Garage Forecourt Completed
17 April 2021 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
We have have finished the garage forecourt for the bikes.
It looks great.
Many thanks to Dave and Charlie for their help.
We are now on to next project - The Pergola
The Current Project
17 March 2021 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
We are busy digging up the area in front of the garage.
We are putting in a new surface drain and new block paving.
It will then be much easier to turn the motorbikes around and work on the car.
The skip arrives today and Dave arrives with his mini digger tomorrow.
I foresee much mess to follow!
Cracker and Poppy
11 February 2021
Frank Hatfull | Snowy
Cracker in her new comfy bed. She says she is very pleased and may even be nice to the cat.
She also says she is very sad that her friend Poppy the 15 year old Labrador passed away last week.
This Year’s Skiing
26 January 2021 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
I think that this will be all the skiing Mandy gets this year.
4 inches of snow in our garden in UK.
The Chocolate Whirlwind
23 January 2021 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Cracker is a 2 year old brown working cocker spaniel.
She is indeed a “Cracker” and has now been with us a week.
She settled in extremely rapidly and gets on well with “Poppy” our 15 year old Labrador.
Our 2 year old Bengal cat “Khaleesi” is slightly less at ease with the newcomer and creeps about quietly keeping well out of the way.
The first few days with Cracker The Chocolate Whirlwind involved full speed hand-brake turns around the house. The new addition of extra grippy underlay for the mats in the hall has helped enormously in the reduction of the chaos.
She has now settled down quite a bit and is generally now obeying the speed limits in the house.
Outside she has been unbelievably obedient and comes back immediately.
She gets ecstatic about retrieving balls and now drops them instantly on the “leave” command.
She is happy to travel in the car with or without her new best friend “Poppy”.
We took for a 6 mile cycle ride without incident, but unfortunately it had little effect on depleting her lithium ion battery pack!
So all is well after our first week!
15 January 2021 | Easton on the Hill, Northamptonshire
Today “Cracker” our new Cocker Spaniel joined the pack.
She is 2 and delightful.. I wanted to call he Jo Cocker...but sadly overruled!
38th Wedding Anniversary
16 December 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
It's our 38th Wedding Anniversary today.
We would have normally be out sailing in The Caribbean.
Last year we were in Bequai.
We were hoping to have been in our new apartment in Samoëns in the French Alps this year.
However, because of COVID we have been very busy focusing on the garden instead.
We now have new raised beds, fabulous vegetable plots and a new arch for fruit trees.
We bought ourselves 3 huge garden pots as anniversary presents.
This evening we are eating out at The Exeter Arms in the village.
First Christmas at Home
08 December 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
It will be our first Christmas at home for 7 years.
We have spent the past 6 seasons away sailing on Infinity B in The Caribbean.
We are completely unused to the cold UK winter and we have not had a rear Christmas tree while we have been away.
It has been very exciting going through all the old family decorations and hanging them on the tree.
Unfortunately because of COVID Max and Berry are staying in Edinburgh and we probably won’t see them until spring.
Happy Christmas to all our friends and blog followers.
The New Member of The Fleet
18 November 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Frank Hatfull | Cold & Wet
A week or so ago we drove down to Maidenhead to collect and ride back the newest member of our fleet.
She is a one on the left a 2017 BMW R Nine T with only 400 miles.
The next is our BMW R 1200RT LC.
On the far right is our baby G 310GS.
So all we now is the summer to come!
We are going to miss being in The Caribbean for the winter.
A Painting To Remember
13 November 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
We bought a fabulous painting by Leigh Davis a well know UK artist.
We liked it so much because it reminded us sailing Infinity B.
It is now hanging above the fireplace in our living room.
Here's a link with a bit more information about the artist:
09 November 2020 | Suffolk UK
Here is our new boat.
She is a Parker 235 and called CharlieBird.
She is currently temporarily "moored" on her trailer at Mandy's cousins paddock in Suffolk.
We are planning to keep her somewhere on the East Coast (UK) and we have just joined The Woodbridge Cruising Club after many years of absence.
Infinity B - Sold
26 October 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Today we completed the sale of Infinity B.
We are both very sad to see her go.
We wish her new owners Ida & Sally happy and safe voyages in a wonderful yacht.
We have not given sailing and we are in the process of buying CharlieBird a Parker 235 from Ida.
We will be keeping CharlieBird in Suffolk and will put her back in the water in the Spring.
09 September 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
We have had a pretty busy summer despite COVID.
We had a delightful 5 weeks in France at the new apartment, which we managed to furnish. We also made lots of new friends and did some nice hikes. We were fortunate enough to get home just in time to beat the deadline for the new obligatory quarantine.
The long drive home in the camper has aggravated my back and I have been going to physio for the past few weeks which is helping.
We have also been working hard on our garden which is looking great and we are staring to think about next year's projects.
We have just returned from a long weekend visiting our son Max and his girlfriend Berry in Edinburgh. We took my eldest daughter Cheryl with us and we all had an excellent time
Mandy's Birthday is coming up soon and we are hoping to get away in the camper to the Peak District for a few days.
It looks like Infinity B will soon be having new owners, the survey is booked and we are looking forward to meeting them and handing her over. Fingers Crossed
The Dinghy and Lots of Progress
19 July 2020 | Rêve de Montagne - Samoëns
Frank Hatfull | Blue Skies
Our dinghy on Infinity B was a 9ft AB inflatable with a 15hp Yamaha outboard.
Here at the apartment our dinghy is a French registered 67hp Panda 4x4.
it is a brilliant little “go anywhere” car.
We have done huge amounts to organise the apartment and now we have a fully functional utility room and new shower.
We still have a new WC to fit.
So with all the work done we are beginning to get out walking and cycling more.
The social life in the village of Samoëns is excellent.
Travel and Unpacking
09 July 2020 | Reve de Montagne - Samoens
We had a good trip down through France on Monday.
It was over 600 miles and we left home at 04.00 UK time and arrived at 20.30 French time (19.30 UK).
We had two slight issue on route. The coffee thermos leaked all over the floor and the engine refused to start a couple of times.
The apartment is even better than I remembered.
We have spend the past couple of days unpacking the camper and the trailer and sorting the flat out.
We have still quite a bit more to do and furniture to buy.
But none the less we are very comfortable and we have vastly more space than on the boat!
Packed and Ready To Go
04 July 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Despite all the UK Government's continuous changes in direction and mis-information, we are off.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have lifted their advisory note forbidding travel to Europe.
This means that our car insurance is now valid again.
The camper (Infinity C) is packed to the gunwales as is the trailer.
There are also 3 bikes on top of the trailer.
We have been for a test run and all seems well.
We leave home at 04.00 on Monday to catch the Eurotunnel train at 08.00.
We hope to be at our new apartment in Samoens by about 20.00 the same day.
We will let you know how we get on.
Boat Viewings & French Mountains
28 June 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Life is looking very positive.
We have had three viewings of Infinity B and one offer so far.
There are more viewings booked and a lot of interest.
The COVID lockdown is slowly lifting and we are at last booked on Eurotunnel for Monday 6th July.
We are really looking forward to getting to our new apartment in Samoëns at long last.
The camper and trailer are packed tight with furniture and bits for the empty flat.
We thinK it will take us about 14 hours door to door.
Jasper has been busy fitting a new shower and WC ready for our arrival.
House & Garden
22 June 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
As you will know Amanda and I are retiring from sailing and Infinity B is up for sale.
We will therefore not be disappearing on our regular winter sailing cruise for several months at a time and letting the house out while we are away.
To replace the boat we have bought a small apartment in Samoëns in the French Alps.
Our current plan is to be away for a month at a time several times throughout the year.
We are looking for friends who might like a break and stay (obviously at no cost) in Deben House while we are away.
If you know of anybody who may be interested do please contact us.
Frank & Amanda
Safely Home and Starting to Unpack
28 May 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
We arrived back home yesterday evening.
The camper and trailer were both absolutely full of all our possessions from Infinity B.
There was more traffic on the roads than on the way down, but it was hard work driving with all the weight onboard.
We have started unpacking and it’s very much like moving house with piles of unrelated items to sort and put away.
It was very sad to leave Infinity B behind but she looks great after we cleaned and tied her.
We are now planning to have a boat jumble at home.. so if we there are any nautical bits you need do message us.
The Final Lift
26 May 2020 | Universal Marina - River Hamble - UK
Frank Hatfull | Fine weather
Infinity B was lifted on to the hard at Universal Marina on The Hamble today.
Last night was our final night afloat on her.
Tonight is likely to be our final night sleeping on her.
We have virtually completely emptied her of many years of clutter.
We have scrubbed the decks and cockpit.
We just have the inside to polish before we leave tomorrow.
It's a very sad day indeed.
Hopefully she will soon find a new equally passionate owner.
Safe and Sound on The Hamble
24 May 2020 | Universal Marina - River Hamble - UK
Yesterday we safely unloaded Infinity B off the ship in Southampton.
All the logistics were organised by Peters & May and were very efficient.
We motored down Southampton Water and up the River Hamble.
We safely docked at Universal Marina mid afternoon.
We will spend the day emptying Infinity B of all our clutter before she hauls out on Tuesday.
M25 on route to Southampton
22 May 2020 | M25 heading south west
Frank Hatfull | Windy
We are our motorhome heading south to collect Infinity B off the ship.
The ship is ahead of schedule but the weather for unloading is bad.
It's very windy and they say that there might be a 24hr delay
Infinity B is on her way home
12 May 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Infinity B left St Johns in Antigua onboard the AAL Melbourne yesterday.
They are currently steaming at 12 knots and currently scheduled to dock in Southampton on Sunday 24th.
We don’t have an official unloading date yet.
I feel quite sad about her returning home to be sold and it reminds me of Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and her sad return to be broken up.
The good news is that Our new broker has several people who want to view her.
Infinity B on board.
09 May 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Infinity B has been loaded onto the AAL Melbourne and will be leaving Antigua in the next couple of days.
There are about 25 other boats travelling on deck with her.
Their progress can be see on this link AAL Melbourne
Don't forget you can also her sale listing at www.jryachts.com
29 April 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
It is still looking good for Infinity B being shipped back to Southampton.
It looks like she will leave Antigua on 10th May and arrive in the UK on 21st May.
She is now up for sale with John Rodriguez Yachts
The Shipping Forecast
13 April 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Mandy and I are keeping busy during the lock down with garden and domestic tasks. We have also been sorting out things to take to our new apartment in France (for when the lock down lifts).
Our main concerns are for our fellow cruisers who are still under lock down in The Caribbean and who are unable to plan their haul outs for the hurricane season and to determine how to get home.
Fortunately Infinity B is still on track to be shipped back to the UK in May with Peters and May.
We have had confirmation she will be on AAL Melbourne.
A lot of the UK south coast boat yards are shut, but we have been able to book her in at Universal Marina on the Hamble.
We will keep you posted.
The Flight Home
22 March 2020 | Home - Easton on the Hill UK
Frank Hatfull | Fine
I left Infinity B on the dock in Antigua at about 17.00 local on Saturday with very mixed feelings.
My good friend Jessie very kindly gave me a lift to the airport.
Checking in all went well apart from the fact I had booked in as Frank and my passport says Francis which caused some delay.
The flight and boarding were on time but take off was delayed by an hour as 3 passengers and their luggage were evicted!
The plane landed in Gatwick at 9.45 where Mandy met me with the car.
So we are safely home and now have to anxiously face the global consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Lock Down in The Caribbean
18 March 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fine
There is a certain feeling of mild panic amongst the yachting fraternity out here due to the corona virus potential pandemic.
Many of the islands are now introducing entry restrictions to all boats coming in.
It has made it pretty much impossible for anyone to travel between islands or to plan a passage home.
Fortunately Mandy has managed to get safely back to the UK from her French skiing trip in a car with friends.
My health has improved dramatically with an additional course of a second antibiotic and I enjoyed a walk into the marina.
I have managed to get Infinity B onto a very pleasant private dock just north of customs in Jolly Harbour where she will stay until the delivery crew take her into St Johns for loading onto a ship in May.
Apparently Virgin Atlantic have stopped flights home, but I have been able to book onto a BA flight on Saturday night.
So all being well withh planes and trains permitting I will be home by early afternoon on Sunday.
Chaos in The Cabin
14 March 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fair
Lots to report.
Firstly and most importantly... In desperation I had to start on some additional antibiotics (Nitrofurantoin) and now all is now infinitely more comfortable with my boy bits! Hopefully I will be able to get off the boat and by some provisions now!
Secondly... Infinity B's viewing on Thursday went well. She is a fabulous boat and deserves a good owner. Fingers crossed!
Thirdly... I have been packing up our personal bits either to ship back by freight or if Infinity B does not sell, to come back with her to the UK and then to be collected in Portsmouth.
I'm hoping to get back to the UK as soon as possible and then onto the apartment in Samoëns. Timing is a bit vague especially with the corona virus issue.
Pills, Penance and Peeing
10 March 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fair but Windy
Mandy is still away skiing, but now with friends in Switzerland.
I have had a few days of being quite poorly again.
I have managed to get my temperature down with regular combined doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen.
I have had to wrap up in warm clothes and a blanket despite it being 30C here because I was so cold.
I have also had to resort to the dreaded cyprofloxacin again to try and sort out the prostate infection.
It works well but It’s horrid stuff and one has to take it for weeks.
I’m so looking forward to peeing painlessly again!
The very worst of it is I have had no alcohol for days either!
The boat viewing is still booked for Thursday and we are very much hoping that the potential buyer is keen.
I am very grateful I Doug and Heather who scrubbed Infinity B’s water line and helped me move onto a mooring ball.
Snow and Army Rations
04 March 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Slightly Overcast
Surprisingly there is no snow here in Antigua.
However, Mandy seems to have found plenty in Flaine in The French Alps, where she is enjoying her off piste course with The Ski Club of Great Britain.
General maintenance, cleaning and decluttering continues on Infinity B here in Antigua, ready for the sales viewing next week.
I have had plenty of social visits from fellow Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) members, including Nevera, Songster, Saralane, Baloo and Allegro.
Yesterday I gave lessons on teak deck maintenance including replacing chalking and teak plugs.
Dining onboard has deteriorated slightly whist Mandy is away. I have dug out the emergency army rations from the bilges. They are now over 6 years out of date, but just about edible if mixed with a tin of veg and copious amounts of Lee & Perins.
The weather forecast is for a strong northern swell. I am anchored in very shallow water so I might have to move to prevent hitting the keel.
The blog hits 50,000 viewings
01 March 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fine and Calm
We have just hit 50,000 viewings of our blog.
We started it in 2014 when we were getting ready to cross The Atlantic.
Since then we have spent 6 magical seasons in The Caribbean.
Thank you all for your interest and your comments.
Meantime I will keeping decluttering and cleaning Infinity B whilst Mandy enjoys her skiing.
De-Cluttering and Skiing
29 February 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fine and Calm
I am out here on my own for a while because Mandy is off skiing which is one of her great passions.
She flew out of Antigua on Wednesday and landed in the UK early Thursday.
She spent Friday rushing frantically about doing tasks including getting my spare specs repaired.
On Saturday she flew off to Geneva and then by bus to Flaine high up in The Grand Massif in the French Alps.
I am trying to get Infinity B ready for a viewing on 12th March.
I have been busy decluttering and cleaning all the cupboards.
It is surprising how much boat junk one accumulates over the years.
We have a whole lot of items for sale including:
2 Brompton folding bikes
2 lots of dive gear
Sailrite ZigZag sewing machine
Dinghy and Outboard.
Peters & May
25 February 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Fair
We made a big decision last year to sell Infinity B.
She is up for sale here in The Caribbean but also in the UK.
Being a Swedish boat she is more likely to sell in the UK to someone who wants to cross the Atlantic or circumnavigate the globe.
We decided to do like many of our friends have done and to ship Infinity B home with Peters & May who have a good reputation.
At the end of each Caribbean Yachting Season Peters & May provide a 'mast up' passage for over 50 yachts on the deck of a large ship.They provide a well planned operation to ensure the yachts are loaded, cradled and lashed ready for safe sailing.
Mandy has been dealing directly by email with Rachel in their Southampton Office - Rachel.Windsor@petersandmay.com.
The booking process has been first rate with a very friendly and efficient service.
So in early May, Infinity B should be heading to Portsmouth from Antigua on one of Peters & May's popular Transatlantic Sailings.
Do take a look at their website www.petersandmay.com
Bloody Rough Crossing
19 February 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Windy
We sailed up from Pigeon Island to Deshaise on Sunday afternoon after Mandy spend most of the morning snorkelling.
We met up briefly with Bob & Eileen from Songster in the anchorage.
We left Deshaise at dawn on Monday.
The weather forever was reasonable and it was supposed to be the lightest winds for a few days.
But .... none the less we were cautious after our 50+ knots winds of the previous day.
We had a reefed main and reefed staysail.
The conditions were dreadful we had strong winds, high seas, heavy rain and poor visibility for the 8 hour crossing.
We arrived safely but tired in Jolly Harbour mid afternoon.
We had an easy day yesterday and all is well.
Punch and Anchor Scare
16 February 2020 | Pigeon Island - Guadeloupe
Frank Hatfull | Bloody Windy
We helped a young French family on a charter catamaran pick up a mooring in very windy conditions a few days ago. We also helped them sort out a problem with their windlass. Before they left on Friday they kindly gave us a very special bottle of Guadeloupe punch which we shared with Blaize Mor in the evening.
On Saturday we left The Saintes on a windy trip across the Guadeloupe Channel to Pigeon Island half way up Guadeloupe. We used the staysail and a heavily reefed main and we were fine.
Late afternoon a massive storm with gusts of over 50 knots hit the anchorage. It was so violent and unexpected our anchor broke loose and we were cast adrift.
Luckily we managed to gain control and re-anchor 40 minutes further down the bay before it got dark.
The wind gauge showed a maximum of 59.4 knots that's probably gale force 11, we were very lucky!
The good news is we caught a large Spanish Mackerel in the morning.
We are planning to sail to Antigua on Monday, weather permitting.
Wind, Waves and Walking
13 February 2020 | The Saintes - Guadeloupe
Frank Hatfull | Bright, Wet, Windy but Warm
We are still in The Saintes.
It's been very windy and wet.
We managed to move onto a calmer mooring a few days ago, so we are fine.
We are doing lots of walking to keep Mandy fit ready for here skiing trip at the end of the month and too keep me slim!
We have had a little bit of interest in selling Infinity B, but our plans are still fluid as to when we will get home.
Whilst we are out here we are using the Internet to investigate buying a Panda 4x4 and some electric bikes for the Alpine Apartment.
We will probably head back to Antigua over the weekend.
We were very sad hear of my old friend Keith Upton's wife Carole's recent death.
Wind and Waves
08 February 2020 | Pan de Sucre - Les Saintes
Frank Hatfull | Very Windy
On Wednesday we left at dawn from Falmouth in Antigua to Guadeloupe with mixed squally conditions. We were however accompanied by a pod of dolphins for about 40 minutes. We anchored mid afternoon just south of Pigeon Island in a quiet bay.
On Thursday we left at dawn from Guadeloupe to the Saintes. It was a very windy trip. We passed a sailing boat coming the other way just of the southern tip of Guadeloupe. She was well reefed with the boom right out. She was rolling very badly with the boom nearly touching the water. She kept rounding viciously upto wind and the skipper was having trouble keeping control.
When we arrived in The Saintes it was absolutely packed with boats all the moorings off Cabrit and in the town were taken. The anchorage is on a dangerous uncomfortable leeshore and was full of boats too. We have never seen it so full. We were very lucky to find a sheltered mooring in Pan de Sucre just around the corner.
On Friday we hiked into town with the shopping trolly and checked in. It took us about 45mins each way and it was tough uphill with all the heavy shopping. We were very pleased to meet up with Blaize Mor again.
The weather last night was very stormy and is likely to be like this for a while.
On Passage Guadeloupe to Les Saintes
06 February 2020 | On Passage Guadeloupe to Les Saintes
Mandy and Frank
Yesterday we had a good fast sail from Antigua to Guadeloupe. Mixed weather, good winds but squally .. very squally at times. No fish but we saw lots of dolphins. We had a pod alongside for about 40 mins. Several
juveniles having fun with their parents. We anchored just of Pigeon Island mid afternoon. We left at dawn this morning and heading for The Saintes. We expect to arrive late morning. All is well, Sent Via SSB.
On Passage Antigua to Guadeloupe
05 February 2020 | On Passage Antigua to Guadeloupe
Mandy and Frank
We are on passage from Antigua to Guadeloupe. Left at dawn. Had to wake the boat in front who was over our anchor. Fair weeds. Good boat speed. All s well. Sent via SSB
Drinks Parties and The Teak Table
29 January 2020 | Green Island - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Calm and Bright
On Sunday we had drinks on board Infinity B with Swedish HR43 Bella Luna and OCC Amazing Grace.
We worked hard in Grenada, Dominica and Antigua to declutter Infinity B.
We took all the upholstery day covers off and uncovered the beautiful teak table.
She (Infinity B not Mandy) scrubbed up beautifully and the broker was very impressed when he visited on Monday.
We had more drinks on board Infinity B on Monday with Cranstackie.
On Tuesday the photographer came in the morning and then we motored down to Falmouth and joined Mermaid and of course they came drinks on board Infinity B in the evening.
Today we sailed up to Green Island on Antigua’s Atlantic coast. It is beautiful here, Mandy has been paddle boarding and swimming already.
Antigua and Fish
24 January 2020 | Jolly Harbour - Antiqua
Frank Hatfull | Variable
We arrived in Antigua late afternoon on Thursday from St Kitts.
Kalluna continued to St Barts with the intention of continuing to the BVIs.
The weather forecast for our passage was for light light variable winds from the SE.
The forecast was wrong, it was a bumpy passage with strong winds!
However, wid did catch 3 fish, 2 barracuda (which we threw back) and a Spanish mackerel (nothing like a UK mackerel) which we ate for supper.
The winds are now light and the the anchorage in Jolly bay is very calm and much fewer boats than normal.
We are now planning to spend a few days cleaning the boat ready for marketing photos.
Rolly Time in Nevis
22 January 2020 | St Kitts & Nevis
Mandy and Frank
It is about 30 mins to day break. We have had a rolly time in Nevis, so much so the boat on the next mooring broke away. It was so rough with the north swell we could not get ashore. We took shelter in St Kitts and
we are about to leave for Antigua, which is due East. The wind is SE ish so we are hoping to sail all the way .Sent Via SSB
19 January 2020 | Nevis
Mandy and Frank
We arrived before dawn yesterday (Saturday) morning. It was a very reasonable overnight sail and took about 20 hours, in convoy with Kalluna. The main problem was were too fast. All 4 of us were petty tired having
been up most of the night. We are on a mooring ball about 1 mile north of the town dock at Charlestown. Checking in was a real pain and almost as bad as St Lucia. The dinghy dock has gone and trying to use the
busy town dock was very difficult. We have tons of laundry to do but the weather does not look good for drying it. Very limited internet here so please contact us using our SSB sailmail email or put a post on the blog.
Sent via SSB.
On Passage to Nevis
17 January 2020 | on Passage - Guadaloupe
Mandy and Frank
we are on passage to Nevis. Currently off Guadalupe. Good speed, fair seas but no fish so far. Currently mid PM. should arrive at dawn. Sent via SSB.
Rainforest, Waterfalls and Fierce Ants
17 January 2020 | Prince Rupert Bay - Portsmouth - Dominica
Frank Hatfull | Blue Skies and Moderate Winds
We are still in Dominica but planning to leave today on an overnight sail to Nevis about 120 miles NW.
We have had a great time here despite the very stormy weather.
We hired a car for a couple of days which we shared with Dogh and Heather from Kalluna.
On Monday we spent the day driving the car across to the Atlantic coast and right round the central part of the island. We visited many interesting places including the Hampstead sugar mill ruins, Jacko Falls, Trafalgar Falls and Titou Gorge. It was a great day out.
On Tuesday we took the car up and over the Northern Link Road (NLR), the views were absolutely breathtaking through the tropical rainforest. We hiked up to the Bna Nef Falls. It was a good well maintained path up the gorge through lush vegetation to the spectacular waterfall. We met no other tourists at all.
On Wednesday we took the lower Cabrit trail across to Douglas Bay. On route I brushed against a tree covered in very fierce biting ants and my left forearm still has large sore welts days later.
We have not had any significant interest from prospective purchasers for Infinity B yet ... fingers crossed!
Wet, Windy, and Very Windy
13 January 2020 | Prince Rupert Bay - Portsmouth - Dominica
Frank Hatfull | Wet And Windy
We have been in Dominica for approaching a week.
The promised wind have kicked in and have been accompanied by very heavy squally rain.
We are well secured to a mooring with three lines, one each side to the fore-cleats and one over the port bow roller. The main mooring line to the concrete block 4m down is dyneema, which is very strong but no stretch at all. The consequence is that the boat snatches in the wind and our lines are very squeaky. So we are not as comfortable as we might have been at anchor.
On Wednesday Mandy and Heather checked in and later Mandy and I hiked through town and along the beach.
On Thursday Mandy and I took the dinghy upto the Cabrit dock and visited Fort Shirley. It's an impressively restored stone fort in a beautiful setting. It was reassuring to see how well the vegetation had recovered after the hurricane.
On Friday we took a trip with Kalluna with Kalluna using our good friend Alexis as guide. He collected us from our boats and took us up the Indian River, we then hiked up through farm land to a local bar to sample the selection of rum. For lunch Alex took us right across the bay to Infinity where we had to climb onto a partially renovated dock in bouncy seas.
On Saturday it was so stormy we didn't manage to get ashore. So we continued our pre-sales decluttering and found plenty of useful bits to give away to Alex and a load more bits for the bin.
On Sunday we took the dinghy upto the Cabrit dock with Kalluna it was very windy. We hiked right upto the top of East Cabrit through the ruins and had great views right out across the bays form both North and South gun emplacements. The journey back to the boat in was very very wet and the dinghy was swamped.
We are now planning to hire a car for a couple of days.
Fast Sailing But No Fish
08 January 2020 | Prince Rupert Bay - Portsmouth - Dominica
Frank Hatfull | Strong Winds Predicted
We spent Monday morning in Fort de France.
It is much cleaner and tidier than the last time we visited.
The architecture is very colonial and there are some very interesting iron framed buildings, including the church and library.
We set off late Monday morning for St Pierre, we had a great sail and made record time. But we did manage to break the electric Genoa furler belt. They last about 5 years, we have spares and it was easy to replace at anchor.
On Tuesday morning we left at before dawn for Dominica. It was another very fast sail. We stopped off at several bays before eventually picking up a PAYS morning in Prince Rupert Bay.
So two good days of sailing but no fish even trying a new lure.
We are here with Kalluna and Cranstackie sailed up with us.
It was also great to see Alexis one of our dear local friends and we were able to give him all sorts of boat bits from our ongoing pre-sale clear outs.
Strong winds are still predicted for Thursday!
Grand Anse, Hiking and Old Friends
05 January 2020 | Fort de France - Martinique
Frank Hatfull | Gusts & Showers
We left St Anne's on Friday morning and arrived in Grand Anse d'Arlet in time for lunch.
Grand Anse is a very pretty little bay with nice restaurants and a sandy beach.
We are still buddying up with Kalluna so Mandy had been able to go snorkelling with heather whilst I help Doug with some boat projects.
On Sunday we all did a tough hike up and over Cap Salomon to Anse Dufour where we had a disappointing lunch (none of us got what we ordered). We managed to get a taxi share with a charmingly Russian family back to Grand Anse.
This morning we sailed up to Fort de France and arrived at lunch time and happened to anchor next to Bleiz Mor. It was fantastic to see them again and share their gateau!
We are off to St Pierre tomorrow and then onto Dominica before the forecasted big winds kick in!
Thank you all for you comments on the blog and Facebook. We really enjoy reading them
New Year, Bad Foot and Alpine Apartment
31 December 2019 | St Anne’s - Martinique
Frank Hatfull | Bright, Blue Skies and Warm
We arrived safely in St Anne's in Martinique on Friday.
Mandy bashed her foot on the boarding later which swelled up badly. But after a couple of days of ice packs and rest it is improving.
There are a number of OCC boats here including, Mermaid, Cranstakie, Kalluna, Zig Zag and Aspen, it's great to catch up with everyone.
Ester prepared an absolutely amazing meal on Cranstakie on Saturday for us and Mermaid. She turned the Wahoo we caught into a stunning curry.
The purchase of our apartment in The Alps completed yesterday, so we now hoping Bloody Boris doesn't get the UK totally locked out of the EU so we can't use it!
No firm interest from anybody looking to buy Infinity B yet ... I think we may have to drop the price in the New Year.
I have to strip the Watermaker again to replace the seal on the base of the other piston... at least I have had plenty of practice. Aspen may come over for lessons.
Happy New Year to all our friends.