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

Soufriere
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

Terrorists!

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!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Not in Kansas!

Pammy, I've a feeling we're not in Abbotsford anymore!

At the Apple Farm

Cycling and 'wine'ing in Kelowna

Celebrating the life of the one and only Uncle Bob

Wow it's hot!!! Holy crap!!! Raining off and on just like at home but 35 degrees and HUMID!

Nice solar panels... no canvas, yet.

Rain

Home
We made careful preparations to have our new bottom paint, sails, solar panels and other new toys shipped so they would be here when we arrived last Sunday. However, nothing was here when we got here so we had them throw us in the water - no new bottom paint, no solar... you get the picture. BUT, when we are in the water we can turn the fridge on so we have cold beer and tied to a dock with 110 power we have air-conditioning! North Sound Marine folks are the best! Thanks team!

So in we go!

Walking the plank to install new davit lines.

Yes... of course I can splice a line!

With the help of You-Tube

Lots of stuff going on here!

Ed (Windswept Dreams) helping with the new genoa. I think he stretched it.
New genoa finally arrived yesterday so we threw it up right away and then threw up because it doesn't fit. Damn. Too long. So we are in the middle of trouble-shooting and looking for solutions.

Jen and the kids are coming down for a couple of weeks so we can motor around to different places with nice beaches and breezes. Oh, wait a minute... is that a crack in the thermostat housing? Coolant leaking all over? So... after urgent connections with Jen and after getting her to drive all over Vancouver today she managed to find parts to bring down on Sunday... so we can start our adventure on Monday after new parts are installed.

This all will pass and life will be lovely.

We plan to enjoy our grandkids for the next 2 weeks, showing them around Antigua and then the last 3 or 4 days in Montserrat at a VRBO with a pool near a beach.

Should be great!

Cheers.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

So That's It Then

We are sitting at home, dipping our toes into our parallel life back here in Abbotsford.  So nice to be here... so lucky to have what we have.

It was a pretty good season with some pretty big adventures. Montserrat and Guadeloupe in November were awesome... our tour of the devastation from the volcano in Montserrat was spectacular.

Our "second period," using a hockey metaphor was up and down. "Up" on our connection with Quest as we traveled down to Dominica together and "Down" when we snapped our chain plates on the leg into Dominica.

The thing of it is, we had a great time in Dominica with our broken wings while we waited for good weather to head back home to Antigua. And we had a great time in Antigua while we figured out how to proceed.

During the second period intermission we replaced the chain plates. The third period brought us time with great friends... showing them all that we love about Antigua.

Bare poles

Water maker at North Sound - 750,000 gallons per day. Installing same one on Blue Pearl next year

Changing out the membranes

To the parking lot

What, here?

Bottom paint great... barnacles on the edges

We'll clean that up!

Murphy the dinghy going into storage - notice the cleaned up prop on Blue Pearl?
Pam reminds me that our year this year was highlighted by exploring new places and connecting with old cruising friends.

I've mentioned Montserrat but we also did some in-depth touring of Guadeloupe, Dominica and explored several new spots on Antigua. We reconnected with Quest, Serenity, Virtue and Vice, Aviva, Windswept Dreams, Aurora and others that I'll remember later. Lovely people enjoying the same passion for sailing around these beautiful Caribbean islands.

So another year of cruising has come to a close. We will spend a spectacular summer with family and friends in glorious Western Canada.  Lots of adventures in the next 6 or 7 months. We are so lucky!

And then... who knows? I wonder what next cruising season will bring?

Until then, Cheerio!