Stuck on an island...... will we ever be able to leave???
10 June 2020
Hi everyone. I'm sorry to be late in updating the blog. We were stuck in St Kitts for 55 days because no other island around us had its borders open yet. It is quite a worldwide pandemic when every country has locked up its border. No entry and many wouldn't even let you leave. Very scary when you usually see this kind of stuff in a sci-fi movie and read it in a book. Not in real life and happening to you, me......everybody.
I have to say that St Kitts treated us wonderfully. We never felt unwanted. Just follow the rules and WEAR A MASK. Sure, they had days where you couldn't leave your house/boat and walk on the street or else you would get arrested. Yes, they did do that. We were at the far east end of the island where there really wasn't anything but a high dollar yacht marina. So the dozen of us boat anchored nearby could swim, dinghy to the beach and walk around a little. Enough to help keep your sanity and stretch your legs. Then they would have shopping days once a week. Everyone went to the grocery store and you would wait in line for hours. That got better when they opened up the grocery twice a week.
The thought that kept looming in all of our minds was, when will things get back to normal? When can we move on and continue in our pursuit of sailing and visiting new places? There seemed to be no end in sight and hurricane season is fast approaching.
Several boats left to return to USVI and Mainland USA. We did not want to go back - we worked too hard to make it this far, so we waited.
We were having issues with our generator. It would take several tries to start, then it wouldn't start at all. Great - no one can come work on the boat due to all non-essential businesses being closed. I guess boat mechanics are non-essential??? So Rob got instructions via phone on how to bypass some sensors to get it working. That worked to get us through. Our plans all along were to get some boat work done in Martinique. So we decided to start sending emails to get permission to enter Martinique. We sent 4 requests in and finally it took a letter from Caraibe Marine (who was scheduled to do the work for us) to get us approved. We would have to do a 14 day quarantine before any work could be done.....but it gets us there!!!
So on May 11th, we pulled up our anchor and left St Kitts and arrived in Martinique on May 13th. Checked in with the MRCC via VHF radio to let them know we arrived. We feel a big accomplishment in making it here. Now we can get our generator repaired. I will fill you in with the next blog on the work we get done and hopefully we can check out the sites as well.
Stuck in Quarantine Town................How'd we get to this?
13 April 2020
Our last post was us leaving Puerto Rico. We sailed along the south coast to get to Culebra. Cute little island. Check out our video on You-Tube on it!!!
We left Culebra and sailed to St Thomas USVI. Definitely a Cruise Ship town. No ships....not much open to check out. We picked up Rob's Aunt Dottie who flew down for a week. We sailed to the British Virgin Islands and stopped at the uber popular Jost Van Dyke. That was alot of fun but it was a lot smaller than I expected. Stayed at Trellis Bay for the Full Moon Party......that was pretty crazy. Its amazing what people do when there are tons of people watching. Can we say "No Inhibitions"? We dropped Aunt Dottie off in Roadtown to catch a ferry back to St Thomas for her flight. We continued to Virgin Gorda and got to experience The Baths. Very cool....but alas....smaller than I expected. But still very very neat.
We sailed to St Martin. This is when the Covid 19 started gaining speed. Up to this point we had heard of it in China and Italy but not anywhere else and weren't concerned about it. Boy were we ever wrong!!!
We left St Martin and headed to St Barts to meet up with some cruiser friends that were already there. By the time we got there, St Barts was locked up and everything was closed. Where next? St Kitts is open........
So that's where we are now in St Kitts. We have been here for over 3 weeks. The first week was great. We all rented a van and toured the island. Got to see Brimstone Fortress which was cool. Quite the hike up. Then the 2nd week they got their first case of Covid 19 and started the social distancing restrictions and closing non-essential businesses. We are boat-bound but feel kind of like we are in a bubble. Hopefully our bubble doesn't pop until all the countries south of us start opening their borders again and we can continue on.
Hope all my friends and family can stay safe and healthy through this pandemic :-)
Puerto Rico - sad but its time to move on
13 February 2020
We've been in Puerto Rico for over a month now. It's amazing how comfortable you can get when you are at a marina. I think it's the whole "humans are a landbased mammel".
Ha ha.....I don't know. Sounds good right??? Anyway, Luna has been docked at Marina Pescaderia. We have rented a car a few times and drove around the island some. Renting a car was super easy as the marina has several rental cars available for just the cruisers coming in. Very convenient. We were able to go to Rincon, Mayaguez, Boqueron, La Parguera, Guanico, Ponce and Old San Juan. Got to see a good deal of the beautiful green mountainous countryside. Ate at a bunch of different places but found our 2 favorites right next to the marina. 19 Barrios has excellent pizza and Brisas Del Mar has this yummy Mahi Mahi made Rebosado style - which is essentially dipped in egg - soooo delicious. We flew home for 2 1/2 weeks to take of some business and Luna was kept perfectly safe even though there are still small earthquakes going on daily. Jose the owner of the marina keeps a good watch on all the boats. He also provides a list of all restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment and places to go see and services. We had to partake in the services because Rob discovered a water leak coming from our Raw SeaWater Intake pump. Had to order a rebuild kit and Junito did the work. We also had Omar clean the bottom of our hull.
It's sad to say but it is time to move on. Our next stop in going to be Culebra. It is east of Puerto Rico. We've been watching the weather over the last week or so and haven't seen a Low Front coming our way to break the Trade Winds. We just have to pick a day and go beat it upwind.
Earthquakes....... Are you kidding me?
07 January 2020
We made the 630 miles voyage from Georgetown, Bahamas to Puerto Real, Puerto Rico. Left on 12/31 and arrived 1/4 to the Marina Pescaderia with our buddy boat Caribbean Dream. Nice quaint little town and very helpful marina staff. We all jumped in one of the marina trucks and drove to a nearby town that was celebrating Three Kings Day. This holiday is only celebrated in the Hispanic cultures. It represents the day of Three wise Men gave gifts to Jesus Christ. All businesses close for the Christmas festivities and is the day of exchanging gifts. We enjoyed all the food and live music.
On Tuesday (Jan7th) morning around 4:30am we were woken up by our neighbor boat that there was a 6.4 earthquake and a tsunami warning has been issued - we need to evacuate!!! Luckily as we were dressing, the warning was cancelled. Unsettled but relieved, we returned to bed. Around 7am, we were bumped/rolled awake by another earthquake. Ok enough is enough - time to get out of bed. I packed an emergency go bag to have it ready just in case. We went to a nearby bakery for coffee and breakfast. Found out the entire island has had a power outage but the bakery had a generator. Everybody in town seemed to be there. Felt another earthquake while we were there. We lost cell service for a little while but once we got it back, Rob downloaded an earthquake app. It showed there has been apx 4-5 quakes every hour today. That is completely insane - but we are safe.....Luna is safe.
Georgetown or Bust!!!
30 December 2019
Had a great time in Nassau. Was even there for their Christmas tree lighting ceremony. We found some navigation lights that would work for our 24 volt system. We really wanted some leds, but we will need to order those from Dr. Led and have them sent to our house. We crossed the shallow Exuma bank over to Highbourne. Spent a day there checking out the Yacht Club. That's the only thing we could check out. It's a private island they it would have cost us $25 each to walk around the island. Uh, no thanks.
Next stop was down to Big Major's and the Piggy Beach! We took the dingy over to the beach and fed the pigs. They really do swim out to your boat - it's so cute. Caution though.... If you have food in your dingy, the pigs will try to climb into it. I had to throw the carrot to get the huge pig off the side of the dingy. Glad he didn't puncture it. The pigs reminded me so much of dogs. They literally will jump up for food and follow you around. Another caution - THEY DO BITE. We were very careful not to have them near us too close. Got to see a few baby pigs as well. We also took the dingy over to Staniel Cay. It was very disconcerning to look down in the water and see a mass of nurse sharks under your boat. Don't fall off that ladder. Walked around the town. Had a cocktail at the Staniel Cay Yacht club.
Next stop from there was over at Black Point. Took the dingy over and checked out the area. They were setting up for their Christmas tree lighting so we decided to stick around. Stopped at Scorpions bar. Had 2 for 1 Rum punch. Pretty good so we had more. Big mistake..... I got very snockered. Tried staying for the Christmas tree thing but Rob dragged me away because he said he was tired of the bad singing. I'm not sure if he was referring to them or me. For those who know me..... I don't sing in public so that'll tell ya I was very buzzed. Had dinner over at Lorraine's. Hopefully getting some food in my belly would help the booze subside.
Next on the route was going through the Dothan cut to get to the Atlantic side of the islands. Left early and it was no problem going through. Had apx 3 knot current coming at us. Luna handled it fine. Motor-sailed down to Georgetown. Arrived early afternoon. We anchored in front of Chat'n'Chill beach. Dingied over lots to hang out with all the other Cruisers. Took the dingy across Elizabeth Harbor and walked around town. Rob had his 49th birthday - I was so bummed that we couldn't find a bakery or ice cream shop. We stayed even through Christmas. Everyone had a potluck on the beach. Over 100 Cruisers, so it was divided up to 13 tables. Each table would have its own dinner. Easier that way so you wouldn't have to make huge portions to try to feed everyone - only 12 people per table. That was very nice - made the holiday special being so far from family and friends.
We ended up being in Georgetown for 15 days and it was sooooo windy the entire time. We discovered that coming to the Bahamas in Dec and Jan it is their higher wind time. Nice to know - We would have waited. LOL. Also a note of wisdom - Don't anchor in front of the Chat'n'Chill beach. There are sooo many taxi's and other boats going past you and THEY DON'T SLOW DOWN. It can get very rocky and that got old after a week or so.
Now my friends..... We are heading on South to Puerto Rico. It is around 650 miles (this depends on routing - PredictWind keeps changing our route) and it will take an estimate 4 - 5 days (once again - PW keeps changing its mind). We will soon find out :-)
1078 miles so far........ Let's get caught up
07 December 2019
We left Brunswick GA 11/24 and sailed down to St Augustine, FL. Met up with Jeff Cohen and had the Pirate Lights alarm system installed. You might be thinking we might be paranoid people and afraid of being attacked. That's not the case. It's mostly peace of mind when we leave the boat unattended or sleeping at night. Things do happen, hopefully never to us....but you never know.
11/28 we left St Augustine and sailed to Great Harbour Bahamas where we cleared into customs on Dec 1st. Ended up staying a couple of days to wait out a blow. Stayed at the Great Harbour Marina. Very nice folks there. If you read previous posts you will remember that we suffered a lightning strike that took out alot of equipment which included all of our navigation lights. We replaced all the lights with LED from MarineLED.com. On the way across we suffered another loss........ those brand new LED bulbs blew out. ALL OF THEM!!!! Didn't plan on stopping at Nassau, but guess where we are heading now :-)
12/3 left Great Harbour and stopped over at White Cay for the night. Winds pretty strong the following day, so we decided to have a down day and head out the following day.
12/5 left out and arrived in Nassau and docked at the Bay Marina. Kind of old docks, but at $2 per ft it'll work for our purposes. Now we need to find some 24 volt light bulbs.