Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CARS SKIING and MOLES

Cars, well I am on hire car number four. The first had a bad tire, the second was only suitable for hunchback legless dwarfs, the third had defective windscreen wipers so I am driving number four. To be fair the good people at Alamo changed them all without question or charge but I am a little tired of the slep out to the airport rental facility.


The skiing has been great, clear skies and well groomed runs, just what I like.








As I have spent lots of time at altitude skiing and hang gliding plus lots of time on the water on the tropics I keep my eyes OPEN for the usual signs that indicate that a mole might be going bad.

Well I was getting an eye exam for new glasses when the optician said she did not like the look of a mole on my eyelid. Yup nasty black mole with irregular edges had popped up on my eyelid, only visible with my eyes SHUT!

A scary thing to find.

I got an appointment with a dermatologist for the following day and he said right away that that needs to come off. If the biopsy is bad he says he will carve off a little more to be sure.

Big UP for the observant optician and the University of Utah health center.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Salt Lake City again to satisfy my addiction to the white stuff

A long day three flights to get from Grenada to Salt Lake City was made even longer by an old lady in a wheel chair leaving a bag behind. Someone noticed it and a gun carrying armored young man arrived soon to be followed by a sniffer dog. Some one decided that the threat was credible and we were evacuated and even the plane got moved. We then missed our gate slot and takeoff slot. All very tiring.

Delay

Delay

Delay

Still got there got my hire car and got into my room. But the luggage workers were on a go slow. The first hire car had a faulty tire so got another [ currently on car four, more to come on this ] The night receptionist at Studio 6 was not to be found and if it were not for a young lady in her pajamas knowing her location I might have frozen to death.

3.30 am mountain time, 6.30 am Grenada time I had reason to be tired.


Still the white stuff was there and I "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings." John Muir.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

BACK IN BEAUTIFUL BEQUIA

Good sail down in reasonably calm seas.

But had a nasty surprise when I checked the weather, we have a VERY early hurricane.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

St Lucia to St Vincent maybe Bequia on the 14th

I had a good sail down from Martinique today even contemplated flying the spi at one point but as we were soon doing mid 8s I saw sense and settled down to enjoy the sail. The conditions look good for tomorrow so I will carry on to St Vincent or maybe even all the way to Bequia.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MARTINIQUE TO ST lUCIA

Should be a gentle sail down tomorrow.

Lots of pics on happenings in Martinique when I get some good wifi.

Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

Up till the fireworks announced New Year I was liming with some locals and a the French couple from the boat that was damaged on Christmas day. I had offered them space on Elephants Child but they have relatives ashore and are busy fixing the damage to their boat with the help of a local boat repair company. However it is not long after midnight and I get to my bunk.

BOAT HOCKEY

Dizzy woke me up chasing something really noisy around the deck. Reluctantly I get up but can't see what it is. 5 minutes later he passes my cabin in hot pursuit of a large hazelnut. I confiscate the noisy nut and go back to bed forgetting that there is a large supply of said nuts on the cockpit table in the basket holding my mini Christmas tree.



A few minutes later and he is rolling another one around the salon floor.

I confiscate that one and throw a towel over the basket.

I need my restorative sleep as I am still feeling the after effects of the Christmas morning shenanigans even though the two visits to the chiropractor /masseur have helped a fair bit.

YOLES

Usually I see these big guys flying around and always admire their skill at keeping these ridiculously over canvassed and under ballasted canoes upright.


But I saw today the smaller version for the first times and it looked like we had a bunch of teenagers hooning through the anchorage, whooping hollering and clearly having a great time.

BIG BOY GETS ESCORTED OUT


After a flood of 'securite' calls on the VHF announcing the departure I was expecting something really monstrous still it is bigger than the average boat and I suppose worthy of the escort from the same marine police boat I am so familiar with.

Friday, December 25, 2015

AN 'INTERESTING' CHRISTMAS MORNING

It was about 3 am on Christmas morning and I am about half awake as I shut the hatches. A squall was blowing through the anchorage but I was soon back in bed and drifting off even though the squall was still howling in the rigging, when I hear a very loud bang followed by shouting.

Fully awake I stick my head up and have a look around to see chaos in front of me. I had anchored behind a French boat and was about a hundred and twenty feet behind his dinghy.

I was now abreast his dinghy, but the chaos was the steel boat to my port side that was motoring to keep clear and more frightening was the large catamaran on my starboard side that was lying about 60 degrees to the wind and sheering about wildly.

Pants on, engine started and I take avoiding action as the catamaran has a big swipe at Elephants Child. The old couple on the French boat are shouting at me as I slide up their port side and with a good bit of boat handling the steel boat gives me enough room.

I run around like crazy getting fenders out and watching the erratic behavior of the Frenchman and the catamaran.

The catamaran makes another pass and misses again. There is no one aboard that I can see and it is a matter of time till it hits Elephants Child. It looks like he has already hit the French boat as there is stuff hanging off his side and stern.

This when I really needed a crew member to steer and gun the engine when avoiding action was needed.

Trusting to the helm on the steel boat to avoid me I leave it in gear at tickover on full left rudder and go forward with tools and the bread knife. Blessing the electric anchor windlass I pull in enough chain to slip the snubber hook, and run out the chain.

The shackle connecting my chain to the two hundred feet of rope rode usually sticks in the hawse but for once it pops straight through. I cut the zip tie and unscrew the shackle and drop the chain.

Steeple chasing back to the helm I narrowly avoid another anchored boat whose crew are on deck but not doing anything useful but shout at me.

Getting clear I heave a big sigh of relief and have a "WHAT NOW SKIPPER" moment. Half an hour later I have the reserve anchor shackled on and laid using the back up chain. I am well clear of the shenanigans. As usual Dizzy appears when I pull the engine stop control and I have a sit down for a few moments with Dizzy. Another squall come through and I shelter under the dodger watching to make sure my [t]rusty old CQR is gripping which it is. The rain stops and the wind drops a little but it is clear that the shenanigans are continuing with the three boats getting very close to two other boats.

I decide to go and see what I can do to help, throwing an anchor warp, my 37lb Fortress kedge and a couple of useful tools including the breadknife into the dink I motor over blessing the man who invented the head torch. The moon which helped earlier is hidden behind the clouds. A local pirogue arrives with a couple of young men who try to tow the whole mess forward, they keep things clear of the anchored boats who are all now wide awake and shouting. At this point the Marine Police boat arrives and takes over. The wind has died down and I get aboard the cat shouting to the police to give me a tow and get it on a mooring buoy as it has no reserve anchor. I can now see the side of the French boat and there is some serious damage with vertical splits in the glass topsides and some deck crushing. The three big outboards on the Police boat make short work of pulling the cat and dragging the chain and anchor behind us and we are soon tied up to a mooring buoy.

I go back to elephants Child and back to bed but get wakened up by knocking on the side of the boat. It is the Police who think I am the owner or skipper of the catamaran. Neither spoke English so it was a strain on my fractured French to explain things. My papers were scrutinized and details copied into notebooks. They left and it was back to bed.

Much later that morning I was dragging for my dropped anchor chain which I found on the second pass. I don't swim in Marin. I buoyed the chain went back lifted the reserve anchor and motored over to buoy picked it up and was back to where I was last night. Well not quite as I had 200 feet of 3/8 th chain plus a 50 lb CQR which needed manhandling back to their regular reserve spots.

Job done it was back to bed with a double doze of ibuprofen to ease my aches.

ADDENDUM

The French boat has had to be hauled with a hull split thet reaches the waterline.

I was asked by the local judge who has the power to order investigations apparently Napoleonic Law Code ? ] to write out a report IN FRENCH. I said no can do Best I can offer is a report in English plus a translation by Mr Google. Had to be notarised but they did that for me.

My creaky bits are much eased by a visit to the French chiropractor and masseur.