Sunday, January 15, 2017

Climate Change

That was then...

Snow - gotta love it (No!)

Do you want to build a snowman!
Closs kids love skiing!
This is now!...

Almost ready to go!

Murphy the dinghy... ready to launch
We both came back with wicked colds so we are working slowly through that and enjoying the heat.

We got in on Sunday and only had a few things to do before we launched. As usual the folks at North Sound Marine were fantastic and the chores we had left them over the break were done perfectly. We just needed to slap on a coat of bottom paint and we were able to splash Tuesday afternoon.

Ed and Ann are here on Windswept Dreams - another IP 38. They are just in the water so we were able to have a couple of fun days with them.

Having a car is great. We were able to get tons of groceries (mostly wine) and spend a little time touring around. We found a great little Lebanese restaurant and enjoyed shawarma, falafel and other weird and wonderful dishes.

Supplies - mostly wine

We decided to take a tourist day with no boat jobs. Pam, the expert on Antigua attractions, took us first to Betty's Hope - the premier windmill on the island. It is being restored by volunteers and is quite impressive.

Betty's Hope
Remains of Managers house
Ed harvesting "dumps" - a citrusy fruit like a cherry
Then on to Falmouth Harbour for a quick boat errand, some fruit and ginger beer.

Lunch was at "Dan's." Dan normally only does dinner but he is on holidays from his regular job so he served us lunch. Pam told us that Dan's is recommended as a great place for local food and guess what?  It was.

Fish and Rice with a Presidente
Chicken and chips

View from Dan's
Our final stop was at a fish farm - Indies Greens. We've seen this before at home... fish growing in tanks. The effluent is used as food for plants - in this case lettuce which filters the water for the fish. A closed system for great lettuce and great fish. Tres cool!!!

Tilapia in the net, lettuce growing hydoponically in the background

Ann and the lettuce

More lettuce
We finished the day back at North Sound getting our accounts organized and spent a quiet evening changing out the chain so Pam doesn't fret all night when the wind comes up.

We see a kilo of rust around the windlass every time we pull the anchor. Pam is concerned that it is so compromised that some great gust will snap us away from our anchor at the worst time. Pshaww I say... until I remember that a happy Pam extends my time on the boat.

New chain at the top, bitter end in the middle, stuff that is always in the water at the bottom.
(bitter end: that part of an anchor cable which is abaft of the bitts and thus remains inboard when a ship is riding at anchor)

OK... maybe a little compromised
We pushed off a couple of days ago and we've moved about 100 yards from North Sound. We are doing little jobs and resting... trying get rid of these damned colds.

More power - for all your USB phones and stuff
Solar breaker
New meter for the solar panels - 23 amps WHOOOPEEE!!!
Heading south soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Heading Home for the Holidays!

Yay! Heading home for the holidays!

Needs more cowbells!
Weather isn't looking great.

Got this one from Jen
And this... maybe we should stay here!
Carrie says these guys will do your driveway for $$$!
Have enjoyed our fall tour of the Caribbean but it's time for a grandkid fix.

We've spent the last few days in the north of Antigua, near North Sound Marine, getting ready to haul for a month. We will head home to spend time with family and friends. Looks like the weather is going to provide an interesting contrast from what we've been experiencing.

Had fun with Quest and others at Hermitage, Davis Bay, Great Bird Island and then gave them a tour of North Sound before they headed away to seek refuge, water and wine at Jolly Harbour.

Parking lot

Beach Party


Got supplies... we're good!

Flacid Murphy

Naked Murphy... heading in for repairs.

Ding, dong, dell... Blue Pearl's in the well
We are tied up in the "well" ready to haul tomorrow. The "yellow dock line" is out and attached to 110 volts so we are making our batteries happy at the same time as we are cooling down in our air-conditioned cabin.

See you all soon!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hangin' Around in Hermitage

So we had to get out of France. Not that it wasn't great. We scored a mooring ball so we didn't have to worry about our anchor getting fouled and it was right close to shore so we could make runs in to get baguettes, wine, cheese and rabbit pate!  All great! Had a nice meal at a restaurant at Grande Anse (Big Beach.)

Ti Punch
Ti punch is served at most meals. A teaspoon of granulated sugar, a slice of lime, a stalk of sugar cane and a splash of horrible French rum agricole.

The weather was about to change, bringing winds with north in them... and of course, we are going north. So reluctantly, we bought our last Terrine de Lapin and struck out in the morning to Antigua.

We had a wonderful sail north and caught our biggest mahi ever!

Monty the Mahi
He was a beast! Took most of our line before we finally slowed the boat down and used our considerable fisherperson skill to land him successfully. We've been told that shooting rum up their gills dispatches them more quickly. So Monty had some rum, I had some rum and after a very short time we were both feeling no pain.

We've cleared in and are spending our time with Quest and other folks enjoying quiet days at anchor. There are always broken things on a boat so we usually start our day after breakfast picking some small broken-boat-project. Then lunch, then a nap, then reading or doing puzzles. Then a swim,  Happy Hour, dinner, more idle time and bed. It's a good day when nothing breaks and you fix a couple of broken things.

Was going to go for a swim and saw all these jelly fish in the water. Ten or 12 of them all around the boat. Maybe swim later.

Jelly Fish

Quite pretty - not sure about touching them
 We have enjoyed "bobbing" in the surf in the afternoons. Bo likes to go for a run so it's fun to tag along with Bo and his friends.

Where's the frisbee?
Jen took this photo of Blue Pearl while she was on the boat. Nice, huh?!

Blue Pearl at Deep Bay at Sunset
See you soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Underpants in France

So we put the rascals on the plane in Montserrat and watched as they set out for their epic voyage home. A small plane ride to Antigua, then from Antigua to Toronto and then from Toronto to Vancouver... all in the same day... more or less. They left here at noon and were home in Vancouver at 12:30 AM.
There they go!

What movie shall we watch?
Jolly Harbour
With tears in our eyes, we left the airport and headed back to Blue Pearl. We were at the dock unloading all the crap that we had taken to the house just as some fishermen were dealing with their catch of lobsters. So we bought one! Lobster salad for dinner.

Yum! Dinner.

We have been infested with bugs... little house flies that want to fly up your nose. There are probably a hundred of them on the boat. Wondered if it had to do with the anchorage so we beetled around the corner to try something different. Then we took turns as serial bug killers until it was somewhat reasonable.

With the low winds we've been experiencing we decided to motor down the west coast. No sails so any bad burning stuff from the volcano won't affect us. Got some great views of the volcano and what is left of the town of Plymouth.

Stayed at one of these places in Woodlands

Remains of Plymouth

More devastation
Motoring 8 miles down the coast was quite nice. Motoring into the wind for 20 miles wasn't. The last 8 miles was good and the batteries are happy.

Pam was spending time looking up the contact info for our boat broker to sell the boat so I decided to shut up and we spent a quiet night on the boat. We can check in tomorrow.

Checked in the next day and walked to the Super Marche to get Leffe beer, rabbit pate, baguette and other good stuff. Good thing we are both fluent in French. Makes it easier.

It is very hot. There is no breeze so quite uncomfortable. And we are getting gallons of rain every hour or so so we shut everything up, then open up, then shut everything up, etc, etc.

Wearing as little as possible... mostly underwear... I know, not a pretty image. Sorry!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Every morning for the past 2 weeks we lie in bed in the early morning hours listening in fear to their murmuring and muttering - plotting and planning. We shudder and in only a few minutes they arrive in our cabin and we are woken... "Hi Gran!!!  Hi Papa!!!" ... and our day begins.

Pam had diversions, cards, games, toys, fishing lines... Quest endowed us with a fart machine. (Big Hit!) Used them all up on Day 1. Since then we colour, play cards, get ready for the beach, go to the beach, have lunch, get ready for the beach, go to the beach, wind-down, have dinner, look at the planets and the stars, read good night stories and put them to bed. Then we have adult time - for 15 minutes - and crash with exhaustion!

We've snorkelled up at Great Bird, hiked and swum at Deep Bay, splashed around in Hermitage (Five Islands) and provisioned at Jolly Harbour.  We spent a night at Carlisle Bay before heading into Falmouth to pick up Daddy (Luke.)

Toes in the Water at Great Bird

Hanging around

Keepin' cool with Murphy the dinghy

Looking for fishies

Up the hill at Deep Bay

My girls!

Scramble down past the goats at Deep Bay

Lucy laundry out the picture window

Keeping busy

Knotty kids
Help at the helm

We motored around to Carlisle Bay the day before Luke arrived. Quest kept us company in the bay and the kids were desparate to spend time with Sid and Cate. And, Cate got in a little grandchild lovin' in return. It's only a short trip to head around from Carlisle to Falmouth but it is always bouncy. So we sat tight for a rocky half hour.

Took the Closs family on the Middle Ground walk from Falmouth to English Harbour and then all drank a gallon of water to rehydrate.

Middle Ground hike rest spot

Fast forward to Thursday. Clearing out of Antigua is a piece of cake and we found ourselves coming into Montserrat around 1 PM. Clearing into Montserrat isn't a piece of cake - their internet was down and the paper forms took more than an hour. The fact that the Closs family is leaving here by plane was a terrible conundrum which they couldn't resolve. To make it easier, we will finish our clearance after they are gone, Monday morning. So we haven't officially cleared in!?

We are taking in the sites, enjoying the black sand beaches, Jen and Luke have been snorkel fiends and they are looking to fit in a hike on their last day.

Granview Villa

Cool Pool
Morning coffee
Hey, look what we found!!!

Closs Family at Woodlands Beach

Playing in the black sand
Soufriere in behind

Coming back sometime?
Tomorrow the Closs family heads home and we head back to Blue Pearl for more adventures farther south. Will do a better job of keeping our blog up to date with a little more time on our hands!!!