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.

23 April 2017
23 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
22 April 2017 | Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
20 April 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, USVI
18 April 2017 | Francis Bay, St. John, USVI
18 April 2017 | Francis Bay, St. John, USVI
15 April 2017 | Saba Rock, BVI
14 April 2017 | Key Bay, BVI
14 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
13 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
13 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
10 April 2017 | Benure Bay, Norman Island, BVI
09 April 2017 | Benure Bay, Norman Island, BVI
08 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI
05 April 2017 | Diamond Bay, Jost Van Dyke
05 April 2017 | Diamond Cay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI
05 April 2017 | Benure Bay,BVI
02 April 2017 | Benure Bay, BVI

Our new "Raw" water filter

23 April 2017
Here's a picture of our nice new "raw" water filter from Greco. A nice piece of engineering.

The old filter

23 April 2017
Here's a picture of the old raw water filter assembly. Very out dated compared to the new designs.

Moving, wind and changing the "raw" water filter.

23 April 2017 | Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/sunny with winds
We spoke too soon about avoiding the partying surrounding Carnival. As we lay quietly at anchor in Lindbergh Bay about 1500 yesterday, the music started on shore. We were about 500 yards from shore and yet we could hear the music(especially the bass drums) of music blaring out of huge speakers. I'd gone in for a round of snorkeling to see if there was anything worth having Tracy join us. It was just a mass of sand, grass and some small outcropping of coral but nothing worth her getting wet for. As I returned to Zephyr, I could hear the music and If I could hear it, it's not a good thing. I figured we would be moving once I got back on board but we didn't make the final decision till I was done with my shower. With the music even louder, the decision was made for us. We were moving. All we had to do was pull Puff back on board, get her stowed and we would be off to another bay(Brewers Bay)just around the other side of the airport. We closed up what needed closing(port lights that let in exhaust in the stern), started up the engine, pulled up the nicely set anchor(swam on it when I was snorkeling)and took off.

It took us about 45 minutes, avoiding planes as they came in for landings and dropped the anchor on the northwest side of the bay. Unfortunately, we chose the wrong place as we felt our anchor slide across the bottom, hitting a bommie of coral here and a bommie of coral there each time jerking the chain out and then letting it go with a big thunk at the bow sprit. We tried twice in the northwest area before moving over the the south east area where there were more boats. We normally like to sit by ourselves as far from other boats as we can safely anchor. We attached our super snubber and yanked back on it with a nice burst from the engine. The chain went out in a darn near straight line really setting the anchor nicely in the bottom, what ever was down there. Now here's the bad part. About 30 minutes later, music started on the beach we were now anchored off!!! Lucky for us, there are no resorts of hotels on this beach as there were on the last one and by 1800, the music stopped as people went home as the sun was setting. YEAH!! Quiet descended on the anchorage at least music wise. As for the planes coming in and out of the airport, we they still came and went, everything from small Cessnas to big airline jets for Delta, United and Spirit to name a few. I knew this island depended on tourism but now I understand how they do it. Thousands fly in every day, spend their time and money here and fly out. It keeps the wheels greased.

It's now Sunday afternoon and it's been a busy morning with us doing chores while the planes zip by just to the west of us. We've been so busy I don't think we've even noticed them but we do have a wind factor since it's blowing about 20+ knots which is keeping our wind generator and batteries quite happy. While Tracy read the manual for our Ratheon R10XX radar trying to find out why it has stopped working, I started in on changing out our "Raw" water filter system for the engine. For those of you that have been following us for a while, you'll remember the numerous clogs we found in our "Raw" water system when our engine was over heating back in January. It wasn't the cause of the overheating but it didn't help matters that so much grass and stuff had gotten past the filter if you can call it that. We're sure this piece of equipment dates back to when Zephyr was built as it's all steel with no way to see what you've gotten in or how clogged your filter is. It was time for it to be changed. I'd ordered in a new one from Defender, a Groco 1000 which has a nice plastic basket as well as a clear housing so you can see what's in there. Today was the day to change it out. I'd even bought new screws to hold it in place. Previous pieces of equipment have been mounted with all typed screws, most with different heads on them. Some Phillips, some flat and some square headed. This time, every head would be the same--phillips. Not my favorite but what was available. I've been thinking about changing the filter system for some time and the planning I did payed off. Everything part of my plan came off just fine. Take off the bracket that holds the old one but first, suck out what water was in it so it doesn't get all over the engine. Then cut the existing hoses making sure the water that was in them didn't go everywhere. Of course, my first thing was to close the thru hull that the water comes into the boat through(duh!). I sucked out the water with a huge syringe and then unscrewed the bracket and either took off the hoses or used a hack saw to cut them off. One hose slid right off and one needed the saw but both came off. Next, plan where to put the new, much larger filter against the wall of the engine room and drill holes for the brackets making sure it didn't cover any thing that was already there or overlap one of the doors to the engine room. Out came the drill, screw drivers,hose clamps, wrenches and most of all, Teflon tape for the thread of the fittings. My planning went fine and though it took about two hours from start to finish, it came out just fine with no leaks when we started the engine once we were done. Now we can see what in the filter and clean and change it when we see it's necessary. Our old diesel fuel filter was the same way, built our of stainless steel but you never knew how bad the filter was inside the housing. No more. Now we know. Job done and no mechanic at $100 per hour to pay.
As for Tracy and the radar, we still don't know but will be checking further. It could be a loose wire or since it's an antique, it may have just simply died. TIme to did a bit further.
The picture is of the "filter" that is supposed to stop grass, etc from getting into the engines cooling system. Old on the right and new on the left. Big difference in filtering power. As for the top of the handle on the plastic basket on the left being broken, it came that way and once I called Defender and sent a picture, they sent me a new one at no charge. Great customer service!

Moved to avoid the loud music of Carnival.

22 April 2017 | Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/sunny with winds
Yesterday(Friday) was another very busy day here in Charlotte Amalie. I'd made contact with the man that owns the scuba shop here at Yacht Haven Grande and he told me that he could have out scuba tanks hydrostated to make sure they were still good. Regulations for scuba tanks is that they have to be checked every five years or so to make sure they are good enough to hold the 2000 pounds of pressure that gets pumped into them. Our tanks are WAY out of date. It takes about a week and that should give us the time we need to make sure we are ready to go. We got Puff into the water and we dragged our two tanks out on deck and opened the valves and drained off all the compressed air inside, scaring the cats half crazy. Then into Puff for the trip to shore and into the shop for testing and refilling. For $30 it's a good deal plus we will have them refilled when done(sure hope they pass).
We then walked up the street and caught one of the safari buses out to Price Smart to further sink our boat below it's water line. Price Smart is like Costco or Sams only smaller. Bulk is the name of the game there. We got a bag of kitty litter to add to our stores. Another 42 pounds of it. Add in lots of other stuff(even a couple of steaks) and then we called Albert Lynch at A.L Transportation for a lift back to the marina. We'd shopped at Price Smart numerous times during our stays in CA but never bought a lot as the taxi drivers you can find out there charge upwards of $30 for a couple mile trip but if you have lots of stuff, there is little choice. In the past, we bought enough that we could carry it and take the $2.00(easy person)safari trip back. When we were leaving the Pueblo supermarket on Wednesday, a man approached us asking if we needed a taxi. We got to talking and in the conversation, we asked how much to bring us back from Price Smart. His response was $8.00 per person. A nice savings from the gougers out there. They want $30 or more for the simple trip back to the marina. I called him this morning and he had the time to pick us up when we were done shopping. Well, once we were done and had a nice cart full of goodies, I called him and about 15 minutes later he showed up and after loading all our groceries, quickly took us back to the marina. Cost, the agreed upon $16!! So if you are ever in CA and need a good driver to take you any where, call Albert Lynch at 340-344-9468 or email at You won't find better.
As we walked back to Puff with our groceries, we talked to another cruiser about the Carnival that's going on here at CA. It's supposed to be quite noisy over the next few days as bands play well into the early morning. To avoid the rhythmic pounding of over amplified bass from speakers, we pulled up our anchor and moved 3.4 miles to Lindbergh Bay, just west of CA. It's near the air port but the planes stop once night begins and it's fun seeing all the different planes fly out, both commercial as well as private. As it was well after 1400, we didn't even take the time to un pack the bags of groceries we bought today. We did that once we got anchored again. Now the cabinets are darn near bulging with food but I'm sure we will be getting more before we take off.
So here we sit for a day or two but we may move around the corner to the west side of St. Thomas to Brewers Bay. Guess we will see what the weather brings. It's the ultimate decision maker for where we anchor.

It's now Saturday morning and we are both glad we moved to Lindbergh Bay. We sat outside on deck last night and even 3.5 miles from downtown, you could still hear the music and drums pounding in the city. BOOM BOOM BOOM over and over!!! We will see what tonight brings but it's got to be quieter than back in CA.
The picture today is of one of the many wild flowers along the path ways on the different islands we've visited.

Spending money like we're printing it.

20 April 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, USVI
Bill/ still breezy
We've moved back to Charlotte Amalie in preparation of getting things fixed, restocking the larder, getting the fuel tanks refilled to name just a few. We pulled in yesterday late morning and dropped the anchor in another spot in the bay. I think this may be our 7th or 8th time here. Not sure really. It's a wide open bay so finding a place to drop the hook isn't that hard. Once in and our wonderful Rocna anchor set in the sandy bottom, we launched Puff and took off for town. We had three packages to pick up and a bunch of groceries on our list to try and find.

The first box was delivered to a place called "Flagship"right here at the local marina. It had been Fed Ex'd to us with the delivery address as the local Post Office. As we all know, FedEx doesn't deliver to the Post Office so it took numerous phone calls and emails to finally get a new delivery address put on the shipment. As the "receiver", we were not allow to change the delivery address, only the "sender" can do that. It took a while but it was finally changed and we went in yesterday and picked it up. What was so important, you might ask? A pair of hats from Rocna Anchors and two bottle openers! I sent Rocna an email several weeks ago and they responded with an offer of some hats. I wear hats all the time when outside so I was happy to say "Yes" to the offer plus we LOVE our Rocna anchor and have no problem spreading their name and talking about their product. The only other company we "advertise" for (wear their tee shirts) is Hydrovane, our wind steering system on our stern. Another great piece of equipment.

I took off for the Post Office for two more packages, one from Divers Direct for a new scuba regulator as mine was not working properly and one of the last things you want to experience is it to stop working when you're 80 feet down diving on some wreck. Time for a new one. The third box was repair parts for our "Aqua Drive", a "universal drive" mechanism that joins the transmission to the prop shaft. A few years ago, we had a salt water problem with a lot of it getting inside the boat. We got it all pumped out and the problem fixed but we forgot to wash off the salt water. The joint is now covered in rust and in need of replacing. When we were in Mexico 8 years ago, the joint had come unbolted and the spinning transmission had pretty much destroyed the existing plate(while we were anchoring of course) and I'd replaced it so it's not something new though doing it once 8 years ago hardly makes me an expert but with Tracy's help, we will get it installed.

With both package in my arms, I walked over to Kmart to find some of the food stuffs we were needing. Tracy had made a list of what we would get from Kmart as well as from Pueblo Supermarket and with Kmart on my way, I stopped in and dropped a chunk of cash and walked out with some good buys, most of it cheaper than buying the same from Pueblo. We've been here too long as we know the stores so well, we know what to buy and where it's cheapest. It's been too long when people know your name when you come in.

With a half cart load from Kmart, I walked down and joined Tracy who was doing a great job filling her own cart. Once I told her how much I'd bought, se stopped and we checked out and joined our loads into one cart. With Pueblos permission, we used one of their carts to transport what we bought to the dinghy dock. After we loaded up Puff, I returned the cart to Pueblo with our thanks. We now had lots of stuff to put away and even though we were low, it's getting hard to find places for everything.

Today was pretty much the same with running the generator for a while to top up the batteries and then taking off for shore. We spent the morning at Kmart filling up with all we thought we could carry, had a quick lunch at Wendys loaded up Puff and returned to Zephyr. Unloaded Puff, stowed the goods and took off for a second trip, this time to Pueblo Super Market where we again did our best to fill another cart. The big difference is that Pueble carries fresh veggies and fruit and that's something K Mart doesn't carry. It's not that there is no food farther down the chain of islands, it's that the prices here are better and the selection is better. Buy it when you can find it. We found spots for everything we brought back and settled in making plans for what we still need to do before we head back south east toward Grenada.

Tomorrow, we are off for a scuba shop that can Hydrotest our scuba tanks to make sure they are still good. Every so many years, the tanks have to be checked as scuba shops will refuse to refill them. Ours are out of date. Getting them checks takes about a week so we need to speed this along. Once the tanks are dropped off, we will be heading to PriceSmart to buy the large quantity stuff like you find in Sams and Price Club. We talked to a cab driver yesterday and he can bring us back with out charging a ton as most of the cab drivers do that bring people back from there. We've got lots of busy days ahead of us so we will be ready when Mother Nature says we are.

As for the picture today, when we were in Anegada, we passed one of the local elementary schools. They don't need lawn mowers when they have goats and cows. Turn them loose and your chances of getting long grass are over. We didn't see any long grass anywhere in the play ground.

The cost of going grocery shopping.

18 April 2017 | Francis Bay, St. John, USVI
Bill/cloudy and still blowing in the. High teens
We stopped in Francis Bay late Sunday on our way west as the forecast was for a bunch of wind and its a nice place to hide out. We normally stay in Maho Bay(right next door) but we wanted to try it over here to see if the swells were any less(they are).
We needed to mail an important letter so we decided to go ashore in Puff and find a ride to Crews Bay. Once we pulled(with the help of a tourist)Puff up on shore and locked her to a tree, we walked over to the road to town and after a while, one of the "safari" taxis came down the road and picked us up. Cost $7.00 per person.
Into town we went and quickly found the Post Office and got the letters mailed. As it was approaching lunch time, we stopped in at "The Landing", a place that Xander and Tracy had had lunch at before(I was in St. Thomas). Tracy had the fish tacos(loved them the first time) while I had the "special" of roast beef with onions on a big roll. With both meals and drinks and tip, it came to $41 which isn't that bad of this area.
We hiked up the road to a small grocery store and got a few essentials like milk, lettuce, coke,etc. Cost for these ended up at about $18.
Back down the road where we caught another "safari" taxi back to Francis Bay and back to Zephyr.
So taxi both ways=$28
Lunch for both of us=$41. We've spent $69 just to get $18 worth of groceries!!! Just doesn't seem cost effective but when you are out of what you need and want, you have to do what you have to do. The ride was nice and the food was good so it all works out in the end.
The picture for today is of the restaurant we had lunch in.
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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