Mile High Dream

10 February 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
27 January 2020 | Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadnes
18 December 2019 | prickly bay
09 December 2019 | Halifax bay
16 November 2019 | Prickley Bay, Grenada
20 April 2019 | Antigua
13 April 2019 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
01 March 2019 | St. Martin
17 February 2019 | Guadeloupe
06 February 2019 | guadeloupe
05 February 2019 | guadeloupe
27 January 2019 | guadeloupe
16 January 2019 | les Anses D'Arlet
10 January 2019 | St. Anne, Martinique
20 December 2018 | Rodney Bay, St. lucia
08 December 2018 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
27 November 2018 | Prickley Bay, Grenada
20 November 2018 | Miami Airport
23 April 2018 | Anse noire, Martinique
22 April 2018 | Martinique

St. Lucia

10 February 2020 | Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Greg Seebart
The stark black frying pan shaped fish with bright yellow iridescent strips swims below me. It sees me and heads for a rock at the bottom to hide under. The fan coral explodes from the seafloor. Easily three feet high with a deeply colored purple base rising upward to show off the day glow green edge reaching for the sun.

Its another day of snorkeling in natures underwater paradise.

We arrived in Bequia just time to enjoy some music with the annual Bequa music festival going on. I found someone who guaranteed he could fix my fridge and get it back to working status. The only downside is he didn’t say how long it would take him and what his level of working it would be. After five days of trying this part and then that part he finally found a combination that kinda of worked. It will get down to 50 degree but no lower. Welcome to paradise.

One part of the cruising lifestyle that makes it so special is running into other cruisers that I have sailed with before. In Bequia I was able to connect with a couple and we decided to do some buddy boating together. Hiking, snorkeling, listening to music, enjoying food and each others company make for a wonderful time.

We sail north from Bequia to Cumberland bay in St. Vincent. St. Vincent is one of the most rugged countries in the Caribbean. Tall volcanic mountains rise straight out of the sea forming sharp knife edge peaks. Very dramatic and makes for very slow taxi rides going up and down and round and round. The potential for motion sickness is greater on the car ride than actually sailing in big seas.

A beautiful day sail lands us in Soufrie St. Lucia where the wonderful snorkeling was. A short sail up to Rodney bay and time for change of crew. Beth who sailed with me for 3 weeks is headed back to California and three good friends from Colorado will join me for two weeks. Watch out, the boys are back in town.

Tobago Cays

27 January 2020 | Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and the Grenadnes
Greg Seebart | sunny
Groups of hundreds of tiny one inch long fish jump out of the water in unison with the early morning sun reflecting off their silver bodies. They look like thousands of pieces of sparkling crystals being thrown into the air to catch the light magic. The multiple groups jump across the bay. Why do they do this? I haven’t a clue. I think it might be purely for my enjoyment.

Of course the waiting seabirds view it as their fast food breakfast stop. Their white bodies float overhead with out stretched wings. The inborn radar letting them time the descent down over the water just as the fish jump out of water. All they have to do is open their beaks and let the those sparkling diamonds fill the open mouth.

A sea turtle pops up its head to get a breath of air before diving back sown to eat some seagrass. It could care less about the dancing fish and the hungry birds.

Im attached to a mooring ball in the national park called Tobago Cay. This is a protected area for sea turtles and no fishing is allowed. Today there are over 60 boats surrounding me. The water is crystal clear and one of my closest friends calls it 50 shades of turquoise. It is a beautiful and truly magical place. Arriving yesterday around 12:00, I quickly jump in the water and I am surrounded by three sea turtles.

Yes I am finally off the dock and away from Grenada. The mechanics did a nice job of replacing my motor mounts and balancing the engine. It now purrs like a kitten instead of possessed demon trying to escape the boat. My newly replaced steering cables let me spin the helm like spreading butter on warm banana bread.( Which I had this morning since the yellow bananas were no longer yellow so time for the oven for them.) The cooling element of the fridge died so we are making due with the smaller freezer compartment that still works. I have just had to to set the temperature above freezing. The ice does not last as long so I am forced to drink for iced drinks( aka rum punches.)

In addition to other problems on the boat, my steering system did not feel quite right. When I took a closer look, I found some fitting that had cracked and broken over time. I sent an email the the company that makes them describing my problem and sending them phots of the broken fittings. Unlike many companies that you drop an emaiI into their general mailbox and it is forever lost, I received a response the next day.

His response was “Do Not Leave the Dock. It is worn out and could completely fail at anytime.”

Mmm, I could pretend I didn’t receive that and worry about it in the spring when I get done with cruising and just be oblivious to it. No that won’t work it will eat away at me the whole time. I call up the person who had responded to the email. He punches up the original schematic for the boat built in 1995 and puts all the parts together and walks the box to fed ex to make sure it will get shipped out on December 23 so I can have the parts to carry back to Grenada with me. That was amazing customer service above and beyond the normal of most companies. I checked you tube to see how to replace my cables and the person I had talked with the entire time is presenting. He is the president and CEO of this multimillion dollar company that had taken the time to get everything to me. It made me feel good about an American business. A big shout out to Edson Marine.

Today will be another low keyed day swimming with sea turtles, snorkeling and walking on the beaches. We will head north to Bequia tomorrow. We just heard last night that there is a music festival there this weekend. We might have to stay a little longer than expected.

changes

18 December 2019 | prickly bay
Greg Seebart | windy, windy, windy
“Oh the Times they are a Changing, ” a song made popular by Bob Dylan is all I can think about since my last blog. What started out as a wonderful sail and anchorage quickly turned into the opposite the next day.
Rounding the north end of Grenada on our 24 mile sail to Carriacou the wind and waves exploded. The predicted 15 knots of wind quickly changed to 25. Seas are crashing over the bow of Mile High Dream.
“Im going to have a wet bed tonight,” I say to Diane. “With waves like that the front berth is sure to get wet.”
“Is the hatch closed?”
“Yes but with these seas the water comes in through the anchor locker and soaks it from underneath.”
Diane looks in bewilderment at me. One of the design flaws on this boat rears its ugly head in heavy seas.
The Dolphins don’t seem to mind the big water. A large pods swims next to us and we soon leave them behind when something of more interest catches their attention.
We slog through for 6 hours until we finally reach Sandy Island, our destination for the night. The wind is still high and It will be difficult to catch a mooring ball.
“Reach over the side with the Mooring hooker and grab the line on top. Pull it up and get the dock line through the loop. It is going to be very difficult in this wind. The last time I was here it took three tries to finally catch the ball.”
“Ok, Ill give it a try.”
We miss on the first try and swing around for the second. Diane hooks the rope and tries to get the line high enough out of the water to run the dock line through it. I put the engine in reverse and nothing happens. I put it in forward and nothing. Diane has to let go of the line and we are drifting on a collision course with a big Catamaran. Scrambling to get to the head sail and get some sail out for some power, Mile High Dream smashes sideways into the bow of the catamaran. We untangle from the other boat and get enough sail up to move the boat away from the reef. As soon as possible we drop the anchor.
“Wow, that sucked. It is also going to windy tonight. Guess I won’t need to worry about sleeping in a wet bed. I’ll be sleeping on deck tonight.”
Going below, I find out the coupling to the propeller shaft has wobbled out and no longer holds the shaft in place.
“That was brand new last March,” I think to myself.
We make it through the night with some sleep and in the morning I pull off the coupling to find a replacement. No luck in that department so I email a mechanic in Grenada. He does some checking and cannot find one so he orders one in for me.
“Its a good thing we are a sailboat so we can sail back to Grenada.”
We stay four nights until the winds and seas calm down. One highlight was one fo the best lobster dinners I’ve ever had. Even with heavy rains we enjoyed it immensely.
The sail back to Grenada was beautiful. We are graced by two different whale sightings, and a very large turtle.
Mile High Dream is safe on a ball in Prickley bay after being helped by other cruisers to get securely attached to the ball.
Where is my Part? It’s Grenada Maybe time. The part is on the island but stuck in customs.
Island time, what can a sailor do? Just roll with the waves.

sailing

09 December 2019 | Halifax bay
Greg Seebart
Gently rocking back and forth, Mile High Dream sits lazily on anchor. The sun is trying to peak through the clouds without much success. My morning mug of tea is almost cool enough to drink.

“Should we go for a swim this morning,” My crew mate asks.
“Or is it time for a nap already?”

“Its not called a nap anymore. It’s called non doing in action,” I reply.

Mile High Dream finally got splashed after I found a broken motor mount. This broken critical piece might have been why the engine was bouncing around like a bowl of jello whenever I put it in gear. Getting anything done on the islands is always an adventure. This one went pretty smooth compared to other projects. That fixed we are able to get off the mooring ball and start heading north towards Bequia.

The time getting Mile High Dream ready for this years sailing season was filled with beach time, live music, Christmas concerts, dock parties, catching with old cruising friends, meeting new cruising friends, holiday light shows and enjoying island life. Yes I did get a lot of projects done on the boat and created some new ones also.

We are in the GMT time zone here. I really stands for Grenada maybe time. Yesterday was no exception. I went to customs to clear out of the county for our sail north. The hours were clearly marked 9-2 on Weekends and holidays. 10:00 comes around and no one is there. Time to go to plan B, we’ll just check out when we get to Cariacou, two islands north.

While sailing around the west side of Grenada, Diane asks, “Can I go up front for a look?”

“Sure, the seas are fairly calm. Go for it.”

Just as she sits down I yell out. “Look off the starboard side. (actually I said right because I’m not quite into the correct nautical terminology just yet.) Dolphins .”

A pod of ten dolphins swim by and around the boat. A group of three keep coming back to play in the waves created by the bow of the boat.

Its a great way to start the season and a little Champagne never hurts either.

I'm Back

16 November 2019 | Prickley Bay, Grenada
Greg Seebart
The cruise ship the I can see from my balcony window overlooking the bay, is vomiting its cargo like a line of ants piling down the gangplank onto the dock of St. George, Grenada. Right now there is only one ship but there may be more on the way. Forty sailboats are anchored between Grand Anse beach and the town. Mile High Dream is still on the hard waiting for some repairs before it will get to join these lucky sailors already on the water.

I arrived on Tuesday after a too short summer with many changes. Snow was still falling when I arrived back to Colorado in May and started again in October. The short season in between was filed with Bicycling, hiking, camping, sailing, knee surgery and other medical procedures along with me selling my condo. I felt it was time for some changes in my life and some letting go. The original plan was to sell my condo and buy something else with a garage. The first part happened and my condo sold in early October. The second part of finding something to purchase did not so my home is now the boat. Next summer I will review my options and see what I want to do.

Mile High Dream is high and dry on the hard in Spice Island Marina. Well pretty dry. I have someone look after the boat when I’m not here and they always seem to leave a few windows open. It might be to just air out the boat before I get here, I’m not quite sure but it always results with extra water on the floors and other places in the the boat. It just adds a few extra projects for me to tackle before putting the boat in the water. As if I didn’t arrive with a long list already.

There are many happy reunions with old friends and fellow cruisers once I got back and my week has been filled with fun times in addition to the boat prep. Today I’ll work on the boat and then head out to the local “hash” which is a run or walk (definitely a walk for me) out in a remote area of Grenada. I’ve been doing these every Saturday that I can while Im here on the island. Great fun, good exercise, lots of beer, food, and camaraderie. A wonderful reward after boat work.

adventures

20 April 2019 | Antigua
Greg Seebart
Race week in Antigua is fast approaching and here I am in Antigua. Throughout the season I timed my travels to be here for the classic sailboat series of racing even thinking I might want to crew on one of the classic designed sailboats. A friend of mine had done this two years ago and really enjoyed it. Giving this a little bit of thought I came up with:
I have never been in a sailboat race.
Once you commit to crewing you spend the next 5 days racing no matter what the weather is or high the seas are.
I do not think I am really the racing type.
So giving up on this idea I invited people aboard to experience sailing. It is their spring break so we will not have a lot of time but enough to enjoy various aspects of sailing. He is a history teacher so my first adventure was to go to the Nelson Dockyard on the south end of Antigua. Nelson’s dockyard is a cultural heritage site and part of Nelson’s Dockyard national park. A Unesco World Heritage site. When England Acquired British Antigua and Barbuda in 1632, it became a focal point for the establishment of the British navel base in the Caribbean. Very interesting history and very well restored.
I ask my guests “Do want to get a taxi to travel to the dockyard or would you like an adventure?”
They give me the what are we getting into look and decide,”We’re always up for an adventure.”
“Ok then the local bus ride is our ticket.”
The local bus system consists of various types of private vans with the capacity of seating 14 or more people. Some are quite new while others look like they could barely make it up a slight incline and may rust out half way up. There is no schedule for when they will arrive so we just walked to the nearest “Bus Stop” usually a wide spot on the road with some shade where you wave at the driver and hopes he might stop. He may be off duty or taking some friends to the local rum shop so you are never quite sure if he is looking for a fare or not. The fare, yes, it’s exorbitant cost 2.5 $EC which is less than one dollar US. It can take you from one bus station to the next, that might be 15 miles or more or you may only go two blocks. The fare is always the same.
We get on the bus and it is all locals except for us. A beautiful little girl of about 5 gets on the bus with her dad. Her white top is sparkling clean, her corn rolled hair is braided and closely cut, her 1000 watt bright white teeth smile explodes from her smooth flawless chocolate skin.
“Good Morning,” She yells at the top of her lungs.
Everyone on the bus smiles and returns the greeting. The innocence and exuberance is contagious on the entire bus.
When we finally get to the national park after another bus change I ask “How did you like that adventure.”
“It was amazing.”
Vessel Name: Mile High Dream
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 400
Hailing Port: Dillon, CO
Crew: Greg Seebart
About: Greg has been sailing since he was 21. I grew up in North Dakota and started taking advantage of the constant winds. After selling my bicycle store in 2006 we got more serious about living our dream on a sailboat. Greg and his wife purchased Mile High Dream in 2013.
Extra:
Greg and Mary had owned Nada Mas, a 23' South Coast, on Lake Dillon in Colorado for 33 years. We chartered in the Caribbean and Calif. numerous times. We were excited to begin our dream. While waiting for a weather window in the Truks and Caicos, Mary died unexpectedly Jan. 6 2015 after a [...]
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Added 21 February 2017