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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
One of the problems with writing about touring the Azores is that it’s hard to know when to stop. A blog post about a particular day is full of events, food, and people and leads to additional discussions about other similar events, more food, some of the same people and new ones. These islands are small with few inhabitants, and if one stays here any length of time, everything relates, so it’s hard to know when to stop and one blog post could go on forever. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Harts At Sea
After a few hours walking up one street, down another, and talking with ladies in the tourist offices, we were a bit parched, so EW suggested we duck into a corner bar for refreshment. There we met Vasco (pronounced Vash-co), a middle-aged gentleman from mainland Portugal who had moved to the island and opened a bar. (Sounds a bit like St. Thomas, doesn’t it?) Vasco’s English was better than our Portuguese and we easily ordered a beer for EW and a white wine for me. We had a second round when Vasco, who does not sell food in his bar, offered us a sampling of the 7 month aged Sao Jorge cheese. Sharp, yet slightly creamy. Delicious. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Harts At Sea
When people talk about the flowers of the islands, they really mean the hydrangeas. We’ve enjoyed wild morning glories, cultivated roses, the largest marigolds I’ve ever seen, and stately lilies. But I fell in love with the hydrangeas. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Harts At Sea
We’ve moved our deadline twice and I’ve already decided I’d like to come back here again and again. I told EW once we complete this Atlantic circle, I’d come back to the Azores each summer and return to the Caribbean in the winter if he would agree. I love these islands that much. Their beauty is breathtaking and like nothing I’ve seen before. These volcanic islands have wonderful soil for farming, so the early settlers cut the forests, sold or used the wood and made beautiful pastures, broken up by stone walls and hydrangea hedges. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
First, I learned to say “Bom dia” for good morning, and “Boa tarde” for good afternoon. I learned that “por favor” is please and blithely assumed that “gracias” must be used for “thank-you”. That brought a frown. “No ‘gracias’”, she said. “Obrigada!” “Really? OK, Obrigada!” I replied and she nodded and smiled. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Faial, Horta We remember each island by the sounds. In Faial, during the World Cup, a regatta for special Olympic sailors, and a general weekend, we could hear live music from two venues for a number of nights. Since it’s light until nearly ten here, things can rock until two AM. Young German sailors who were crewing on a boat returning from Bermuda, partied in the slip next to us until four. Sailors and vendors drove scooters, motor cycles, taxis, and delivery trucks onto the fixed concrete pier, and across the harbor from the marina is a quay and dock... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
EW and I are amused by small things. In Faial, I neglected to take a photo of a powerboat berthed near us. The name, It’s Fay-Al was obviously intended to help visiting sailors pronounce the name of the island. The Portuguese people here have a sense of humor and like clarity. We've noticed that while all other signs are in Portuguese, every stop sign is an octagonal red sign with with familiar letters: STOP. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Lisa asked a number of questions to determine our experience. I told her to consider me totally inept. I hadn’t ridden since riding Charlotte Gray’s ponies in Corinna when I was in fourth grade. It had been a long time. Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Harts At Sea
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 Jul 18, 2014 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