Saturday, November 18, 2017

Visit to St. Kitts and south

I've been chastised by a loyal reader for not blogging. Guilty. Not sure how time got away on me like that. It's not like we've been too busy. Part of it is that we spend most of our days dealing with the suffocating heat. Sitting with a computer in my lap, moving my fingers causes me to break out in heat blisters.

We've been slowly restoring the boat to working order, but in the heat, we're not getting chores done as fast as we might. Pam has waxed the entire boat and her legs. I've tinkered with some small chores, put lines in place, fiddled with the solar panels. Drinking a lot of beer!

We have been in Hermitage Bay for most of our time. Great internet, nice beaches and good swimming. The breeze keeps us cool for the most part but you can really understand why southern cultures invented the afternoon siesta. It's just too dammed hot to do anything energetic.

Pam made a new cover for this old seat... like new again!

Pam looking for shell treasures

Me on the same beach

Have enjoyed our lunches, happy hours and dinners with Sid and Cate on Quest so it felt a little weird to leave them. BUT... they have some Antigua things they want to do and we decided that we need to deliver a bottle of indian hot sauce to our friend, Brianna from Abbotsford.

Sid made me a pre-birthday dinner

And then Pam made my birthday lunch!
Brianna was going to medical school in Dominica when Maria decided to pass through. She spent the night in her bathroom with several friends as the category 5 hurricane ripped off the roof and blew through the doors and window. Not many people can claim to have survived a cat 5... but Brianna can.

So Ross University extracted all their students and sent them home for a short period. And then brought them all to St. Kitts where they are living on a (not the top of the line) cruise ship while they take classes. Hoping to move back to Dominica soon.
Arriving St. Kitts

We sailed over yesterday with the wind dropping and dropping until we had to motor. The plan is to visit here for a couple of days and then head south to Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe before heading back to Antigua

Streets of Basseterre


View of Blue Pearl from the marina office

Brianna's cruise ship/home moved over to the cruise ship dock
St. Kitts and Nevis courtesy flag

A couple of Wahoos and a Mahi

Our lovely guest

Mmmmmm dinner

Not sure what this is...
So we are looking forward to connecting with Brianna.

Such fun!!!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

On Monday we took the red-eye from Seattle, getting us into Miami by 7AM local time. By 3PM we were at the Blue Pearl, North Sound Marina, Antigua. Lovely to see her, safe and sound tucked up against one of the huge buildings here at North Sound. Not a scratch on her. We were so lucky to have avoided damage from the nasty weather down here in September and October.
Singing "Salt Fish" at the airport - Independence Day

Cold beers on the way to the marina

She's safe!!!

Not going anywhere

Deluxe burger for dinner at "Ounces"

Murphy started on the third pull

I hate sleeping on the boat when we aren't on the water... should really take a B&B for the first few nights until we can get her into the water. Normally I'm a bug buffer for Pam - taking bug bites for the two of us. But this time they decided they loved her O negative blood type. Between the lack of breeze and the bugs we were more than a little grouchy on Thursday, when we splashed.

And... in we go

Dock is a little messed up from the hurricanes
We've been talking to Janina, who runs a new canvas place out of North Sound. We are looking at replacing our dodger, so she came out today to take the measurements. She is also cutting us a new foam mattress for the forward berth.

So we are happy today. Should be able to head down to Jolly Harbour later this afternoon or tomorrow - as soon as Janina brings us our foam.

While we wait we are watching them unload charter catamarans that were damaged in Irma. They were based in Oyster Bay, St. Maarten. These are the worst. There will be 3 more barge loads of them. Some will be scrapped, some repaired, some are just being stored for the insurance companies.

Barge load of cats

What a mess

Amazing how quickly the barnacles grow


Off the barge...

... onto the travel-lift
Looking forward to spending some time with Sid and Cate on Quest. In a week or so we will head over to Saint Kitts to visit our friend Brianna. She was enrolled in medical school in Dominica until they were squashed by Hurricane Maria. They have shifted their classes to Saint Kitts while Dominica rebuilds.

Just keepin' you up to date. Talk soon!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Irma and Blue Pearl

We don't normally blog in the off season but this is out of the ordinary.

We watched into the evening as Hurricane Irma bore down on Antigua. At the 11th hour... about 11 PM Pacific time, we saw a slight shift to the north and Irma veered off, the eye passing about 40 miles from the island. As the evening went on we saw wind reports from Barbuda peak at about 118 MPH before registering calm. The calm was a cruel trick, the wind instrument had simply ceased working.

This morning we learned that Antigua was largely undamaged. Lots of flooding and debris but not much else. A spokesperson from our boat yard reports that there is no obvious damage.

Not so on Barbuda, Saint Barts, Tortola and points west. So much damage.

Irma - a beast

Paraquita Bay, Tortola before

Paraquita Bay, Tortola after

Bearing down on Fajardo, PR
We were lucky. Wishing others in the path all the best.

Glen and Pam, Blue Pearl - at home safe and sound.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Get Out the Shut-down Checklist

OK... now we're getting ready to haul. We are at North Sound Marina, tied up alongside the haul-out well.

I forgot to mention in my last post about the movie being shot in Hermitage Bay while we were there. We saw a derelict boat that appeared to have gone aground at one of our favorite "Beach Blanket Bingo" beaches. Pam clued-in very quickly that it was staged and was probably part of a movie. And, sure enough, we saw on "Antigua Cruisers" on Facebook that they were filming "Wendy," a variation of the Peter Pan theme. Over the next week we watched as the cast and crew arrived in the morning. We could hear the director yelling, "Cameras rolling. OK, Action." and stuff like that. The derelict boat looked as if it was mostly underwater but on the day we rolled out we could see it perfectly afloat. I guess they had air bladders inside that they could inflate.

Anyway, it provided an excellent distraction as we engaged in more varnish, sudokus and Pam's online scrabble.

Wendy - filmed in Hermitage Bay
We took advantage of a low wind day to move north and east (into the wind) to Davis Bay (Jumby Island.) They have great scenery and even better internet. Took down the staysail, Pam worked on caprail covers and I tried to stay out of trouble.

Beating conch to make conch chowder

Cooking breakfast

Pam's water collection technique

Stowing a solar panel
We were ready to head over to North Sound early today to give us time to do those things that require being tied up... but they weren't ready so we lollygagged until 4 and then headed over.

So here we are for a couple of nights... before our haul on Friday and flight home on Sunday.

Pretty sure I can find the breaker for our power

Dumping the jib

How are we going to stuff that in a bag?

Wowwwww, that's lookin' good

Almost perfect!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Well, That Was Fast!

Hello again, Faithful Reader!

As you can tell from our SPOT locator, we are back in our favourite Antigua anchorage, just off the prestigious Hermitage Bay Resort.

We ZOOMED up here from Dominica, sadly choosing not to spend time in the beautiful Les Saintes, Pigeon Island and Deshaies. We reluctantly turned down an offer from WindSwept Dreams to accompany them to Marie Gallant and the eastern ports of Guadeloupe... because we are running out of time and we need to take advantage of the good wind days.

Stripped the varnish off the last (hard-to-do) caprail

Holy smokes - Chris and Linda from Troubadour!!!

Bye bye Fort Shirley - best artifacts in the Caribbean!!!

Dominica to Les Saintes was fast and uneventful. We went into Terre Haute and checked in and out of France. Went to the grocery store to buy Leffe beer and some disgusting French rum and some vegetable or something that Pam wanted.

Les Saintes to Deshaies was a roar at first - 7+ knots - but it died in the wind-shadow of Guadeloupe and we ended up motor-sailing.

Finally... a decent picture of a whale!

Clearing in and out of France

Doing a walk-about. Need exercise, right?

Working hard on a VERY hard Sudoku

Pam's doing the last of her word searches - is anyone on watch???
Crowded Deshaies harbour
And Deshaies to Antigua was phenomenal for the first 4.5 hours and a bitch for the last 2. But we did it with an average of 7 knots so... not bad. And we had a dolphin encounter

Hi Blue Pearl. Nice boat!!!
Maltese Falcon anchored off Five Islands, Antigua
We've seen whales, dolphins but no mahi. Folks all over are telling us about the prodigious numbers of mahi they are catching, while we are catching none. What's wrong with Pam's technique?... I wish I knew.

We are stocking up on Waitrose vodka and gin for next season. At about $10 CDN for the gin and $6 for the vodka it is too good to pass up. I'll bring some home so you can try it. So Blue Pearl is well stocked for next year with gin, vodka and rum. No bottom paint, chain, wax or spare parts but tons of booze.
Stocking up - for your trip down here next year!

We will enjoy Hermitage for a few days keeping up with the varnish. Then around to North Sound to prepare to haul.

Blue Pearl anchored off Hermitage Bay Resort
Check with you later!!