Monday, January 30, 2012

Awesome Sail Jan 23, 2012

Heading out on the ocean side of the Islands back to St Thomas to register for US Small Vessel phone check -in interview. 
Mizzen and Jib out and we are flying downwind at 10 knots in 20 knots of wind. Not bad for an old girl

Gord is just not happy unless he's saving someone!

Aquarius heading to grab that last mooring ball
Salt Pond is a favorite anchorage, with reef, behind, 2 both sides and a fabulous white beach in front. The salt pond is hidden from view and rightly so, as it is very unappetizing. Ocean Wings and Aquarius make it their next stop.

We're barely anchored when Gord hears a very calm distress call on the radio. A 32 ft Beneteau just outside the entrance to the next bay ( about 1 1/2 miles away) is dead in the water, can't start their engine with a line wrapped around their prop. They are looking for a Big Dinghy with a Big Motor to tow them back into the bay.
Now it is choppy out there and we are running with the spare 9.9 engine on a 12 ft caribe. But Gord is quite prepared to head out to the rescue.  Cooler heads talk him into dinghying up to the small power boat on the ball ahead of us, it's got 2- 220 hp engines. A much more likely towing vessel. They are heading out anyway and agree to go to the rescue. They pass the point, they're out of sight and we can only assume there was a happy ending.

His good deed for the day, accomplished!

Willy T's - Jan 20th-21st

What do you mean you haven't heard of Willy T's?
                                               google Willy T's bvi ,      you'll be shocked!

Just a barge in the middle of The Bight, on Norman Island, it rocks with music and scantilly dressed patrons every afternoon and evening. It can get pretty raunchy sometimes and even the scantilly comes off as "happy holidayers"  jump from the upper deck into the turquoise water below to the sounds of cheers and toasts.

Afternoon at Willy's

patrons of Willy's

Even Pirates stop at Willy's

Dar's Birthday
Out to dinner but we are bringing a boat made dessert.  This is the ugliest birthday cake I have ever seen/made  with a propane oven that fluctuates up, down and off. It's just not a piece of cake to bake a cake.  What can I say its " A Boat Cake"   it's the thought that counts... right!

Birthday Girl

Ugly Boat Cake

More Chillin in North Sound

Micheal Bean - Thursday show

Carl engrossed in the show
Pirate Trivia winners

And in between there is "Harbour TV" every boater knows what that is!! It's very entertaining to watch the new or charter boaters either anchor or pick up a mooring ball.

Plow through the anchorage at 4-5 knots. Drop the anchor in their chosen spot, immediately overrun it and then wonder why it doesn't set. They think that charter company must have given them an anchor that doesn't work. So, lets do it again and again and again.

Mooring balls are almost as entertaining , and we admit can be difficult to grab, but the trick is to actually get the boat to the ball, not 30 ft away, hnaging over the side trying to reach it with a 10 ft pole, while the boat drifts farther away. Again, let's try it over and over.

Hangin Out in North Sound - lucky Fri 13th- 19th

It's time for some R n R, dinner out and lazying on the beach at the Sandbox.

Entertainmant for the evenings is
Party Animals

Jumbie night

The Jumbies on Fri night

There is no way to hang out in North Sound without gorging yourself on one of their famous Blue Cheese Burgers.   " Calorie City"

Gettin Fat on a Blue Cheese Burger at the Fat Virgin Cafe

Happy Hour at Saba Rock

Saba Rock

The Tarpon are sooo hunger, they leap right out to get it

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Year of The ******** Jan 10-12, 2012

I think its the chinese new year of the Dragon coming up. But, I'm officially renaming it to " The Year of the Dinghy"

More on the ongoing saga of "the Dinghy". Well it was a row into shore today.  Rowing past the Mega yachts in our lowly little dinghy to the dock so the Tohatsu dealer could come fix it. His not showing up till its dark. But we do have working motor now. What follows in the next week is nothing but Dinghy issues. We head to Virgin Gorda to meet and help Carl and Dar launch.  On our heels is no other than Patti and Jim, come to find their engine guy to fix their dead dinghy. Now we tow them. Carl launches after fixing his dinghy motor, gets in the water and the dinghy dies, so we now tow Carl and again we tow Jim . As we're pulling away from the dinghy dock, we find a cute little blue dinghy has gone awol and is floating out of the bay. Now its a recue job, but we're all up for it. Jim gets fixed, Carl gets fixed and we head off to Leverick with Carl and Dar as we're enjoying a peaceful dinner onboard,  Carl looks over and says where's my dinghy?  It's dark and the rocks are 500 ft off our stern, so the boys dash for our dinghy jump in with flash lights and take off into the night. 15 min later they are back with the deliquent dinghy in tow.

Enough is enough.  Am I not justified in calling it the year of the dinghy?  What might happen next.?

Shared space Jan 9, 2012


Harbours, Marinas and achorages are all shared with little fishing boats, small single handers, cruising couples, charter groups, party boats and Mega Yachts.  We all share the space, the swimming, the facilities and the view. Its all the same to everyone.  We just so happen to be sharing this last while with Larry Ellison of Oracle on his mega yachts Rising Sun  and Bill Gates on Goygpus.
You just never know who your going to be hob knobbing with. Small world "A"
I wonder if they ever have Dinghy problems?

Planning to Dive - Jan 7, 2012

We are planning to do some diving, that's if we can stop fixing things for  long enough to find some wrecks or sharks. So, we load the BC's, regulators and tanks into the Dinghy and off we go to HiTech to get them certified.

Oh Oh, Outboard problems.  What are the chances that both engines will crap out at the same time? We're lucky that Patti and Jim on Flamboyance chance by and give us a tow. Not only that they invite us for dinner aboard. We exchanged some downloaded movies , had a great dinner and wonderful company and a second tow.

Patti and Jim of Flamboyance

Dinghy Problems - Jan 6, 2012

Gord and Joe hard at work on the outboard
Our Old reliable Johnston has taken a holiday, litterally coming appart at the seams.  Time for a little of Chris and Joe's tlc.  Not to worry, we have that 2nd Tohatsu that we fought long and hard to get back from the Virgin Island police last year. No problem! Right

More and More Provisioning - Jan 5, 2012

Outdoor travel, rain or shine

Travelling loaded on the Local $1.00 bus

Hauling our own package transporter
It pays to shop in St Thomas. A smart shopper can find a decent steak for $5.00 a not so smart shopper will pay $25.00.  Which would you choose?

But, with no car, its not the easiest. Hence the local dollar bus and our handy pull carts.
Cost U Less for food, Home Depot for hardware.

I think there must be some kind of 15 min special at Home Depot... even the goats are rushing over. Maybe tin cans are on sale.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Water Jan 4/2012

Surrounded by turquoise sea, the most precious commodity is water.

The Old, The New and the Broken
 Running water is wonderful,  Hot running water is pure bliss.

That was the next thing to repair. A hot water tank that started to leak like a sieve. At 18 yrs old, it just had to go.  Home Depot here we come!  Now we are in bliss.

Fire - The Parrot

This is Fire's story! Fire was raised on a boat as the only bird, King of his own little castle.  I must confess I do not know what happened to Fires owner, but suddenly Fire lost his happy little floating home. He was given to a man with many other parrots who placed him a cage with others of his kind, thinking that he would need the company.
However parrots don't particularily like newcomers, so they brutalized poor Fire. attacking him over and over and pecking him and pulling out his feathers.  By the time his new owner noticed he was bald all but his head and covered in cuts. His spirit was gone and he was a terrified bird.
Fire found a new home on Hassle Island with Manfred the sail maker, where he has the garden to himself and a large cage to keep him safe and warm. As dusk falls he shivers with cold as his feathers have not grown in well and he is so truamatized that now he himself pulls out the new ones.
But he is safe and cared for and maybe someday he will be Fire again!

What to do on New Years Eve


The bars and shops are open and parties are under way. It's a rockin place and we get chatting with a captain of "BOETHUK" one of the many mega Yachts docked here for the festivities. from him we scored a couple of wrist bands to a private party put on by the marina for the Mega Yachts owners.  I talking 100 ft - 200ft with 5 stories and crews of 6-8, all luxurious. polished stainless and smoked windows.

One of many Mega Yaghts

Free food and free drinks and great bands, what else could you ask on New Years Eve. So, we ate, drank and danced in the New Year.

                                                           Happy New Yeear Everyone!

Off on a fun jaunt Dec 27-29/2012

Jen and Joe

Marina Cay

Jen and Joe are joining us as we head off to Marina Cay for a couple days to spend some time relaxing and attending an Eric Stone concert.

We had a great time and were sorry to have to get them back to their work world

St Thomas for Christmas Dec 24/2012

We're anchored in Charlotte Amalie Harbour and have christmas eve dinner plans with Jim and Patti of Flamboyance (a 60 ft mono hull charter boat), and with Joe and Jen ( our favorite mechanic in Crown Bay)
Unfortunately Patti and Jim couldn't make it as they have a charter on the 26th and No Refridgeration, so they are working feverishly. Dinner at a little Italian restaurant was exquisite and fun.
Christmas morning dawned sunny and bright, but all I could think about was calling home.... my heart was there , not in the caribbean.
But I did have to get busy. I might be sitting on turquoise water, with warm breezes and palm trees, but I was determined we were having a traditional Turkey dinner.
It was a huge success, with Jim and Patti, Jen and Joe all enjoying turkey, wine and good company.
Sorry, too busy cookin to take any pictures!

Putting Ocean Wings back together

 There's the stowing of gear
 making of beds,

 provisioning at the local grocery

and of course Happy Hour at the end of the day.... Complete with Christmas tree
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.