Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saving Joe

Some people just work too hard. Joe is one of them, Thank God, So, we’ve conspired with his lady, Heather to get him to take a couple days of R&R and of course “A Turkey Dinner”. We’re off and sailing to do a little snorkeling, turkey feasting and taking Captain Morgan along for the ride.

Could life get any better? A genny that runs, good food, good fun and great new friends

Save the Turkey

All boats love those quiet, peaceful anchorages. We were enjoying just such a bay when we heard a sound that cruisers everywhere dread. Rattle, clank, clank, rattle, rattle and then smoke. The Generator! We’re still quick on our feet for old guys and had her shut down almost before we could gasp “ Oh No” We’ve been working on all the self sufficiency stuff and so have 2 great new solar panels which will keep all our house batteries topped up. BUT… the refrigeration runs strictly off the genny. What were the original owners thinking, a great 140 Hp Yanmar turbo main engine and it doesn’t charge anything but it’s own start battery.

Back to that fridge/freezer problem, Ice, let’s load her up, pile the top of the fridge and freezer with pillows and head back to Crown Bay Marina and find Joe and Chris.

We were just cruising into the channel when we spotted Joe and said “Save our Turkey”

Good news (the Genny) wasn’t dead, just sick. A slow salt water drip at a clamp on the non service side had caused major corrosion and totally blew the manifold. Joe’s amazing and five days later we’re up and running again.

Yeah!!! Way down in the bottom of the freezer the steak, chicken and The Turkey are still frozen solid. Joe has saved the day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Race is On

With all these beautiful Bays, you’d think there’d be lots of spots to drop an anchor. Not so. First, there’s only so much room for boats to swing around in the wind and clear everyone on a 360 degree radius. Then there’s the mooring ball problem. In most of the popular bays, mooring balls have been anchored to the ocean floor, with a float attached, so a boat can come along, grab the float, tie a line and be instantly secure, needing a little less room than is needed to swing on an anchor. Sounds ideal, right? Except that the owner of the balls wants to collect $25.00 per night per ball in the British side of the islands; when anchoring is free. If there are 50 balls taking up the whole bay, leaving no room to anchor, then that owner is making a cool $1,250.00 per night x 7 days a week. Not bad when the ocean is free.

The National Park services on the US side, have also jumped on this as a means to protect some of the coral in the bays from the damage of anchor chains, but at least their cost is just to cover installation and maintenance, at $15.00 per night, or only $7.50 for Golden Ager old farts like us!

And So, The Race is On. The channels are filled with boats under sail, throughout the early part of the day, but come 2:30- 3 pm the question is where to spend the night…. Which bay would be tonight’s choice?

After an afternoon out sailing, we chose Leinster Bay, on St John, for its low cost park ball, calm waters and great snorkeling.


Fishing’s a wonderful pastime aboard a boat, after all, the water with the fish in it is right there underneath you. So Gord thru the line out. Next thing we know 2 of those little shark-looking fish are giving his lure a hard time. He fights, he loses and it gets away. With the fishing rod propped in the flag-pole holder, we go off to bed. About 5 am there’s a bit of commotion -- Oh no, someone’s on our boat! Pirates, Dinghy thieves, What??

Nope, that fish that thought he’d got away, came back for a second look-see and wasn’t so lucky the second time around. Gord heard the commotion and went au-naturel to investigate. I myself slept right thru it all.

When I awoke, he announced the prize he had caught for dinner that night. What do you mean shark? That terrible menacing looking one we saw several times stalking us directly beneath the boat!.

Turns out it’s called a Remora, or shark-sucker.

The weird suction cups on its head are used for attaching itself to sharks, turtles, large fish, skin divers (Oh Gross) and boat bottoms, where it feasts off the leftover scraps of its host fish. I guess it hopes the skin diver will drop a twinkie or something. I hate to think what he’s getting from the bottom of our boat -- Yuck!

Anyway, he’s about 3 ft long and very ugly! Gord ate him, for supper, \I refused.
Sailboat owners Gord and Sue aboard their 55' Whitby Ketch "Ocean Wings" share their adventures and travels as they start their retirement, living their dream of seeing the world from oceanside.
Ocean Wings is a recent purchase and our first foray into the Sailing Lifestyle. We're excited and a little scared. Join us in our adventure.