Saturday, November 18, 2017

TYRELL BAY CARRIACOU

A quiet passage with favorable winds saw us into Tyrell Bay mid afternoon. Picked a spot well to the left of the two noisy rums shops, However I was so tired I think I could have slept through any amount of drum practice.

Haulout is scheduled for Tuesday at 8.00 am

Thursday, November 16, 2017

CARRIACOU ON FRIDAY PICASO TRIGGERFISH and FOUR BIG CRUISE SHIPS

Well it is big girl pants time. The last really nasty looking Cabo Verde wave blew through Grenada and is sitting off Columbia with a 20% chance of further development. Nothing in the Atlantic looks threatening and the ITCZ is quiet.

So I got my snorkel gear on and set off to touch up my bottom with a green scrubber. I was not expecting more than a light coating of fur, boy was I wrong, there was significant fouling 1/2 inch barnacles and some spectacular soft coal growth. It was time to get the big scraper out again and give it laldy. Now I am used to being very popular with the local fish and expect yellowtails blue runners and various grunts to snack on my scrapings. But today we had only one fish and he was very aggressive to other fish.



It was that most outrageously colored denizen of the shallows, a Picasso Triggerfish.



I had wimped out of going to town yesterday knowing that St Georges would be totally rammed with cruise ship passangers we had no less than four. The facilities can really only handle two medium sized jobbies.





The poor revelation had to anchor out and we had one crammed onto the commercial dock.

A side effect of Irma and Maria.

Meanwhile recovery in the islands worst hit is not going well with Political chaos in St Marten.
“One week later, November 10th 2017, the Magic Eight passed another motion discharging Prime Minister Marlin of his duties with immediate effect and resolving to install Acting Prime Minister Rafael Boasman as the new Prime Minister. Popularly speaking, parliament fired the Prime Minister twice and then requested the Acting Prime Minister, in whom, one week prior, they had no confidence, to become the new Prime Minister.

St Thomas
Now 61 days in the dark for our islands.32% power restoration closest to towns
.

Puerto Rico
Maybe 25% has electricity and again about 25% has mains water although I am told that it is erratic.

With only one small cruiseship in I risked the town and did the rounds of post office [ parcel still not arrived. ] optician [ ne replacement lense ] Digicel top up. and a fruitless search for tomatoes.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

IT HAS BEEN A LONG AND FRIGHTENING HURRICANE SEASON


Tropical Storm Bret was the earliest named storm to develop in the Main Development Region of the Atlantic basin on record. Bret formed from a low-latitude tropical wave that had moved off the coast of Africa on June 12. The disturbance moved swiftly across the Atlantic for several days, steadily organizing despite its low latitude. On June 18, the organization increased enough for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to begin issuing warnings disturbance while it was located southeast of the Windward Islands. The system continued to organize, and by the next day, it had developed into a tropical storm. It then followed a very unusual path going South of Grenada. was on DEVCON 5 for Bret.

Then we had another storm go South of Grenada DAVCON 5 again.

Everybody knows about Irma and Maria which devastated islands in the North East Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Rina formed today on November the 7th.

Crown Weather reported over the weekend that there could be some tropical storm development in the week of November 12 that could track from the Western Caribbean towards the islands of Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Northern Leeward Islands.

Mean while I am still sitting in Grenada with disturbances rattling along ICZ bringing strong squalls and the threat of rapid development l have memories of Hurricane Tomas that spun up from just such a disturbance to fully fledged hurricane in 18 hours and scared the shit out of Gisela and I as we sheltered in Frigate Bay Union Island.

The last three days have seen 40 knot squalls and rain with a storm to the North and another threatening to form to the East. What about OCTOBER ALL OVER!

I need to get up to Carriacou and get hauled as I want to be in St Lucia for ARC. I have the anti fouling the new prop and some other bits and pieces I will get installed. I will put on my big girl pants and leave on Friday or Saturday unless the threatened storm forms and heads for Carriacou.

WATCH OUT PIRATES ABOUT!

On a lighter note I was treated to a breath taking display of aerial piracy as I enjoyed breakfast in the cockpit. The pelicans are gone so the Magnificent Frigate birds are reduced to bullying the gulls who are fishing for their chicks at this time of year. The frigates try to harass the gulls till they drop the fish. The gulls try to outfly the frigates twisting and turning. But the frigates are relentless.

This pic is not mine but illustrates what I saw several times during breakfast.



The frigates had a big breeding colony on Barbuda which was one of the islands hit hard. Reports say less than 10% of the birds survived and there are no reports of them turning up elsewhere.


Friday, October 20, 2017

WEATHER - ESCAPEES FROM IRMA and DIZZY GETS A FISH

We have had a few days of bad weather. I wake up and check the weather radar and BANG strong convection cells rolling our way. We have had big thunderstorms really heavy rain and squally winds over 40 knots.

After an hour of rain like this


The dinghy was full up and my bottom scraper on it's 8 ft pole floated out and went walkabout.



Many thanks to Ally Oop for spotting it and returning it.


Refugees from Irma

Several catamarans that lost there masts in hurricane Irma have come to Clarks Court Boatyard for new ones. I guess all the riggers further North are already fully booked.

DIZZY AND A NEW TOY


He bought it in an presented it to me.



Looking very pleased with himself.

What impresses me is either it got sucked up in a thunderstorm or that 3 inch fish jumped over 4 ft out of the water to clear my toe rail.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DOMINICA ROLLY IN GRENADA AND IT IS TIME TO GO NORTH

Just finished a stint helping to move and pack aid for Dominica. I was glad of the big fan some one rigged as it was REALLY HOT in that shipping container.

It is HOT onboard Elephants Child too but a cooling swim is always available.


The above pic shows that my little non rolly corner of paradise has been invaded. I know from the chat on the VHF it has got really rolly in some anchorages.

I enjoyed a good sunset with my G&T last nigh.


I had just finished a stint scraping the reef of my bottom. 80 % done but I want some good viz for the last few bits. My underwater camera has died and my new one is lost in the post otherwise I would have included some pics of just how bad it was. This is not Elephants Child but the fouling was at least as bad if not worse.The growth is helped by the local rum distillery which cleans its tanks out on a regular basis and flushes all the nutrients into my bay.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

REEF RESCUE and RESCUERS HEADING FOR DOMINICA FACE PIRATES

Artemis suffered an engine failure in the narrow cut entering Hartmen Bay and finished up on the reef.

Getting her off was more difficult than usual due to the really big swell that was running. The breakers came close to overturning several dinghies. But she came off with no hull damage. Her rudder is damaged and she will need to come out for repairs I think.

Catastrophe happens!!!!
We hit the reef after engine problems in Hartman Bay. Mayday message sent...many many tenders arrived to help...marina work boat sent...coastguard arrived. Eventually our mast was gently pulled down and we were pulled very gently off the reef! The rudders broken, the keel (so far) looks fine, prop fine.....all looks cosmetic. We were towed to a mooring buoy and fortunately have not taken any water.
Many, many thanks to everyone involved. I cannot thank everyone enough for helping save our boat.
However Miles, Alison and Artemis have pulled through.

From Chris Doyle

Yachts bringing aid to Dominica may need to rethink. Very regrettably yachts bringing supplies to Dominica are getting robbed offshore by armed men in Pirogues. What worried me about this is that it is a societal ill. In Grenada in Janet, no one looted. The next hurricane there was a lot of looting. After a hurricane, when supermarkets are closed and there is no food, at least breaking in and taking some food has some sort of survival justification for anyone who is actually starving . But it has gone way beyond that. Now a hurricane is seen as justification for breaking into any kind of store and taking things for free on the grounds that if they take all insurance will pay. This is very wrong. By doing that insurance rates go way up and this gets put into the cost of things you buy from then on. That kind of permissive attitude has now led to the armed robbery of yachts bringing up aid. This is not stopping all aid but it is stopping some. Including a solar charging system with multiple mains outlets to help people charge their phones and batteries. There is a way too permissive an attitude in Dominica in general about this. To all my friends in Dominica who know stealing is wrong. It should not be considered acceptable when you have a disaster. It is also going to affect yachting. Because once people have got away with going out to sea and robbing yachts off Dominica, they are likely to continue one the storm is over. Dominicans who understand this must communicate to their sticky fingered brethren, and let them know that this kind of behavior i totally unacceptable. This hurricane is not a one off. With global warming you will get more. It is really dumb to harm those who try to bring you help.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hurricane Maria

She is a big strong lady and even though she is 100s of miles to the North we have a contrary Westerly wind and rain squalls.

I am in a very protected spot in Clark's COurt Bay. GOOD
Other people know that this is a protected spot. err good sort of.
All this morning other boats have been piling in and anchoring around me. BAD
The first big rain squall has just blown through and at least two boats have dragged BAD
But both off to the side of Elephants Child.