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Barb
Somewhere in the Caribbean aboard s/v La Luna Actually, we are currently in St. Thomas -- until May 2014.
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, Buenos Aries, photography, food
Recent Activity
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We had heard there was a “parade” at noon, so I told EW we had IMG_7769to get up there by 11:50. Of course the parade was late, but the officials were done with their speeches and on to beer, champagne, and little bites of food. Waiters went around offering all of the above to all present – including those of us not in suits, dresses, or heels. For. The. Win. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Harts At Sea
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Gill had swum by the boat on Sunday and invited us for “nibbles” at six on Monday. Now that we had our social life taken care of, we had to get to town and check into Spain/the Canaries. This island is a natural park and there are only two settlements, and only one town. The other settlement just has homes and no services. IMG_7545Most of the differences between the Azores and the Canaries are easily apparent: the Azores are lush with green leaves, cactus, gardens, hydrangeas, and stone walls, while the Canaries are largely shades of blue and brown in sea, sky, and sand; the streets and sidewalks of even the smallest island in the Azores are paved with lava stones, and the trails are well-marked; on this island in the Canaries, one walks or drives on deep fine sand or packed sand; and of course, the Azores are Portuguese and the Canaries are Spanish. There are more differences, including one that eluded us for the first 90 hours of our visit. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Harts At Sea
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The obvious movie quote as we approached Graciosa in the Canary Islands was, “I don’t think we’re in the Azores, Toto.” In eight days and just a bit over eight hundred miles we had gone from the arid but lush AzoresIMG_7401 to a desert on the sea. We were heading for the anchorage on the southeast end of the island, which is nestled close to the larger (and evidently very slightly more urban) island of Lanzarote. As we rounded the end of Graciosa, we were greeted by a heart on shore. All together now, “Awwwww.” Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Graciosa in the Canaries is nothing like Graciosa in the Azores, although it is equally as beautiful in its own way. The eight hundred miles we sailed to the south has taken us to a brown island nestled between a bright blue sky and a darker blue sea. The bay is a stopping off point for boats preparing to cross the Atlantic. Here the boat can sit safely on anchor while the crew hikes the bare hills, swims,treks into the small town, and visits with other sailors. We are delighted with Graciosa. EW talks often about a time in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Good morning, everyone! After just eight days, we have arrived in the Canary Islands, under power, on a beautiful though windless day. When she has 8-10 knots of wind, La Luna is faster under sail than she is powering with no wind. As navigator, I kept an eye on our course, speed, and projected time of arrival. Just 800 miles south of the Azores, the sun sets much earlier here in the Canaries. During my morning watch I pushed the throttle up on the engine and learned firsthand what EW had told me years ago: A boat will only go... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Harts At Sea
We are less than 100 miles from the island of Graciosa. I have the midnight to six watch and motored for a half hour, now we are sailing in 4 knots of wind. Sailing very slowly. There are no seas, and the sails aren't flapping -- much. EW is sleeping, and I'm glad he seems to have dropped back into slumber after I woke him up with,"I need need an extra pair of eyes." At the change of shift, we had been watching a target eight miles to starboard, and he assumed that was why I woke him. No, I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Good morning from 150 miles northwest of Graciosa in the Canary Islands. This stream of consciousness post is brought to you by 5 hours of deep slumber and at least two very interesting dreams. I've been up for only eleven minutes now but, as dreams will do, they are already getting a bit muddy. When EW woke me for my watch, my dream featured Portland, Maine (though it didn't look like Portland), a lion wandering around town, a festival, a yoga class, and me giving a real tourist an impromptu lesson in Maine Lingo. In my dream I was I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Harts At Sea
We have too much stuff on the boat, despite what I had thought was a massive purging back in St. Thomas. One of the things we liked about La Luna is that she has room for lots of books. Even though we both now mostly read on a Kindle (me) or iPad (EW), all of the book shelves are full. I've taken to going through those on my side of the bed, reading some before putting them in the book swap bag, and putting others into the bad directly. Of course, some will be kept as I just can't part... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Harts At Sea
In this vast, huge Atlantic Ocean, we met a turtle last night. We correctly passed each other port to port, and much more closely than I would have allowed any tanker. I was delighted to see her (I'm going with her. She was smallish. Could be a young one of either gender, but I'm going with her.)and wished her safe passage. If she's going to the Caribbean, perhaps we'll swim together one day. We haven't experienced the turtle hatching expedition in Grenada, but we did visit the turtle sanctuary in Bequia, and we did swim with turtles most of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at Harts At Sea
It is 0135 on Monday, October 6. As I write this, you folks back home in the Eastern US are watching the last half hour of your ten o'clock show. We are sailing to the Canaries and I'm on watch on an incredibly beautiful night. The moon is nearly full, the major stars are so bright that I made EW get out of bed (he'd just gotten in - I didn't wake him up) and come identify what I was looking at: one satellite and some big honking stars. The wind died just before my afternoon watch began. We had... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2014 at Harts At Sea
I used to think that being "On Watch" meant staying on deck gazing out at the sea, perhaps with binoculars, for hours at a time. That lasted about 10 minutes, so on the way south from Maine, I sat on deck for my entire watch, quartering the sea, looking for boats, going down below every 30 minutes to write in the log, use the head (quickly), and grabbing a snack. All other activities were reserved for off watch times. Miles more experience, an AIS receiver,and the need for sleep have all resulted in watches that include cooking a pizza, making... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at Harts At Sea
I am writing this at 0435 on October 4th. We have been at sea for 40 hours and should be 160-200 miles from Santa Maria. All weather predictions showed east winds at 15 knots or so, since we are traveling southeast to the Canaries, east would have been just fine. fu We have seen mostly southeast winds. We have tacked to the northeast twice (and are on that second tack back now) and are only 76 miles from Santa Maria. I'm bitching. It's a beautiful night, the seas are much calmer than they were last night. We have a moon... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Back in Maine there used to be a racing boat with the name, "Shoot Low Harry, They're Riding Chickens". The graphics were appropriately interesting. That's a fine name for a racing boat, particularly one that is too small to take out of Casco Bay, and which will never go through the Inland Waterway or locks or cross any oceans. These are the kind of things I think of when we are at sea, and we are at sea again, having left Santa Maria in the Azores at 1300 on October 2. The first couple of days at sea (now that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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For our second unplanned Edouard lay day in Sao Miguel, we decided to visit Sete Cidades, described in our tour book as “a crater with a 12km parameter where one can find twin lakes, the Green Lake and the Blue Lake.” There is a legend about the lakes (of course) and the love of a princess and shepherd boy. When she told the shepherd that her father had forbid the romance, they cried so much that their tears formed two beautiful lakes, one green, for the Princess's eyes were green, and the other blue, for the shepherd's eyes were blue. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Here are some multiple choice questions for you sailors and cruisers out there. 1. If you need to repair the dinghy, using various forms of toxic substances and goop would you.. A. Wear quality shorts – the kind that have zip off legs and become pants? B. Change into work shorts that have been stained and torn? 2. If you opted for B and gotten white 5200 Fast Cure on both legs of the shorts, would you? A. Ball them up and place them in the sun in the cockpit in a manner that does not allow the 5200 from adhering to the wood? B. Tell the half of the crew that is adept at removing stains so that she may work on them? Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Throughout the Azorean summer, we didn’t swim at all. Not once. First, I didn’t have my suit with me on the drive in Sao Jorge. Then, it rained. Or EW didn’t feel like swimming and I didn’t want to go alone. Or something. When we left Pico without trying out one of their natural pools I told EW that we were going to swim at Ilheu de Vila Franca, no ifs, ands, or buts! I took the above photo from land on our car trip with Jose, who reinforced my desire to swim there. This aerial photo below is from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Ultimately, we encountered cows, because there is one cow for every human living in Sao Miguel – and Sao Miguel is the most populated island in the Azores. The pastures butted up against a block of buildings that faced the sea. Note the cross walk. I asked the gentleman in the window at the left whether this was a guest house or tourist center. No, it was merely a group of three or four homes, surrounded by pasture on three sides, yet they rated a cross walk to the sea. I love the Azores. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Lynn Kaak – cruising sailor, hasher, hiker, runner, all around fun person, and author of The Voyages of S/V Silverheels III – nominated me for the Liebster Award. I had to look it up. It’s an honor, so thank you, Lynn. Really. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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While we were wandering side streets looking for the immigration office, I saw a guard sitting inside a small doorway at City Hall. (That’s City Hall, above.) The guard’s post was the entrance to the bell tower and one can climb to the top at no charge. How cool is that? Even better, they play organ music with speakers at every level. Creepy. Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Instead of dancing to 60’s music on Saturday, EW and I toured an amazing garden, the Jardim Antonio Borges. I can’t find much about the history of this garden; everything briefly states that there are numerous “rare vegetal species” but no article discusses the stone work, caves, or tunnels. We were enthralled. Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Note that the cows are grazing in distant pastures. If the “cows” are beef cattle, steers, or too young to milk, then it’s not an issue. From our first glimpse of the pastures in the Azores I marveled at how they milked the cows on these tiny islands. Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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Last week I discovered a book on my Kindle – “When You Catch an Adjective, Kill it” by Ben Yagoda. I’d tell you how much I love it but I’d have to use a adjectives. To give you an idea, know that I read passages of this book to EW – and that he enjoyed it. (Seriously, I can think of maybe four people who would welcome someone reading from a book about grammar.) Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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We have been delighted to visit islands that aren’t visited by cruise ships. In fact the folks who vacation here are not like most of the tourists we met in the Caribbean.When discussing the islands with a local gentleman on Terceira I remarked on how friendly everyone is, including the tourists. He said that the tourists were friendly because they were different from the normal resort or cruise ship tourist. He’s right. Remember, there are three kind of tourists in the Azores (See this recent post for a refresher) and in the first two months, we hadn’t met an American who didn’t have Portuguese heritage or who wasn’t on a boat. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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There is wind here, and sometimes it’s from the direction they’ve predicted and we’ve planned for; sometimes it’s not and we get skunked. We got skunked when we left Horta with the intention of sailing to Flores, and ended up in Sao Jorge, instead. The trip from Velas, Sao Jorge to Angra, Terceira took many hours longer than it should have and required us (well EW) to motor back and forth outside of the bay, waiting for daylight. I discussed this with Felipe, Harbor Master at Angra who suggested a local source for weather. He told me that Passage Weather and other such sites aren’t as useful here because, “We are just a tiny speck in the ocean, and they look at the whole ocean.” Using “tiny speck” weather sources, we left Angra for Graciosa on August 22nd and again ended up motoring much of the way with light winds and swells from the south. Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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In Horta, we discovered that the bus has only a couple of short routes from the city center to the Hospital and other important points fairly close to town. However, the signs at each bus stop are ingenious. On one side, you’ll find the route and schedule; turn the sign on the post and you’ll find a charming description of a nearby feature, building, or historic site. Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Harts At Sea