February 2018

Solar power and Mayreau

The local here are very proud that they are preparing to install a huge solar array to provide power to the Island. They hope that it will cut their power cost dramatically so they the can afford refrigeration and freezers to store food. Most of the houses have no refrigeration cause it cost too much on an island with only 250 people on land. Hopefully this will help the locals, but it will likely take a few year to finish the project (island time).

Mayreau and Salt Fish

Today I went hiking into Mayreau and met a guy that I had met yesterday on the beach. I met him about 20 yards from the church at the top of the hill. We shared a beer and some conversation and the lady at this place was getting ready to prepare lunch. Fish sandwiches made with salt fish. The guy was surprised that I didn't know how to salt cure fish. In Mayreau electricity is so expensive that they do not have a lot of freezers or refrigerators. There are less than 300 people on this island and they preserve their fish by salting them. The lady showed me how it is done. They brine the fish for 12 hours or more in really salty water (more than ocean water) and then they lay them out in the sun to dry. She said don't worry about the flies, they can't do anything to salt fish. The fish had been splayed with he center bones removed but the top fin was still in place to hole the two halves together. When you want to cook fish you cut off what you need and soak it in fresh water for a few hours to remove the salt and then cook it.
The first picture is of the church at the top of the hill in town, second is a picture of Mayreau gardens (a reef on the South-east of the island) the third is Saline bay, and my boat is in there, the fourth is down town Mayreau (my boat also in the picture) waking down the hill and the final photo is of Saline Bay Beach. We are going to hang out on the beach this afternoon. Maybe even go swimming!!!

Sail to Mayreau

Today the wind was 10 to 20 Kts. I worked on getting the helm balanced under these conditions. In the past year I just reduced the main to prevent weather helm that will drive Auto crazy. Today with 1 to 4 ft seas I did a little experimenting with the main. The problem I have had is that the cutter rig main sail will generate too much weather helm when the wind kicks up. Today I eased the main sheet and extra foot or so. Wow, It worked. When the wind kicks up to 18-20Kts, the weather helm kicks in but not long after the main looses its power and the head sail takes over and Auto loves it. So I've been setting the sail for 10kts of wind when I should be setting her for 20Kts of wind. I'll lose some speed at 10-12Kts but Auto can maintain the helm at 18-20Kts.
This is good to know… Still learning after 10 year on this boat.

Saline Bay in Mayreau

We are in Mayreau, on of the Grenadine Islands. Here are a couple photos from the boat. I'll take some pics on the beach later. This is a beautiful beach.
First photo is the beach from the boat, the second is Union Island.


The swell is over 14ft right now so we will be staying for a few more days. I'm also refilling a propane tank and waiting for a FedEx package. Nice place to be stuck!

Spreader light fixed

Thanks to Tom and Sabrina on Honey Ryder for their help in getting this done. I think a halyard must have caught the light in the high winds and pulled it off the spreader. A drill and a couple of rivets appears to have it under control.

Rum Shack Run

Saturday was a Rum shack crawl/run… Never did one of these… It started at 3:00pm. I drank too much too quickly. I spent $42EC on beer by 5:00PM and had to switch to water, but it was too late… Yes, by the time the hit the last shack (a couple of pints of water later) could no longer stand up. Many Thanks to my cruiser friends that kept me safe. Next time I'll have to eat first and then alternate between beer and water. Overall, IT WAS A BLAST… I had a great time until I could no longer stand up… and then I still was enjoying it…. Lots of H2O and no hangover the next day, but hurting in a few spots from falling down a few times…

The snubber broke one strand this morning

Given all the strong winds the snubber was under a lot of strain and this morning one strand snapped. I pulled it off and replaced it with the 3/4" bridle. This should take the strain of the wind. Now I have to pull out my Marlinspike to see how to spice a new three strand onto the snubber hook. I never remember if you start with "A" or with "C". I only do this about once a year so it sure is nice to have the Marlinspike book.
I went to town this morning to extend my Visa and I have to go back this afternoon when the lady that has the "stamp" is there to pick up my documents.
Sunny with 5min showers a few time a day, but very cold at night, 77F. I know that 77F does not sound cold to most of you, but after you've being in the tropics for this long, it is WINTER to all the tropical folks down here. I have to cover up a night even if the hatches are close.

The "french acrobats" provided entertainment for Mardi Gras

The puppies and I have seen them before on Hog Island. They are fun to watch. Today they anchored a boat right off the Whaleboner pier and setup for their show. It was amassing the things she was doing while hanging from a rope. Later they used the whisker pole and swing for some other acrobatics.

Ticks in SVG

My dogs get three or more ticks each week. They are on meds so the ticks die after the bite them and are easy to remove. I'm not sure if they are getting them from the beach or from our walks into town. All the same I don't like it and I check myself each day for ticks, none found on me, so it appears these ticks only like dogs.
Blowing 20+ Kts today for most of the day. It is going to be that way until Wednesday.


Cinco has recovered, but not 100%. He is not the dog he was before getting sick. Hopefully this will improve with time. He isn't as active, he doesn't run up to the bow of the boat when put up into the cockpit and he doesn't want to bark and chase everything he sees. I'm concerned that he will fall of the boat as he doesn't seem to have his boat legs and he wants to turn around where the deck is narrow when he should just walk up to the combing and jump into the cockpit. With the winds and waves we have had for the past few days and will have until Wednesday, I'm paying special attention to Cinco when he is on deck.

Staying put for a few days

The winds and waves are kicking up and will be full blast by the weekend. There is just one small sheltered anchorage south of here, so we will likely stay put for a few days and extend our visa for another month. This is an awesome place to be stuck…. I may move the boat up a few hundred yards to get deeper into Adm Bay and prevent some of the roll that will likely hit us later this week at Princess M Beach.

A 220ft Mega Yacht

A big one has just anchored behind us. No heliport, but you can play basket ball on the deck. I like this one, it is just behind me and at the correct angle to moderate the swell coming into this part of the bay. Oh we still have swell, but drastically reduced by a 220ft mega yacht off our port side.

Sunny Day with a bit of roll in the bay

SVG is awesome today. Sunny, cool and windy. PMB is really nice looking.
We will be there this afternoon for a puppy walk. The water is so clean. This is a sweet place to be. The bottom of the boat will be cleaned on Monday and then we will head down to some of the other Grenadine Islands. I was hoping they would be able to clean it today, but no. So we are stuck in this paradise for a couple more days. Its a hard life.
In the past Bequia was not the place to get fresh food cause the soil is not good and the rain is rare. But they import fresh stuff from St Vincent every day and the stands have great tomatoes, oranges, lettuce, peppers, mandarins, star fruit and paw paws. Every lunch has been a great salad and every breakfast has included star fruit or paw paw.
Today I went into town to find the "meat" man. He is only here on Saturdays. I picked up some fresh lamb chops and ground beef. I avoided the pork cause I still have lots in the freezer. Not sure what will be for dinner tonight. I'm debating heading to Mac's for lobster pizza :) and just keeping the meat in the freezer. The lamb chops were fresh and are in the fridge. They will be great on the grill.
I'm also doing laundry today. It is a two bucket day as I have to clean puppy towels and blankets as well as my clothing.

Healthy dog

Cinco is fine this morning, back to Normal — eating, running and barking. What a relief!

Sick dog

On Wednesday Cinco was fine, but today he is sick again. He doesn't want to stand up at all. He took his meds this morning but only ate one bite of food. We are getting ready to go for our afternoon walk, not sure if he will want to come with us. If he is still sick in the AM then we will all go to the clinic and may have to hop the ferry to St Vincent for a Vet.