Thursday, July 5, 2018

OK I AM BACK - - -JUST

On a borrowed lappie and someone else's account so I will be brief and no pics.

I have been broken I have had this Aussie flu which has just laid me out.

Both my laptops and my dual external hard drive back up systems are broken. Not sure why but it may be the move from Win 8 to Win 10 I HATE MICROSOFT

The boat is broken I think it is an electrical issue related to some crimped connections installed by the previous owner. I think I have a workaround but want to mke a proper repair before setting off again. I have 9 years pretty trouble free cruising up until the last few months when it has ust been one thing after another.

About the only thing working is a gizmo that gives me 30 mins Facebook a day. I have massive internet withdrawal symptoms.

I am still in Antigua and I must head South ASAP. To far North in hurricane season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

SHAKY PUDDING AT ANTIGUA CLASSICS

We have had 9 earthquakes in the last three days. I did not feel the first 8 but the last one was a doozy a 4.7 right under Antigua. The boat shook from side to side and there was a deep rumbling sound like a giant slow revving diesel engine. None of the volcanoes nearby are showing any signs of activity and that includes Montserrat which has been active since 1995.

Meanwhile the local varnish experts are laying the final coats in the run up to the Concours d’El├ęgance.


While others practice their sail handling.



and others dream of getting the perfect start.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SKIING 2018

Reflections on my three weeks skiing.

1 avoided the 'F' word.

2 the snow was excellent especially at Alta but Canyons/Park City was good too.

3 avoided catching a cold or the Aussie flu despite 7 flights full of germ laden people. 4 managed to fit into my 'skinny' salopettes [ everything is relative].

5 got upgraded by Alamo again.

6 lost my TSA status for some reason. Makes airport security a REAL pain again.

7 2018 signals the demise of the underwear/bead trees in the ski resorts.

8 expect to see widespread drought conditions in areas around SLC as the snowpack is at 50% or less in many areas and that is where they get their water supply.

9 I was REALLY tired when I got back and slept for 10 hours on the first two nights. Which I thought was strange as I was OK in the mountains at 9,000 ft plus day after day.

Gaye had to fly back to Oz to cope with a family emergency. Poor Dizzy was condemned to cat hell AKA the PAWS animal sanctuary which had one cat and 50+ dogs. He was a miserable cat when I picked him up and he has been welded to my side eversince.


Poor needy little cat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

GREAT CONDITIONS AT ALTA

2 ft of new snow over the weekend. 7 ft since I got here.



I have stuck to Snowbird Alta and Canyons and had great conditions at all three.





Even better examples of natures Christmas decorations.





The numbers of disabled skiers are amazing.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

LOTS GOING ON SINCE I LAST POSTED

We made it up to Falmouth Harbor and got the hook down in my favorite spot up front and to the East of Falmouth harbor marine where the big boys hang out. We had planned to fill up with water in Jolly harbor but the water was off when we went in. This is not an unusual event.

However Falmouth harbor marina came to our rescue and filled our tanks. It was not without excitement though as the promised dock boy was missing when we got in and we had no hope of going round again as we were up a narrow cul de sac with multi million dollar boats all around. However Gaye was on the bow line which was the critical upwind line and attracted a passerby who took our line and expertly made it fast.

I got a surprising email from Peter Malone who I had known from my aeromodelling and stock car racing days back in Scotland. He was in Antigua and wondered if we could meet up. We duly did and as we wandered around Elizabeth harbor pete conducted a me on a trip down memory lane. Everything from his competition model AKA PETE'S POLE to his first stockie the yellow Sunbeam Rapier No. 121 to his days as rally driver and his interests in full size flying.

I left Gaye and Dizzy in charge and headed for the airport for the long and tiring 3 stage flight to Salt lake City.

Snow had been in short supply Salt Lake City and I nearly decided to go to a resort with good snow but just as I was making the booking a last minute check on the weather showed a major storm system barreling down on SLC. Well it arrived as the same time as the American Airlines flight I was on. after two missed approaches with violent turbulence the captain announced that he was diverting to Boise Idaho, the cabin crew looked glad as the supply of sick bags was running low.



The snow arrived overnight and and conditions for the powder hounds were great even though the viz was poor.


Next day things were clear


Even though it was getting warm enough to melt the snow a little the runs were in excellent conditions.

At the weekend I often ski at Canyons Park city as Alta my favorite resort gets pretty busy



As you can see there was almost no queue at the bottom and the pistes were empty.

I had bought this pesky inner forestay fitting with me and
found an excellent blacksmith at the Wasatch Forge called Matt Danielson who had a go at forging down the diameter of the fitting. He was a little unsure of the suitability of the grade of stainless but as always as good smith does he got it hot and hit it hard. I still have to get the thread cut but it is looking good.


However not all was going to plan on the home front. Gaye had had to return to Oz to help out in a serious family emergency. She organised the Antigua animal rescue to look after Dizzy and found another cruiser to check on Elephants Child.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

DEEP BAY

Well we are in Deep Bay tucked up towards the NE corner and watching the big swells roll in while the wind is whistling in the rigging.


It is a pretty spot and we may make it up to the battery later today if I decide that it worth risking beaching the dink. The swells are over 3 metres and even in the sheltered corner the waves are breaking on the beach.

It is a shame that Gaye will not get a chance to snorkel on the wreck but the viz will be close to zero.

So we are on pelican watch, turtle spotting and best of all watching IDIOTS trying to motor sail North in strong winds and big swells. I think they are competing to see who can get the most unpleasant sail with seasick crew all with boat breaking conditions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Saintes Guadeloupe Antigua

The sail from the Saintes to Guadeloupe was a rorty one with the 8 knots showing most of the way despite having the second reef in and only the staysail. But it was short and things soon calmed down in the lea of Guadeloupe.

PIGEON ISLAND SNORKEL
We snorkeled at Pigeon Island and I got a reminder of just how special it can be. The vix was fantastic the coral spectacular and the fish were everywhere and not the least bit camera shy. I suspect that there is some feeding going on but who cares. Black triggers reticulated horned box fish and small groupers were everywhere

The next stop was Deshaies and the obligatory visit to the botanical gardens.



I will let the pictures do the talking.

The next job was to see if I can get the fitting I need to redo the base os the inner forestay. I thought I had it cracked but somehow the thread was just oversize.

It seems it might have been something made as a one off initially.

ANTIGUA BOUND
We made the passage over to Antigua without the staysail which was no big deal as with a single reef in the main and about 60 % of the genoa rolled out we were doing 7.5 to 8 knots with the wind just forward of the beam. The seas were down and it was a great sail over in the sunshine.

We are tucked up off the beach just outside Jolly Harbor and the Christmas winds that relented for a day to give us a pleasant sail over from Guadeloupe to Antigua are blowing hard again

So it is off to Deep Bay and a chance to see the wreck that lies just beneath the surface.

he Andes was a three-masted steel sailing barque built in England in 1874. In early June of 1905, it left Trinidad with a cargo hold full of pitch (tar) bound for Chile.

They first sailed northeast before sailing south in order to sail the trade winds to Cape Horn, but had a problem approaching Antigua. The barrels of pitch were rubbing against each other and this generated a lot of heat, enough to create smoke that started drifting above decks.

The captain of the ship wanted to anchor in St. Johns Harbor, but the harbormaster directed them to Deep Bay. The busy St. Johns Harbor was no place for a burning ship – it would have been a hazard to any other vessel in the harbor.

So they anchored in Deep Bay, and as soon as the hatches were open enough oxygen was introduced to the cargo holds to ignite the tar. The ship burned and sank bow first, but all of the crew was spared.

Since its sinking in 1905, an abundance of coral, gorgonians, and sponges have taken hold of the steel hull and reef fish have moved in.