Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lucille

While sitting in lindberg recouperating from our guests and planning our next move we look over and there sits Lucille. Gary and Penny's catamaran. So, we dinghy over and invite them for happy Hour aboard Ocean Wings. then off to the Mexican restaurant at the Caribe for dinner.
The next day they are off for Culebra and we are heading to re-provision.

Gabi and Rudi take up Sailing

Feb 16- Feb 26, 2013

The travellers have arrived. All the way from Vienna. Before they are barely off the plane they learn that being a boater means pulling your own luggage along a rough caribbean road( no posh limo's for this crowd) and then manuevering it into a bobbing dinghy, keeping it dry and then straight up 6 ft onto the boat deck.
Well, they did say they wanted to try this boating thing.


We did our first snorkel and then headed into the Emerald Beach hotel for a beach swim and a mess of their wonderful BBQ ribs.

Now we want to introduce our newbies to the Island mode of transport. "the Safari"   for $1.00 you can go all the way downtown and half way across the island. For $2:00 you can go to the other end of the Island. We're going a little more than 1/2 way and heading for the Cost u Less to make sure we can feed Gabi and Rudi with some of their food preferrences.
The Safari

We take our little green truck with us so we can be sure that we can get everything we need and of course we have 2 extra sets of hands, so that's a bonus. It's kind of like Mr Toads wild ride at Disney World as we careen around the hills, passing on curves, as we're coming over hills and generally scaring the **** out of us.  Going back we have all those grocery bags to hold onto, so, I think we'll feel more secure


Our Green grocery truck
We're all stocked up and ready to head to Francis Bay. Where we got a great shot of a sea turtle and i got to swim along with him with my hand on his back.


As usual the wind is on our nose, so sailing is out unless we want to make it 12 hr affair by tacking back and forth.

We took rudi and gabi on the hike to Annanberg Sugar Mill. this old plantation has plenty of history and surprising the ruins are in pretty good shape. Enough that you get a clear idea of how it used to be in the days of slavery. They lived in terrible conditions and worked hundreds of acres on a hillside.

The only way to really cool off after a hike is to hit the surf.

The evenings are made for fun and our guests are unrivaled party animals.



North Sound is next on the agenda and of course we must hit the Micheal bean happy hour and then the Jumbies the next night.

Jumbie dancers

Micheal's Pirate show
We rented a car and took a tour of the island.  Rudi took 1000's of awesome pictures.  Yes, I truly mean thousands.  However I am at home writing this blog and the pictures are on the boat, so you'll have to check back later and I'll post some of his amazing pics.
 The view from the top of the island looking down on North Sound and all the yachts is truly one of a kind.

We're lucky to be hanging out in such a safe area, the crime here in the British Virgins is extremely minimal. if fact they must never have any more than 1 lock up at time, judging by the size of their facilities.


still checking out the island and a stop at Savannah Bay is like walking onto the set of Blue lagoon.  Doesn't this beach just make you feel like you're marooned alone.


The baths is next on our list and this wonder of the world never fails to awe even the most seasoned traveller. A hike thru the caves, a swoim in the surf and then on the the Mine shaft cafe for happy hour.





Saba Rock
 Rudi has heard about Bitter End Yacht Club and wants to see for himself, so we are heading over for the day. Now he claims he's in heaven. Not for the beautiful landscaping or turquiose water but for the fact that there is free wifi and a computer plug in. Facebook here he comes.  Then a little stop at saba rock for happy hour and some shots of them feeding the huge Tarpon.



Gabi is a bit nervous about missing their plane so we are heading back to St Thomas a few days early. Sailing down the Atlantic side of the islands in the hopes that we'll actually get some wind on this glassy ocean. Jib an mizzen are pulling us along between 4 and 6 knots. Definitely not racing but a beautiful pleasant relaxin way to travel from one end of the islands to the other.


There off on their long flight back to vienna and we are sitting in Lindberg Bay.

                             Bon Voyage Gabi and Rudiit was nice having you aboard

Monday, March 18, 2013

Housekeeping Chores

Our favorite mechanic- Joe
Feb 2-16

We're on the water and sitting in charlotte Amalie harbour waiting for Joe to fix our genny leak, so we can provision. meanwhile we are unbagging all the stuff we bagged last year and everything appears to be in good shape.

 Now that he has performed his magic we can provision.  Which is like starting your kitchen from scratch.

Everyone always askswhat we do all day, so I will explain that shopping for groceries is a multi day chore.
We get bags and our trundle cart ready to head for shore, pull the dinghy up on the beach or if we're luck have a dock to go to. Walk to the grocery store, which can be blocks away. Keeping an eye on weight and quantity, we load up on the basics, bag it, load our cart and head back to the boat, where it's all transferred to the dinghy and out to the boat. Then 1 small bag at a time, Gord hands it up 6 ft to me on deck and I tuck it here there and everywhere that it can't roll off. Then we transfer it down the companion way another 5 steps and start to unload it into miniscule cabinets, under floor boards and under settee.
By the time we finish, it's late afternoon and of course "Miller Time".

The next day we do the meat run, starting out the same, but grabbing the dollar taxi and heading for Cost U Less. Everything must fit compactly into the cart, so that it will fit into the narrow eisles on the dollar taxi or they won't let us on, then back to the boat with the same routine to get it repackaged and put into the freezer.

The next day, same time, same routine we head in and up to the fresh fruit market and this time when we return to the boat we must wash eerything in a solution of bleach, fully dry, wrap in paper towel and put into cloth bags.

Now that's 3 days to shop, I'm exhausted ! aren't you?

So a few more chores like dropping off a small sail repair to Manfred, some laundry, making up the V berth and a few swims in between we're pretty much ready for Gabi and Rudi to arrive.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

On The Hard Jan 21 -Feb 1, 2013

We did the usual routine, Mom, Wendy and Elmer drove us to the airport and we landed in St Thomas late at night and crashed at the Caribe, Grabbed a spot at the Petite Pump room, with a view of the harbour as we waited for our Ferry to Virgin Gorda  the next day.






Our


Ocean Wings was in great shape, no mold, mildew, leaks or critters ( big or small). Now comes the hard on the hard. The hot, dusty work of putting her together and testing her systems so we can get into the water.



Bottom Painting

Nasty nasty job

Startng the varnishing process



Happy 63rd Birthday Sue

Now it's Birthday Time and oce again I am celebrating my birthday in the Sunny Caribbean, only this time we are still on the hard. So, it's up to the Mine Shaft for dinner with Bill and Marianne of "Seminole Wind" for great painkillers and an amazing view over the south side of Virgin Gorda.




There I discover that my knowledge of chickens is saddly lacking, as there perched in a 30 ft tree staring back at us is a family of tree roosting chickens. Will wonders never cease!




Tree Roosting Chicken family



Then it's back to Fishers Cove for the band and some Funnnnnnnnn!


                                                                   THE LAUNCH

ready to drop in

Aquarius, our friend Carl and Judy’s catamaran is sad to see sitting there, knowing that Carl will never return. There is a For Sale sign and apparently a young couple , his name is Jack, are looking at it and plan to go around the world. Now we hear it's SOLD


On the Water  - and worth the work







Monday, March 4, 2013

The Cruisers go a Cruising

Wendy and Elmer were smart enough to fly down, so they have already been soaking up the sun and chilling by the pool.


However Bealls for a marathon shop is on the to-do list and we do our credit cards proud

No, not in Ocean Wings, but on the Carnival Legend. Seven days of being waited on hand and foot, before we go and start the hot, grueling task of getting Ocean Wings launched.




Our Ship
 
Checked In


Lets get going














Deck Stroll

The Girls
 
What should we do first

Wow , talk about palatial. This boat is so ornate it’s almost hard on the eyes.

Onboard Elevators


Getting Lucky

Dinner

Elmer just can't Believe what those Waiters will do for a Tip

Pool 1

Tuckered
Add caption


2600passengers and 1000 crew, 3 swimming pools, multiple bars , nighclubs and theatres.




Our first stop .. Cozumel, Mexico.



Cozumel Swingers







Our 2nd stop was to be Belize, which is the reason we took the cruise. It’s not a very safe area, so we will probably never take Ocean Wings there, so it’s a good way to safely see this port. But at the last minute the captain cancelled Belize due to some dispute over landing fees. Then, announces that we will go to Costa Maya instead. So it’s full speed ahead. But, when we get there, our sister ship Carnival Glory has been unable to dock due to the high winds, so our captain aborts without an attempt and we are back out to sea for another sea day.

Oh well, lots to keep us happy and entertained on board.




Slip

Sliding

They are picture crazy here on these cruises, snapping your picture with every sort of pirate, mermaid, sunset setting and tropical paradise, then of course selling you the gorgeous pictures at crazy prices. But memories are fleeting , so seize the moment.

Greeters



Our Gang

Next stop Roatan, we rented a car here and toured the island. What a beautiful place. Looks very much like the Virgins, with its tree covered hills. The people seemed really nice and we would love to bring Ocean Wings back here

Rest Stop

Gord Bribing the locals

Last stop is Grand Cayman. This island is flatter with beaches that stretch a long long way.





We did the underwater submarine “Atlantis “ and cruised along about 100 ft down along the ocean bottom and along the shelf that drops thousands of feet and out of sight.
Subbers
More subbers
104 ft down under


Arriving in HELL
We also took a cab to the beach and had our driver take us to hell. Crazy place with the blackest, sharpest inland coral field.





Then on to the beach for a swim and a beer



Grand Cayman

Beach Boy

We were sad to leave our singing/dancing waiters and head back to that place where we have to cook and clean for ourselves.


Singing/Dancing Waiters

Bon Voyage to our waiters

Waiting to Leave


Marian, George and Marie were there to pick us up at the end of our cruise. It was a great week and nice to be pampered just before heading to the BVI for work on the hard.









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.