September 23, 1999 ~ July 8, 2000
Links: Hot News July 9, 2000 ~ Present, Hot News January 6, 1999 ~ September 23,1999, Julie's Home Page
Pictures: Virgin Gorda, St. Martin, St. Barts, Antigua
July 8, 2000
We had more rain this morning and the wind is up at the beginning of this tropical wave passing through. MANGO LATITUDES did leave at first light, and we talked on the SSB and the VHF when they were about 20 miles out on their way to Tobago. Hopefully we will see them in Trinidad, before they head back north and we head west.
I spent all day working on emails and updating this website. We still haven't solved the problem of updating it, so I am not sure when everyone will read this. Hopefully, it will be soon!!! Eric and David windsurfed. The board needs to be fine tuned for me and I also have a problem of no extra sunglasses....I can't see. Maybe I can get some cheap prescription sunglasses in Grenada. (I did find my windsurfing sunglasses....yea!!!)
We swam out to a different section of the reef and snorkeled again for an hour. Absolutely so beautiful!!! We returned to have our last meal of black fin tuna --- delicious!!!
Eric actually met a girl late this afternoon. She is a college student in California, here on a Moorings boat with her family. Guess what???? She leaves for Grenada tomorrow!!!
July 7, 2000
David and Eric worked on trying to fix our "Windbugger", wind generator, with NO luck. We emailed them an SOS, and hopefully, they will be able to email us what to do to fix it. It is still on warranty, but there is no way, that it can be shipped back to Florida.
We dinghied over to the south side of Baradel Island, Tobago Cays to check out the roll in the anchorage. SOLITUDE had already moved because it was too rolly on the north side. We went back to the boat and anchored over here. We dinghied way out to the reef and snorkeled for an hour. Then Sandy and Darryl came over for Happy Hour. It was very nice to visit face to face, not over the one way radio, or at the dock or in a store or beside the boat in our dinghy!
MANGO LATITUDES came into the anchorage and anchored right next to us. Eric went over to see Fred Jr. We thought they would stay for a couple of days and we could visit tomorrow, since we had already planned for Sandy and Darryl to come over. We find that it works better to have get togethers one on one...rather than lots of people at one time. But they had already checked out and planned to leave for Trinidad/Tobago in the morning.
July 6, 2000
We were up early to listen to the weather and then we went into the town of Hillsborough to buy fruits and vegetables at the market, bread at Grandma's Bakery, and then to clear out of Grenada, which we had to do at Customs and then at Immigration. We were sailing with Darryl and Sandy on SOLITUDE, so they went in to clear out and Darryl came over to go over the charts about where we need to go.
We then motor sailed to Clifton Harbour on Union Island (We anchored on the other side in Chatam Bay on the "run to Grenada".) We went ashore to check in to St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the tiny little airport. We had less problem with the officials there. The island was very beautiful. We then motored (directly into the wind) to the Tobago Cays. We swam out to the reef and snorkeled for almost an hour in beautiful turquoise crystal clear water. This place is the most beautiful place that we have seen in the Caribbean. It is almost as nice as the Bahamas, the only problem is that we can't fish here because it is a preserve.
July 5, 2000
We were up at 6am and left Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada at 8am and sailed to Hillsborough Bay, Carriacou (part of Grenada) almost straight into the wind. I lost count of how many tacks we took!!!! We were finally anchored at about 6pm after three tries. When David dove on the anchor, he realized that there is nothing on the bottom except two inches on top of shale and a few scattered rocks around. We just put out more chain and we were really being held there by the weight of the chain (maybe wrapped around a rock) and the weight of the anchor (176 lbs). Thank heavens, it was not a windy night.
We caught two black fin tuna on the way, so we have been eating VERY well. They are almost as good as yellow fin or ahi. It is so nice to be catching and eating fish again.
July 4, 2000
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, USA!!! We are so very lucky to be citizens of the United States!!! She is still the best country in the world and we should be thankful every day.
We hope that you are all enjoying summer weather, traditional barbecues and picnics, and fireworks! We definitely missed our fireworks, as we did last year. Now, I know why we had so many wonderful fireworks displays along the way last year in Albany, NYC, Camden, Disney World and the New Year's display in Key West!!!
We had more rain, but didn't do any more wash! We did our swim and about 3pm we dinghied over to have sundowners with Willie and Liz on MYSTIQUE. They are from the Boston area and have been sailing for about 3-4 years. Very special people - wonderful people to celebrate the Fourth with!!!
July 3, 2000
More rain, more wash, more drying inside!!! When it cleared after lunch, we dinghied to Secret Harbour and then walked to Grande Anse Shopping Center. Daryll and Sandy on SOLITUDE said that it was a 20 minute walk....was closer to 45!!! We did some shopping and took a taxi back. We stayed for Happy Hour at the Moorings with SOLITUDE, MYSTIQUE, and QUALITY TIME. Liz introduced us to Shirley and Sanford on SLIPAWAY. They are from Tucson (I am sure that we met them there, but the only person we knew in common was David Fraker, who built our house). They left from Puerta Vallarta on their circumnavigation in 1994, I think. They will complete it as soon as they go through the canal and sail north to Puerta Vallarta. What a trip they have had!!! We only heard about a little of it, before it was so dark, that we had difficulty unlocking our combination lock on our dinghy!!! We had to cross over two bays in the dark. Thanks heavens it was a beautiful calm night with a little moon! They left the next morning at 3am for Trinidad, so we will probably see them there in a few months.
July 2, 2000
Another rainy day but we did another load of wash and hung them inside to dry (seems to work ok...you just walk around in a maze all day!). I worked on updating this web site and emails, Eric took apart a winch and we are still going through our last mail delivery. We did manage to do 20 laps around the boat.
For our movie of the week, we watched an Explorer episode, entitled "Son of Town Hall", which was taped and sent to us by Ray on Maui. After watching this, we will NEVER complain about the seaworthiness or lack thereof of PEACE AND ALOHA. SON OF TOWN HALL was made and assembled in the river in NYC from trash picked up out of the garbage of the city. It was a raft/boat???? They made it across the North Atlantic on their second try. We were VERY impressed. Try to watch this episode on tv and we think that you will be impressed with these people, also.
July 1, 2000
Our resident weatherman said that it was going to clear off, so we did another load of wash. However, it rained all day, so we had to rig up the clothesline inside the boat and they were finally dry about 4pm when it cleared off. We did manage to collect alot of water for our tanks off the deck. We snorkeled for about 15 minutes and went into the small town of Nimrod with Craig and Katherine on SANGARIS (they were in our spot at Bruno's in Ft. Lauderdale and they are also waiting for Jim and Debbie on MAH JONG to catch up to us!!), Kathy and Chuck on FIRST LIGHT, and Jim and Katie on ASYLUM. We went into this grocery store and the other cruisers were going" to cross the bridge" with the owner after writing in his guest book. The other couples did it first...and then we very politely declined. It was gulping a small shot of pure white rum and washing it down with cold water (to put out the fire!!!). And then lots of hand shakes, etc. We did buy some delicious bread and bake stuffs from him and went down to the Island View to talk. We left about sunset, having met some very nice people.
June 30, 2000
We did a load of wash and hung them out on the life lines to dry, while we wrote emails on the computer. After lunch we dinghied to the far side of Calivigny Island, where we landed on a nice beach. We decided to walk around the island and we found a boggy swamp in the center of the island and on the other side we discovered a beautiful beach...populated with cows!!!! They didn't seem to bother us, but we left the beach to them to enjoy while chewing their cuds, and we headed back through the machineel trees along the path to the other side of the island. We snorkeled around the coral by the boat and did laps around our boat for our daily exercise. We headed over to Hog Island Bar to join all the other cruisers for Happy Hour....except, everyone else was at the Moorings Bar in Secret Harbour for their barbecue. We were there on the wrong night! The guys had a Carib beer, which was the right price, but tasted like it!!!!
Just for fun we turned on the tv....and voila, we had two channels: a soap and CNN news. So we watched the news for the first time since we left the Virgins, I think. We are able to get tv on the English Islands, but not the French.
June 29, 2000
We were up early and left at 8am to be at the Customs House to take Darius's taxi/van into the city (???) of St. George's with Liz on MYSTIQUE, along with 21 other cruisers (at least we were thankful that it was not a local bus with chickens, roosters, and goats!). We walked through many shops (and no, I didn't buy a thing!!) and went to the market and purchased some fruits and vegetables and then to the supermarket. We had chicken roti (a curry chicken mixture wrapped in a flour tortilla) and lime smash for lunch at the Nutmeg, before catching Darius's return van at 2:30. We need to return to visit the various forts, churches and museum. We returned to the boat and swam and snorkeled around the coral shoal behind our boat.
June 28, 2000
We spent the morning and part of the afternoon on board, typing up crew lists, making the Grenada flag, writing emails, cleaning, until it cleared off enough to go on a dinghy exploration trip to the next bay. We met Chuck and Kathy Hall on FIRST LIGHT, anchored next to us. Aboard was George and Betsey Marburger on ZORRA, who was anchored over in Egmont Bay, a hurricane hole. They are all planning to head west through the canal next year, so we will be seeing more of them. It is also nice to FINALLY meet cruisers who will be sailing west and not just staying in the Caribbean. When we dinghied to Egmont, we found Mack and Rebecca on BEYOND, tucked away with about 10 other boats near the mangroves. Unfortunately, if it were REALLY a hurricane, the bay would be filled with hundreds of boats. That is where the real danger lies...the other boat dragging into you! So, in reality, there are NO hurricane holes any more. The best place to be is NOT WHERE THE HURRICANE IS!!!
June 27, 2000
We dinghied over to Secret Harbour in Mt. Hartman Bay to check in with customs. We were almost fined ($500) by the official for NOT being in a Port of Entry. We explained that it was too crowded in Mt. Hartman and we were preparing for a severe tropical wave. He did not fine us for whatever reason, Thank heavens. We did hear on the Safety and Security Net, that another boat WAS fined, when they anchored in Tyrrel Bay and dinghied to Hillsborough. Dealing with customs and immigration is sometimes VERY difficult, actually the problems, strangely enough, are in the English speaking countries, and NOT the French. After we were finished with Customs (our boat is cleared in), we had to walk to Prickly Bay (about 20 minutes) in the rain to clear in with Immigration (us and our passports!). That went a little better. We stopped at the little marina store and also at Moorings to see about having our whisker pole shipped to Grenada (sounds very complicated and expensive) and then we had a VERY WET dinghy ride to our boat, which was anchored in Clarkes Court Bay, two bays to the east.
We had lunch and spent the afternoon making a flag for Grenada. I had cut it out, but not sewn it together, because we had not expected to be in Grenada for several weeks. It continued to rain (we collected ALOT of rain water in our tanks!) and blow (30+ knots; according to the weather guru, David Jones, winds were clocked at 54 knots in Mt. Hartman Bay. I don't think we had that much wind, but it was definitely gusty! We also had thunder and lightening for the first time since last summer. That is definitely not appreciated when we are the tallest mast in the harbour!) We had a delicious dinner of tuna and our LAST (sob!) French pastries!
June 26, 2000
We were up at 6am, made sandwiches and left at 7:30 after the weather, and deciding that the best course was to go to a safe harbour in Grenada, just in case, this tropical wave reformed into a tropical storm. We had a really FAST sail (10.8 knots on GPS) all the way down to Grenada! We did have to turn on the engine for a while in the lee of the island. Off the southwest tip, Point Saline, we caught a Black Fin Tuna!!!!!!! We had three DELICIOUS dinners....you have to remember this is the first fish that we have caught since Rum Cay in the Bahamas, which was a LONG time ago!!! We first went into Mt. Hartman Bay, where most of our friends were already anchored, but we did not feel comfortable....too many boats, not enough swinging room, especially if the wave came through with really high winds. So we left and were anchored in Clarkes Court Bay (the next bay east on the southern coast of Grenada) by 4pm. We were VERY tired but we had a very delicious dinner: tuna with wasabi sauce, rice, plantains, avocado and french pastries!!!! We were asleep by 8:30, I think!!!!
June 25, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DENNY!!!!!!We were up at 4:45am and left at 5:30 am in the POURING rain to head to Bequia, along with everyone else. There were about ten of us sailing together. We passed by the beautiful Pitons and there should be pictures in the rain and clouds!!! After the weather at 6:30, 7:15, and 8:30, we decided to do an overnight to Grenada, because of the circulation that was present within the Tropical Depression #2, which I think was named "Alberto". I had made sandwiches last night, so we were all set for lunch, but I had to go below (after we were in the lee of the island of St. Vincent) to make a salad for dinner.
After we listened to the 4:30 weather, when the Tropical Depression #2 had been downgraded, we discussed what our options were. We thought that it had been named and we didn't want to stay in Bequia because we are not covered there with our insurance. Darryl and Sandy on SOLITUDE offered to guide us in with radar, lights, and compass heading to Chatam Bay on Union Island, The Grenadines. Since they had left from the Pitons, they would make it before dark. Other boats were going into Mayreau, but they had been there before and it was a more difficult harbor to navigate. So, Darryl had plotted a course (110 -120 degrees) with NO fish pots to bring us directly into the anchorage to anchor behind him about 9:30 that night. He was a definite life saver....Thank you, Darryl and Sandy!!!... otherwise, we would have had to do an overnight and would have been in Grenada, a little early about 4am. It was nice to get a few hours sleep!!!
June 24, 2000
We decided that we would head to St. Lucia, but we needed to use up our French Francs (had NO problem doing that....lots of pineapple, mangoes, soursop, French baquettes and pastries, and rum) and we FINALLY were able to talk with Julie (we WOKE her up, since it was only 6am in Colorado!!!! Sorry about that, Julie...but we couldn't even remember when we had last talked with her on the phone) and use up the last minutes on our phone card. Relunctantly, we left beautiful St. Anne and Martinique (our last French island until the Pacific!) about 10 am. Somehow, we never seem to accomplish everything that we want on all these islands. So much more that we wanted to see and to do on Martinique. I guess that is why there are so many cruisers that have been sailing in the Caribbean for years and years and never grow tired of it!!!
We were anchored in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia by 1:30pm. We went into clear into customs and to get some EC (their dollars) from the ATM machine, since we were planning on spending a few days here, visiting the Pitons, etc. They really charged us for every little thing and overtime, etc. to clear in and clear our for three days - $95EC. We went into a few little stores and bought some bread and went back to the boat to swim only 10 laps and listen to the weather. Unfortunately, Tropical Depression #2 was coming our way!!!! We made our decision to head directly to Bequia and NOT stop at the Pitons. We were talking with MYSTIQUE, ELUSIVE, and SOLITUDE, who were all in the Pitons and REALITE, who was in front of us, anchored in Rodney Bay. All of us decided to head south!!!
June 23, 2000
MYSTIQUE left early in the morning for St. Lucia and we dinghied over to LaMarin to provision and to buy boat parts. It was still really windy, so we were thoroughlly drenched by the time we arrived. Luckily the return trip was all down wind, so we returned with all of our purchases dry! We returned late in the afternoon and had to inventory and stow all in preparation for departure tomorrow morning. We heard on the late afternoon weather that there was a possible tropical depression developing in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa....so we had to pay VERY close attention!!
June 22, 2000
Eric went over to help Willie with a computer problem early in the morning. All of us went into town to do a little shopping and then we visited at our favorite Boulangerie over sandwiches and pastries!!!! We spent most of the afternoon working on the administration from the mail delivery, painting the flags, and swimming our 20 laps around the boat.
June 21, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LYNN!!!! What a busy boat work day!!! We did a load of wash (dried it on the life lines!) and made two courtesy flags, (St. Lucia and St. Vincent and The Grenadines and also cut out Grenada). Liz and Willie from MYSTIQUE picked up our mail which had arrived via Fed Ex in three days (for another small fortune!!!) at the Marina office in La Marin and brought it to St. Anne. Eric dinghied over to pick it up and we spent all evening opening mail. Thank heavens there weren't any MAJOR problems to have to handle. We were even able to get in out 20 laps around the boat!!!
June 20, 2000
We dinghied over to say goodbye to DRISANA who was making a passage to Bequia, to see if we could help SECOND MILLENIUM who had come back into the anchorage after they had smelled smoke while they were heading to LaMarin (Melodye said that she had TOO much help, thank you very much!!!), and then we talked bottom paint with Sandy and Darryl on their boat, SOLITUDE.
We then went into town and walked up the path to the Shrine above St. Anne, which has the 14 Stations of the Cross with a little church to Nortre Dame de La Salette. Very beautiful little church and I am sure that there are many pilgrimages up this steep rocky path to the church.
David and Eric worked on repairs on the boat and then Andrea from INOUIE stopped over. She is a single hander from Switzerland....we were VERY impressed!
June 19, 2000
We went back into town to shop ...more baquettes and pastries, bananas, pineapples, and mangoes. We all went over to snorkel on the reef that is in the middle of the bay. There were lots of fish traps, nothing but small little fish on the reef and poor visibility, especially, when the clouds came over and it started to rain.
June 18, 2000
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL!!! especially to our Dads: Albert Brooks in Cincinnati and Bob Ernisse in Bonita Springs, Florida!!! We wish we could be with you both to celebrate!
Busy boat work day!!! We did two loads of wash and three haircuts: David cut Jason's and Eric's hair and then Eric and I cut David's!!! We think that we should go into the business!
We went into the beach about 2:30 and play Botchee (SP???) Ball with many other cruisers: Sharon and Gary on ELUSIVE, Barb and Steve on REALITE, Wendy and Lorn (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) and Kamy on KAMYTOO, Marsha and Jerry on SOL Y MAR, Jack and Julian on CAPTAIN JACK, Melodye and John on SECOND MILLENIUM, and John and Ricarda on DRISANA. We had two games going and it was alot of fun, but we were too busy playing the game to really meet and talk with people. Jason came with us, but Eric went windsurfing again. We thought that we would have to go pick him up again, but the water ski boat brought him back to the boat, when he ran out of wind right in their area!!! So, David and I were able to have our 20 times around the boat swim before dinner.
We watched The Thomas Crown Affair video. I think that Eric had been saving it...the best for last! It was an excellent movie, suspense thriller, James Bond Romance mystery! But what was so incredible were the locations....where we have been: The Art Museum in NYC (we were in the exact room!), Harris Hill in Elmira for gliding, and then Martinique and driving through St. Pierre, Martinique!!!! If we had watched the movie earlier, we would not have recognized Martinique.... We definitely recommend that you rent this video!!!
June 17, 2000
We had hoped to catch up with Liz and Willie on MYSTIQUE, but when we arrived in St. Anne, we realized that they had gone to La Marin that morning to get mail and do some repairs before returning to St. Anne. We went into town early to get fruits (we got some red bananas!!!), vegetables, and bread and pastries. We stopped to see Darryl and Sandy on SOLITUDE, to meet Ricarda on DRISANA with John, and to meet John and Melodye on SECOND MILLENIUM. Melodye does the Caribbean Safety and Security Net every morning on the SSB, so it was fun to finally put a person to the voice! Liz had given me the address for mail delivery at the marina in La Marin, so I had ordered that over email.
Eric went windsurfing, but we had to got pick him up off Club Med, because of a wind hole! We were then chased by the big power boat from Club Med, thinking that we were escaping with one of their windsurfing rigs!!!!
June 16, 2000
We left Anse Mitan about 9:30 and weren't anchored in St. Anne until 4. The weather was much better than yesterday; however, the wind was back to east and we had to do three or four tacks along the southern coast of Martinique to reach St. Anne. Very beautiful anchorage off a lovely beach, where Club Med is located. We snorkeled on the anchor and then over to the shore. It was shallow and terrible visibility...again.
John from BRISANA came over to introduce himself, and to commesurate about the boats that anchor on top of you, especially the rental boats!
June 15, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHINA!!!!! We were all ready to leave for St. Anne and Eric noticed that the main halyard was ready to break, so we fixed that inbetween many large rain squalls which came through all day.
Since we had already stowed the dinghy motor for our passage, we rowed into the demolished marina dock and walked around the hotels, beaches and shops. We bought some more baquettes and pastries and a billabong hat for David for Father's Day. David and I swam 20 times around the boat!!! David never did go into Anse Mitan because of his back. The boys went out that night with Fred, but unfortunately, it was very quiet and they were home early (Good Thing, since they were sailing to St. Lucia and we were heading to St. Anne in the morning early!)
June 14, 2000
HAPPY FLAG DAY!!! We were all really tired and Eric was not feeling really well. So, we finally got it together to go into town about 3pm. Unfortunately, this resort beach suffered alot of destruction from Hurricane Lenny last November. We did find the pastry shop and bought our dose of baquettes and pastries!!! Then David and I swam out to a big buoy which was marking a coral reef. Unfortunately, the visibility was still terrible.
June 13, 2000
We were able to check in early, along with Mack and Rebecca on BEYOND and Fred, Penny and Fred on MANGO LATITUDES. We did some final shopping at the market and the shops and we left about 11 am to sail to Anse Matin, arriving about 3:30. Fred Jr. came over to visit with the boys. He just graduated from Old Dominion College in Norfolk. David's back continued to improve, so we snorkeled around the anchor and 10 times around the boat. Visibility not very good.
June 12, 2000
David decided that he could go into town, if we would drop him off on the beach, and he didn't have to scramble up the dock. We visited with BLUE HORIZONS, then went to shore and first tried to check in again with Customs. He was not there, since it was another holiday! They seem to enjoy many many holidays on these Caribbean islands!!! We visited the Museum there. St. Pierre is located at the base of Mt. Pelee, not far from where the last Caribes were wipes out in 1658 by the Europeans. We were told that as they died they cursed the Europeans and asked the mountain to take revenge. This happened according to Caribbean time (similar to Maui time!) on May 8, 1902. St. Pierre was considered the "Paris of the Caribbean" with a population of 30-40,000 people, many of whom were very wealthy plantation owners who sold rum, sugar, coffee and cocoa to the ships that returned to Europe. There were warnings from the volcanoe, however, Governor Mouttet did not want to evacuate such a large city and the elections were scheduled for May 9. The side of Mt. Pelee released a giant fireball of superheated gas which flowed over the city, releasing more energy than an atomic bomb. All 30-40,000 residents were killed instantly at 8:02 am May 8, 1902, except for the famous prisoner, Cyparis, who was incarcerated in his stone cell. He was badly burned but recovered and was pardoned. He toured with the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
We toured the museum which have photos of pre and post eruption of Mt. Pelee. They have artifacts: watches stopped at 8:02, melted glass, food which is all melted and burnt together. We walked around the opera house and saw Cyparis's cell. We walked around the church (couldn't enter, but we saw pictures of the incredible grandeur before the eruption) and then we visited the cemetery, where many of the pre-eruption tombs are melted. The devastation is mind boggling. The fact that many persons died because of a governor not wanting to lose an election. It could have been prevented! New buildings are built upon the old. New buildings share at least one wall with the past. Possibly it affected us so much, because Haleakala on Maui is also a dormant volcano, not extinct. That type of eruption could happen there! Would we heed the warning signs???
We had a delicious pizza (even had to order in French!) there for lunch. There were some girls on holiday but the guys couldn't seem to connect...and we seem to be asked many times about our President and Lewinski?????? laugh laugh laugh!!! He seems to an international JOKE!
We used our washer/dryer for the first time and it worked great! We didn't use the dryer cycle because it takes too much energy, just hung all the clothes up on the life lines and they were dry in a jiffy!
June 11, 2000
HAPP BIRTHDAY, ROSANNE!!!!! We had rain off and on all day with the wave passing over. We cleaned the boat, defrosted the refrigerator and worked on emails. We snorkeled for only about 10 minutes, since we were being stung by man-o-war jellyfish. (They must come in when the wind changes slightly south, just like Makena.) We had the flying fish for dinner. The fish tasted delicious, but we become very tired trying to deal with so many small bones. We were wondering what trick the restaurants used, since we have seen flying fish and flying fish sandwiches on many menus.
June 10, 2000
The captain (who had been resting for the past two days) got the crew up very early in order to go into town to the market! We bought red snapper and flying fish. They were both excellent, except that the flying fish had way too many and too small bones. The flying fish actually do have wings and we have watched them travel incredible distances in the air. Sometimes their tail fin will touch the water and direct them in a different direction. Awesome! We also purchased mangoes, pineapples, plantains, soursop, fresh parsley to cook with the fish, bananas and nutmeg. We walked back to customs, but he was not there. We stopped for bread again. We must admit that we are really addicted to French baquettes and their delicious pastries! We went ashore again in the afternoon, but most places were closed. David's back was feeling good enough, so we swam around the boat for about 15 minutes. Terrible visibility. We had a delicious dinner of red snapper, plantains, breadfruit and pastries for desert. YUMMY!
June 9, 2000
We were up early trying to decide if we should head across the passage to Martinique, with David's back, a wave approaching, and with only 3 days entry for Dominica. We decided to go and left at 8am and were anchored in St. Pierre, Martinique by 3:30. David anchored, since the holding was terrible and we had to try about three times before we were satisfied. The passage wasn't too bad: 15-20 knot winds with higher gusts and 5-7 foot seas. We had our forward hatch open a crack during the night, and forgot to close it....so we had salt water on it when the water went over the bow!!!
The boys and I went into town to see if we could check in, but no one at Customs. We stopped at a store and bought bread and pastries. We also talked with Chuck and Ruth on BLUE HORIZONS, a Hylas 49. They are from Clear Lake, Texas and first time cruisers like us.
We had a quick bite to eat and crashed into bed very early.
June 8, 2000
We listened to all the weather and tried to decide what we were going to do. Alexis finally brought the fruit that we had ordered. We said our alohas and Eric, Jason, and I sailed to a mooring (it was too deep to anchor in 150+ feet) at Anchorage Beach Hotel, just south of Roseau, the capital of Dominica, arriving about 3:30. David was flat on his back in bed all day....wondering how we were doing sailing without our captain!!! There were a couple of boat boys there but no problem. The hotel had music and a buffet that evening, but unfortunately, we could not go in.
June 7, 2000
My Dad flew to Los Angeles to join my brother, Peter and his wife, Susie and Jon, to attend the graduation ceremonies and festivities for Chris, their son, as he graduated from California Institue of Technology with a degree in Mechanial Engineering. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GRADUATE, CHRIS, AND TO THE PROUD PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS AND BROTHER!!!!
I made lunch for all of us, Eric rowed us to shore and we all met Alexis in front of the hotel at 8am to go on our island tour. He drove us in his car and we didn't arrive home until 6pm. We drove north and passed through the Carib Indian Territory. I finally purchased two large fruit baskets. The Caribs were fierce warriors who predated the Europeans and kept them at bay for hundreds of years. They loved war for its own sake and the rugged mountains of Dominica was ideal to defend, however, as their numbers dwindled, some migrated to South America and the rest were given a reserve on the windward coast by the Europeans. The pure Caribs are native Americans, bronze in color with oriental features. They appeared similiar in appearance to many Hawaiians.
We drove to Emerald Pool and had lunch, which we had brought in our cooler. We had the BEAUTIFUL pool all to ourselves, because there were no cruise ships in the harbour. We drove to Roseau and up to Trafalgar Falls. We hiked to the platform with a view towards two large waterfalls, one to the right and the other to the left. Alexis informed us that during the Hurricane of 1995, many huge boulders and rocks slid down and made access to these two falls very difficult, especially the one on the left, which was the one that had the hot and the cold falls. We elected to scramble up to the one on the right. We were just getting ready to go into the water, when David put his back out. We were very concerned about getting back to the car and then to the boat. He was able to make it down to the car and we arrived back on thePortsmouth Hotel, where I was able to purchase some ice. We rowed back to our boat and arrived about 6:30pm. He used his high power medicines, the ice and made it through the night. We had so enjoyed our tour of a very beautiful, lush tropical island. We brought home breadfruit, cashews, bay rhum leaves, bananas, pineapples. We had stopped at a bakery for bread. The people of Dominica were very friendly. We didn't see any parrots!!! We wish that we could have spent more time hiking and exploring this beautiful island.
June 6, 2000
We left the Saintes about 9am, arriving and anchored off Portsmouth Hotel/Coconut Beach Hotel in the south end of Prince Rupert Bay in Dominica at about noon time. We had 36 knot winds and 8 foot seas...the biggest so far! I was ok until about 11...and then I did get sick!
We picked Alexis to act as our boat boy and he took us and Ward from EXPLORER into customs in Portsmouth about 2pm, where we checked in and out.
June 5, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETER!!!
David wanted to check out the beach on the far side of Terre d'en Haut, so we dinghied around as SOLITUDE was leaving for Dominica. The beach was not very pretty or interesting so we dinghied back to town to shop (and we got drenched, because of the high winds and wind chop). We picked up some sardines from a fisherman for 15 FF (about $2.14)..and they were delicious! Our first fish in months!!
EXPLORER arrived...we had last seen them in Marigot Bay, St. Martin. They said that they had caught quite a few fish on their way over from Nevis. We were very jealous! David and I went snorkeling for over an hour and saw garden eels, sea snake, eel, flounder, stone fish, flying gurnards, etc. etc. Very incredible!!! What a beautiful last snorkel in the Saintes!
June 4, 2000
We dinghied in to town, bought from bread and cheese and hiked to Fort Napolean, which was VERY impressive. The English had forts and their navy all over the Caribbean. It is amazing considering how many years ago!
Eric and David went windsurfing the channel between Ile Cabrit and Terre d'en Haut, so I just sat in the sun and read. Having only one windsurfer is for the birds!!!
We watched "Joan of Arc"....which is a wonderful, very moving story. Excellent video!
June 3, 2000
HAPPY HEALING, COUSIN SALLY!!!! Hope that ankle heals very fast, and that you will soon be rid of the crutches and caste!
Saturday was a rainy, windy (25 knots) day...so we cleaned the boat and worked on emails. I spent all afternoon making our Dominica flag and mending our French one (it hits the spreaders and was in tatters on one side). So, I didn't have time to go in swimming.
June 2, 2000
We went snorkeling again from the dinghy around the western part of the island so that Eric could try to spear some dinner!!!! NO LUCK, again!!! We even tried on the eastern side in the afternoon for another hour...still no luck!
Eric and David worked on the halyard again...which seems to be chafing through. Not good....
June 1, 2000
We ventured into town, even though it was still windy and purchased some fruits, but the bakery was out of bread, even after we stood in line!!! We did purchase some beautiful prints of the Saintes and Guadaloupe. Ever since Patricia gave me two small prints of the Virgin Islands, I have been collecting prints of special significance from the different islands which we visit. A very special momento!
We hiked to the top of the island to visit Fort Josephine, which is in complete disrepair. It looks like someone may have tried to develop it into a restaurant and hotel on the island, but couldn't make a go of it. We also noticed that there is an over abundance of wild goats and they have eaten all of the vegetation, so there is no longer growth to hold the soil and prevent erosion during heavy rains. The soil washes down the steep hills into the oceans and kills the coral reefs, so between the silt and hurricanes the reefs are in very sad shape. The fishermen returned and plundered more from the sea and we went snorkeling again.
May 31, 2000
We were up early, in spite of the fact that we could have slept in this morning!!! It was still cloudy and VERY windy, so we did NOT want to venture across to the town and get drenched in our dinghy. So we cleaned up the boat, worked on emails and then snorkeled for almost an hour along shore for the best snorkeling since we left the Virgin Islands. We watched the fishermen set their nets, and we think they caught the small sardine type fish which were in big schools under the boat. Unfortunately, all these places seem to use nets and fish traps and take EVERYTHING from the ocean and nothing is left.
May 30, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CILLA!!!!
We left about 7:30 and were anchored at Ile de Cabrit in the Iles de Saintes about 5:30. We had 35 knot winds with 6 foot seas, with 100% cloud cover and sometimes 2 knots of current against us. But I did NOT get sick...who knows????? Unfortunately, we did not get to really see the coast as we sailed by, since it was so cloudy and rainy. This was still part of this tropical wave. (Actually it is yuccky...June 15...I guess we should have kept quiet about our beautiful weather, because it came to an ABRUPT end!!!)
We actually arrived in the Saintes (about 7 small islands about 6-10 miles south of Guadaloupe)about two hours before we were finally anchored. Very French, very picturesque, and very clean! We tried to anchor close to the town of Bourg des Saintes on Terre d'en Haut (the most populated of the two islands), but it was VERY rolly with the swell and the ferries, so we checked out the anchorage at Pain a Sucre, and that seemed better, but too cramped for our taste, so we went back to Ilet Cabrit and anchored there, below Fort Josephine. And luckily we were in just the right place, since the fishermen did not make us move.
May 29, 2000
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!!! PICNICS AND PARADES AND THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOY!!!! David and I were up early and went in with Eric to return the car at 7:15am when they opened. We had to pay 700FF (about $100US) for the window, even though we had insurance. We had left Jason on board, so he was able to see the boat sail out of the harbor in what was now 40 knot winds!!!! Luckily, the boat did not hit anyone! The owner lives in Gaudaloupe and no one was aboard, and the engine and the windlass do not work. We understood that the owner was taken to the boat later that morning and sailed it to the Saintes. It was amazing to see how fast and how far the boat traveled with just bar poles! These tropical waves are really big storms!
Finally, about 11 am the winds calmed down and most of us went to shore. We met Daryl and Sandy on SOLITUDE and Dick and Kim on PEGASUS. They had ripped their sail trying to leave the day before, so we helped them get the sail up on the dock and out to the rain, while Dick rented a car to drive to Point a Pitre, on the other side of the island to have it fixed. We went shopping in preparation for leaving the following day. Hopefully, they were able to have it fixed at head back to the Virgin Islands and then home to Chicago for the summer.
May 28, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROD!!!! Hope it was happy!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEACE AND ALOHA!!! One year old!
We could not hear the weather in the morning. It was cloudy and windy, blowing at 30 knots.. David talked with Jim Clubb (neighbors of his parents in Florida) on the SSB/Ham net for the last time until he returns south from Connecticut where he spends his summers.
We decided to go anyway (mistake #2). We drove up as far as we could at the La Soufriere volcano. Of course, we were in the clouds and the rain there. So we did not walk anywhere up there. It is a 3-4 hour hike to the top from there. I wish that we could have hiked it. We ate our lunch in a little park in St. Claude, just at the beginning of the steep road up the volcano. We shared our lunch with about four well behaved neighbor dogs and a family of chickens!!!
We then went to find the Three Carbet Falls. We arrived at the top parking lot with a few other cars around. We decided to walk in the rain and check it out (mistake #3). We put on our rain jackets, but did not take our packs (mistake #4). We locked the car and found that the trail was not a problem and was not slippery with mud in all the rain. We hiked to where a bridge was closed because it was not safe; so we forded the stream. We hiked to the bottom of two of the waterfalls. Hopefully, there will be pictures to accompany this update. We arrived back to our car with a smashed small back window. The thief had been scared off and grabbed Eric's pack and left his knife on the front passenger seat. So we lost Eric's pack, pair of swim trunks, water bottle, dinghy key, sun tan lotion, and a small towel. It could have been much worse!!! But we should know better from Maui!!!! We tried to find the police in the towns close by couldn't locate their office. We stopped two police on the roadway, and they finally agreed that we should just report it in Deshaies. It was getting late. We reported it with the two gendarmes in Deshaies. So we had the police report to give to the car rental company.
We arrived back at the boat about 6, very exhausted and very wet. After all this activity and driving for three days under very stressful conditions, David went to bed very early with a bad stomach. I stayed up until almost 1am watching the boat swing around in the anchorage. I was very concerned that we were going to swing into another boat, or someone else was going to drag. We had our 176 pound Bruce anchor plus 300 feet of chain, so WE weren't going anywhere. All the flack David got from Manfred Kanter about that size anchor, we are sooooooo thankful that we have it!!!!
May 27, 2000
We left about 9am in our little rental car and traveled to the National Park and visited the Mammelles Parc, where we saw many plants, animals and birds. The parrots were not labeled. We were able to identify some of them. The SAD part was that they did NOT look very good! They were listless and it was morning!!! The only noticeable food was sun flower seeds and water. I only wish that I had the money to set up a trust for all of these parrots and make sure that they are fed correctly with fruit and pellets, or at least, something with more sustenance than sun flower seeds. This park also had nest boxes set up for breeding. Parrots cannot breed unless they are well nourished.
We went to Crayfish Falls and had lunch up the stream. Very beautiful falls! The entire area is very similiar to Hana. We left the National Park with its rain forest and drove to the eastern side of Guadaloupe. Guadaloupe looks like a butterfly! The western "wing" is volcanic, mountainous rain forests with cliffs to the Caribbean Sea, named Basse Terre (someone had a sense of humor!!!). The eastern "wing" is limestone, flatter and drier, with beaches and more development named Grand Terre. We had difficulty seeing places, for lack of a good map and not knowing exactly what to see. The French drive like maniacs with reckless abandonment!! They also do NOT believe in switchbacks. Their roads go straight up and straight down!!!!
We arrived back at the boat in time to snorkel on the southern side of the harbour for almost an hour. There were lots of big boulders and some fish.
May 26, 2000
We went into town and rented a car for three days (mistake #1), since they would be closed on Saturday and Sunday. We drove to St. Rose to find a bank, rather than have the pharmacy give us an exchange rate of 5.5 (over 7 at the bank!) But they were closed at noon, when we finally arrived. We used the ATM around the corner from the car rental and it worked perfectly!
Eric, David and I went north along the coast in the dinghy in search of fish to spear!!! No luck! We did see some interesting rocks with small fish and it poured rain...that was interesting seeing it rain on top of the ocean!
We defrosted the freezer and have left it off, to see if we can save our batteries. Actually, it is giving David and Eric fits. They can't understand it; it runs almost as much now as it did before. Hopefully, we can talk with some technicians and figure it out. We are also planning on putting more insulation in the boxes when we are in Trinidad. We need to do something!
May 25, 2000
We were up at 5:00am to leave at 6:00am. I made lunches, which was a good thing since I was sick for the first time in a long time. We arrived in Deshaies, Guadaloupe about 2pm. It was pretty rough...so who knows? I just don't like using a patch for a short crossing, and David said that the sturgeron made me weird the last time!!!!
We walked in and toured the town, checked in and out of Guadaloupe customs (waited with some Austrians for the agents to return from lunch. It was interesting trying to converse with them!..but we managed.), and purchased pastries for dinner and wonder baquettes with a wood smoke flavor from the fire. Absolutely delicious!
We also heard via email that Beth and Evans on HAWK had arrived safely at Kinsale, Ireland after 21 days at sea across the Atlantic from the Virgin Islands and a broken staysail shackle, which they stopped to fix in the Azores.
May 24, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIM on MAH JONG!!!
We took all our wash into the laundry at 8am and did some shopping. We moved all our clothes around. We packed away parkas and warm clothes and took out more summer clothes. We also packed away blankets. That took us until about 3, when we went in and picked up our clean clothes and cleared out of Antigua. Then we had to make all our beds and move to Hermitage Bay in Five Islands Harbour, which wasn't so rolly and had clearer water, where David and I snorkeled over to the beach for about 35 minutes.
May 23, 2000
We left Dickenson Bay and arrived at the fuel dock at Jolly Harbour about noon. After filling up our diesel tanks we went back out to anchor in the Harbour. David and I snorkeled over to the beach on the other side of the Harbour and found an incredible number of shells. We had to figure out how to get them back to the boat???? David said that we found a new use for my bikini top!!! We put all the shells in the lining and I put it back on...very voluptuous....but slighly weird shapes with lots of hard points!!!
May 22, 2000
We listened to the nets and the weather. We had a call from Karyn and Steve James on THRESHOLD in the Bahamas. We had very light copy on them, so had trouble communicating on the SSB. I just sent them an email. They had looked at our boat while we were in Ft. Lauderdale, since they were thinking of having Chuck Paine design a boat for them. We are wondering if they will design a boat like ours.
We left Nonsuch (named for the first visting "yacht," which found its way in through the small entrance and dropped anchor in 1647) Bay about 10 and sailed north around Antigua to arrive at Dickenson Bay about 4:30. This bay is for tourists with all the parasailers and jet skiis. Jet skiis would be fine, if they would just stay away from our boat and not use it and other boats for a slalom course!!! We are thinking very seriously of getting a sling shot!!! David and I snorkeled for about 30 minutes, while Eric worked on cleaning the other side of the bottom of the boat. Unfortunately we did not have the time to explore all the anchorages along the northern coast of Antiqua in the Boon Channel.
May 21, 2000
Very quiet Sunday! I cleaned the inside of the boat and David cleaned the bottom!!! We all went snorkeling over the barrier reef for about an hour. It was interesting, but nothing to write home about! David and I watched the First Tape on Small Groups from our church. Very interesting and stimulating! We wished that we had it on Maui a couple of years ago. But who knows, we may have small groups meeting here on PEACE AND ALOHA!
May 20, 2000
We did update the website today as you all know; however, it cost us a small fortune, so we are STILL looking for other alternatives. We listened to the nets and the weather, and went into the market to pick up some last minute items, to return the video, and to say goodbye to all our friends that we had made there. We left Falmouth Harbour about 10:30 and sailed eastward around the island to Nonsuch Bay, arriving about 2:30 to anchor between Green Island and Bird Island in beautiful turquoise waters with only a few other boats. We went snorkeling for a little while and David worked on cleaning some of the "garden" off the bottom of our boat. The snorkeling was another disappointment. The water was cleaner and clearer, but nothing was there.
We started reading "Poisonwood Bible," by Barbara Kingsolver, which Julie had read for one of her classes and RAVED about and wanted us to purchase. Lord Jim's Locker in Falmouth was able to obtain the book for me. I am enjoying it, but the male members of this crew (ie everyone else!!) says it is a girlie book...so we shall see. (Another added bonus from this web site...book reviews!)
May 20, 2000
Good morning!!! We finished the website and added pictures with captions yesterday afternoon and were at the cable and wireless office about 2:30, in order to be finished before they closed at 4pm. David and I walked over to Signal Locker to settle up the bill for the work on the refrigeration, while Eric updated the web site. We returned to find that he could not access IPASS...our password did not work. We called Maui Net and found out that IPASS is defunct, probably right after we uploaded on April 15. We are going over this morning to try to connect with Maui net. If there is anyone out there who can give us ideas as to HOW we can access local number to servers world wide, we would definitely appreciate this information. It is really difficult for us to change servers or accounts with our lack of phone service, etc., but we might have to change our modus operund. Please send suggestions via the ham email direct to boat, as we are unable to receive maui net email, if we can't update the web.
We had our last video last night...Entrapement, excellent adventure thriller with Sean Connery!!! That is our last video review for a while!!!
We should also note that last night was VERY HOT with no winds...in fact, we were swinging in every direction on our anchor. I guess we should not be complaining...it definitely is better than being too COLD!
Keep in touch...Love and aloha to you all! We will be heading to Nonsuch Bay after we go into update this site, buy some fruit and bread and return the video this morning. We will be there for a few days, then over to Jolly Harbour for a few days for reprovisioning, washing and filling up the diesel tanks. Then on to Guadaloupe and the Saints, probably at the end of the month. See ya soon!!!
May 19, 2000
I am sorry to take this long to update...but it is getting harder and harder. Please check out Ports of Call, I did update that. I must close so Eric can add the pictures and hopefully put captions on them for you. Please keep in touch, using the ham email address. We miss you all! Hope you are all well, happy and having a wonderful Spring!
It has been a few more days since I made my last entry ...hopefully, we will post to our web site today. Fillmore from Signal Locker is on board...hopefully, fixing our refrigeration problem. We will be able to leave Falmouth Harbour and be on our way. We are thinking of going to Nonesuch Harbour, then to Jolly Harbour to reprovision, to wash, and to fill up the diesel tanks and then head to Guadaloupe. I think we have decided against going to Barbuda. We would like to see more of Antigua. So today, will be a busy day making ready and saying good bye, if we head out tomorrow. Actually, there is very little wind out there, so that is not good for making passages. The change in the weather never materialized from the trough over Puerto Rico from a couple of days ago. We continue to have beautiful sunny warm weather with rain at night. Perfect!!! We just found out that Fillmore couldn't find the correct freon, so I don't know what we will do if we need it!!??? Will keep you posted. I am busy trying to finish this so Eric can add pictures, and hopefully, captions and post it this afternoon. The refrigeration is fixed.Thank heavens!!
May 18 - We had quite a day...we hiked to Shirley Heights. Not quite as simple as it sounds: we arrived at the gate house, since we were walking via the road for maybe two miles or so, mostly uphill. They said we needed to pay an entrance fee of $5/person. We didn't really have money and didn't really think that we should have to pay...so we left. We walked down to Galleon Beach, where we talked with people at the resort. In fact we met a gentleman from Indiana, who has been vacationing there at Galleon Beach Resort for the past 30 years and had just begun building his home nearby. We were informed that we should take the trail up the hill, behind their resort. They indicated that the worse and steepest part was at the beginning and it would take about 20-30 minutes. David and Jason had worn their hiking boots, I had my flipflops on but had brought my jogging shoes, but Eric was wearing only flipflops, but we went any way. It was an incredible hike through desert vegetation with cacti, century plants, and bromeliads. We saw lots of goats with their babies (we are not sure if they are wild or belong to someone). We saw hummingbirds and two different small yellow birds...we need to get a bird book for this area. That is how to see these different countries -- get off the boat and hike!
The top of the mountain at Shirley Heights was quite a significant fortication with many large buildings to house soldiers on duty as lookouts and for protection. You can see forever from there!!!! After having a Balance bar and some water for lunch we started down the road, but decided not to deal with any hassles should they arise at the guard house when we passed...so we walked back to the top and down the trail. We took a short cut through The Inn at English Harbour, toured the grounds of Clarence House, built by King William IV of England (known in Europe as the "Sailor King"), and arrived back to the video store to pick up The Runaway Bride, which we really enjoyed last night, at about 4pm, rather tired, hot and very thirsty!!! But what a wonderful adventure!!
May 17 - We had our official tour of Nelson's Dock Yard. We enjoyed another movie, which was Tarzan (refreshing after the movie that night before). We also tried some sweets, called Rocks and a potato pudding (both were different, lots of coconut, but very tasty).
Julie and Chris are in Alaska with his family to attend his sister, Julia's high school graduation on May 23. On May 25 Julie will fly to Italy with his Mom and sister until June 2. She is getting to be quite the jet-setter!!! Wonderful to have parents who work for United Airlines!!! She is trying to figure out when, where and if she will be coming to sail with us this summer. Hopefully, both of them can join us for a little while in some beautiful place!!!! She needs a rest after doing so well this semester! She also needs to get a job and to start qualifying for in-state tuition, since she is almost 21 (I can't quite believe that!!!). Poor Nalu...our grand-dogger!...is staying with a friend, whom she likes alot and where she spent a longer time at Christmas. Julie said she was pouting and looking very sad the few days before they left! Poor Baby...
May 17, 2000
This quote from "Racundra's" First Cruise by Arthur Ransome will maybe explain our desire to be on this journey, this adventure: "Houses are but badly built boats so firmly aground that you cannot think of moving them. They are definitely inferior things, belonging to the vegetable not the animal world, rooted and stationary, incapable of transistion. The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content thenceforward with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
We are still here in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. As we wait for our refrigeration part to arrive from Grunert in Florida, we are watching the harbour empty as most of the large yachts are heading to the Med and the rest of the cruisers are already further south. There were probably 75 boats here when we arrived last week and there are less than 30 now.
We are hoping that the part will arrive tomorrow, and will clear through customs and the technician willl be able to fix it on Friday. Hopefully nothing else is wrong besides the leaking shaft seal on the compressor. Grunert is honoring their warranty, but we still have to pay for extra hours, freon, and customs duty (even though it is considered "duty-free" for a yacht in transit, there is still a $50 per package customs charge. After that is fixed we will probably head north (?) to Barbuda for a couple of days and then back to Jolly Harbour to reprovision and check out of Antigua. Unfortunately, we will not have a chance to explore the north and the east coasts of Antigua and some of the many beaches (365 of them, one for every day of the year, is what the brochure says), unless we decide to stay another week. The weather is scheduled to get nasty tomorrow night and the first tropical waves (first precursors to the hurricane season) were announced yesterday on all the weather channels that we hear...so it is definitely time to be heading south.
We toured Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour this morning. All of the construction is really quite amazing when one considers it was built in the 1700's, when there was no water, there was malaria and all of the English were dressed from head to toe!!!! Unfortunately, no wonder so many of them died! When Lord Nelson went back to England, he was very sick. So sick that he carried aboard a huge keg of rum to preserve his body if he died during the passage. He lived through the passage and returned to good health and another station with the British Navy.
We will bring you up to date today and then Eric will add pictures and HOPEFULLY, I will have time to add captions, especially for those who requested it. We will update to our website probably on Friday before we leave on Saturday (all subject to change!!!). Not sure when we will be updating again and it may be another month. We will go to Deshaises in Guadaloupe, the Saints, Dominica (????still a question), and then St. Lucia. Just remember that you can contact us with short text messages on board at KH7JL@cho.win-net.org....I am STILL working on transferring addresses and answering letters from the maui.net site. The only time we access those emails is when we update the website, so it is NOT very timely. It also costs us telephone charges at $3/min here, while the ham email doesn't cost anything. Just PLEASE remember....NO forwarded messages and NO pictures!!! Thank you. But we REALLY do enjoy hearing from all of you...please keep in touch!!! We continue to miss our friends and family, even though we are enjoying meeting new friends and seeing new places along our journey!!!
May 16 - We were able to get the parts that we needed and they arrived yesterday, so David and Eric rigged up the backstays so that they can be positioned from the cockpit and Eric no longer needs to go forward in heavy seas to move them when they need to be reset with each tack. We were also able to have our dinghy repaired. Avon also paid for Seagull Inflatables to replace the valve which was leaking on the floor. I spent the entire day cleaning out all the files and the chart cabinet. Actually I didn't throw away as much as David would have liked, but we do now have much easier access to all the information in the files and the chart cabinet.
David and I have been swimming laps around the boat and dinghy...we are up to 20!!! Actually pretty good exercise...but we need to leave soon, the bottom of the boat is really growing!!!
May 15 - We took the floor of the dinghy in for repair and anwered emails. We watched another movie..."Dogma", which actually had what sounded like a funny storyline, but the language is absolutely filthy...so, it didn't make my rec's list (see - you get an added bonus by reading our web site, you get free video reviews!!!).
May 14, 2000
HAPPY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL!!!! As you can see, I am STILL behind. I will try to bring you up to date so that we are able to post this on the web soon here in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua.
Jason and Eric gave me a yellow headed amazon parrot for Mother's Day!!! Jason said, "Mom, you don't have to feed him or clean up after him....but he doesn't talk like Manu!!!" We are still working on a name....any suggestions???? He is now our official mascot also!!! Pat and Mike and James and Liz....please....don't tell Manu, Sammy and Squirt that they have been replaced by a STUFFED GREEN parrot!!! I miss them lots...Thanks for caring for them and loving them lots!!!
April 28 - We dinghied over to Cole Bay on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. It was just too difficult to move the boat, to go into the Lagoon (which was filthy) because it was too rolly to stay in Simpson Bay, to clear out of customs (French) and then to clear in on the Dutch side. We went to both boat stores: Budget (??? nothing is cheap around here) Marine and Island Water World. We had a nice sandwich in a little restaurant...$3 each on French baquette!!! Delicious!
April 29 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TIBY!!!!! The guys worked on boat repairs and I worked on administration and mail, which I had not done from the mail drop in Coral Bay on April 15. It was carnival in St. Maarten until Wednesday and St. Martin celebrates May Day, so almost everything was closed from Saturday until Tuesday.
April 30 - HAPPY HATCH DAY, IPO!!! Six years old and living with a wonderful family in Atlanta! Antigua flag making day!!!! Too bad they aren't all like the French flag!!!??? We snorkeled around the boat for 30 minutes - it is clear, but nothing but sandy bottom about 9 feet below!!! We watched "At First Sight"....excellent movie...we recommend that one!
May 1 - HAPPY MAY/LEI DAY!!!! ALOHA TO LONO, WHO FLEW TO BIRDIE HEAVEN TODAY!!!! Our love goes out to Jerry and Dot!!!
We did some major provisioning today at Food Center on the Dutch side. We walked there and they drove us back to Island Water World, where are dinghy was docked. It took me a while to inventory and stow all of it.
May 2 - We purchased a complete windsurfing rig!!! We put it together and figured out how to attach it on deck. Actually, we ran out of parts so before we could leave in the morning Eric and Jason went to Budget Marine to get them. So, the windsurfer was on Julie's bunk for a couple of days!!!
May 3 - We left for Orient Bay, arriving in time to have lunch there. We went to the beach in the afternoon and Eric had a chance to try out his new skim board. David and I went snorkeling again...still nothing to see. David and I went into a wine and cheese party at the Orient Bay Resort. We have never seen quite a spread: delicious red and white wines or fruit punch or orange juice to drink. There were pates, french bread, and probably 25-30 different cheeses to sample. I have never seen David eat so much....maybe it will fatten him up a little!!!! We met Barbara and Steve, a couple from Fort Myers, FL, on their boat, REALITY. They spend 5 weeks there every year before they head south.
May 4 - We sailed over to Anse de Columbier, St. Barts (Bartholemy) in about 3-4 hours. BEAUTIFUL SAILING!!!!! David and I snorkeled all along the edge of the bay...saw more fish, under the rocks, but no coral????!!!! We went with Eric to the other side of the bay and he tried to get fish for dinner (we haven't had any since we left the Bahamas!!!). He didn't catch any and then we realized that most of the island is a reserve!!! ooops!!!
May 5 - We dinghied over to the city of Gustavia, but we had not checked in, so we did not go ashore. Very quaint little village...I would have liked to have roamed around. We also talked with "Earl" on the trawler SURF RIDER, which was anchored next to us. He makes surf boards, but unfortunately, Eric already has two. His family comes from Maui (he is related to the Sudas in Kihei), but he grew up on Oahu!!!! Small world!! David and I went snorkeling again...did see some fish that we hadn't seen before...and an eel and a small shark under a rock. The water is a very comfortable 83 degrees!!!
May 6 - We finally were able to talk with Jim and Debi on MAH JONG on our SSB, while they are in San Juan. Hopefully, they will be catching up to us soon.
We hiked over the rock trail to Anse de Flamade, where there was a beautiful beach (remnants of a hurricane with beach erosion and a destroyed hotel/condomium) and a small little store where we purchased some bread and pastries - our last French ones until Guadaloupe!
We had lunch, made dinner, made the boat ready, snorkeled, took showers and headed to Antigua at about 4pm. We had a rough night with squalls, which made the wind come from ten different directions at once, which is very difficult when we are sailing. There was also another problem which we hadn't encountered before: boats with illegal lights, so we couldn't tell which direction they were going (or coming)! Actually, that is very scarey!
May 7 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!!! Sorry it was during exams!! we arrived at Jolly Harbour, Antigua (An-ti-ga) at about 11am. We tried to go into the customs dock, but it looked too small and shallow for our boat, so they said we could anchor in the harbour and come back in the dinghy, which we did after lunch. Jerry and Lil on QUALITY TIME, had arrived much earlier than we did, since they motored more (we went 102 miles -80 mile trip, because we were tacking all the way over!). We left customs about the same time and walked around the shopping center, which was mostly closed because it was Sunday. Pretty quiet place and no other boats in the anchorage. Very pretty area with higher and greener mountains and greener water!!! However, when David and I went swimming, we couldn't see two inches in front of our mask....we still don't know what was in the water! Sand? Plankton??
May 8 - Eric and David worked on boat repairs and I read the guide books to see what we should see!!! David and I swam to the little beach and back...very scarey, when you can't see anything!! Movie night: "Can't Hardly Wait"...was given to us by Patricia in St. Thomas. It is about seniors not being able to wait to graduate...we all could really relate...so we enjoyed it alot. Thanks, Pat and Michael!!! We also came about an Antiguan channel...only one!!! First tv we have had in months. Jason said it was more like home videos...we really enjoyed the weather man!!! (We can't receive that channel here in Falmouth.)
May 9 - we sailed up to Deep Bay, because we wanted to be able to swim off the boat. That harbor was CHAOS....a jet skier zooming around as close to our boat and the others anchored there, plus the kayakers and divers. They came out and told him to stop but he did not...I think we are going to get a sling shot!!! We decided to leave after lunch, so we sailed to Hermitage Bay in Five Islands Harbour. We put the windsurfer together and Eric sailed across the bay. The biggest problem were the winds...they were too gusty, almost 0 to 30!!! David started to try it, but by that time it was raining and there wasn't enough wind. We will have to try another day!! We had some BEAUTIFUL rainbows...full ones, double ones....!!! We just finished reading "Prophecy for the New Millennium", which I have been reading to everyone after dinner. Hopefully those rainbows are a sign of our wondeful adventures to come on PEACE AND ALOHA!!!
May 10 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JILL AND DANIELLE!!!! Hope it was happy for you both! We left Hermitage Bay about 9:30 and did not anchor in Falmouth Harbour until about 3:30. It was blowing 25 knots and was very LUMPY!!!! but I didn't get sick and I didn't take anything....Yipee!!! We also snagged a fish pot...wrapped around the prop, but we were sailing so it didn't do any damage. Eric had to jump into the dinghy and cut it off with the really sharp knife that we carry in the cockpit. He looked just like a pirate with the knife in his teeth going between the boat and the dinghy!!! We then went ashore and checked out some places for tomorrow.
May 11 - HAPPY LAST DAY OF FINALS FOR JULIE AND CHRIS!!!! We walked all over Falmouth and English Harbours trying to find someone to fix our Grunert Refrigeration. Signal Locker is going to take care of it. Thank heavens they are not very busy here!!! Actually, I think that we will be closing down this harbour like we closed down Camden, ME and Marblehead, MA!!! The HUGE Antigua Regatta was over on May 6, and almost all the boat must have left on the 7th. However, we have been able to see a few of them. These boats make our boat look like a dinghy!!!!We also went into the Wayfarer office here and saw Steve, who remembered our boat from Camden last Sept-Oct. There is a video store right here in the marina, so we have been overdosing with videos, since they are $6.50EC or $2.44US to rent. We saw "Sliding Doors"...which we highly recommend: a comedy with a very interesting twist...of fate??!!
May 12 - The guys tightened up both head sails, since we were lucky enough to have a VERY calm day. They are also working on figuring a method to position the backstays from the cockpit, since it is much too dangerous for Eric to go forward to move them in rough seas. The problem is getting the parts! Signal Locker heard back from Grunert that they will forward the part and it should be here Tuesday or Wednesday. We just have to pay $50 for duty free clearance and then freon to bring it back up. Thank heavens they are honoring their warranty. I am working on all the food in the freezer, so that if we have a really big problem, we won't have to throw it all out, since we don't enough people to have a BIG party here!!!.
David and I swam 10 laps around the boat....can see a little more than in Jolly Harbour!!! We finally got to see 007 - "The World is not Enough". Wonderful James Bond movie!!!
May 13 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. WENTWORTH!!!! Hope it was happy!! Eric, Jason and I took the wash in to have it done for me....same price as doing it yourself!!! First time that I have had anyone do wash for me!!!! Happy Mother's Day early!
It also looked like Monserrat was erupting! We heard on the weather that a dome collapse is imminent and recommend giving the island a WIDE berth! We are about 30-40 east - upwind, so we are safe! It would be very exciting to see, since we never saw any of the eruptions on the Big Island.
We stopped to check out some of the huge boats at the marina: WALLY has got to be THE most expensive boat we have ever seen. ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! I didn't have my camera and they left yesterday, so no picture of her. BRISTOLIAN and GEORGIANA were also there and we had seen them in Camden. They are both heading for the Med tomorrow. MAYA left a couple of days ago. Last night SOUTHERN CROSS III left about 9pm amidst horns and blasts!!! She is a motor vessel equal the size of a small cruise ship! We came up in the cockpit to see what the horn blast meant...usually five blasts means danger!!! We were watching "Apple Pie", which is a very raucous, rated R, movie....it was funny, in a gross and crude way....Parental discretion!!!
David and I worked all afternoon on making the additional cover for a Shade Tree Canvas sun shade. We used our trusty new Europro sewing machine, which has already paid for itself. While the boys and I were picking out the video, David installed the grommets and had it up by the time we returned.
April 27, 2000
I don't really know where the time has gone, but we continue to be VERY busy. I know that it is really hard for those ashore to comprehend that we are not on an extended vacation, allowed to lay in a hammock and sip pina coladas all day!!! Now that I have your complete sympathy, I will bring you up to date:
April 13 - After lunch with Nancy and David Black here on PEACE AND ALOHA, we went back to the caves at Norman Island to snorkel again for almost an hour. Once again we were completely enthralled by the beauty of the rocks under the water and inside the caves above the water. The colors of the corals, sponges and fishes are awesome.
April 14 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TED DALTON!!! We had hoped to have Nancy and George from TRUMPETER aboard to see our boat before we headed out; however, Jason developed a "GOK" (God only knows) fever last night after dinner. We didn't want to infect them with something, so we never did have them aboard, and they will be heading back up to Maine soon. We left Norman Island early and arrived in Coral Bay, St. John, US Virgin Islands before lunch. The anchorage was very crowded and windy, so David and Jason remained on board, while Eric and I dinghied in to town. Eric updated the web and I made many phone calls. We had returned to St. John to receive another mail drop before we left US soil; however, it did not come that day. We moved from the harbor at Coral Bay over to Hurricane Hole, which turned out to be a very quiet, pristine anchorage.
April 15 - We all know what day today is!!!!!!@#$%^&*()**!!??? The weatherman for the Caribbean, David Jones, gave his morning report: it is blowing like stink!!!!! We were lucky ...we were in Hurricane Hole. Only problem was that we had to go back into Coral Bay for our mail and to mail letters. In the meantime, we were trying to connect with Beth and Evans from HAWK. We had been hailing them on the VHF for several days from the BVI's, and we noticed another girl was also hailing them. So...I called her...They are Jim and Debi on BEEDAHBUN from Ontario, Canada. They were in Leinster Bay on the north side (the other side) of St. John, having just sailed over from Peter Island in the BVI's. They hiked over the trail to Coral Bay to meet us for cokes at Skinny Legs Bar and Grill. David and Jason stayed on board. David got a really bad rope burn on his leg, when he grabbed for his hat and the genoa furler rope came off the winch. (We seem to be taught a new lesson every day!) Eric and I went over and met Jim and Debi and got our mail (actually the LAST box to come off the mail van!!!!). Otherwise, we would have had to wait until Monday....Thank you! Eric and I had quite a dinghy ride home in the big waves and wind!!!
April 16 - We decided to sail over to Leinster Bay, to hopefully, intercept HAWK they sailed by enroute to North Sound, Virgin Gorda from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Debi and I kep hailing them every hour. We couldn't believe that they had passed us by...WRONG! As it turns out, Beth and Evans had sailed to Virgin Gorda on Friday and they were also having trouble with their radio. We arrived at Leinster Bay about noon, finished going through all the mail, answered mail that we needed to and then walked all the way the the Camp at Maho Bay.
Jim and Debi from BEEDAHBUN came over to visit about 5:30. What wonderful people! Debi is soon to become a published author: her book "Changing Courses" will be release this summer. She has promised me one of the first copies. This book was the result of the research for her PhD thesis. She had over 100 responses from First Mates regarding what it was like to abruptly change life styles when their husbands said, "Honey, let's go cruising!" We could have talked about everything all night! (But we didn't...they went home about 8!)
April 17 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. SALLY BROWN!!!! We left early and arrived about 10 at Road Town, Tortola to do some shopping. We managed to go to three stores, return to the boat, store and inventory all and sail up to Marina Cay by 4:30. (Remember...it is still blowing 20-25!) Debi was telling us that there is a movie, entitled "Two on an Isle," that was written here at Marina Cay and later filmed here. It is a true story. Maybe we can find it to rent or to buy somewhere. Unfortunately, we didn't have any time to snorkel or to onto the island. We watched our movie of the week: "What Dreams May Come" with Robin Williams. We will have to watch that one again, since David slept through most of it.
April 18 - We left early, sailed to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor, to check out of the British Virgin Islands. We sailed into North Sound, Virgin Gorda about 11:00 and found HAWK between Brisas Creek and Bitter End Yacht Club, anchored right next to Jerry and Lil on QUALITY TIME. In fact, when we were trying to hail HAWK, we talked with Jerry, because we knew they were in North Sound. Jerry told us that he thought he had seen the boat somewhere....!!!!! Beth and Evans came aboard and joined us for lunch. We had lots to catch up with first meeting them in Camden, Maine last September.
Jim and Debi had gone into Leverick Bay to wash, etc. and we had planned on anchoring there. Debi hailed us and they arrived to anchor in front of us. We are still out in the cockpit, when GYPSEA PALACE, with Heather Brown Sawitsky, sails by!!!! I had also been trying to hail them, but I find that charter boats do NOT monitor 16 or any channel. (Just like the Black's on BYNUM'S BEAUTY). I used to babysit for Heather in Mariemont, Ohio,just a couple of years ago! Our parents have been friends forever. She and her husband, Kitt, are both lawyers and live in Wellesley, MA with their two sons, Aaron and Luke. Heather was an Outward Bound sailing instructor at Hurricane Island in Maine (I noted it in our cruising guide when we were nearby last fall)and delivered boats for them, along the east coast from Florida.
We had a wonderful evening aboard PEACE AND ALOHA!!!!! We had everyone over here for a party!!!! All fourteen: Beth and Evans from HAWK from Annapolis, MD; Kitt, Heather, Aaron and Luke on GYPSEA PALACE from Wellesley, MA; Jerry and Lil on QUALITY TIME from Baxter, MN; Jim and Debi on BEEDAHBUN from Ontario, Canada and us from Maui! Beth had gotten a bottle of champagne to celebrate Debi's forthcoming publication! We had been given a bottle of champagne in NYC from David's sister, Linda, so we opened that one too! We had to make sure to open them over the rail, since the one we opened in Tahiti many years ago popped its cork and went all over!!!! We had lots of wonderful food and made lots of new friends! And nobody left until 9pm! Finally, our beautiful sailing vessel was happy, full of peace and aloha!!!
April 19 - We sailed over to Leverick Bay early to fill up out diesel tanks, to do a wash, to get haircuts, and to see Euphoria, a house which belongs to Sue and Michael Cummins, who we knew in Tucson. David and Eric took care of filling up the diesel tanks at $2.50/gallon....ouch!!! Jason and I went to the laundromat, which was filled to overflowing!!! We waited and waited, I finally had two loads going, and then the power went out!!!! But that did give me time to check out the Cummins's house, which was unfortunately for us (but fortunately for them!) rented, so we couldn't go inside. We were given a beautiful brochure and were able to see it from the water. Hopefully, there is a picture included. So, if you need a place to rent while you are in Virgin Gorda, you know where to go! I couldn't get a haircut; there was a women's salon but it was nails and massage. Being in the laundromat for that lenght of time is not all bad, we met all sorts of other cruisers, actually we met a couple who own a condo at Maalaea Banyans!!!- Lil and Jerry (QUALITY TIME) and Natalie and Ed (FANCY FREE) were also there doing their wash. I think it was about 1:30 when we finally returned home with our clean clothes and sheets, which of course, translates into make lunch and then make up all the bed! Jason usually makes his, but this time he used Eric's sheets, so he was rather upset when he had to pull it all apart and remake it! You must remember that we are talking about beds that are closed in on the sides...actually, you have to be on the bed to make it...really a good trick!!!!
After we returned to the anchorage back at Bitter End, Beth, Debi and I walked up to Brisas Creek Resort for drinks and some girl talk...we finally arrived home at 6:30...the men were supposed to get together and discuss engines or something, but they all did their own thing!!!
April 20 - We listened to all the nets and weather and started to make the boat ready for our passage across the Anegada Passage to St. Martin (the French side). We went over to visit HAWK (which is another aluminum boat, built by the other Bad Boat Builder...we had been aboard her in Camden...very organized and could weather a hurricane easily )about 10...and she had made chocolate chip cookies!!!! Wonderful!!! They helped us with places to see and NOT in the Caribbean. We also talked about rigging, etc. etc. Unfortunately, it was quickly noon time and time to say our farewells and thank yous. We are not sure where and when we will meet again for Beth and Evans are heading to Scotland on April 27-28, if the weather is correct to begin a 30+ day Atlantic crossing. They are not sure whether they will stop at Bermuda and/or the Azores. We are able to keep in contact with email, which helps alot. I am sure our paths will cross again.
After lunch we were invited to visit with Jim and Debi and their springer spaniel, Sydney on BEEDAHBUN, a Nauticat. which is an interesting motor sailer. They are planning to ship her to Europe next spring and do the canals. We really enjoyed our visit with them also...more farewells...I am learning this is a real problem in this life!!! But I believe that we will see each other again...and we were so blessed to have met all these wonderful people.
We dinghied over to the Bitter End Yacht Club to see it, check out the stores and use the last few minutes on our phone card. We didn't find anything in the stores to buy (Everything in the BVI's is VERY expensive)...I am trying to find a little something from each country which we visit. We also found that there were no pay phones so we could not use our phone card!!! We dinghied out to Eustatia Sound to say good bye (another one!!!) to Natalie, Ed and Bob (the cockatoo) on FANCY FREE. We know that we will be seeing them in Los Aves/ Bonaire/Islands off Venezuela later this summer.
Back to the boat and we left North Sound at 4:30. We tried to sail out while Beth was taking pictures of us. Not sure what she got??? We also called back and forth several times on the VHF to check theirs. Apparently, Evans had fixed the problem. Debi had said that they were going to hike to the top of the mountain and take some pictures of us, so maybe we will have some pictures of us ...sailing... Jim took one of us off Tortala, check the picture section. (It has also been requested that I put captions on the photos...hopefully, I will have time to do that before the update appears. Eric usually puts the pictures in, so I will have to figure out how to put labels on them. I am also working on updating the Ports of Call section...we just realized it is empty!!!)
April 21 - We arrived in Marigot Harbour, St. Martin on the French side of this Caribbean island which is shared almost equally...and very peacefully, ..by the French and the Dutch (Sint Maarten). We sailed overnight with some wind. We did some tacking and some motoring. We kept wondering what it would be like out there in the Anegada Passage with strong winds and high seas...No thank you!! We would prefer to motor and tack... We had to go into town to check in with customs, which was about the only place open because of Good Friday.
April 22 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUNT BETTY!!!!! 93 years YOUNG!!!! So we went into town early to get to the market when it opened at 9am. We bought alot of produce...not many deals. We went over to this fantastic gourmet supermarket and bought wine, cheese, French bread and pastries for desert. We also climbed up to the top of the mountain to explore Fort Lewis/Fort Marigot. Wonderful view of St. Martin and Marigot and its harbour. I FINALLY gave in and David cut my hair...actually, he did a pretty good job!!! Then we went for a swim around the boat.
April 23 - HAPPY EASTER!!!!! We didn't hide any colored Easter eggs this year...but we did enjoy some jelly beans!!! We sailed to Orient Bay, about 2 hours around the coast in 29 knot winds....we heeled over more than we ever have...in the gusts that come down between the mountains. We dinghied in and walked the beach....probably about a 3 mile walk. The beach was VERY crowded with the holiday. There were jet skiis, parasailors, and windsurfers....and we are anchored right in the middle....just like Coney Island!!! We watched the movie, The Paper...nothing to write home about...
April 24 - we were able to get French bread at the little store at the Orient Bay Resort. Eric took us to Green Cay to lay on the beach and then to snorkel. We continue to be very disappointed with snorkeling here. There were many conch, but I couldn't convince David or Eric to clean them....it is a REALLY tough job!!! That night was VERY rolly and lots of salt spray, because of the 20 knot winds.
April 25 - Eric scraped off the bottom of the boat...got off most of the barnacles and they haven't returned, but the grass is growing again!!!! Our own little garden...too bad we can cultivate something that we can eat! He has terrible blisters on his heels from his fins...
April 26 - After another rolly night, we left in 25 knot winds with HUGE swells coming in the entrance to the bay, to go to Grande Case. We spent all afternoon walking up and down the main (only!) street in town, reading the menus. This town has more restaurants than any other town in the Caribbean!!!! The prices are rather high...with entrees at $20-30, salads and deserts were $10. So, we bought more cheese and pastries to enjoy at home!!!
April 27 - After snorkeling at Roche Creole (Large rock at the mouth of the bay at Grande Case) for an hour (again, another disappointment...we were ver confused since there were dive and snorkel boats there. The visibility was terrible...maybe because of the swells??? There were few fish and no coral....or was it all destroyed by a hurricane???), we sailed back around the point to Marigot. We spent the afternoon looking at windsurf equipment and buying more bread, wine, cheese and pastries!!!!
April 13, 2000
We are still at The Bight at Norman's Island and are busy doing repairs, cleaning, general boat work. David and Nancy Black from Cincinnati are sailing over here from Nanny Cay on Tortola on BYNUM'S BEAUTY, their 52' chartered sloop at about noon. Hopefully, we will have a chance to visit with them, meet Nancy, and snorkel the Caves again before they have to head to Soper's Hole to pick up their captain who was in Boston for his father's funeral.
Nancy and George on TRUMPETER are also sailing over here from Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. Hopefully, we will be able to have them aboard to visit tonight with their newly married friends on SALIANDER. They will be heading back up to New England in a few weeks, while we will be going to St. Martin. They have been busy with friends and family for the last month, when we were aboard their boat in Magens Bay.
Our plan is to head into Coral Bay, St. John tomorrow to update this site and pick up our mail, if it is there. Eric will be putting new pictures on here, I hope. If we are not able to provision there, we will go around to Cruz Bay. We have plans to meet with Beth and Evans on HAWK in Drake's Anchorage, Virgin Gorda on Sunday. We will then wait for a weather window (the 30+knot winds with 7-9 foot seas from ENE will have to calm down!!!) for us to make the 80 mile trip overnight to St. Martin. We plan to leave about 3pm and travel overnight for an early morning arrival, so that we do not arrive after dark. The big problem is that we are still heading east, directly into the trades. I think this is our last major passage.
For all interested parties we have traveled 4780.8 miles on our journey. Since we left the Bahamas we have visited St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands. In the British Virgin Islands we have been to Jost Van Dyke, Green Cay, Sandy Cay, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, Norman Island, and Beef Island. Unfortunately, it looks like we are not going to get to Anegada. We will keep you informed.
Please continue to keep in touch...and let us know if we might be in your summer vacation plans. We would love to see you!
April 12, 2000
We are still in the BVI's at the Bight on Norman's Island. We sailed over here today from Virgin Gorda in 30+ knot winds, but it was very comfortable, since we were going downwind. Now, we will have to go BACK upwind to go east to St. Martin. We decided to go back into the US Virgin Islands for a mail drop on Saturday (hopefully), mail letters, make phone calls and pick up a few provisions. We are finding the Virgin Islands to be VERY expensive, even compared with Hawaii.
As you continue to read the updates below you will note that we were all ready to upload our site last Saturday, April 10 in Road Town, Tortolla; however, we could not find a place to do it. Also, after purchasing a phone card, we realized that it costs $2+/minute to the States, so that is another reason to head back to USVI to make some calls and update our site. We are not sure what we will find in St. Martin and along the chain of islands. It will probably be another month before we log on again. Our plans (get your maps out!) are to go to St. Martin/St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Antiqua, Guadeloupe (maybe), Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, but of course all of this is subject to change according to how late we are (we should be leaving St. Martin now), the weather and we need to be to the Grenadines and Grenada by June 1 for the beginning of hurricane season. We will then work our way to Tobago, Trinidad, Venezuela and possibly Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba (we are not sure if they are out of the hurricane zone). At some point we will have to have PEACE AND ALOHA hauled out (again???) and her bottom cleaned and repainted. We have quite an a garden with barnacles on our bottom!!
Now, back to our update: This afternoon we dinghied over to snorkel the Caves on this island. Some of the most SPECTACULAR snorkeling we have ever had. The caves are partially filled with water and the colors are absolutely incredible in the rocks, sponges and corals. There were more fish than we have previously seen here. They had also been fed, because they would follow us around like little puppy dogs, begging for food and to be petted. We saw two GIGANTIC barracuda who came cruising by, much too close for comfort! They were bigger than I am!!!
April 8 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GURU MA! we went into Road Town and did 4 loads of wash, bought some food, all in preparation for our house (boat?) guest.We came back to the boat, defrosted the refrigerator and put it all away (after it was put on my inventory, of course!) We went back into town and check with Moorings about a friend, who should be arriving in Tortola on April 15, but they could not locate the reservation. It was so rolly at that anchorage that we left as soon as we returned and sailed out to Great Harbour at Peter Island. David and I went snorkeling along the edge of the harbor before dinner. We were anchored in 75 feet of water which is very unusually deep for here.
April 9 - We left early to head to Trellis Bay, Tortola, to be at the airport to meet Tuck Fraser, a good friend of mine from Cincinnati. We arrived about noon time, which gave us time to do some repairs and cleaning before we headed into the airport at about 4 to meet her plane at 4:30 or 6:00. We should have checked our email first (hind sight is so wonderful!), but we checked it when we returned since she wasn't on either flight! She had a BIG water leak at home! She tried to get a plumber (on Sunday???) and get another flight out, but she had not been able to contact us, so...she didn't make it! We were really disappointed! Hopfully, she will be able to join us further south, and some more of you will also venture to the Caribbean to visit...We had our Sunday night at the movies - we saw IQ! It is a really cute romantic comedy with Walter Matthau as Einstein!!
April 10 - We stayed around Trellis Bay, because from her emails, we thought Tuck was still coming at about noon. So, Eric changed the oil in the diesel and the generator and I tried (?) to tackle the 288 emails in the maui net in box...remember, please email us on the ham email directly to the boat, unless it is a joke/forwarded material or pictures, which cannot be sent that way. Address is KH7JL@cho.win-net.org. Just remember that we have limited time per day and this is done as a service to cruisers by ham radio volunteers. Thank you. We don't know what we would do without it. Please use that address for normal correspondence, and the maui net for forwarded messages and pictures.
Someone came into the anchorage while we were eating, and left their boat on a fishing mooring, which was not one of the regular anchor moorings. David and I had been snorkeling and had seen the rope which was on this mooring, so we moved and anchored further out in the harbor. We were able to sleep that night without worrying if that boat was going to come crashing into us...
April 11 - We left Trellis Bay about 8AM (early for us now...isn't that terrible?) and arrived at The Baths at Virgin Gorda. We dinghied into the beach and then walked the trail through the caves to Devil's Bay. We then went snorkeling for almost an hour along the caverns and huge boulders, which are in and out of the water. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!! ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I wish that I could describe this place is words, and unfortunately, I did not take my camera. Hopefully, I can get some post cards and Eric can scan them in. The water was crystal clear with beautifully colored corals and sponges. The rocks on land were HUGE boulders, thrown hither and yon, many balancing precariously on one another. They had been worn away into a myriad of shapes by waves over eons of time. We were told it is a similiar formation to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. David and I were so enthralled by that snorkeling that we swam back to the caves and the beach from the boat for another hour after lunch.
Unfortunately, we had to leave about 3 because the anchorage is not safe at night even on the Park moorings and it had been very rolly during the day. We anchored for the night at St. Thomas Bay outside the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor at Spanish Town.
April 7, 2000
We are in Road Harbour, Tortola, British Virgin Islands...and we are rocking and rolling...this has got to be THE rolliest anchorage yet. We arrived here about 4:30, after sailing over from Green Cay, Little Jost Van Dyke, this afternoon. This morning we cleaned up the boat, Eric did some repair work and then we went into the Cay, walked around the island, and then went snorkeling. We finally found a magnificent spot, but Eric was there to pick us up in the dinghy and it was very cloudy. In fact, we had some drops of rain. Our weather has been absolutely amazing since we left Florida on January 23. It has been BEAUTIFUL every day. All of the rain has been at night. We definitely are appreciative of that!!! Thank you!!
David and Jason stayed aboard after we anchored here at Road Town and Eric and I went into check everything out!!! The Spring Sailing/Racing Regatta is happening this weekend...so there are wall to wall boats in this harbor and elsewhere in the BVI's. We saw KALIKOBASS, but nobody was aboard. Hopefully, we will see them tomorrow. We also saw this HUGE motor yacht, MORRECA, which had been in Port Stanley when we were there. We were told that it belonged to Sean Connery, and he went to Canada to play golf at this famous course nearby. So...maybe we will see him tomorrow, too!!!! Then when we returned to our boat, we noticed the boat next to us, REVERY. We stopped to introduce ourselves to Carol and Jim. They traveled here from the Bahamas the same time we did; however, they traveled the "thornless path" through Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It happens that they live in Huron, Ohio and Carol grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Withrow High School!!!! What a small world we live in!!!! They will be traveling down to Trinidad, storing their boat and returning to Ohio for the summer.
We are planning on updating this website tomorrow, washing, and provisioning...in preparation for our first house (boat???) guest. Tuck Frazier, who went to Hillsdale with me, will be arriving on Sunday, hopefully. She is flying standby (Delta) to St. Thomas, USVI and then over to Tortola by Cape Air. We were hoping that Jill Hoff was coming also, but a new job got in the way. Hopefully, next time, Jill! We had thought that we might pick her up here, but we will be out of this roll ASAP tomorrow, so we will pick her up at Trellis Bay. The only problem is Jason and Eric, who just went to shore to check out the Fun and Festivities with Music, etc. for the Regatta...if there are girls, we might have to stay for tomorrow night festivities!!!! We might be in trouble...not sure how much sleep we will get tonight with the roll AND the music!!!
Just to quickly bring you up to date: April 5 - we left Leinster Bay, St. John, USVI and sailed to Great (?...it is very small...200 people on the entire island!) Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Island. We arrived about noon, had lunch and then dinghied to shore to clear customs. We were told at the dock by other cruisers, that the immigration officier had gone to lunch and it had taken them 2+ hours to clear through, because of a large cruise ship which was late arriving. So we cleared through customs (PEACE AND ALOHA was cleared in, but we were not!), and then told to return in an hour or so. We needed bread and fruits, so we found a WONDERFUL bakery, and bought three loaves of sandwich bread and some banana bread for dessert. We were able to buy 4 apples, and some bananas and plantains. We also checked out Foxy's. We cleared through and paid our 40 cents. We arrived back at our boat about 4 and spent the next two hours watching 50 more boats come in and anchor (???) in this small harbor. Most of the boats are chartered and it is really scarey. They take their anchor out of the locker, throw it into the water and dump about 25-50 feet of the chain on top and then leave their boat. Luckily, there was no wind, so nobody dragged. I really wanted to leave. Fifty six boats in a small little harbor is not my idea of a quiet pristine beach anchorage in the BVI's!!! One of our friends in USVI said that if we were going to the BVI's we should get out all out fenders and put them around the entire boat to protect us from the charter boats!!!!
The boys went into Foxy's for a drink after dinner...but NO girls... where are all the girls????
April 6 - HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY, NARAN! We hope it is happy! We left Great Harbour about 10, along with most of the other boats. We went to Sandy Cay. We walked around the island (I forgot to take the camera...Sob!) and then went snorkeling. We left about 3 and motored over to Green Cay where we anchored for the night with only one other boat. Yea!
Hopefully, this will bring you up to date with our adventures....hope everyone is healthy and happy! Please continue to keep in touch via the ham email...just remember, no forwarded LONG messages or pictures. It has been working very well. Also, when we received our messages from maui.net last time there were 75 new messages....I have NOT had a chance to read any of them or to answer them. So, please write us on the ham email and you will receive a more timely response. We love to hear from you all! We would love to have others visit. We understand that Grenada is a possibility. We should be leaving within two weeks to head to St. Martin/St. Maarten. Miss you all. Love and aloha.
April 4, 2000
It looks like there will be weeks in between updates....I will keep updating and when we have a chance to attach to a land line, we will update this web site. Many places only have their computers. We are able to use a payphone with our acoustic modem, but it is much easier to use a phone with an 800 number on a desk, rather than trying to juggle our laptop over the cement sidewalk! On the 23rd it took us over two hours and there were 75+ new messages to our email. Sometimes we have trouble connecting and then oftentimes there is trouble with maui.net. Of course, it is never at a time when we can call them. Please write short messages directly to the boat at KH7JL@cho.win-net.org. We are not able to receive pictures or forwarded messages...long messages...since it is transmitted by ham radio volunteers. Please communicate with us that way...otherwise, it could be a month or so between messages...just don't abuse this wonderful service that allows us to remain connected to our family and friends. We just received two forwarded messages from someone that we did not know.....We are alloted a short period of time per day and if it used up for some stupid forwarded message, we will not receive our important messages!!! Thank you for your cooperation!
We are still in USVirgin Islands. We are in Leinster Bay, St. John. . We came here yesterday after we finished making three courtesy flags: English flag for British Virgin Islands, French flag for St. Martin, and Netherland Antilles flag for the Dutch side of St. Martin or St. Maarten. When we enter a foreign country we fly a yellow quarantine flag, plus our American flag. After we clear through their customs and immigration, we continue to fly our American flag, but we also fly that country's flag as a "courtesy" and also to indicate that we have cleared through their customs.
We went ashore yesterday to explore and found the trail to the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins. It has been restored by the National Park Service and costs $4/person...so we passed on giving the $16. We walked further down the road to see the ruins of the Annaberg School House. The governor required mandatory childhood education for ALL children (slave and free) here, long before it was required in the United States.
We then went snorkeling arounnd Waterlemon Cay, which had much prettier coral and more fish than we have yet seen. David and I got out to warm up on the rocky shore and were leaning up against a large rock. I thought I heard someone coming and looked up - there was one of the 350 donkeys (the National Park counts them) looking down at us! He was very concerned since we were sitting right where he wanted to walk. He went inland around us and come back out on the beach and walked away down the beach!
This morning David and Eric rigged up the Super Snorkel in the dinghy and we went back out there to scuba dive. That was the first time that I had been scuba diving since 1986, the year before we moved to Maui!!! It took awhile to get used to again, and to not have a tank on your back and a bc, but a tube going to the surface. The real draw back is being in the dinghy with the noise of the engine before it is your turn! Major excedrin headache!!! The diving was quite excellent - alot of coral, soft and hard, and sponges of many colors. There were many many small fishes in HUGE schools - often so thick that you cannot see the bottom. We have yet to find out what these are: whether they just remain small like this or grow into large fish. David and I went back snorkeling this afternoon and saw a shark of some kind, like a nurse shark and a sting ray. Along one side of the island there a many many spiny star fish. They are quite large and all seem to have different patterns of spines and have slightly different coloration.
Last night Ed from FANCY FREE from Montreal came over to ask about our boat. He brought along Bob, his cockatoo!!! What a friendly bird!!! One understood immediately why he is named Bob...he keeps bobbing up and down! Ed shared a wealth of information about the Caribbean and windsurfing and sailing here. Hopefully we will see them again here or maybe this summer in the Aves Islands off Venezuela.
Now for an update of the last two weeks: March 24: We finished up all our taxes (UGH!), so we went into town in the afternoon to mail them, and to do some shopping. The Northstar was delivered to Crown Bay, so David and Eric dinghied over to pick that up. They fixed it nicely! Thank heavens! (Of course, here it is not as accurate as in the US, something about the location of the satellites...in fact, we are anchored here on LAND!!!) Patricia and Michael Johnson came out to see the boat with their friends, Jack and Joann and their two sons, Nolan and Cullen at about 5:30.We talked madly about sailing and the Virgin Islands over snacks. We all went to dinner at the Point, which used to be a Chart House. Very delicious dinner and wonderful company!!! I think we closed the place down at 10:30. What a wonderful night! Thank you very much!
March 25 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NINA! Hope dinner at Roy's was nice!!! We were anxious to leave the Charlotte Amalie Harbor after a VERY rolly night! We left about 9AM, that allows all the HUGE cruise ships time to come in and dock or anchor. We arrived at Caneel Bay, St. John (The location of the Rockresort build by Laurence Rockefeller before he donated most of the entire island of St. John to the US Government. Most of the island plus the surrounding ocean was made into a National Park in 1956) about 1pm, after a very nice sail. David and I swam into Salomon's Beach, which is a clothing optional beach on St. John. Very pretty beach!
March 26 - Eric and David went in search of surf! I cleaned! (somehow, that doesn't sound like a fair trade off!!!?????) after we had moved to the next bay (which doesn't seem to have a name on any of my charts, maps or guide books), because it had been VERY rolly in Caneel Bay. We enjoyed it there much better. That afternoon Eric and Jason dropped us off at the beach, so we had hats, sunglasses and towels...but we are desperately searching for chairbacks....if anyone knows where we can get them, PLEASE let us know!!! We assumed that everyone would have them here and in Florida...not so!!! We met some really nice people on the beach from New York, CT, and some locals. They don't have a mayor...they have a bar tender!!! He was passing out rum punch all day!!! Eric and Jason went surfing again. Eric found a better place and had the place to himself!!! Eric also made a look bucket out of the materials that Patricia had given us! Thank you! It works great...now, David doesn't have to stick his face in the water over the bow of the dinghy while I hang onto his ankles!!!
March 27 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS BROOKS!!!! We dinghied into Cruz Bay (the main town on St. John) and did a little shopping and sight seeing. David and I tried Honeymoon Beach in the afternoon and then hiked back over to Salomon's Beach. The people are friendlier. The french bread continues to get better and better!!!
March 28 - We worked on the boat and cleaned in the morning, since it was very cloudy, but it didn't rain during the day. The night before it had poured several times. It was strange, each time it sounded like someone turned on the faucet, and then turned it off! Now we have to figure out a way to catch rain water....always projects!!!! David and I went back to the beach in the afternoon. ROMANY LIFE with Gary and Glennis aboard was moored in Caneel Bay, so we stopped to talk with them and their guests after Eric and Jason picked us up. (Nice to have our own chauffer!!) That reminds me....everyone seems to have friends and family visiting them...we have been really disappointed that NO ONE has come to see us!!! We hear that Grenada is a possibility...Think about it!!! We would like to see you...Change in status: I think Tuck is coming on Sunday!!!!!
March 29 - We sailed over to Red Hook, American Yacht Harbor on St. Thomas to get parts for another project. We also did some shopping there. We sailed back and moored in Cinnamon Bay. There is a campground here run by the National Park Service, similar to Waianapanapa State Park cabins...these are right on the beach, only problem is NO bathroom or showers in the cabins. You can also rent tents or a tent space. The place seemed very busy. David and I snorkeled in to the beach and then walked all the way to the end of the beach. VERY BEAUTIFUL!!!! No wonder we are in no hurry to leave...such a pretty place!
March 30 - David gave Jason a haircut...he might have to cut mine!!! Eileen, I need you!!! I worked on my inventory (STILL????) and files. Eric and David worked on their project - changing valves in the head!!! One of those three hour projects that takes ALL day. We didn't even go swimming!!!
March 31 - We dinghied over to Trunk Bay, which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and has a snorkel trail with underwater markers. Of course, there were wall to wall snorkelers, but the snorkeling was better than we had seen before and the beach was pretty. We hiked the Cinnamon Bay Trail that afternoon. There are ruins from the sugar cane industry here. For all the people on Maui who claim that we need sugar cane to keep Maui green...take a look at the lush vegetation that grows here on St. John in the pictures. Also, they used to make bay rum cologne here. David wore that when we were first married. We saw the bay rum tree. David wants to gather the leaves and boil them up and make his own cologne. Maybe we could go into the business from here on the boat!!!???
April 1 - APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!! Can't believe it is April....almost a year since we left Maui!!!We sailed over to Francis Bay. I spent the morning cutting out the flags. We took the Francis Bay trail, which weaves by a salt mangrove swamp with ducks and wading birds. (We met a girl from Boston wearing an Acadia t-shirt there!) The trail goes out to the beach and then up the hill to the ruins of one of the great houses, where the plantation owners lived a hundred years ago. We then went into Maho Bay and climbed up 162 steps at Maho Bay Camp to make a phone call to Patricia and Michael Johnson to see if they would be able to take a day break in their very busy building business to sail with us...but no such luck! The view from there was spectacular (actually there were still 100+ more steps to reach the restaurant at the top)! See picture of PEACE AND ALOHA! This is a private eco resort, build with minimal damage to the site, and all connected by wooden walkways. Quite expensive to live in tents with no toilet facilities in your tent!!!
As we were leaving Maho Bay, we stopped to talk with NAUTILUS, Ron and Joan, whom we had met at Crown Bay Marina. They had their son and his family (two little people!!) aboard, so they were spending lots of time ashore on sandy beaches! David and I snorkeled into shore from the boat later in the afternoon.
April 2 - I worked all morning sewing flags, so that we could play all afternoon! We dinghied out to Whistling Cay and snorkeled around that point. Quite a dynamic dive spot! The corals are very different from Maui!
We had our Sunday night movie: "For Richer or Poorer"...really cute movie about a couple who end up hiding out from the IRS in an Amish community! Little calmer and more relaxing than the last two weeks, when we watched "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark". Jason says he likes those exciting adventure stories, so he can watch his mom shrieking on the edge of her chair!!!
March 23, 2000
FINALLY...I am sure that is what you are all saying. We are REALLY sorry to take so long to update this site, but it is very difficult to find a land line to access the net with our computer. It is even hard to find one that is not in use just to make a call.
Just a quick update: March 21- Jerry and Lil from QUALITY TIME came over to visit. We had followed them out to 65 and down here to the Virgin Islands. We had met over the SSB (radio), so it was really fun to have a chance to visit and to hear their stories, which were somewhat similar to ours, having begun their adventure in Minnesota and traveling through the Great Lakes and the canal system.
Yesterday was devoted to TAXES....they even follow us here!!! I spent all day doing administration also, with all the mail we had received. So we have to go into town to download more forms and to get a cartridge for our printer. We used alot to print up my inventory last week, but we thought we had more!!! We will have to put that in the category of lost items along with the fish filet knife and the package of 500 rubber gloves...which we know are on board, but cannot find them (or remember where we packed them!!!).
So...please continue to keep in touch via boat email (cell phone doesn't work)....we love to hear from all of you. Don't forget to check out the pictures, but we still need to update our itinerary and our map...stay tuned! Also, our plan is to stay for a couple more weeks here, then to the British Virgin Islands, to St. Maartens, and down the island chain to Grenada, Trinidad and Venezuela by hurricane season at the beginning of July. Let us know if you can visit us along the way!
We would also like to wish Nina Kelly a very Happy Birthday on Saturday!!!! Have a very happy day! Keep well! We love you all and miss you lots! We wish you were here to enjoy these beautiful islands and the wonderful warm weather! God bless you!
March 21, 2000
HAPPY SPRING! We are FINALLY in an area where the temperature is warm! Thank you! However, I am sure that many of you are eagerly awaiting warmer weather! We are back in the anchorage at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI after a few days at Crown Bay Marina. I will quickly bring you up to date in the hopes that we are able to find a phone line tomorrow.
We were up bright and early this morning in order to clean the boat thoroughly on the inside and the outside. The marina is located in the sub base, where all the container ships dock and unload. We were down wind, so we had alot of black dirt on our boat. We cleaned everything and left by the checkout time of 11am. We have spent the entire afternoon going through mail, balancing check books etc. Eric and Jason just went back to the marina in the dinghy to pick up a package with our order from Defender (part of our order...we are still trying to figure out how to get a whisker pole here from Forespar in California!!!). We received our VHF back from Raytheon last week, all fixed and works great. But we are STILL awaiting the arrival of our Northstar GPS.
March 17 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NETA!!! at 86 years young!!! Our wonderful neighbor from Tucson. HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!! Since we did not sail to Charlotte Amalie yesterday we HAD to go today.... There were more squalls around and we were hit with one with 40-45 knot winds!!! and they did damage to our staysail, which Eric repaired one day in the marina. We were anchored by 12:30 and had lunch. We then went into town, made phone calls, changed the color on our boat shirts with the embroiderer, and did a little shopping at the super market. We didn't catch a fish....but we enjoyed our second night of Cero mackerel, which was delicious!
March 18 - We had spent a VERY rolly night in this anchorage: wind in one direction and the waves in another. We had hoped that we could be at the marina at about 8am, so the winds would be calm, but there were many rain squalls coming through with high winds. We went over to Crown Bay and anchored outside the marina. David decided to go in because two guys in dinghies offered to help us. Luckily the wind calmed down when we went in (they had been 26-28 knots while we were anchored). The guys on the dinghies did a super job and we just went right in! and were settled about 11am. We had a bite to eat for lunch and then Patricia Johnson picked us up to help us shop. She took us to Cost-u-Less and the big Kmart (THE largest in the country!!). We had her Rodeo loaded to the roof and some under our feet! We were so thankful for her help! Driving on the left (WRONG) size of the road is very difficult and very scarey!!! especially since most of the roads are either straight up or straight down!!! Pat joined us for dinner here on the boat, after she returned home to feed all her birds and her dog. Her husband, Michael, was out of town visiting his family in Los Angeles until Monday.
March 19 - We spent all morning stowing items, defrosting the freezers and refrigerator, and talking with the owners Ron and Joan on NAUTILUS, which Boat #131 with Kanter. Our boat was #136. They had many problems also....but like us, have fixed everything and are enjoying the Chuck Paine design which sails so beautifully!!!
Pat picked us up after lunch again, but the boys stayed on board to clean out the bilges (that tells you how much they like to shop!!!). We went to the biggest grocery store, Plaza Extra, and picked up fresh items and those items, which we couldn't get yesterday. Pat went home again to feed all her pets and then we went out to Sib's for dinner. We had an excellent dinner there. We will have to have our video some time later this week...we did manage to pick up some new ones at Kmart!!!
March 20 - Yesterday was wash day...I used almost all the washers at the marina laundramat, since we had not washed since George Town. We continued to stow items and enter them into the inventory. We also had to put all the clothes away and make all the beds.Eric and David continued to do repairs. Jason was cleaning the metal.
Pat came over after lunch and took us to her rental house, where they are living while they finish their new house. Her living room is FULL of cages, BIG/LARGE cages. She has 22 birds: eclectus, cockatoos, african grey, finches, nandays, and sun conures. We had quiet birds....her nandays and sun conures are LOUD!!!! They are all beautiful and it was great to see them all, but made me really miss all my babies. She has a large Rottweiler, Inga, who is a really neat dog! See picture...I tried to get everyone in....our eclectus are in the back cage. They have their construction office in their home, so she is able to handfeed babies right there.
She showed us pictures of Hurricane Marilyn and Hugo. It was incredible - there were boats up on the waterfront road, including a Coast Guard cutter, with officiers out front with guns, fending off looters. They have had many many hurricanes in the last twenty years, and before Hugo, there had not been any for 30 years!!! I don't think that we are interested in living here or investing in real estate! Hawaii is still the place!
We came back to the marina and visited Gary on his Hylas 54, ROMANY LIFE. The Hylas 54 was the other boat we were considering. The inside is really nice!!! Then Jerry and Lil on QUALITY TIME came over to our boat. We had followed them over from the Bahamas and had met them on the radio through the weather advisor, Herb. It was fun to finally meet them in person. In fact, they are coming over tonight (3/21) and then we might for out for dinner. They wanted to do it last night, but we had spent so much time visiting, that we had to stow and put away until about 7 pm. So we had a late dinner, and went to bed early.
Our love to all! We miss you! Keep in touch!
March 16, 2000
Pictures: Conception Island to USVI , St. Thomas USVI
Only two days have passed since I last updated this site - that must be a record! We were up early this morning and already to leave to go to St. John. We went to the end of Magens Bay, turned North East into the wind and caught a fish, which looked like a Little Tunie. We looked over towards St. John and it was very cloudy and rainy, so we turned around and came back to spend another day here! At the same time, we lost the fish off the hook!!! All was not lost because we caught a Cero, a painted mackerel further into the bay. We will have fish tonight and tomorrow...all right! That is the first fish that we have caught since we left the Bahamas. They just came back (5:30pm) from trolling and didn't catch anything. So we are very thankful for two fish dinners!!!
Of course, about an hour after we were anchored, it all cleared off, and it was an absolutely beautiful day. I made bread and blueberry muffins. We went into the beach and snorkeled for about 30 minutes. We saw a barracuda and swams of little fish in huge schools. The water is VERY murky here and there isn't much coral. We did see some beautiful coral fans, most of them are purple in color.
We now have two other very large sail boats anchoring near us tonight. Some of the nights we have been alone. One night we were joined by a sailing vessel with a French family aboard with 7 year old and 2 1/2 year old children. He came over and was wondering about charts for this area. Unfortunately, we do not have really detailed charts of this area either, especially since we do not have our Northstar. They had sailed for two years in the Mediterranean, around Turkey and Greece and then sailed over here and had spent last summer in Venezuela and Trinidad. We were also joined that night by a huge power boat and we think that they partyied all night and then left about noon the next day.
Yesterday we tried to snorkel and spear some fish for dinner. We went out the bay on the north shore, where we had seen many pelicans diving for their dinner. We did see many many fish in HUGE schools. They must be babies that are somewhat safe in this bay from predators. All different sizes! Sometimes there are so many that you can't see the bottom. We gave up after about 45 minutes. We did see some large tarpon, about four feet long. They are very fast, so I didn't even see them. .
We went into the beach again and made more phone calls. Raytheon indicated that they have fixed our VHF and we should have it by tomorrow. Northstar has also indicated that the Northstar should be returned by March 24. This tourist boat, named THE WILD THING, came every afternoon. It is a cat with about 3 jet engines. This beach is VERY crowded from about 10 am to 4:30pm when everyone leaves and returns to their cruise ship which leaves Charlotte Amalie about 6pm.
Another sailboat came in yesterday and they dinghied into the beach, so we went over to speak to them. Finally, we were able to spend some time with Nancy and George and their darling springer spaniel, Chessie from TRUMPETER. They were in Maine when we were, then Norfolk, met them for two minutes at the SSCA meeting in Melbourne, and we having been following each other for many miles. We had a delightful visit with them on their Bristol. They had lots of helpful advise for us novices and many wonderful stories. We had planned on sailing to St. John with them this morning (they decided to leave anyway...) and then we were heading back to St. Thomas on Friday, where we will be in Crown Bay Marina for about four days starting Saturday. We will connect up with them in the British Virgin Islands. Guaranteed not to take as many miles to reconnect as last time! We have met some wonderful people out here!!!
March 14, 2000
It is BEAUTIFUL! It is warm, sunny, the trades are blowing, and the water is warm! Reminds us of home on Maui!We are sitting in Magens Bay on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Magens Beach is one of the ten BEST beaches in the world according to "Conde Nast Traveler"...like several beaches on Maui. The bay is between two mountains, actually St. Thomas is all mountain and the many houses are built right on the edge of cliffs. As we sailed by, we wondered how you would get to many of these homes and hoping that your builder did a good job!!! We sailed here yesterday from Christmas Cove. It was about a 8 mile sail, took a couple of hours. All places are quite close. We just have to be careful of the tradewinds which are back up to 20-25 knot range today, which makes for 7-9 foot seas. Eric and David went to Hull Bay by dinghy this morning to check out the surfing. Poor Eric! Nothing!!! Hopefully, Eric will be able to enter pictures for these areas when we upload.
There is also Little Magens Beach which is similar to Little Beach on Maui. According to Frommer's it is President Clinton's favorite beach!!! When we went yesterday, there were only 3-4 people there. It is a very small beach. The snorkeling is not good, because there is no coral, with just a flat sandy bottom. However, the water is very warm, and the ocean is a calm and a beautiful turquoise blue.
We are constantly watching the antics of the birds around here - boobies, osprey, pelicans, and frigate birds. They love to fly, and glide and then dive into the water for fish.
For those of you that are keeping track of our miles: we have 4659.1 nautical miles on our log. Since we left Florida, we have been to the Berry Islands, the Exumas (many different islands or cays, which is pronounced keys), Conception Island, Rum Cay - all are part of the country of The Bahamas. Now we are in the US Virgin Islands, which consists of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Next we will travel to the British Virgin Islands. Each time when enter or leave a different country we need to clear in and out with Customs and Immigration. The next item on my to-do list is to make flags for the next few countries.We need to fly our US flag, a yellow quarantine flag when entering, and then a courtesy flag of that particular country after clearing with customs.
March 13, 2000
We decided to leave Christmas Cove, which was quite crowded and a little rolly, because we were getting some of the current, as it proceeds through Current Cut, next to Great James Island (which is FOR SALE....if anyone is interested. No, I don't know the asking price.) Yesterday we had a wonderful snorkel. We saw a hawksbill turtle (the ones that come up and lay their eggs along South Kihei Road. I had never seen one in the water), 4 very large spotted eagle rays and 4 squid or cuttlefish (Eric and David are having a big debate!!!). Again we were amazed at the state of the reef, almost looked like it had been bombed. We need to talk with some local people and find out.
We also had a Sunday night at the movies (which we missed last week because of our passage) and we watched "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Dome"....I found it NOT very relaxing being on the edge of my chair the entire two hours!!!! Hopefully, some of the stores here will have some nice romantic comedies....for us OLD folks!!!
March 12, 2000
WE ARE IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS!
I FINALLY have some time to sit and update this web site, and then we have to find a phone to use to call Maui net. We have found this amazing phenomenon here in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands: there are many many phone booths; however, they are continually in use, and with people waiting. We have yet to figure it out!!!! We even found this to be the case at Magens Beach. We think that many users are on the cruise ships, but that didn't seem to be the case in town, Charlotte Amalie. In the meantime, I will bring you up-to-date, since February 14.
February 15 and 16 - our last two days in George Town, were spent reprovisioning, especially fresh fruits and vegetable and bread. We also did a large wash, along with all the other cruisers there, it only took 4 hours! We still had time to snorkel, gather conch and catch fish for our dinners. We really enjoy conch salad, which is very similar to lomilomi, with onions, tomatoes, peppers.
February 17 we left about 7 am, and the light made it VERY difficult to see the coral, but we were able to negotiate out of the harbor with no problems. We were anchored at Conception Island by 3:30. Conception Island is part of the Exuma Land and Sea Park, a preserve (land only, not the sea) owned by the Bahamas National Trust. We enjoyed our stay there IMMENSELY. We had Black Fin tuna for dinner....Delicious! We had fresh fish or conch every night until we left Conception. We spent many days exploring the island and its reefs. One reef was full of brightly colored parrot fish, playing and chasing each other in a blaze of color. We dinghied into a creek, which was the entrance to the center of the island and the mangroves. It is the habitat for the protected hawksbill turtle and we saw several swimming the the shallow waters. GERONIMO, a 70 foot sailing vessel belonging to St. Mark's Private School in Newport, RI was anchored behind us. They were tagging the turtles. Quite an experience for these students - a ten week course on a sailboat!!! We snorkeled the the reefs on the north side of the island, and saw huge staghorn coral. It also appeared that many sections of the reef had been destroyed and was covered by sand...possibly by Hurricanes Floyd or Lenny???? We had alamaco jack, grouper and conch for dinners. Eric speared many and some were caught by trolling from the dinghy; however, they lost their lures, so we had to spear them. And we haven't caught any anyway since then......We also walked along the beach on the east side and one day we all hiked around to a beach on the far east side of the island.
We stayed at Conception until February 27. We met many other cruisers at Conception: a family from Vancouver on *Journey* who will be ending their 2 year cruise next January (we exchanged videos - we really overdosed on videos: we watched 3 in three nights, because the weather was so bad - and charts with them. They shared many wonderful experiences with us!!! They should write a book! We were sorry to say goodbye as they headed east to George Town.) and another family from Odessa, Russia on the Black Sea. They had built their own small sailing vessel and had come all this way and were enroute to Canada via United States. They had NO charts, so we made copies of some to get them to West Palm Beach. They were also very low on water, so we filled up as many empty containers as they could find. Many of us, US citizens, forget how lucky and blessed we are to live in this country and to have our many freedoms. It is amazing what people will do to have those freedoms, which we take for granted. We should be continually thankful. We were very impressed by these beautiful people and wish them well and success! We hope that our paths will cross again some day!
We were consulting Herb, our weather guru in Toronto, every day for a weather window. We were getting very low on fresh fruits, vegetables, and bread. I made some bread...just needed an orange and grapefruit tree on shore!!! Not even any coconut palms! We left on Sunday February 27 and went to Rum Cay in 20-25 knot winds and 6 foot seas. We arrived about noon and we anchored, but in a VERY ROLLY anchorage. We caught a mahimahi on the way down. Four wonderful dinners!!! He was a huge fish and very beautiful....sometimes, it is so hard to bring them in!
February 28 - we dinghied into town and bought a few fruits, vegetables and some delicious home made bread. Rum Cay Days, a local festival, had been held over the weekend, so they were very low on produce. We went over to the marina to get gas and diesel. Eric met some guys from boats and from the marina and was able to go surfing the next day with them on a fast, dry Boston Whaler. We also met a family from Michigan who would be completing their circumnavigation when they arrived in George Town, after three years! Very exciting and quite an accomplishment!
February 29, 2000
HAPPY LEAP YEAR DAY!!!!! I will not be able to put this on the web today, because we have no access to a phone line, until we reach the Virgin Islands, but I thought that I should continue to update this page so it wouldn't take me a month to do it. We are presently in Rum Cay, The Bahamas. Yes, it is named for a wreck of a ship laden with a full load of rum!!!! We are waiting for a weather window to head to the Virgin Islands. We are hoping to sail all the way to 65 degrees west and then south to the Islands. The problem is that the prevailing tradewinds are from the east...exactly in the direction which we need to travel. We are .....I stopped because we are leaving tomorrow!!!
March 1- 8 - our 800 mile passage from Rum Cay (23 degrees 38.320'N 074 degrees 51.777'W) to Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (18 degrees 20.228N 064 degrees 55.729W). We did NOT make very good time, since we had little or no winds most of the time and then we had 6 hours spent drifting doing engine repair. In looking back and experiencing the 20-25 knot tradewinds, we are so thankful that we had no wind. We motored out the first day and had really large swells (8-10 feet). I had only taken sturgeron, so I had some difficulty at dinner since the winds came up and it got really rough. David and Eric took my watch at 10 for me, but I did the 4 am one. We were on watches round the clock: 4 hours during the day and 2 hours at night. We split them amongst the three of us and Jason covered for all of us. Thursday morning I put on a patch and I was much better. I had made salads for dinner and had also pre-made some dinners and put them into the freezer. So getting meals was not too difficult. We used bowls for everything! Since it was so calm, that helped immensely.
March 2 - HAPPY HATCH DAY, SQUIRT!!!! 3 YEARS OLD!
March 5 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHAWN!
We saw LOTS of dolphins - one day there must have been 50+ taking turns swimming in our bow waves. I think we got some pictures. We have seen many flying fish and sometimes they even land on deck. Some people eat them and some use them as bait to catch other fish. It is really amazing how FAR they fly! We have also seen humpback whales right near us. The tropic birds are out very very far. It made us think of Conception Island, where they breed. They are incredibly beautiful birds with long tails.
March 6 - the engine was overheating. We stopped at 8:30 am....finally started at 3:00 just as a freighter was approaching. We hopped into the water to cool off...so calm...The Atlantic Ocean looked like a lake! Every day we had been talking with Herb on the SSB, figuring out which direction to go to utilize the winds, or lack thereof. We were also in contact with Jerry on *Quality Time*, who left two or three days before us from George Town, against Herb's advice. He arrived at Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands on Sunday, after motoring most of the way. Another plus has been the ability to sit in the sun and remedy some of the tan lines, which have appeared while we were in civilization! We saw a couple of freighters every night, but did not see another sail boat during our passage.
March 7 - another beautiful calm day and Herb indicated that the weather was to continue as we were about 50 miles from St. Thomas. We were actually trying to slow down (a mistake), because we did not want to make landfall during the night. It started to blow about 6 pm, 20-25 with higher gusts in the rain squalls. We were all up all night with cruise ships all around and high winds and seas. We did come in through the Virgin Passage, with 3 cruise ships right behind us!!!! Thank heavens it was light about 5 am! We went south until they entered the harbor and then we entered Charlotte Amalie Harbour and anchored about 8:30am. on March 8. We slept for a few hours. We went into town to clear customs and to purchase fruit, vegetables and bread. We ate early and went to bed.....glad to be here, proud of our accomplishment, but VERY tired!!!! We are also a hour later now, we are on Atlantic Standard time. All three of our ship's clocks had to be removed from the wall and changed!!!! Good thing we don't change time zones often!
On March 9 We dinghied across the harbor to check out Safe Haven Marina and there was *Kalikobass* who was being refitted all summer at Wayfayer Marine in Camden, Maine. However, they did not head south until after we did. It was fun to see them here. We will probably run into them from time to time since they do charters here. We checked out the stores and the other marina at Crown Bay and even had lunch at a Wendy's. We decided that we would go into Crown Bay sometime next week after the winds calm down. We made alot of phone calls and purchased items at the marine shop to make repairs.
We spent all morning packaging up the VHF to return to Raytheon in NH and the Northstar GPS to return to them in MA. We then had to go to Parcels Plus to package them up and send to the mainland. (I can't help but think that Hawaiians would be thankful for what they have in Hawaii as a state as compared with here....). We made orders and checked out KMart. The boys went over to The Greenhouse, for an Hawaiian Tropic Swim Suit Contest at 9pm...not the real thing, but they had fun anyway. There was a neighborhood party in the parking lot next to the harbor and they played music, live bands, whatever from 6pm to 1pm and then it started up again about 10 or 11am on Saturday morning.
March 11 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WAYNE!!!! We spent all morning cleaning the inside of the boat. We had lunch and went to Safe Haven Marina for diesel and then motored over here to Christmas Cove, on the south east side of the island. David and I snorkeled on the anchor and then in to shore, not much to see. We came out here because we could not swim off the boat in the Harbor. The harbor has a dock for three huge cruise ships and if there are more, they anchor in the turning basin. We saw as many as five there!!!! They shuttle the passengers to shore on lifeboats. We have also been amazed at the boats here, especially the power boats....millions and millions of dollars!!! Charlotte Amalie is a duty free harbor, so it is FULL of liquor stores, perfume and jewelry shops! No, David has not purchased a boatful of jewels for me....however, we did purchase a large bottle of Shambuca ( remnants of our Tahiti trip with Harpers and Rod!!!!) for $10.79...and there is no sales tax.
That pretty much brings you up to date with our adventures....I have also been finishing up my inventory. I need a complete list so that I can reprovision here in the next couple of weeks. Pat and Michael Johnson are here in St. Thomas. They bought a pair of eclectus from me on Maui about three years ago. We are trying to connect with them, but it is VERY hard when we don't have a telephone. When we are in the marina next week, we will make it happen!!!!She has said that she will drive us to Cost-u-Less (NO Costco here) and the big Kmart. We have decided not to rent a car here.....they drive on the LEFT i.e. wrong side of the road. It is major chaos around here!!! It is bad enough just walking around!!!!
I am getting there with my emails...please write to us at KH7JL@cho.win-net.org because it comes directly to us on the boat. Maui net we have to have a phone line to access and they are few and far between and expensive. This email is done via ham radio net of volunteers, so it needs to be plain text only (that is regular writing), NO forwarded messages, NO LONG messages or NO pictures. PLEASE... So please bear with me while I transfer from one mail box to the other. Thank you for your patience.
We are also enjoying some of the local produce! I have been experimenting with different recipes for conch, plantains, pumpkin and casavas, and I have some brown looking guords, that I don't even know their name.... I should have picked up the Mediterranean Fruit Basket, book from SSCA when we were there in Florida....But it is nice that I finally have some time to experiment, to try new items and recipes and to bake breads, etc. Cooking can be fun, if you have time and are not rushed! and also not rolling all over the place!!!
Please keep in touch. We love hearing from you. We still miss you greatly...if anyone is interested in visiting us, the Virgin Islands is the place!!!! Contact us at our email address and we can plan it....We will be around this area until April. We need to find some nice places to snorkel, etc. Love, peace and aloha to all.....
February 14, 2000
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO EVERYONE!!! We love you all and miss you lots! Thanks so much for all your emails, Christmas cards and prayers! I am SLOWLY getting through all my administration, bills, inventory and emails, please be patient! Now to bring you up todate...
February 6 - we stayed another day in Bell Island because of so much wind and it was very cloudy, but no rain, which at this point, we could use to wash the salt off the boat. I continued to work on my inventory...stay tuned to see if it will be completed in this lifetime!!!!.... David and I snorkeled to check the anchor, which was ok, but there was quite a current and the water remains very cold. We watched PRINCESS BRIDE (video) for our Sunday night movie. What a wonderful movie!!! We also starting rereading all our Christmas cards. Thanks for your pictures and updates!
February 7 - We went out Conch Cut (the passes through and between the islands from the Banks into deeper water in the Exuma Sound) about 9 am and arrived at Cave Cay about 3:30 going through Cave Cut. What a BEAUTIFUL PLACE!!! There were already two boats anchored behind the key, just off the channel. All the islands are private, so we went into the water to snorkel and check the anchor about 4:15, after listening to Herb for weather. There were a few coral heads and many empty conch shells (we have yet to find a live one!!!). I was taking a shower, when I heard David remark that a barge is heading right towards us!!!! Needless to say, I was out of the shower and dressed in a flash! I tried to hail them on VHF and asked what they intended to do...but they did not respond. We pulled our anchor up as fast as possible...a 176 lb Bruce anchor with 200 feet of chain doesn't come up fast!!! Star Dancer called the barge also, no response. The barge anchored in our old spot, after giving all of us heart failure!!! Then we spent time motoring in circles, trying to figure out where to anchor (the holding was only light sand over rock, NOT very good)....we finally anchored between the two other boats. We met Rosemarie and Craig from Star Dancer on the radio. It turns out they are from Chelsea Yatch Club on the Hudson, where we had a mooring one night on our way to NYC. We ate dinner all the time monitoring what the barge was or was not doing. Finally about 9:30pm, they pulled up anchor and went inside a little cove on Cave Cut. They were simply waiting for high tide to enter, but we still don't know why they did not respond to our VHF calls and why they had to anchor exactly where we were!!@#$???? Maybe it is simply a front for drugs or whatever....we do have to remember that we are in a different country...we need to do things their way!!!!
February 8 - After last night, we were up early and left at 7:00 to go out the cut and down to George Town. We hit a BONANZA!!! We caught a King Mackerel, and TWO Blackfin Tuna...and something BIG took an entire hand line (worth about $40)!!!!!! We ended up with about 6-7 dinners!!!!! Erc spent most of the day fileting them! The fish were delicious....the tuna is almost as good as yellowfin! Star Dancer came out the cut after we did and put their lines out, since they had heard me on the radio. They just had two poles.....ended up losing the one fish on the small pole and then with they finally hauled in the big pole, they had half a fish!!!!! Shark!!!!!
We had to enter George Town from the East entrance, because of lack of depth at the West Entrance, even so, we had to enter between many rocks and coral heads, with 6 waypoints on the GPS. We were anchored here in George Town, off Sand Dollar Beach on Lee Stocking Island by 3:30. We were nicely greeted by Ken on BLUE STAR from Ontario, who gave us many tips about here!!! We had a delicious dinner of black fin tuna in an absolutely beautiful island in the Bahamas! This is what we are meant to be doing!!! Thank you!! We also finished reading "Following Seas", a wonderful book written by Beth Leonard. We highly recommend this book for those of you interested in sailing, and maybe for those of you who are wondering why we are doing this!!!!!
February 9 - we were up early to go over to the Town to check it out. We faxed our mail forwarder in Florida to send out mail, which we had not gotten since January 3. He sent it Fed Ex....only cost $125....so please remember, only send letters, NO magazines or gifts....luckily it did NOT get snagged up with customs. We bought some DELICIOUS homemade bread from MOM's....we got an extra bonus....a big hug and a" God Bless" for all of us!!!! We also got 2 jerry cans of diesel....we have to fill our tanks this way, since we are too deep to go to the fuel docks at the marina. We were going to go out in the dinghy after lunch, but much too windy (25 knots), so we worked on the boat. Looking out at the anchorage after dark was a real treat, with ALL the boat lights (there are approx. 400 boats here now) and the stars!!! AWESOME!
February 10 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTHANNE!!! We cleaned up the boat and then headed out to explore in our dinghy! We came upon some people and dinghies and asked them what was on the other side of the key. The people we asked were Rosemarie and Craig on STAR DANCER!!!! Small world!! We walked up to the top and were treated to an absolutely magnificient 360 degree view of the entire area!!! In the afternoon, David and I walked over to the other side and walked along the beach, while the boys checked Hamburger and Volleyball Beaches....those girls are still very elusive!!! Our friends on QUEEN MARY came in and anchored next to us, so we went over to visit with them before dinner.
February 11 - Another beautiful day! David, Eric and Jason went into town to get diesel and bread and do the wash. I worked on my inventory!! We went south in the dinghy and snorkeled on the Exuma Sound, but didn't see much. We walked along the beach and ran into people from GREYCREST, whom we had met on the SSB when they relayed a message to MASADE for us.
February 12 - HAPPY HATCH DAY, KIMO!!!! 5 years old!!!! We had notice on the net news that we had a package, so David, Jason and I went over to get the mail at Exuma Markets. (I drove....what a thrill for the passengers). We went through ALL the mail and luckily there were NO big surprises!!! Thanks!
We went lobster hunting with Gene and Brenda (QUEEN MARY) right after lunch. We went all the way west to the harbor entrance and about froze to death, but Eric got 3 lobsters (2 huge ones) and 1 got away (jumped out of the bucket out of the dinghy!!!)!!!! We didn't get home until 5....but they were absolutely delicious and we have some left for a salad. The ocean had provided us with many delicious meals! Thank you!
February 13 - We spent ALL day working on administration and the mail. Eric put all the pictures from the digital camera onto discs to save them and put the best ones on here so that we could update. Our Sunday night movie was "Ever After" ....which was also wonderful. A Cinderella story, perfect for Valentine's Day today!
So...I must close, because David is chomping at his bit to go to town to do all his errands - update this, buy diesel and bread.
As for our plans from here...we will be sailing to Conception Island and Rum Cay and then....that is what we are trying to decide. We have a choice: either head out to 65 degrees and go south directly to the Virgin Islands or we go to Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Both of them involve going into the trade winds from the Northeast. So we will keep you posted. There could be 3-4 weeks before we are able to do another update. Love to all. Keep the emails coming....Stay happy and healthy! Peace and Aloha...
February 5, 2000
We are anchored off Bell Island, Exumas, The Bahamas. It is blowing to 20 knots so we really can't dinghy to the beaches or dive/snorkeling spots that we had planned to visit this afternoon, so I thought I would update this webpage, but not knowing when we will have access to a phone to update to the internet. We are planning on stopping at George Town, to do some reprovisioning, washing, etc. Hopefully, the phone number to IPASS and MauiNet will work from there.
We have had a FANTASTIC WEEK...this is why we are cruising!!!! The Bahamas are very beautiful, with incredible white sand beaches and lovely azure blue seas! The only scarey problem is the depth, or lack thereof....with depths of 6-8 FEET along the islands, having a boat with 7.5-8 ft. draft is definitely a problem. We are learning NOT to freak when the depth gauge reads 9-10 feet. We have regularly been anchoring in 10-12 feet of water. (Tahiti was usually 60-90 feet for comparison).
To bring you up to date: On January 29 after we made the boat ready, we walked to Bay Street in downtown Nassau to play "tourist." All the cruise boats were at Prince George Wharf and the streets were VERY crowded. There was even a Junkanoo Parade down Bay Street. It reminded me of Lahaina with trinket t-shirt tourist shops, but Nassau also had many Duty Free Shops (with mostly liquor) and many EXPENSIVE jewelry, perfume, and boutiques (Cartier, Gucci, etc. etc.)----obviously, with David in command, we did not even enter any of them!!!! We walked by many churches, government buildings and banks (The Bahamas is considered a safe haven for placing your money...and nobody ...the IRS???....can find you). We ended up at the Queen's Staircase, Fort Fincastle, and the Water Tower. We were given a tour by a Bahamian, who informed us of the history of Nassau. The Staircase was dug out by many slaves, over a period of many years. Hopefully, Eric will put pictures here. The Fort was built in the shape of a ship! We hurried back to the marina to purchase tokens, in order to do a wash on our return. David and Jason stopped at the fish market to purchase conch salad....very delicious! Conch salad is finely diced conch, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, lettuce with lots of key lime juice poured over for a marinade of 2-3 hours! Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate any conch. There were some small ones at Allan's Cay, and lots at Warderick Wells, headquarters for the Exuma Land and Sea Park, a marine preserve. (Maui and Hawaii could take some lessons in management of a preservation area from them!!!)
January 30 - We cleaned up the entire boat, checked out of Nassau Yatch Haven and worked on fine-tuning our departure with the winds, tides, and currents!!! We bought a phone card and called Julie (left message) and David's parents and then my Dad (couldn't get through because he had a call block on)...at $1/minute....took almost the whole card! We left the marina about 1:30 and picked out way out the harbor (which is VERY shallow) and we anchored near Rose Island. David and Eric dove on the anchor to make sure it was set properly. We had fish for dinner and watched the Austin Powers movie "A Spy Who Shagged Me"...funny but VERY crude!!!
January 31 - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND DAD ERNISSE!!!! CONGRATULATIONS ON 57 YEARS!!!!!! We left Rose Island about 8:30 am and crossed over between the Yellow and White Banks....very shallow with isolated coral heads, so someone (usually Eric and me) were on the bow to direct David to avoid hitting one. We anchored outside Allan's Cay at about 3:15. We checked out the entire inside anchorage, but decided it was much too tight, with too many boats (more boats came in after us...) and not enough swinging room. We snorkeled over to the key from our boat, quite a long swim, with nothing but sand, until right next to shore. Good exercise though, which we desperately need. That night we were VERY impressed with the STARS....was an AWESOME view!!! I have never seen so many.
February 1 was a TEN star day....the most beautiful day of our entire trip! No wind, just crystal clear water all around with beautiful blue sky!!!! We dinghied inside the anchorage and stopped to say hi to the folks on SKYE, whom we had met in Nassau. Kim's parents had joined them and were very much at home on board, but nobody could come out and play since the kids had to do their schoolwork first. We went over to the beach on Leaf Cay, where we were greeted by 50 or so rock iquanas as soon as we landed on the beach. They are very prehistoric looking! (hopefully there will be pictures) We met two other cruising couples on the beach....from Boulder!!!! We found a wonderful place to snorkel, so we went back after returning to the boat for lunch. Eric put his new spear gun to use and caught two Bluestriped Grunts, which we had for dinner. Very delicious!
February 2 - we headed off to Norman's Cay and arrived about lunch time. As we were sailing out, Gene and Brenda on QUEEN MARY, followed us out in their dinghy from Highbourne Cay where they were anchored. We had met them in Melbourne at the Seven Seas Cruising Association Meetings. They had been on their boat for about 6 months, just like us. It was great to see them again. You may have heard about the drug smuggling ring at Norman's Cay in 1970-80's. There are remains with an airplane in the anchorage and abandoned docks and buildings. We dinghied over to the anchorage (once again we were outside) and to the plane (pictures??), and then tried to find a place to snorkel, but the current and winds were very strong, so we swam at the boat. We did pull up on a beach on Wax Cay, which lead into a mangrove swash. That anchorage was very rolly with the wind blowing to 20knots so we were ready to head out the next day.
February 3 - HAPPY HATCH-DAY, SKIPPER!!!! We can't believe that you are FIVE!!!! Thanks, James, Liz and Aidan for taking such good care of him!!! We finally talked with Leon and Sue on MASADE, who are in Farmer's Cay, which is further south and unfortunately, too shallow for us to anchor. They had been at Bruno's Zoo in Ft. Lauderdale with us, and headed out with us on December 24. Hopefully, we will catch up to them in George Town. We arrived at Hawksbill Cay about 11:30. We had lunch and then dinghied over to the island, checked out a few spots to snorkeled (didn't find any), checked out a cave along the water's edge to the north (these islands are all limestone, not volcanic, like Hawaii or Tahiti). Then we stopped at a beach and hiked up to see ruins of a 10 Loyalist houses dating from 1783-1830. We found two! Very interesting....cement type material (?) with rocks around vertical wood poles! Very barren and harsh environment and many holes (some large with water at the bottoms) in the rock. The trail winds up around the top of the hill, down into a mangrove swamp area and over to the beach on the east side of the island, which is rumored to have the most flotsam pile up from the sea. As soon as we left Norman's Cay, we had entered The Exuma Land and Sea Park, a no-take marine preserve. We then dinghied to the Big Beach and found a mail box with information about the Park and a notebook for cruisers to sign! Back to the boat for a swim to check the anchor!
February 4 - After another rolly anchorage, with lots of tidal current, we headed to Warderick Wells, the site of the Headquarters for the Exuma Land and Sea Park. They have moorings in both the North and South Anchorages, which are very protected, but also narrow and shallow. We elected again to anchor out past Emerald Rock (It turns out that we could have anchored in quite a bit further...but it looked soooo shallow). We had lunch and dinghied in to the beach at Headquarters, where there is a whale skeleton assembled on the beach. We talked for a long time with the warden, Ray Darville. Some wonderful ideas for preserving the marine environment. All the work is accomplished by volunteers! We stopped by to say Aloha to Gene and Brenda on QUEEN MARY who were on a mooring there. They showed us where to go snorkeling on the three moorings over the reef just in front of their bow. We snorkeled there for about 30 minutes and saw the largest lobsters, groupers, etc. which we have ever seen. It was so amazing to see what the natural marine environment should look like, if it is not overfished and destroyed by man. They are doing a superb job there! We were very cold by the time we arrived back at the boat after our long dinghy ride in 15 knot winds!! The front came through with 20 knot winds and rain through out the night. Thankfully, it washed all the salt off the boat! And thankfully, we had a beautiful day and it rained at night!
January 29, 2000
Pictures of Nassau
We are busy this morning trying to get the boat ship-shape to head to the Exumas tomorrow, even though the winds do not look really good. David is getting a part to jury-rig the backstay block which broke during the gale....there is a law...we have every other spare for the boat but that one!!!! We will have to order one and have it shipped to US Virgin Islands. Also in order to leave this marina we need low or no winds and high tide....so hopefully that will happen tomorrow so we can be at anchor near beautiful beaches....even though it is still a little chilly for swimming and diving! The sun is out and the sky is blue!
Yesterday we walked over the bridge to Paradise Island and toured Atlantis, a HUGE resort and casino (see pictures in Nassau). On our return, we stopped at the local fishermen's wharf and bought 4 red snapper. We had two for dinner last night and they were delicious! We will have the other two today, baked whole. We also managed to purchase some sturgeron, which everyone says works great for seasickness, but is not available in the US. Hopefully, it will work for me. We also toured Fort Montague, one of the three forts on this island. After we finish our boat work we will do some more touring.
We were really sorry not to connect with many of you before we left. The email to the boat works well, please use it to keep in touch, but keep it SHORT, please and NO pictures. Also....NO forwarded messages.....PLEASE! Thanks. Aloha to all!
January 27, 2000
We just finished checking into the Bahamas with both Immigration (they check us in!) and Customs (they check our vessel in!) and have changed our courtesy flag from a yellow quarantine flag to the Bahamian flag. Our first customs experience on our adventure! Not a problem - everything went very smoothly. Thank you. Of course, I am sure it is a completely different situation with guns or drugs on board.
We will be here at Nassau Yacht Haven for probably three days, since another front is coming through tomorrow and Saturday. Then we will be heading for the Exumas. Please look in your atlas or on the enclosed maps to follow our route....subject to change, of course! Now a little to bring you up to date...
January 23 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEAN! We were up at 5AM and had hoped to leave at 6am, but it was closer to 6:30, because of a problem with the oil pressure (actually just the gauge) in our engine. Jim and Debi Dyer on Mah Jong and Bruno and Claire (where we were staying) were awake to bid us Bon Voyage!!!! We had hoped to travel with Debi and Jim; however, medical problems with their son precluded them from leaving with us. We assume that they will catch up to us sooner or later. Actually, they are VERY lucky NOT to have gone with us. Keep in touch and let us know when you leave, please! We hope that everything is FINE now.
We stopped at Lauderdale Marina for diesel before going out the channel, at the same time a HUGE cruise ship was also leaving about 8am. With working to get everything ready and our boat ship in shape, I did not put on my patch until we were out in the Atlantic and rolling around, so I was not feeling tip top. We just zipped across the Gulf Stream, averaging 10 knots. Very nice crossing! Then the winds switched around and we were only averaging 4 knots. Good for sleeping, but David still couldn't sleep....we need to come up with a new schedule! There were many boats cruising to Nassau, so we really had to be alert. Eric and I went off watch at 3am. And the winds picked up to 25-35 knots and turned to South East not South West as was forecaste. We reefed sails and finally with gusts to 50 knots, we hove to at 6:30am on January 24. We had changed our destination to the Berry Islands, so we finally had a little break in the weather and made anchorage at Great Harbour Cay next to Hawksnet and Petite Cay at about 2pm. We anchored in 18 feet of water! That is shallow....our draft is almost 8 feet! The islands were beautiful, but we could not enjoy them with wind, rain and the cold. We tried to check in there but they wanted us to go to the other side of the island. So we had a quick dinner and went to bed at 7:30 and spent a very rolly night, in preparation to head out in the morning (January 25) if the winds were ok.
We had some sun, but still VERY cool! We left there about 10:30 and sailed down to Frozen/Little Harbour/Cabbage/Comfort Cay anchorage. The winds were still strong 25-30 knots, but we were anchored about 2:30, in time to check in with Herb, our weather guru, in Toronto! Our fearless fisherman caught an alamco amberjack...enough for two delicious dinners!!!!
January 26 - we left at 8:30am for quick downwind sail in 20-30+ knot winds to arrive in Nassau about 1:00, but we had a VERY difficult time trying to find a place to anchor with some protection from the waves and wind, and knowing that the wind would switch to N, NE during the night. We finally anchored at 3:30 south of Athol Island, in 11 feet of water. As we were getting ready for bed we noticed the depth was 5.3....where we hit bottom!!!! We had anchored over a coral head....the wind died and the current switched us around with changing tides. We finally pulled in some chain at 5am on January 27, after we bumped a couple of times!!!! but luckily no damage.
This morning we pulled up the anchored and went out into the bay to fix our sails, especially the main sail, which had been rolled badly during the gale. We then had to call (VHF) to the Nassau Harbor Control for permission to enter their harbor. We had to give them our boat name, documention number, where we were staying and our last port of call (Ft. Lauderdale). The east entrance to Nassau Harbor is VERY shallow with lots of boats. We arrived here about 11:30 and were promptly boarded by the Customs Officer and you know the rest!
I also wanted to say that we were SO SORRY not to be able to see Lopaka, who now lives in Coco Beach and works at a marina, and Tom and Don, who moved to Florida from Maui in 1991. I had called them back before Thanksgiving, but their area code had changed, so it was the wrong number. We also did not have a chance to stop and visit with Mrs. Anderson who now lives in a home in Naples. She is a really close friend of my parents, lived in Mariemont and went to our church. ALOHA to all....we send our love! We will see you the next time we are back in Florida!
January 22, 2000
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!! 83 years is quite an accomplishment!!!!! I am writing this at 7AM and it is about 60 degrees in here....we are ready (????) to head to the Bahamas and south tomorrow! I really should NOT be complaining about 50 degree weather when many of you are in the deep COLD of winter this week (Boston had a wind chill of -33 degrees !!!). Want to head south with us?
We have quite a list to accomplish today....David and Eric will take this over to connect to the web for the last time from here. We have to stow everything, return the rental car, settle up with Bruno, make lunches and dinners for our overnight tomorrow, and make final calls to people....etc. etc. and get some sleep so we can wake up at 5AM, which will be really rough since we have gotten so lazy and sleep in until 7AM!! PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH! We love you all!
January 18 - Julie started spring semester at University of Colorado!!! We spent all day stowing everything we had picked up in Bonita Springs. I had to finalize our medical kit, which was NOT complete, so he had to send more items which did arrive on Thursday. We have a VERY complete medical kit for any sort of emergency when we are away from land and doctors. David, Eric and I completed Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses. The only problem with them is their entire process is to stablize the person and then CALL for help (911)! We don't have that luxury. We only hope that we NEVER have to use any of these items! I finally had a little time to check through some of my emails....we have 303 letters, 23 of them had not been read! Please continue to contact us and hopefully I will have more time to answer them, since I can't go shopping at Costco again. They do NOT have any warehouses in the Carribbean, only in Mexico. They better hurry-up...I am their best customer on the east coast!
January 19 - More adminstration and provisioning! Eric and David took out the WEMA gauge on the water tanks (tell how much water we have). WEMA is located here in Fort Lauderdale. It was defective and not working, so he gave us a new one....the proper way for a warranty issue to be handled!!!! Thank you, WEMA! That evening we went to a presentation at West Marine given by Janet and Matthew (Tony) Wilson about their new edition of their Bahamas Guide. What delightful people!!!! We just wished that they had showed more slides of the Bahamas. I spent the morning discussing the Carribbean with Doug Bruce of "Bluewater" in Camden, Maine. They spent four years there, so he was VERY helpful about different places to visit. Thank you, Doug! Hi, Dale....are you REALLY enjoying the snow and cold in your new home!
January 20 - Pam Wall from West Marine came over for lunch to see our boat and to tell us about the Bahamas and south. We met Pam at the SSCA meeting in Melbourne where she had given a presentation about her family's 6 year circumnaviation! She is a incredible wealth of knowledge! Thanks, Pam! Sorry not to meet the rest of your family! We spent the afternoon doing upteen loads of wash! We changed all the beds and washed some of the comforters....now it is time to really conserve on clothes (REALLY difficult when it is so cold and we need to wear sweat shirts and fleeces), so that we will either do VERY small loads in our little washer/dryer or we wash by hand on deck using a plunger!!!!! (HONEST!!!!)
January 21 - I continued to work on last minute adminstrative details...bills, insurance payments, etc. etc. etc. Then Jason brand new cd player broke...we had NO satisfaction from Pro-Sound in California! Thank heavens for Eric....he fixed it! David and I went shopping for the last fresh items at Costco and Publix. We were stuck in traffic for about 45 minutes going to Costco, which really messed our schedule up. We had to defrost the freezer and refrigerator when we returned to the boat...so we didn't eat our delicious fish (tilapia) dinner until 8PM. We had to stow everything into the freezer and refrigerator....we had to use the bigger freezer under the seat, because I bought too much (wonder WHO said that?????) We did leave alot to stow tomorrow.
January 17, 2000
We were scheduled to be on our way to the Bahamas today, but we are in Bonita Springs for our final visit with David's parents, because of two problems: the weather and order items not arriving here last week! We will probably leave either Friday or Saturday with the next weather window. This one was a very short one on Monday and/or Tuesday, so this will allow us to accomplish more!!! Right!!!
I am hoping to be able to do a quick update RIGHT before we leave from a phone here in Fort Lauderdale. When we leave here, all our communication will be through e-mail or forwarded mail. We are assuming we will do web updates (not as long probably) about once/month. We will have our mail sent when we are somewhere long enough to have it forwarded. We do know that all of this is easy in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (I don't know when we will be there yet). I will probably continue with the cell phone and see what happens. Please keep in touch! I am looking forward to some free time to get caught up on all my emails...I am sorry I have been such a rotten correspondent! PLEASE do not forward long items since it affects our phone bill!!!
January 9 - We spent all day putting items away, adding them to my inventory, which is a TOTAL mess now. The boys were able to become resettled and organized in their own rooms again. I finished up my correspondence and organized my photos. We watched "George of the Jungle," which is really funny. My good friends, Shirley and Tuck, both called asking if they could come and see me this week before we left. I was beginning to wonder if they knew something that I didn't.... ??????
January 10 - We picked Shirley Wichern up at the airport at 9 AM. We picked her up at the gate, because we had lots of extra time, since the airport is only about 10-15 minutes from our boat!!! I thought that she was coming from Roanake, VA, where she had been visiting her brother and his family, while he was having surgery. Luckily, the surgery was a success and he is recovery very quickly. Our prayers are with you, Skip, for a speedy complete recovery! She was actually in Detroit....I am not a member of this jetsetting generation!!!. It was not a very exciting visit for her, we just put her to work inventorying medical items and ran some errands that afternoon. We watched a video about going around the Horn in 1929 on the schooner, Peking. Debi and Jim from Mah Jong had loaned us the video. They had actually toured the boat when they were in NYC. We were all duly impressed with the abilities of the sailors on this ship and DEFINITELY decided that it was NOT the type of sailing we wanted to do!!! Shirley also shared a 5 minute video of a bell solo she had performed at her church for Christmas. She is soooo talented. Eric really appreciated seeing it, since he had played in a bell choir when we were living in Houston/Clear Lake
January 11 - Shirley had to leave about 8:30 to catch a 10 am flight. We continued to ready the boat for departure. It was so GREAT to have her visit. We were just sorry it was for such a short time and we were so frazzled and not the best of hosts!!!! Next time....
January 12 - We went shopping, shopping and more shopping. Then we took a break and went to the Medical Center at Port Everglades, to have our additional shots: yellow fever, thyphoid, meningitis, and the flu. Our arms were soooooo sore! We also have been feeling a little weird. I guess we put too much into our poor little bodies all at once! It was also a big shock to the pocketbook! but it sure beats getting any one of those horrible diseases!!! We were really dragging....didn't arrive home until 6:15 after looking at surf boards for Eric. Tuck Fraser came over for dinner....we weren't very scintillating company! She had arrived in the afternoon and rented a car and motel room. Her grandmother lived around the corner from here and so she wanted to see all the places she had visited often in grade and high school. She could not belive the change in 30 years! We had hoped that Jill Hoff would be able to come too, but could not leave her new job. We missed you, Jill! Tuck took lots of pictures and the boat was a MESS, since we were repairing and we were trying to stow more items. So, they have pictures which won't ever be published!!!
January 13 - We continued to stow items, and even took down all my Christmas decorations! Eric and David purchased his TWO new surf boards and then Eric hung them up in his room! (Yes, he still has a little room left to sleep!). Tuck had to leave about 4:30 (not a very exciting visit for her either, I am sorry!) Everybody needs to come and visit in paradise, where we are relaxed and more sociable!!!! Hope to see you in the Carribbean!!!
January 14 - We had 30-40 knot winds....actually they lasted until Sunday morning. A cold front came through! (I was really glad we are still here and not in the Gulf Stream with 20 foot swells and gale force winds!) We went shopping at Walmart (It took a long time, because I was buying all the items needed to make courtesy flags for all the countries in the Carribbean) and Costco (we almost couldn't fit the boys back into the car, since we had so much STUFF). We all had haircuts..I am either letting David cut it next time or will let it grow long again...we shall see!!! We had a delicious fish dinner - Tilapia.
January 15 - We spent all morning stowing....then went to a program seminar at the Westin sponsored by our broker, who happens to be in Fort Launderdale. We all went and definitely learned alot (in FOUR hours) about this program that Martin uses to trade many of our accounts. We went shopping at the Galleria afterwards, much to the DISGUST of the men in my life!!!! I needed some undergarments.....but it took tooooo long!!! They won't have to put up with that much more...no Gallerias on the islands.
January 16 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAM!!! Today would have been Mom's 83rd Birthday! I can't believe that it has only been a week since we took Julie to the airport....we must be having LOTS of fun for time to pass sooooo quickly! We stowed almost everything. Now, I am working on our medical/first aid kits. We are expecting the final shipment tomorrow.
January 8, 2000
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY 2000!
We are at David's parents in Bonita Springs today because Julie leaves at 2:30 to fly back to Denver to begin spring semester at the University of Colorado. She has really been missing her boyfriend, Chris and our granddogger, Nalu. I think she is ready to leave....but not to return to the ice, COLD, and snow!!!! She has been busy trying to get a tan before she leaves. I will really miss her, especially since this vessel will once again become male-dominated!!!
Our plans are to head to the Bahamas around January 17, depending on the weather and if everything is accomplished and ready to go (I am quickly learning that there is a law....things are NEVER accomplished and completely ready....and the lists are never completed....). I am hoping to redo the itinerary so that you will know approximately where we are. We will NOT have use of the cellular phone and our web updates will be less often and probably not as verbose!!! I will keep you posted as to how to communicate with us. The latest update on the address...in spite of what is on our Christmas cards (I have finished some of them...please be patient). Our address CANNOT contain any of the following: Suite, P.O.Box, or Apt. The easiest way is: 88005 Overseas Hwy. #9-525, Islamorada, FL 33036. or PMB 525, 88005 Overseas Hwy. #9, Islamorada, FL 33036. Sorry about all this confusion....I am just as confused and frustrated as you are!!!
To bring you up to date: December 23 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAULA! David and I went to Costco in Pompano Beach to provision for our trip to the Keys. BIG MISTAKE!!!! Note the date....we arrived about 9:45 to a FULL parking lot and a HUGE line waiting to enter!!!! We managed to purchase all we needed and to stop at a Winn Dixie (like Safeway) to pick up the remainder. Then we had to carry it on board and stow it all away (noting everything into the inventory...which is now a mess!). David and I returned the rental car. That evening we visited Jim and Debi Dyer on MAH JONG, the boat docked next to us. They are originally from Santa Barbara and purchased their boat in Camden. They spent more time at Wayfarer Marine than we did! They actually spent the winter there!!!!! Their boat is really beautiful, with wood carvings, etc. We poured over the charts to the Bahamas and where they had been. They were scheduled to leave before our return. Bruno had finally fixed the hot water heater on the outdoor shower, under the banana trees.....so we all enjoyed LONG hot showers outside!
December 24 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEBI (on Mah Jong)!!! We were up at 6:30 in order to leave at 8:30. Debi and Jim came over for a QUICK tour of our boat and Sue from MASADE came over to say goodbye, since they were heading to Miami and then to the Bahamas. They are from Australia, but have been in Chicago for a number of years, and have been cruising for about 8 months, like us. We went under the 17th Bridge and out the Channel at Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) with them and then passed them going down the coast to Key Biscayne. We were not able to go in and anchor at Key Biscayne.....we hit bottom (THANK HEAVENS! it was sand and not Maine rock!) several times!! We now know what our ABSOLUTE depth limit is, which is definitely important while we are cruising in the Carribbean, which tends to be shallower than in the Pacific. We continued on to Rodriquez Key, where the John Pennekamp Marine Park is located and anchored about 10:30pm. We do not like to come into harbors at night; however, with the Northstar and radar we have not experienced any difficulties. Unfortunately, we were back in POT LAND!!!... ie lobster/crab pots....which we hated so much on the East Coast!!! Luckily we have not snared one...knock on wood! We have been told that there are none in the Carribbean.
December 25 - MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS! We spent the morning opening our presents! Very nice Christmas! Thank you! The one exception was David's and my gift to each other of a digital camera, which we purchased at the new Costco in Naples on December 10. David had wrapped it....and when he unwrapped it and opened the box to use it....there was NO camera!!!! It was on display! We were in a state of shock! We contacted them the following day and they had realized it, but had made no effort to contact us, and offered us the display model. We said no way, and they found a camera in Georgia and we picked it up last Wednesday. We were very disappointed not to have the camera to take pictures while we were in the Keys with Julie and Naran with us. So we are busy trying to learn how to work it. We might be able to put some on the web today using it.
A cold front had come through Florida, so it was rather cool and windy. We were not able to use the dinghy to go to the snorkeling areas in the Park and the next day was forecaste to be the same so on December 26 we left Rodriquez Key and sailed to Marathon, arriving about 2:00. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD ERNISSE!!! The Marine patrol asked us to move the boat about sunset, so we had to re-anchor in the dark.
December 27 - HAPPY WEDDING DAY, ED AND AMY JOY! CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES! We sailed out to Sombrero Key and snorkeled. The snorkeling places in the keys are out on the reef about 10 miles from shore with moorings, like Molokini, to protect the reef. There were many other boats at the Key, including diving and snorkeling "cattle" boats, like Maui. It was cool (68-72 degrees), so we wore our wetsuits. We saw LOTS of barracuda....and many were HUGE! The coral was different from Maui, pretty sea fans, but some of the fish were similar. We watched "Captain Ron" again...even funnier when you are experiencing it!
December 28 - We dinghied into Marathon to West Marine, and were planning to head out but a rain/thunderstorm came through so we decided to wait until next morning, December 29 - We headed out to Looe Key to snorkel, arriving about 11:30. There were more barracudas and many boats here also. David also saw a shark...a funny looking one...not sure what kind? It was becoming very shallow under our keel, and very rolly, so we headed to Lois Key to anchor for the night.
December 30 - We headed to Key West and arrived about 12:30. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!! Sunny and warm and not too rolly! Poor Naran was absolutely miserable with seasickness! She was very excited when we dinghied in to Key West and walked on firm ground and visited the Mel Fischer Maritime Museum. The gold bars and emeralds were awesome!!!! We could use a couple to finance this boat! We had tilapia and ice cream for dinner....was delicious! I finally finished putting in most of the information for my address book into our computer. My old address book was in our antique IBM PC which we gave away when we left Maui.
December 31 - We left our VERY crowded anchorage in Key West Harbor to snorkel at Sand Key, which turned out to be VERY windy and rolly on the mooring. We had intended to take our Christmas card picture there on the sand with the boat in the background, but there was NO WAY! So....our Christmas card picture was taken inside the boat, the night before Naran went back to Maui!!!! The best laid plans... David and Eric tried out the super snorkel and then went diving for an hour. It worked great, but REALLY loud for those on board (they left it in the dinghy behind the boat because it was so windy and rough, they were afraid that it would turn over.)
We arrived back into Key West Harbor with a million other boats and two HUGE cruise ships. We were able to watch London and Rome at midnight, but then the tide changed and we had no more tv reception. We woke up at midnight to TWO spectacular displays of fireworks!!!! The finale was most impressive!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! May everyone have a peaceful, joyous, and abundant 2000!
JANUARY 1, 2000 - We had to head back to Ft. Lauderdale for Naran to fly back on January 4. We had a really rough two day trip, and the patch did not seem to help Naran. We had a NE wind....the direction we were traveling. We tried to go out into the Gulf Stream to get the current, but the wind was higher than forecast so we finally gave up, came into Rodriquez Key and anchored about midnight. We left about 7am and arrived back at Bruno's just at dark on January 2. Debi and Jim are still here, so they helped us dock. We were able to see all the Christmas lights on the beautiful houses along the intercoastal waterway coming in to Fort Lauderdale. We had the spanish mackerel which we had caught for dinner, tasted delicious!!!. Naran was delighted because we were not rocking and rolling anymore!!!!!
January 3 - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DAD! We ALL slept in until 8....we were tired!! We had to clean the boat inside and outside and then pick up the car from Enterprise. We went to the Siam House for dinner and enjoyed some Thai food, which is similiar to Naran's cambodian food. It was EXCELLENT! Naran gave me an Asian cookbook for Christmas, so I am planning on learning how to prepare some of the menus. I wish she were here help me.
January 4 - We were up at 4:30am to leave at 5:15 to drive Naran to the Palm Beach Airport to catch a 7:15 flight back to Maui....what a long day for her....she arrived on Maui at 5:20pm Maui time. Steve and Karyn James FINALLY had a chance to see our boat that afternoon. They are interested in having Chuck Paine design a boat for them. They have spent time in the Bahamas, so hopefully we will be able to get together and talk about their favorite places.
January 5 - We all came over to Bonita Springs to see David's parents and pick up our digital camera at Costco. We did some wash at Grandma's and Jason's dropped a bag into the channel when we were getting all the items back on board! Then he went to take his shower and the wind caught his towel and that landed in the water, too!!!! We were about ready to put Jason in the drink also!!!!!
January 6 - Beard Marine came to fix the water maker and had to remove the membranes; hopefully, it will be repaired by next week. I worked on writing Christmas cards and then Julie, Jason and I went to do the wash which fell in the water!! Jim and Debi loaned us "Wild Wild West", which we all enjoyed. Eric and David spent all day and part of the next installing the "Windbugger", wind generator. Then the wind died, so we haven't had a chance to try it!
January 7 - The kids and I went to the Galleria to shop for Julie's Christmas presents in the afternoon. Julie had to get back to pack up all her goodies. Not a very exciting last day for Julie....but David has the big push on to finish everything to get ready to leave next week.
December 22, 1999
We are at David's parents in Bonita Springs, celebrating Christmas with them: opening presents and having a leg of lamb for dinner!!! We are also doing wash, updating our web site and ordering medical supplies, since we have access to a "real" secure phone. Our plan is to provision and make ready tomorrow, return our rental car and leave on Friday to go to the Keys for the Holidays. We will head to Key Biscayne, then Key Largo, Marathon, Key West, and then back to Fort Lauderdale by January 3. Naran flies back to Maui out of West Palm Beach at 7:15am on January 4. We will need to leave the boat about 5am!!! Hopefully, we will have nice warm weather and beautiful crystal clear water for snorkeling, swimming and diving. The weather has been warm, with a few rain showers and clouds, but a cold front is scheduled to arrive on Friday.
Our future plans include a BIG change in our itinerary! We will leave here about the middle of January and head to the Bahamas. We will follow Van Sant's advice for Gentleman's Guide to Passages South, the Thornless Path through the Caribbean. We will go to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, Leeward and Windward Islands, Trinidad and Venezuela, where we will spend hurricane season next summer (June to November), which should be warmer than Maine! We will change the rest of our web pages soon to reflect these changes. Then we will go through the Panama Canal in March 2001 and to the South Pacific.
Wishing everyone Peace, Love, Aloha, and Abundance for 2000! Have a very Merry Christmas! We love you all and miss you lots!
December 21, 1999
Only FOUR more days 'til Christmas!!!!! Things are very different this year from my normal Christmas preparation....Mailed packages last Monday...the busiest mailing day of the year according to the local news! We couldn't find the address labels, that we thought that we had made last year before we gave our antique IBM PC to Salvation Army, so Julie has been busy entering all the addresses into this computer so that Eric can print out labels. The almighty PO is trying to make everyone who has a private mailbox, like at Mailbox, ETC., or a mail forwarding service like we do, change their address to include PMB. We were notified last June about this, less than a month after we had changed all our addresses and mailed out 250 of their penny (25 cents...)postcards. The word is that it has now been extended to next April, and we may use PMB or #.....please make sure you delete SUITE from our address; otherwise, they are threatening not to deliver our mail. The PO claims that we need to change our address, but we are not allowed to send in change of address cards to the local post office, since it is just a format change not, a change of address!!!!!@#$%^&*()***** I can't figure it out!! And we are planning to leave the country soon and were hoping to have everything running very smoothly by then....
We hope that you are enjoying the holidays with your family and friends.....You should receive our card with a picture, which we plan to take next week in the Keys, by the end of January. So, this should help to bring many of you up to date until then. I will continue where I left off and then tell you of our future plans.
November 28 - We ended up taking David's father to the hospital before dinner. All the holiday commotion had really gotten to him. His Alzheimer's is getting worse. They did a few tests, said that he had Alzheimer's, and sent him home, so that Mom Ernisse has to deal with him.
November 29 - We made some plans with David's sister about their father in the morning and then we drove back to Fort Lauderdale (about 2 hours). David was battling a bad stomach, so Eric and I went to the Red Cross CPR course from 6pm to 10pm.
November 30 - Eric and David changed the sanitation hose in our head, which goes through our closet, for the second time. We hope that is the last time and that there is no more smell!!! Eric and I had the First Aid Course from 6 to 8:30pm that night.
December 1 & 2- We started doing inventory and cleaning out EVERYTHING on the boat! Like fall housecleaning, except that we made lists of everything on the boat and where it is located/stored. Now we just have to type it up and maintain it. (When a person takes out toothpaste or paper towel, it needs to be noted; so we always know what we have, where it is located, and what we need to purchase when we go to the store. It is very frustrating to know that you have an item, but you can't remember where you put it!!!!)
December 3 - We left very early to drive to Miami, where David took an all day Red Cross First Aid and CPR course, for his Captain's License. The boys and I went also, so that we could do some shopping. We went to Pet Mart first, and had lots of fun buying presents for Nalu, our granddogger! Then over to Costco, where you have to deposit a quarter in order to get a cart! I looked up in my Most Dangerous Places in the World Book and MIAMI is right there!!!! Fort Lauderdale is scary, also. We like the Western side, Naples area is MUCH better.
December 4 & 5 - Inventory - Clean - Clean out! all weekend!!!!Wonderful!!
December 6 - David and I left very early in the morning in order to drive back to Miami in order to submit all of David's papers for his Coast Guard Captains License. Eric had his first day of his scuba certification course from 1:30 to 7:30. David went to a specialist to see if maybe she could help him with his bad stomach problems. She did prescribed something new which should help.
December 7 - Eric went to scuba from 7:30 to 1:30. He was very disappointed with only two dumb guys in the class, NO girls! We continued inventory....
December 8 - More inventory and Eric went on his first open water dive at 12:30. His dive was canceled on December 9 because of high winds, so Eric and David went shopping and I continued with inventory.
December 10 - David and I left very early and went over to David's parents. We stopped at a NEW Costco (opened on December 7). We walked in and there were four grand pianos in the entry (the ones that play electronically). We were very impressed. We took David's parents to the Alzheimer's Support Group in Naples to see if we could obtain some help and what services are available in the area. We arrived home about 9pm. Eric had walked to his dive and he is now certified!.
December 11 - We FINISHED our inventory....now just have to type it up (still in not done). We made a BIG mistake by not taking out our dinghy so that we could go to the big boat parade. We could see some of it when the boats passed by way down on the Waterway. We hadn't realized it was such a big thing. So, we decided to watch Adventure Quest, a video about 6 adventurers who hike, kayak, and ski in the Chilean Andes. David Kashinski, Ray's son, is one of them! It is really SPECTACULAR...If you have a chance to see it on tv or ask Ray about it, DO so! Thanks, Ray, for sending the video to us. We are sharing it with Julie and Naran and then our boat neighbors from Santa Barbara.
December 12 - We spent ALL day working on our medical kit, seeing what we had, how to package it, what we still needed and had to buy or order, and how to organize and store it. Then we had to figure out what immunizations we still need to get.
December 13 & 14 - We just cleaned the boat, made lots of phone calls trying to deal with the PO problem and also trying to schedule homes to visit with David's Mom on Friday. We managed to put up our meager decorations: six stockings and my advent calendar which I had made and brought from home. We bought a garland with lights and have it along the shelf behind the dining table. We have put little ornaments on it and candy canes!
December 15 - We took all the beds apart and I cut down the mattress pads and stitched up the edges with my sewing machine. We then went to the laundromat and did almost $25 worth of wash!!!! We had to wash our spread since it had gotten wet (salt water) through the dorade vent on one of our rough passages. Once material has salt in it, it never dries out.
December 16 - Jason was not feeling well (cold and cough), so he stayed home, while we did alot of shopping in preparation for the arrival of Naran (Jason's girl friend from Maui) and Julie the next day. We then had to come home, put all the items into the inventory, and stow it all.
December 17 - Up early and we left at 7am to be in Fort Myers to pick up Naran at 9:43. She had no trouble, Thanks, Paula. David and I stopped at two homes that specialize in Alzheimer's before we went to David's parents. We had lunch there with them and then we took Mom Ernisse to see two other places in Bonita Springs. We then took her back to one of the ones we had seen in the morning. I had called Delta and they had told me that Julie was about 15 minutes late....the flight actually came in on time so we weren't there when she got off the plane!!!!! I ran in and she was just coming out. We stayed for dinner and were back home about 9. It is lots of fun having two other girls on board!!!!!
December 18 - We spent most of the morning organizing and stowing, making room for the girls. We went to the beach while David went swimming at the big Swimming Hall of Fame 50 m pool. The girls were VERY disappointed....Hawaii, it is NOT!
December 19 - We went shopping (David didn't go....) at the Galleria for Christmas presents. Lots of really neat stores: The Gap, Wet Seal, Discovery Channel Store, etc. etc. They had the MOST Beautiful Christmas tree ever...in the center courtyard....surrounded by a pool. We finished almost all our gift purchasing, which was a pretty good trick, since everyone was trying to get presents for each other...lots of hiding gifts under coats (it's a wonder that we weren't arrested by the security guards!) or in plastic bags and whispering about who would like what. We succeeded and were ready when our chauffeur picked us up at 4:15 after his swim. We wrapped everything when we got home.
December 20 - David and Eric were gone all morning purchasing spare parts for the engine and generator. They arrived home only to discover that many were wrong, so we had to return the next day. (It is SOOOO frustrating, it seems like we have to do things 2-3- even 4 times before it is right and finished. People complain about other countries, but our country must be #1 with red tape and the number of incompetent people that are now working for companies and the governments....)
December 21 - We ran errands in the morning and then came home and cooked....we made garlic herb bread (first time to use my bread baker...which is probably too big and too much energy consumptive for the boat, but the bread was delicious!), sugar cookies with sprinkles and icing (from a Costco mix...not exactly like Mom's sugar cookie recipe!), chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin pie for Ernisse's tomorrow.
My Dad left Cincinnati for Philadelphia today to spend the holidays with my brother, Peter and his family. We are hoping that he has a good visit and enjoys the holidays with them...wish he could be with us. Of course, all of us are remembering last Christmas, which was difficult with Mom's passing on December 6 and then my Uncle Bill (Dad's brother) died on January 5. Jon will be home from his first semester at Amherst and Chris will be there from Cal Tech, so it should be great fun for all! Happy Holidays! We were so sorry that to be able to see them all in Philadelphia on the boat!
November 28, 1999
We are in Bonita Springs with David's parents and I am behind again...since I didn't finish this site before we left. So I will bring you up to date and Eric will scan in some pictures and put it on the internet.
November 26 - While making draining the squash for dinner last night, I heard a noise. At first Eric thought it was a boat, but it turned out to be the sump pump. So we left all the dirty dishes (from left overs) in the sink and thank heavens we had all had our showers before dinner. So, we had to get up and fix that. Eric had to take the doors off the cabinet, take everything out from under the sink and figure out what was wrong with the pump. It was not broken, just clogged up with hair, food and grease. We then had to put it all back and wash all the dirty dishes. We packed up, took all our dirty laundry and left about 2 to go to Grandma's. We had a pretty rough night with Jason because he was wheezing and coughing. Four benadryl didn't help! We now have to make sure we have that type of medication on board.
November 27 - We slept until 8:30....amazing! I continued to do wash....I did about 8 loads. Grandma worked on turkey dinner. Linda, John, Marshall, Jeremy, and Beth Cox, David's sister and family from North Haven, CT arrived after driving from Orlando. Jeremy had several performances of The Nutcracker. He is a dancer with the Miami City Ballet. David and I went over to the pool and enjoyed the sun and a swim! Then we had a delicious turkey dinner
November 28 - Today we are working on the computer and visiting. We will head over to Ft. Lauderdale after lunch. Please keep in touch and we are diligently working on answering all the emails that we now have....Love to all!
November 25, 1999
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We do have many many blessings to be thankful for...especially our many friends and supportive families. We have a beautiful sailing vessel, Peace and Aloha. We are almost ready to begin our REAL adventure. Thanks for all your love! We send everyone our love and aloha! We love you all and miss you!
I am behind again....so will begin where I left off...
November 8 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HEIDI!!! We left Mayport Marine in Jacksonville at about 10:15 at almost slack tide. The day before we had been amazed by the incredible fierce current going in the St. John's River. We were watching the ferry go back and forth from the dock next to us. The current would take the ferry down river almost next to us, before his engine would push him back upriver into the dock next to us. I was at the helm as we left the channel out to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by dolphins and pelicans. We caught fish #3, an aku, the same as the other two. It is strong tasting, but at least it is helping offset the cost of all the fishing equipment! We had strong (up to 28 knots) NE winds and 8 feet swells. I am still asking for seasickness remedies!!!!! Eric and I are on the 9pm-3am watch. David is still having difficulty sleeping....any suggestions out there?
November 9 - We arrived outside Cape Canaveral about 8 am, with big seas and lots of traffic, with trawlers and freighters. We were not able to get into a slip because of the strong winds, so we were at the dock for one night at Cape Marina. We washed the boat off and cleaned her up inside. One night of passage making makes a HUGE mess of the boat! We rented a car, did some shopping and went to bed early.
November 10 - We were up early and moved over to the slip. We had to back in, in order to get electric power. We had help from the marina crew and Jim and Sue on Heart of Gold in the next slip. We had watched them go into their slip the day before, and saw the problems that they experienced, so we were not going to risk it with the wind and no sleep the night before. Eric and David repaired the generator problems. We took the afternoon off and went to the Kennedy Space Flight Center. We did not take the tours to the outer parts of the center, because we had toured the Manned Space Flight Center in Houston when we lived there and also the Smithsonian while we were in Washington. We went to two IMAX shows....we really like them!!! I was impressed with the Memorial to the astronauts who have died in service to our country, especially the Challenger Shuttle, with Onizuka from Hawaii and Krista Macalliffe (? sp), the first teacher in space. We stopped at Applebee's for dinner. We then went to Ron Jon's Surf Shop, which is open 24 hours/day, and had three floors of "stuff"...but they didn't have a surf board for Eric!
November 11 - HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, RACHEL!!!!! Perfect day for us to go to Magic Kingdom at Disney World! FINALLY after all these years I made it to Disney World! We had a really wonderful time and I think we went on almost every single ride, even the really scary roller coaster types!!! I ducked down behind Eric in Splash Mountain, so instead of getting wet on my face and front, the water went onto the seat and my skirt and underwear were soppy wet!!!! The digital picture was funny....everyone else was up and looking around...you couldn't even see me!!!
November 12, 13, and 14 - We spent the entire three days at the Annual Meeting of the Seven Seas Cruising Association Meeting in Melbourne, which was about 45 minutes south. With our draft, we could not go into the Intercoastal and anchor where most of the other boats were in Melbourne. We learned ALOT and met many people. They had many panels, workshops, vendors, etc. which lasted from 8:30 to 5:30 every day. Unfortunately, we did not preregister because we had no idea that we would be there at that time, so we were not able to attend any of the dinner functions, which was mainly socialization.
November 15 - My Dad and Lynn and Ed Guerrero left for our Napili Point Condo. They will be there until December 1. When I talked with them, Mrs. Guerrero was going to cook a turkey, and they were all enjoying themselves, even though there were a few showers around. I really wish we were there... I keep remembering our BIG Thanksgiving dinners at our home in Makena. Lots of BIG changes since the first one in 1992!!!!
We cleaned the boat in and out, shopped, and washed, in preparation to leave tomorrow.
November 16 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY ANNE FITCH!!!! and Uncle Bill would have been 91! David had to return the car, because we had run out of time yesterday. I made lunches and had made dinner the night before, and we were ready to leave about 10:45. Jim and Sue helped us leave the slip. We managed to get out into the channel missing one fender....still a big mystery!!!!! I used half a scopalamine patch, which seemed to work, although I did fall asleep right after lunch. But it stilll has a druggy feeling, which I don't like....so....will continue to try. Any suggestions, please? Also, what do you eat???? We had trouble with the boom vang (screws coming out) and the water maker would not work.....more to fix. More incompetence and poor workmanship. Also as an addendum for those of you considering Kanter as your boat builder, the only part of the Wayfarer Bill that they paid was the amount for the diesel leaks, which we had held back through the lawyer; otherwise, I am sure that would not have been paid either. So, they do not honor the warranty which is stated in the contract. Manfred, we heard that you didn't like what was on our website about you. Everything that is written on this site is the TRUTH. I tried to contact you, but you would not return my calls or speak with me on the phone. I wrote you a letter as you requested, which you have yet to acknowledge or respond to. I felt that we could have worked this matter out in a win-win situation, but you appear to have no desire to do that. We bent over backwards with the amount of bill forwarded to you as warranty work, we also discussed our boat with three perspective clients. We are about to meet another. We are out in the cruising community and could be incredible advertisement for Kanter Yachts! Unless you come through with payment for the warranty items, we will never recommend you as a builder. You could still change this situation.....
After we left we we continued to have NE winds blowing to 20-25 knots. We were also in the Gulf Stream with the water temperature rising to 82 degrees. We continue to maintain the same watch schedule. We did alot of sailing and took the sails down right at the entrance to Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale). We were coming in just as a big cruise ship was leaving, heading to the Bahamas. We had to wait about 20 minutes for the 17th Street Bridge to open, which opens on the hour and the half hour. Then we went up the Intercoastal Water Way, past the magnificent homes, with HUGE power or sailboats docked in front, here in Ft. Lauderdale. The Los Olas Bridge opened on command and then we came down the waterway/canals to Hendricks Isle, where we have a slip at Bruno's Zoo. We practiced about three times before we came into his slip with the wind. We were also concerned about the draft, so we came in about noon with a rising tide. We have just been informed that our draft is 7....but I feel safer, especially when she is fully loaded to consider it 8!!!! Bruno has about 10 slips here! We are next to Mah Jong from Camden. They are a couple from Santa Barbara - Jim and Debbie, who bought the boat in Camden and ended up spending the winter there having everything repaired! We are thankful that we didn't have tospend our winter there. The people on the other slip just arrived today (the 25th) from Venezuela. They just bought the boat to go cruising!!! They have three kids....and a daughter 20 years old!
November 18 - We got a car and drove to David's parents in Bonita Springs. It takes about 2 hours across Alligator Alley! Grandma had cake and ice cream, but David forgot to tell me to bring a candle for her little Happy Birthday machine....so all but the candles this time!!!! We are going to get it right sometime before he is 50!
November 19 - We drove over to Naples for a doctor's appointment for David and we also checked the yacht clubs there to see if we could get in. We could go to Marco Island or Naples City docks, but everyplace else is too shallow. We left and stopped at Costco on the way home and had a pizza and picked up a few things. We watched Happy Gilmore on tv - funny movie!
November 20 - we spent most of the day planning and making phone calls. David and I went out for a walk along these islands and there are WILD parrots and parakeets in the palm trees!!!! We think they are some kind of Amazon. They sound like our Toucamans, but have a red head! Unfortunately, we are having a terrible time with the birds, since ours is the tallest mast! They are pooping all over the deck! We bought a balloon with a smiley face, but it just blew away and the birds are back. Many cruisers have plastic owls sitting on top of their masts!
November 21 - We have had quite a bit of rain, mostly at night...which is just fine, cleans off the boat somewhat. We spent alot of time looking over maps trying to decide about the Florida Keys and/or the Bahamas. We need help and advice about these two places, so if anyone has any ideas, please call (1-808-283-0663) or email (email@example.com). HELP....PLEASE! We went to West Marine to pick up some items...always need more... We went to ProDiver and Eric is starting a scuba certification class on Monday afternoon.
November 22 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATHY!!!! We had gone through our mail, which we received at David's parents. So, we spent the entire morning on the phone. David had an appointment for his physical for his captain's license at 1:30, but we were not out until 4pm. We then went to the Red Cross to register for First Aid and CPR (I am taking it also) for his captain's license on Monday and Tuesday nights.
November 23 - We worked on the boat, fixing the mast and boom vang, in the morning. We had haircuts! Tell Eileen at the Intercontinental that I will pay her way here to cut my hair!!!!! We also checked out Bluewater Charts and Books, where we had ordered so much before we left Maui. We then went to Publix, a big supermarket, to purchase turkey day items. Everyone else in Ft. Lauderdale was there with us!
November 24 - HAPPY 8th HATCH DAY, MANU!!!!!! I decided that I should cook our turkey (the smallest I have ever had -11.53 lbs - it had to fit into 9x14x5 oven!!) so that we could have left overs one night before we left on Friday to go to David's parents. I had a frustrating day!!! At first, I found that I didn't have the mollasses for the pumpkin pie, which I thought I had. Then I found that I didn't have a meat thermometer or the rack for the roasting pan for the turkey. I thought I had brought some of these items from home. I had to make do without the rack and put the turkey in the oven about 1:30 and then kept having to change the gas, since there is no thermostat in this oven. Eric and David went out to do errands and returned about 5:30, so I finally made the pie while we were eating. But the finishing blow was the lack of flour to make gravy! Debbie on Mah Jong came through!!!! THANKS!!! But, actually everything was delicious (even if I do say so myself)!!!
November 25 - we just returned from the beach.....not Maui! We were sitting on the sand enjoying some sun. Then David went out for a snorkel and a life guard charged out after him in a kayak and whacked him on the back with his paddle and told him that he could be arrested for swimming out there passed the buoys!!!! They have signs saying dangerous conditions, with small little waves. Amazing! But it really did feel good to be in the ocean again....and we are so white! We just need to find a beach with no life guards...not sure that is possible in Florida. So, now I have to heat up all the turkey left overs for dinner. We will go to Bonita Springs tomorrow and return on Sunday to have turkey dinner with David's parents and his sister, Linda and her family will be there also.
Once again, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
November 7, 1999
Eric's birthday was rather a dud....we ran out of propane while I was cooking brownies!!!! So, we owe Eric a party with cake and ice cream....and whatever else.We had bought him a stereo for his room while we were in Marblehead, so he was happy in the present category! We spent the afternoon getting ready to leave. That night he and Jason went over to the next boat to visit with a very nice family: Haley, Jennifer and Neal. They were heading north the next day...I hope their trip was better than ours!
November 3 - We left Wrightsville Beach at dawn. It was an incredibly rough trip with winds gusting to 32! I took lots of medicine, every 6 hours and was drugged out the entire trip....Anyone out there have any remedies that work????? Help!!!! Let me know....As usual, we had our problems....this time it was BOTH autopilots and the mast. We had alot of water in the boat, leaking through the dorades and also through the bins in the cockpit. The main problem was the lack of autopilots to steer, so we had NO sleep all night. Jason and I were on watch and Eric and David were at the helm, alternating hourly. We were doing alot of banging with the bow going under the waves, with waves coming along the deck into the cockpit. Are we having fun yet???
November 4 - We had planned on going to Hilton Head, but went into Charleston, South Carolina to regroup. We were exhausted!!! We arrived about 10am. We were coming in the channel when "Rum Tum Tiger" was heading south to Beaufort. Craig Farnsworth is from North Rose, New York and David knew him at the cottage. We had seen him during the summer. We had hoped to catch up with him in Savannah or Hilton Head, because he heads to France on Tuesday to pick up his new boat. We decided against Hilton Head because of the lack of marinas for our draft of 8ft. Larry Miller, who has "Dawnbreaker", a sister ship of Peace and Aloha, is in Spain until Tuesday, so again, we were not able to meet him. Also, Tuck Fraser from Cincinnati was in Hilton Head for the weekend, but I couldn't figure out how we could get in there in time to even see her. We cleaned up the boat, slept and went to bed VERY early.
November 5 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHIRLEY!!!! We spent all morning making repairs, finding that the mast had moved with some blocks coming out of the center hole. We were able to fix it for the time being until we get to Cape Canaveral. The autopilots had failed because water had gotten into a connection on the mast that had been installed incorrectly and not waterproofed. We were too far away from the city of Charleston, so we toured the boats at Patriots Point, right at Charleston Harbor Marina and the Hilton, where we were staying. We toured a destroyer, submarine and an aircraft carrier Yorktown. Very interesting! But I think I will stick with Peace and Aloha! Also, there is a jet on the deck with Commander Mark Fitzgerald, written on the side! (Mark, are you on your second career???)
November 6 - We left Charleston about 9, beautiful day but COLD. We had a WONDERFUL passage.....no problems. It was calm, and we sailed part of the time. I didn't take any medications and I didn't get sick. So I could actually enjoy the incredible display of stars out at night, while Eric and I are on watch from 9pm to 3am.
November 7 - WE HAVE ARRIVED......WE ARE IN FLORIDA! We arrived in Jacksonville at Mayport Marine at about 9am. We walked to a convenience store...and got a loaf of WHITE bread!!!! We will have to make do until Tuesday when we arrive in Cape Canaveral. Our plan is to leave tomorrow morning to do another overnighter to Cape Marina. We will be staying for about a week and touring the space center and Disney World, etc. etc. Then on to Fort Lauderdale where we will find a place to stay for a month or so. Julie will be arriving on December 17 and staying until January 8. We will be joining David's parents in Bonita Springs for the holidays. More updates when they are available. As soon as we have a more permanent address, we will let you know. Also, you could mail letters etc. to David's parents.
When we get there we should be able to get caught up on some of our correspondence, emails (which we have not been able to send since Norfolk?????why). We have also not had a mail delivery since October in Boston. Also, the phone seems to be working now, after 5-6 day vacation in the Carolinas. Keep in touch! Hope to see many of you in Florida! My Dad is getting VERY excited about going to Maui (He can be reached at our Napili Point Condo.) on November 15-December 1. He will then be going to my brothers December 21-28 for Christmas.
November 2, 1999
HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY, ERIC!!!!! Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a STORM....it is pouring and the wind has gusted to 47!!! We have a mixture of a low, a cold front and the remains of Katrina! We had planned on accomplishing alot today plus celebrating Eric's birthday and leaving tomorrow....we will just have to wait and see.
We are in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (a few miles east of Wilmington). We have added several more states since we left New York City, bringing us to #17 plus Canada, with the addition of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. I don't know how you count Washington, District of Columbia. We have also logged in 2220.3 miles on our trip odometer. (For those of you that like numbers and statistics!)
I will bring you up to date from October 25 - (Monday) - David was able to see a very competent dentist in Little Creek (Norfolk), who cemented back on the crown and also repaired another cracked filling which he found. We spent the rest of the day washing, changing beds, shopping, and then packing for our trip to Washington.
October 26 - we left the marina about 7 am and drove up to Washington, D.C....it was like we were flying: everyone drives at 80mph. (It took an hour to travel what it would take more than an 8 hour day on our boat!!!) We arrived at the Best Western, downtown Washington about 11:30. She allowed us to check in early and park the car there. We walked to the Capitol and did a self guided tour. We did not have a chance to go into the Senate or House Chambers, because they were in session and we had to walk 30 minutes to obtain passes from our delegates. We did note in one of the large wall paintings hanging in the main rotunda, a picture of the Pilgrims, in which Brewster was in the center, holding the Bible. We are descended from him on my Mom's side of the family (the Haydens). I was wondering if Mom and Aunt Joan were aware of that painting.
We left the Capitol and walked to the Washington Monument, which is undergoing complete renovation, so it has a scaffolding all around it (hopefully there will be some pictures in here, as soon as the first mate has time to do it). We did find that there was work being done on almost every monument that we visited. The other item that really struck me was the security. We had to go through monitors to enter all buildings; they searched purses, cameras and backpacks when we went to the Washington Monument. In some ways it makes you feel more secure and in others, it makes you very aware of the threat of terrorism to our government and our people. We finally were able to obtain tickets (free) to go up the Washington Monument and went with about 20 others and a National Park Ranger guide. We took the elevator to the top and the view is still MAGNIFICENT! even though you can't take any pictures because of the scaffolding. I asked the ranger about walking up the stairs, which my brother, my cousin Nancy Avery and I had done when we visited Washington in about 1960 (is that correct, Aunt Kay and Nancy????) when they were living in Falls Church, VA. It was quite a HIKE up 500 feet of stairs, but we DID it!!! The ranger said that because of vandalism of the walls and plaques and kids were running and people were being hurt, they had to close off the stairs about 1970. So we had to be content with the elevator in 1999!
After we left there we walked by the White House, which we didn't even try to enter. It is just too hard to get tickets. We then went to the National Aquarium, where they had some very interesting specimens.We walked back to the hotel, stopping for dinner at Harry's. We had an early dinner so that we wouldn't be walking in the dark.
October 27 - We left the hotel early and walked all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. I need to figure out how many miles we walked in three days, but it must have been about 10 miles! We walked back past the Vietnam Memorial. Unfortunately there was no one there to explain how ALL the names were spaced. They seemed to go on forever...boys who gave their lives during a war, which many considered to not be significant. How quickly we forget. We spent the rest of the day at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, which is absolutely amazing....one could spend a week and still not see it all. We did go to the IMAX To Fly....I think I had my eyes closed most of the time!!!! especially when they were flying upside! We left there about 3 and spent the rest of the day at the Natural History Museum, where we saw the gems and mineral show with the Hope Diamond. Amazing!!!! We had dinner at Jaleo, which was a Spanish restaurant, so we had some deliciously different dishes!!!
October 28 - We checked out of the hotel, and DROVE to the Jefferson Memorial. Very impressive, but they were renovating and replacing all the front marble steps, but we were still influenced by Jefferson and his works toward Peace for All! We walked around an exhibit at the Modern Art Museum on Beauty....but it was not beauty in the eyes of this beholder!!! We walked into the Smithsonian Castle, where the building itself is a masterpiece. We picked up some wasabi sauce for the fish we have been catching...two now!
We drove to the Washington National Cathedral, which was not finished when I visited last. It is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. The services are Episcopal, but the cathedral was designed to be a National church for all people. The stain glass windows were vibrant....it was MAGNIFICENT, built for the Glory of God!
Our last stop was at Arlington National Cemetery. I was struck, as I was many years ago, with the white granite stones, lined in rows, in every direction, for a far as you can see (although the trees have grown up in those many years blocking your view somewhat)....each marking a person who has given his/her life for the freedom of our country - for my liberty! We saw the flame for John Kennedy...I know that I was quickly remembering those days in November my freshman year at Elmira College. The pool for Robert Kennedy is equally inspiring. Then more walking up to the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to wait another hour for the changing of the guard.We left and arrived home about 7:30, after stopping at Taco Bell. We were tired, but we saw alot and learned alot about our Capital.
October 29 - Friday was a busy day preparing to leave: planning our trip, buying more charts, shopping at Costco and others. Then Jason and I went to do laundry and return the car, while Eric and David readied the boat. I made stew for our passage dinner tomorrow night.
October 30 - We were up at 4:30 and left Little Creek and went around Cape Hatteras. It was VERY rolly and no wind to sail and stabilize the boat. I had a really rough time, so we need to come up with a better plan. I did rally enough to stand watch with Eric from 9 to 3am. The water temperature was up to 80 degrees which meant that we were in the Gulf Stream....
October 31 - Happy Halloween! How was Lahaina??? We arrived into Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina about 2:30 and we are staying at the Seapath Yacht Club. It was a VERY beautiful day...warm....we actually sat outside in the sun! Unfortunately, that morning we tried to use the phone...and it hasn't worked since.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Harvey and Ruth Chapman!!!!
November 1- The nicest day that we have had in months...warm and sunny and we had shorts on!!!! I spent most of the day on the phone trying to figure out with AT&T why MY phone won't work.....it is going to end up at the bottom of the ocean one of these days!!!! Dave Yeary and his son, Shawn, came to visit us in the morning from Raleigh. Dave worked with David in Tucson and then in Houston with IBM. It was fun to visit after all these years. We also had to repair the auto pilot, steering, engine, toilet, boomvang, trimble, etc. etc. Some of this is routine maintenance, but most goes back to the builders, as usual. Raytheon is overnighting us a part. I hope it is there.We don't like being out with only one autopilot, like we came down here.
It has cleared off now (about 1), but still VERY windy...so I need to finish, so that we can go into the office and make phone calls and update this. We might be leaving tomorrow for Hilton Head, South Carolina. Now we can go celebrate Eric's birthday!!!! We are hoping to see and meet Larry Miller and to see Tuck Hooker, a friend of mine from Cincinnati.
Please keep the emails coming, and I will get to them I promise. Also, we will try to get some pictures in next time.
We need to welcome Aidan Gordon Brent, who arrived on Maui on October 22 at11:54 am. He is the son of James and Liz Brent and he joins Skipper and Squirt, two of my African Greys. Lots of LOVE AND HUGS!!!!
October 24, 1999
We are at Cutty Sark Marina in Little Creek, Norfolk,, Virginia. The water is shallow (30 feet as we entered Chesapeake Bay), green, and warm (67 degrees), although the air temperature today is about 50! The boat stays much warmer when the water is not 50 and the air is not 23, like in Maine! Still not warm enough for swimming and snorkeling!
We were able to get diesel on Wednesday, after it stopped raining. We did all the necessary things to be ready for a passage. Gene Montgomery stopped by to see our boat and to say goodbye.
October 21 - we were up at 4:45 and left the dock at 5:15am. We went out of NYC Harbor, under the Verranzano Narrows Bridge, while the Queen Elizabeth II was coming in! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip! Unfortunately, it was dark, so I did not take a picture of her. I did, however, try to take some of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline. Hope they come out....if they do, we will post them. There were many boats coming into the harbor, so we definitely had to keep on our toes. Unfortunately, there was NO wind, so we motored ALL the way. It was calm, but some swell was coming in, on our port side. I tried to do emails but it was too rocky for my insides and for my brain to function too!!! I gave up and took a nap.
Eric and I went on watch from 9pm to 3am. We were crossing Delaware Bay, so we had to deal with many commercial vessels, so that really kept us awake. After we passed the bay, then it was just a very beautiful moonlite, starfilled night on the ocean....with the motor running because of no wind! Not much really to keep us awake....Poor Eric! Beautiful night and he is on watch with his MOM!
October 22 - we continued on motoring ALL day and arrived in the Chesapeake Bay about 2:30, but had 3+ knots of current against us, so it took until 5 to arrive at this marina. We were passed by a very large navy vessel coming here. Across from the marina is a navy base with what look like pontoon boats, for launching troops on beaches. We also drove through Fort Story on our way to Virginia Beach.
The highlight was catching out FIRST FISH!!!!! It was an aku, we think, it tasted good but a little strong. We went to bed really early. We are adjusting fairly well to overnighters and slept more this time, but David needs to let go and get some sleep!!!Soon we will do a two nighter....
October 23 - We slept in until 7:30....the sun is barely up!! We have such little day light hours now! Next week we will be off daylight saving time and the sun will rise about 6:30 and set about 5....WOW! Not like home!
We finally managed to get a car from Enterprise about noon. They are still having problems with the water and damage from Floyd here, so all their cars were out to people here for insurance purposes while their cars are being fixed. David needs to see a dentist to have him reglue a gold onlay which came off on Friday. He was not able to see on yesterday, so hopefully he will have that fixed tomorrow. We spent the afternoon in Virginia Beach looking at surf boards for Eric. We then stopped at the ARE (Association for Research and Enlightenment), Edgar Cayce's association. We listened to a lecture on the soul and then spent a long time in their bookstore. They did have Elizabeth Clare Prophet's book on Prophecy for the New Millenium, and they also had the Joshua books from the buy on Maui and the other book written by Andrew who goes to the beach. We had not been able to visit their headquarters when we were here for our fall church conference in October 1997. We hope that we are able to return and listen to more lectures and look through their extensive library.
Today, we have been working on the boat. Eric and David have been mounting the new barometer and putting in the new stereo. So, now I get to clean the boat....again. I had to sew up the side of the spinnaker sleeve which was ripped coming out of the hatch. I also spent time working out a prepassage checklist. So, now I have a few minutes to update this site and then answer some of my hundreds of emails....The next problem is finding where we can use a phone to down load this information.
The plan is to drive up to Washington, DC on Tuesday and spend two nights there seeing everything. We will return to the boat on Thursday night. Take one or two days doing wash and getting ready and depending on the weather and Herb, our weather advisor, we will leave on Saturday or Sunday to do an overnighter around Cape Hatteras to Beaufort, NC or maybe further south. We are trying to be flexible and not make plans....and then not be able to see people. It is rather a difficult logistical problem. We are sorry that we can not be more specific...
Stay tuned! Hope everyone is well and happy! We love you all!
October 20, 1999
I am finishing up this update, so that when Eric and Jason return from the City, we can put it on the web. It has been raining since last night. We still need to get our diesel. We went yesterday, but they weren't there. We are still planning to head to Norfolk tomorrow about 6am. See you in a couple of days!
October 19, 1999
Lots to bring you up to date!! We left Camden in beautiful sun (with no wind) with a fond farewell by Mark and Mora, Tommy and Michael, and Scott and Dave on October 10 (a Sunday, not a Friday). The weather did deteriorate and we ran into rain and 30 knot winds during the night. After being "on the hard" for two months, I suffered extensively from "mal de mer," and slept all afternoon. I rallied enough to go on watch with Eric from 9pm until 3am. We did not arrive in Marblehead Harbor until about noon. Coming into the harbor, we realized that something was wrong with our steering. The cable was frayed and broke as we were picking up our mooring #644, the same one we had in August. This time we were "guests" of the Eastern Yacht Club. They were VERY helpful during our stay. They closed down all of their services last Sunday. It is getting COLD there.We rented a car from Enterprise in Salem again and went to bed about 7:30 after "Friends"!!! We were exhausted.
October 11 - Columbus Day! - Eric and David worked on the steering cable, ordered one overnighted from Edson in New Bedford, Mass. Mark, at Chuck Paine's office, specified a larger size, because Edson felt that Kanter had put on an undersized cable. We went to Costco for my "fix"....hadn't been to a Costco in two months!!!! We also had to purchase another boat hook, since we seemed to have misplaced one of them ...Then it took hours to unload all and then stow it on the boat.
October 13 - David and Jason had their final lab test for their tb medication, which they FINALLY finished after 6 months. We made sandwiches and went to Aunt Betty's for lunch in West Newton. Uncle Tom Brooks also joined us. They both seemed very well. We emailed my Dad, who is now online....email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone who might be interested in contacting him. He seems really excited about it. He is busy getting ready for his vacation at our condo on Maui on November 15. We had hoped to have him come to Philadelphia to stay with my brother to see us on our boat...but that is not going to work....so I think he might come to Florida later. We had to leave Aunt Betty too soon....but had to return to the boat to fix the steering cable, which had arrived that morning. We also had quite a load of items that had been sent to Aunt Betty's until our arrival...actually, she is still receiving items! Thank you! Julie and Chris sent us our boat cards and a globe for my birthday. It really looks nice on the boat. We will have to mark our passages on that, since we don't have a wall for a world map. Thanks!
October 14 - we went out into the harbor early to test out the steering cable and had planned on going into the dock to wash the boat, get water and fuel, but it was getting too windy, so we just went back to our mooring. We had a terrible thunderstorm with lots of rain, black clouds, thunder and lightning. The wind was gusting to 35... David and I took in the wash to do at the club, went and picked up some groceries and fish for dinner, and then took the car back. Eric installed our new seats on the stern rails. He earned his keep for a couple more days!
October 15 - we were up at 5am...and left Marblehead at 6:30. We had a beautiful day to travel to Cuttyhunk Harbor, Elizabeth Islands, south of Cape Cod....but NO wind. We can travel 10 knots sailing and only 8+ under motor. We arrived at the mooring about 5pm. There were actually quite a few other boats there, and then a sea plane landed about 6.
October 16 - We were up again at 5am, but we didn't leave until about 6:30, we were stuck on the mooring next to us. Eric again helped us out of a jam!! We had some excellent wind for a few hours and then had to motor the rest of the day. We had planned on stopping at Olde Lyme Dock Company, Olde Lyme, Conn., where we had stayed in August, even though Kathy and Steve are now in Darien; however, we arrived about 2:30 and they didn't have room for us until 5pm on the fuel dock. So, we pushed on to New Haven's Morris Cove, where we had stayed before. We arrived at 6:30 and anchored in the dark. We wouldn't have done that if we had not been there before ....our NorthStar GPS Chartplotter is amazing.....
October 17 - We woke up at 5am to FOG!!!!! We were again tested by this wonderful natural phenomenon....and thank heavens! there are NOT as many lobster pots in the Sound as there are in Maine. So, my post on the bow was for about 2 hours, and mainly, for leaving the New Haven Harbor. The problem was the small fishing boats. Sunday is NOT a good day to travel down the Sound, especially in the fog. It didn't lift completely until about 2 pm. There were also sail boat races. We made is through Hell Gate with 3+ knots against us. We arrived at Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, across from the Trade Center, next to the Statue of Liberty at 5 pm. We stayed here in August also.
I need to express our disappointment at missing numerous friends on our return down from Maine: Julie and Westey Adams, Sarah Betz, Tracy and Scott Streckenbach, Nancy, Jim, James and John Avery, and Uncle Tom and Aunt Din Hayden in Boston. Melanie, Nohi and Nani Martin, Kathy and Steve Wilson, Linda and John Cox, Gretchen and Doug Smith along the Long Island Sound and Shelby and Henry Miller in NYC. We had hoped to take a leisurely trip south and visit with friends, but we were so delayed with repairs in Camden, we are REALLY late heading south, in spite of the fact that there is yet another hurricane, Jose, in the Atlantic. The water north of Cape Cod was down to 52, and here in NYC it is 66 degrees. We do not have a diesel heater, only reverse cycle heater/air conditioner, never thinking that we would be anywhere near freezing weather. We are ok with shore power and our two Wal Mart heaters when we are in a marina! Having the water 15 degrees warmer, keeps the boat alot warmer. If any of you are heading south, we would LOVE to see you....call 1-808-283-0663 (which seems to be working at the moment) or e mail!
October 18 - We slept in.....such a relief, not to get up at 5! We did wash, administration, calls, etc. which seems to NEVER end. Eric went into the city to visit Kumi. David made contact with Herb Hilgenberg in Toronto. He helps cruisers decide on routing and weather. Our window to head south was today, but we weren't ready to leave! We are leaving on Thursday. The original plan was to go up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal, to Annapolis. We would visit Washington, DC and hopefully, my brother and his wife, Peter and Susie, would be able to visit, and maybe, even my Dad. The problems were the idea of doing it as an overnight, with the crab/lobster pots and commercial vessels, and the draft of 8' on our boat and the shallowness of the Bays, and Peter was going to be at Amherst this weekend visiting their son, Jon. So, the plan is to go directly to Norfolk, and rent a car and drive to Washington to sightsee. The big problem is when and where we will see Peter and Susie and my Dad......Any suggestions????
I realized that there is a gap from Oct 5 to 10....those days were spent preparing for departure with provisioning, returning the car, washing, etc. and finishing up the repairs on the diesel leaks and paying the bill at Wayfarer. The leaks were repaired (haven't seen any more to date!!!!Thank you!) and we were put into the water on Saturday. The weather was ABSOLUTELY terrible, windy, rainy, and COLD (went down to 23!!!!), the entire week..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! OCTOBER 8! MELE AND FERGIE!
Eric and Jason had a personal tour of Sumurun by Sasha, an English girl who was one of the crew members. She is leaving soon to head to Breckenridge to learn to ski (Eric says "snowboard, Mom"), since they will be redoing some of her interior during the winter at Wayfarer. This yacht was built in 1914 for Lord Sackville of Kent by William Fife and Sons in Scotland. She is without a comparable! David and I wish that we could have gone aboard too...but Sasha gave us all t-shirts! Thanks, Sasha! Enjoy Colorado! It was great to meet you!
We met so MANY very wonderful people in Camden, hopefully, we will all meet again! Dale and Doug Bruce on Bluewater: Scott, his wife and Uncle Dave on Clarva; Bree on Kalibass; Kurt and Erin on Minerva who are just ending their cruising, while we begin ours; Dr. Bradeen, Dr. Hamill, Jan Taft, all the nurses and staff at Penn Bay Hospital; Martha Mann, (Mom's classmate at Wellesley - we were sorry not to be able to take her sailing with us); Chuck Paine, his wife, Debbie Wheelock, Ed Joy and fiancee, Amy, and Gracie (his black puppy dog) and Mark Fitzgerald and Mora and her sons, Tommy and Michael of Chuck Paine's marine architect firm; Dave Allen, Ruth, Donna and ALL the staff at Wayfarer Marine; Bill and Jo Strassberg, who want a boat like ours to cruise in two years; and many others in Camden. Aloha and Mahalo to all!!!
We spent many hours in negotiations through Mark with Kanter. Kanter is, hopefully, submitting the bill for the fuel vent and the diesel leak repairs to his attorney to be paid from the monies held in trust by their attorney for just such an occurrence. However, they have refused to pay for other items, such as the bent shaft repair, which we consider to be warranty items.
October 10, 1999
The great trip has begun down to Florida. We left Camden, Maine at 9:30 am. Hopefully with no diesel leaks. Our destination is Marblehead, Mass. We are very excited!
October 5, 1999
My how time flies when you are having fun.....another week gone by! The leaves are all turning and are BEAUTIFUL! I haven't seen colors like these since 1964 at Elmira. Yesterday was an ugly day ....raining (I really should be thankful that it didn't snow here, it did in other places in Maine) and cold. Last night it was about 35 here.
HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY, KUMI!!!!!
Now, to bring you up to date....yes....we are STILL in Camden! David and Eric did find diesel leaks, in fact, they were worst than the one which they were to fix. So, on Friday morning, October 1 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WIN!) we talked with Wayfarer and they made plans to haul her out .....again...on Monday morning. I decided to do some wash and dug way down in the bilges to find some warm clothes which we had stored away. About noon, my cousin, Sally and her husband, Ted Dalton came over to see the boat. She brought a birthday cake and we celebrated our two birthdays - probably the first time ever! We had fun! That afternoon Wayfarer was having a party for Dave Wiley who was leaving after 28 years with the company. Unfortunately, it was Dave who had done the repairs on our tanks. It also turns out that Ward Graffam, one of the owners of Wayfarer, went to law school with Ted and was his best man! They had quite a reunion since they hadn't seen each other in many years! What a lovely day! and the weather was beautiful, too.
I need to add another "small world" tidbit...David was talking with a couple on another boat, named "Mutual Fun" from Toledo, Ohio. Mona from Toledo knows Phil Gilbert, of TCBY fame and Baldwin High School teacher on Maui.
Saturday was to be our departure day for Boston! Bill and Jo Strassberg brought us a lovely tray for a bon voyage gift...only to find that we weren't leaving....Another beautiful day and we went sailing! We went around Seven Hundred Acre Island and Isleboro, where there are many Maine cottages....they look like hotels! John Travolta has a place there and several other movie stars. Very pretty area and it felt great to be out sailing again, even though we all got cold. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Sally Dalton and Nancy Avery!
Sunday was very cloudy, rainy and cold so we just worked on email....please bear with me (there are 330 messages in there...not all for me, of course...), went shopping at WalMart and bought a heater for the boat and jeans for David, since we couldn't find his pair, that are on the boat somewhere!!! We enjoyed a nice walk up the hill behind the harbor and then watched the movie "Forces of Nature", which is really nice romantic comedy!
Monday (yesterday) we awoke to cold and wind. They pulled the boat out again about 8 am. We had to have a boat hold the bow to back into the slip because the wind was so strong. Then after she was all staked up again, it started to rain and kept getting colder all day. We went back to Walmart and got another heater! Actually, we were warm enough with the heaters, but it was the diesel smell which got to me. I kept waking up not being able to breathe, my chest and head hurt, so I am hoping that we don't have that terrible smell tonight.
Today has been cloudy and really cold, but no rain. We continue to do things for the boat and I keep working on emails and updating this site. I ordered a rubber stamp for the boat. We are working on replacing the stereo in the main cabin. We keep sending everything to Aunt Betty for our arrival in Boston. We will need a U-Haul to get everything back to the boat! We are still waiting for word from Mr. Kanter about paying for the warranty issue...but it is not looking good. We are hoping to be in the water tomorrow. Then we need to do alot of testing. The goal is to head to Boston, our first overnight, maybe Saturday. Stay tuned.....Aloha! Hope you are all well and happy! We miss you all!
Just a quick update so that Eric can run over and update this before we have our lobster dinner! We are definitely making progress here in Camden....we went back into the water on Friday, the 24th. That evening we had dinner with Dale and Doug Bruce, who have just returned from 4 years of cruising in the Carribbean on their boat, Bluewater. They have just purchased a condo and a home so they will be here for the winter. Brave souls! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Kathy Williams and Rochelle!
On Saturday, my cousin Nancy drove up from Boston with her parents, Aunt Kay (my mom's sister) and Uncle Dick who were visiting from Oregon. It was VERY rainy in the morning and they arrived in a huge thunderstorm downpour! But it did manage to clear off enough for us to motor around the harbor. We couldn't stay out long for fear of losing our slot at the dock and they needed to drive to Portland to spend some time with Aunt Joan.
On Sunday, the 26th we drove to Acadia National Park and it was absolutely beautiful from the top of Cadillac Mountain. You could see forever!!!!Jason and Eric caught mackerel off the boat...tons of them....so we had a fish dinner for free! Well, almost ...we spent a fortune for the fishing gear!
Wayfarer finished up the diesel leak job on Monday and put on the front cleat. David and Eric went out with Paul Walters to align the compass - I came back from a big shopping trip to find NO boat at the dock....they were in the harbor going in circles for a hour plus! We have NO deviation in our compass!
We went sailing.....YEA!!!FINALLLY.....with Chuck Paine and Ed Joy (marine architects) and Allan Nuttall, from England who is building an 84 ft boat with them. The islands in the harbor are very pretty. It was slightly hazy/cloudy so I didn't take many pictures.
Yesterday Eric worked on fixing all the diesel vents and changing the sanitation hose in the guest head.....he was NOT a happy crewmember last night!!!! I worked on the bill to send to Mr. Kanter and Mark sent them to him Fed Ex, so we will see if he pays for the repairs on the warranty......just hope that he will! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Leslie Frazier!
Today we have been getting ready to leave on Saturday. Very windy and rainy today! Not good news...while I have been writing this, David and Eric have been checking the vents and the diesel leaks....doesn't look good.....don't know if it is diesel or water....Now what?????? Stay tuned......If all goes well, my cousin, Sally might come up tomorrow.