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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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Some people, as I do, forget a word, but remember the first letter and make up the rest. (Some of you do this, right? Please tell me I’m not alone in this.) This is not age, as it’s been a “challenge” for a long time, and probably is a result of doing too many things at once, having a conversation and thinking of something else, or of making intuitive leaps and landing on the wrong lily pad. In any case, confusion can result. EW was made aware of this very early in our relationship when he asked me to pick... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Harts At Sea
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How to describe Open Mic Night at Tickles? On Wednesday nights the Tim West Band (Tim West lead vocal and guitar, Tommy “Bronx” on drums, and whoever joins in on bass, lead guitar, harmonica, or whatever.) Tim and Tommy have day jobs and numerous gigs around the island. On Wednesdays, they run the Open Mic Night with skill, humor, and an eye on the clock. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Harts At Sea
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It’s been a busy week in St. Thomas. Most importantly, we were excited to have boat guests on Tuesday when cruising friends Steve and Lynn stayed with us on their way to the BVI. They are crewing on a boat heading up to Annapolis in the Salty Dawg Rally. Those who know Steve and Lynn know that they are outstanding sailors who have sold their boat and are renovating a home. But they’ve not given up the sailing life and we hope to entice them aboard for a longer visit. In the meantime, they flew in to St. Thomas late... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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The next memorable Mother’s Day occurred less than two years after we married. We purchased a home one year and a 26-foot sailboat the following autumn. When Mother’s Day rolled around, we were working on a list of boat projects, but EW had joined the local volunteer fire department which had scheduled a training on Mother’s Day weekend. (You can bet I was all fired up about that.) Still, my folks drove down to Yarmouth where the three of us shared a picnic lunch. Daddy painted the boot stripe on the boat, and Mom played with our pup, Coffee. They didn’t get to see EW that day, but still sang his praises. (“Yeah, yeah. I’m proud he’s a firefighter, Mom.”) Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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As we’ve been stuck um blessed to be in St. Thomas until the new sail arrives, both EW and I have become addicted to Facebook. We pay a monthly fee for Wifi, and we are making sure we get our money’s worth. Once I learned to differentiate between ads, ads re-sent by friends and family, and actual messages by friends and family I discovered that I can learn a lot from Facebook. Some of the things I’ve learned have worked for me (us). Others have not. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Until I undertook this bit of research, I had no idea that the brown seaweed making entry and exit to Crown Bay so difficult is the exact same stuff I would have been delighted to see had we sailed through the Sargasso Sea. Look at that. We did sail through the Sargasso Sea, or should have. Neither EW nor I saw the sea last year. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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First, I made a huge batch of popcorn, salting some with our new maple/spice salt from the Canary Islands. What that does for popcorn is sinful. The baby loved it; he leaned up against his mom, facing EW, and scooping up popcorn with both hands. He also loved his pizza. He’s a great boat guest and a very good eater. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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So, even though I realized that time was moving more quickly than I anticipated, I didn’t get the logbook out until today, when I discovered that it’s Friday, April 24th! We are nearing the end of April, and while it’s apparently still snowing in the northeast (sorry, people) down here we are staring summer and hurricane season directly in the eye. It will soon be time to move on, and what will we have to show for it? Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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Chart tables are beautiful things. Ours is teak with a heavy lid and amazing hinges. Of course our chart table was created for La Luna when she was built 30 years ago. Before we bought her in 2002, various accoutrements had been installed that made it difficult to raise the lid past coiled microphone cords. In addition – well, charts...When we sailed in Maine, and all the way down the coast, through the Bahamas and to the Caribbean we used both electronic navigation and charts. The chart in use is usually on deck in a plastic cover, not on the chart table. The laptop, running navigation software, is on the chart table. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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The act of … I don’t know, cleaning spring? I’ve never understood “spring cleaning”, though my parents certainly did. My dad used to clean the barn and attics twice a year, meticulously moving every box in both attics, from one side to the other, sweeping and discarding six months of dust, debris, the occasional animal droppings, and any items finally deemed to be unworthy or unneeded. Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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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 Apr 17, 2015 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 Apr 15, 2015 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 Apr 13, 2015 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