Sunday, January 16, 2011
Mark in the ‘empty’ space working on the plumbing…finally the hose brought down by Robert & Cody last spring is going to be put to use. Well, this is all for now, I will try to be better at taking pictures and updating the blog in the new year.
In preparation for the new washer to be installed all is in an uproar. Since Mark needed some sealant (kept in the third fridge) for the pad eyes, plumbing etc. to be replaced in the engine room I took the opportunity to clean the third fridge. It is deep so the only way to get to the bottom is “bottoms up”.
The next task to be accomplished was the washer (which self-destructed shortly before we left Grenada) needed to be removed and a new one ordered. Here is our friend John Hromadka helping.
Christmas and New Years passed with no pictures taken. We found out that Mark’s Mom had a bad stroke but is now slowly recovering much to everyone’s amazement.
We are in Round Bay on the south side of St. John – one day a couple of guys came by (Scott and Phil) and said that they belong to Grapevine Sailing Club, we invited them aboard for a beer and a short visit.
Much to our dismay after less than two years of use our batteries were shot. Our friends Miles and Anne ordered new Rolls AGM batteries for us to be delivered to Tropical near Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas. Well, as we were loading them from the cockpit to the engine room one of the handles broke. The good news is that it was only 2 or 3 inches from the cockpit when it released. They weigh 125 each and if the handle broke when the battery was dangling over the engine room, the result would not have been pretty. Another lesson learned, we will NEVER use just the handles but rather a bridle system with ropes. I am definitely joining 'Batteries Anonymous’.
We made the decision to attempt to go straight to the USVI if we felt we could make it non-stop. We had a great weather window and got into the grove. The first 36 hours we sailed on a beam reach (every sailors dream) and then had to motor sail most of the rest of the way. Sometimes the ocean looks just like lake sailing. It was a great trip and we arrived at St. James (Christmas Cove) USVI where some old friends were already anchored. We arrived on 12/16 at about 8:00 AM none the worse for wear.
It is finally time to leave Grenada, Max and Steve came to say goodbye. We left at about 4:00 PM on 12/13/2010 with regrets – we are really going to miss the folks at Martin’s Marina and the other friends we made while we were there.
One of the tasks to done was the upper roller furling bushing needed to be replaced – we had a new one. Needless to say, this is the old one – it should look like a large, thick toilet paper spindle. Guess we replaced it just in time.
Then Thanksgiving was upon us – we joined Neil and Peggy aboard Early Out along with Randy and Julie from Sea Otter. Everyone chipped in,I made the turkey, gravy and stuffing and all the rest of the very wonderful meal by Julie and Peggy. Neil made the pie which was great too. A good time was had by all. Maybe they will catch up to us in the Virgins!
For those of you who know how to splice line, the directions state “Using new line…”. Mark tried to splice some old line, but it did not work since it was stretched. So, we had to go buy new lines for our dinghy davits – it is waiting to be spliced. Any of you visiting this season know how to splice double braid line? It might still be waiting to be done looking at out list!
Once we were back in the water we stayed in Martins Marina for about a week while Mark worked on the generator which had been overheating for a while. After moving it over to the left to allow room for the new exhaust elbow and trouble shooting the overheating problem (it was the thermostat) we stayed in Secret Harbor till it was time to leave for the Virgins. We met the crews of Sea Otter and Early Out – right to left Randy and Julie on Sea Otter, then Peggy and Neil on Early Out. In the background is Jackie on Compass Rose.
Much to our amazement we had some live-a-board ‘guests’ while we were gone. Frogs, lizards and ants…we caught & released all but the ants. They were quickly dispatched using a particularly sinister method once I found them swarming my little hypo Pez dispenser. So, I put a Pez on a dustpan in the cockpit….once the ants were swarmed around the candy, I tossed them all overboard. It took about 2-3 days but all the ants are gone and no poisons were used – sweet (pun intended)!
The last thing my family tried to pull on me was a ‘surprise’ 60th birthday party – it should have been a surprise since it was about 14 months late. However I wasn’t born yesterday and I saw right through their plan. Mark & Dad are having a beer.