Getting ready to head out
28 November 2015
No Thanksgiving here on Grenada, but we got lots of work done on the boat and believe we are about ready to head North. Just a couple things left on my list. I installed a couple underwater lights but need to complete the wiring and have to wake up the water maker.
Doreen Anderson will be joining us on Sunday and will help us take night shifts at the helm. Our plan is to head north to Carricau on Monday, check out of customs, get a good nights sleep and get underway at sunrise, Sail for around 50 hours straight. Taking 2 hour shifts at night and arrive at St.Eustatious an island near St.Maarten sometime on Thursday. Then on to St.Maarten Friday where Doreen's husband Reid will join us for a long weekend in Simpson Bay, one of our favorite places.
26 November 2015
We launched our boat today (Thanksgiving day) I started the stb. engine all was well, started the port engine, heard a squealing noise and black smoke was coming out of the engine room so I immediately shut down the engine and went to check it out, found the alternator was rusted up so the belt was slipping and smoking. I got out wd40 a hammer and screw driver. While I was working on that, I could hear water running so I asked Chris to check it out, she looked around and said it sounds like the port bilge pump. I get out of the engine room and looked at the bilge, water running in from forward, the only thing forward is the water maker, I shut the thru hull valve to the water maker and the water flow stops, the bilge pump is pumping out the water so I close it up, check the stbd. bilge and it is dry, all is right?
I go back to the alternator problem, wd40 and hammer and it's spinning freely, start the engine and all is well. We motor out of the lift well and tie to a mooring ball in the bay, mean while an alarm is going off for water in the sail drive (transmission) oil looks good and the level is correct.
I disconnect the sensor to shut off the alarm.
It is now to late the head south to Prickly Bay before dark so we stay. Work on the boat awhile, take showers and head into the restaurant. We eat supper and go back out to the boat around 9pm, we play a game of cards and Chris goes on the computer and I head up front to the trampoline to enjoy the evening and look at the stars. While laying on the trampoline I notice our navigation lights are on, so I head into the boat and find that some of the salon lights are on and the switches are off. I look at the circuit breakers and the nav lights are turned off. What the hell is going on? Out of the corner of my eye I notice water on the floor board in the port hull, I go down to see where it came from and see that all the floor boards are floating! Lots of stuff is under water! All the batteries and lots of wiring, oh boy, I called for Chris.
There is a main bilge pump and a back up diaphragm type pump mounted up higher not built to be underwater but it is! The fuse for the main pump is blown, I replace it but it blows again so I turn on the secondary pump and we begin to bail water out manually.
10 minutes later the diaphragm pump still underwater gives out, we keep bailing until the water is at a more reasonable level and I go remove the main bilge pump from the stbd. hull and install it in the port, it's working well, it's very lucky we did not just go to bed as our bedroom is in the stbd. hull. We would of woken up to a very serious problem!!
I looked around and found water coming in from behind one of the bathrooms, open the cabinet under the sink and found a valve open that use to supply water to the toilet (no longer in use) had to been opened by me after the boat was hauled last spring, why? I don't know.
It was a long night and we were wiped, we went to bed, I got up at 5am and cut open wiring looms and sprayed everything down with fresh water and set up a fan. Slowly lights are going out that weren't supposed to be on.
Back in Grenada
25 November 2015
We came back to Grenada on Nov 20th to do projects on our boat and get her back in the water, I was also here back in September for a week, at that time upgraded our chart plotter and installed Radar.
This time we replaced all of our lead acid house batteries with AGM sealed batteries and moved there location from under a bed to in the floor, the air conditioned is located under the bed and with the batteries there as well the a/c would get pick up fumes from the batteries and blow it around the room. we also added one more solar panel above the dingy davit's.
Grenada marine was supposed to wax the whole boat and remove some of the boot stripe decals so I could replace them despite them telling me no problem we will have it done it wasn't done, after complaining about it to the marina (several times) someone finally came over and buffed the sides and did a really poor job at it, so I will have to complete it myself. ( If I owned a marina, things would be different.)
Reassembling everything on the boat is a lot of work as we took the sails, the trampolines all the ropes and almost everything we could take off for summer storage, the tropical summer sun is really hard on everything.
Looking to get launched on Thursday Nov 26 (Thanksgiving in the U.S.) 2 days later than our original plan.
Other improvements we have made is we had the canvass shop here make us a dodger, however, despite my telling them to use Strato glass they used cheap roll vinyl not happy about that and am going to be talking to them about that tomorrow.
Also installed new feathering props which are props that the blades turn straight on when you are sailing so they don't spin creating drag and wearing stuff out.
Next week Doreen Anderson will be joining us and we will sail from Grenada to Carricau then to St.Martin which will be around a 50 hour sail, we will sail non stop and be taking 2 hour night shifts at the helm, our first overnight passage! Up until now we have island hopped so haven't had to sail at night.
After we got here we realized we didn't bring any of our cameras or our charge cord for our ipod, luckily Doreen will bring them for us and I can post pictures.
The start of real crusing!
01 February 2015 | St. Martin
Chris / Paradise
We arrived back to TMM (base) on Tortola on December 27, 2014 with our first set of visitors. Jim and Kelly and Reid and Doreen. We left base on Sunday and went to St. Thomas to pick up Reid and Doreen. We anchored in Red Hook, it was not a pleasant night as the shuttle boats were running til late at night kicking up a pretty good wake.
Jim and Reid helped Curt with many projects including hoisting Curt up the mast (70 ft) to change the light bulb and also to install the Bad Boy antenna.
We enjoyed a couple of easy sails from St. Thomas back to Tortola to Norman Island then to Virgin Gorda to enjoy Micheal Beans pirate show then to the Bitter End Yacht Club. Probably one of all of our favorite spots in the BVI. We stayed for New Years there, then headed back up to Marina Cay for a night, then back to Soper's Hole to drop our first guests off. It was a awesome week with GREAT friends!!
Debbie and Jill arrived in Soper's Hole for a fun week of sailing. The Christmas Winds finally arrived. Winds up to 20 knots. We had to head back to base for a couple of days so we could have our new outside cushions installed. They are beautiful! We will probably have the same fabric put in the galley next year.
We had some BIG waves due to the Christmas Winds and Jill fully enjoyed be splashed by the salt water while sitting/laying on the trap up front. This was the first trip to the Caribbean for both Deb and Jill and they had a great time!.
Curt was able to put our new name decals on the bow this week and they look great. It's nice to have our own name on our boat now.
Brian and Jeanine arrive to the BVI! It was kind of groundhogs day for Curt and I as we visited the same spots for three weeks with different people.
It was so nice to have at least one of our boys join us this year. The other two have full time jobs and were not able to get the time off to join us. Maybe next year when we come back up the Caribbean chain.
We had many laughs with Jeanine and Brian, the week went way to quickly.
After dropping Brian and Jeanine off in Soper's Hole, we went back to Bitter End on Virgin Gorda to get ready to make the crossing from the BVI's to St. Martin and the Leeward Islands.
We left on Tuesday morning at 4am, it would be a long 12 hour sail, well not really. We had 4 knot winds coming at us the whole way so we had to motor the entire distance. It was eirey traveling in pitch blackness leaving VG. On week one Curt had driven the course through the channel out of VG and saved it on the IPad so when we left he just had to stay on his saved course. Unfortunetly I steered him off course and we landed in some very shallow waters. Fortunetly, we did not hit bottom and were able to get back on course before we damaged anything.
We made it to Anguilla at 4:20 in the afternoon safely. We stayed on Anguilla for two days, and enjoyed a very relaxing very lazy day on Sandy Island just off of Anguilla. It was nice to have one day of no travel, white sandy beaches and NO worries! The island is small and has a reef pretty much surrounding it so no boats other than dingys or shuttle boats were allowed near shore. There were a couple of Mega Yachts anchored out from shore. We met a group of people that were dingyed in from one of the big yachts. We met the part owner of Apogee, a gentleman by the name of Logan who plays professional Baseball for a team in Dallas. He was very nice and loved the story of our adventure of cursing the Caribbean until April. I was very temped to ask for a tour of his small 200 ft yacht, but didn't. We also met a captain of a big sailboat, and he was very informative about places to stop at and places to cruise by on our travels. People LOVE to talk about their boats and their travels. The information is very valuable!
On Thursday we headed out to Simpson Bay, St. Martin.
I had read that Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of St. Martin had expanded their Mega Yacht docks, but we had no idea how much. When we entered the lagoon we were stunned to see the amount of Mega Yachts in this lagoon. It was a beautiful sight, big shiny yachts some as long as 225 ft!!
We had a couple of days to explore the bay and town before our next set of guests arrived.
Jerry and Kathy Burns and Mike and Jan Rygh arrive to sail the Leeward Islands.
The winds and weather were perfect for our week in the Leewards. We enjoyed great food, great company and even learned a new dice game. Kathy and Jerry had been to St. Barts 30 years ago, so it was fun for them to take a walk down memory lane. Much of the island had changed due to hurricanes and progress, but some of the landmarks still remained. It was really fun to watch them reminisce. My favorite island is still St. Kitts, but Curt and I will visit Saba and Nevis before we leave the Leewards and I may change my mind.
On our last night together we enjoyed a delicious steak dinner on the boat. (We had our son Brian bring us a loaf of beef tenderloin from MN.) Curt made the comment that when new people travel together is small quarters, you can have two results. One, to discover that you never want to travel with those people again, or Two, that you become better friends. We are now better friends!!
Thanks to all our guests for first weeks of our travels!! We have had a blast, and the jokes and laughter never stopped. Thanks Reid for having the giant hot dog!!! Brian's "sweaty meat". Jim's constant laughter. All the girls who were constantly helping me with galley chores. And for Jan who now knows that we are not traveling on a Hobi Cat, but a real catamaran with running water, a galley, and full size beds!!
Curt and I are truly blessed to have you all in our lives!!
Now on to our next adventure to explore islands that we have never seen. Seven islands to see before our next guests arrive in three weeks. Can't wait to see Kathy and Joey!!
Back to TMM for more work on Cattitude
12 December 2014 | Tortola
Chris / rainy
We are back at TMM this week to do some more upgrades to Cattitude before our guests start arriving. We had a new hard top installed over the helm. We also had solar panels installed to help keep our batteries charged.
Our hosts at TMM were awesome and they let us come back to base often during our three weeks in the BVI's to do more work on Cattitude.
The work begins!
17 September 2014
We rented a car for the week. They drive on the wrong side of the road, and at first it was hard to remember which side to drive on. But once we got it, it was fun!!
Curt started working on the electrical, AC, and VHF systems right away. Throughout the week, he managed to fix the AC power problem, fix the freezer and frig power problems, re-wire the washer/dryer outlet, install a couple of outlets in the galley and our bathroom. He kept finding other wirering issues, but managed to fix them all!!
It was way to hot for either of us to do much exploring unless we were in the car with the ac on. We did manage to drive to the other side of the island to Cane Garden Bay to enjoy some time off and to relax on a beach and swim in the cool water for an afternoon.
Thoughout the week, we tryed to come up with a new name for our boat. A lot of names were suggested, but we finally decided on "Cattitude". Pretty appropriate for a Cat and a Cataraman owner!!
Good Bye "Allison", untill December!