Archive for January, 2009

Almost in Paradise

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

It has been a great week. Met some high latatude cruisers: John and Phillis on Morgans Cloud. If you want to read about true adventure check our what they’ve done.

Two days ago our medium sized camera bit the dust. So we’ve added a camera to our US trip. The list keeps getting longer on purchases. I’m looking at an Olympus that is water resistant and shock resistant. Think that will be a value on the boat and hopefully last a few years. Our friend Jack on Drifter has had one for about a year and is quite happy with it. Thus we’re down to two cameras but the lack of pictures isn’t due to cameras; it’s due to me!

W/’s been playing tennis a little more (Three days this week). We’ve installed our Morse control cable for the generator so now we don’t need to go to the engine room or the aft cabin to adjust the speed. The wx has been just about perfect. And I didn’t burn the boat down!

One am it was a little cool so I went to fire up the heater. We’re still trying to figure out running it. Must really be overthinking the system and reading too much. Anyway; I went to light it and saw that the burner was full of diesel. Never checked the depth. But I figured; “What the Hell?” I’ll just burn it off. So I lit the thing and about 3 minutes later smoke comes billowing out of the chimney. I’m sure we must have been quite a sight looking like the smoke stacks in England in the early 19th century. After about 10 minutes the fire burned out and there were small particles of soot all over the port side and some inside. It’s a good thing W/ was still sleeping as she wouldn’t have been too happy seeing the plume arising from our boat. She did complain a little about the odor and then went back to sleep. So in the future I’ll make sure if the burner is flooded to get the extra out!

And yesterday another Westsail 42 came into the anchorage. A neat boat Consort and the owners think it’s actually hull number 1. Hopefully we’ll get to see it in the next day or so. They said it’s factory finished and they’ve haven’t modified it down below. However the previous owner had put a Hood roller furling main mast and mizzen on her (yes it’s a ketch), and keel stepped the main spar.

As for diving I’m still dry. My ear ends up feeling perfect as the day goes on but as I sleep I seem to end up with a little fluid in back in it. Gotta heal soon though, then I’ll be back to normal and the Bugs (aka Lobsters) need to watch out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fair Winds

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Some Things are CHEAPER in the Bahamas!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Yesterday we were going to town. The wind finally abated and we had a few things to pick up and W/ said we were eating lunch there! Ok. As we were removing our “stuff” from the dinghy to the town dock W/ was the first off and she stepped up to the bow of the dinghy and then onto the dock.

Well…. as she stepped off the dinghy her weight (although not a lot) put the bow down about 4 to 6 cm and the bow slid under the 2 x 6 of the dock. As she stepped up with one foot and took her weight off the bow the dinghy rose trapping her other foot under the dock. So she now had a pretty nice owwweeee on her big two. As anything on the water tends to do it must have moved a little catching the nail on her BIG toe. We hung around the dock figuring out what to do (blood was coming out around the nail); go back to the boat both of us, I should go alone and pick some medical stuff, or I’ll go the one block to town and buy some medical supplies. We choose the later.

I returned back at the town dock with some gauze, tape and iodine. We did a very crude fix and off we went; well, she hobbled. At our favorite store in town Sids while talking to one of the owners; Martha, she said the clinic was open and thought the Dr was even in. Go down to the corner and turn right. So we paid for our groceries and off we went again, the three legged couple.

We were lucky and caught the staff while they were open, Wendy went immediately back to the injured table and was fixed up with a nice bandage and cleaned up wound. We ended up with antibiotics and the foot safe for another adventure with some other structure. Cost of the clinic visit was $30 and cost of both meds was…… $6. Good thing we didn’t need our insurance, we would have had to pay another $24 for the co-pay for the meds!

Now she’s close to smiling; she had some more pain meds in her bag and a new foot so it was off to lunch at Harveys. I had my favorite Bahamian dish – Cracked Conch and W/ had some kind of Pea like soup. I didn’t try any soup.

We learned now to add to our day bag a small medical kit. Total contents of our Pink Day bag is now a small medical kit, camera and two extra batteries.

Fair Winds

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Week in Review

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

W/ was cleaning the SS as one of the many boat projects. She found a stress crack in the bowsprit above the lower rail. Amazing! So we’ll look over here for a welder to fix it or I’ll get two Maple dowels before we go off shore and secure them to the piece.

On Tuesday we went to some ex-pat’s home and saw the Obama inauguration. Cool. Hope he’s able to work out his goals. Definitely a change in the attitude of government; not about how big or how small but if various parts are working or not. We’ll see. And obviously on boat I like the references to wind and solar!

It is cold here. I don’t care what Land Lubbers say, on the water in the 60’s is cold. Things slow down (mostly us), and little gets done. When it is blowing like stink out (avg about 20 kts for 2 days) then it’s even difficult going somewhere in the dinghy. Short trips in the harbor are ok but going into town is for a wet ride.

W/ was able to play tennis twice with a group of ex-pats. She had a great time and came back all smiles. I’m still waiting.

I picked up swimmers ear a week or so ago and still am waiting for that to heal. ๐Ÿ™ Fortunately the wx hasn’t been kind for spearfishing so in that respect I haven’t missed much. But things will change. I use to use Alcohol in the ears (not the drinking kind) but after researching have found that I need to use 50% White Vinegar and then the other is either water or Alcohol; depending on what you read. And I need to leave it in the ear for 5 minutes each side before and after the dive. I’ll do that from now on cause this is a little bit of a pain.

With the wind and cold we’ve been reading. I finished Len Deighton Hope only to discover that there are two more after it. I finished Jack Chalkers The Sea is Full of Stars only do discover that there are two more after it. I finished Kinsella’s Shopaholic Takes Manhattan which was almost too much; and too, I discovered it is the second of two books.

The Shopaholic was almost like being in the head of a compulsive shopper that has all these fantasies on why she needs such and such. I was all ready to put it down and then the story began and I actually laughed out loud several times. Reminds me of some of people I know.

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Sorry! We’re just Boring

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I almost can’t believe some of our email comments. I need to post more often and stop whining about the temperature. Maybe we are whining; but, I want to disguise the temperature as informational. As for more often; well, what can I say. We do much the same as any of you. Get up in the am. I rise about Sun up just cause I hit the sack around sunset. We’re controlled a great deal by Mother Nature here. W/ likes to try to sleep a little longer. Then obviously it’s personal needs. Some kind of breakfast is made. After which I have to DRY the dishes.

We take a small break and usually begin a boat project. Some days a project consists of cleaning up, other days it may be defrosting the freezer and refrigerator (yesterday) and then we can even mess something up. Yesterday the generator was bogging down. It is a smallish 6 hp diesel that was putting out on the alternator 150 amp. After about 15 min it went from 3,000 rpms to a 2200 rpm. That’s running a little low for cooling. So I unplugged the wire for the field to the generator and she began to run to fast, As I slowed it down I stalled it. Worried that we damaged it I went to check everything. Coolant was coming out to my high tech overflow bottle (a water bottle I hung a hose to), and I checked to make sure that she still turned. After checking everything and getting some coolant back in the engine I cranked it back up and let it idle to cool get to the correct operating temp. Then we had some odor and a little smoke in the engine room. Soon to discover that as I was checking things I had turned the lever to shut the cooling water into the Aqualift muffler. So the hose from the exhaust elbow was HOT and starting to gass and give off bubbles. This was the third time that’s now happened. I need to add replacing that hose and figure out a way to make sure I don’t do that any more. Right now there is a slow leak where the hose connects to the muffler.

The day before the boat project was to get fuel, clean some SS and dry the dew off the boat.

Whilst all this is going on, generally afternoons or evenings are for getting together with other cruisers. One day we went with a new arrival to the beach to watch the perigee full moon rise. Clouds obscured the best view and we continue to tease her about it. Another we watched a movie The Golden Compass, which we really enjoyed. A third we went over to some fiends that are selling their boat Antares, and met them. Last night when they were over he brought us a drawing of our boat. I hope to scan and post it as he’s quite an artist.

So; life goes on, not much different than where any of you are at. You have furnace, plumbing, snow, geting to work problems. Are aren’t really that different, just in different places and on the water.

Fair Winds

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So you think I’m Slackin? NOT!

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Yeah; I know, it’s been about a week. But we’ve got things to do.

We’ve been Lobstering 4 days now, with breaks between and picked up 13 lobsters between Fred and I. W/ and Sheila (Fred’s spouse) came with us one day and watched while W/ did get in the water and tow the dinghy for a bit. That day was a good one with 7 Lobsters (AKA- bugs). We now have a few frozen and two are cooked up ready to go into a Bisque. Yeah, W’s into experimenting with cooking so I’m in to testing.

Beyond that ,most things are uneventful. We ran out of water, made 30 gallons (watermakers are nice), ran low on energy, made some (generators are nice), and ran low on gas so we waited till the marina got some more in and bought some. Amazing that all the island was out of gas except one marina. The only marina on the island that had gas had it for $6/ gallon and although I wasn’t interested in paying that much, to get to the reef and get more bugs I would have. I like Lobsters (AKA Bugs). I figure it cost us about a gallon and a half to get two of us out to the reef and back.

Ironically, when we left the states we filled up on Diesel @ 3.37/ gallon. Now with the prices having fallen we can buy it in Green Turtle; right now, at $3.35/ gallon. Go Figure. Good thing I’m not into commodities trading in petro!

Fair winds and if I get bored I’ll add some new content in the next couple of days. If not, expect a week or so. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yep, It’s 2009 !

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

A few years ago W/ made a resolution to get to 2 cultural events a year. Of course when she said that was her resolution it included me. Well; culture in the islands isn’t about going to the “Theater” or the “Opera”. Culture is what ever special event the island has, in this case, it’s called a Junkanoo. So she MADE me go. And although I dragged my feet…. a little; remember I have to live with her and compared to living on land in the states it is a rather smallish area – a boat; so eventually I too got into the dinghy and went to observe, eat, and imbibe.

I will say I was impressed, the costumes were classy, the beat although rather simple in nature had a primal quality to it that spoke to ones soul and the drinks were welcomed. I missed recording of the event and should I happen upon another I think I’ll do my best to get one. But I did manage a few pics and so to help you waste your time you too can see what culture is in the islands.

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