We Are Really At Sea

Blood on the Vinyl and Other Tales

Yep. We’re still in St. Martin and it’s been by turns:  busy, relaxing, friendly, frustrating, fun, exhausting, productive, and expensive.

Some boats have left for the Azores, while we and others weren’t ready or didn’t like the weather window. The “Jackrabbits” who left last week are complaining that there is no wind. Some have run their engines to the point that they’ll have to go into Bermuda to get (very expensive) diesel.Some were caught in storms with 35 to 40 knots of wind. We hope to avoid both of those scenarios.

There have been highs and lows out there meeting up and that is never a good thing. The result is that weather guru Chris Parker suggested last week that we hold here for a bit. (I really regret falling asleep during his on-line course a few years ago. EW says he understands grib files. Oh god, I hope so.)

In the meantime,  we are working on the boat, provisioning, working on the boat, meeting new sailing friends, working on the boat, getting things done.

Best thing that happened:

S/V Kookaburra showed up on Sunday morning!  It was so great to see Jaime and Keith again, though the new good-byes will be even more bittersweet.P1000428












Worst thing that happened:

For the first time since moving aboard I have clogged the head. I am dealing with it. It was not a good day. You do not want a photo. <Shudder>

Here are more palatable bits about the past few weeks.

  • We bought and installed the Nimble Navigator and connected our AIS to the laptop. Very cool.
  • I’ve been working on provisioning – including medications – and got a skin check from a local dermatologist. He zapped the one suspicious spot I had with – I keep wanting to call it nitro glycerin, but I know that isn’t right. The literature he gave me called it “cryotherapy”, which is when a very cold liquid is sprayed onto the spot for 10-25 seconds. Burned like heck and I can’t swim before we leave – dang it – but I’m delighted to have been checked and treated. Life is good. As I told the taxi driver on the way back to the dinghy, “We white folks don’t always tolerate this Caribbean sun well.”
  • EW has been the energizer bunny of fixers. His list is long. His talents are many. In fact, I truly believe that I’ll nominate him for the best boat husband of the year and that he would give Keith from S/V Kookaburra a run for the gold. He has fixed so many things that I would have to ask him for a list because I can’t keep count. His list is so big that he deserves his own post. P1000424
  • My list is very short in comparison. I made covers for the water, gas, and diesel containers and a bag for when the awning poles are lashed on deck. This last project resulted in a boo-boo and my declaration that there was “blood on the vinyl”. EW thought that made a great mystery book title. I thought it would be better for a blog post.
  • I initiated “tool creep”.  Tool creep is when the fixer of all things on board needs more room for tools P1000411and parts. Tool creep can be a huge bone of contention on a boat. After assisting EW with some of his projects, mostly as go-fer, I realized that his tool storage was untenable and offered to provide him with new space in the forward head. He was surprised and delighted.P1000400


  • We’ve walked the new bridge, had drinks at the yacht club, visited with Mike and Sally at Shrimpy’s, and enjoyed a wonderful French breakfast with savory crepes and smoked salmon. I love St. Martin. 
  • We also popped the anchor during one of the squalls. No harm, no foul, but I did actually wear my real foul weather jacked when I worked on the foredeck. Haven’t worn that since Cape Fear three years ago.
  • I have made meal plans, massive lists, checked everything twice and provisioned the boat (except for the produce). As important, I have found places for all food we brought aboard. Well, EW helped with that. I had room for about half of every canned product we brought aboard. He offered me the storage under the chart table. It is the perfect extra food storage area and I was humbled and delighted. Apparently except for one group of spray bottles and a few other things, that stuff didn’t need to be as accessible. He did not have to mess up the spaces I had ceded earlier in the week.

Right now, it looks like we’ll be here until the 24th.  In the meantime, EW will get better at reading weather files; I’ll cook and freeze more meals, clean more and  write more; and we’ll both contact friends and family before we go. Last night we met up with other Grenada cruisers and were introduced to a couple who are also planning on heading off for the Azores soon. We’ll touch base with them and talk weather, buddy boating, weather, and departure dates. Their boat is called Wanda. That’s right, when we call them on the VHF we say, “Wanda, Wanda, Wanda”. You know I want to continue with “Wanda WHO! Who wrote the book of love?”

I’ll refrain.



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Thanks for the kind word about Nimble Navigator.

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