Monday, May 23, 2016

Where did everyone go?

This morning I crawl out the cockpit to open the propane tank and I look around at the mooring field. Empty. Hey! Where the hell is everyone? Looks like some folks slipped away in the night time. We are sitting here waiting for the better winds to come on WED thru Friday and we thought others were as well. Huh. Today more people left to go south. Is it just us who are weenies?

We have to go a little SE yet before we are heading straight south and the trade winds today are at their peak and ESE. Tuesday night they settle and so do the waves and the wind actually turns a little ENE. Why not wait?

"Hey honey let's go now while the wind is at it's strongest and right on the nose. Whatta ya say? Feeling sporty?"

People are weird. Speaking of weird, we went to get some coffee and wifi at a small cafe today. Server was pleasant and brought us our drinks on a tray to a table outside. We talked for a while and then remembered we wanted to go online for a bit. I went back inside to ask for the WIFI password and BAM! The friendly little lady yelled out the password in French and yelled it so loud that everyone looked over at me like I said something awful to her. My face was all red and I wondered what the hell I did wrong. I was so flustered I forgot what she yelled and we never did get the damn password. It's like the whole town has a hangover today.

We had our morning walk. Stopped for coffee. Picked up a few items from some stores and went back to the mother ship to make some water. Tomorrow we will check out, prep the boat for a rough ride and hopefully catch a beam reach down to the bottom of Dominica on Wednesday. We would like to take advantage of the wind angle and peel off another 2 days of travel afterward. This should get us out of our hurricane box and into the happy zone our insurance company wants us in.


I feel a strong urge to nap. Must be all that good strong coffee is wearing off.

Cheers!
PB



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Friday, May 20, 2016

A day in the life. Guadeloupe

We spent almost a week in Deshaies (Dey Hey) Guadeloupe. Nice little town. I would like to see it again but for now we have to keep trucking south and skip some stuff along the way. When we got to this place I asked Deb about the moorings they had for cruisers. She said they put in quite a few and we should have no problem. Ha! Most of the moorings were taken by local boats, charters and fishermen, so there goes the free moorings. "Hey Harbor Master, how about you limit time on a mooring to one week!" Really turns my crank to see local boats rot on a mooring. Normally I would not care because we anchor most of the time but this harbour is deep. When we got here the harbor was full, and there was a tall ship anchored right in the middle of the damn place.

This was probably our worst display of anchoring ever. We roamed around the anchorage looking for a spot and all the bitch wings came out and watched us. We found a spot that looked not too bad and the captain of the tall ship came out on his bow and gave us his best fat gut and dirty t-shirt bitch wings. Oh piss off pal! So we dropped the hook in front of them and Deb put her in neutral waiting for the Mantus to catch. I dropped 100 feet in 45 ft of water and we drifted back. I let out another 50 and we drifted back. Nothing. Another 50 and waited. We just drifted away. She never caught. Son of a beach!

We went around again and Deb suggested another spot by the rocks behind some cats. OK cool. We dropped and dragged the Mantus all over a pile of rocks below. Mother Fudger! We drifted away.

Third try we lined up next to the bitch wings tall ship captain again and dropped in 45 ft of water. This time I had Deb keep the boat stationary until I had about 3 to 1. We then let her drift back and she stuck. I then let out about 275 feet of chain. We never moved for 6 days. We really need to be more bold when looking for a spot and not worry about all the little bitches that don't want you around.

So today we raised that big anchor and the 275 feet of chain. We have the manual windlass as you probably know. One crank gets me 6 inches of chain. So we timed the anchor lift today. Took me 15 minutes to raise the anchor and secure it including removing the snubber. Not too bad. My heart was beating like a bunny rabbit when I was done though. Geez. I have a feeling I will die at the bow pulpit with my hand on the crank. Not MY crank, THE crank. Wonder how many guys die with their hands on THEIR crank? Embarassing. Not for him he's dead but...

I walked back to the cockpit breathing hard and sat down for a few seconds before I had to raise the main. I am really out of shape. None of this used to bother me at all and now I am sucking wind trying to recover. Shame. Probably should change my lifestyle a bit. Maybe walk more or switch to a light beer. Wait, the beers can't get any lighter! Really this beer is awful down here. OK, maybe beer is not the focal point here. Maybe some stretching and pushups, situps, lifting jerry jugs and squat thrusts. Remember squat thrusts from gym class? I don't even know what they are any more. My gym teacher was a squat thruster and was also my track coach. Yes I ran track. Shut up. This guy also taught electric shop which I took. It wasn't a nerd class back then. It was cool. So was I. No not really. So one day gym/track/shop teacher/coach is taking apart a TV and showing us the guts. He says never touch the back of the cathode ray tube because you will get shocked. Well doesn't the d
ufus
touch the back of the CRT and send himself flying against the wall! We all stood around him looking down at his stunned body. One kid ran. I watched him try to get up while supressing a huge laugh about to burst. "You think this is funny Bryan!" From that day onward coach drove me hard in track practice and in gym I was always the demo dummy. "Show them how it's done Bryan!". What a prick. He made me demo rope climbing. I don't think they do that today after so many kids fell from the ceiling. He thought he had me on this one but I climbed it like a reesus monkey with his ass on fire. Not sure if monkeys know the Stop, Drop and Roll routine. I bet they just climb while on fire. I was all smug while dangling up there but I had a problem coming down and burned my inner thighs on the rope while catching a knot in the balls. We used to wear those short shorts for gym and my thighs were bleeding and girls were laughing while I turrned red with pain and my hands stuffed in my crotc
h.

So where was I? Exercise! That's right. I need more exercise. Squat thrusts. Somebody look that up and get back to me. I have no internets.

We had us a motor sail today. What a friggin surprise. We did 40 miles with the main up and the old Yanmar singing its tune. Not a bad ride really. Was all Peaceful Easy Feeling early on and then we got to the end of Guadeloupe and it was all Welcome to the Jungle and then once we got to the Saintes it was, Looks like we Made It.

We picked up a mooring and are resting easy. Captain Pauly made some potato leek soup because we scored some huge leeks in Deshaies. The thought of anchoring again after the hauling of 275 feet of chain gave me a pain in the back so I am very happy to be spending $13 a day and not having to worry about the damn anchor. It will be nice to go a few days without pulling my crank. THE crank. Sorry.

Tomorrow we will explore the town take a few pictures, maybe get some pizza, maybe do a few squat thrusts.

Cheers!
PJJB

God, I have Barry manilow stuck in my head. Make it stop!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hello there

Oh hey! How are you? Just wanted to chat a bit while we sit at anchor in Guadeloupe. I know! Can you believe we are in Guadeloupe? I just learned how to spell Guadeloupe! Everyone here speaks French. I thought we would be hated but we picked up some phrases and we took our "French for cruisers book" with us and so far the people here do not want to punch us in the face.

Everything is good so far except for the fact that they eat dinner real late. Well, late for us. We wanted pizza but the gal at the restaurant said not until 4pm. OK. We popped over at 5 pm and the sign outside said no pizza until 6:30. Damn! We had drinks and went back to the boat for an egg sandwich on a garlic toasted baguette with a slice of melted swiss. Yes life can be hard. Pizza! I want it now! Typical Americans. We think we can just get stuff when we want it or we go somewhere else. Not here. You have to roll with it baby. Yes thats a song. Steve Winwood I think. Maybe it was a cover. I never liked his voice. I could take one song from him and thats it. Bob Dylan, who is one heck of songwriter really got to my brain. I never understood what the hell he was saying anyway. If you know his songs you will be OK at a concert but if not then its all just nasal congestion into a mic.

On the way down we thought hey, we get to St Martin and life's a reach! Nope. On the nose all the way to Statia. OK from here to St Kitts it's a reach! Nope, on the nose and nasty. Well, from here to Montserratt it should be not too bad. Hell no! Turned back. Next day we did it but it was still just off the nose. Reach to Guadeloupe!! Um, well not quite. More like a trip through a washing machine. So WTF is going on? Why are we still beating into the wind?

Part of the problem is our deadline. June 1st we should be in the Grenadines. This forces us to go when we really do not want to go. The other problem is mother freaking nature who apparently does not like us anymore. Can't say as I blame her but you know Mom I could really use a beam reach here every now and then. This would really help my attitude a bit and I might think twice about buying the shampoo with the beads. Kidding, I would never buy shampoo with micro beads. What the hell kind of crap is that anyway? Micro beads of plastic that do what to your hair? People are stupid.

We are sailing to Isle Des Saintes tomorrow. Supposedly there are a huge number of mooring balls because the place blows for anchoring. I have low expectations. Supposedly there were moorings here as well but all the local boats scooped them up. Must be nice to have a free mooring for your charter business.

We are having fun despite what you read sometimes. Ninety nine percent of the time we are smiling and laughing. At least I am. Debra might be at 89%. Something about the smiling jackass she married. I have to admit I have my grumpy moments but it never lasts more than a day. All it takes is a French boat next to us stripping down to total nakedness and jumping in the water to snap me out of my funk. I can't help it it's funny. In St Martin there was this older dude who was soaping his balls while sitting on his scooped transom. Hard not to notice that. You look away and laugh but then you look again because WHO DOES THAT! The other day this boat with two guys and one gal decided to frolic a bit. You try not to notice but then the gal did a little dance on the boat naked before jumping in. Wow. Wish I could be that free. I guess I just worry about the lure.

Interesting tibit: Since we entered the Caribbean Sea we averaged approx 2.5 gals of diesel burned each day. Pretty much tripled what we used in the Bahamas on the way here. We basically sailed the Bahamas. We basically motor sailed the Caribe.

Pushing on to Grenada where we will chill for a month and then we hop to Trini for a haulout and a flight back to the US.

Good talking to ya.
Cheers!
P



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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lunch in Marigot

The narrow streets are filled with cars, motorcycles, fashionable locals and sun burned tourists. Beautiful women walk with a carefree attitude and give you a smile when you notice them. Tour buses unload smiling sweating people with cameras and shopping bags. Families laughing, no scolding. No soccer Moms. No grumpy Dads. The heat of the day dampens shirts and adds a shine to many foreheads yet people continue on. Happy. Smiling. It's lunch hour in Marigot.

We walk away from the crowds, working our way towards some place yet discovered. We have the time. Shops and restaurants are small. Most are open to the street and the smells from the kitchens draw the people to the chalk boards displaying today's specials. We walk on.

A quiet street. A corner cafe. A favorable chalkboard. Tables with unnecessary umbrellas are shaded by a canopy of palm, thatch and colorful cloth. A cat sits on a table top watching the birds on a trellis. Another is curled on a chair. Our table is in the corner next to the garden and a view of the street. A man and woman sit at a table on the other side, coffee cup in one hand, cigarette in the other. They do not talk. They stare out into the street.

A black dress and a smiling face welcome us and before long the cold bottles sweat a pool of water onto the table. We talk, we joke, we eat. A man behind his laptop will occasionally glance our way. A table full of business men laugh too hard at someone's joke. Hours pass while we watch this little corner of the world go by. The couple that do not talk take their indifference to each other with them to the streets. The sun is now at a better angle.  The lovely owner apologizes for the delay. No worries Madame. There is no hurry these days.

The drone of our little outboard removes us from the busy waterfront to the quiet harbor where our home floats in the blue water. The sun is leaving us for today and once again we sit and watch as another part of our world passes into memories.

Cheers!
P

Morning Tea, St Martin


The morning tea posts are just my ramblings about what's on my mind at the time. When I do not have a blog post of any interest to myself I just dump my brain all over this page and see what happens. 


Morning Tea, St. Martin

You assume everyone is going your way. You assumed wrong.

I really thought there would be a lot of boats out here.

It's 2am. Deb is asleep. The AIS shows no ships. It's pitch black. You are sailing at 7.5 knots. You are on autopilot. You stare out into the dark void of the sea. It's a time when a man can reflect on his life. So you wonder... Why the hell did I eat all those Reese's peanut butter cups?

There are a lot of sailboats in the BVI.

There are more sailboats then moorings in the BVI

Against the Wind is a cool song by Bob Seger. That's about it.

Rounding a Cape is very sporty. Sporty I tell you!

The Thorny Path is doable.

Why people do the Thorny Path every season is beyond me.

Van Sant's Thornless Path is a great guide book. GUIDE book.

Today's modern electronics and weather routing and prediction make life easier.

We really do get pissed off when Mother Nature fools everyone and every thing.

This rain will end eventually. Right?

The mosquitoes are small here.

I never did like shopping. I like it even less now.

I really  need to shop for clothes.

I thought I would need a haircut by now but I think the wind is taking most of it away.

We are at the point where we take photos of awesome fresh produce aisles.

When I finally see a Wegmans supermarket again I will likely fall to my knees and cry.

There are no more good oranges. Anywhere.

My ear has been plugged for months. If it was a brain eating spider I would hear it.

What?

There is a tea shortage in the Caribbean. Lipton is not tea.

The best coffee was had in The DR and PR.

Dunkin Donuts coffee will never be the same for me

I never expected so many horses

Whenever a French woman speaks to me I just

So much of our lives require Internet now, else we have to walk, talk and by stamps.

Tough finding the local post office sometimes.

Tough finding good free WiFi.

Nothing is more embarrassing to us then the current campaign for president.

Have we really sunk this low? Yes, and it will go lower.

It's a good thing we do not have access to much Internet news.

Some mornings at anchor I hear goats...in my right ear.

Our cabin sole is trashed. Beer, molasses and saltwater floods didn't help it any.

Latino dance music without people dancing is annoying

I need to hear some new music

Guitar training is not going as planned.

We got bit by so many mosquitoes on Culebrita that we must have picked up something

Been so very tired lately

Protein. Need more protein. No, not chickens.

These deep water anchorages are a problem for Manual Windlass Man.

For every pull on the windlass handle I bring in 6 inches of chain.

It gets lonely up on the bow.

Rolling rolling anchorages suck.

Been a lot of suck lately.

We do not eat out much

Been happy to find vegetarian meals in the islands restaurants

Buying pasta and finding weevils in it really sucks

Craving bug free lasagna.

On the way back from lunch we see a cafe advertising Greek Salad Special. Doh!

We planned on buying a new dinghy motor and the old one is now running fine.

Bottom paint. You get what you pay for.

To do list. Is there anything worse to have in front of you every morning?

An empty box of tea is the worst thing to have in front of you every morning.

Cold showers use less water

Geez I hate cold showers.

You ever dump diesel in the tank and then wake up later thinking you may have put it into the water tank?

Why do boat manufacturers put the diesel fill next to the water fill?

Ever since we made doctors appointments I have been feeling shitty.

Popcorn is evil.

The best gifts we ever get while sailing are pictures of our Grandsons.

I ate a shrimp

I Feel shame

If I wear a large sunhat I look like a mushroom

Men on this island do not wear hats

Actually neither do the women

If we played a game called Spot the Yankee I would pick anyone wearing a ball cap and sneakers

Why do all the islands offer bottled water? Have they seen their shorelines?

Every boat has a blue LED exterior light now.

We could probably have one crew member who's only function is to polish stainless

We could probably have one crew member who's only function is organize the fridge

If we had an extra crew member then someone would have to clean out the V berth.

Guess we're not getting a new crew member

I miss bike riding

I can only walk for 2 miles and then my knee stops working

When my knee stops working it looks like I have a wooden leg when I walk

When I walk with a bad knee I wince in pain and my left eye closes

I usually groan and swear a bit while walking on that bad knee. Aargh, Fck that hurts!

I'm down to my last Bluetooth keyboard. Salt air killing these things?

At the supermarket I found jalapeno stuffed olives and fresh radishes

On the boat there are no antacids.

We bought a SIM card for the phone on the French side. Doesn't work on the Dutch side.

Friends bought a SIM card on the Dutch side. Doesn't work on the French side.

Telecomm companies are the best at raking in the dough. Oh yea, Banks. Forgot.

My ginger beer is pretty tasty.

One of these days I will forget to vent that Ginger Beer bottle. Boom!

We are skipping a lot of islands.

We plan on sailing back up to see the islands we skipped.

We plan on staying in the Caribbean for a while.

We are poor planners.

The boat interior needs a major overhaul.

The boat exterior needs a major cleaning.

What's the labor cost is in Trini?

The Raritan toilet we bought has an odd size joker valve. Bastards!

Why can't we just have one standard sized joker valve for all toilets?

I want to paint our boats headliner.

Is sky blue a bad color for a headliner?

We loaded up our iPhone as a backup to the squirreled iPad. The iPhone then died.

How come a version of Garmin Blue Chart is not written for Android devices?

Because I have an old pair of glasses now I have not been using them often

Because I have not been using my glasses my distance vision has improved. Weird.

There are a lot of pretty women sailing the islands.

At what point do you become a dirty old man?

Multihulls seem to prevail here but most of the boats crossing to Europe were
monohulls.

I like poking fun at my multi-hull friends

We were rolling so bad in the swell in Simpson Bay I told Deb the next boat is a Cat

If we had a Catamaran I wonder if Deb would claim one hull for herself.

If we could ever clean out that V-berth I could have a man cave.

I imagine poking holes in every dinghy on a short painter.

The other morning a guy tied off his dinghy a foot from the dock, then wrapped the extra 20 ft of line around the cleat. I calmly walked through his dinghy to tie off ours and proceeded to untie all the excess line while mumbling what a stupid fk he was. Then I saw the guy behind me. I don't understand French but I used hand signals and English to explain what stupid fk meant and why it was used.

When someone at the dinghy dock is mad at you and tries to drive away fast they should check to see if the 20ft of extra painter is free and clear.  :D

You ever buy a tube of 3M 4200 sealant and get back to the boat and find out it's black?

I think a dinghy gets stolen every week here in St Martin/Maarten

Next dinghy has an aluminum hull

I can not walk barefoot on this boat without smashing a toe.

This time it was just climbing into the cockpit when SNAP! goes the 4th toe.

Ouch. I applied rum.

In the morning my toe felt better because I was focused on my headache

Falling asleep to music in the cockpit is awesome until the iPod bitch yells LOW BATTERY!

I have never sweat so much in my life

One of the most awkward moments on a sailboat is going under a bridge in high current and doing about 0.3 knots. Are we moving?

There is a lot of nakedness among cruisers in the Caribbean.

It's never the French boat with the female super model crew


Been fun dumping my brain on you. Hope it comes off.
Cheers!
PJJB