Great Habit's Caribbean Tour 2011-2012

15 July 2012 | Southern Gate, Stanley Bridge PEI
27 April 2012 | Antigua Airport
24 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina & Tranquillity Bay Resort
23 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina
18 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina
15 April 2012 | Great Bird Island, Antigua
06 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor
06 April 2012 | Aboard Great Habit in Jolly Harbor
06 April 2012 | Antigua Airport
04 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor
29 March 2012 | Jolly Harbour
29 March 2012 | Jolly Harbor
28 March 2012 | Jolly Harbour
25 March 2012 | Dehaises, Guadaloupe
22 March 2012 | Dominica
22 March 2012 | Portsmith, Dominica
20 March 2012 | Roseau, Dominica
18 March 2012 | Roseau, Dominica
17 March 2012 | St Pierre, Martinique

From Boat People to Trailer Trash?

15 July 2012 | Southern Gate, Stanley Bridge PEI
Yes, it has been a while since you have heard from us and it might be that some of you are wondering where and how we are. Just in case there are one or two of you out there wondering, here is an update.

We are in PEI and living on our property "Southern Gate". It is located in the Stanley Bridge area, which is halfway between Summerside and Charlettown in a very beautiful area of the province. Because we left the boat in Antigua, we bought a used 5th wheel Citation trailer and are calling it home until we head to Ottawa late August for one more year and until I retire. Our plan is to build our retirement home here, so in order to make the trailer functional we put in services (well, power, septic) and have been landscaping parts of the property, all of which put us well ahead of our building schedule for next summer. The weather here has been georgeous and we have just had a ball playing on the land.

Chick is doing some sail racing but I have not been on the water since leaving Antigua. Guess you could say I traded my life jacket in for a trowel!!

Given our land status this will be our last entry on the blog. In closing what for us was a wonderful adventure with our family and friends, we want to wish everyone happy and peaceful lives, and for you sailers fair winds.

We are now in Thunder Bay

28 April 2012
We were awakened this morning by two really cute little girls: Matilda and Lyla. What a nice change.

Our trip back from the Caribbean yesterday, Friday could not have worked any better. We connected easily on all flights even the last one when we had an hour to clear Customs and get to our gate at the Toronto Airport for the flight to Thunder Bay. Trick was to get one of the Porters to handle our luggage and give him an objective of getting us to our proper places in the airport. Cheryl and I just fell in behind him on the run and sure enough he got us through everything we had to do at the Toronto Airport and to the Thunder Bay gate with 15 minutes to spare and meant that we made it right through from Antigua in one day.

We have already been to a Ballet lesson and Gymnastics classes for the girls this morning which was a great start to our arrival back in Canada.

Guess the other neat thing that I'll include in this short note was the recognition smell of being back in Canada. When we got out of the Airport in Thunder Bay last night there was a dramatic aroma of wood smoke, very Canadian. You might remember our story from the last trip that the dramatic Canadian aroma we experienced in sailing into Shelburn, NS was the scent of Pine trees.

That's it for now and when there are a few free minutes we'll write up a longer note about the end of our year's sailing experience.

We are on our way home!

27 April 2012 | Antigua Airport
Here is a picture of Great Habit in her summer home sporting a caribbean look already (those are her anchor rodes and chain you are seeing - we say she now has dredlocks and goate!!)

Well we are on our way with a good start to the morning. Our biggest fear was how our bags would be dealt with by Liat and I am happy to say we got through our first airline with only having to pay extra for our overweight bag. We had visions of having to take things out of them and having to dump them somewhere but they let us through.

We are enroute to Barbadoes and will fly Air Canada to TO from there leaving around 3. Then to Thunder Bay around midnight.

Looking forward to being back in Canada. Will likely send a few more emails and keep up the blog for a bit longer so hang with us in if it interests you.

Great Habit is on the hard!

24 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina & Tranquillity Bay Resort
This is Great Habit being hauled by what is known as a travel lift. It hauls boats out of the water then moves them to where they will be stored. Beats a crane any day!

We became land-people yesterday, and actually slept in a "king size bed" last night. I know Cheryl was around but sure not within reach like on Great Habit.

Haul-out went very well and Great Habit is on a concrete pad with hurricane tie down chains on all four corners just in case the weather here gets wild over the summer. The crew even put more jack stands under her then I've ever used so all is good with respect to her storage.

Projects have been going nicely and so far there have not been any surprises, "good!". Nice to have a storage locker here for our boat things (and there is lots) because it lets us get lots off the boat and that means she will ventilate better during the storage season. Fortunately, Lushi has agreed to look after her while we are gone and will open GH up every couple weeks, and change the de-humidifying crystals we are putting around, so that will keep the mildew at bay. He will also keep us up to date on what is happening with GH.

As everyone knows Great Habit is being listed "For Sale" and we have been working on getting a broker and all that entails. Cheryl has done a wonderful job of staging the boat and the pictures show it. When we get the final listing up and complete, likely a week or so from now, you could see everything on

One interesting observation that Cheryl and I made over lunch today is that we have our "stuff" stored in a number of places, Ottawa, S'side, Jolly Harbor, family, friends, etc. Nothing is in "our place" because we don't have a place at this point in time - I guess we are what you would call nomads. When we finally settle to our new home it will be fun becoming "belongers" again.

A quick update

23 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina
Have a look at some the very interesting and different vegetation we encountered at Great Bird Island, Antigua.

I am taking a quick break from what have been full days getting us ready to come out of the water - we are almost there. We have a storage unit (instead of Valerie's basement) and are putting much of the stuff on board over there. Partly we think it is better than leaving it on the boat and the other part is that the boat will show better. I guess you could say we are staging our boat.

Tonight for the first time since we left Canada, we will sleeping off the boat. We have a lovely suite close by with all the amenities you could ask for. I hope to get some beach/pool time in while Chick finishes off the last of the outside things on the boat. I expect the inside to be all spic and span by the end of today.

We are very much looking forward to being with family and friends once again. Also hoping it is not too cool still in PEI - it is very warm here!

Full cirlce to Jolly Harbor

18 April 2012 | Jolly Harbor Marina
This fishermen work hard in this part of the world!!

Today (Wednesday) we arrived back at Jolly Harbor and are tied to the dock - it is so still and quiet! We had our last sail today and last night we anchored in a lovely bay called Deep Bay; both were perfect. We will start dismantling the boat tomorrow and haul-out for the summer next Tues the 24th then fly to Thunder Bay on Friday.

Will keep in touch by sending you pictures from time to time of some of the sites and vegetation around Antigua.

Vessel Name: Great Habit
Vessel Make/Model: Great Habit is a CS 40; a Canadian boat built in 1990
Hailing Port: Summerside, PEI Canada
Crew: Chick Silliphant and Cheryl Picard
Chick and Cheryl have been sailing since 1993. They bought their first boat, "Phantom", which they sailed on the Ottawa River for 10 years. In 2004, they purchased "Great Habit" with the sole purpose of sailing the Windward and Leeward Islands as far as Trinidad. [...]
Extra: "Great Habit" is registered in Ottawa. For many years she was a teaching boat on the Great Lakes. Cheryl and Chick have been fortunate to meet many of her students as they sailed the St.Lawrence and then the Maritimes.

Who: Chick Silliphant and Cheryl Picard
Port: Summerside, PEI Canada