the circuits on the marina. "Sparky" walked over with me in his shadow and we checked the existing breakers. They didn't look bad but heck, you never know. We discussed it with the office and decided to get some new ones and replace the old. I, meanwhile walked back to the boat and we started up our Yamaha generator to recharge out batteries. A while later, Tracy got fed up with waiting and marched over to the office to see why they wouldn't just hook up the 220 volts and we could step it down to 110 with our transformer. They were willing to give it a shot so over came "Sparky" again and we worked with different plugs and a bit heavier wire. We found a 220 that was active and plugged it in. So far, so good. I checked the plug that came to the boat and it read 220+ volts. I plugged it into our transformer and it showed it as now being just 110-120 volts. I plugged it into the boats system and threw the switches. In just a few seconds, it blew the circuits for the marina again! It just doesn't want to play nice with Zephyr!! "Sparky" is off to find replacement circuit breakers for both the 220 and 110 systems so we can install them tomorrow. We've had to do this before in another yard(Fiji) to make it stop breaking the circuits. Meanwhile, I started up the Yamaha again and vroom, off when the charger on board merrily charging up all our systems. All the computers are now nice and charges and the batteries were almost there but it came to 1700 and we don't want to run them past that time. Tomorrow, depending on what happens, we will either have power or we will be using the generator again. None of our neighbors in the marina are concerned as I've gone to each and explained out problem. Let's just hope that they get this problem all resolved. Another boat across from us has had problems with their 110 power when they came in. Guess we will see tomorrow.

We got a notice from our credit card company that some one had charged $1.99 to our card yesterday. Not us so I put it in dispute. No big deal. Today, we got another notice that someone had charged $519 on our card using the internet. Someone had our numbers and was using them. I notified the card company and they put a freeze on that transaction and have cancelled our cards and are mailing out new ones. Good thing I'm going home so I can pick them up. It's the third time(maybe fourth) that our card numbers have been compromised since we left the US back in 2009. I used to know our numbers by memory but it's now been changed so many times, I have to look at the card. What a pain!

Meanwhile, we tackle other odd jobs around the boat making sure that we get as much done before I take off as we can. Tomorrow, I get to fix the stove. To light one of the burners, you turn the knob and push in on it at the same time. That makes the stove spark and light the gas. One of the burners has stopped sparking so I'll be taking it apart and fixing it. I did it when we were in Richard's Bay South Africa. Not a big job but necessary. I'll also be inspecting and replacing the propane sensor for the auto off safety device we have in our propane line.

Leaving on Friday and getting into Grenada.

17 July 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Bill/Sunny and some breeze
It's been long foretold that you should never begin a sea voyage on a Friday and we paid the price because we did. By Friday morning, we were just finishing up the few last things. They had to be last as we were already in the slings to be put in the water. Michael, the man that runs the lift even gave us an extra hour so we could finish what we were doing and even take one last shower. Michael and his crew showed up right on time at 0930 and off we went to the splash area. Michael ran the lift putting us right over the water and slowly lowered us into it, nice and easy. I went below and burped out packing gland for the propeller, turned the key and pushed the start button for the engine. She fired right up, no problem. I checked with Michael and let him know we were all ready to go. He gave us the thumbs up sign and I put Zephyr in gear. Suddenly, we were thrown sideways and then backwards,the forward and suddenly the engine just stopped. All the while, the men on the launch crew were yelling at us to do this and do that. All of a sudden, there was big crunch as our new pretty varnished teak bulwarks was slammed into the metal brackets the slings on the lift4 are held by. Once, twice, three times!! Then the bow was thrown to port and we hit one of the metal poles on the side of the slot for launching. Again, on our nice new teak!!! Michael yelled at us to just stop--no problem since the engine shut itself off. He and one of his helpers jumped into the water to see what the problem was. His explanation was that a piece of the protection sleeve that covers the slings had wrapped it self around the prop. What actually happened was that they didn't lower the slings enough under Zephyr and when he told us to go, we ran into the slings with the forward edge of the hull. That then threw us to the side. When the sling finally got past the lowest part of the hull, it flew up in the water so the prop could catch the plastic and rip it off. Luckily, the only damage was to the teak cap rail and bulwarks. It's going to take some work to fix the stern area as it gouged a deep slash in the wood. The port side will only require some sand paper and new varnish.

By this time, it was 1030 and we were off for Grenada. Yes, I probably could have pled my case to get it repaired by the yard but we had already checked out and since I fly out of Grenada next week there was no time for it. I'll just do it myself when I get back. Not that big a deal. As we headed north for Grenada, we were hit by at least 6 squalls along the way with winds from 3 to 19 knots or more, most from the wrong direction. There was some that we could have sailed in but I'm trying to get the diesel tanks low enough for cleaning when I get back. The seas were anything but pleasant with waves in the 6 foot area throwing us around quite well. The kids were ticked with Snowshoe panting and drooling down his chest making his hair a mess. Not having been on the water for over 10 weeks, I knew I'd lost my sea legs. It wasn't easy getting around the boat. We pulled into Prickly Bay in Grenada at just after 0500 this morning and slowly made our way through all the anchored boats and finally dropped the hook about 0515 in pretty much total darkness. By 0530, it was nice and bright making it easy to see around the bay. We'd just gotten in 15 minutes too early. Once the hook was set, we both headed for the bunk in the stern cabin for a couple of hours sleep before we took off for our new home, Secret Harbour Marina. We had the hook up and we were off by 0930 and in but 1030. Only problem was the space we had reserved and promised was about to be used by a 70 foot sailboat that's due in tomorrow. The weekend manager wanted us to grab one of the mooring buoys and back into the docks(called Med Moor). With Zephyr, well that's like backing up a drunk, half asleep not trained elephant. It's just not going to happen especially since we had 10 to 15 knots of wind through the marina. In the end, he put us at a different place where we could simply pull in and tie up on the starboard side. It took a good bit of talking to get the space and we will probably be moving by Monday once the big 70 footer is gone. We will see. Meanwhile I'm headed up to the office to get wifi passwords and keys for the shower rooms.

It's now Sunday afternoon, about 1600 and so far, no 70 foot boat at our reserved slip. Don't care as where we are is fine other than the fact that we have no electricity. Max, the weekend Harbor Master came by after several tries to get him to come out( on Saturday afternoon) and I brought out our 110 cord. You aren't allowed to plug in by yourself, you have to have the Harbor Master there. I plugged in the cord and we had lights on our panel inside Zephyr that there was power. I turned on the switches to activate our Heart Inverter/Charger and a few seconds later, we blew the circuits for the marina!! Max walked around to the electrical room and re set the breakers. I tried several more times, each with the same result. Not a good thing!! They promise to have an electrician out here on Monday so until then, I've turned on the DuoGen wind generator(makes a bit of power but not much) and I hauled out our Yamaha 2400 generator. After being in storage for several months, she started right up. I let her run for a couple of hours and our batteries are now back to full charge. The Marina wiring should be the same as the generator, I just don't think they have a big enough breaker in their box to handle our needs. It's not the first time this has happened.

Slept in this morning for the first time in months--0830!! God bless Tylenol PM. Great for a good night sleep. We had a nice breakfast and then started putting Zephyr "away" for the next few months. We gave her new decks a wash(had to get a key from the Harbor Master as all faucets are kept locked)with one of our hoses, pulled out assorted pieces of canvas to cover all the exposed areas on her deck. From the new cap rail and bulwarks to the dodger and bimini, everything got covered. I had to spend a bit of time crawling around on deck getting paint off the snaps that had been covered by Lobster and his men. Oh, as to Lobsters crew, both "Sleepy" and "Sneezy" have now been fired. "Sleepy" because he did nothing and "Sneezy" because he did little but he screwed up some fiberglass work on Lobsters next project and he had to redo all of it. To celebrate our arrival in Grenada, we had a nice barbecued steak with potatoes and a Waldorf Salad to go with it. We ate in the cockpit as it's cooler than inside at least till we get air conditioning. Being Sunday, it's very quiet here. Yesterday, the marina hosted a wedding reception for a good 100+ people. What a mad house. More cars than spots to park them and more people than seats to place them. As a good note, they closed down the party promptly at 2300 so it didn't go far into the night.

That's about it for now. I'd post some pictures but our camera is acting up. I'll post when I get it fixed or replaced.
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 South Africa making our way toward the Cape.
Home Page: http::/www.sailblogs.com/member/svzephyr
Zephyr's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 15 of 54
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It
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
Boats in Marina Palmira.
Bigger power boats in Marina Palmira.
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.
More boats in Marina Palmira.
Marina Costa Baja
There
Looking West from the marina.
Looking North towards the hotel La Fiesta.
Boats at Marina Costa Baja.
 
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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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