The dutch are working on the causway bridge

When I first arrived only the swing bridge was lighted and slowly they have been working to get the lights up on the entire causeway bridge. I'll take a couple of pictures tomorrow night and post them. It is St Martin's answer to HKG. It is really cool to see the entire causeway bridge light and all the light to be synchronized. Right now only about 80% are in sync. It looks like one or two spans are stuck on a specific color and one are two are just not working. But tonight is the best it has been since i've been here.
Windy today, they were calling for 15 to 22, looks like 19 to 33 right now and most of the morning. That is okay by us. It means that the dink rides are very wet, but the batts are very charged — Just another tradeoff. I have to go pickup the Gen part and see a man about a possible new dink for us since mine is not doing very well in these conditions. Jupiter, after this mornings soaking, had decided that he would approve a rib dink for us. Yes, we went to explorer island in 20+ kts of wind. That was not so bad since it was mostly down wind. The return trip at 22+ kts of wind and white caps on the wave made for a very wet return. I think Jupiter, Cinco and Cy would all prefer to stay a little bit dryer.

Gen part in... down pour one the way back from groc shopping

My high-pressure fuel line is in. I have to see about picking it up today if I can if not then Wed morning. Hopefully it is pre-bent in the right shape otherwise I'll have to find someone here that can bend this stuff without cracking it.
Grocery shopping today in quick drying clothes cause it is overcast today. On the way back, the sky opened up with a down pour. I have yet to see if the crackers and cookies survived.
The boxes of wine melted in the rain. The frozen food was in the cooler bag. I was expecting it so I carried some extra plastic bags (they may have saved my cookies and crackers). I'm still drying off from the trip. I purchased a few different cheeses and some fish/beef/pork etc. Now I have to decide the menu for tonight. I still have a few hours to make that decision (even if the food is frozen, it will thaw out quickly here). I could get really FAT in St Martin!!! This is better than I've ever expected.
They had three different kinds of Boudin at the shop. I looked like Cajun Boudin but very small links. I couldn't understand the modifier in french to know what each one was. Maybe next week if they have it I'll pick up a package of each and try them out. Super U also has christophines already sliced and frozen and as well as sweet potatoes, yucca, yams, mushrooms and dasheen.
Super U is a big but strange store. They have things you would never find in the States and yet they are missing thing that you think would be universal. I almost bought green onions, but I would have had to chop them and freeze them before they would be used. Not into that unless they could be dehidrated before being stored. They have lots of cuts of meat, but my French is not good enough to know determine what each cut is. I know chicken, beef, pork, duck, and goose…but not specific cuts of each.
I picked up a Taboule' package at the store. It comes with cracked wheat and a can of tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, and onion to mix with the wheat. I'll see how it tastes tonight with my tuna.
My repair to the dink floor is not holding, I'm working on getting Jupiter to approve the expense of a new (used) ribbed dink. After today's wet ride to shore he may approve it…
Last night I ran the house batt bank to empty… Yes at 12V she alarmed and woke me. I ran to the nav station, saw the alarm, ran to the cockpit, started the engine, ran down below and joined the batt banks, but the house bank shut down just as I started the engine. Only the MFD shutdown all other systems stayed up. So now I know how low the batts can go before they need attention. When I went to bed at 8PM we were at 12.6V at 4:30AM we were at 12V and the alarm triggered. Charging them today with the engine cause I still don't have the generator parts.

Mainsail is at the loft for modifications

I just delivered the main to the loft for modifications and a new leech line. They are estimating 2 weeks for the work to be done. This was the worst folding job I've done on a sail. It's not easy folding that thing on the boat. I was lucky, it did fit into the sail bag :) While there, I had lunch at Lagoonie's and the food is really good.
I'm debating buying a used rib dink. It will make driving around in a dink a lot easier. My current dink is an inflatable floor and is has no real keel. My floor started deflating 3 days ago. The brand new floor valve was leaking. I've fixed it for now. I'll debate this for a few more days. I have to go see the rib dink and take some measurements to see how it will fit on my deck. My existing dink can be completely deflated and the rolled up and strapped mid-ship. The rib will not roll up but it can be deflated. If the rib core is only 7ft, then it may work being strapped down to hard points mid-ship.
The dogs and I are going to go to Marigot later today for a walk and dump the trash. Need to wear their toe nails down on pavement. They've had way to much sand/beach/field walking for the past couple weeks, they need some more city walking or I'll have to trim the puppies' toe nails. I don't think they want me to trim their nails. We went to explorer island this morning once the rain stopped. The tide was high (+6in) so they didn't want to walk to the northwest end of the island (Cinco would get his feet wet!). We hit that window just right cause 10min after, we were back on the boat and it started raining again.


I moved the cameras from the location where they had been for 8 years to make room for the crew sailing down with me from Annapolis. I know I put them in a safe place, but I just can find that place. I have the Cell Phone and the GoPro, but neither of my Nikon still frame cameras. I suspect they may be in the V-berth. Ugh— that's going to be a pain. I don't know why I would have put them up there given all the other places in the main cabin that were available… but all I find in those places are the spare radios. More rain before sunset. I'll have the check the weather forecast for Monday.

Lazy Rainy Sunday Morning

Spent most of the morning cooking puppy food and cleaning. Its noon, the sun is coming out and almost time to take the boys for a hike on shore. Problem is, the engine is running and they are snoring loudly. I'll let 'em sleep a bit longer.
Have fresh yellow fin marinating for dinner for the next two days. Fresh fish from the Saturday's Fish Market in Marigot is on the menu. They had a lot of fish this weekend. I guess the weather calming down is allowing them to catch more. I need a fish guide book, they have varieties for sale that I've never seen before. They did not have any conch (lambi), that's what I was looking for, but then this tuna caught my eye, so I purchased a couple of slabs. Should be yummy. I'll have it with rosemary roasted potatoes and sliced tomato.
I still need to pull down the mainsail and get her bagged for the sail loft. I was going to do that this morning but the rain caused a shift in plans.

Puppies okay after the trash bag party

The dogs didn't get sick from the trash bag raid last night. That is good, I was not looking forward to cleaning rugs for two days. Saturday we have to go to Shrimpy's to pick up mail and check out a dink he has for sale (with jupiter's approval). We may also go hiking up to the top for Fort Louis. This should wear their toe nails down a bit. Didn't to hair cuts today cause we went swimming instead. Likely do hair cuts on Saturday. I have to remember to bring a camera.
I have two painting to do while here in Le Lagoon, one of the cultural center the other of an old steel ship wreck in the Lagoon. Both will make nice water colors. Yes a new challenge move on from the Kites painting to other water color paintings.
Jupiter love's Merlitons (christophines), I gave him a small taste and he loved it, not sure if they are okay for Cinco's diet. I may have to email the vet to see if they are okay and also if breadfruit is okay.
They fixed the lights on the causeway bridge. It is awesome to see, equal to two buildings in HKG, but all the same over the water the bridge lights are great.

Fresh Baguette today I think I'm going to eat the whole thing today

Fresh Baguette — Yummy with eggs and sausage, Yummy with sweet cream butter, Yummy with soft cheese, Yummy all by itself, Yummy with wine… This one won't last long :)
Good thing the bread lady shows up every morning!
Off to explore more today at Explorer Island and then to Le Canal at 6PM for drinks and dinner with friends and "puppies" they will like it once they get done barking at the Portugese water dog from Silver Penny.
Got the stove working today, not sure how. But it was not easy, but the push button ignition is working for now.
Country music on the radio, "I liked you better when you hated yourself!" I hate country music ;)
Just got back from drinks and dinner at Le Canal. Great as usual! But when I came home, the dogs had ripped the trash to pieces and scattered it everywhere on the boat. I am not happy and there were no chicken bones in the trash, but they ate egg shells, tea bags and chewed on every thing including the diesel soaked paper towel and all the paper towels used to clean behind the stove.
I am not happy and they will likely get sick for the next two or three days as a result of this trash venture. No more trash to be stored inside the boat.

Shopping day

Hit the grocery store today to get more ingredients for puppy jambalaya as well as some wine and daddy food. Good bordeaux for less that 10 a bottle is nice (not great bordeaux). I did pick up a couple of nicer bottles for later in the week. Cannot find grape leaves and it is hard to find any nuts other than peanuts. I picked up some french beef sausage and I'll try that tonight with christophines (merlitons/chayote) cooked in Irish butter. The aged port sausage (Saucisse seiche) goes well with bordeaux :) . I missed the bread lady today :( I sure could use a good loaf for tonight's dinner. I'll likely miss her on Wednesday unless she shows up by 8am cause I have to haul an LPG tank down to the dutch side for a refill.
I'm going to "explorer island" later today to see it if appropriate for doggy walks. May move to the dutch side in a few days for a change of venue. Did I tell you how nice St Martin is? I'm sure I did. I've been through the airport here several times, never realized how nice the island is for a slightly extended stay.

Parts for generator ordered

Got the Generator fuel assembly removed and went to the authorized dealer to get a replacement assembly. It has been ordered but It won't be here for another week. I hope I can put it back together :) . So now on to other projects. The next big one is removing the stove to replace a part that is "conveniently" located on the back side. I've never done this before and I'm sure it is not going to be easy, that thing weights a ton. It may also reveal additional projects (as usual on a boat). I may have to pull out the sewing machine. I've been avoiding that. But it is going to rain for a couple days so interior jobs are good.
Tuesday is grocery shopping day. I have to reprovision the boat with goodies, running low of stocks. Looking forward to tomorrow's fresh bread delivery. That stuff is awesome!
Jupiter is vomiting again. Not sure why this time since he hasn't gotten into chicken bones for a while, so lots of rug washing on Music. Cinco is avoiding him for now. Winds from the South-east today, a bit unusual, but it is still very low humidity.

Life on a Boat - Laundry day on the boat

I think I have the laundry routine worked out. Fill a 5 Gal bucket with dirty clothes, add warm water, about 1/4 oz of "All Free Clear" (more if any oily or greasy clothes are in the bucket) and 1 oz of ammonia (more if is really dirty). If you have really dirty stuff — use more soap and ammonia but you will need to have a second bucket of clean water to rinse clothes when you pull them out of the wash bucket as the soap residue will cause mildew to grow. Take the bucket to the cockpit and stomp on the clothes with bare feet (while pant legs are rolled up and sunglasses are on — it looks cool that way). Let clothes soak in the bucket and repeat stomping every 30 min or so. After a few hours take out the cleaner laundry and hang on the life lines, let the dirtier stuff soak longer and get more stomps. There is only room for about 6 items on the sunny side of the life lines so having some clothes soak longer is good.
If you have really dirty stuff, pull out the wringer (mangler) and run the dirty stuff through it once or twice instead of stomping. The wringer is also used for thick items like towels to get most of the water out before hanging them to dry.
It is amazing how dirty that water is when you pull the clothes out. I do laundry about twice a week depending on weather. Last couple of wash days have been great cause the humidity is down near 50% here as a result of the cold front that passed last week. Clothes dry really fast this week.
If you have really, really dirty stuff, you can tie it in a mesh bag, secure a 30ft line to the stern and toss it over board while sailing. A few million gallons of clean sea water does a good job of cleaning, but then you have to rinse the stuff in fresh water two or three times using the wringer between each rinse to get all the salt out. You don't want to have salt in your clothing, it attracts moisture. Given the amount of rinsing, you safe a lot of fresh water by not using this method and instead increase the soap in the bucket, stomp more, soak longer, and use the wringer.
Washing the rugs is another deal. This is done by laying them on the bow and fetching multiple buckets of ocean water to more across them and then scrub this with a brush. Let them sit, fetch more water to run across them, repeat as needed. When done hang the rugs on the boom and secure them with the "preventer" lines (already lost one rug to high winds in the BVI cause I didn't use the preventer lines to secure it). The number of times this is done each day or week depends on Jupiter and Cinco. If either if them is sick then I'm doing this everyday or more. We have had a couple of days with no rugs in the boat because all of the rugs and the spare rugs were being washed and dried.

Cracked the return line for the Gen Set

When trying to bleed the system again, I cracked the return fuel line on the Gen. Shut down the fuel and put a diesel diaper under it. Look like I'll be heading to Caribs Diesel Svc on Monday to see if they can get this thing to work. Otherwise, a nice day here, sunny, warm, partly cloudy, no wind. Cold at night. Wind is going to kick back in on Wednesday. Hopefully I can get the Gen started next week cause I want to head to St. Barts. Also need my mail to arrive before I leave.
Fresh french bread delivered to the boat this morning. Yummy. Will have more on Monday.
I have to run into town today to see if I can find some peas for the puppy jambalaya and hit the bank before my card expires (still waiting on the mail package for Jimi to arrive). Otherwise everything is going great St Martin is a really nice island, visit if you can. May be going on a hike Wednesday to the top of the mountain. More to come it I take that trip (no dogs allowed).
All metal zippers rust in this environment :)

Local station is playing Ziggy Stardust (full album from 1972)

It is through back Friday here and the station is playing 1972 music. Nice treat each Friday as they pick a different year. This has been really entertaining each Friday.
No wind today and this make hopping around Le Lagoon easy in the dink. It is hot as a result of no wind; however, tonight it will be 67 degrees so that will be cold (very cold for here). A few more project to do, but not much more. I will miss St. Martin (St. Maarten). This is a great place. The beaches we have seen are awesome and everyone is friendly. I'll go up on a bus to Grand Case on Tuesday (can't do it by boat cause of the northern swell). Should be a fun street party and great french food. I tried a french Rum yesterday (it was really BAD). I'll stick to island rum!
Just sent email to the sailmaker to see about my leech line problem. I should get a reply in a few days.
Still waiting for my mail package from Jimi, two weeks and still waiting.

Lecture at Lagoonie's today

Went to Lagoonie's today for a talk on Pacific sailing. It was good and got to meet some fellow yachters. When daddy is away someone pees on the rug. I think he pees when there is noise or other sounds that disturb him. Tonight I came back to see 3 pee spots. Looks like i'll be washing the run in the morning.
Island 92 FM is an eclectic station. They have "little Stevey" and Surf…

Running the engine until she cycles

Running the engine today until she cycles through Bulk, Absorb and Float. I've been doing this every day, but today looks like the day when the batts are charged enough to cause her to cycle. Better that I see what she does in Le Lagoon rather than at Sea in adverses conditions. Otherwise a lazy day, need to do laundry tomorrow. It is cold at night, I had to pull out a blanket. Making a big spaghetti sauce tonight to store some in the freezer. Have to go shopping to re-provision the boat on Friday. Running out of snacks and other things.
After 8 hours of engine time, the alternator regulator has cycled. All is good, she fully charged he Batts without overcharging them. We are in Float charge now at 11PM and slowly bleeding power. Awesome! The new alternator regulator is working as expected.

Gumbo was good!

Ah yeh the gumbo was good. Re-bedded the port prism but cracked the glass in the process. I will have to find out how to get a new prism for that side. Went to Island water world to get items this morning, got most thing but a few thing I will have to pick up at an auto shop. Zippers rust in the tropics. My back pack is now useless as it is full of large legions of rust on the zippers. Oh well, I'll be looking for new back pack soon. Boat projects are moving along. I should be able to hold ice cream in my freezer again! Deck prism re-bedded but i cracked her trying to get her off. I'll check the Mason site to see where I can get a new one. Running the engine today to see if she will cycle through the charge profile.
My french is improving but when starting out from 1% going to 3% is a 300 percent improvement…but I still can't communicate in french.
We are going to a Bistro this afternoon for dinner.

Another almost lazy day

The day started with rain and winds until 9AM. I finished working on defrosting the freezer and recharging and testing the system. Got more fuels for dink and mixed the oil and Seafoam. Started taking the port prism apart. It will get re-bedded tomorrow. The alternator regulator appears to work but I have yet to get her to cycle through her program. I'll try that on Tuesday since we are nearly fully charged now. I'm trying to get internet access, but my MiFi is not appropriate for the French Islands, stuck with bistros that provide free wifi. Next time I go to Marigot, I'll bring my Droid Phone and see if that will work. Winds are calming down and so are the seas. Have to start planning my next destination.
Cold again tonight, 74 deg, I'm going to have chicken and sausage gumbo :) Last batch in the freezer that I had to take out to thaw it out and recharge it.

Lazy Day

Not much combing on the dogs… I got the major mats and tangle out, but they are a pain to deal with when cutting their hair. Hopefully this will improve over time. Not much today, defrosting the freezer/fridge so i can get her recharged. Temps were getting into the mid 20's on the freezer and that is not good. Been eating everything out of the freezer for a few days to make it easier to defrost.
A Cold front passed. It is 74 deg at night and that is really cold. I've debated pulling out my wool, really. I think my blood has thinned a bit. I also had to take a fleece blanket out for the past two nights. 86 deg in the day and low 70's at night. Going to see if I can get a Mifi SIM chip this week. That will greatly improve my Internet access. For now I rely on Shrimpy's for internet every other day or so. Still have a few boat projects to do while here, but already thinking of the next destination.

A windy day in paridise

20+kts of wind all day today. Got the fridge recharged and then some, now beading off the extras gas. Pups got bathed on Friday, they really hate being combed today. I only got half of them combed and clipped. More to come on Sunday. Winds should calm down on Sunday and Monday. That will be nice.

So much for pee on the rug...

Jupiter couldn't hold it. So two pees on the rug while I was out on the dink to pay bills and check mail. When I got back there was an MOB alarm on the MFD. So that may have had him worried. I had 4 of these today as someone was testing their MOB (man over board) gear and my MFD is picking it up and alerting me of a MOB. Really annoying I need to see how to turn of this alarm for "test" MOB.
Ran the engine some more with the new regulator, still didn't get the batts up to voltage… Will repeat again on Saturday. I plan on taking the pups to a fishing seminar on Saturday. Got some R134a for the fridge today. I have to recharge her. But what a pain getting into that locker cause that is where the series drogue is stored and that thing weight and extra 10 lbs every time I try to pull her out of the locker.
We did rub-a-dub-dub today for the puppies and started cutting the mats/tangles/cockaburs out of their hair. Saturday will be a comb and clip day for the pups. They are not going to like that.

New Alternator Controller installed

I got the correct Alternator regulator installed today, but did not have time to run her through a full cycle. After 3 hours in Bulk charge mode I had to shut her down to take the pups for their afternoon walk. Tomorrow I'll run her for longer. All the same, it is looking good, much better than the little Alternator I've been using, this one deliver voltage to the main bank!! More on that once I fully test her through a complete cycle.
Need more R134a for the freezer. She has been rising in temp for several weeks, so today I dumped the starboard locker and recharged her with what little bit of R134a I had in my can. It wasn't enough but it should help until I can get more. I need to see if it is legal to purchase R134a here in FWI… Probably is. Got a new dink light since the old one was damaged beyond repair when the powerboat ran me over last night. I still have to figure you how I'm going to repair the cracks and splits in the outboard motor cover. I have to take it off in the next day or two and see if I can hammer the spits back in place and maybe apply some epoxy and glass. I need to make it look ugly so that no one will want to steal it :) As it is, no one would want my Dink, and the engine is bolted and locked on to the dink so if you steal one you get the other, it is a package deal :).
They are calling for winds up to 30kts on Friday. We are in Le Lagoon so we are safe from the waves and swell. Anchor is holding well.
I'll have to do laundry on Friday and give the pups a hair cut and bath. The only other major project is getting the generator started (my next attempt will be to pull the injectors and crank her to make sure there is no water in the cylinders). If that works great. Otherwise I'll need professional help.
Water maker is working fine, we are in Le Lagoon and the water is clear where we are anchored, so I ran her for 2 hours yesterday and she was pumping out 15 gal and hour with no leaks YEH!!!
Jupiter hasn't peed on the rugs in two days!!! Yeh Jupie!!!

Almost killed today

We moved to Le Lagoon today to avoid the bad swell and weather for the next several days. I tried to anchor but dragged for the 3rd time in my life. This time the anchor was fowled with weeds within an hour of setting her. Re-set her and now she is doing well. At about 5:45 today I hopped into dink to go to Le Canal restaurant. About 100 meters before turning for the french canal a boat was overtaking me. I had my little all round white light on the engine and a head lamp on, the sun had set, but it wasn't dark yet and I was not in the main channel. A fishing boat with twin 300HP motors is overtaking me at high speeds but doesn't see me. At the last few second I turned hard to starboard in my dink and the fishing boat ran over the stern of my dink. It make a loud noise and but a few inches of water into my boat. I thought I was going to die. Once I turned to starboard I had no time to look back and see if i was going to die. I heard the bang as the boat passed to my port and then looked back to see if my new motor was still attached and I wasn't sinking. The overtaking boat did stop and turn around to make sure I was okay. His lack of english and my crappy french — well I let him know I was okay. I was okay, the new outboard motor cover has some damage, big cracks and gouges and the dink has some bad rub burns over the port tube. My little light no longer works and her cover is cracked in a couple of places. I have a big bruise on my back left ribs (I think the outboard it me as I was leaned over ducked down low and turning her to starboard when the impact happened) but no pain. So on the way home I used my head lamp and moved very slowly. I'll have to get a new dink light :)
I think I'm going to have a double shot of rum tonight. Oh, the dinner at Le Canal was great, Bordeaux wine and their cheese burger with a digestive at the end (cold aged rum with a vanilla bean in the bottle).

Ten reasons I love my boat

1) She is built like a brick shit house. Everything on the boat is substatial. The rigging, the blocks, the winches, everything on this boat is 1 size bigger than needed. I drilled a hole for the heater 3 feet above the water line and it was 1.25 inches thick. The first 8 layups are vynelester the rest are polyester and that mean any blister are in the barrier coat other owners put on her
2) Sail plan is perfect. A cutter rig is amaissing from 5kts to 48kts she will perform like a dream. I love the sail plan. She is a true cutter rig so all the power is in the head sails. As a result, I can put her hove to in a few seconds. The code-0 is great for light winds.
3) Sea kindly. As long as the crew is not racing her at 45 deg of heel, she is very comfortable down below. She is very comfortable at any degree of heel in the cockpit. The cockpit make you feel safe even though she gets pooped now and then.
4) Redundancy. Almost everything is redundant. There are two or more ways to get everything on the boat done. Redundancy is your friend in the ocean. Anyone trying to do COOP or DRP should have an ocean vessel before they make any statement as to what should be done for COOP are DRP.
5) Hand holds under way. You can move without pain provided you know where to grab hold. This boat has substantial hand holds everywhere. I can stand up securely and dress in the bulky weather gear with ease.
6) Instant hove to. The hull design and the sail plan provides instant ability to bring the boat to a hove to position. So when the shit hits the fan, she can take it. The main sail will not tack through the wind without the head sails and that makes it easy to be hove to.
7) Secure cockpit. M44 has the most secure cockpit you could be in. She is safe and feels safe when you are at sea. Hove to in a storm you will be asking, "who is making coffee or tea"
8) She is my home. So wherever I go, I sleep in my own bed and all of my stuff is here with me.
9) Her profile is beautiful. Very few boats have the sheer lines of a Mason. You can pick her out at night by the reflection of the moon on the water. Few boats have the sweeping overhangs of a Mason.
10) She is 10 times stronger than me (or more). When the weather is bad and seas are confused, I want to be upon this boat. After the passage to St Martin from BVI I wonder how rough it would be to take a modern flat bottom boat through the same seas. I feel safe in all of the sea conditions I have encountered. I've never yet thought about deploying the Jordan Series Drogue I carry.

Got all the parts

I think I've got all the parts I need to get all of the redundant systems back up and running. ElecTec had the water maker part and the alternator parts I needed and Island World had the stove parts and other odds and ends. The only thing I haven't found is a solar shower. They may have them in next week at Budget Marine. The water maker guy said he had seen this type of damage before and showed me a couple of end fitting. A little salt water seeping through the bolt causes the ground cable to erode into the casing and eventually weaken it till the pressure water creates a crack. So I've insulated the cable from the end cap with electrical tape in addition to the rubber boot that was already there.
We have a swell (3 to 4ft) coming into the bay today. It has churned up the water. I can no longer see the bottom cause of the silt in the water. Guess I won't run the water maker for a couple of days, don't want to clog the filters with this silt. They are calling for rain and high winds later this week. I guess this is the tail end of a cold front. I have to download the NOAA weather faxes.
Jupiter is doing better - he is recovering from his trash bag raid. I keep the trash bad in the cock pit now.
Dink's new motor is awesome! I can get the to Dutch side in 20min when I get her up on plane. Though that was about 2K more in spending I wasn't planning. I'll live with it.
I'm not sure how to check my voice mail. The lady speaks french and I can barely count in french much less understand what button to push to get new messages :)
I'm having to force myself to stay awake until 9PM so I can sleep until 6AM. Jupiter usually says hello to me a 6AM every morning… Even though he is blind I think he know when the sun rises.

Another day in paridise

Today's ventures were not so good. Jupiter has been sick for two days after raiding the trash for CHICKEN BONES. Not sure what else he may have eaten. So for two days I've been washing and drying rugs as he has no control. The alternator regulator I was going to use won't work on my alternator. So have to find a new one. The water maker problem I had was only partially solved. The head of the membrane unit is cracked and now I have to find a new head unit (but it was a good try fixing the O-ring in the bolt). I did get the cockpit panel fixed, but I can't find replacement switches here. It appears that the switches are actually circuit breakers. I'll see if I can find a source for those. So in the AM I'll be heading back to the Dutch side of the island to get a Alternator regulator that will work and a new head for the water maker cylinder. Otherwise, having Rum on ice and preparing sauce for noodles tonight. Smells good. Need to get some new bolts for the stantions - I'll do that on my run to the Dutch side on Tuesday. Running he engine tonight to get a charge on the house bank. Not much wind today, but that will change on Wednesday.


The alternator controller is fried. Have to get a new one, just figured this out today after some testing. The place is closed until Monday. So I'll call them on Monday and head out to the Dutch side and pick one up. I have to make my list of things needed so that I can kill multiple birds with one trip.
Replace the starter on the Gen, but still cant get it started. I'll pull the injectors next and crank the engine to see if there is any water in the cylinders. Hopefully that will work, otherwise I'm going to have to fine a NorthernLights mechanic here to look at it.
Have a Digicel SIM card in my unlocked phone. I'll have to load up the VZ card and call them to cancel my VZ account. The Digicel account will work in the French West Indies. I'll have to get another SIM card for the other islands. My current number from the USA is +590 690098092. The new outboard is working great… and now we are on the 3/4 power break in period. I don't think it would be safe to bring her up to 3/4 power… It was a long haul across the Lagoon Yesterday to get parts for the boat. Almost an hour to get there and 45 min back (was able to crank above 1/2 power on the return trip).
I've got to try the cheese burger at Le Canal. Everyone says it's awesome and the french fries are definitely awesome. I had some the other night with the beef tartar.

Salty Dawgs

Going out for dinner tonight with the Salty Dawgs. Mike of Shrimpy's said that "Le Canal" is a dog friendly Bistro. That means the puppies are coming with me to dinner. We are anchored in Marigot Bay and the new outboard has one more hour of run time at 1/2 power to break her in after that we can run at 3/4 power (more than enough for my little dink). On Friday I'll take here into the Lagoon and head up the the Chandlery. I also have to go into town to pick up the cell phone that is being unlocked and get a Digicell SIM card and a local phone number. So don't call me on my old number. That account will be disconnected shortly.
The water here is 5 deg cooler than in the BVI - 77 deg instead of 82 deg. It's a big difference when you dive off the boat into the clear blue water.

Anchored in Marigot Bay

We left the marina today and are now anchored out in Marigot Bay. I started the break in period for the new outboard motor. 10 min at idle, then 2 hours at 1/4 power…. I only made 30 min at 1/4 power… Hopefully we will get the next 1.5 hours by noon on Thursday. Otherwise all is going good. I have to deliver the starter for the Gen set to an electric show tomorrow but only if the motor can run at 1/2 power came the motor place is a couple mlles inside the lagoon on the Dutch side of the island.

Pulling the starter off the generator

As with most boat project once you start it your realize that additional projects are required. I was having problems starting the generator. I think I know why. However, in the process of trying to start her last week I fried the starter motor. So the boat project was to manually crank the engine to make sure she had compression and was not back flooded with water and remove the burned up starter. The first part of that went well once I found my Auto 1/2 socket set. The engine is not flooded and she can be manually turned. The second part was tough and at my first attempt I quit, that is removing the starter. Today I realized that the generator had shifted 3 inches to port and that the brackets holding the generator in place were poorly positioned and allowed the generator to shift port/starboard. I removed the brackets and manually tugged and tugged on the generator to move it to starboard and then some. That worked and now I had access to the starter bolts. I then tried to find the right size wrench… 14mm, almost, 1/2 not so, 9/16 was the magic number. But before I could even really crank on the bolts, the ground cable just came off. I think this is the source of my original problem starting the generator. If a ground cable, a 2/0 tinned cable, just comes lose, then there was not enough connectivity for the power draw. Get the bolts out and remove the starter. Oh, the starter power connection is 13mm. Only in America can a product use both English and Metric bolts. (Why hasn't everyone gone to metric for bolts???). The positive power cable is also connected using a cheap lug. So now that this has been pulled I need to find someone to rebuild the starter (I have no experience doing that and would mess it up). But the additional project are to get new lugs for the power cable that fit the bolts. I have one that will fit the 13MM positive post, but will need to get one to fit the 9/16 bolt for the ground. In addition, I'll have to mount some teak stop blocks to brace the generator from shifting port/starboard and then reposition the steel clamps to support the generator. Ahhh boat repairs in exotic places. It is 4PM and I'm just quiting today's projects. Have to run down the road and get either wine or rum to go with my Gumbo tonight. We will be leaving Fort Louis Marina at about 2:00PM on Wednesday. We will be anchored out in Marigot bay until the starter is fixed.

New outboard motor

Today I purchased a new outboard motor to replace the one that Neptune took on the crossing to St. Martin. Only 1900 Euros, for a two cycle 9HP Tohatsu. My 6HP 4 cycle Tohatsu cost over 2000 USD. All the same this was an unexpected expense. I have some Spectra line that I will use to secure this one to the pulpit. Got lots of other things done but not the full list that was on today's "to do" list. I didn't finish boat projects until 4PM today and that is a violation of the routine… Oh well, its a boat and there are always boat projects. We will leave the marina in the next couple of days now that we have an engine for out "car". Tonight it is raining and cool, so I've pulled out some chicken and sausage gumbo for dinner.

New Year's Day

On Sunday, the my original sailing instructors (Andy and Lisa) pull into the slip two down from me. We talked and made arrangements to have dinner on the waterfront. Over dinner they said the Marigot has a festival for New Year's Day. We could hear music from a couple of blocks away. We walked down after dinner and this was people watching experience. Little kids in the main square wearing lights and playing, teens on dates and parent on the steps surrounding the square. Caribbean music and dancing on the main stage and vendors all around. On the way back to the marine they said they usually have fireworks as part of this festival. Un known to me, a barge full of fireworks has anchored at the end of the pier where my boat is docked. At 9:00PM the explosions started less than 200ft from the boat! Really awesome to be this close to the launch of the fireworks. For a little while I was debating getting a fire extinguisher to defend agains hot embers. It was a nice night in Marigot.

Sleeping late today

Jupiter woke me this morning at about 9:00. I stayed up for the fireworks. 8 different sites around here had fireworks. Too much to absorb.
Made a batch of puppy jambalaya and had red beans and rice for lunch. Almost everything is closed today. It is very quite around the marina today. A few boat chores to do before things get going again on Monday. Happy New Year to all. Puppy blog should be working now. As usual, they watched be prepare the latest batch of puppy jambalaya with non-blinking attention just in case I might spill a bit or two on the floor.