Thursday, July 31, 2014


In the trilogy the Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien there is a section where the fellowship of the ring are attacked as they pass through the caves of Moria the great underground city of the dwarves.
Well as I lay in bed this morning dozing while I waited for the morning cruiser's net to start on the VHF I was suddenly transported to Moria as the same single drum started to beat in the depths. At any second I expected to see Gandalf readying himself to fight the balrog and I could hear the thunderous tramp of the trolls coming to kill us all.

But I was waking up to another sunny day in the Caribbean and as I slowly came back from middle earth it was all much more mundane, just someone was working inside a tank on one of the giant barges that are at anchor, someone beating seven bells out of something with a large sledge hammer but with the same rhythm as the drummer in the depths of Moria. As for the trolls it was just Dizzy, that little cat also known as THUNDERPAWS rushing along the cabin roof on seagull scaring duties.

Fund raising for the Carriacou childrens fund is in full swing with cruisers and local businesses both working together. Last night Tante Lizzy provided the venue for a great pot luck which raised 0ver 700 dollars. That is 700 lunches for hungry school kids who would otherwise get nothing. It was the perfect Caribbean evening with a magnificent sunset.

There are some local boats in the boatyard getting a little last minute fettling and the first race is tomorrow.

This one got splashed this morning and right away was heading out to work up to speed.

The only fly in the ointment is a disturbance in the Atlantic which has a dose of the ' WILL I WON'T Is' and while threatening to develop into a proper storm has not yet done so. This means it stays south and just might threaten us this weekend however Antigua is the island most worried and that is well north.


I am closing todays entry with something that struck me as being a fine example of US television. One of the major networks has had the status of their news programs downgraded. It no longer rates as news with the FCC but comedy/irony. Fox go hang your head in shame!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tyrell Bay Carriacou

I had forgotten what it can be like sailing in gentle winds. For the last few months it seems to have been blowing 20 - 25 knots on every passage. Today for the short hop down to Tyrell Bay

it was a gentle 8 -10 knots and we were sailing upright and chuckling along gently through a sea of sargassum weed.

I tossed a line over and was expecting a Mahi Mahi if anything as we were doing 6 knots but had a hit withing minutes and it was some kind of tuna or bonito.

I took these pics leaving Bequia as I passed the little islands with passes between them that the locals use.

This guy choosing one and getting it right.

This skipper getting it wrong.

Speaking of skippers getting it wrong, This one was trying to shoehorn a

megayacht into Clifton harbor but wisely took it and it's jet skis off to palm Island.

The water down here in Tyrell Bay Carriacou is pretty clear so Dizzy likes to sit on the back steps and watch the fish that congregate under the stern of Elephants Child.

The storm out in the Atlantic that I had been keeping an eye on did dissipate as forecast but it still bought with the disturbed weather a big thunderstorm which woke me up in the middle of the night and had me on anchor watch as 40 knot gusts ripped through Tyrell Bay. Elephants Child did not drag nor did anyone upwind of us but there was shouting and reanchoring elsewhere in Tyrell Bay. Blue skies and gentle winds are back this morning and Dizzy is stuffed full of bonito.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Easy sail down holding the wind from pulling the anchor with the main up until outside the entrance to the anchorage at Clifton.

Had the usual problem on entry with the boat boy wanting to rent me a mooring buoy. This one was unusually persistent, telling me the holding was bad, the bottom hard, wrecks to tangle my anchor, it would be rough in my chosen anchorage spot and finally that he had a mooring where I was lying. So he did with the ball 6 feet under water!

Will make the short hop to Tyrell Bay Carriacou this afternoon.

Pics when I get a better connection. HotHotHotSpot sucks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I went to bed and as is my usual habit I picked up my pillow and turned it over. Green snowflakes fell from my pillow to my bed. It was late and I had been setting the world to rights over a Dark and Stormy so it took me a moment or two to figure out that

Dizzy and found his swim noodle and was destroying it.

The first mid Atlantic storm of the year has been born but NOAA forecasts that it will dissipate before reaching the islands on Thursday. Still I am glad that I am off to Union Island today so that if it grows instead of dissipating as forecast the mangroves in Carriacou which are the best local hurricane hole are only a couple of hours away.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


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


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


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!