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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
Sailing is about patience and, as Keith from S/V Kookaburra says, "Plans written in sand." In fact, the Kooks are a case in point. They left us in the San Blas weeks and weeks ago only to sit and for weather windows in Columbia, and around the corner somewhere before Bonaire. On Friday, they finally left the ABC's for Virgin Islands. Plans written in sand. We thought we'd not get a safe window to leave the San Blas before November 10. Instead, we here we are November 11, smack between Cuba and Mexico and heading north. With the now named... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at Harts At Sea
I made a bunch of new friends yesterday, during the last hour of my afternoon watch. I was sleepy but pretending to be alert, checking the horizon for traffic, when we were approached by a fleet (pod/troop/bevy) of dolphins. Now this isn't the first time we've had dolphins cavort near La Luna. It's happened before, but never by such a large group and never for nearly an hour. These appeared to be bottle nosed dolphins--just like Flipper---and they spent the hour playing and performing for me. I was a most appreciative audience. At first I stayed in the cockpit and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at Harts At Sea
It always takes us a couple of days to settle in on a passage. We left Porvenir between one and two in the afternoon on Tuesday, and I didn't really get 'settled' until today, our fourth day at sea. Just as Chris Parker had told us, we had to motor for the first full day and the better part of the next 24 hours. (Jimmy Cornell in "World Cruising Routes" says that any yacht making this passage will have to expect to motor for part of it.) Motoring is no fun, but it's more fun that bobbing around with flogging... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at Harts At Sea
This area is incredibly beautiful.The photo below was taken from the stern of our boat. I could and did swim from La Luna around this first reef and snorkeled, viewing eagle rays, the ever tasty ocean trigger fish, and the more beautiful queen trigger fish. Before they set sail to travel East, Keith and Jaime led an expedition to the reef you can see breaking in the background. There are caves, huge coral, sharks,and millions of fish.It was the most breathtaking snorkeling I’ve experienced. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at Harts At Sea
In my new, patient, detail-oriented (“If I’m going to make the dang cushions myself, I am going to do it right”) persona I hung in there, assisted Dani in taking new measurements and cheerfully discussed the issues and millimeters involved. I was with her every step of the way. She was providing great insight and has become a friend; she’s helping me and I am grateful. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2015 at Harts At Sea
Five years ago on October 18, we left Maine, heading for the Cape Cod Canal. As I write this, we are anchored in the San Blas on the 17th of October. The Digicel system here has been generally horrid and our personal Digicel situation has been worse. We have had to rely on the kindness of now friends/former strangers in order to borrow a dongle. We put my phone's SIM card in the dongle and raised it up the mast and got WIFI down below. (When Digicel worked.) Unfortunately, my SIM card needs to be renewed and I can't get... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2015 at Harts At Sea
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 Oct 8, 2015 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