Beyond the Horizon

08 March 2016 | Carriacou
17 February 2016 | Secret Harbor
24 January 2016 | Clarkes Court Bay Marina
13 November 2015
27 October 2015 | Hog Island
18 September 2015 | Miami
03 September 2015 | Nanny Cay, Tortolla, BVI
28 August 2015 | St. Vincent
21 August 2015 | Secret Harbor
17 August 2015
28 July 2015 | Dublin
13 July 2015 | Somerville, MA
06 July 2015

Trip to St. Martin/Housesitting in Grenada

25 June 2016 | Grenada
In early May we decided to leave Grenada for a bit and head north to St. Martin for a change of scenery and to do some shopping. On the way up, we first stopped in Carriacou for a couple days visiting friends and then Statia (St. Eustatius) for some excellent hiking. We hiked all around and into the Quill volcano on Statia and poked around the small town. Sadly news reached us there that our friend Alan had passed away, very unexpectedly, in Grenada. It was quite a shock. Since we weren't able to attend Alan's memorial of funeral, we drank a toast to his memory as we watched the sun set into the harbor.

St. Martin was a bit of a shock compared with Grenada. We anchored in the lagoon and it felt like we were right in the middle of a big city. The new causeway bridge is lit up like a rainbow at night and planes take off overhead several times a day. The shopping is terrific and that's really what we were there for. Since St. Martin (both the Dutch and French side) is duty free and since it's a major yachting and tourist area you can buy just about anything at a good price. We picked up new batteries, rigging wire and some aluminum poles. I also went to the French city of Marigot for good clothes shopping. St. Martin has lots of great beaches to explore and the hike up Pic Paradise was spectacular. Unfortunately Mark had to be away when the time came to bring En Passant back to Grenada, but our friend Jason came up to help me sail her back home. It was the first time I was the official captain. Of course Jason could easily have managed the delivery without me, but I was the onboard expert since she's my home. The sail back south was very pleasant with moderate winds all the way. It was good to get back to Grenada where we have lots of friends and don't have to keep as much of an eye out for hurricanes.

It was important to get back to Grenada, not just because hurricane season had started, but because we'd agreed to house/pet sit for another friend there. So until the end of July I have two new roommates, Harley and Pepper (dog and cat respectively). Both are very sweet and easy to take care of. And there are definite benefits to being ashore. Most important to me are long hot showers, a car and Internet access. Since we don't need the dinghy every day, it's getting a fresh coat of paint. We may also do a few other projects that are easier when we're not living in the middle of them.

A few other fun things are coming in July including a trip to the states for my nieces wedding and a visit from Nicole. Mark also has some work coming up so it's going to be pretty busy for a while.

Sailfish, Carriacou and Zika

08 March 2016 | Carriacou
We had a great plan for spending a few weeks away from Grenada in Trinidad and Tabago. Tabago for fun, and Trinidad for shopping.

Unfortunately our plans changed. First, the windless (that we use to raise the anchor) seized up. It took Mark a whole day to fix it. At the same time, I started feeling very tired, achy and a bit feverish. We're both pretty sure this was Zika. We left, already a day later than we intended, and not entirely sure if going all the way to Tabago made sense. Then 90 minutes out, Mark caught this beast! He landed it all alone, while I was asleep below. It's hard to tell from the picture but it's 6ft long and over 100lbs.

With so much fish on board, we decided it made more sense to head to Carriacou and share it with friends. Carriacou is also a shorter sail and has a good doctor (just in case). So we gave away lots of fish to grateful friends, had some people over for fish dinner and even canned some of it.

Now, after 4 days of non-stop sleeping, the Zika seems to be mostly gone. While I had it, I was so tired I barely had the energy to eat!

Carriacou is beautiful as always. Trinidad and Tabago will just have to wait for next time.

Guests and Carnival

17 February 2016 | Secret Harbor
It's been a fun couple of weeks. Mark and I had charter guests aboard En Passant and we spent 10 days cruising up and down the islands. First stop was Martinique for a couple days of Carnival. It was a great celebration with everyone turning out - young, old and everyone in between. The music went until late at night and even though we were back on the boat before it got too late, we could still hear all that was going on.

After Martinique we started working our way back down to Grenada with stops in Bequia, the Tobago Cays and Carriacou. The weather was terrific and EnP was happy to get out and stretch her legs. She slips right through the water now that she has a fresh paint job.

Our guests seemed pretty happy with the experience and may come down this way for more sailing in the future.

I'm happy to be back in Grenada but I'm now itching for another sail with a bit more time to explore the islands. We should be able to head out again in a couple of weeks; maybe south this time.

Haulout complete!

24 January 2016 | Clarkes Court Bay Marina
Over the last 6 weeks or so, we've managed to do a huge amount of work on the boat. This isn't the glamorous part of living on a sailboat, but very important. We've 1) repaired the transmission; 2) hauled the boat out of the water; 3) scraped off years of anti-fouling paint; 4) sanded the hull; 5) put on 5 coats of epoxy paint and 3+ coats of anti-fouling paint; 6) repaired the rudder; 7) bought a new head sail; 8) inspected and replaced/rebedded several through hulls; 9) relaunched the boat. Whew! I even managed to sneak away for a Christmas week in Boston.

I can't adequately express how happy I am to be back in the water. The only thing I'll miss about the boatyard is the little black cat that adopted us. She would show up each morning asking for breakfast, and then curl up to sleep in one of the cockpit cubbies. She belonged to the former boatyard manager and makes herself at home with the cruisers. She can even climb up and down the ladder we used to get onto the boat.

Mark and I considered trying to keep her, but she seems well adapted to her boatyard lifestyle. When she can't find people to feed her, she's quite capable of catching mice. She even brought us one at 3am one morning (I'm sure she was annoyed that we didn't get up and congratulate her on her hunting).

Next on the agenda is Grenada race week and a visit from our friend Karen. Back to what life here should be.

New jib, more sewing

13 November 2015
Well they say cruising is really repairing your boat in various exotic ports. On our last little excursion we blew out the jib and found a leak in the transmission. Well a new jib is now on order. It will be nice to have a fresh sail to take us wherever we want to go. We have the new seals for the transmission and "just" need to get them installed. Then there's the bottom paint, etc., etc. but at least those other jobs won't stop us from short runs to the neighboring islands.

For now I'm content with more sewing projects. Here are some new shoe holders to keep the cockpit from being cluttered.

Tomorrow the Grenada hash house harriers will be running in/near the Grand Etang national forest. It should be spectacular and I'll be there if I can arrange transportation. That plus daily swimming and yoga twice a week keep me fit and happy. Not a bad way to live.

Sewing not sailing

27 October 2015 | Hog Island
I know I've been a bit quiet for a while, but the only sailing we've done lately is a quick trip to the island of Carriacou (part of Grenada but just north of the main island).

So what do we do when we're not traveling? Well, lately I've been sewing. Here's a picture of my first big project. A new awning for the boat. It gives us more shade, more air and it's easier to walk around the boat without ducking our heads. I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out. I haven't done much sewing since my high-school theater days and sewing large pieces of canvas on a small boat is a real challenge.

Next up is a shoe holder and doing a bit of sail maintenance. My industrial strength Sailrite sewing machine is really getting a workout.

Of course, in addition to sewing there is all the usual maintenance work. The latest job was finding and fixing a leak in the hydraulic transmission system. Since we don't want to be "all work and no play" we've found time to follow the Rugby World Cup, swim, bike and make regular visits to Roger's beach bar and Sepp's rum shop to relax and see friends.

It's finally sinking in that this isn't just a vacation, but a new way of life. So far so good. I don't miss sitting in meetings at all.
Vessel Name: En Passant
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: Grenada
Crew: Mark Norman, Lisa Paton
Mark has his RYA/MCA Yacht-master Ocean license and does yacht deliveries, charters and is an ASA Sailing instructor. He spent his pre-sailing life as a marine biologist in Ireland. Lisa has crewed on several yacht deliveries and is an Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) member. [...]
En Passant's Photos - Haulout
Photos 1 to 6 of 6 | Main
Scaped: Three people-days of work to get this far.  We used a chemical stripper (SmartStrip) which worked great.
Haulout: We got to rid in the green monster
Sanded: Three more people-days.  Me and some hired helpers with a generator.
Lisa and Pushkin: This was the first time she decided to curl up in a lap.
Pushkin: The boatyard cat.  Keeping us company.
New paint: 11 gallons of paint altogether.  This takes a while because of drying time between coats.  Mark was the master paint mixer.  Each coat is around 1 1/3 gallons of paint.