Thursday, July 17, 2014

NEW DODGER IS FINISHED


Chris puts the finishing touches to my new dodger with the aid of her husband.


Chris is the charming German lady who runs Bequia Canvas and does excellent work at a very reasonable price.


I was tempted to go for black or navy blue Sunbrella but am glad I stayed with the white. It will show the dirt and mould but I can always wash it and reproof if necessary.


Dizzy says "Daddy I can see through this, much better!"

A few more days just hanging out in Bequia and hoping I have escaped the joint pain from chiken gunge before I head down to Carriacou for the regatta. Local boats like Confusion and Braveheart have been out working up for the races and planning how to beat the local favorite Skyler.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

LORD NELSON CHIKUNGUNYA and MR GOOGLE CREEPS ME OUT

I am having a good time down here around Bequia and St Vincent. while I wait for my spiffy new dodger to be finished. I sailed back to Elizabeth Harbor for a trial fit yesterday and it is looking good. Neater than the last one and of course I can see through the glass.
I met some interesting you people who were wandering around some of the out of the way spots on Bequia. They were off the Jubilee Sailing Trust vessel the Lord Nelson. What makes this tall ship special is it is adapted for handicapped people and they take an active part in sailing the ship. I had seen her before and watched some one who was legless being hoisted up a mast in a bosuns chair. After working their way right into the dock they tied up alongside which made goisg ashore easier for those with wheels.

I have had the first phase of chikungunya and am waiting to see how bad the second phase will be, the joint pains which have been crippling for some people. Most people on the island of Bequia have had it and I wonder about it being only caught from mosquito bites.
The beach patrols for turtle hatches are just about over now so I will be staying here in the harbor until the dodger is done then heading down to Carriacou for the regatta which starts on July 27th. so plenty of time for diversions en route.

I had one diversion this morning which I found creepy. Mr Google wished me happy birthday.

Big Google is watching me. Should I feel paranoid. I am sure I did not give him my correct birthday, I never do when reistering for sites.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

.CHIKUNGUNJA STRONG WINDS and A NEW BOAT

I have been in Bequia waiting for Chris who does my canvas work to finish the new dodger. She has had chikungunya which is epidemic in the Caribbean just now. She has had the crippling joint pain that some people get and Is finding it hard to work so progress is slow. Unfortunately despite me staying in remote spots away from people and the internet, slathering on the mosquito repellant I think I am starting it too. Was very hot and shaky last night.

One of the things I have been doing is monitoring a couple of leatherback nesting sites and I was lucky enough to see a big hatch when three nests all hatched within an hour. Even though I have seen it before I still marvel how these tiny hatchlings can escape from the nest digging themselves out from 2 feet down then finding the sea all on instinct. I counted 197 new lives.

We had a couple of days of reinforced trade winds and three big old steel boats dragged out of the anchorage.
Two are currently in commission so it was no surprise to see them motoring back in but the third
has not moved for several years and I was expecting to hear them call for a tow. However back they came and not too smoky either. I don't know if they were on a mooring or at anchor but their winch is working and they got back in and anchored up only to have to repeat the process twice more that day.
The locals build a local design of boats the world famous Bequia double ender. It is a major investment for anyone and I was surprized to see a new boat on the beach. It turns out it was built under the supervision of Andy who runs the sailing school but the money came from a cruising yottie who has settled in Bequia at least part time.
The strong winds have subsided and we have had days when Dizzy Sox can see fish all around the boat. He gets into wiggle bottom attack mode and I keep thinking don't jump Dizzy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chikungunya New Dodger and Who Screwed the Pooch [ $10 million ]

I have been hearing reports of this chikungunya disease but it has suddenly become an epidemic out in the Eastern Caribbean.

These figures below will be well under true totals because people know that all you can do is go to bed, stay hydrated, and take painkillers.

The number of chikungunya cases in parts of the Caribbean continued to surge last week, pushing past 170,000 cases, with the first cases confirmed in El Salvador, west of the main outbreak area, and more imported cases detected in the United States and other countries.

The outbreak has grown to 170,566 suspected or confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease, which is 35,139 higher than the 135,427 cases reported the previous week, according to a Jun 13 report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The number of deaths remained the same, at 14.

Chris who is going to make my new dodger has had it as have all her family. She has been unable to work for more than two weeks as her hands were seized up and it was difficult for her to even get out of bed. The new dodger is overdue but I should get it done here in Bequia.

WHO SCREWED THE POOCH?

This brand new mobo which was to be the home for the owner as he took a year away from his business to motor it around the world was launched by the builders New World Yacht Builders in Anacortes.

Someone got their stability calculations wrong, yup they screwed the pooch.

GOING



GOING



GONE


There is an unconfirmed report from one of the workers involved in salvaging the vessel who said something along the lines of ;-

We got her upright pumped her out but as soon as we relaxed the tension on the slings she started to turn turtle again.

OOPS

I wonder who owns the boat at this point? I bet lawyers are studying the fine print of the contract at this moment in time.

Apparently one of the common clauses requires the boat to be afloat after launch. Well did it sink?

Re my previous WHO SCREWED THE POOCH at Park City I read that the judge may decide tomorrow if the current owners of the ski lifts at Park City who do not own the land on which they are built have to leave the land.

In which case the current owners are of the lifts are threatening to dismantle them and take them away.

A good old fixtures and fittings dispute.

Some very deep pockets and very big egos are involved.

Monday, June 9, 2014

SAIL SEVENTY MILES - GET HARASSED BY LOCALS - WHO SCREWED THE POOCH?

Conditions were good so I left Marigot Bay just after dawn and headed South. Keeping the 'pedal to the metal' meant some sail changing in the lee of St Lucia and St Vincent as conditions got fluky but we made good time and I was able to pass my bail out spots of Chateabelair and Wallilabou and be happy about getting into Bequia in daylight. As it was we rounded the Devils Table reef and headed into the anchorage at 4 pm so we had plenty in hand. Seventy miles in 10 hours. Of course having been diligently fishing all the way down with little success mostly due to the vast quantities of Sargassum muticum which may provide good hiding for bait fish also meant that I was forever pulling in the line to remove weed from the hook I caught something just as I was reeling in prior to dropping sail. It jumped a couple of times then threw the hook. Ah well it looked like a barracuda.

I checked in next morning and rewarded my self with a roti at the Sweety Bird Cafe followed by a coconut icecream at Mariannes served by Marianne herself. However I was under some serious harassment from locals who made it very clear that they wanted a piece of my action. The big black guy was really quite agressive and made two or three passes at my feet. He then called in his gang and they looked menacingly on from their vantage points.

Talk about angry birds.

WHO SCREWED THE POOCH?

Someone was late making a lease payment. This payment was for the lease of the mountain slopes that the Park City ski resort has it's lifts and runs on. The leasor then took the opportunity to say that the leasee had broken the contract and instead of $155,000 now had to pay market value of $25 million. When no such payment of $25 m was received the leasor presented the leasee with an ultimatum pay up or take your ski lifts and vamoose. Who screwed the pooch? Well I guess it would be the guy who was late making the payment

The machinations around ski resorts in the USA are the stuff of a Grisham novel except they are less believable.

Anyway we have a great sunset. It really is that colour, no Photoshop involved.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Marigot Bay St Lucia to Bequia or Wallilabou tomorrow.

Got my shiny new Nissan 18HP. It is GOOD to be fast again. I had forgotten how much drier it is to be on the plane.

Propane tanks are full, books are swapped and supermarkets checked for Branston Pickle.

So I fled to Marigot Bay to escape the noise of the Friday night street party in Gros Islet. They bring the speakers in on lorries.

I should have gone South today but should still be beam reaching tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RODNEY BAY ST LUCIA

Quiet conditions for the sail down from Martinique. 12 to 15 knts and only a small swell. I arrived in time to get checked in which is no hassle here.

I guess I will buy another big OB here as the price is good and MAYBE if something goes wrong I can get it fixed under warranty.