Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gar and Helen Arrive Mar 2- 11

We've been awaiting their arrival as we know we will have fun and great conversation when they're aboard.

Helen just could not wait to hit the long pristine white beach in Culebrita
Amazing pizza at Heathers
Birthday Boy, we were polite and didn't ask his age, but we figure he's at least 21 by the number of candles
Just a blowhard
Another blowhard
Helen was the best blowhard of all, 17 seconds on the Conch - to win a case of beer
Had to snorkel those famous "Indians"
They love to sail aboard their own Valiant, "white star" . We're hoping they won't be disappointed down here, we're in a huge calm and it takes at least 10 knots to move a 20 ton boat, and if that's not enough, all the islands run east west, so straight into the wind is quite the norm here, but we will try to get some sails up.
Gar n Helen

We're off to Culebrita as hope we'll get a good downwind sail.   Wouldn't you know it?  the ocean is like  a huge mirror, smooth, calm and glassy.  So much for out downwind sail


Meeting Michael Bean after his pirate show

Jumbies were a hit

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Culebrita & Culebra

                        Off to Culebrita and Culebra with Tom & Megs and Carl and Leslie

We're like a little caravan, Tom and megs are early risers so they headed out first, then Carl and Leslie  and last but not least Ocean wings by the crack of noon.   Were fast so it was aquick up and pass Frolic and then catching up to Tom & Megs on Alpha Crucis.     

Culebrita was a rockin and rolling( surf wise) so we headed into Dewey on Culebra. Once we  all arrived we  celebrated happy hour and dinner at the Dinghy Dock bar, known as a cruisers hangout.
Customs check in the next morning was the most long drawn out affair that it could possibly be. They simply have one speed for accomplishing everything.  Slow, slow and even more slow.
Once we'd paid the requisite $35.00 cruising fee, we headed out to snorkel off Luis Pena Island.

Dinghy Dock- Culebra
Dinghy Dock  Gathering


Surprise , surprise, even on this quiet, sleepy little Spanish island,  harbour TV still flourishes.
Caribe Spirit a day charter power cat with about 30 tourists aboard, grabbed the mooring ball next to Tom & Meg. All 30 tourists jump in the water and while they're splashing around, the tour boat gradually drifts away.

Now that is not supposed to happen on a mooring ball. The whole idea is that you're supposed to stay put.
When the guys onboard finally look up, the panic starts.   Whistles blow, arms wave, everyone shouts at once and swimmers make a mad swim for their tour boat.  As they scramble aboard it becomes very obvious that they are still attached to the ball.  The problem is that the ball is no longer attached to the bottom of the ocean.  Whoops!!!!  Could be that they're just a tad too big and heavy for a mooring ball. 

The truly sad part is that they just cut the ball loose and let it drift out to sea, rather than own up to the DPNR ( Dept of Parks & Natural Resources) that they had literally pulled it out of the ocean floor.

Not sure I want to trust my boat on a ball after they've been around!

Surf has died down , so over we go to Culebrita. the Puerto Rican Navy is everywhere ( that's our name for the power boats the Puerto Ricans favour over sailboats) and they're all stern tied to shore in a big long line.   I think they love power boats because they have large engines and loads of battery power so they can each blast their stereo, belting out different music, to see who can outdo who.
About 10 minutes and I've had enough.
But its sunday evening, so they head out toward dusk and the sailboats reclaim the bay.
It has to be the most gorgeous white sand horsehoe shaped beach I've yet to see, with a great hike up the lighthouse ruins.

The snorkelling is great and the Jacuzzi, pools are awesome.

Time to try the new lobster trap on the shallow reef here and we are the last boat backed up to the reef.

While we're sitting with Tom & Meg chatting over dinner, a dinghy comes out of the dark from behind our boat.   How curious, there's nothing but reef back there.
And our lobster trap!!!! Oh Oh!!!

Next morning, the ball is on the rocks with the line cut and the trap missing.

I'm appalled!  a boater stealing from another boater.   We suspect it was the people on a Lagoon 380, flying a colourful windsock type flag, with red boat lettering ( which was obscured) on the top step riser of the starboard side. They looked very sheepish when asked if they had seen anyone take our trap. 

Be on the look out for that unique stainless steel lobster trap if there are any Lagoon 380's in your area. 
Don't forget to lock up your stuff!

Cane Garden Bay Feb 20-22

Busy anchorage
. Its our turn to be harbour TV.

The moorings have pretty terrible tethers, the harbour is crowded to say the least, with boats anchored in between the moorings and we're heading for the last ball before the cat that wants to run us over cuts us off and grabs it. Got it and lost it.  Why are there no brakes on a boat?? 
However a little drift back and it pops up from under our hull and we're secure

Looking down on Cane Garden Bay, BVI

The beach is soft, white and clean and the beach bars are lined up all the way from end to the other, so its a rocking place every day of the week.
So, Its dancing time!!!

 Now we're not just here to dance, Brian is going up the mast to check put the things that Skippy did and more importantly didn't do, when we spent that week in Independent at the dock for rigging.
Brian's opinion is one we trust.
So here he is swinging from the Yardarm , so to speak, checking us out.  Turns out I'm a bit of a worrier and there are relatively few real issues.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Don't you get bored, just sitting around on a sailboat everyday???

touch ups
 It's those that have never had the opportunity to enjoy life aboard, that often ask that question.

Those that have never dinghy'd 2 miles thru the waves , so they can tie up, hike another 1/2 mile to the grocery store, lug it all back to the dinghy, dinghy back 2 miles, carry it up a six ft ladder, across the deck, down  a 5 step ladder and wash, bag and stow it all.  It's a whole day, well spent if you don't want to starve.

Laundry day is a similar routine, that gives you the pleasure of spending hours in a sweltering Laundromat that charges $7.00 in a slow washer and close to that for a drier.  Boating..... I love it!

Here's a pictorial sneak peak into life aboard a cruisers sailboat.

swimming with the fishies

swinging from the yard arm

hoping to catch a lobster dinner

keeping our selves and friends out of hot water

walking the beach

watching harbour TV

enjoying the stars

welcoming family aboard
munching on the beach

watching the neighbours anchor and tie up the sails

getting places

rainbows almost everyday

beach bumming

getting coral out of places it should never be

heading to the next bay

scrubbing off at the end of the day


snorkelling the indians

squeezing to tiny Hot places

swimming off the boat
dancing up a storm

dinner out with friends

the painkiller blues

enjoying the scenery

getting in on some pirate action

getting off the boat

trash removal

driving lessons?

hanging overboard

happy hour at the dinghy dock pub

heading snorkelling

up the channel

hiking to high, old crumbly places

installing luxuries ( TV )
lining up the painkillers
water run- need that watermaker
meeting interesting characters

$200 in groceries by dinghy

avoiding the pretty coral

being amazed and entertained

beach bonfires with friends

bumper boats at the dinghy dock

checking out the neighbours

chillin on the bow

BORED?    No Never!

making dinner

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.