Sunday, September 16, 2018

ISAAC IS DECAYING FAST

It was a tropical storm when it blew past me and other than some unpleasant westerly swell which made life on board unpleasant until I organised a stern too mooring set up we were just fine.

The Deshaies dinghy dock survived with no obvious damage mainly because the local dive operator who uses the dock removed the wooden decking which gets smashed up when the westerly swell gets going. The pic below shows the dock in a damaged state after a previous swell smashed the deck in places.





One side effect of storms and hurricanes is spectacular sunsets.

Monday, September 10, 2018

LONG POST PART 1

I have finally got a working laptop. It is even speaking to my new camera a Canon SX 620 HS which is a pocket size point and shoot.

I bought a new laptop which came with Windows 10. I started to transfer all my files over from my old laptop using a remote hard drive.

I finished up locked out of both laptops and with all three of my external hard drives saying they were encrypted which meant I could not read them.

Despite spending considerable amounts of time money and skull sweat I was unable to get back in.

Even my last resort bootable thumb drive could not get me in. Not even using the hackers back door into the command prompt. If I had known how long it would take me to find a way to spoof my old laptop into letting me in I am not sure I would have kept going.

Microsoft help was of no use at all. Possibly my fault because I have stalwartly refused to register with the evil empire.

French 'experts' are of little use.

Youtube/Facebook experts are better but they failed da after day.

But I persevered and the old laptop is working.

GOD BLESS LINUX.






Dizzy has been a very clingy little cat since Y came back from skiing and I wonder if he somehow knew that I was ill. But maybe it was just that I was late with the cat food.


Speaking of food I am blaming my weight gain since I came back from skiing on the Bacon Cheeseburger with Roast potatoes served by the cafe on the dockside. It was just to convenient.


Sometimes I had to share with the locals though.
Long Post part two

Here are some boaty pics from Antigua most from the days of the Classics week and race week.


This was the Carriacou built wooden deck sloop Free.

She broke her wooden mast on practice day and I got the pic of her heading into the boatyard.

They worked all night.

Here she is after completing race one the next day with an aluminium mast.


No such overnight miracles were possible for the Ondeck boat though.



The sandbanks inside Falmouth harbor keep catching the unwary. A passing big RIB was able to push them off.

They were lucky to be in Antigua and not the Florida Keys. There they fine you for running aground in such areas. 1000 $ US upwards. Fines in excess of half a million have been levied.



This is Ashanti IV getting ready for the single handers race which she won with her usual ease. It is a David and Goliath job though and in this case Goliath wins. Ashanti IV is 115 ft LOA and the next biggest is 52 ft.



One thing that was sadly missing was the participation of those magnificent relics of a bygone era the J class yachts. I was there in St Barts when Hanuman finally triumphed over her rivals. Well so she should as every possible turbo tweak had been employed to make her lighter stiffer and faster. I also remember when she turned up to race for the first time and got trounced so badly in practice her billionaire owner withdrew he from the races.

Hanuman is for sale. I wonder who can afford the base running costs ? 10 million US a year just to keep her in the water ?

LONG POST PART 3

HURRICANES

I know I should not be this far North at this time of year but I just have not been up to sailing South. So with hurricane Isaac heading for the Antilles I am planning to sit it out in the Riviere Sens marina on the South end of Guadeloupe.

I would normally have put on my big girl pants and headed out for a 3 day 2 night sail south to safety. UNFORTUNATELY that would be heading into the possible strike zone.

Meanwhile there are two more hurricanes to the North and a third one forming in the Caribbean basin. It is busy after a long quiet spell.


Isaac, the one heading my way, is forecast to hit to the south and may be loosing strength when it gets here. It is just what the folks on Dominica can do without.

Hurricane Florence is the nasty one and is likely to be cat 4 and possibly even a cat 5 when it makes landfall in the East coast of the USA. It looks like it is going to be bad.

So Jan batten down the hatches and look after the puppy.

Friday, August 3, 2018

DESHAIES

OK Done with all shenanigans, motor is working normally again, weather has settled down [ pic below is what happened in the South] autopilot is over it's hissy fit and the anchor chain came up on demand. Good sail down to Deshaies at 7 knots and even got one of the free mooring buoys.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Shenanigans and fuckery indeed.

No divers available. So went down again and realised that the chain was making a figure 8 around two pieces of L shaped angle iron. Despite this being a very sheltered anchorage with minimal tides there is a distinct current which must reverse at times. So on a calm period we were waltzing around this bit of wreckage. So back up and laid a second anchor to take the tension off the chain and went in again with a telescopic boathook and a weight belt. 2 minutes work and we were free.

2 hours and we anchored in a new spot, second anchor retrieved dismantled and stored. The second anchor was my big aluminium Fortress and it was really reluctant to release from the bottom and I had to put it on the winch and even then it needed a nudge with the engine to break it out.

WAVES AND FOULED ANCHOR CHAIN.

The wave that has caused serious flooding in the islands has gone through and I was ready to leave.

The latest problem to overcome is my anchor chain which is caught up in some wreckage on the bottom. It is just beyond my comfortable free diving range and I got really tired quickly trying to free it.

Time to call a diver!