All my best wishes for a happy and healthy 2017 to everyone that has followed along. It's hard to believe that it's been over four years since I left Herrington Harbour North. Four years filled with sailing, exploring, diving, travel, and friends.
The picture is of sunrise yesterday morning in Prickly Bay. It's been a bit cool (23C 74F) at night the past week and we've had some rain. Here's a picture of the sunrise the day before.
2016 ended in a flourish. After a long trip (Rhode Island, DC, Maryland, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and Bermuda), I was back on Evening Ebb in Grenada just before Thanksgiving. After nine and a half weeks on the road it was good to be back on board.
Since I got back, I've been diving most days (until the last three weeks) and have now logged over 450 dives. It's been fun to lead dives and be one of the divemasters on the boat. Early in December, I finally completed a deco dive on the Bianca C. The two of us went to the bottom at the stern of the ship where the props used to be: 51.7 meters, my deepest dive. Unfortunately, my dive computer didn't like the depth and as it cycled into deco mode it lost its mind and started spewing random numbers and information. We used my buddy's computer to manage the decompression and after a nice swim covering the rest of the wreck waited out our deco times on the way up.
My Nissan 3.5 hp outboard finally died. It was over 30 years old and had served me well, but, after three attempts to fix the lower unit by the best mechanic in the anchorage, when it still wasn't fixed, I decided to buy a new 3.5 hp Tohatsu two cycle outboard. The new engine actually has a lever for neutral and forward so no more roaring off the minute the engine starts.
Early in December on a Sunday afternoon, I was on the boat, surfing the net and listening to a football game when I heard a voice. At first I thought it was part of the football broadcast but there it was again. Popped my head up the companionway and realized it was Danny, my landlord, and my boat wasn't where it was supposed to be. In fact, it was slowly drifting past one of my neighbors. Turns out the mooring line had chafed through near the bottom. According to the divers that finally fixed it, there was a piece of metal, probably from Hurricane Ivan years ago, that had surfaced and cut the line. Danny and Lesley jumped in their dinghy and we put the boat on an open mooring near where my old mooring had been. It's shocking to realize that I wouldn't have known I was adrift until I hit something. There was no change in motion or any other noises to indicate that the boat was no longer securely attached to the bottom.
About a week later, after my mooring had been fixed, Danny and I attempted to move the boat back onto my mooring. The prop was still a bit fouled, but we thought it would provide enough thrust, it didn't. Of course the wind came up after we dropped the mooring line, we started to drift, and the pick up line wrapped around the prop. The good news was that the boat wasn't drifting free since it was solidly attached to the mooring, just not in a very conventional way. With adrenaline pumping, I dove in to try to understand what had happened. After a couple of unproductive dives, finally grabbed a mask and started to calm down. The first task was to get a line through the mooring pendant and secure it to the forward cleats securing the boat. Then I was able to cut the pickup line from the pendant and unwrap it from the prop. Other than quite a few nasty cuts from the barnacles on the hull, prop, and dinghy bottom it went fairly smoothly. Too much excitement and I'm of the firm opinion that excitement on boats is over-rated.
The prop is now clean and we had no problem moving the boat back onto the mooring a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it was uneventful and boring.
I've been recovering from a mild case of pneumonia. Had a mild cold but rather than getting better it moved into my chest. Unfortunately, this coincided with the arrival of my friend from Bermuda. So, rather than taking off sailing, it's been a time for recuperation. I'm starting to feel better and the current plan (depending on the weather) is to drop the mooring the middle of next week and head to Carriacou and the Tobago Cays. We'll see.
Here are links to a brilliant use for your Amazon or other shipping boxes
and an article describing the underwater museum
And finally some cold feet from my quick trip back to the States on the 22nd and 23rd of December and sunset shots from last week.