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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
So. We are in Sao Jorge. This harbor is lovely and 22 miles from Horta. We however took 28 hours to get here because we were trying to get to Flores and the winds changed to on the nose. I was ready to bag it but EW said it was a "nice sail" so we kept going hoping for a wind shift. No dice ended up going around Faial back past Horta and 22 miles more to here. Lovely island will stay thru Sunday unless the winds come from the south. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Harts At Sea
Sometimes that’s a bad thing for a sailboat – leaving a mark such as bottom paint on a rock, or gel coat on a dock or (horror of horrors) another boat. In Horta, when a boat leaves her mark, it means the skipper or crew have added their painted sign to the thousands along the quay and docks. And I do mean thousands. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Harts At Sea
The cruising life ain’t all rum drinks in the cockpit. We swim, fix the boat, snorkel, fix the boat, hike, fix the boat, provision, fix the boat, have rum drinks on the beach, fix the boat, play dominoes, fix the boat, well you get the idea. Often (not always, but often) Caribbean cruisers are ready to call it quits at nine or ten. This isn’t just due to our busy lifestyle (see above), or adanced age. You must also factor in early sunsets. Most of the Caribbean sailors are from the northern hemisphere where the sun sets later in the summer. On July 10, 2014 the sun set at 6:59 in St. Thomas and at 6:36 in Grenada. On the same night in Boston, the sun set at 8:22, and in the Azores it didn’t set until 9:17 – seventeen minutes after cruisers’ midnight. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Finally, I've been able to read the comments on our crossing. Loved Kate regarding the wind vane/auto pilot confusion. Loved Darlene's worry and best wishes. Loved that Pam got Rabbit Rabbit. Regarding the whisker pole, we were well off the wind, not quite down wind for much of the last week. We were able to have the jib poled out and that was especially effective in the light winds as it kept it from flogging as much. Actually, I loved all the comments and delighted to have so many friends, family and new friends following along. I would love the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Harts At Sea
That headline is the closest I got to shouting Land Ho, as EW was asleep when I first saw Faial through the clouds at sunrise. The wind gods played with us during our last 24 hours at sea, skunking us for much of the time. EW resorted to using the motor for about 6 hours, then we drifted, then we sailed very slowly, and finally, EW put 5 gallons of diesel from the jerry cans into the tank and we motored for the last three hours. (We can tell how many inches of diesel are in the tanks, but not how many gallons that represents. We had fuel in the tanks, but put in extra so there were no fuel management issues while docking in a crowded marina.) Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Harts At Sea
July 3rd and this is a great day. We have fewer than 400 miles to go. We are under sail and aiming exactly for Horta. We saw a pod of dolphins jumping and diving for breakfast. We have water and I am clean. EW thought about the water issue and decided that we must have 30-40 gallons of water in the port tank. Unfortunately, the water pump doesn't pick it up when we are heeling to port. I knew we had water in that tank as that is the tank with the hand pump and I've been getting water out... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at Harts At Sea
We are less than 600 miles from Horta, heading 82 True directly to the island of Flores, the northernmost island in the Azores. From there, it's just 135 miles to Horta, where we will check in and stay on the dock a few days. Unless things have changed since our edition of the cruising guide the marina is reasonably priced and water is free. Many of you know how much it pains me to say that EW was right and we have nearly emptied our water tanks. Today is a shower day, but I'm not getting a shower. We do... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Harts At Sea
For the past two days, we have been sailing the North Atlantic that we came to know, love, and respect when we sailed in Maine. The seas have been slate blue, with 6-8 foot waves (and some larger), often contrary, slapping the hull, the stern, and the rudder with no rhythm, rhyme, nor reason, and depositing spray, water, and one rather large flying fish onto the deck. Winds were 15-10, then 20-25, with 30 knot gusts. The boat rolled and banged, we and unsecured items tumbled about, and our sleep was fitful. Through it all the sky was clear, with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at Harts At Sea
This blog has a whole lot of posts about friends. As friend/cousin Jeff says, “I love you a whole bunch of lots.” Well, we love our friends a whole bunch of lots and I tend to write about what I love. For the most part, cruising sailors seem to be outstanding friend-makers, and those we’ve gotten to know talk often about special friends back home, or cruising friends who keep in touch from distant ports. EW and I are incredibly fortunate to have wonderful friends; childhood friends, friends we met in our late teens and twenties, friends we met just a few years before leaving Maine, and many new cruising friends-for-life. Thank goodness. I don’t know what we’d do without our friends. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Happy summer! Back home in Maine, I bet the strawberries are delicious, flowers are blooming and the corn is almost knee-hi. Here, I actually wore a light weight fleece jacket on my night watch. Come to think of it, that's like sailing in Maine. No fog here, though. We are cranking with reefed sails in 15-20 knot winds with gusts over 25, and less than 900 miles to go. We are heading a bit too far north and hoping for a wind shift in the next few hours. Our location is 36 42.8 North and 45 44.3 West. The good... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Not that I hold a grudge or anything, but when I self-published "The Harts at Sea; Sailing to Windward" I received some over the top positive reviews, many appropriate middle of the road positive reviews, and one nasty negative review. That person seemed to be looking for swashbuckling tales of storms at sea, pirates, peril, and adventure. There's a secret about this cruising thing and it's one that we wished our non-sailing loved ones understood: If the boat is ready, and the captain and crew are capable, and if they pay attention to weather, prevailing conditions, and use common sense,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Does anybody really care? We care. We care because we like to sleep. I've never thought of myself as a person who likes to sleep, now I find myself checking the time and thinking, "I can go to bed in an hour." "I can go to bed in 45 minutes." You get the idea. We have three rules at sea: 1. Stay on the boat. 2. Drink plenty of water. 3. Get plenty of rest. We've sailed beyond sunrise and it's impacted my sleep. To recap: The laptop and the log book are "programmed" at UTC; formerly known as Greenwich... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at Harts At Sea
There is a rhythm out here. Actually, there are many rhythms out here. The waves. The wind in the rigging. Our sleep patterns. Our watches. Listen to a sea chantey and you will hear the rhythms of a boat at sea. We still have very light winds, and the swells have lessened, so while we aren't moving as fast as we'd like, we are moving toward our goal, comfortably, inexorably, consistently. We reached a milestone this morning and are finally north of Bermuda and over 600 miles east, with just over 1200 miles to the Azores. We have had close... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at Harts At Sea
EW said that we'd know when we were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean because there's a line. I keep looking for it, but it's a few days out. The other day EW asked this unanswerable question: "You know how when we get ready to dive into the water we take a big breath of air? Do you think flying fish take in a big gulp of water before they jump into the air?" We decided that was Voyaging Deep Thought. He also was a bit miffed that I had mentioned the shower issue on the blog, but he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at Harts At Sea
This morning I told EW that this cruising life was "interesting". He knew that wasn't necessarily a good thing, but chose to focus on my terminology. "We aren't cruising. We are voyaging." You might ask what the difference is, as did I. "Voyaging is what you do to get to places where you can cruise." Oh. Well voyaging is different and "interesting" and certainly not for everybody. Yesterday I wasn't sure whether or not it was for me, but 6 hours of sound sleep changed my perspective. A bit. This is one of the few times in life where you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Hmmmph! Things are going well. It took me a day or so to get back into the swing and to begin to believe the auto-pilot would work. Last night I didn't notice a wind shift and first blamed Casey for failing, then had to apologize to both him and EW -- to EW for getting him up half way through his watch. Ah well. We did take that tack to the east, going about 70 miles, thirty back to our intended course, the rhumb line, and 40 beyond it. We ended up traveling a bit south as well, but more... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at Harts At Sea
We left Sint Maarten for the second (and hopefully last time this season-knock wood)on Monday at 11:00 AM AST. Currently the ships watches are following AST time, but the log is UTC. Right now, it's 8:00 AM or 0800 in 24 hour time, and I have another two hours for my morning watch. EW is sleeping. When I wrote in the log, I entered 1200 as it is noon at the master clock across the sea. This fascinates me. As we sail east we'll gradually alter our watches so that by the time we get to the Azores we'll be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Just a quick note to say that we will leave Sint Maarten for the Azores. Again. Happy Father's Day to all Dads and Grads out there. EW worked his tail off today to get us ready to go -- including going with me a final trip to the Grand Marche store to replenish the foods we've eaten in the past two weeks. He wants you to know that we got bacon. (Three pounds of bacon.) Right now we are at McDonald's. Really. Becasue they have good free WiFi, and the folks watching the World Cup are quieter than the folks... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Have you ever been at sea and observed a line of squalls? These were rather benign little things; a row of puffy gray clouds, white on top, and darker below. The darker clouds held rain, some of which was released in our direction. There are wind squalls, rain squalls, and squalls that provide lots of wind and rain and excitement. These were unexciting squalls, but still required adjusting the sails and donning a light jacket. They marched in an uneven line; some went ahead of us and some went behind; others went right over the top of us. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Breathe. Hand-steering for three days totally reinforced our decision to return to Sint Maarten. Sometimes you just get it right. An engine/fuel filter/solenoid problem also raised its ugly head before we made it to Simpson Bay, so this week is a week of boat mess and repairs. Sint Maarten 449 (Below, is the master stateroom. Clearly we are not sleeping there.) Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2014 at Harts At Sea
I loved sailing my O'Day 17, Selene, and could easily spend three to five hours out on Quohog Bay in Harpswell, Maine. Hand-steering La Luna on the "high seas" is not as much fun. Once we turned around, and after EW got some much needed rest, we instituted a 3 hour watch system. There went extra time for cleaning, cooking, writing, or playing guitar. We ate simple meals, steered, and slept. For over 24 hours we battled a weather helm until EW finally decided to shorten the main. After that I didn't need to use both hands and a foot... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Yep. It is 10:52 AM Atlantic Time on May 30. We are sailing back to Sint Maarten. Don't worry. We plan an immediate "Do-over" -- just as soon as we have the auto-pilot fixed. Our auto-pilot, AKA Casey, stopped working at 2:00 AM on the 28th. EW was on watch and sailed onward, letting me sleep my full off-watch. At six, when I took the helm, he gathered tools, moved the dinghy engine off the master bed (yeah, photos from the Azores) and began diagnosing the problem. He worked on it for a number of hours, but this is one... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
As EW pointed out a bit ago, we have been at sea for just over 48 hours. Already we have settled in to the routine. Things have broken and been repaired. I have cooked. We have both had one solid night's sleep. We just shared popcorn on deck for an afternoon snack. EW has played guitar and I've done some writing. (Have to pay for that new Rockna Anchor.) Our watch system seems to work well for us, though it's still early days for a full appraisal. Previously, we stood watches like this for only 5 days in a row.... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at Harts At Sea
As EW pointed out a bit ago, we have been at sea for just over 48 hours. Already we have settled in to the routine. Things have broken and been repaired. I have cooked. We have both had one solid night's sleep. We just shared popcorn on deck for an afternoon snack. EW has played guitar and I've done some writing. (Have to pay for that new Rockna Anchor.) Our watch system seems to work well for us, though it's still early days for a full appraisal. Previously, we stood watches like this for only 5 days in a row.... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Our Saturday departure date became "Sunday for sure", then "Early Monday Morning after a good night's sleep". As we were raising the anchor, EW came back toward me from the bow and said, "Something horrible has happened." Horrible is never good. In this case it was upsetting and expensive, but not horrible. Since the Bahamas we have anchored with two anchors in a series, by attaching a Fortress anchor on chain ten feet in front of the CQR. It is a terrific set-up for sand. Just over a week ago we had experienced a hefty squall that included 180 degree... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Harts At Sea