04/20/2013, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
Connie and Steve inspecting the fermentation process.
When we woke up in the anchorage of St. Louis, Marie Galante, yesterday morning with Steve and Connie, it was pouring rain. Our plans was for a day of snorkeling at Iles de la Petite Terra some 18 NM away, but the forecast was for rain most of the day. An unexpected twist.
Since Steve and Connie got here we have dined out at French Restaurants in Guadaloupe and Iles des Saintes, stuffed ourselves with pate' and French cheese on the boat as well as a gourmet duck breast dinner with orange sauce and enjoyed French wine from both the bottle and box! We have also found time for some good snorkel experiences, including swimming around in the anchorage of The Saints with a dolphin and her baby. Oh, and we got in the obligatory hike to the local Fort and museum, got in and out of every tourist shop in Bourg de Saintes and rented a car for touring Marie Galante.
Marie Galante is a pretty laid back island and one of the few left in the Caribbean that still has an economy based on sugar cane. The harvesting as now done with big farm equipment that slows down driving around the island. They still have 3 big active rum distilleries as well as a pure cane sugar factory.
We visited the Bellevue Distillery and checked out the production process, which is very simple.....crush the cane, let the juice sit around for a short week to ferment into alcohol, distill and stick the juice with a little water into an oak barrel for a few years and voila.........you have Rhum. Amazingly, they let us wander around inside a factory with spinning fly wheels and steam coming out of pipes unattended - we almost pushed some of the controls just to see if we could help them speed up the process.
Anyway, back to yesterday morning. After sitting around in the rain for 3 or 4 hours reviewing a forecast that was supposed to build to 25+ knots we decided to skedaddle to Antiqua, 84 NM away. After motoring along in the mist for a few hours the wind came a little earlier than expected with some most interesting squalls to keep us on our toes - wind stayed in the 18 - 22 knot range except on the front of the numerous downpours where it would build to the high 20's and low 30's. We finally made it into Falmouth Harbor, Antigua and got the anchor down at 11 PM during a major squall that felt like hail! Nothing like coming into a crowded anchorage at night with hardly any visibility finding a spot to drop the hook! We had a cup of that Bellevue Rhum before hitting the hay.
04/13/2013, Pointe a Pitre, Guadaloupe
Could this be Tivoli 2
This may come as a surprise to most of you. It certainly came as a surprise to us.
We posted Tivoli for sale yesterday on Yachtworld. Here is a link to the listing:
For the last several months, we've been talking about our next adventure for cruising, namely our planned trip across the Atlantic in the spring of 2014 and stay in Europe for some seasons . Each time we have talked about it we have discussed what modifications we would want to make to Tivoli for the trip. While crossing the pond on her would not be an issue (having sailed her through every kind of weather one can imagine) we did come up with lists that would enhance being in Scandinavia for a couple of summers. A diesel heater, full cockpit enclosure and a place to stow all the extra blankets needed was high on the list. Also, anticipating hosting visitors that want to come see the Home Country made us wish for a boat with more elbow room. We don't know what we will be getting, but it will be bigger!
So Tivoli is listed and our plan has changed. Rather than haul out in Trinidad for hurricane season we will sail her to Charleston, SC in the end of May after we have spent time with Connie and Steve ( arriving today ), Jackie and Dave ( in Antigua ) and my cousin Niels, who thinks he is joining us going to St. Lucia! No, he is not, he is going North to the Virgins!
If you know of anyone interested in a cruise ready boat conveniently located in the Caribbean, send them our way!
The rising of the sun is my favorite time to be on watch. Torben fast asleep in his bunk after taking the major part of the night time watch. Lucky for me he likes it! He tells me that anyway. I think it's an opportunity for him to contemplate our next move while snacking and drinking hot cocoa. I know this because of the dropped peanuts now seen on the cockpit sole and the empty coffee mug sitting in the winch handle holder.
We left the BVI's on Wednesday evening heading to St. Martin. The North Easterlies never manifested itself so the 72 mile trip took 20 hours with equal amount of time on both starboard and port tack. We dropped anchor in Simpson Bay next to the Maltese Falcon in hopes they would recognize us!
Needing to get off the boat for a night, we rented a car and drove to the other end of the island, (out of Tivoli's sight) and checked into a very "French" hotel and spa. (never did see the spa). We ate like pigs and .......like bunnies until Torben showed me a white wash cloth he used to clean his face. Talk about killing the moment!
St. Martin is a wonderful place to purchase things inexpensively. The bread, the cheese and of course the French wines are staples for the French islands and are dirt cheap especially if you buy it on the Dutch side. Go figure! We stocked up since we had the car. All this activity took days!
Watching the weather more closely this time, we left yesterday morning after our morning ritual of Downton Abby and three games of solitaire. Fortunately, this time, the wind clocked as promised to a North Easterly and Tivoli took off for Guadalupe like a bat out of hell on a beam reach.
It's wonderful to see flying fish again and the milky way extending from one horizon to the next. Last night, for the first time I saw the Southern Cross! We are almost at Pointe a Pitre, off the southern tip of Guadaloupe. (153 miles in just under 24 hours. That's more like it!) My sister Connie and her husband Steve are meeting us there. Torben is now up, acting hungry, so duty calls.
04/01/2013, Nanny Cay, BVI
Part of the shore side activities included a swimsuit fashion show.
I had no idea that so many sailors were interested in fashion.
04/01/2013, Nanny Cay, BVI
Waiting for our Trophy
Here is what the press was reporting last night from the BVI Spring Regatta:
The large expanse of the North Atlantic lies just to the North of The British Virgin Islands and on this morning, the BVI Spring Regatta competitors got a real taste of it. The sea state kicked up to 2 metres and the wind speed for the first start was 20 plus knots when a vicious squall darkened the horizon in The Sir Francis Drake Channel. Blinding rain colder than the sea spray reduced visibility to just a few feet and had sailors scurrying for foul weather gear.
With wet sails, slippery decks and the big easterly breeze blowing squalls in off the Atlantic, the last day of racing at the BVI Spring Regatta got under way. However, conditions improved during the day with the squalls diminishing to allow the competitors to dry out in the fresh 15-20 knots of warm breeze and glimpse of sunshine through the broken cloud.
Charlton & Bonanni's C&C 41, Red Stripe Reba was the winner in Jib & Main 2 by 10 points, owner Claude Bonanni commented dockside:
"We have come second in class for the last two years so it is great to win this year, the crew have been fantastic and this victory is all down to great teamwork, especially in the lively conditions."
Last year's class winner, Keith LiGreci's Girasoli will be regretting a navigational error on the first day, but for that, Girasoli would have been pushing Red Stripe Riba all the way, but has to settle for second. Jim Hoelter's Alerion Express 33, Nymph has sailed consistently all week and the vintage beauty is well worthy of third in class.
We put together scores of 2-4-6-5-4-2 to secure our 3 place overall in front of a well sailed First 35. And when they said in the press release that the squall was vicious, they were not joking - while we could still see the instruments the wind picked up to over 30 knots, and that was just the beginning of the fun!
A very fun week-end indeed!
Now we will be departing for St. Martin and Gualaloupe as soon as we can find a decent weather window - unfortunately the forecast for the next few day's is 'fresh tradewinds above 20 knots" and right on the nose to boot.
03/30/2013, Nanny Cay, BVI
Before the rain!