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.

21 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina,Grenada
21 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
15 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenadac
13 August 2016 | Atlanta airport
12 August 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
11 August 2016 | Aurora,Colorado
04 August 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
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

Worn out dock line

21 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina,Grenada
Bill/still sunny, hot and humid
Here's a picture of the dock line that chaffed through its outer cover. It's now been replaced by a 3/4 inch three strand line that we even added chaif protection to the loop at the end of the line.

Fenders and docklines

21 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada
Bill/sunny and hot as well as humid
As any person that has spent any time tied to a dock knows, the two most important things are your fenders and dock lines. We've carried lots of fenders ever since we bought Zephyr and even gave away some when we were in Newport, Oregon as we had no place to store them. Normally it's six at anyone time. Don't ask how many dock lines we have as there are many old ones and many new ones. We are tied up on or starboard side and have five lines between us and the concrete docks we are tied to. Some keep us from moving forward and some keep us from moving backwards. Each one is important even by itself. If one breaks, it puts lots more strain on the others. This morning we found our midship line(braided line)had chafed through the outside cover leaving only the core of the line keeping us in place. When we were in South Africa, we bought lots of 3/4 inch three strand line to make new dock lines. I'd already put eye splices in two of the six new dock lines we had planned for. It was obviously time for more lines to have eye splices put in them. This way, one end has a nice big loop in it to attach to the cleat on shore and then you can tighten up the lines while being on board. The reasoning for doing it this way is that should a big storm or tsunami appear, you can just let go your lines on deck and take off. There is no reason to get off the boat and have to get back on. I grabbed two more of our unspliced lines and put in new eye splices on the end. Since it's three strand line, on the opposite end, I whipped the end of the line twice so should one whipping come off, the line won't unravel. Whipping the line while it sounds sort of kinky, is just wrapping the ends with a much smaller line to keep the ends nice and tight and not allow it to unravel. It took several hours as these lines while being new and stiff are also quite large. Now we have four 3/4 inch dock lines keeping us tied to the dock and a 1/2 inch line as our fifth line.
As I started this post, I talked about fenders. These are normally big inflatable rubber tubes you hang from the side to keep the side away from the docks and scraping the fiberglass or in our case the nice freshly varnished teak we have along our top sides. As I wrote earlier, we have at least five of these fenders hanging over the side. They do a decent job but since the dock is a fixed concrete structure, Zephyr goes up and down as the tide demands. With the winds we've had here(not really that strong), there have been times we've had pressure on the fenders allowing the teak to come quite close to scraping and that is just not going to happen. Yesterday we bought two more fenders but these are in the shape of balls as you can see from the attached pictures. We had to push Zephyr away from the docks to get them to fit between the two. We left the original ones in place just in case anything should happen to the new ones. Better safe than sorry. Now we are at a more comfortable distance from the docks.
One of the main reasons we did this is A:to protect Zephyr from any damage and B: we've heard on the Internet that there is a chance of a big storm coming our way about the middle of next week. Everyone is taking this time to make sure they are either securely anchored or well tied to a dock somewhere. It's not coming close enough to warrant us disconnecting from the marina and heading for Trinidad but we may pick up some of its winds and rain. We, along with everyone else here in Grenada looks closely at the weather everyday.
Since I've been back, Blue (one of our kitties) has been quite cool to me. Where she used to jump in my lap and purr away, she avoided just about any contact with me. I guess she's mad at me for leaving. I've done it in the past since we've been out cruising but she's never gone this long staying mad at me. Oh well, eventually she will come around. There have been a couple of times she will jump up in my lap, then realize she's still supposed to be mad at me and immediately jump back down and quickly walk away. I expect her to come around eventually. I've been bribing here with special treats from time to time.
That's about it for now. We think we might have figured out why the propane sniffer has been going crazy. Tracy found some potatoes under the floorboards that have gone over the hill, way over the hill. In the past, we've had spoiled cabbage and onions set it off but most potatoes get eaten long before they get to this stage of badness. I took out the "new" sniffer I installed a few days ago and took it to a refrigerator specialist that has the tools to check it. I talked to him this morning and he says the problem isn't the sniffer, it's "something else". Now we think we know what it is. I'll be putting in the "old" sniffer tomorrow and we will see how it goes. Stay tuned.
I put in the old sniffer and still the alarm went off so it must be a bad main unit. The lights on it had been blinking on and off for a while so I'm not really that surprised. Now I have to find a new one that won't break the bank and wait for it to come in.
Today, we reinstalled the antenna wire for our SSB radio. We'd had to rip it out when we had to take off the back stay when we were in Trinidad so Zephyr would fit in the lift. Today we reinstalled it. We'd taken out the wire that used to go to our dead GPS unit a while ago so we wanted to take this antenna wire down the hole in the deck the GPS wire used to be in. Who ever originally installed the wire running them through the deck used a ton of caulk when they ran them. We had to dig enough out so we could get the antenna wire through the hole. Tracy dug from the outside while I dug it out from inside. It took a lot of work to get it cleared but she's run through the deck with us adding even more caulk to the hole. Now all we have to do is install the fitting on the end of the wire and hook it back up to the antenna tuner.
We got the wires run in the morning and spent the afternoon playing another round of Mexican Train Dominoes. It started at 1400 and it's still going on at 1700. It makes for a long and sometimes pleasurable (when I win)way to spend a Sunday afternoon

Back in Grenada

15 August 2016 | Secret Harbour Marina, Grenadac
Bll/ night time and cooler
Well, I'm back in Grenada after an uneventful flight. Well we did do a "pogo stick" landing at Atlanta but that was about it. We only bounced a time or two. Now going through Immigration was a breeze but Customs here in Grenada, not so much. I came prepared as I'd been told. Three copies of every invoice for everything that was in the "parts" bag. Two were for clothes and one was dedicated to just the parts I was bringing back.
I waited in a completely disorganized set of lines, three in total for the people that were declaring things as they came in. Some people had big screen TVs and some had other stuff. Another cruiser came and was set to declare a water pump she had in her bag. She had the correct form but that wasn't good enough. The men wanted to see the pump and the invoice to verify what she had paid for it. So the cases came off her cart and she opened them and dragged out all kinds of clothes and personal belongings till she found the pump. Then another case was opened since it held the receipt. Once she had those, they made her get back in line(she'd already waited in line for 45 minutes) and wait all over again. In the end, she ended up paying a 34% duty on her water pump(I found that out today when I saw her again). I meanwhile got called up and was asked to open my case. I did so and then pulled out my stack of invoices(all three sets). They wanted to process my customs fees but since they saw how much I was bringing in, I was told to close up the case and get back in line. The agent that handles the money was busy and I'd have to wait a while before he could see me. So back in line I went. Other people were getting jumped in line. It all depended on who the agent saw in line and if they wanted to help them. Most locals were just left in line. More money in foreigners.
Once I was finally seen, they took one of my sets of copies and with an adding machine tallied up all the receipts for what was in the case. In the end, I was to pay 26% duty on everything in the case. The woman I wrote about above paid a 34% fee!!! There is supposed to be a list of what each item is supposed to be charged but it's not available to the public, only the Customs agents can see it so you have no idea what you might be charged. It's a crap shoot as to how the agent feels once it's your time in front of him. From what I had been led to believe, the normal on importing things is a 12.5% fee. I got more than double but there is nothing you can do about it. Hows that for government bureaucracy? My flight came in at 1420 and it was now well after 1630 before I got anywhere near an agent. Tracy had meanwhile been sitting outside since about 1445 waiting with a cab. The driver had run an errand or two as they waited and Tracy even got one of the men that takes care of the luggage carts to check on me that I'd actually made the flight. In the end, we finally got back to the boat and I spent the rest of the afternoon unloading my bags and putting thing away. Tracy loved her new clothes and looked them over. I had to buy her some different shorts as they ones she had ordered on line were all the new style of short shorts, not what she wanted or would have worn. So after a couple trips to Kohls she now has a nice new set of clothes. Same for myself. Cruising is tough on clothes as is the Sun aways beating down on our clothes.
Today is Monday and small jobs continue and I try to get back in the swing of things. Slept in late. It's nice catching up on the sleep I lost while back in the US. I brought back an electronic plug that fits in the back of our JVC radio. The negative wire in the harness has snapped off quite some time ago making the radio worthless. I'd tried to get it fixed in Trinidad but it was a no go. Instead, I ordered a replacement for a while $5.95 and had it shipped to the house. Today was installation day. Since this plug matched the previous one, it was a simple job of snip off one wire at a time, connect it to the new harness and slowly go through them wire by wire, making sure each new connection as tight and since I was using connectors with heat shrink ends, I had to make sure they were heat shrunk nice and snug. This harness was in an area where we had a good bit of water intrusion and while we like to think that it's a thing of the past, keeping each and every connection water tight is a priority. With each connection sealed, I made sure to add some copper based corrosion resisting goo I keep on hand for these connection. I dipped a toothpick into the goo and put little dabs on the openings where the wires enter the harness, sealing those connection or at least making them more corrosion resistant. It too a while but we now have a nice radio we can listen to when ever we want. Not that many "American" music stations here but we did find one and we'll probably keep it on it for a while. It's broadcast right from Secret Harbour Marina. We have our own radio station and it seems to be geared to more of the cruiser families, not the locals.
About 1000, a "local" showed up at the marina to sell some fruits and veggies from her garden. She works each marina all over the island selling what ever she has ripe in the garden. Today was lettuce(nice and fresh), carrots(not that great), limes, green bell peppers(small by US standards) and tomatoes(not quite ripe but getting there). We had a great salad for lunch with a good deal of it just picked this morning.
After lunch, I started in on trying to fix the propane line and sensor for Zephyr. Before I left, the propane sensor that detects propane fumes malfunctioned continually going off. Now in the past, it's gone off if it detects the fumes from veggies that are stored under the floor board. It really hate any cabbage that might be a bit overly ripe. We made sure everything that might cause the alarm to go off was out, stuck our noses down inside the bilge and could come up with no reason the sensor was setting off the alarm. I(as always) keep a spare just incase and installed it. It made no difference, the alarm just kept going off and when that happens, it shuts off the propane coming into the boat. That's its job. Since I had to take out the solenoid that shuts off the propane in the propane line so we could continue to have propane at the stove, I found it quite rusted so I bought a replacement while back in the US. I was going to install the new one today and I did. The only problem was that the new sensor and new solenoid made no difference. The alarm just keeps going off. OK, now I have to take off the solenoid again and just feed the propane through it's fittings back into the boat. No problem but once I was done with that, I sprayed all the fittings I had just worked with with soapy water and apparently, I'd caused one of the hosed where it joins one of the fittings to start leaking!!! To stop it, of course, I have to shut off the propane. I can turn it on when I need to use it but I have to close off the tank when I'm done. It's not a big leak but it would have drained the tank with in a few hours would be my guess. Tomorrow morning, I'll be taking apart the hoses so I can take the bad one in for a replacement. It's a common fitting so it shouldn't be a big thing but it stopped my repair. I've now sent an email to the company that makes this propane detector(Xintrex) and we will see what they have to say. The same unit is in one of the local chandleries catalog(much higher price than in the US) so I'm sure I can get a replacement unit, either the sniffer, or the main control panel.
When we came to Secret Harbour Marina back in April, they were remodeling the womens restrooms so everyone had to use the womens. When we got here in July, the mens room was open and they were just finishing off remodeling the womens. Now they have finished the womens, they shut down the mens again so they can put in new stairs. The women have much nicer shower stalls than the men do. It will be nice to have a better stall to shower in. Now I still take mosquito spray with me to kill any of them that might want to come inside the womens rest room with me. Since several people here at Secret Harbour have come down with Zika, we're not taking any chances. It's the rule that if you leave the boat, you lather up or spray with bug killer. Since the last reports that once infected, you carry the infection for at least another six months and can pass it along to others by something as simple as kissing, I want to avoid it as much as possible. I HATE bug spray or cream but I hate Zika more. Better safe than sick.
Since the van to the chandlery leave tomorrow about 0900, I'll be dismantling the propane lines early in the morning. It may end up being another long day. Guess we will see.

In Atlanta

13 August 2016 | Atlanta airport
Bill/overcast and sprinkling
Left Colorado at 0045, we'll actually 0110 since we were late getting away. A full "red eye" flight. Made good time and for the first time in years, the plane "pogo sticked" on landing. Bounced twice. Something I'm not used to.
Got away will everything I could think of with three copies of all invoices for the parts I'm bringing back. Just barely skated under the bag weight limit with 48.5 pounds in the "parts" bag. I have to keep everything in separate bags. One for clothes and one for parts. The parts bag will probably have to stay at the airport till I can get an agent to assist in getting everything cleared through Customs. A pain but that's the way it works in Grenada.
Tracy has arranged a cab back to the marina. She's even going to come along and meet me once I get clears through Immigration and Customs. Then it's back to the boat and get unpacked and some rest. I've rarely gotten more then five hours sleep each night since I got back to Colorado. Even taking a Tylenol PM did not knock me out as it normally does on board. Well see how tonight goes. Calling for boarding

Sometimes technology sucks!

12 August 2016 | Aurora, Colorado
Bill/ Some rain earlier.
This all started because Grenada requires three copies of invoices on every thing you bring into the county so they can hit you for import duty. I had lots of receipts for what I'd bought locally and some of the companies actually included invoices in their boxes but seven companies didn't. I needed to find the order confirmations in our emails, pull up the orders and print them all(in triplicate for Customs).
About 10 days ago, my MacBook died. The old hard drive was shot. I dropped it off at a company(Action Computers) to get it fixed. This computer is so old that the case is made of plastic and it's considered a "vintage" computer by Apple. They won't fix it its so old. Well, Action will and did. Only problem it that they up graded the operating system to 10.7.5.
When I got home this afternoon, I plugged our printer into the MacBook. Well, as it turns out, when they upgraded the operating system, they "lost" the drivers for the printer(old HP 5610). I told the computer to down load the drivers and figured that would be the end of it. Oh was I dreaming. It turns out that the printer is so old(2005) that its not compatible with this operating system. I called HP and their recommendation was get another printer. There was no way to get the two to "talk".
OK, I bit the bullet and took off for Wally World to get another printer. Picked out a nice new HP since that's about all we have ever owned. At just $40, it was a great buy. Brought it home and set it up only to find that now the computers operating system was too old for the printer. First it was the printer was too old now the computer is to old!!! The tech at HP told me to upgrade the operating system. As I'm leaving tomorrow night to return to Grenada, that wasn't even an option. I wanted this done and done tonight. I packed up the new HP printer and headed back to Wally World. This time, I found a Canon that was compatible with our operating system(10.7.5). Home I went and set it up. This once came with a CD with all it's drivers. Well if you have a Windows computer you would be just fine but we didn't. I got on line and went to Canon for the drivers. If I had a mirror, I'm sure that by now there was steam coming out of my ears I was so frustrated.
When I came home, I signed up with T Moble for phone and internet. Even got the unlimited data plan. Well they didn't tell me that the "unlimited" only applies to data on the phone, not on a hot spot for my IPad. Theres a limit to just 14 gigs. Well, even without the MacBook and just the IPad, I had somehow used up close to 35 gigs. Suddenly while I was still unlimited, they had put a choke hold on my data stream closing it down to just 129Kbps. Really slow. I was a bad boy and needed punishing. I went from "4G" to a whole to less speed.
Well, I got on with Canon and started the download. Heck it was just 365 megs of data. Well with the new choke hold, it was going to take one day, 14 hours!!! I called Canon and got someone that could help me. He directed me to the driver download site and he had me download the drivers I needed to have it download off the internet. Not a full download of all drivers, just what I needed to get the job done. As it was, it was a 20+ minute download. I asked the tech to call back in 25 minutes as the download slowly progressed. It finished right on time and I installed it in the computer. I tried it out and all was well. A few minutes later, the tech from Canon called and I gave him the good news. I was up and running. I thanked him for his help and off I went scanning our emails for the invoices I needed. In about 30 minutes, I had them all and printed in triplicate for everyone that will need a copy when I get in. As it is, I'll need an "Agent" to help get these through Customs. I'll let you know how that goes.
Meanwhile the packing continues.

One day to go!

11 August 2016 | Aurora,Colorado
Bill/ sunny and hot
I'll be on my a at to the airport late tomorrow afternoon for my flight back to Grenada. It's been a quick three weeks and I've gotten lots done. This time, I'll only have two suitcases coming with me plus a back pack. Parts have been coming I steadily since I got here and some even beat me here. I've got to make a list of everything and will need three copies of every receipt for what's in the bag. One bag for parts and one for our clothes.
Our Macbook died while I was here. The antique hard drive finally died. Luckily they could transfer all the data to the new drive. Lost some programs but at least it will be good as new. The hard drive was close to seven years old so no surprise.
I'm at Mazda getting a factory recall taken care of. Got notified about it back in December but now that I'm home, it's getting attended to.
Once it's all done, it's home to pack.
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::/
Zephyr's Photos - Huahine and beyond.
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