Sunday, January 25, 2009

Merry Xmas, Happy New Year - just a little late

Okay, so the last blog was all our boat woes. Yes, still having them, but, whatever! But ... we had a great holiday season. With our new Engel freezer, we were able to buy a small turkey breast at the grocery store, and after a long beach walk and a couple of drinks, we were back on the boat getting together a full Xmas dinner. It was so wonderful. Here is Dennis enjoying his dinner!

Decided we'd spent enough time and money at Jolly Harbour, so headed back to English Harbour between Xmas and the New Year. Met up with Samji and had a fun happy hour. Then, the fireworks from Fort Berkely on New Year's Eve were right off our stern and were spectacular. Of course, we were awoken by the fireworks because there's no way we would make it till midnight!!

Picked up anchor and have spent the past week anchored off the reef by Green Island. Wow, hard to explain, just beautiful. Wind for the wind generator all the time, but lots of swimming, snorkelling and hiking. Bob and Margo, with Paul and Bonnie, their company, pulled in Friday. Margo called on the radio on Saturday wanting to place bets on when we'd see the first boat in the 'Round the Island Race'. Amazingly, I won, with a time of 11:15 a.m. The prize was happy hour drinks, so we had a good time on Ivory Star.

Had a pretty decent downwind sail back to English Harbour today, but not a single bite on a fishing lure. Dennis was pretty disappointed.

Can you believe it, some more boat repairs, so here in English Harbour for another few days till we head to Jolly Harbour for some much needed groceries!! Then, just hanging our, waiting for our friends to arrive!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still in Antigua

Realized it's been about a month since I posted last, so I should do something about that! After a sleepless night in a very rolly anchorage at Five Islands Harbour, we were up early and heading to the north coast of Antigua and through the reef at Boon's Channel. Lots of reefs and eyeball navigation all the way. Doyle's guidebook talked about the beautiful anchorage at Long Island off the resort - well, the resort is under a major reconstruction, so not only is the view not great, but it was another rolly anchorage. Stayed all of five minutes, lifted anchor and went over to Davis Bay. Nice, but very busy with ferry traffic. Took the dinghy around Long Island and the only place to put in is at the resort, since everywhere else is a reef, and it was nicer swimming off the boat than off the beach. Maiden Island isn't open to exploring any longer since it's all been bought up and there's 'No Trespassing' signs over the whole island. So ... as we can do, picked up the anchor and headed to Bird Island and the outer islands for exploring, snorkelling, swimming and, most importantly, solitude. Heavenly! But, all good things must come to an end (or, in our world, the wine has run out), so off we go back to Jolly Beach.

It's been a very challenging cruising year so far with all kinds of 'little' things going wrong, that add up to money being spent. Had to buy a new macerator and a rebuilding kit for it (if you don't know what it's for, you don't want to know). Started off with the rebuilding kit, and when that didn't work, ended up putting the new macerator in. I'm tired of cleaning down below with bleach and water, burning candles, etc. to get rid of the 'eau de shit' odor! But, Dennis is the one dealing with the 'eau de shit'. Finally admitted defeat on the water pump, that we just installed in October, brand new. It wouldn't shut off and then started spewing water out the side. Okay, this is the fifth water pump in as many years. Only two have worked for any length of time. One worked for 3 weeks, this last one for 3 months. Frustrating!!!! The new solar panel wasn't working, but when the two of us worked on it, I discovered that the deck fitting wasn't working properly, so that was an easy fix. Then, woke up one morning, only down 20 amps. I'm thinking, 'way cool' - Dennis is thinking, 'what now?' There goes the fridge! Turns out it was the thermostat, only a $200 fix. This can stop any time now!!!

Have caught up with cruisers we've met before -- John and Marie on Metalia and Phil and Mel on Samji are here and we've had fun spending some time with them -- and meeting new people as well. Myrl and Glen on Kokopelli we met back in Martinique, and Margo and Bob on Ivory Star we met hiking, and they're anchored in front of us. Bob paid for drinks because we 'babysat' Margo by having her go hiking with us while he worked on stainless on the boat. Wow, how does that work?

Back in English Harbour now for three weeks, but ready to leave, weather permitting. Still doing lots of hiking, but the waves have been so bad that we have not been snorkelling. We have company coming down in February and March -- Rick and Elaine first, and then John and Brigitte -- and we're so excited to see all of them.

Hopefully off Monday, the 19th to Green Island to finally explore the eastern side of Antigua. Renewing our Immigration status for another two months was a challenge and different, but we lived and we're here till the beginning of March.

So, until next time, cheers! ~~_/)~~