Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finally left Antigua

Well, it was hard to do, but we finally picked up the anchor in English and headed south. Destination, DeShaies, Guadaloupe. Had a pretty good sail over and our thought was that the new main did make a difference. Dropped anchor in DeShaies and who dinghies over but Phil on Beothuk! He's crew on a boat heading to Bermuda. All I can say is, that should be interesting!

It's Friday, we missed the two hour opening of Immigration by two hours, so here we are till Monday.
I've wanted to do this river hike forever, so we set off Sunday morning on a new hike with our walking sticks. Oh, did I mention that it's been raining a lot? Don't hike in a river, with boulders in the rain or after a rainstorm. Slipped on a boulder, into the river - so getting wet isn't a problem, but watching my finger go a few different ways was not a good thing. I guess there is a good thing about Dennis carrying a hankie (thank goodness it was clean!), since we wrapped my hand up. Then we had another hour to hike to get to the road and had to climb a steep incline. Did I mention, I think we're still having fun! Once we hit the road, a car stopped to ask directions. Yeah, right - I'm still speaking in Spanish and forgetting all my French. They ended up turning back and driving us back to town so that we could maybe find a clinic or something. Okay, Sunday and a French island - nothing open. Nearest hospital is 50 miles away. Suggestions from the town people were the local police. Well, it's a French island on Sunday. No hospital, clinic closed, doctor closed, pharmacy closed, and the local police station is closed. Once again, I deal with this. Back to the boat, iced the finger and wrapped it up while Dennis went around the anchorage looking for anyone with medical knowledge. A British boat, Cheetah, had company aboard and there was a nurse. I was kind of stressed, so I forget her name, but she was wonderful. Told me I was doing all the right things and to take care. Do you know how often you can hit a broken pinkie finger???? LOTS!!!! (5 weeks later, turns out it's dislocated and broken in 4 places!)
We headed off to the Pigeon Isand anchorage and did some hiking and snorkelling. We still say, we've been so spoiled by the Tobago Cays, the Roques, Aves and Bonaire, so this snorkelling is nice .... it's okay.
Then had a great sail down to Pain de Sucre in the Saintes. There was another boat racing for the anchorage while we lowered the sail -- could it be -- yes, it's John and Angela on Galadriel. Thought we anchored quite far away, but when the wind changed, we should have moved, but they were okay with us since they were leaving soon. Had a wonderful visit with them - where did that happy hour time go? Samji pulled in overnight and headed out the next day. We followed them a day later, on to Dominica and then Martinique. ~~~_/)~~~

Classic Sail Week

Well, anchored back in English Harbour in our little spot out by the reef. We always think we're close enough to the reef that no one else will anchor near us - and we're always wrong. But, we had the best view of all the races out of Falmouth Harbour, passing by English.

Our new main sail finally arrived, and George was there to help us out. Thought about leaving to start heading south, but the Classic Week was two days away - so here we stayed. So glad we did since we got some great photos and saw some amazing boats! With our anchorage in English, we saw the boat parade on Sunday and got some great photos.

Some of the big ones!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sad and Challenging Times

Company gone, time to get down to boat chores. Last visit to Epicurean to stock up, one last bus trip into St. John's for fruit and veg, then motor over to Hermitage Bay at Five Islands. It was calm, so decided to take the butterfly hatch apart, strip and sand everything (hasn't been done since we bought the boat), ready to teak seal. The new main should arrive in 2-3 weeks, so we'll just hang out at the various anchorages and get all the chores done we've been putting off.

Up early Monday and started work just after 8 a.m., scraping and sanding. Finished up just after 3, and after a swim and a really late lunch/early dinner, decided it was time to check the email. The first email to come up was from our good friends Larry and Melody - Mom Coon had died in her sleep at 90+. Shocking and unexpected. Booked our flights back to Florida and took the boat into Jolly Harbour Marina for the 2 week stay. We'd planned on being off at remote anchorages for a bit, so we were fully stocked. Gave all our perishables away, plugged in and left our fridge and freezer running. Had a good flight back to Miami where we rented a car for the 7 hour drive to Homosassa. Well, Allayne was driving, so it was 5 1/2 instead of 7 hours.

All I'm going to say is it was not a good time back in Florida - thank God for Larry and Melody! Did spend time with Dean and Gina, Jen, Scott and little Alia. Then Kelly and Charlie arrived with our darling grandkids, Parker and Brooklyn - and those were all good things!! It was really good for Dennis and Kelly to spend all that time together with their Grandma Coon stories. Larry and Melody drove us back to Tampa to pick up the rental car to go to Miami, and we loved that goody bag!!!! Chocolate bars, licorice, gum drops, gum - you name it!!! Then we picked up our own goody bag of stuff in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, hitting all the marina stores before we headed back. If you ever need a place to stay near Miami Airport, The Embassy Suites is definitely the place. A five star hotel for a three star price!!!

Felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz - please let me click my heels and go back to Audrey Paige! Great flights back to Antigua and all we wanted was to collapse and have a cold beer. Put the bags on the boat and I went below to turn the fans on because it was so hot. Hmmmm ... something not good here, the fans are turning really, really slow. Look over at the power outlet indicator - OMG - no power. Someone who had been next to us, obviously shortly after we left, had turned our power off when they turned theirs off. Everything in our fridge and freezer was gone and, oh yeah, the smell was lovely. The marina did make good on all of our 3 garbage bags of ruined food and the extra day in the marina since our batteries were almost dead. Yeah, that's what you want to do to 3 year old batteries, run them till they're almost gone!

Off we go to English Harbour, waiting for our new main sail to arrive! ~~~/_)~~~