The Sailing Rosenthals

01 January 2014 | Portsmouth, Dominica
01 January 2014 | Portsmouth, Dominica
01 January 2014 | Deshaies & Les Saintes, Guadeloupe
01 January 2014 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
18 December 2013 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
08 December 2013 | Basse Terre, St. Kitts
12 November 2013 | Brewer's Bay, St. Thomas, USVI
14 August 2013 | Salinas,Puerto Rico
13 August 2013 | Salinas, Puerto Rico
15 December 2012 | Salinas, Puerto Rico
01 March 2012 | Irving, Texas (temporarily)
18 February 2010 | St. Thomas, USVI
07 November 2009 | Salinas, Puerto Rico
01 August 2009 | Luperon AND Atlanta
30 July 2009 | Luperon, DR
26 July 2009 | Luperon, Dominican Republic
20 July 2009 | Luperon, Dominican Republic
20 July 2009 | Luperon, Dominican Republix
16 July 2009 | Luperon, Dominican Republic

Happy New Year!

01 January 2014 | Portsmouth, Dominica
Connie Rosenthal
In Dominica (and many islands we will come to further down the chain) there are "boat boys" who are actually men who come out in their fast yolos to assist you in getting a mooring, island tours, laundry, whatever. Here in Portsmouth they have come together in an organized way to provide safety and services. The group is called PAYS, for Portsmouth Area Yacht Services. Each Sunday night they host a Barbecue for the cruisers and this year they decided to provide a barbecue for New Year's Eve. For $50 EC (Eastern Caribbean) or about $20 US, we got the full barbecue of fish and chicken, slaw, rice, salad and free-flowing rum punch.

Sandwich and Fuego decided to put on a fire show after dinner and all were amazed! This was our first time seeing them perform, though we've known them for 3 years or more. Buckaroo snuggled down into a pile of our jackets and fell fast asleep. Kids can sleep through anything. He had befriended a dog earlier in the evening and the dog turned out to be a perfect babysitter. I hope to be able to post more than one pic.

Happy 2014!!


01 January 2014 | Portsmouth, Dominica
Connie Rosenthal
Left The Saintes with the intention of making it all the way down Dominica to Roseau. Seems we are just trying WAY too hard to go somewhere fast. After a brief three and-a-half hours of stiff winds, super big and close-together rollers and generally taking a pounding - we ducked in to Portsmouth. Enough of THAT! In addition, to be filed under the category "What Went Wrong aboard Gitanos Today?" is that the cheek block (holding the reefing line down to the boom) broke with a loud bang - scaring the living daylights out of us AND causing the sail to start billowing around.

This is the mainsail, which, as you may recall, got torn in our Friday the 13th fun off of Montserrat. We had it completely restitched in Antigua, so, the thought that it was going to be beaten around in 25-30 knot winds was making us heart-sick. Again - valiant Bruce to the rescue.

And, in the "Boy are We Stupid" category, Bruce goes out in crashing seas with no PFD, no jacklines, nothing. Yeah - we know. Anyway - he manages to tie down the sail somewhat which was another good reason to go ahead and duck into Portsmouth.

Ahhh...Dominica. What a GIFT! The first gift is that this harbor is FLAT calm, even when the wind pipes us (and it does). Secondly, Dominica is beautiful and friendly and just plain terrific! It is healing our psyches just being here...and providing restful sleep!

Joined Randy on a tour of the island with a local gypsy taxi guy named Ellison. It was Ellison's birthday so he was feeling generous and gave us a great deal on the trip. We didn't do the typical tourist stops...he took us to the true local stops and we met wonderful people, saw fabulous sites and had a creole lunch. Anytime we wanted to see something, he just pulled over. We met a Carib Indian who had hand-hewn a boat from a large gum tree. It was beautiful! We saw where the lake had sprung a leak and breached the dam, causing the river to flow down through a village (no one killed) devastating livestock and buildings and completely re-routing the river. New roads (not yet fully paved) had to be created and we drove right through this. Very cool tour. Drove through the rain forest, the Carib Indian Reserve, lovely little villages on the Atlantic side and back through the Caribbean side. Ate cassava bread (delish!), drank local juices and ate small, perfectly sweet bananas.

Staying in Dominica til the winds truly and sincerely pipe down!


01 January 2014 | Deshaies & Les Saintes, Guadeloupe
Connie Rosenthal
Exited Antigua with Hanuman, en route to meet up with Randy on s/v Lipari in Les Saintes. We would first stop in Deshaies.

Had a good stiff breeze and strong rollers that were spaced apart enough to make it exciting but not rough. Hit 7s and 8s with a 9.9 as our highest speed. Quick 7 hours to Deshaies.

Lovely, picturesque village with a calm harbor. On the way in found that Lipari had left The Saintes and come back up to Deshaies to meet up with us! So good to catch back up after St. Kitts.

Took a walk around, stopped for a few grocs and bread...yum... then off anchor with Hunaman and Lipari to transit down Guadeloupe to The Saintes.

Guadeloupe provides a large wind shadow so the day was peaceful and easy until we rounded the tip to make the 15 miles to the Saintes. Upon coming close to the island we had an issue (perpetual one, actually) with the retrieving line coming off the drum on the headsail, making it impossible to bring in from the cockpit. Bruce valiantly went up front in crashing waves to try to manually furl no avail. Eventually dropped it but not before it got shredded by the wind...grrr.

Limped in to The Saintes a bit past sundown and picked up a mooring. SUPER ROLLY! Really dreadful night's sleep. Moved the next morning to a better spot which was still pretty darn rolly...sigh.

Took a stroll through town and up toward Pain de Sucre and just enjoyed hanging out. The little town of Bourg de Saintes is absolutely lovely! Very few cars, lots of scooters, skateboards, rollerbladers and bikes abound. Enjoyed our brief stay, but will not miss that rolly anchorage!

Merry Christmas from Jolly Harbor

01 January 2014 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
Connie Rosenthal
Ran into acquaintances from St. John, VI and renewed our friendship. Sandwich and Fuego are fire dancers and now have a 3 year-old son named Buckaroo and they happily live aboard s/v Hanuman. After hanging out and attending Sandwich's yoga classes, seems we may be joining forces and traveling together.

Meanwhile, Jessica & Mitch on s/v Kynda arrived on Christmas Eve and settled into the slip next to us. Hanuman took the slip next to them and a lovely Christmas dinner was celebrated aboard our boat, s/v Gitanos.

Actually fit a 12 pound turkey in my Force 10 stove and cooked it my usual way by stuffing it with apples, pears, onions and butter and sealing with foil to steam all night. Next day, opened and browned and voila! Also had dressing, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, deviled eggs, pumpkin bread, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli, crescent rolls and two sparkling bottles of Prosecco.

Easily fit all 7 around the table in the salon of Gitanos. Created a Christmas tree from a tiered cupcake stand, Christmas balls and lights...twas lovely. Finished the night singing Karaoke with Mitch & Jess. Great time!

Man Plans, God Laughs

18 December 2013 | Jolly Harbor, Antigua
I've thought of many titles for this post, among them "Sewing and Towing", "Mr. Perkins has COPD", "Not on the Itinerary", and others, but obviously the winner is "Man Plans, God Laughs".

Trying to get to Grenada initially for Thanksgiving fell flat so we bumped up our hopes to be there by Christmas. Surely (in a perfect world) that would be everso do-able. Alas, this is not a perfect world. Attempting to race our way South to beat the onslaught of the "Christmas Winds" proved futile and so we are surrendering and parking our butts in Antigua til they pass.

Ongoing issues with Mr. Perkins (our diesel engine) seemed to indicate a diagnosis of COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, as he was always having air to fuel issues and shutting down. Poor Bruce has spent hours and hours in the engine room bleeding fuel lines while we languished in 6 to 8 foot seas. He may have developed an addiction to Stugeron (anti seasickness meds) as he had to pop them frequently. Flogging about in those lovely seas also caused a rip in our main sail which really hampered our ability to move forward.

Here's the story. We had a small weather window for Thursday and Friday, December 12th and 13th, so we departed St. Kitts en route to Guadaloupe or The Saintes. Should have been about a 24 hour run all the way to the Saintes, with a fall out in Deshais if need be. About 7 miles off Montserrat (NOT on the itinerary) the sail ripped and Mr. Perkins quit. We were adrift. Various boat lights were seen in the distance all around us including cruise ships and freighters, so we put out an informational VHF transmission to make boats aware that we were adrift. The Montserrat Police came back to inquire if we needed assistance. We decided that unless we wanted to end up in Cartegena, Columbia, we should say yes, so we did. They coordinated with Guadaloupe Sea Rescue after which we were contacted by a boat called Midas who offered to come tow us. To our utter shock and amazement, Midas was a FREIGHTER! Bruce went below and pulled out our hurricane lines and tied them together, giving us about 500-600 feet of line with which we could be towed. Midas came along side (HUGE!) and threw us a heaving line to which we attached our line and off we went, nice and slow. Captain Mats Tammi was constantly on the radio with us, as were the Montserrat Police, coordinating all of this. Midas eventually towed us to a decent location off Montserrat and stayed, shining his huge spotlight on the area until we were anchored. Unsettled night as the anchorage is not very secure or calm. Next morning Bruce met Welshmen John and Ross who offer further assistance.

John and Bruce worked on the engine for hours as Ross and I hand-sewed the torn main. They were headed to Antigua (North and East of our intended destination) and suggested we go together so they could watch over us if need be. Antigua has excellent marine services and was a short 25 miles away. We agreed. Halfway there Mr. Perkins again bit the dust. John and Ross on s/v Chelone TOWED us the remainder of the way and we got into Jolly Harbor about 2 a.m.

The Christmas Winds are Caribbean winds that blow about 20-25 knots constant with gusts in the 30s and 40s. These constant winds make for large seas. They arrived about one week early this year, alas. It is just not worth the beating to head into them, so we are going to sit comfortably here in Antigua and wait them out before continuing south. The good news is, our friends Mitch and Jessica are due to arrive here for Christmas so we will have familiar folks to celebrate with. Yay!

Mr. Perkins' COPD issues may now be resolved with the cleaning out of the tanks.

The main sail is going to the sail loft today for repair.

St. Barts, Montserrat and Antigua were not on our itinerary, but obviously God thought they should be.

Another thought...our issues developed past midnight on Friday the 13th turned out to be all it was cracked up to be.

Made The Turn!

08 December 2013 | Basse Terre, St. Kitts
Severe winds expected
Left Salinas, PR in the company of Marc Weiser on Kusasa and after stops previously mentioned in Vieques and Brewer's Bay, made our way to St. John, USVI to visit friends and watch the Auburn vs. Georgia game with our dear friends Cliff and Sally at their home. In what was hailed "The Miracle at Jordan-Hare" Auburn emerged victorious.

Stayed a week in St. John working on a few niggling issues with the starter which we eventually replaced. Spent fun times with Kelly and Stephen on Off Cay and played some music. Finally headed for Trellis Bay, BVI to enjoy Thanksgiving with our friends Joe and Carol on Sea of Love. Ate at the Tamarind Club and met another Auburn fan so watched the Auburn vs. Alabama game there where Auburn pulled off another incredible, miraculous victory! What a season this has been!

The winds abated enough for us to make the turn and head for St. Martin on Dec. 3rd. Motor-sailed above the ESE winds and had conditions with us but ongoing fuel issues with Mr. Perkins. Bruce bled the engine several times during the trip and we made it after 18 hours. Anchored in Marigot Bay. Checked in on the French side and enjoyed coffee and croissants. Cruiser's net mentioned winds and seas would begin to strengthen on Saturday so we upped anchor and overnighted in rolly St. Barts.

Off anchor and away to St. Kitts at 7 am and had a pretty good and quick trip there. As we were approaching Basse Terre, Mr. Perkins acted up again so we limped in at about 2 knots. Got anchored and checked in and spent one really rolly night at anchor before deciding to go into Port Zante Marina where we now sit quite comfortably out of the raging wind.

Watched Auburn win the SEC Championship over Missouri at a wonderful restaurant called Twist where we ate scrumptious Thai food. Awoke at 3 in the morning to find that Michigan State had beaten Ohio State, putting Auburn in the National title game! This season has been full of magic, luck and lots of skill! All the stars have aligned (and may they continue to!)

Winds and seas projected to continue strong and icky through the week, so will wait it out here. Will eventually get to Grenada!
Vessel Name: Gitanos
Vessel Make/Model: Morgan 41 OI
Hailing Port: Currently Brewer's Bay, USVI
Crew: Bruce & Connie Rosenthal
Happily married since 1991, parents of two great daughters - Micah and Sloane (and her hubby Michael and our new grandson, Mikey). Bought the orignal boat in 2005, moved aboard in 2006, fulltime cruising since March 2009. Bought new boat Gitanos in May 2012, currently in Salinas, PR. [...]
Extra: We'd like to give kudos to our morale officer, our kitty Misa, who may faithfully be relied upon to give unconditional love and support.
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Gitanos's Photos - Main
Lipari, Hunaman, Deshaies, Les Saintes
12 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
Sandwich and Fuego Fire Dancing, Buck and the pup
6 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
96 Photos
Created 23 July 2009