Sunday, June 28, 2009

I miss Ooh La La but at least I got the rain jacket.

We are anchored next to Hog Island in Grenada. I finally got to wear my ‘raincoat’. I found this about two years ago in my favorite little Grapevine boutique (Ooh La La). I tried it on, fell in love with it then looked at the price tag (GLUP). I told the sales girl that I could not buy it because it had to go on the boat and needed to be water proof. She said ‘It is water proof’ therefore I HAD to buy it….right?

the I-dog has sea legs

The I-Dog takes the prize for sail boat steadiness. It stayed right in its’ corner and never moved the entire trip. And it wasn't glued down....amazing.

And a fuzzy mainsheet...

We also changed the mainsheet line it Rockport and a close inspection of that showed quite a bit of wear. The line that got most of the use is already fuzzy.

Can you say chafe?

As we were putting on the sail cover we released the reefing line and noticed that our brand new line was nearly chafed through.
We put this on in Rockport TX with the help of our crew David Hayslip…3000 miles did it in.

Grenada at last

And, finally Grenada…it was a long haul getting here but we made it!

Our first mango tree

This is a mango tree, as you can tell they are not quite ready to eat yet.

We missed seeing ‘Moonhole’ as it is only open in the winter so we will need to re-visit Bequia.

Another project for Bob

Hey Bob, here is a house remodel just waiting for your touch.

I wonder when this one will be done...

We were told these hand-made boat can hold their own upwind against most factory made ones.

Boat building 101

They build boats the old fashioned way with cedar, a chainsaw and a power sander/planer.

Taxi touring is common in the islands

Folks really like to put houses in out of the way places sometimes ( check out We took a driving tour via taxi while in Bequia.

Did you know that stainless steel rusts?

We found that ‘stainless steel’ rusts like crazy in salt water. We were going to polish it up after getting to Grenada, but Winfield came by one day and talked us out of doing it ourselves. In a day and a half he was done, oh and he polished the hull to boot. Nice job and we will look him up next time we are in Bequia.

Mexican again...

Mark found another ‘Mexican’ restaurant in Bequia.

Ahhh, Bequia

This is Bequia (one of our favorite islands visited in the past). There always seems to be derelict boats on most islands we visit, some very picturesque.

Sosuspenders Rock

We are still being cautious sailors and wearing our lifejackets with harnesses and tethers. This variety automatically fill with air if you go overboard. The tether prevents that eventuality.

Still St. Eustatius

Still St. Eustatius at the top of the hill it looks like an old fort me thinks. Also, the guidebook said there were 22 restaurants for 2700 residents. Either no one cooks or they get plenty of tanker business.

St. Eustatius

Our next port of call was St. Eustatius. This island we have never visited before and did not actually get to visit this time as it was just a place to sleep before continuing on to Grenada. BUT, we do intend to go back as it looked pretty interesting. There is a huge tank farm and many oil tankers coming and going either loading or unloading oil. Here you can see the dock with the pipeline.

Our favorite ‘floating’ bar was still in business.

Our favorite ‘floating’ bar was still in business.

Tex Mex?

Can you believe we found a ‘Tex Mex’ Restaurant in St. Maarten!

Draw bridge under construction

We left the Virgins (Boo, hoo, hoo) and went overnight to St. Maarten arriving early enough for the first bridge opening at 8:30 AM. We waited and watched until about 8:45 before calling to find out why it had not opened. Since this is now ‘low season’ it was down for ‘repairs’, rats! No biggie we stayed anchored outside but it was kind of rolly.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cruz Bay on St, John

The last photo for this update is of Cruz Bay from the dinghy on our way back to the boat…we will be back as we have not seen enough of St. John. an Irish bar?

One of the regulars was good at limericks (though not the rhyming kind) and I got a few on video. They were pretty funny…guess you will have to watch home movies to see them (or someone needs to teach me how to blog videos).

Chris wins at the 'races'

The Belmont horse race was scheduled and the races prior to it were on the telly. They guys at the bar were taking bets. 2 bucks each, only 1 bet was allowed for each horse. Winner take all. Well, guess who won…the chickie holding the cash. I handed it to the bartender and told him to buy the bar a round of drinks! (I lost the second time I tried.)

Chris and Mark in an Irish pub...JUST for the internet

The ‘pub’ (which was Irish by the way) was upstairs….therefore this sign was needed…or at least funny.

Quiet Mon Pub

Again I needed the internet and was told that the “Quiet Mon Pub’ had internet.

Woody's has beer for a buck...

Friend John said we had to go to Woody’s in Cruz Bay (where we picked up the mail (a dinghy ride from Caneel Bay) and we did. Met a nice young chap Pete just graduated from college.

He was looking for work and we would have made him very busy but we planned to leave the next day – darn. Well, after checking the mail my retirement pension papers came in and they needed to be filled out, notarized and mailed so we stayed one more day.
Coors Lights were 1$ each…can’t beat that price.

Our logo is finally seen since we are SAILING

This photo shows our logo designed by our good friend Rick (did you help Susan?) Carnes. He designed it but has never actually seen it on the sail except in pictures. Guess you guys will have to come visit to see how beautiful it looks first hand.

Can you spell sail?

On our way from Red Hook to Caneel Bay on St. John (where we were to pick up mail after 2 months) we got to SAIL! It was wonderful – later today (6/7/09) we will be going to St. Marten and maybe I can get the Captain to head north and tack so we can sail most of the way there as well.

Anyway, I had to get a picture of the instruments and the jib just to prove it.

another 'new' marina

and the new Red Hook Marina…sigh…

Red Hook has iguanas

Red Hook iguanas eating lettuce (they are vegetarians though will bite your fingers if you get too close as they have bad eyesight).

Red Hook of the 80's was also missing...

We motor sailed from Charlotte Amaile to Red Hook (which is on the east end of St. Thomas…more of a nostalgia trip for me as I was there in the late 80’s with my wonderful friend Betty…again. BOY has it changed…I barely recognized it.

Sometimes progress sucks

One last picture – we were afraid to ask if a mere ‘sailboat’ could even stay overnight as not one was present…ah progress, even on our beloved islands.

Haven for whom?

More Charlotte Amalie docks, now called Yacht Haven Marina.

The Virgins at last...

On to St. Thomas – we went lunch (Pizza Hut where the last time we were here we ran into a friend Martin) then to the grocery store for beer and a few other sundries. We did not stay long as we need to hurry to get out of the hurricane belt before July 1. However, ‘boatgirls’ you should see what they have done to the marina. No sailboats, only huge powerboats and magnificent docks. I asked where the charter boats and sailboat slips went and they are all in French Harbor now.

Photos NEXT tiime we are in Culebra

Next we went to Culebra overnight so again we could arrive in the daylight. This is one of our favorite islands as we had been there once before. But our favorite little Swiss bar was no more AND we failed to get even one photo…we do have video but I have yet to figure out how to load that on the blog.

This photo is significant as it is the first time (not including the Florida Keys) that we could see the next island we were going to visit as we left the current one! This should be the case for pretty much the rest of the trip down island for those of you who like to worry about us.

They should have called them cannon bombs...

Looks like they had leftover cannonballs. I never knew (not being a history buff) that cannonballs were hollow and explosives were inside. Ouch!

The color of houses

Mark in Old San Juan. If we ever build (or own) another house) it will NOT be beige! I think the folks in the islands have it right.
Then we went to the old fort which was very interesting…if only I could remember the name of the silly thing.

Old San Juan

Chris in Old San Juan – we had Mexican food for lunch (YEAH!) for the first time since we left Rockport Texas.
I don't know if you can see it well in this photo but the street bricks a beautiful various shades of blue. I wonder how old they must be...

Beer emergency

We need to line the bilge where we store beer as twice we have punctured cans and they leaked all over the bilge. Natch, they are not discovered until they have had time to get mildewed and stinky. That being said we had a minor catastrophe when we RAN OUT FO BEER. The night we arrived in Puerto Rico poor Mark was reduced to drinking a glass of wine.

We THOUGHT we had a sailboat

The fuel is disappearing fast…as well as the water. Currently we can make 24 gallons of water and hour which you would think would be enough but apparently we are water hogs. So we will be putting another water maker membrane in and that will take our capacity to 40 gallons an hour. The ability to make our own diesel would be cool but I guess for now we will have to continue to purchase that.

Having 40 gallon per hour water making capacity will save on the diesel as we will not have to run the generator just to make more water.

Foodie friends....I need help

One of the things I have been anticipating is the shopping in various countries and using new ingredients. After shopping in Luperon this is the result. I forgot to take my egg cartons so the dozen eggs I purchased were put into a plastic bag. By the time we got back to the boat 3 eggs were broken and therefore discarded (as they need to be thoroughally washed). I already had three eggs so I still had a full dozen…but…the one on the counter was too big to fit in the acrylic container. Hmmm, guess the sorting we are used to is gone. The clear bag is 4 kilo’s of white flour. The ‘Quaker’ package is oat flour…guess I will have to figure out how to use it. Any of my ‘foodie’ friends have any ideas?

Customs in Luperon

This is the customs area and the security barrier to the bay where our boat is anchored.

Cement block homes

New homes are being built on the main street. Here Mark is standing in front of 2. All of the homes are very small and are made of cement block to make them hurricane proof…..that being said the average house here is about 400 to 600 square feet.

Moto Concho

In Luperon there are many Moto Concho’s available. A gaggle of guys with motor bikes sit at a particular corner and offer rides to where anyone wants to go….needless to say Mark and I walked.

Groceries in Luperon

Here I have been in a local grocery store in Luperon. I got 6 peppers and a cucumber for a little over 1$ US…great price.

Luperon street scene...

This is a typical street scene in Luperon, D. R.

Montezuma’s revenge’ date for Chris

While we were in Luperon Mark got a taste of “Montezuma’s revenge’. He stayed in bed all day and was a bit punk the next but much better. I was getting cabin fever (day one) so our friend John (Celtic Dream) took me to the local Yacht Club for dinner.

In Luperon they serve beer in 22 ounce bottles (cans are almost unheard of in a bar) and are served in wooden holders kinda like a wine sleeve to keep them cold. One of these is in the foreground of this photo.