Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Back to Antigua... and beyond

Our week in Deshais was terrific! We ate at the great beach restaurants, took the bus to the local super markets and enjoyed life on the boat in France!

We wanted to show Cate the “Super U” supermarket, so we left Sid on Quest to fix problems and headed off to Sainte Rose. We caught the wrong bus and ended up in the middle of the town.. missed the “Super U” completely. BUT!!! Thankfully, I am completely fluent in French and I was able to determine that there was a Carrefour nearby and that we could get our rabbit pate and other necessities.

Nice day, early evening… but not completely fulfilled. So… next day we headed out to find the mystic “Super U.”

Took a different bus and “viola!” there it was. More pate de lapin than you could imagine. Along with fromage, baguette, champignon et beaucoup de vin... we were in heaven.

I love France!!!

Wait, this isn't the Super-U

Is this the bus to the Super-U?

OK... nice afternoon at anchor in Deshaies

Dammit.. I'm going to recycle

Mr. Bo Jangles comes for a visit 

But the weather was giving us a window to get back to Antigua for our flights back home to Canada. So, in the morning, we set off to Antigua. 

Not enough wind so we motor sailed…
Great wind so we stopped the motor and sailed…
Too much wind so we reefed mail and jib
Not enough wind so we motor sailed…
Great wind so we stopped the motor and sailed…
Too much wind so we reefed mail and jib


We dodged a number of squalls… just in front of us… just behind us.

We were less than a mile from our anchorage when our own, personal squall hit us. We headed up into the wind, dropped all our sails and got absolutely drenched. Perfect when you think about it. All our salt from the trip was washed away. Nice and clean.

So we cleared in, a little sad that we had left our buddies from Quest behind.  Anchored and started to get the boat ready to leave for a trip home. So back in Antigua we were able to get some things we were low on... like drinkable rum.

Getting provisions

Murphy got hurt in Nevis

But Pam fixed him back in Antigua

Looking for a good shelling beach for visitors

Good shells?

Limin' Time Sid showing off his new guitar

Quest Sid fixing the lube on Murphy's lower end

Bo joining us for a beach party

Tres elegant

Beach blanket bingo
But to our surprise, after a couple of days… Quest sailed into the harbour. They’ve had some changes and decided to come back to Antigua.

So we’ve enjoyed time with them and Sid and Peggy from “Limin’ Time” and now we are settling in for some time at the dock while we come home for Christmas.

Pork chops avec apple cider... Randy's original recipe
Last night on the boat and I’m trying to make sure there is nothing perishable left on the boat… like alcohol... and rabbit pate.

Does it get any better???

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sainte Kitts to France

Hello Faithful Readers,

Brianna was thrilled to get the care package from home. I think there was a bottle of Indian sauce for the bland food she is getting from the school/cruise ship.

We had a chance to hear about Brianna’s refugee status over dinner at Kings Palace Chinese Restaurant. Spent a nice evening but we are aware of not taking away from her studying time so we walked her back to the ship later in the evening.

There is a saying - “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.” St. Kitts is a booming place. One day there were 6 cruise ships in port. With Puerto Rico, the BVI, the USVI and St. Maarten all struggling back to normal there are limited ports for the cruise ships to visit. The diamond shops, eateries, bars and duty-free stores are doing booming business. Normally in the evenings, the cruise ships take off and leave all these places deserted. But now, when the ships have gone, the place slowly fills up with medical students who have found a way to leave their books for a while.

Heading down to Nevis

There's Brianna's house


Made a lobster salada for lunch

After a day of exploring St. Kitts we headed the 10 miles south to Nevis. Spent a rocky night on a mooring ball before heading in for check-out and an island tour. Barry the taxi driver took us on a 3 hour tour around the island. It could have been a 1 hour tour but he drove at 10 KPH. He kept stopping at run-down windmills, distilleries, and estates to see if we wanted to get out and walk around. We toured Montpelier Estate where Lady Di stayed with her boys during one of her fractures with Charles. But you know, in 95 F heat with no breeze and no shade… we just wanted to get back into the AC of the taxi.

Hot springs... nice!

Weather station

A flower among the flowers

Anchored off this beach

I'd like two Killer Bees, please

We had lunch at a little place near the Customs office and were served by the nicest waitress in the Caribbean. She was cheerful, offered great service and helped Pam and I figure out some social media thing with a phone and Instagram. Nice!

Back to the boat for a blissful sleep and a morning sail to Montserrat. 

The predicted 15 knot breeze from just north of east (85 degrees) turned out to be 10 knots at 130 degrees. So we had to motor for most of the 30 miles. Spent a rocky night in a crappy anchorage and then headed to Deshaies first thing in the morning.

Redonda belongs to Antigua... just a big rock

Killer Goat Bay

Ho hum. Another beautiful sunset

Along the wrecked airport of Montserrat

Wait for the hottest part of the day to go for a walk


Lunch at a beach restaurant at Grande Anse - Nice!

The sail to Deshaies was brilliant - except we didn’t catch our usual mahi. No problem. Cocktails with Sid and Cate, a great sleep and the promise of fun days in France!!

Au’ revoir Mes Chers!

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!