Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sue saves the boat!!! Again.

 Leaving ourselves an extra day to get to the rendevue with Wendy and Elmer , we thought was plenty of time.  We're cruising along thru the narrow cut by Christmas cove and the far end of St Thomas, the ocean converges and the currents are wicked. Suddenly the engine gives a cough and shuts itself off. Thank god we we're also under sail and cruised right thru. We exchanged panicked glances and Gord hi tailed it below to check out the situation. Couldn't find anything wrong. Turned the key and she sputtered to life.  Again, the exchanged glances.... what was that all about.

Hold on ! I'm getting to the Sue saves the boat part.

At anchor in Charlotte Amalie harbour, we shop  and then I sew the new memory foam topper cover , so they will have a comfee bed.
Next morning we do a few more errands and up the anchor to head to Lindberg, where we can just dinghy in to get them.

We were so pleased with ourselves over the new anchor and the nice new yellow ball that is our anchor marker.  How easy to see just where the anchor was. Great!!.

It was a little muddy , so I drove forward while Gord hung the anchor to wash it off.
Suddenly its  chunk, chunk, shutter , shutter, clank and the strong smell of burning rubber.

Oh, No! where is that cute little anchor ball.... No where to be seen.

The nav instruments are shaking like crazy and the whole boat is shuttering.  A quick turn around and we drop that sucker again.

We exchange those panicky glances again, must be the anchor ball, wrapped around our prop.

Gord's famous words repeat themselves. Someone has to go in the water and take a look.   He thinks I'm a better swimmer ( definitely float better)   so in I go.

That nice little ball is bobbing underwater and wrapped around our drive shaft about 20 times.

About 30 breathes and 30 dives sawing away and it is finally free and the cord must be also sawed off. When I'm finally panting and out of steam the last strand breaks and we are back in business.

Back on the boat and over to Lindbergh is only and hour to spare.  We  are ready????? for our guests.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We're Sailing Again!

After having a wonderful dinner, christening our new cock pit table last night with Bill and Mayanne, we jockeyed for the fuel dock at 8:30 this morning and are cruising down the Drake passage toward St Thomas, as we speak.    Internet onboard!   Decadence like you wouldn't believe in this part of world.

Leaving St Maarten

We'll , I really can't say that we saw St Maarten.  I just would not want to judge the island by the scuzzy lagoon and of course the endless long bouncy dinghy trips thru the whitecaps to ... where else....The Chandlery.  I must admit they were the best stocked that we have found and we did pick up a lot of little incidentals that were on our list as well as the Anchor, Cockpit table construction and we also bought a new stereo to replace the 2nd Jensen that did not work "again".  So, it's packed up and ready to ship back. 
The great part of that stay was meeting up with Bill and Maryanne and sharing some happy hours and a nice trip up to Grand Case to a wonderful french restaurant overlooking the bay and then heading back for the Virgins with them. They are a wonderful couple from Maine and we hope to connect with them later in the season and maybe get together in Maine or Haliburton this summer.

Exiting the bridge was a little hairy. It opens up and us and everyone else were all jockeying for a place  waiting in line with a huge crosswind and the true to form stink pot boats ( motor cruisers)  just butting in and passing with no regard that they have twin engines , so have way more maneuverability than us single engine sailboats.  And, we all have No Brakes. we got 3 feet outside the channel and touched ground while the stink pot crowded us over. Yes, it's that shallow and tight in there.

We are  leaving St Maarten behind on our way back to the Virgins to time our pick up of Wendy and Elmer

The trip back was beautiful , starting with a gorgeous sunset then a wonderful a starlit , almost full moon sky.  In a following sea the ride is like a gentle, endless surfboard ride. We arrived as dawn was breaking and cruised into Leverick to grab a ball so we could change out the anchors.
Out with Old, In with the New
Now, Where to stow that Faithful Danforth that hooked us well. In fact so well in Simpson Bay Lagoon that we had to drive over it and over it, and over it, to try to get it loose when we were trying to time that bridge opening. We thought she just didn't want to leave.   Must have actually liked that scuzzy, stinky water.  Go figure!  Who could possible understand the thoughts of an Anchor.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Cockpit Table

We'll we've have accomplished a few things here in St Maarten as we sit in the scuzzy lagoon.
Paul, "our table man"
The new cockpit table is to be installed today... slow work on the carpenters side... but worth it.

The wished for swim platform is not to be on this trip, after hours  of measuring and consulting the french welder seemed to develop huge attitude and decided he wouldn't now have time to make it. S'ai la vie!!!

A new Rochna anchor is being hauled aboard as we speak and I've managed a little sewing, nice vinyl covers on the fridge/freezer cushions for one and  jack lines for hooking onto as you sail in rough weather( just a little insurance to make sure everyone that's supposed to be onboard, stays onboard.


Our New Rochna
Hope to be out of here Sunday for our trip back to St Thomas to pick up Wendy and Elmer for their adventure onboard.
We'll just have to come back to do our sightseeing, island hopping and snorkeling.
Oh well,  just 15 hours of pounding away.

Warm tropical Nights, beach bars, good friends & Rum , rum and more rum....

Sounds like paradise.. Right!
Here we are in the tropics, but the the winds are howling at 20- 25 kts, which whips up the waves and makes it impossible to get to those Beach bars.
However we are brave souls and we  and Marion and Bill aboard Seminole wind, whom we met up with here in Simpson Bay lagoon, decided to go to Skip Jacks for a seafood dinner. 

Of across the bay we go in the dark with flashlights and raincoats looking forward to a great dinner and good company.  With four in the dinghy it was slow going up the waves, down the waves and up the waves again.

We did arrive in 1 pce, but the raincoats , must be only made for rain, not waves that wash over the front of the dinghy, hit you in the face and then run down underneathe the front of your jacket.
On arrival, the first stop was the ladies room, where we were able to remove our capris and ring them out in the sink, so we could sit thru dinner in comfort????. 

It was a great dinner, we had wonderful conversation and  shared anecdotes of previous adventures.

Then guess what?  we turned around and did it all again.  Aren't boaters a resilient lot. 
Thank God for hot showers onboard, and of course another rum .

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fifteen Hours of Up-Wind Pounding

With  gusts of over 20  knots, just to get here to St Maarten, now we are sitting in the Lagoon and waiting for quotes, and workers and the wind is so strong it's blowing Gord's prized solar lights right off the boat and into... you guessed it.. the deep blue sea.  Goodbye.

We've made the rounds of every chandlery on the Island and have made many a dinghy trip thru the waves, with those cool little Caribbean showers (salty that is) keeping us awake and anxious to get back on board.

We are sitting right now at Laggoonies Bar soaking up the local flavour, eavesdropping on the french conversations, soakin up the rum and grabbing some prized internet time. Yah!

Hope to have some pics to follow as we get those wish list upgrades installed.

It rains, it blows, then the sun comes out. It's the Caribbean and better than shovelling snow back in Canada.  So sorry to you guys that are back there doing just that.

Over and Out from Ocean Wings.... for now!
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.