April 2017

Sail from Montserrat to Guadeloupe

It was about 50 miles from point to point. The weather forecast was for winds from the East at 17 to 20kts. We motored up the the north tip of Montserrat and then motor sailed east for a bit with the waves bashing us until it was clear we would be clear of the rocks and the volcano exclusion zone. Then it was South-South East at about 156 deg to Montserrat. Reefed main and staysail was used and we maintained just over 5kts of speed. We hit several squalls where winds approached 30kts and all but once the direction of the wind remains 45 to 60 degrees apparent and we would make 6.5kts or more. Once squall clocked the wind to our nose so we had to fall off to maintain speed of 5kts. We left at 6:00AM and got here at 3:15PM. Really good speed and nice conditions. A few waves tried to rid me of some of my gear, but that was dealt with quickly. I need to find another way to place and secure my rib dink so she doesn't interfere with the head sheets.
I'll check in on Monday as everything official is closed on Sunday.

All checked into Montserrat

I finally got in contact with the port and checked in and out for Monserrat. It cost about 50$ US and I'm good provided I leave by Tuesday morning. Not sure when I'll leave, I have to check weather and right now I have no Cell phone access for the Internet. I'm going to try my HAM radio later today to see if I can get some GIF files for the wind and waves. The weather was very calm and winds from the NE this morning. It is now blowing a bit more and from dead East. Text stop is Guadeloupe.
There is a great beach "Rendezvous Beach" just north of the main port. Cream colored sand and lots of it. Jupiter can't walk very far before he just stops and says he has to rest. This is not good, but otherwise he appears to be fine.
There is not much here. 2/3 of the island has been destroyed by the volcano multiple times in the last 20 years. They have 4 restaurants on the waterfront at the port, but they can't all open at the same time cause there aren't enough customers. When I pulled in on Friday there were 12 boat in the three northern bays, tonight there are only 8. After most of the folks fled the island cause of the destruction, I think their main export is pumice and ash from the volcano. The North end of this island is a beautiful place. The mountains are high and their is enough rain to support large trees. Green everywhere except the low hill near the very north of the island where there is more wind than rain.

The trip to Montserrat

They were calling for NE winds. That didn't happen at all. So we started sailing from St. Kitts at a nice close reach with east winds and small seas. Once we passed the lee of St. Kitts the winds shifted to 112 deg and the seas got to 4ft on average some over 6ft all from the east-south-east. At that point we motor sailed keeping enough wind on port to power the boat through the waves with the help of the engine and 1600 RPMs. The a squall hit us, that allowed us to head up to our line better as it clocked the winds more eastwards with winds up to 28kts. But squalls only last so long and then we were back to 112 deg to 123 deg of wind. At time the wind would even go to 138 deg, 8 deg past or planned line. I tacked but when I did that the waves were only 2 deg to starboard off the nose and they would come in short intervals and stop the boat dead in the water (1kts of speed). So we tacked back to port and then tried to fall off, this was working well but it would put us 20miles off Montserrat and would add another 4 hours to our trip (putting us in well after dark). After a couple of attempts to head up or tack, I decide we would motor in with just the reefed main up. This worked well once I kicked the engine up to 2200RPMs. There were still bursts of waves that were 3 to 4ft in height at very short periods that would stall the boat down to 1.2kts then she would recover back to 3.5kts. Once we got into the lee of Redonda then the wave pattern settled down and we were make 4+kts of speed. The another squall, this one backing us, so we took advantage of it to motor sail closer to our line. After 30 min it died and we were back to slogging it out against the waves. About an hour later the waves changed and another squall to our west was building. This clocked the wind to the east and we were making 5 to 6kts of speed motor sailing. This was nice and comfortable. About 5 miles from Montserrat, the wave pattern changed again and we were being slowed by the seas. About 2 miles from Montserrat the seas calmed and then we were making 6kts to the anchorage.
I need to find a better way to tie the new dink to the deck, she shifted on her tie down in the splashing waves. I also need the check by staysail furler as she gave me problems pulling her in. Otherwise save and sound in Montserrat.
As luck would have it, now that I'm at anchor the wind has shifted to the NE, just one day late from the forecast.

Day 2 Nevis

I pulled up to the Charlestown dink dock today to check out and when I walked down the dock after checking out I had flashback of a large shark being chopped up on the dock by fishermen and people haggling for parts. I look down the road and there was Vicks Bar where we had beer while watching the shark be slaughtered. This was weird, I never made much of the screen when it happened many years ago, but now it just all came rushing back as I walked down the docks in Nevis.
I found dasheen in the market. Guess I'm far enough south where they eat this still. I picked up a small one, not sure how I'm going to prepare it yet.
Then the mooring ball is fouled, in the light winds we drifted round and round and tangled in the mooring. That was a bit of a mess to fix, the neighbor (So Blessed) came by to help get the last couple or wraps and twists off. I'm glad that is done, now I can haul up the dink tonight and get ready to depart for Montserrat in the morning. I sure hope the wind keeps blowing so I don't have a fouled mooring in the morning.
I did a load of laundry today, most of my long sleeve shirts were in the bin to be washed.
The dogs and I went to the beach this afternoon, can't let them go by themselves, and this morning we went for a long swim. The water is really nice and the waves small. I stood in about 3 feet of water and held them on their tethers while they swam and swam. It took them a while to get use to the swells coming in and out from the beach but they worked it out. They slept until 10:30 this morning without moving a bit. They had a hard day sailing, beach play, and partying at Sunshine's Bar and grill. I've never seen the sleep this late.


Got into Nevis this afternoon. I'm going to stay an extra day. The winds are fickle and are expected to be that way on Friday. I had to catch a mooring ball single handed again. This is never easy but did it on the first pass today with 20kts of wind with shifting directions. Two hours later, the wind is down to 5kts. Ugh, my luck. I'm eating food out of the freezer that thawed in the episode at St. Kitts. I have chicken breasts and marlin in marinade. I'm going to Sunshine's tonight, I hope they have lobster!!! That will go great with a single Killer Bee, no more than one of those, I've seen what happens to people that drink more than one :) (to my sisters and brother-in-law).
There are no clouds on the mountain today. It had been covered in clouds while we were in St. Kitts. Now we have really clear skies. Maybe I'll see a green flash (or the killer bee make me see a green flash).
I helped the Canadian's find their lost dink and they payed for my dinner (tell that to Trump who can't get MX to pay for his wall). The pups had fun at Sunshines, but no Killer Bees for them. I had two Killer Bees. Sunshine's has changed a bit since I was here over 15 years ago. The now have a deck and a beach bar on the deck. The killer bee is not as lethal as it was then, but still good!

Beach Day

We spent the day on So. Friar's beach and went down to the beach bar at the south end of the bay. I had a couple of rum punches and the pups had lots of water. I didn't take them swimming since they get all wet than sandy and then bring all the sand into the boat. On the return walk, Jupiter stopped three times to just lay in the sand exhausted. He had no problem going to the south side of the bay, but he didn't do very well coming back. I'm worried that he may be getting close to the end. Once at home on the boat he was his usual self he event peed on the rug at sunset…. :) Daddy will clean that up. The freezer is working again Yeh… but i've had to marinate some fish and chicken that thawed out. I've also had to cook some sausage and other items that I'm canning so they will be good in the cabinet. I don't have anymore small Ball Jar lids. Ugh. I have wide mouth lids, but none of the standard narrow lids. That will be on my next shopping list.

Boarded by the St. Kitts coast guard

This evening after dinner I was up on the bow adding an additional 30 ft of chain to the anchor cause the winds were blowing near 20kts and a boat showed up on my port side. It was the coast guard for St. Kitts. I had to pull up the ladder and then secure their bow line and stern line. The boarded, checked my papers, asked a few questions, checked my safety gear and then left. Cinco and Jupiter were not happy for the first few minutes, but they calmed down and Cinco began begging for pets from the coast guard official on the boat. Mini-Schnauzers… what to do with them, what to do without them?

So Friar's Bay St. Kitts.

This is nice, not so rolley but just a bit rolley. The beach was great. We went down and played, swam and I got a couple of beers at the beach bar. They are serving diner tonight, so I'm going there without the pups.

Clearing into St. Kitts

Clearing in was not that bad. Now a Cruise Ship docked at 8:00 when the offices open. I still went in at 8:00 and the marina staff pointed me to the banking center and a good cafe shop and told me to come back at 9:15, the process once customs was open took about 45 min. I only had to stop a 3 different places all within walking distance. So I hit the bank, cafe shop, and walked around town. St. Kitts is a Cruise Port only. The Cruise Area Mall about 8 sq blocks is nice, everything else is run down.
The people are nice, everyone says good morning and nods or tips their hat. I understand the food is great. I've never been here to so looking forward to a good meal.
The anchorage became really rolley at about 3AM so it will be nice to move down to another bay about 12:00 today. I'm letting the freezer thaw completely today so I can accurately measure the gas level in her. My addition of an OZ of gas didn't do the trick last night. All the freezer contends are in a soft ice chest for the next few hours. Once we get to another bay I'll start working on the freezer/frig.

Sail to St. Kitts

We started just after 8:00am from St. Barth figuring that this would get use there at about 5:00pm. We got there at 6:15pm. The initial sail was great. Reefed main and staysail in 20kts of wind and we were making 5.5kts of speed. About half way, the waves started to knock our speed down to about 4.5kts. So we hit our waypoint just north of St. Kitts about 30min late. The waves got really choppy and confused interacting with the islands and both puppies got sea sick. Not nice. As we rounded the north end I figured the winds and waves would change since this is such a big and tall island (the tops are covered in clouds). And they did but not as expected. The wind clocked sound back for a while, but the waves came head on. Three foot waves that being the boat to a stand still at times. Once the winds clocked back, they were nearly on the nose, so we started the engine and motor sailed for a while. This wasn't working as the sails weren't providing enough power and the waves just kept slamming. So cranked up the RPMs, pulled down the sail, headed closer to the windward shore and started to see 4kts of speed. That was good cause that would get us there before sun set, but just.
Now I'm in the main town just after sun set and the evangelical revivals are under way with LOUD SPEAKERS. Hopefully this will stop by 8PM tonight.

Expecting to have no Internet for the next week

In the morning we are heading to St. Kitts then to South Friar's Bay then to Nevis. We will depart for Monserrat on Wednesday and will stay there over night, maybe longer depending on the weather. Right now it looks like one night. Then we are on our way to Guadeloupe where I should be able to get Internet access. Guadeloupe is a big island so we may stay for a few days before heading to Dominica where we will stay for 2 or 3 days. Still trying to make Grenada sometime in May before Hurricane season starts.
Looking at moving to Suriname, Guyana, French Guyana and father south during the hurricane season. I may need crew for the trip down to south America, so if anyone is interested let me know. The track from Grenada to South America is not easy (current is against us, but weather should be nice). I expect to find lots of other boats in Guyana for the season as it is much nicer than other places (aka Trinidad) and much cheaper than Suriname (a Dutch country).

St. Barth

We are in St. Baths for a few days. If you want to shop in NY but it is too cold, come here. Clearly the locals can't shop here. Wow, every high-end shop you can image but I didn't see Neiman Marcus or Sacks but I didn't walk the entire water front.
Over confidence in Rocna Anchors… A very expensive Hinkley boat anchored in front of me today and they immediately launched their dink and when to town. Within 15min it was apparent that they were dragging. I put up finders and radioed the local port authority to let them know and that I would be watching. They said they would send someone out. About 15 min later the anchor broke lose of its hold. I radioed a PAN PAN put up a fender on the back side of my boat and blasted my horn to notify other boats that there is a disaster about to happen. About 30 seconds later the port authority showed up and boarded the boat adrift and they tried to set the anchor before she hit the rocks. No luck, so they fired up the engine and pulled up the anchor. I thought I might have to start my boat and swing her away as the bow approached closer and closer as the pulled up the anchor. About 10 meters from my stern she stopped advancing. I could see no markings on the chain to indicate the amount of chain, not sure how the owner knows how much chain they have out, but it looked like a 4:1 ratio (not enough) and when the anchor popped out of the water it was a Huge Rocna Anchor… These are good anchors and if you believe the lit on them, they never drag…. bull.
I think we will be heading to Nevis next.

Bad weather

A couple of days of bad weather has delayed our departure. Everything is set for Wednesday! I stopped eating french bread, double cream cheese and pork sausage. Already losing weight :) The DeLoran In Reach will be activated on Wednesday to track our next leg.

So much crap to do

We moved to Marigot bay yesterday and I plan on checking out before Easter, but then there is so much crud to do to get the boat ready for sailing. Mostly it is packing things securely that have been pulled out over the past few months. I packed a lot down last week, but still have more to do. I also want to prepare some food for the trip. Antigua is 1 day off, but I may skip here and go for Guadaloupe… that would be two days. Charging batts today and getting the water maker running in the clean ocean water of Marigot. Should be ready by Sunday if we depart then. May just stay here for Easter and pick up some fresh veggies and head out Monday. Have to plan the trip. I may go to St. Kitts for a day, still not sure until the winds start blowing again. Lots of rain today and no wind. It is to go NE on Sunday and pickup on Monday and Tuesday. I'll study the maps tonight.

Ready for Marigot

Fuel polisher done. I'll inspect the filter again on Saturday. I had to a 4oz to the transmission. It made a funny noise yesterday, hopefully it was just in need of a few ounces of fluid.
I can't wait to go swimming in the clear waters of Marigot Bay. We will be leaving St. Martin either on Saturday or Sunday.


I pulled up the anchor today and found 20ft of nylon line twisted on the shank. So now I know why I dragged last month.
I just purchase 478 Liters of Diesel for 428EU. This is the first time since Nanny Key that I purchased fuel and most of the fuel went to charging the house bank. With the two additional solar panels, I should consume less fuel for charging.
As usual I was totally dry mouthed as I pulled into the fuel dock single handed with 12 Kts of wind and no current. The wind was in my favor. Docking was executed like a professional… Sometime I amaze myself at how well I can handle a 44ft - 38,000 lbs boat with a full keel and no bow thrusters. I event spun her around on departure in a 70 ft fairway with shoals on each side. Boy that really dried my mouth out, but I purchased and Orangina at the fuel dock to wet my whistle. I anchored out in Le Lagoon again for tonight. I will head to Marigot in the next day or two depending on bridge opening schedules for Catholic Holy Week. I'm running the fuel polisher now and likely all night to make sure the fuel is clean.


Spent the morning with boat chores and helping a friend with their refrigeration system Back at the boat now and it is raining. I'll take it easy, doing laundry and have some big pots to clean after canning all that chicken for the dogs. Coming up with the grocery list for Tuesday's shopping run. Looks like we may get some real rain for the first time in a long while. All the trees are starting to turn brown. We could use a good down pour to wash the boat and fill the water tanks with fresh rain water.
I have to rearrange the V-berth and get things packed back securely for our next ocean passage (mini-passage) as most of the islands are just a day sail away (or overnight sail).
Checking with SBI to see about mail forwarding from FLA since Jimi is moving back to LA in the next few months.
Started Rum early today (against all the rules, but it sure taste good on a rainy day).

Mason Jars

We hunted all over the island and found Mason Jars (Ball) at the ACE hardware. I purchased all of the one Quart Jars they had (exactly 9 of them). Oh well, its a start to getting dog food out of the freezer for the long term. So more canning tonight as I purchased 15lbs of chicken thighs to can with petits pois for future doggy food. As long as I can find chicken in the island, I'll keep buying it fresh or frozen, but if it is not available or for long term travel, I'll have canned quarts of chicken and peas to add to fresh cooked rice.
I finished with the Dentist yesterday, they clean my teeth and sail everything was fine. 40 Euros for the dentist.
We will be heading out to Marigot Bay soon, just not sure which day. It may be on the Sunday morning bridge.

Taxes filed and canning food

Taxes have been filed with the help of Jupiter. We are getting a little bit back this year thanks to my high salary and only working 9 months.
I started canning food today. I have to defrost the freezer every two or three months to the best way to keep food is to can it. Yes there are some things that will still be kept frozen, but it has to be a small quantity by the time we are defrosting the freezer. Tonight I'm making Italian sauces and will can most of it for later consumption. This friday I will go shopping again with Silver Penny (in a rented car) to get more Mason Jars and about 20 lbs of chicken. My plan is to can the chicken and peas for the dog food in quart jars so that all I'll have to do is cook the rice and mix it together. Currently I'm keeping 10 lbs of chicken in the freezer for dog food, but when I defrost I have to cook it all… This will save me that hassle. Instead I'll have many qt jars of chicken and peas already cooked, deboned and canned.
I have a dentist appointment on Thursday to get my teeth cleaned. I have my latest X-rays on the computer and I'll get them to check a crown that is causing problems. Once that is done, I just have to fill up with diesel and provision and we will be heading down island to Antigua.
I started taking pictures. Some of them may show up here or on Jupiter's Facebook page.