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.

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
13 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
09 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
08 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
06 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
03 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
03 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
29 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
29 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Deep Bay, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
28 December 2016 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
24 December 2016 | Great Bird Island, Antigua
14 December 2016 | Guadalupe

Grocery shopping in Charlotte Amalie

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
While we haven't hit all the grocery stores, the biggies are K Mart and Pueblo Super Market. Kmart doesn't carry any fresh food but tons of every thing else. Pueblo carries just about everything you would need. As for liquor, the Cost U Less can't be beat. It's an alcoholic dream come true.

Island Safari trucks.

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
Here's a picture of an Island Safari truck that takes people like a big taxi. It costs by how many hills you go over. If you start on the west side of Charlotte Amalie and progress east, for each hill you go over(there are two), the price goes up by$1.00 so a trip all through town to way out east is only $3.00. They stop at most bus stops and don't bother to ask the driver where he is going, just climb on board and mingle with the locals and cruisers that might be on board. I've yet to see a person off one of the big cruise ships in one.

Phoenix 2

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
Here's a picture of one of the boats at the Yacht Haven Grand Marina. The Phoenix 2 was built in 2010 and refitted in 2011, owned by a very rich Polish gentleman that passed away last year at just 65. The boat has a crew of 28 and can accommodate up to 12 guests. Yes, you can charter it for just $1,000,000Euros a WEEK, plus expenses. Heck, to fill the diesel tanks only cost $186,000 dollars.
Where so I sign up?

Even the cats are holding on.

14 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard with a few sprinkles.
It continued to blow through the night and into today(Friday) with no lessening according to forecasts for the next week or so. We are calm one minute and then gusts of 25 knots throwing all the boats in the anchorage around like corks in a very disturbed washing machine. We swing to the port and then we swing to the bottom. During one period of calm, I adjusted the snubber lines giving then new places for friction to chafe on. As soon as I got it done, the winds came back and off we went again. Back and forth. Over to port and then over to starboard. At least with the wind coming from the northeast, there isn't a lot of swell coming through the anchorage since we have a nice mountain on the north side of the bay. We may swing but we don't roll from side to side.
After charging up our batteries and having a nice lunch, we launched Puff and took off for shore. We needed to catch one of the local "Land Safari" buses that take people around the island($1 to $2 depending on how far you want to go). We jumped off at the cross streets that led to Home Depot and Cost U Less and hiked up the hill. First stop, Home Depot. We needed some Rustoleum to paint the new water pump when it arrived. Add on more of the Scotch Blue tape, a small piece of plywood to make baffles around the sides of the holes in the ceiling that the deck prisms are fitted in. We had a good bit of leakage through the prisms and the water trashed to original wood so it's time for replacements to be made. We were also going in search of some "gate" valves to replace the ones in the manifold that controls the water flow from each of our four water tanks. I'd tried to adjust one the other day and the part that goes in and closed the "gate" just snapped off so I'll be replacing it and since I'll be doing one, I might as well do all four. In for a penny, in for a pound. We found what we thought were the correct valves but they ended up being to small so I'll be going back tomorrow and getting the right size. I'll probably take one off and take it along(sure hope it comes off easily).
Next over to Cost U Less. It's like a Price CLub with out the membership. Lots of bulk items and a great selection. The first time(and last time) we visited a Cost U Less was back in American Samoa in 2012. Nice store with lots of things to temp us. We were limited on what we could buy by what we could carry not having a car to take us around and a taxi would cost a good $15 just for a couple mile trip. We'd brought along bags for everything so no problem getting the things we bought back to Puff and back to Zephyr. On the trip in to shore, we were going into a good 15-20 knot wind and amazingly stayed quite dry. On the way back to Zephyr, we were going with the wind and we got plastered by several waves over the side as we zoomed along.
It's now 2100 and the winds are still active outside but they come and go. Right now, it's calm but in a few minutes or less, it's going to be at it again. It's been this way for the last three nights. Wednesday night, we got slammed by a really big winds bullet that really made us tilt over and things started flying around the cabin. Since then we make sure every door is closed and dogged down so they won't open should we get nailed again. Tomorrow, back to Home Depot for the right gate valves.
It's now Saturday morning and it's still blowing like stink!!! We made the decision to bag launching Puff and heading back to Home Depot till probably Monday. Maybe, just maybe it might be calmer but it's not fun putting on decent clothes(non cruiser stuff, climbing into Puff and getting soaked when you are heading to shore, let alone getting soaked on the way back. As we sit here, tilting from side to side, we look out at all the other boats and it's easy to tell who the modern lightweight boats are around us. They are getting thrown around far worse than we are. Getting pushed in the wind till their anchor chain is stretched taught and then springing back up when the wind dies off a bit. There's a modern 85 foot sailboat behind us on anchor that is getting shoved around almost the same way we are. As we veer to port, so does he and the same for starboard. Normally, we swing different from just about any boat we've been anchored near and if someone comes close, we let them know that we don't move at anchor like the rest of the boat will. It makes a few boats change their mind and move elsewhere in the anchorage.
While Tracy was resting(hard night since I snore so badly)I went forward and took a look at our anchor chain hook and snubber. While the two rubber snubbers were fine(we've broken several)I found that our chain hook wasn't properly hooked onto the the anchor chain. When Tracy got up(it's hard to take a nap as 30 knot winds howl around you and the wind generator it howling on the stern, right above where you're trying to sleep)we started the engine and slowly motored forward as I slowly brought up the chain till I could get at the hook(of course wearing heavy duty gloves)and get it repositioned. To make sure it stayed where I wanted it, I put a large zip tie between the hook and the chain. I told Tracy to back up the boat and I held onto the snubber line till it was out as far as it would go. I've found that keeping tension on the snubber line normally keeps the hook in place on the chain. With the winds we've been having, all bets are off and I go forward regularly to check the hook. Better safe than sorry though if the hook should come off, the boat will only back up a bit till the chain is taught on the gypsy of the windlass. I engage a big chain brake on the windlass after making sure all is well.
Once we had that job done, Tracy decided to take a shower. Just remember, we are living the dream. Several times a month, one of us has to pull up the floor boards and pull out a bunch of stuff we have stored under them so we can get at the stern shower sump pump. It has a nice filter system on it with a sturdy metal wire filtration so that no hair, etc can get into the sump pump. After a couple of weeks of showering, let me tell you, it's not one of the real pleasant things to do unscrewing the cap on the filter and pulling out the metal screen all covered in hair, etc and getting to scrape it off. We've let it go too long before and the strain of the pump trying to get the water out through a very clogged filter will blow the fuse. The first time it happened, we thought the pump had gone bad and when you are out cruising, a broken pump can change your lifestyle in a big way. Out came a new fuse and all was well though we now clean the filter far more regularly. It's all part of living the dream, right?
The picture today is of Blue sitting on the dining table in the main salon with her paw out stretched to keep herself steady.

Back to work.

13 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Partly cloud and blowing hard.
It's been another busy day today(Thursday). After all the work we did on Sunday and Monday, we took the last two days off. It was just too windy(gusts to 30 knots) and with showers thrown in for fun, it just seemed the thing to day. Today on the other hand, was all work. We started out cleaning up areas on the boat that had gotten, well, out of hand. The big thing was my workbench. I had all kinds of stuff all over the top. Sail hardware, glues, screw drivers and wrenches. If it came off the workbench, well it never got put away. I have a real problem sometimes getting things back where they belong. Today, first thing was to try and make order out of chaos. The DuoGen was making strange noises again last night in the big winds so I grabbed some grease and took the blade unit apart and re greased it and put it back together.

Our American Flag has seen better days with the blue just about washed out of the fabric. It's now more red, white and grey instead of blue. Going through our boat parts box under the stern berth, we found a spare so down came the old and up went the new in all it's glory. Looks really good flying from the stern. We've had our last flag for years and while the seams and binding was fine, it was looking the worse for wear.

Next, on to the engine. Our poor overheating engine. One of the hoses(from the fresh water pump to the oil cooler) had a bit of a kink in it. Too soft a hose or too tight a bend. It needed replacing with a stronger, harder hose so it was next on the list. Off came the hose clamps and off came the hose. We'd bought a bit of replacement hoses a few days ago and out they came. One chunk was the perfect length so there was no problem. Before we changed out the hoses, since it was off, it was the perfect time to change out the oil in the injector pump. It was one of the easiest jobs of the day. With the old hose off, I had no problem getting in to do the change. I drained out the used oil into a large measuring jug to see how much we had in there. The answer was about 13 ounces. Twelve is the normal with us. We waited for our currency convert man to show us and once he did, the check was presented to the two of us. We left the rest for tomorrow.

We had a noodle concoction with chunks of chicken thrown in all served on a bed of mashed potatoes for lunch. When we finished, I headed into the engine room. It was time to get down to some serious work before the new water pump, thermostat and mixing elbow showed up. It was time to take off the "mixing elbow". It's where the engines hot exhaust gets mixed with the cooler raw water that comes in to keep Zephyrs engine cooler and then gets blown out the exhaust pipe on the stern. Once we had it off, we found that it was about 20% clogged with lots of what looked like big carbon chunks. Out it came and up on deck to get as much chiseled out as possible. It's not a great picture but it shows some of the buildup. Years ago when we first bought Zephyr, there was a foiled pouch in one of the tool boxes that got left on board. It was marked as the gasket for this piece. I pulled it out and now I could put it back once cleaned. I had to sit on the back deck and chisel out as much of the build up as I could. With it sort of clean, I attached the gasket and the hoses and that job was done. While it's not spotless, it will work fine till the new one I bought on Monday shows up. I'll be putting it in storage till the time is right and the need exists for a replacement. With tons of salt water pouring through it every time the engine is run, it's corrodes quickly is after time will blow a hole through its casing. We started in on the job just after 1300 and weren't done till about 1630. I was a mess with oil, grease and engine filth(lots of dark carbon chunks). Out came the Lava Soap and off to the showers. I needed to jet this grime off me as well as any odors that were attached to my skin(sweat).

We only ran the engine for a few minutes to make sure that all the hoses I'd worked on didn't leak as well as the gaskets on parts I'd used. Tomorrow, Friday, we will run it for a good while to see if what we did made any difference.

Last night was a blustery night with wind coming and going in the bay. One big blast hit us just about at midnight and things went flying inside and on deck that were not tied down as the wind laid us over at quite a steep angle. It's supposed to continue blowing like this till early next wee. Guess we will see.

A detour in projects and other things.

09 January 2017 | Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Bill/ Cloudy and overcast
We'd planned on continuing with working on our overheating problem today(Saturday) but found we didn't have enough anti freeze/coolant to do the job. Our engine fresh water system holds 15 quarts so to get a 50/50 blend of the stuff, you need two gallons of coolant. We had but one, no where near enough. The other problem we faced was that of the 10 gigs we got with our phone plan through AT&T, last Tuesday, we had but .9 gigs left. Where the other 9.1 gigs went, we have no idea. OK, I downloaded a show of two and watched three short videos from You Tube but again, not that much. While we were in South Africa, we could get 20 gigs for about $16US. Here, to add on to our existing plan(unlimited calls and ten gigs of data) it runs about $10.00US per gig of data. I will say that at least it's fast internet versus what we have gotten on other islands but boy, it's sure not cheap

We checked in with AT&T and got six more gigs for $50.00(see earlier post about this) as the sales person made a mistake and gave us an extra gig. Oncw we were done with AT&T, we jumped into a "Local Safari" trucks. It's a big flat bed truck with a nice cover and about 5 lines of seats. Their cost is just $2US for rides around the area including the nearest(and probably only) mall on the island(TuTu Park Mall). While it is a nice mall, it only lacks one thing---customers! For a Saturday, it was darn near deserted of customers. Lots of stores(especially shoe stores) and a few restaurants(one Mexican and one Oriental)in the food court. There was a nice K Mart in the mall so we shopped around and picked up a few things. A few more cans of Friskies Chicken with Cheese for Snowshoe. He loves it and we were down to our last can. We'd had it on board for q while so he got it over the last two days and boy was he a happy kitty. Blue dined on Ocean White Fish and Tuna and was quite happy herself especially since Snowshoe won't eat it and she knows she is going to get everything thats put down.

There was an auto parts place across the parking lot so we hiked over as it was the primary reason we went to the mall. We bought two gallons of Prestone. With a 50/50 blend and this being the non diluted jugs, it should cover our needs just fine. I just don't understand why a person would pay $16.99 for a 50/50 blend and $21 for undiluted coolant. Are we getting so lazy that we can't simply mix the two(water and coolant) when they are getting added to the radiator.

When we were in Kmart, they have a Little Caesars Pizza shop and since it's been a long time since we had pizza, we stopped there for lunch. We checked out the other restaurants in the mall and at $6.49 for a nice rectangular pizza(cut into 8 pieces)and a 20 ounce bottle of coke. It was plenty for both of us to share for lunch. It's been a long time since I had pizza especially one as greasy as this one. Pepperoni, cheese, some tomato sauce and a nice thick crust and it was just fine for us. Once done, we climbed back into one of the many "Local Safari" trucks and headed back for the marina and Zephyr.

The weather is supposed to turn a bit nasty in a few days with winds shifting from the east south east to out of the north and northwest, a real problem for many of the boats anchored in the wrong bay or harbor. I figure there is going to be a bit of movement of many of the sailboats in the next few days.

It's now Monday and here's whats been going on since Saturdays visit to the Tutu Park Mall. We came to the conclusion that the main problem causing the overheating just might be a bad fresh water pump(it pumps coolant through the engine). I thinks it's original equipment so it dates back to 1982. To take off and replace the thermostat, we need to take off one of the alternator, drain all the water out of the engine and then take off the water tank on the top of the engine. If after doing that, the engine still overheats, we would have to take off the alternator again and drain all the water(now full of new coolant)before we could take off and replace the water pump. With that being said, we decided to wait on the thermostat and order in a new water pump and do it all in one go. We're running out of things to check. So today(Monday) I placed an order with my Ford Lehman dealer for the new water pump along with a backup thermostat(already have one) and a new "mixing elbow". The "mixing elbow" is where the exhaust gets mixed with the raw water that has been run through the engine cooling the fresh water that is supposed to cool the engine. It's one of those parts that we are always supposed to keep on hand as if they get a hole in them(lots of salt water goes through them)it can stop the water from making it's way to the exhaust pipe and leaving the boat plus it would spray salt water all over the engine room. I had a spare but needed it when the last one I had got just such a hole in it. I'd patched the hole as best I could with a special heat resistant glue I keep on board but swapped it out once we hit shore from one of our voyages. It's also one of the parts that I need to check just to make sure it's not clogged with carbon deposits since all the exhaust goes through it.

Since we put off for a few days(till the new parts come in)ripping into the engine, we decided to sand and re varnish the teak side panel on the starboard side of the boats hull. We'd stripped the teak down to bare wood when we were in Trinidad and put on three coats of "Perfection Plus" polyurethane on it. It's suppose to last 18 months. We got less than 6 before ours started looking really beaten and bad. With it costing $106US for a quart of the stuff, we thought we would get better results. We gave all the boards a good sanding(with me standing in Puff holding on to the side with one hand and sanding with the other and Tracy working on deck) and wash down with a damp rag. I'd clipped Puff to one of the stations and slowly worked my way to the stern getting tossed from time to time but waved kicked up by passing dinghies and boats. That was what we did on Sunday. Today, we made preparation for an upcoming storm that due here in a few days with winds coming out of the north. Where we were anchored, there was a chance we might drift back on another boat so we pulled up the anchor and found another place in the bay to drop it. Once that was done, we finished taping off the wood just as a nice big rainstorm came through the harbor that would delay us for a while before we could varnish. To give the teak time to dry, we put the outboard on Puff and went in to see if we could find a place to have the parts we needed sent to. Not a big deal as most marinas will either take in packages or there is a store nearby that would and we found such a store(cost of $10 per box. We gave it a second thought and dinghied down to the local post office to see about "General Delivery". The young lady behind the counter gave me all the info I needed so we were set with a place to have the parts sent to. While on shore, we stopped in and had lunch at Wendy's. Good old american fast food!! Back to Zephyr where we started in on getting the varnish applied, I standing the the dinghy holding on with one hand while Tracy sat on deck holding the pot of varnish we were applying. Move the dinghy, dip the brush and paint, move the dinghy, dip the brush and paint some more. As I finished a section, Tracy would varnish the cap rail at the top of the hull. It took a couple of hours to get it all done but now the starboard and stern look great. The port side for some reason doesn't look that bad though if it remains calm tomorrow morning, we may just do it too.
Once the varnish was done, we got on line and ordered the parts we think we will be needing to get this overheating problem fixed once and for all.
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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