Saturday, January 30, 2016


We are shattered.  Quest slipped out of the anchorage just before 8AM on their way back to Antigua to pick up guests.  We've loved our Happy Hours and Sundowners.  Loved our Portsmouth Secondary School tour. 

Exploring new areas, enjoying meeting new people, trying out new things.  I don't know how we are going to function without them.  Gutted.

Sulked around 'til the afternoon and then went in for produce and beers.  Had naps and did needlework and sodukos.  Oh blar!!

Restored barracks at Fort Shirley


Jungle takes over

Fetching wench

View from the Battery
Good beers, fish and internet

The Tomato - Ross Medical School student hangout.  So much fun showing Sid and Cate around.


Portsmouth Secondary School mission statement


PSS greenhouses

PSS focus

And pillars of the school...
Really missing Sid and Cate.


That's AZAYA!  Yay!!!!! Mary Claire and Axel are here. Just set anchor a couple of boat lengths away.  This is going to be so much fun.  Wooohooooo!!  We did our first crossing from Florida to the Bahamas with them and have bounced around together for the past 6 years.  Exploring new areas, enjoying meeting new people, trying out new things.

We are off on an island tour tomorrow with Alexis (PAYS boatboy) to see the damage caused by hurricane Erica last year.   Who knows what other fun we'll have with Azaya.  They're the best!!

Toes in the water, ass in the sand, life is good today!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Alright… yucky chainplates notwithstanding…

We had a great time in France.  Good sail down to Deshaise and checked in at the Pelican Gift Store.  There were 3 boats in front of us so we decided to drink some beers and come back in the morning.  Got there in the morning and there was only one boat in front of us - WITH 47 PASSENGERS!  Do you know how long it takes someone to hunt and peck that in to a computer.  Especially if, like her, you haven’t done it before.  The french keyboard is wonky and they spell the names of the countries wrong.  When you go to enter someone’s nationality as US you start typing ETAS-UNI.  Try 47 variations of that.  Poor girl.
Yumm - more mahi dinners!

Sailing along with Quest

Anyway, once we were legal we went to the local grocery and bought up some baguettes, cheeses wine and rabbit pate.  Also some Leffe beer - Belgium but close to France!  Yay crazy french food.  Fun in Deshaise.

After two days of charming the locals with my quaint french dialect we left to get to Les Saintes. 

Les Saintes through Pam's picture window

Colourful waterfront

A local guest house - real cheap!

Windswept beach - not great for swimming - huge UnderToad

End of the runway... at the beach

Prehistoric sea monster - about 4 feet long

Bo loves this beach
If you follow this blog you will know that we really like Les Saintes.  It’s a vacation town so lots of restaurants, boutiques and bars.  But also some really great hikes.  Got a chance to give Mr. Bo Jangles some really good beach walks.  Bo didn’t mess with the topless sun-bather.  I was really hoping!
Colourful Caribbean shuttered doors

That's a beauty

Bo's eager to get going

Popular beach

Another picture window shot
Our plans were to carry on from Dominica while Sid and Cate would double back to Antigua to pick up their friends.  We would dawdle on down to St. Lucia and hook up with them along the way.  But that’s all changed now.  We will enjoy some significant fun time here and then dawdle back up to Antigua with jury-rigged shrouds and seriously reduced main.

I’ve ordered the replacement chainplates so after Pam goes home on February 25 I will begin to tear the boat apart.  Once that is complete I will hire a fibreglass guy to prep and install the new chainplates.  Then piece the whole thing back together and… Bob’s your Uncle.  Good old Uncle Bob!

Not sure if Pam will come back down for a season ending couple of weeks or if other family/friends will come down in late March for a spring holiday.

More non-plans!  Always an adventure!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Chainplates are stubs (steel on most boats) anchored in the sides of a boat.  They are used to attach the stays that hold the mast upright.  Folks on many different boats have started to worry about their chainplates after a certain age - kind of like you wonder about your water heater or furnace at home.  “When is it going to break down?  Should I replace it?  Or, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”

We have wondered about the deep pockets of folks who have rushed out to replace the chainplates on their boats - even though they weren’t broken.  And we have wondered about what would finally galvanize us into undertaking this onerous and costly chore.

So, good news!  We just found out!  Two of our chainplates broke on a particularly nasty transit between Les Saintes and Portsmouth, Dominica. 

We were in 15 to 20 knot breezes with big reefs in main and jib.  The seas were 4 to 6 feet but spaced impossibly close so we were slamming into wave after wave.  We watched Quest beside us as she buried her nose in the water and then leaped up exposing all of her bottom paint.

So all of a sudden we heard a loud bang, and then another less than a second later.  Pam asked me if the kids had copies of the will.  We quickly dropped the main and used the main halyard to stabilize the mast.  Without the sail up, the remaining 14 miles was bumpy until we arrived in Portsmouth Harbour.

Hmmmmm, something missing?

And here...?

How'd you like to get whacked by that flailing in the wind?

So here we are in lovely Dominica.  We will enjoy a great vacation while we figure out how to proceed.  We can jury-rig something to hold the mast upright.  But do we carry on south for a bit or do we skedaddle back to Antigua?  Pam had made some arrangements to fly home from St. Lucia for a visit.  Maybe she flies home from Antigua?

Great to have that cleat just there!

Not sure how much stress that steel loop will like?
Anyway, lots to think about.  Time for another beer.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Green Island

So, while waiting for Cate to get back from Kelowna we decided to explore the east side of Antigua.  We haven't been there before and have always wanted to.  The problem is getting there.  Going east is no fun.  The wind is from the east and beating into the wind is what causes people to sell their boats.  

So with low winds predicted we decided to give it a go and it was easy-peasy.  In a couple of hours we were entering Nonsuch Bay and found some moorings near Green Island.


Our latest adventures
Green Island was interesting... nice, free moorings and kite surfers everywhere.  The snorkeling has been disappointing.  Too much fine sand in the water so visibility has been a challenge. 

Helping Single Handed Sid with the mooring. Tried to get $20. Got squat.
Sid's Awesome Juice
Had a "Welcome to Green Island" party on Blue Pearl.  Entertainment provided by Bruce and Glen.  As usual I got better and better as the night and drinks wore on.  Pam says I was belligerent but I think it was a slip of the tongue.  She meant brilliant!

Brilliant singing
Showing off
Bruce works hard at his music, during cruising season and back at home in Nova Scotia and it shows.  He has some wonderful tuneage and knows the history of many of the shanties he performs.  It's fun to learn from him.

Appreciative audience
We moved over to Emerald Cove, farther in Nonsuch Bay and Sid joined Bruce and Colleen for a hike out to Devil's Bridge and Long Beach.  We would have joined them... except hiking took second place to another coat of varnish and long naps.

OH NO, Quest is sinking!
No... she's fine
Cheaper and faster than a sailboat
Contrasts - sailing dinghies in front of mega-yachts
Great Burgers at Sweet T's
Need a helicopter because...

Quest anchored - Med moor - in English Harbour. 
We helped Sid move Quest over to English Harbour so when Cate arrived she would see the majesty of Nelson's Dockyard with Quest moored at the quay.  Sid did an amazing job of maneuvering Quest into position with the help of anchorwoman Pam and stern-tie-throwing Glen.  We are moderately impressed.

Coming up tomorrow

Heading out tomorrow for France (Guadaloupe.)  Baguettes, cheese, rabbit pate, moules, wine, box rum and all the other weird and wonderful things we find in the grocery stores.  Plus I get to help everyone around since I'm the only one fluent in French!  Woopeee.  Or as we say in French... Zut Alors!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Road Trips

We rented a car to drive Cate to the airport.  She is going home for a quick family visit.  That resulted in a minor tour of the island for Cate and a more extensive one for Sid after we dropped her at the airport.

After the airport we took off for North Sound Marina to show Sid where we hauled last year.  Really loved it here and hope to haul here again next year.

At Anchor in Five Islands Bay with Quest

Sid meets Ed from Windswept Dreams - just launching at North Sound

Sugar Apple - a little like a soursop

OK - now which way to anywhere?

This thing will do 40 knots!

Meeting Serenity at the dinghy dock in Falmouth

This thing does 40 knots
Looking out at Eric Claptons place

English and Falmouth Harbours from Shirley Heights
Unicycle going up to Shirley Heights
 We avoided going into St. John's because the congestion is crazy and the potential is huge for getting into trouble going down the one-way streets the wrong way.  So a couple of days later we took the bus.  That's an experience not to be missed.  Bo needed some special dog food so we checked out all the pet-food stores in St. Johns.  Had a shawarma at the Shawarma Palace, and explored the produce market.

Market in St. Johns

Hmmmmm.  What to choose?

Shawarma Palace
Mind the gap

Caribbean architecture

More historic landmarks

Ackee - for "Ackee rice and the fish is nice and the rum is fine any time of year!"

Loading up

A wanton disregard for the law

Ed and Ann swam out to visit - and then Bo on the way back to shore

Heading down to Green Island - Montserrat in the background

Sailing past Eric's house.  Pretty sure he'll be impressed
We've reconnected with Serenity - our travelling companions as we made our way south from the Bahamas.  So nice to see them again!

When Cate gets back next weekend we will watch the weather and start to head south.  Not sure how far we'll get.  Let's see what the weather brings!