Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BRET WAS BLOWING HARD ALL NIGHT

Bye bye Bret.

It did a fair bit of damage to Trinidad but no deaths or serious injuries reported so far. Lots of flooding and 20+ houses have lost their roofs.

Was it the tornadoes ? Who knows.

In Grenada a few boats dragged ashore but all were refloated at high tide.

The boatyard is back hauling boats.

Monday, June 19, 2017

FIRST STORM OF THE YEAR

Invest 92 has finally got it's act together and developed some circulation.

It has not curved North as nearly all storms do but has gone South and is forecast to hit Trinidad on the 20th in the early morning. Assuming it does what it is supposed to do Elephants Child should see 30 knots gusting 40 and the threatened 15 ft swell will have enough East in it to stay out of my bay.

So it will be a windy old night and a bit lumpy at breakfast time come Tuesday morning.

I do feel sorry for those boats that fled from Grenada down to Trinidad. They are going to be scrabbling around for a good mooring as they are going to get a direct hit in Chaguaramas.

RAIN RAIN RAIN

And we need it.


It is amazing how quickly the hillsides go green.

Dizzy has found a new lounging spot


in the bathroom


the little pervert.

The boatyard in Clarks Court Bay is nearly full up. A cruising friend who has given up running a small skippered charter business in favor of running a boat fixit business says he is turning work away in the yard.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

BUMPER BOATS BUILDING DRY HILLSIDE AND WHISPER COVE

There was a panic call on the VHF from a nearby bay.

"Help Help there is a mega yacht bashing into my boat"

Then a bit later there was another emergency call to say that the same mega yacht was bashing into another boat while attempting to leave the bay.



Initial reports suggest that the boats hit only suffered minor damage.

Someone with lots of money is building a new house on the hillside opposite my mooring. He has had to build a road first and is now building a dock as well as the house.

The sad thing is that the mangroves which used to fringe almost all of this bay are slowly bit by bit being destroyed. All that nursery area for baby fish is going.

One of the things I like about Whisper Cove is the way that they have kept as much of the mangroves as possible.


They do a great job of looking after the flora and fauna.

As well as providing exceedingly good lunches in a quiet setting with gentle jazz playing.

We need some rain

you can see from the picture just how dry the hillside is.

The mangroves are still green as they can deal with the salt.

Still we have had a little rain as the first tropical wave of the hurricane season blew through.

Shoulder Progress


It is getting better slowly as Jan said it would, she said think months not weeks.

Finally I had a bit of sad news one of my motorcycling friends from the Ducati days was killed in a collision with a car. By the sounds of the description of the accident it was a typical SMIDSY JOB

Sorry
Mate
I
Did
Not
See
You

Thursday, May 11, 2017

CREAKY OLD SHOULDER and BAD NEWS FROM VENEZUELA ON GIANT OIL SPILL

Well I have had to put any immediate sailing plans on hold because my niggling shoulder problem which I have been ignoring on the ' keep it till it gets better ' principle got worse and had reached the point where it was difficult to sleep and I needed help getting my back pack on.

I went to see a local very experienced chiropractor who quickly diagnosed a rotator cuff issue, the drop arm test showed there was no complete tear and he thought that if there was any tear it was minimal. In fact he suggested that it was most likely to tendinitis and should respond to some manipulation and regular applications of ice [ or in my case 1/2 a kilo of frozen peas.

A US sailing friend called Jan [ AKA HAPPY FEET ]







who is a physical therapist by profession has given further reassurance but suggested that the rest period should be around two months.

Dizzy who has taken to waiting in full ' Kilroy woz here ' pose



Says WOT NO SAILING WHOOPPEE.


Well I have been following the regime doing the manipulation



applying the ice and it is working. I can sleep again and even find it possible to sleep on my left side.


I have been thinking about activities on board that I do regularly which might be causing the problem and came up with lifting the dinghy. I do this every night to protect it from theft and it involves putting my arms above my head and pulling down hard on the pulley rope to lift the stern.

So I have devised a simple workaround which allows me lift the stern with outboard using only my right arm and no overhead stuff at all just a little winch cranking.



VENEZUELA GIANT OIL SPILL


Large quantities of the heavy bunker fuel from the ruptured fuel oil storage tank at Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery has become lodged in the mangroves and on the beaches of Guiria, Venezuela.

There are reports that at least 3 fisherman have died when they ran into the areas where this thick oil was floating on the surface and there outboards conked out leaving them to drift and die.


Also oil-covered leather back turtles have washed up dead, claimed Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) secretary Gary Aboud.

The dead turtles have also been confirmed by Papa Bois Conservation, an environmental group.

Displaying photographs of the dead turtles, Aboud said FFOS' sources in Venezuela have confirmed that over 50 large marine turtles have washed ashore dead since the heavy bunker fuel oil has contaminated Venezuela's coastal communities.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

BACK IN CLARKS COURT BAY AND CATCHING UP WITH THE GOSSIP

The large catamaran we saw in Charlston harbor partially sunk and beached on the southern side turns out to have been a skippered charter boat which had taken a mooring possibly one laid for the Moorings boats. The mooring failed during the night and the boat drifted onto the reef. The story I hear has the female skipper turning off the drag alarm to avoid annoying the guests. The catamaran was worth 1.7 M US dollars, the wreck was sold for 1 $. The skipper is no longer with the charter company.



The Flying Buzzard is up in Canouan working on removing the wreck from the beach possibly by effecting temporary repairs to the hull[s], pumping it out and towing it south to Grenada. If not I guess a chain saw will be used. The mast sails furling gear winches and anchor windlass must be worth 50 k. or more.

DODGY MOORINGS

I am amazed at how many people use the moorings on offer in the Caribbean usually without any form of visual inspection or pull test in reverse.


Failed rope pennant

Failed chain


Shackle about to fail.


If you were to dive on some locally laid moorings this is what you would find at the bottom.








BOTTLE ART












DIZZY



KILROY WOZ HERE pose.







Grenada police carried out a surprise program stopping drivers of cars and motorcycles to check if they held valid Grenadian driving licenses and valid local insurance. Unlike most countries Grenada does not allow you to drive on you country of origin licence, you have to go to the police station and get a temporary Grenadian license. Apparently many students were caught without the correct documentation.

NOW WE ARE 6 WELL 69 with 70 LOOMING UP ON THE HORIZON

I must remember to get my licence renewed HO HUM.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tyrell Bay Carriacou to Grenada

We had a fast run down to the North end of Grenada with 9s and 10s on the GPS in SOG mode [ Speed Over Ground].

We celebrated with cheese Nachos [ Petra it is all Gisela's fault ] See she is hiding them.

But they are good.

Dinner in the cockpit was good too with mashed regular and sweet potatoes plus lumpy carrots. [ DELICIOUS ] beside thin cut pork chops with Bramley apple sauce and lots of red wine to help it go down.

We thought back on the marine life we had seen;

two whale spouts on the horizon.
a beautiful lionfish that posed very nicely for us in the sunlight off Tyrell Bay. He/she was more like a chrysanthemum than a fish. We did not have a photo of him as my underwater camera had died but this is what he looked like.

Gisela spotted a large marlin jumping out of the water and landing on his side.

Stingrays jumping high out of the water in Tyrell bay.

Spotted Drums posing for us off the Devils Table reef

But all things end and Gisela catches the big bird back to Germany tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2017

BEQUIA MEMORIES FOR GISELA



Finding her way around.




Resisting temptation, so much good stuff on offer including excellent scrimshaw.



Haircut anyone?



Beautiful spot for pizza and beer.









WE GET WET TWO DAYS IN A ROW.


Two days in a row coming down from Bequia to Carriacou we have had serious rain storms. Not much wind but very heavy rain. In fact so heavy that the viz was down to yards and I wimped out from my intended anchorage in Saline bay Mayreau and instead crept into Charleston Canouan. I think I was not the only boat to do so. Just anchored in Tyrell Bay again after some heavy rain and very poor viz. My moan is that it was not forecast by NOAA Accuweather etc. In fact the only site that suggested that we might have heavy rain was the Nemo SVG site.


Still running the engine as we crept in meant the water was warm for our showers and the sun put on a belated appearance for our sundowners.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

BEQUIA TO CANOUAN

The plan was to sail down to Saline Bay in Mayreau but the windlass gods decided that I needed to spend two hours repairing a bad connection. My Lofrans windlass has a hard life as it lives on the foredeck so gets copious quantities of seawater at regular intervals.

We were late leaving but could still get to Mayreau however a tropical downpour with 20 yards visability caused us to divert to Canouan which has a simpler approach and working lights to show the entrance to the anchorage.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

EASTER REGATTA in BEQUIA CRUISESHIPS and THE DEATH OF A MOUSE

Easter Regatta consists of a few charter boats racing with their baggy worn out sails. Some cruisers racing their homes still with wind generators whirring away as they race. Some J 24s with crisp paper sails racing for their island homes and of course the local double enders which get more high tech every year.


Bequia Regatta attracts some cruise ships.
Adriana This small cruiseship operating out of Trinidad now was built in Greece in 1972 which makes it probably the oldest cruise ship still in active service. It looks very dated compared to the new floating multistory car parks which are the norm.

It bustled into Admiralty Bay and parked itself in front of the Seaborn Odyssey anchoring right in the middle of the channel used by the ferries.


They lowered 4 lifeboats to be used as shuttles but for some bizarre reason the one they used most had an open exhaust with no silencer. It noisily banged it's way in and out all day. Such a contrast to the almost silent little boxes shuttling the Q Tips ashore from the Odyssey.

Finally my mouse died
and my

Now lets see toilet x 5 separate fails, both windlass foot switches, the sink mixer tap, water in the dinghy fuel tank, camera, cockpit table hinges [ BOTH SIDES ] dodger zip, Henderson Mark 5 shower pump, cockpit light, mysterious load that draws about 7 amps from the batteries every hour and my PWR+ computer power supply have all kept me busy with the repair work or adding to the TO BUY list.

But this weekend my mouse died. Now there is about as much chance of finding a USB mouse in Bequia over the Easter weekend as finding a hippopotamus.

AND I HATE WORKING WITH A TOUCHPAD.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BACK IN BEAUTIFUL BEQUIA

Gisela got a great shot of a kite surfer having one more run before night falls.



We had a pleasant peaceful and uneventful sail up to Bequia.



I had planned to go on Monday but when Windguru showed that we would have a better angle from the Trades on Tuesday we dropped down to Saline bay off Mayreau which Gisela approved of, saying it was a delightful spot to spend the night.

The walk up the hill to little supermarket was a good cardio workout for both of us.

The hard working beachfront service providers were ready to spring into action everytime a boat came in.


About as hard working as Dizzy and I as we fight for the top step and wait for dinner.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

CHATAM BAY THE MALTESE FALCON and on to THE TOBAGO CAYS

Having watched this hard working fisherman all morning we had a very late lunch and set off round the corner to Chatam Bay on the west coast of Union Island.


I was excited to see the giant 3 masted square rigger the Maltese Falcon. All 289 feet and 1240 tons of her. She was under full sail and must have been doing around 20 knots. I had seen her before but either in port getting her complicated rig worked on or on passage under motor. But here she was under sail.




As she started to furl her sails it looked likely that she was heading for Chatam Bay too.



As we enjoyed our sundowner she dropped the hook in the outer part of the bay and gave Gisela a splendid photo opportunity.



Dizzy was not impressed by the giant boat but was on the bimini and alert for any head jumping opportunity that presented itself but soon retired to his usual little old man pose while waiting for dinner.



After a lazy day in Chatam we motored round to the Cays

The beaches were as white as usual.

The water crystal clear.

With only 25 boats left as the sunset, reasonably uncrowded. I have seen 200+ at Christmas week.





Where we had a snorkel before enjoying our sundowner with some JD instant pizza snacks.