Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Not Where We Thought We Would Be

Oh! We have been bad! It has been a long time since we blogged! This may have to be two blogs. The year has not gone as planned or expected. The boat has been wonderful! Very few boat projects or repairs, knock on wood. However, we still haven’t gone very far, or taken the trips we had expected to as we have been busy helping others with some of their problems. That is not bad! We have enjoyed all of it, but it isn’t as exciting to read about as visiting new places and having new experiences. However, it is a part of life, and a wonderful part of life it is.

Ahh St Patrick's Day
Ohh! He's happy!
St Patrick’s Day was a blast at St John!  As usual we got there early and the green drinks were flowing on the street! The parade is 1 block long and lasted 20 minute, but a eye popping 20 min. it is.  There were maybe 4 floats, but they distributed all kinds of trinkets and balls. We anchored in Caneel Bay and met lots of our friends from BVI over to celebrate with the Irish.   What a great Time!
Maybe old majorettes
The kids even had fun

Ahh! Mermaids!
A fun float
The Irish Toast
A true Irish Lass

One of the majorettes

The end of the parade

Carl splicing a line for the mooring

Carl with a sand screw

sand screw started to  be drilled in
With us spending a lot of time in the USVI, Carl decided to put in a mooring. After a week anchored at the spot to watch the winds and movement of the other boats around, we went around and took GPS positions of all the nearby moorings and plotted them out. We then found the midpoint of the other moorings and put down a marker. It was 165’ from the nearest mooring, but we watched it and talked to our neighbors about being moored there. Everyone said it looked good so Carl and our friend and diving buddy Jane dove down and put in 3 sand screws. Jane then had to leave to go to the states, so Carl finished it up by laying down the chain and connecting screws to make the mooring.

Our second night at the mooring Carl awoke to the sound of a bilge pump going. He checked and found water in the port bilge, but the pump was not pumping it out. He emptied the bilge using the hand pump and the next day took the pump out and replaced the diaphragm. We tested it and it worked fine. Problem solved! However, the next month we did our normal testing and the pump didn’t work again. It actually popped the breaker. The pump came out again and we found it was frozen. So off to the chandlery for a new pump and installed it. All is good again.

The El Galleon
She is all rope rigged and has cannons! 
you had to walk out there to furl the sail
We went to town one day and saw a Spanish Galleon at dock! An investigation found it is a reproduction and open for visiting. It is neat! It has cannons and all rope rigging and is constructed just like the old Galleons which plied the oceans for over 300 years!
The captains cabin
The wheel and it uses rope to the rudder


The boat is nestled on the ship and the supports welded on

Another new experience was helping a friend put a friend’s boat on a boat carrier! Of course the time we were told to be there was postponed for 2 hours, but it was interesting getting the boat hooked up to be hauled out and then going on board to put away all the fenders and lines and reattaching the backstay while they welded the boat supports to the hull.
The bride and Groom

The head table all set up

The father daughter dance
We were invited to a wedding and reception on Honeymoon Beach at Water Island. It is a wonderful place for a wedding with the ocean in the background and driftwood arch.  The wedding cake was cupcakes with palm trees, mermaids, and boats as decoration.  Carl liked all the flavors, had to try one of each!
The floor is open

The wedding cupcakes
Noah and Catlin were working on their apartment to get it ready to rent so as a wedding gift Carl spent some time giving electrical help spending  3 days putting up boxes and conduit on a concrete wall and running wires through them. It was a challenge to find power and get it to the receptacles. Later they called to say there was no power at the plugs, then there was power. Carl met with Catlin’s father, Scott, still latter and they talked about it and Carl suggested there was a switch that went to the power line he used, shades of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Scott checked and sure enough he found a switch that was controlling the power to the outlets. Someone would switch it and he would lose power, then someone would switch it again and he had power back.

Carl spent some time helping friends with boat problems. He helped install and seal an exhaust elbow and a heating hose adaptor on one friend’s boat and tighten the shaft seal on an Island Packet. You have to use a crowbar and hammer to hit the corner of the packing nut as there is no room for a wrench or anything in the narrow keel where it goes through. We helped a friend haul up their dinghy and patch a hole in its keel. Then there was a dive to clear a friend’s anchor line from an old abandoned sand screw, and wiring up some bow lights on a boat was another payback Carl did. I say payback because all these people, and more, had helped us with things in the past. They had paid forward.

The Danmark
The poop deck
The crew called to quarters
As we went by Crown Bay one day we saw the Danmark at the dock. It is a tall ship from Denmark here for the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Denmark control to the US. It is a beautiful ship and it is used to train young people how to sail.
The Danmark is dwarfed by Celebrity Cruise ship

Ready for the parade to start
The parade begins with a veteran
The next day was transfer day. It had a parade and speeches and officials and music and dancing. A great time of fun.

The Danmark Crew

ROTC is really big down here

One school's ROTC class

some of the entertainment

The Danish flag coming down

The US flag going up

We then went to the US for a while, but that will be the next blog.

Monday, March 13, 2017

New and Familiar Places

Sue and Gordon got a place to stay at Nanny Cay and needed to watch over their boat and negotiate with the insurance company, so we sadly left them behind. The North swell and winds were still up so we headed to Trellis Bay for the Full moon party. We took a mooring run by the Last Resort at about 1 PM and settled ourselves. Beagle Knot was in the bay so we made arrangements to eat together at the Last Resort. At 4 PM we got ready to go pickup Ladonna and Denis to go to dinner when the man came to collect for the mooring. He asked if we had reservations, and we said we had dinner reservations, but he asked if we reserved the mooring. We never knew you could reserve a mooring! He said yes you could, but since we had dinner reservations we could stay the night, but we could not stay tomorrow as it was reserved for the full moon festival. We asked the cost and he said it was $30 today, but tomorrow it was $130 with a $70 certificate for dinner at the Last Resort. Wow!
Don't pick up this mooring unless you have talked to
The Last Resort
The Last Resort is Trellis Bay

 We picked up Ladonna, Denis and Ladonna’s mother, Betty, and her friend Bonnie. It was a nice dinner, but a bit pricey. In the morning we kept a sharp look out for boats leaving and grabbed the mooring quickly. We then went ashore. Trellis Bay has changed! Everyone has expanded and all has been newly painted. We hiked the beach to the point and found a tree fort. That night was a great party with the music, food, fire balls, and fire dancers. We met Sue and Gordon, as well as LaDonna and Denis and company on the beach and ate the barbeque at the little store and enjoyed the night.
The fire man at Trellis Bay
The Loose Mongoose has added

A new patio at the Loose Mongoose and
and expanded bar
A new entrance to Aragorn's

The drift wood carvings at Aragon's
are really great!
There are a lot of wood carvings

We found a tree house on the beach
The Full Moon Party Begins!
The fire balls are always neat!


We and Beagle Knot in
Money Bay at Normans
Just us now Beagle Knot left.
We accompanied Beagle Knot to Money Bay on Normans Island which was deserted. We snorkeled the bay and saw the biggest Parrot Fish ever! Of course I couldn’t get a picture. We also hiked around a bit the second day after Beagle Knot had left.

Leslie relaxes on the beach
The trees look like something out of Tolkin!

The fish at the caves are great!

We Cruised up to Norman’s bight and snorkeled the caves before anchoring behind the Willie T. We swam to the Willie T and had a great time and met some people who invited us to meet them for dinner at the Bight restaurant. We accepted and swam back to change and took the dinghy in to the dock. We had a nice meal.

Little Harbor
Stanly's honor bar

 The next day we headed to Cane Garden Bay. Since the North Swell was still strong we decided to go to Jost Van Dyke instead. We looked at Green Cay, but it was crowded so we went on to Little Harbor. We had never been there so we had to go to Stanly’s honor bar and then made dinner reservations at Harris’s Place. Since we had time we hiked to Taboos for a drink and then on to the bubbling pool. Dinner was great!
H arris's Place was really quite nice!

The bubbling pool

They had some nice lobsters
The night at Harris's was nice

We went to Great Harbor and decided to check out and head to the USVI. There we checked in and spent some time at Maho and Caneel Bay before heading to Water Island. We anchored in Honeymoon and had fun and watched a movie. However the second day we moved to Elephant B ay and anchored in deep sand as the winds and waves were to shift to the West. It was good we did as the winds and waves came in and a big Ketch at Honeymoon drug into 4 boats. We were tight, but hung in there. The storm was 3 days before turning back to the normal East. 
We test the new spreader lights. They are bright!

Carl does some splicing while we
wait for the weather
banded shrimp in Brewers Bay in
two feet of water
After getting mail and provisioning the rest of the week was used to draw up a mooring plan then more wind even stronger was forecast so  we headed over to Brewers Bay. We were a couple days late as a Humpback Whale had come into Brewers Bay and gave birth to its calf! Friends of ours saw it and watched the mother hold the baby on its fin while it caught its breath. After we got there we had a beach get together and 18 Dinghys showed up for a great time of socialization. At sundown a squall came in and chased us all off the beach.

Another storm came in out of the East Northeast and blew 30 to 40 Knots for 3 days! Everyone stayed aboard their boats for 2 days. It has abated now and we are getting ready to move on.
A black Lion Fish in Brewers just off the beach

Hard to believe this is under water!