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Barb
Back in St. Thomas again, recovering from the crossing and preparing for sailing to the Western Caribbean.
We lived aboard a Cheoy Lee Sailboat year-round in Maine for 8 years. In October, 2010 we set sail for the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Interests: travel, dogs, sailing, Maine, writing, sailboat maintenance, living on a sailboat, Bahamas, Caribbean, Cartagena, Grenada, Azores, Guatemala, San Blas, photography, food, more of the Azores.
Recent Activity
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As you may imagine, this was not fun. We’ve always enjoyed that line, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” This is also true about captains who are miserable with real pain, discomfort, swelling, and itching. EW wasn’t happy, we had other issues (remember 17 things) and it was not a fun crossing. (To be fair, remember that I had an infected tooth and was battling galley issues. We were not examples of favorite crew, and this was not a happy boat.) Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Harts At Sea
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This month, EW and I have taken the time to set aside some of the Urgent and Important items to work on those that are Important. I’m still working on getting the laptop up and running, and I still had to submit our taxes to the IRS, but it was time to take a break from the corner office; similarly, EW is somewhat patiently waiting for the new jib, and will have to go up the mast soon to attach the new mid-stay, and his Urgent and Important things are still calling, “Me! Me! Me!”– but this past weekend, we started moving away from Urgent and Important, to the Important. And we found that working on Important is much more empowering. Even if it’s drudgery, such as cleaning the oven. (Cleaning the oven is only urgent if it lights on fire due to the mess. That hasn't happened to me in a long time.) Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Harts At Sea
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If you choose not to head to the dark or gooky side, let’s discuss heads in a more oblique fashion. When we purchased La Luna 2002 there was a tiny, old holding tank under the chart table. We don’t think anyone had used it. More importantly, the boat wasn’t in compliance with Maine and US laws. EW liked Lectra San electronic marine sanitation devices, and had installed one in our SeaFarer-26 in 1987. Neither of us like holding tanks, and while in 2002 composting heads were presented at the local boat show, neither of us wanted to be the first on our block to try one. They were still a novelty among cruising sailors in Maine. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Harts At Sea
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The Schooner Mystic is a new boat, built in 2007, and is beautifully appointed. The crew we met are all knowledgeable, and number at least two women skippers. The kitchen, not open to the public, is a restaurant style kitchen on a boat, and we were told the food is outstanding. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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It takes an act of some god (or a four-hour parade and two beers) to convince me to use a porta-potti, but I wanted to try this beauty out and was thankful that the bottle of water a while back and provided the necessity to spend 50 euro cents. Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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We talked through the whole thing; we laughed at some things and were disgusted with others. It’s probably unfortunate that we had heard about the inaccuracies before watching the movie because we didn’t give it a chance. We were watching Robert Redford, a great actor in a performance that was highly praised, and I just couldn’t get past the fact that he had never prepared a ditch bag before crossing the Indian Ocean. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Five minutes? Yeah, right. And, the recipe showed wonderful enameled Dutch oven unlike anything I have on board. But it looked interesting, so I copied an saved the recipe for future consideration. A while after that, I remembered another bread recipe, posted on a cruising blog by someone who I know and who actually made the bread. Like my mother and sister, I save recipes, though more and more are saved in a Word document on the laptop than in my three (yes, three!) three ring binders on board. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Now that we are back in St. Thomas and have unlimited Wi-Fi (not necessarily a good thing for productivity) I’ve had the opportunity to notice number of cleaning recipes posted that use Dawn dish detergent as a primary ingredient. In fact, at least among my friends, it’s rare to see a posted cleaning recipe that doesn’t include Dawn. If one simply Googles “Dawn cleaning recipe”, one finds that a whole lot of bloggers post recipes that include Dawn as a major ingredient. No wonder it shows up on Facebook all the time. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Now in the meantime, EW had come up with ways to help the motor work for a bit longer than 20 minutes. And, because he’s sick of dealing with this motor, he has instituted new protocols that we are to uphold forever and ever. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Oh man. Did I ever get in trouble after the parade in Guadeloupe! We opted not to take a backpack because we just didn’t want to carry a lot of stuff. I had a dry bag on a shoulder strap, with the camera, hand cleanser, sun screen, and bug spray – and the dinghy key. You know about dinghy keys, right? It’s that little plastic u-shaped thing that allows you to start your engine, and (if you attach it to your person while driving) will pull out and turn the engine off if you fall over-board. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Let’s travel back in time. Now that I have the new laptop up and running and can once again edit and upload photos, you deserve a bit about Carnival in Guadeloupe. We had been told that the parade in Pointe-a-Pitre would be one of the longest in the Caribbean with over 70 different groups marching. Some boaters opted to anchor near the city, but we like Islet du Gosier and didn’t want to move, so early that week EW and I visited the office of tourism there. Unlike the larger tourism office in Pointe-a-Pitre, the one is Gosier was welcoming,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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The laptop is (mostly) fully loaded and ready to go. In preparation for starting to post regularly (again), this morning I read Facebook for a while, read part of a novel, commented on Facebook some more, downloaded photos from camera to laptop (finally), and went on-line to read my blog from the beginning of the Endurance Crossing to now. There was a pause in the middle of all of that while I helped EW with the manual bilge pump. As my last act before beginning to write, I finally read all the comments made on the blog while we were... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at Harts At Sea
At the time, we were living on the boat in a slip with Time Warner cable wired in, so I had excellent Internet access. I would write a post and post it. I would write a post on-line, send up photos one by one, and post it. Those were the days. Once we started cruising in 2010, I learned that all Internet access isn’t equal and that it’s difficult to get on-line when one wants to. Connectivity was a challenge as we sailed down the eastern seaboard. I rarely had Wi-Fi on the boat, but usually found bars, laundry mats, and other places where I could gain access to the Internet. Still, writing posts on-line in real time was no longer feasible. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Me: Honey, do we have more of that white paint for the inside? Where is it? (This is a fair question. Just like our former land homes, EW has parts and boat stuff stored (hidden) in various nooks and crannies. Now that I’ve experienced living aboard at sea, on remote islands, and where familiar parts aren’t available, I’m good with that. Extra parts are a good thing.) EW: Except for what’s left in that one quart can, we don’t have any more. Me: Really? I thought we had more. EW: We did have more. We had at least four or five cans. You made me give them away. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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EW and I look back, and we’ll definitely visit foreign shores and islands again. But America is home, and we are proud to be American. However, just as I have done things of which I am not proud, I am not proud to be associated with every individual American all the time. (Don't get me started about the typical "ugly American" travelers I've seen during our travels. That's another topic.) Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Ilet Du Gosier This post brought to you by procrastination and the continuing lack of a laptop. We are currently in St Thomas enjoying time with The Cousins and cruising friends, and having a US cell phone. Life is good. It was also good when we were anchored in Ilet Du Gosier. The other morning I sat on deck with my notebook. You remember those ancient tools for writing: pen, ink, and paper? Yep. I'm back to that as I attempted to record the magic that is the anchorage of Islet Du Gosier. It was just after 0800 on a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Harts At Sea
> > There haven't been a lot of American boats here at Ilet Du Gosier so we hang out with the Canadians. French Canadians and French sailors flock to Guadeloupe just as American, British, and the rest of the Canadians prefer Antigua, and the Virgins. I won't say that we haven't have language challenges getting work done here, but EW and I have spent most of the last six months in non-English speaking countries and we are developing patience and a deep appreciation for those who are multi-lingual. > > We try to add to our vocabulary every day and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Most who know me would agree that I'm a pretty upbeat person. Good thing most of you didn't see me during the first two weeks in Guadeloupe. Things were much better after Lynn and Ken joined us and led a number of adventures and somehow opened the floodgates for sailors from America, Canada, and Great Britain. Still, EW and I found ourselves uncharacteristically melancholy, and I discovered one day that instead of my normal enthusiasm, I felt a bit like Charlie Brown's friend PigPen, who walked around followed by a cloud. Things improved when we motored three miles to Ilet... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Harts At Sea
After four weeks in Point a Pitre we finally moved the boat to Ilet Du Gosier---just three miles south and a world away from the hustle, speedboats, cruise ships, and tankers. The grocery shopping is nearly as good here, and even better in some cases. There is a tiny little hardware store that exchanges the camping gas bottles; the friendliest, most competent English speaking tourist office person; and multiple places to purchase baguettes and pain du chocolate. All that and more, including beaches and an amazing "floating"salt water swimming pool are on the "mainland". Can islands have a mainland? But... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Inquiring minds want to know. Hell, I want to know. We are mostly absent on Facebook, correspond rarely on email, and you have every reason to believe I've forgotten the blog. We find it hard to believe that we've been in Guadeloupe for six weeks. The first four weeks were definitely not a case of time flying when you are having fun. We were not having fun. I have a list of 17 significant things that went wrong or broke on the crossing. EW and I have recovered but some things are still not fixed and others have joined the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Most particularly when things are challenging, EW and I evidently have to have friends who speak our language. We were getting testy during our first three weeks here---and a little bit manic. While reading my blog when they were in St. Lucia, Lynn from Silverheels III realized that we were isolated. Bless her. That same day, I was delighted to return to the anchorage to see an American flag fluttering from the back of a sweet cruising boat. I sped to their transom to see that they were from Maine! No kidding. We were thrilled to meet Elaine and Dutch,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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We who cruise internationally make light of French sailors and their proclivity of anchoring very close to other boats. If there is a large anchorage with a few boats and lots of prime open space, odds are that the French sailor will anchor well within another boat’s safe zone. An international group of sailors who befriended us in the Canaries mentioned that all through the Med, Turkey, and Croatia, they prepared to defend their small circle of territory when ever any French boat entered the harbor. This is even acknowledged when self-aware French sailors discuss anchoring. In a recent conversation, one Canadian cruiser said that she had to repress a laugh when a friend from France complained about someone anchoring too close to her boat. The French woman caught the Canadian’s eye and had the grace to laugh first. The implication is that if a French sailor thinks you are too close –—you are most certainly to darn close! Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2015 at Harts At Sea
If The Pink Panther is my reference for the French language, you know I’ve got problems. EW and I are isolated here in Pointe a Pitre. Granted, the first week and a half we weren’t fit for company, but now that we’re feeling more social, we haven’t found any English speaking cruisers. In fact, it was much easier to find American and cruisers from other English-speaking countries while we were in the Canaries than it is to find them here. We have always liked Guadeloupe, but have visited more obvious cruising ports of Deshaies and Isles de Saintes where we... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Harts At Sea
It’s been an exciting week in Pointe a Pitre, where all the women are strong and the men are good-looking, and the anchorages are above average. La Luna is still happily at anchor just outside the marina at Bas du Fort. The anchorage is a bit bumpy because the power boaters are without clue regarding waves and wake, but it’s close to the dock and we’ll stay here until the refrigeration is repaired, and then we’ll move to a quieter spot across the bay. In the meantime, EW has seen a doctor because the bug bites continue to poison him... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Harts At Sea
EW just informed me that we arrived a week ago today. How time flies when .. Well, fun wasn't on the agenda this week, though, yes we have enjoyed a bit of French food and wine. Just a bit. We opted for Guadeloupe because I want to spend time at anchor in some of my favorite places. We chose to first visit Pointe a Pitre because we have issues to take care of. This week, some of the more difficult bits were crossed off the list, necessitating roaming the city and it's surrounding area on foot, in a bus, in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at Harts At Sea