Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cruising with Burnsie

Sailing the Trade Winds on a well found boat in the Caribbean is heaven on earth. Living on your boat on the hard in the Caribbean with no power, no water and worst of all no ice... is not.

When Burnsie said he wanted to come down with me to splash the boat I was beside myself. Big strong guy with skills... we'll get the boat in the water right away and then off we'll go to the French Islands to buy some French wine, cheese and kangaroo pate.

We were hoping for Friday... even though we weren't really ready. That didn't work. They work hard here on Saturday but it wasn't to be... even though we were really ready.  Church on Sunday so not much going on. And now we find out that Monday is VC Bird Day. So, "NO LAUNCH FOR YOU."

We've done a ton of boat jobs. Removing and replacing our Airmar/Garmin depth sounder was a bear. The adhesive holding the old one in was really good. Which I suppose is a good thing. But not when you are taking it out.

Ripping the place apart to install the new transduce

Looks so elegant from the outside

Cruising Dining


Painted up and ready to go

Our chariot awaits.
"The Lady at the Market" restaurant in Parham

Hiking to Deep Bay
But it's out and the new one is in. Over the past few days we've wired up the new one along with the new GPS antenna. We've replaced some door hardware.

Janini from Just Canvas is replacing our dodger and connecting parts. Hoping that she will be done soon. What she has done so far looks fantastic.

We are really hopeful that we are in the water tomorrow. We can cool down the fridge, load up with beer, get the sails on and make sure all is sea-worthy. We'll only have a few days to check out our favorite Antigua Anchorages.

Blue Pearl Inc will have to offer up a compensatory cruise for Burnsie sometime when we don't have to do boat maintenance.

Anyway, I guess this is cruising... fixing your boat in places where parts and services are not ideal.

OK... Late breaking next day update... WE ARE FLOATING!!!

Checking us out!

Ready for the lift


And we're in at the dock... with power!!!

More excitement to follow!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Heading South... Again!

It's blogging time again!!! I'm testing out the process with my new Chromebook. It feels awkward but I'll get used to it.

I told friends that I was going to head down to the boat in Antigua for a couple of weeks in December. Down December 4 and back home December 17. The idea was that I could get lots of chores done so when Pam and I head down after Christmas we can just splash and go. Sleeping on the boat while on the hard is not great... but it's do-able and it would allow me to get lots of things done.

So when Burnsie heard there was an adventure to be had he came over and asked if he could come. BIG change of plans!!! Having someone with trades skills with me to get stuff done will be awesome. Plus Burnsie is great fun to spend time with and he knows the words to every song ever written.

So now, the plan is to get out-of-water jobs (bottom paint, through-hulls, etc) done right away, splash and then cruise and fix for the rest of our trip... eight or nine days. I'm stoked!

We've got crap all over the house and have gone through various stages of packing it into suitcases. Depth sounders, tv, tv mounts, wind direction indicator parts, through-hulls, varnish brushes, GPS antenna and more and more and more.

Christmas gifts for locals, insulation, bed sheets

AC pump, hat, space for my shaving kit

Duffel full of stuff for Dominican family

New TV - Captain Ron in HD

Docklines, sheets, water hose, depth sounder mount and a whole lot a stuff!

After a good cruise around, we'll put the boat at the dock somewhere. Then, 2 weeks later Pam and I come back down with Brad and Kim. The plan is to cruise them down to Dominica and then fly them home. Hoping for good sailing/cruising weather.

Whoop whoop. Antigua here we come!

Friday, April 13, 2018

That's It - We're Done

So we are all packed up and ready to go.

Over the last few days we've been going down our checklist, knocking things off, one by one.

Sails off and stowed - check

Generator serviced - check
Engine oil changed - check, although I had to repair two pumps and replace hoses from the pumps.
Interior teak washed down - check
Solar panels stowed - check
When you're done there can you fetch me a beer?
Cockpit cushions washed and stowed - check
Murphy the Dinghy motor cleaned, flushed and stowed - check
Liquor cabinet cleaned out - check

Home away from home

Toilets cleaned (yuck!) - check
Fenders, MOB floats, etc stowed - check
Electronics stowed and protected - check
Cockpit table stowed - check
Binnacle covered - check
Hatches covered - check
Lines stowed - check
Covers and hurricane straps
Teak covered with Pam's miracle covers - check
Engine flushed - check
Prop cleaned - check
Water tank emptied - check
Fuel tank filled - check
Propane tanks shut off - check
Hurricane straps on - check
and a million other little jobs - check

And, on top of all that, we learned we have a leak in a pump so salt water is collecting in the lockers. Put that on the list to bring a new one down next year.

Where's the duct tape?

I hate you... especially at $US 400
That's on the list for replacement next year. Along with new sounder transducer, repaired wind direction indicator, new canvas...

I was going to go up to get the wind instrument but he volunteered
Got the wind indicator off. I would do it but they were in the neighbourhood.

Pam's picture window... more Maria boats coming in from Tortola

Need to replace 25 year old hoses and through-hulls

Had some copper foil attached... need Steve Carlton to clean it up.
Between puttering jobs we've been walking around surveying all the hurricane damaged boats from Tortola and St. Maarten. Even as we've been tied up, another barge of wrecked boats arrived. It's quite interesting to see these fibreglass geniuses like Leon doing the repairs. Of the hundred or so boats that are in here, they are working on 5 or 6. Looks like they will have work for many years to come. I've noticed also that there are posters on some of the boats... and they are up for auction at http://yachtsalvage.com/ and apparently some are going for a "goodly" price. Check it out! Might find your dream boat.

They're still coming
Odie's got it WAY up in the air. Weird

Uh oh. Something's in the way

Wait... what?

No problem... 

This one is going to take some work!
We've done all we can think of and so finally it is time to walk away.

Into the well

Up and out

Murphy the dingy ready for storage

Packed and ready to go
So that's it! We are done. A little sad to leave but excited about going home.

Thanks for following along!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Time to Go Home

With Chevy and Carrie back in Abbotsford and the Closs family returning from Spring Break soon it is time for us to depart. We've had a great season but spring has sprung and home is calling.

After putting C&C in a taxi, Pam and I spent a nice evening with Brian from Pyxis. Brian treated us to a lovely dinner at the Yacht Club. He wanted to thank us for our help when his wife, Nadi suffered a serious back injury in Basse Terre, Guadeloupe. Not necessary but much appreciated. Dinner was followed by sweet dreams on Blue Pearl in Falmouth Harbour and in the morning we set out early for Jolly Harbour. Made an appointment with a welder to take care of our broken dinghy davits and got groceries for our last two weeks afloat.

The welding was challenging, expensive and created more problems... but at least we can haul Murphy safely and securely. The GPS seems to have suffered a fatal incident and so that goes on the list for replacement for next year. Good thing we have several backup navigation tools to get us up through the reefs on the way to Davis Bay.

Broken davit removed

Have to take off pushpit (aft pulpit) to weld stanchions

That looks weird

... from any angle

Have to clean this up when we put in the new external GPS

Other side of pushpit out as well for more welding


Bimini lashed in place

Brendon and I arrive with newly repaired parts

Another view from Pam's galley window
We motored into the wind from Hermitage to Davis Bay. Davis Bay is home to an exclusive resort... with great internet, of course... and it is only a mile over to North Sound where we will haul on Tuesday, April 10. With our GPS out of commission, we relied on Pam's iPad with the Navionics charts and GPS to get us safely through the reefs.

Pam's iPad for Navigation
While we are here we will putter around making Blue Pearl secure for the haul-out season... Pam-made covers on the teak rails and general clean-up.

So we hope to be at the dock, alongside the haul-out well on Friday with access to power and water. That will give us the opportunity to spray off excess salt, take off the sails and put things away.

The canvas will come off last, just before we haul. We are going to have some canvas work done for next season and so we will have a chance to talk to the contractor about exactly what we want done.

So that's it for now. Will chat once more when we are out of the water and ready to head home.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Chevy meets Blue Pearl

We have been idling in Five Islands, doing chores, reading books, having drinks, swimming and exploring. But mostly, we've been killing time until Chevy gets here... with "My Mommy!"

And so, we arrived at the airport to meet them about 2 hours before they were to arrive... just in case, you know. A flat tire, a traffic jam, who knows.

The flight was early and before too long, we spotted our visitors. So cool!!! Eight weeks without family is too long. Pam was a little teary. Not me, though!

Pre visit - Pam is "Noodling" with buddy boats

Greeting company
We spent our first day with our new crew resting up, acclimatizing, and getting wet. There is a great shell beach right near our anchorage and the recent surge has brought up huge collections of shells. Chevy collected enough shells on her first day to warrant an extra luggage allotment.

Chevy at home on Blue Pearl

Calling dolphins

Looking in on a boaters' evening flotilla
Pam has been "noodling" with folks from the other boats in the harbour. They do an hour of exercise with pool noodles - good for the body and it keeps you nice and cool while you are working out. She skipped out on noodling after Carrie and Chev arrived. We also chose not to get involved in the "dinghy drift" - hooking boat dinghies together along with sundowners and appies in the late afternoon. But we did drive by to have a look and wave our hellos.

Chevy exploring different expressions

Oh, are there any shells here?
Gran supervising shell collecting


The most amazing thing happened on Wednesday. We had just landed on another shell beach when Chevy found a conch shell... WITH A TREASURE MAP INSIDE!!!

Treasure Beach

What? A treasure map???

Wow! Digging up treasure in Five Islands!!!
We followed the map and Chevy dug up a real treasure with coins, jewellery, marbles and keys. We're not sure what the keys might open.

What a great day!!!

Thursday wasn't as great. Chevy was determined to find another treasure but we couldn't find any. Devastating! Dang!

We sailed up to Deep Bay and anchored for the afternoon. Scrambled up to Fort Barrington... but there are no gift shops or ice-cream stores so our time up there was limited.

On the way back, "My Mommy" said she would like to swim out to Blue Pearl and so, of course, Chevy wanted to engage in that adventure with "My Mommy." So they did! Swam all the way out to the boat. Pam and I had a gin and tonic while we waited for them.

Girl Power

Captain Chevy

Sailin' down the coast of Antigua
Had a couple of fun days in Carlisle Bay. We found a fruit lady on the road and bought papayas and bananas. "Goat Water" for Papa at another place. You can buy a kid's bathing suit at the Carlisle Bay Boutique for $120 US... or you can go to the lady just off the property. So, Chevy ("My Mommy" and Gran) made the lady's day and bought all kinds of treasures for everyone in Chevy's life!

Fixing a broken palm tree in Carlisle Bay
Art Shot

Tubing in Carlisle
We spent our last day in Falmouth Harbour where the mega-yachts live. It was fun to watch them coming and going. And to have lunch in some of the same spots where they spend their time. Hah, what am I saying?! Why would you buy a $10 burger when you could go to another place where it costs $50. Their loss. We had a great time at our restaurant.

Just a 10 dollar burger

Lunching with the yachty crowd in famous Falmouth

Turtle Watch

Going to lunch in English Harbour

Ladies' afternoon

A modest yacht passes our anchorage
We are going home in two weeks so there weren't many tears when we put them on their taxi to the airport. We will be spending lots of time together over the next 8 months before we head south again.

So cool to have our family come visit Blue Pearl while we are down here.