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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
I was meandering toward Keith when he gave me the “come here” motion and I meandered faster to see what he wanted to show me. It turned out that they had startled a largish nurse shark on the other side of the coral, and it had headed around to my direction so Keith wanted me to move out of the path of the shark.. No problem. When I meandered faster, I “chugged”, and the shark turned tail... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Harts At Sea
It’s been so long since I’ve posted regularly that I think we need a date line. I know I do. June 22. We arrived in Guna Yala, and spent 10 days with Keith and Jaime on Kookabura. (You can read about our trip to Panama in the September edition of All at Sea, Caribbean and read about our week with Jaime and Keith in the October edition. My articles show up on line around the 20th of each month.) Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Still, for weeks, one or the other of us would plan a “quick trip” to Colon. One in which we’d scoot in to pick up something that had been ordered or repaired, with the intention of getting on—if not the next bus back, the one after that. It never happens. And—since the buses to “Laguaria”—the end of the line don’t run during the afternoon, if one misses the last mid-day bus, one waits until 3:30 to begin the trek Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We do not want to be VDPs; we certainly aren’t newbies, but we sure have been needy lately. We needed lots of help with the electrical issues (blog post to follow), we have needed help using Digicel, fighting Digicel, and getting on-line. And now… hopefully the final installment of “Problem of the Week”: EW has shingles. Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We were on the dock for nearly three weeks. (There are at least two stories there.) We moved to the anchorage and EW continued to work on the alternators. We thought all was good and left for the San Blas yesterday, for a Three Hour Cruise. Unlike the S S Minnow, we safely returned to the harbor after realizing that the charging alternator ...the big one...was not charging the batteries. Thanks to Issac in Colon, and Adam of Linton Marina who translated for us, they isolated the problem to the brown wire going between the starting panel and the voltage... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Harts At Sea
So this is what we woke up to. It comes as no surprise as this is exactly how it looked when we went to bed. Today we have to figure out how to plumb the new water pump in its new location. A frequent phrase in La Luna is, "You can't push a rope." Evidently the same cannot be said for water. For 13 years the fresh water pump on La Luna has remained in the place the former owner had installed it. The pumps have burned out more often than they should and the new pump specifies that it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We are in a slip at Linton Marina---or what will be Linton Marina someday. Right now they have three piers with slips, a trailer office, and lots of construction. Crews work here 6 days a week and are currently constructing a travel lift and a launch ramp, as well as getting power to one of the docks. This weekend they will host a fishing tournament and evidently those boats need power. The sailboats on the other two docks rely on wind, solar, and generators. Power boaters are weenies. Non weenies were the focus of our first full day on the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at Harts At Sea
What we are – are cruisers. The longer we cruise, the more people we meet, and the more places we visit, the better I understand what makes a successful cruising couple. * Some of those qualities are: The desire—if not to be different—then certainly not to be bored. Those who cruise want to do something relatively few have done or are doing. While there may be more cruisers sailing the seven seas than ever before, this is still a lifestyle not for the average sailing couple. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Finally! A sunny day. This morning started cloudy and we ran the generator again. Now the breeze and sun are keeping the batteries up. We are in siesta mode. EW is napping and I'm waiting until 2 before taking a paddle on my borrowed SUP. Not complaining but the sun us hot; I will wear long sleeves and apply zinc oxide to my face. This morning I completed all assigned tasks and sent an article off to All at Sea Caribbean AND I did two bucket loads of laundry. I have, of course, washed everything from our wet salty passage,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Good Monday morning from La Luna at anchor off Sabudupored. I will not say "Sabudupored Island" as the "dup" means "island" and that would be redundant. So we are at Sabudupored, which I keep repeating in an attempt to remember it for tomorrow's Panama Cruisers' Net. Continuing to say "Sabu-whatever" is embarrassing. It's been cloudy in Sabudupored, though we got in an excellent snorkel and swim yesterday with our neighbors John and Lela from Yachtsman's Dream. This is a lovely, quiet anchorage in the Green Island Group, where the best WiFi can be found. We will be here at least... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at Harts At Sea
These are not the tall volcanic islands of the Eastern Caribbean (or of the Azores). These islands have more in common with photographs I’ve seen of the Pacific, and are small sand islands with coconut palms. They are surrounded by a whole lot of reefs, so navigating is tricky, but the anchorages are lovely, the swimming and snorkeling is great, and we are sailing every few days. It does not suck. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2015 at Harts At Sea
I understand that those who follow me on Facebook, may have seen Gisele Young or some such automatic spell check when I posted about being in this part of Panama. We are in Guna Yala, the islands close to the shore of southeastern Panama. You may have heard of them as the San Blas, which is what the Spanish named these islands. The Guna Indians are an autonomous nation inside of Panama and have decreed that they want their region and people to be called by the correct name. Confusing the issue for we who cruise, most folks know of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We didn't really have a rough last day at sea. We just hit the wall. And of course we had to hand steer for a while. We missed the weather report on Monday morning, but did manage to hear the San Blas Cruisers' net and did talk with Keith on Kookaburra, telling him we'd arrive around 2:00. They hauled their anchor and came out to meet us, our radio rendezvous and in-real-life sighting occurred at 2:02 or 1402. Jaime asked what took us so long, and said, "We've been waiting here an hour!" I called her the B-word and knew... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Two in one post. First, written on the 21st at 1300 or so: Greetings from 134 miles from the goal. The end is in sight and the waves and seas have finally died down to 8 - 10 feet, and 20-30 knots, respectively. From that you can infer that last night was another night of 99s. We hand steered from 2000 (8:00 PM) until morning. When I forced myself out of the sea bunk around 7:00 I convinced EW to try Casey. Things had calmed enough and he's been operating beautifully, though it took a bit of work and configuring... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Most of these posts have been about the adventure, what is happening (or not happening) and how I feel about it. We are nearing the end of this passage, and I have a bit of time to help you sense what we are experiencing. Sight. On deck we have had stars and a sliver of moon at night. I've seen three falling stars on this trip. On most nights we can see the dark shapes of the nearby waves, and discern the white froth as they break. We wear a headlamp on watch, with the red bulb operating so that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Most of these posts have been about the adventure, what is happening (or not happening) and how I feel about it. We are nearing the end of this passage, and I have a bit of time to help you sense what we are experiencing. Sight. On deck we have had stars and a sliver of moon at night. I've seen three falling stars on this trip. On most nights we can see the dark shapes of the nearby waves, and discern the white froth as they break. We wear a headlamp on watch, with the red bulb operating so that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at Harts At Sea
It occurred to me that the last post may have horrified some folk. We had been doing our "99s" all night, when one sails the boat and the other sets the kitchen timer to the max---99 minutes. I was pretty tired. Allow me to clarify some things: First, one person's "horrendous" conditions is another person's "all systems go". When we were in Sint Maarten getting ready to cross to the Azores last year, we attended a meeting about the crossing and various routes. Mike from S/V Quinn organized the gathering and he had a burly man from Germany discuss the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Harts At Sea
With apologies to Bert (Burt?)B. We kinda screwed up this passage---mainly in the planning and navigation process, which would be my bad. It's embarrassing but I will share the truth at some future point. Keith and Jaime on S/V Kookaburra have been helpful and patient. Waiting for us, their parts, and sending emails in reply to my questions. We are about 500 miles out and actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Note to family, friends, non-sailors and small boat sailors: We have never been in danger. Now then, we have sailed in the largest waves and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Harts At Sea
On one of our last trips the the ACE Hardware Store in St. Thomas, we were gifted with a small rubber duck for making a purchase over $X.00. Both of us were delighted for some reason. The clerk at the checkout counter and the nearby elderly security/greeter laughed at us, as she said, "More of the adults like the duck than the kids do." Of course we don't need a rubber duck; we have no tub and he would easily get lost in the vast ocean, so we keep him on a safe perch down below. EW did allow him... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We are fairly careful when we sail, checking various weather sources, and avoid rough weather as much as possible. We have been fortunate that the only bad storm we've experienced in 5 years of cruising was the storm off Cape Fear in November of 2010. (You can find it on this blog.) We may have (did) mess up a bit on this crossing. Our sail plan was to keep just south of the south coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before heading southwest to Panama. The winds were from the east and once underway EW suggested sailing directly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Hi there. Things are hunky dory. Just fine. Love this boat and love my captain. Casey -- not so much. I've decided that when we are going downwind in stiff breeze and he gives up that he has two personalities. The second one is Freddy the Freeloader. EW and I are hand steering changing watch every 2 hours. It's not horrible. Most gusts aren't above 30, it's warm, and we've had no squalls. Just lots of wind and seas. Everyone is fine. Freddy the Freeloader is the only one getting enough sleep. Ciao! It's 2030 on June 14. Happy Flag... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Or not. We call our auto-pilot Casey. When La Luna is steaming along a reach, she reminds EW of a locomotive. (He even got an engineer's hat back when we were in Maine. It was his favorite sailing hat for a time.) For years, I loved Casey. I believed in him. When we were in that storm off Cape Fear back in 2010, Casey never faltered in 36 hours of beating with 40 knot gusts. He never faltered. Casey failed us as we set off for the Azores last year, requiring us to hand steer back to St. Martin and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Harts At Sea
When two people put to sea for more than a few days, there's not a lot of time for sprucing up. If you've followed us for a while, some of this will be old, but I can't link to prior posts out here so you'll have to suffer while I bring the new folks up to speed. First, let's lay some groundwork about me and EW. When we were dating, I began to suspect that he liked how I looked, regardless of how I actually looked that day. Suspicions were confirmed once we moved in together and prepared for a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Harts At Sea
We've been sailing for just over 24 hours, and things are going well. It's a beautiful day. The winds are generally 12-15 with gusts to 2. We have the main and jib reefed a bit, and the seas are uncomfortably from the south, so we are lurching to port and starboard a bit. More than a bit when the occasional larger wave hits us broadside. Still no worries. It's a lovely sunny day and the solar panels are doing their charging thing. EW wanted to set the staysail as he likes to set the staysail and said it would even... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Shortly after 1500 on June 10, La Luna was freed from her borrowed mooring with help from neighbor, Skunky Ron. We had used two lines for safety and one had tangled around the other, around the two pick-up bouys. (Who uses two pick-up bouys, MB?)It was a mess discovered after the dingy had been raised and all things stowed for travel. Either I was jumping into the water, or we needed help. We got help. Yesterday, I went into Crown Bay Marina for the next to last load of fresh water, and told Steve at the fuel dock that I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Harts At Sea