L'Aventura Voyages

Vessel Name: L'Aventura
Vessel Make/Model: Privilege P42
Hailing Port: Oban
Crew: Andy, Sue, Iona, Keir
About: We are all healthy, wealthless and not so wise.
03 June 2009 | Enroute to Tobago
26 May 2009 | Portsmouth, Dominica
14 May 2009 | Tintamarre
30 April 2009 | Tintamarre
10 April 2009 | Spanish Point, Barbuda
28 March 2009 | Spanish Point, Barbuda
27 March 2009 | Low Bay, Barbuda
26 March 2009 | Low Bay, Barbuda
25 March 2009 | Enroute to Barbuda
25 March 2009 | Enroute to Barbuda
19 March 2009
19 March 2009
18 March 2009
18 March 2009 | Marigot, St Martin
07 December 2008 | St George, Grenada
12 August 2008
Recent Blog Posts
03 June 2009 | Enroute to Tobago

Wahoo

Just woke up from a snooze.

26 May 2009 | Portsmouth, Dominica

Second Chances and Brave Endings

We left the rain behind in Deshaies - except for a feisty squall that popped the top two slugs on our main. All patched up yesterday. So, the sun shone in the enchanted islands called Les Saintes. An idyll of lush green vegetation, picture perfect red roofed houses, French style and Creole charm. [...]

14 May 2009 | Tintamarre

Deshaies

WE ESCAPED MARIGOT AND ST MARTIN.

02 May 2009

Tintamarre and bizzare anchoring

Hello everyone! :)

30 April 2009 | Tintamarre

WeeFee

HI

10 April 2009 | Spanish Point, Barbuda

Good Friday, Shame about Thursday

Hello

Wahoo

03 June 2009 | Enroute to Tobago
Andy Byatt
Just woke up from a snooze.

My watch in an hour.

Heading south.... slowly. Beating our way against the equatorial current with the wind just wandering too south of east. Should wander back in a while.

We have fish again!!!!!! A 6.5lb cero mackerel yesterday, en route to Vieux Fort, St Lucia. And a now we caught a 12lb wahoo. So Keir has the last fish to be caught on his wish list. But triumph is mixed with disaster.... we had a wahoo on each of our four lines and only landed one. Plus lost a fab lure. To make things worse Keir broke off on a big marlin, losing his birthday lure. Oh woe.

Bit weary after yesterday's slog around the East side of St Lucia. Very, very beautiful and absolutely no other cruisers. Crept into Vieux Fort at 2030. Woke up to see a beautiful and totally untouristy bay and town. Will have to visit another time, because now it is all hands to Tobago. Hope for a month of R&R before heading to Trinidad for the dreaded haul out.

Hope the wind shifts.

Bye for now.

Oh - the log is broken... our sog is 4.2 knots

Second Chances and Brave Endings

26 May 2009 | Portsmouth, Dominica
Andy Byatt
We left the rain behind in Deshaies - except for a feisty squall that popped the top two slugs on our main. All patched up yesterday. So, the sun shone in the enchanted islands called Les Saintes. An idyll of lush green vegetation, picture perfect red roofed houses, French style and Creole charm. Sue had her tooth repaired by a very friendly dentist and we then passed 3 gentle days in seclusion at Grand Ilet. Lovely. And I did a big tick off the list by cleaning through the port engine cooling system - hurrah.

The gang are just off with Martin Carriere for a guided tour of a bit of Dominica. Lucky things.... I've got to work. We made the short trip across yesterday - romped through several tuna schools, none of which offered a fish and are giving Portsmouth a second chance: we really didn't like it last year. Got very hassled by boat boys. But either we or Portsmouth have changed. Thus far it seems pleasant and relaxed - despite there being a boat robbery a couple of nights back. And Martin remembered taking us up the Indian River with my cousins Mary & Dougie some 11 years ago. He remembers two tiny children.... Said tiny's are sitting large in his bus just now!

Anyway back to Les Saintes. Sadly we saw the end of a dream when a couple who rescued us from our lightening strike, over two years ago, dropped anchor at Grand Ilet and announced that they were selling their boat and returning to the US. 30 years of planning and two years of travelling had just gone up in smoke: the Captain loved the life afloat but his partner did not at all, at all. Brave, brave souls both. The one for enduring two years of discomfort and the other for abandoning his dream - both sacrifices for the other's sake.

We sadly watched them sail back north before making our preparations for our second try of equatorial Dominica 15 miles to our south.

Deshaies

14 May 2009 | Tintamarre
Andy Byatt
WE ESCAPED MARIGOT AND ST MARTIN.

Hooo...ray. We've spent far too long in St Martin for a variety of reasons and all of us were going stir crazy. It is a useful place but reminiscent of a Dr Zeuss book..... it's the WAITING PLACE. It's smelly, overcrowded, over trafficked etc, etc. But it's a good spot for reprovisioning and there's always the incredibly friendly Bar de la Mar for an escape from hum drum.

This last visit was to enable me to finish off some very urgent business for a film proposal. The gang were fab putting up with my writing needs and computer woes in a tiny confined space. I got the task done just in time to meet a weather change for the worse, so we ended up being stuck for a few days more.

But no more. We got away in a small window and did an overnight to Guadeloupe. We were strongly tempted to stop at Montserrat but decided to press on because the weather looked like it was picking up. We had a beautiful sail along the East coast of Monserrat, getting a good look at the extraordinary volcano as we swept by.

Deshaies is beautiful. We finally found the customs officers IN. Apparently an achievement. So we are cleared in to France again. And we love the wonderfully laid back approach the French have to the clearance of nautical folk..... oh that some other countries, particularly large ones sprouting Eagles, could have such a laissez faire attitude.

We've had a lot of boat repair to do - the windlass malfunctioned, the starboard engine needed realigning, the port an oil change and there's a wee leak to stop down. Mostly done. The worry is the windlass because with spectacular modern thinking - it has no manual means of hauling in the anchor. DUH. So in extremis you never have electrical failure???? How dumb a piece of design for a boat is that?

So fingers crossed for tomorrow - we aim to haul anchor.... with the windlass.... and set off for the north coast of Guadeloupe.

Keir had a major success today - he managed to get up on his wakeboard towed behind our wee 15hp engine. And the wakeboard came from a poubelle in St Martin! So a very happy, if cantankerously weary, lad on board L'Aventura.

See you.

Tintamarre and bizzare anchoring

02 May 2009
Io/Iona and/or Nonie
Hello everyone! :)

It has taken me a fair wee while to finally get around to doing this but here I am writing the blog!

We spent a blissful 2 nights in Tintamarre just around the corner of the main anchorage. It is so much more beautiful around the corner and you can see pelican and sooty terns nesting on the rocks.
Of course once one boat is anchored somewhere it becomes a 'safe' anchorage and the boats begin to pile up. we were even joined by safari, a 60ft gunboat. A funny thing is you never ever see anyone on those boats.......a little spooky? Maybe, then again prehaps they're sitting inside, heads in hands, moaning "3 million dollars! Why? 3 million dollars on this boat Agh" :)

We had a great time with friends Bleu Marie and their nephew Manoo. We went snorkelling and saw some lovely fish even if the waves were a little large. There were also some fantastic elk horn corals that nearly brushed the surface of the water.

Our evenings entertainment was to watch a moorings charter boat anchor.......5 times! Yes you DID read that right. And the first few attempts were so close inshore they were in danger of 'brushing' some very large and not so soft coral bombeys.
They also light themselves up like a christmas tree when the sun went down. Mooring light, Navigation lights, steamer lights just about any switch that said 'light' was turned on.

We left this morning at 7 am to go to what daddy calls Dr.Seus's waiting place :) The lovely Marigot. Splendid. Mass stock-ups and Engine maintenance are go-go.

Much love Io

WeeFee

30 April 2009 | Tintamarre
Andy Byatt
HI

So here we are on a very, very un Trade winds like night... so far. We may get some 30knot squalls but for the moment, no wind and no swell.

I can't get the link to my VHF give you our position on the GPS so here's to words and not Lat/Longs:

We are in a beautiful bay on the west side of Tintamarre off St Martin. This is the bit without a lovely sandy beach. Shame, not. The sandy beach spot gets invaded by dozens of day boats and hordes of mud slinging folk (I'll explain about the mud another time) but our wee cove has no beach, not much mud and no slinging. Bliss. Actually I had a sundowner cocktail that might count as some kind of sling, but I've slung it so that no longer counts.

Turns out the best reef in Barbuda was Spanish Point. Oh Woe. They have a big problem. Found out that turtle are also hunted there. Not surprising but it does pose some very interesting questions about the balance between tourism and local resource usage. For the time being Barbuda is stunning above water and a mixed story below.

No photos.. sorry. Had WeeFee in Grand Casse for a week. Vital because of some work stuff I've been doing. But unbelievably stingy (limits on downloads and uploads) and hence, no photos. If you are reading this and you are a cruiser. Do NOT go to Grand Casse for Wifi and do not pay for the DVPro system. It truly stinks.

We have lots of lovely images and infact our friends on Bleu Marie have posted some of our pics on their website to rave reviews! Seriously. Oh well, glad a friend is enjoying our thunder.

We will move to Guadeloupe soon. We are running ahead of a wind change as the Caribbean shifts to the summer pattern of ESE wind and we need to find a dentist for Sue's fallen filling. A recent filling from an incompetent money grabbing dentist in Florida who still chases us on WeeFee with adverts for the superb reconstruction work he needs to do on Sue's mouth. Since he is patently incapable of the most basic filling one wonders how he can reconstruct. Or perhaps that's the idea.... you have to reconstruct the teeth you wreck. Thrilling to know the UK is embracing the same insurance/private fees/incompetent system. Give up toffees is my advise.

So heading south. Will put pics on one day, but not in St Martin. Maybe St Lucia - Rodney Bay has some great WiFi.

Joy to all, and patience to all yee sane and worthy computer phobes.

Andy and L'Aventura

Good Friday, Shame about Thursday

10 April 2009 | Spanish Point, Barbuda
Andy Byatt
Hello

No pics still - Spanish Pt doesn't have internet. Duh - how does anyone hang at Spanish Pt, then? With ease. Mostly. A beautiful, beautiful place.... above water. I'll talk about the toasted reefs and overfishing in a mo.

Thursday. Not good. For those of you not interested in mechanical woe... skip this para. Finished tightening the shrouds. Then set about doing the tappets on the port engine - the starboard has had all the attention recently, so port was overdue some tlc and indeed, has been complaining. So tappets done went to start the engine. Silence du mort. Flat battery. Or the starter bank didn't have enough power for the start. OMG. So 1 hr later had the engines running after various shenanigans with starter leads, generators and fizzle popping contacts. So peace and love from said engine? Well I was a couple of hrs overdue on the secondary fuel filter. Changed it. Couldn't pump the fuel back through. I finally finished stripping the entire fuel system back the fuel tank by about 2000hrs. Found a small but total blockage. So all is now well, except I am very, very tired today.

Done some nice pics for Sue's new art projects and have got a fine Conch eyeball image. Io is inspired with her jewelry in the Barbuda style. Mr B is mapping reefs from his 8' sailing dinghy. Sue is painting everyday. And I have just been struck off the cooking list. Whahey. Everyone thinks my workload is too high. Democracy rules.

So the fishing. The fish. Well, they are all terrified. Barbuda is beautiful but not underwater at Palaster & Spanish Pt. Everything I have seen is terribly damaged and extraordinarily unhealthy for such clear water. Everyone and everything is busy trashing the reefs and their fish. Tourists spearfish, locals spearfish. Locals netting the reef. In one case a reef was poisoned. And all this in a National Park. Barbuda, Beware. You need to do something to protect your birthright and fast. The reefs have 10% live coral at the most. And generally it is less. Kid yourselves not, this is a large reef system in serious decline.

So tomorrow we move again. And perhaps we'll add another message before Easter. And it will be v. interesting to get a look at reef systems elsewhere on the island.
L'Aventura's Photos - Main
The beginning
3 Photos
Created 2 March 2008

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