Wednesday, May 6, 2015

COKE WARS

The French coastguard have been making a series of big cocaine busts but this one hit the jackpot.



They found 2.25 metric tonnes of cocaine on a large sailboat which they intercepted 120 miles off Martinique.



It is pretty obvious that they are getting some really good intelligence and are not stopping vessels at random.

This looks like one of the big Swans at least a 65, which is top of the line.

MORE COKE WARS THOUGH

Finding any Coca Cola product in Grenada has been getting near to impossible and the wholesalers have been importing but even they are struggling. It seems that the main bottler on Grenada has angered the parent company who has pulled the franchise hence the shortages.

So I was not surprised when in town after the bookswap I was searching for a coke and was offered something which at first glance looked about right but was not ' the real thing. '

Still not a million miles away. Now to persuade them to do make something like Coke Zero.







Cinco de Mayo

Any excuse for a party and potluck will do as far as cruisers were concerned. So it was mojitos [ are they Mexican ? ] chilli rellenos quesadillos [ my contribution ] etc.

Friday, May 1, 2015

DINGHY DEFLATION and HOT WATER BOTTLES

Yes Bernadette's kitchen is built around a tree. The tree provides welcome shade and Bernadette does the ' most for the least ' as far as a boneless chicken roti is concerned. I was looking forward to mine.

Zipping back from lunch at Bernadettes I noticed one third of my dinghy was a bit soft. It normally holds air well and a few pumps every month does the job. Adding it to the mental to do list I headed in to Whisper cove to pick up a baguette and say good afternoon to my favorite iguana.

Jumping back in I see the 1/3rd that was soft is now very floppy. OH OH must have a BIG leak.

One of the trials suffered by dinghys in the Carib is the large nails and other sharp bits sticking out and under docks. Ah well it is a few years since I have had to do a patch so getting back to Elephants Child I lift the dinghy and decide to fix it first thing next morning.



I go to sleep thinking about patches and wake to dreams of hot water bottles. Hotties were part of Duncker family life when I was growing up as we did not have central heating.

I sometimes need a hot pack on my left shoulder and when I wake to dreams of hotties nowadays I know Dizzy is socketed in to his favorite sleep spot.


After breakfast, two mugs of coffee [ CURRENTLY THOUGHT TO BE GOOD FOR YOU shame about the aspartame ] and some due diligence on the forums I moderate, I can put things off no longer.

I dig out the repair kit hoping I have a patch big enough, find the two part flexible epoxy that I use instead of the useless supplied glue, find some sand paper, brush, soapy water and the air pump.

Step one find the leak. As it went down fast it must be big or perhaps a whole bunch of little ones caused by getting trapped under something with a nail sticking down. Anyway I pump it up, the cap was off the valve and as I pump I think there is just a faint hope that the valve was leaking because the cap had been knocked off.




Three hours later RESULT It is still hard, must have been that cap, or dinghy viagra.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MEGA YACHT WITH ALL THE TOYS.

THE LADY BRITT

Hope tells me that she goes for $424,000 per week.

Well they did not seem to get their moneys worth. I was doing some deckwork and then relaxing with a book in the cockpit and did not see anyone move on deck or get in the water. Was I being nosey well a little but I always keep my eye on anything large anchored close and directly upwind of my floating home.

THE FLYING BUZZARD

The 1951 Clyde built steam tug [Now a diesel]. has been doing duty a the committee boat for the Classics Regatta in Antigua. On it's way up there it delivered some palm trees and rescued a broken down ferry which was drifting 30 miles or so downwind and getting close to Venezuelan territorial waters.
These ferries are mostly from the Baltic and I suspect one they can no longer pass the insurance survey there they find their way to the Caribbean where they run them to they sink or collapse mechanically.

I think it is not the first time they have towed this one.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wind is down sun is shining and boats are on the move [ except not me ]

This newcomer arrived yesterday.

I do not know what to call the rig, it is a schooner but has a cross yard on the aft mast for a square sail.

Comfortable looking boat anyway.


Matt and Sue on LuLuDu are finally on the move making the short trip round to Grenada marine for their haulout. I think their target date was sometime in January but it's ISLAND TIME.

The sunset was spectacular and I really enjoyed my Dark and Stormy as I have got some special Westerhall rum and genuine fiery Jamaican ginger beer. Finest Kind as Trapper would say.

As I am writing this I am continually fielding Dizzy who has decided to attack the desk fan from another angle and instead of poking a foot in is intent in investigating it with his nose.



" Dizzy it will HURT! "

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BIT OF A RANT

I have just listened to three boats on the VHF buddy boating up to Union Island from Grenada. They are all complaining about how rough it is, how strong the current is and how bad the wind direction is. They are all saying that they are motor sailing but making less than their estimated speed so all three will arrive at Union Island after dark.

Yes it is going to be rough going North especially off the North end of Grenada, all the forecasts have been showing big NE swells of 2.5 m + for today.

Yes of course they are going to have a serious westward setting current as it is spring tides and in fact the biggest tides I have ever seen in the Carib It has even been catching the locals out. They timed their passage to hit the gap when the current was at it's peak. 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 knots.

The wind has been North of East for days and blowing 20 +. Today it has come down a little but is still well North of east which is going to make that trip a hard motor sail and you need to be doing 8 knots plus to make it in daylight.

If they had just waited to Sunday they would have had a pleasant sail and probably would not have needed the motor at all. 12 knots of wind SE favourable tide which would have given then some rough spots but as the swell was down to 1 m it would be tolerable. Finally they need to plan to leave at FIRST LIGHT.

POSTSCRIPT They made it and it was after dark with no moon. Clifton harbor at Union Island is shown as being well marked with lights on the marker poles but as usual in the Carib maintenance is sporadic and when I last visited with Jan and Hope in January only 3 of the 6 lights were working. The entrance is fairly easy but there is a reef in the middle and the channels round it are narrow. Anyway there was a bit of a clusterf*** when anchoring and there was a coming together resulting in some damage including a ripped dinghy and pulled out davit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Having a few down days but then got some good news.

Losing my poker table friend Dave and two hang glider pilots that I knew to cancer made me a little more aware of my own mortality.

J R [Nershi] was another larger than life character that I met flying at Telluride and also at the Aussie Worlds. He too loved bluegrass.

Having spent a lot of my time in my youth with friends doing stuff out in the sun in the mountains, I now hear from the friends that they are making regular visits to their dermatologists to have suspect bits of skin cut out. Jenny Ganderton gets one lump free for every ten and is always on at fellow flyers to check their skin. If you read this Jenny congrats on the the latest success at Lake Keepit Soaring Club

Any I found a suspect bit and after keeping it for a week decided a visit to the dermatologist in Grenada was in order. Phoned at 11am for an appointment and got one at 1 pm same day. I wonder how long it would take back in Stopsley?

Went in to town on the bus this afternoon and got the all clear. I will sleep better tonight.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

DAVE ULLIOTT AKA THE DEVILFISH

I just heard that he died. The UK poker scene will be a much duller place without Dave.

A criminal 'face' a loving father, I was never sure how many kids he had, an amazing kareoke singer and best of all a master of the one liner.

“I can out-fight ‘em, out-fu** ‘em, out-think ‘em, out-drink ‘em, out-sing ‘em and out-bling ‘em.” A comment from him on the internet players.

The night I met him on the tables was a small tournament at the Grovenor Luton. There was some discussion about his new double rings and it turned out that he made them from scratch carving the mould casting then polishing. The gold of course was stolen according to Dave.

When news broke that he had been given just days to live by his doctor, Dave however maintained his trademark wit, responding to an enquiring wellwisher with a classic slice of black humour:

“I’m not saying the prognosis is bad but the doctors told me, if you go out for a meal, don’t bother ordering dessert.”