Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Grenada to Carriacou (the saga of)

Hi all,
Well to make it to Tyrell Bay before Xmas I had to leave on the Thursday before. The weather though was not good. North East wind (on the nose) 15 - 20 knts of wind with a north east swell 6 + feet.

(day one)...I left anyway, bad move as I had a terrid hangover after saying 'ta ra' to everyone the day before !

First thing big jib went up, cleared the reef, then 10 mins later the port sheet fell off ! I can not sail on starb. tack without it ! boat was rolling so bad made it very hard to get it down. This done with fall all over the deck in a mess, went and started to put it back up, well with all the rolling the halyard had gone behind the spreader, the sail  and hoisting block then  went round the stay maybe 6 times while I got the fall back round the spreader !  sail would not now go up or down. It started flogging violently in the high wind and so I rolled and tied it up to the leech and stay. next sail up was little staysail, all lines now completely wrapped up with each other this took a long time. No way was the main going to go up, so motored gently round to St Georges, arriving as it got dark and anchored for the night.

(day two) At approx 02:30 a very strong squall swept across the bay and off I went out to sea dragging the anchor behind me! Boat missed hitting anything and I let it go until no boats behind me then let the chain go until the boat was stopped.

As soon as it was light, about 06:45 I started to get the jib down, that took till 09:00, then after making sure every rope was in the right place put up all sail and off I went again.
After being on the hook since August, I had become so unfit for sailing, things stopped working, the big things took even longer to fix, I got very tied, boat bottom was so dirty boat would only do 5 knots max. I wasn't even heading for Carriacou but going NNE BY NORTH. Took all day and most of the night until level with Union Island, that was approx 03:00 (day three) I was then able to go South East and head Straight to Tyrell Bay. I arrived at 06:00 and on the hook at 07:00 at last.
Made it !!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 2017

Hi Everyone,
well the battery is still ok, but, the computer is getting more and more unreliable, even when battery is full, computer verifies this saying 100% available but it will not use the battery and switches itself off! back to less than square one, cause now I am back to using the on screen keyboard as approx 60% of the keys won't work any more????
No pics today, I am getting the boat ready to start moving about again now that hurricane season is over. Going through my check list as I speak. 1) anchor chain was cleaned it took 5 days! so much marine growth, unbelievable! when above the anchor it took 2 + hours too break it out of the muddy bottom, approx 20 feet of chain and anchor were buried about 10 feet down ! boat never moved 1/2 an inch. 2) have a failed mast head lamp, and my steaming lamp and deck flood don't work they have to be next on list, then all the fiddly jobs, too many to mention here.

Itinerary is Carriacou to clear customs, will prob spend Xmas there, then St Lucia to pick up the new sails I'm having made, once that's done I can then think of computer, doubt very much if I will find the same model. Then back to Grenada for sailing week, we have started a classic class, and as second to commit will be doing that. Jud owner of 'Galatea' (1899) was first to start the ball rolling.
I have a lot of pics to post when next I can.

All the very best for Xmas and New Year 2018 to all who check out and read my blog!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Serious Update

Hi Everyone,
Well I have been having usual trouble with internet here in Clark Courts Bay, IE:- none! and again its a dingy ride to the nearest place where I can plug in and use the computer.
I have managed to work out how to charge the battery separate from the computer, so now when power goes out I no longer lose everything I have written or used, as the battery takes over again, at long long last! So thanks to Rowan for getting the new batt to me.

Updates follow with I hope pictures.
August 2017
First off 2 0f 52 pictures from a guy named Tim who took them at the regatta in Carriacou, he met me here and gave me all of them. Also 2 I took going round a very scary island reef during the racing.



I then moved down to Grenada at St Georges anchourage for a few days, then round to Clark Courts Bay. Where I still am at present.

September 2017
I tried to haul out here for a couple of days but the new shipyard was full with no chance until maybe October or later. 1 pic of early evening.

I then decided I just had to address the fresh water tank bad smell that has returned, even after all the work I did too it in St Martin. I could not check the tank interior as there was no inspection hatch fitted when I had it made, so I am to blame for that. It had to come out then and have an inspection hatch retro fitted, that meant major disruption to my blinking bed! Everything had to come out of the fwd cabin and be put somewhere else! and of course there is nowhere else to put it, so it was put everywhere else at complete random! Leaving me a tiny space to live correction EXIST in!
Following pics of the work which I didn't finish till middle of October! Other reasons applied to that as well which follow after pics

October 2017
So on Sunday morning 1st October, I got a call from Susie on 'Spirited Lady'. Her crew to help take her boat to Trinidad, for a booked haul out at 'Motor Boats Marina' on Monday morning, had failed to turn up! I had said that if that happened I would go with her instead. She had me signed on her crew list and be her crew by lunch time! We then had a roast Sunday lunch in 'Taffy's Bar' 'Woburn Bay' then back to her boat in 'Port Louie Marina' in St Georges Harbour, to get the boat ready hoping to leave at about 6 pm. We left closer to 7pm put the sails up and went to Trinidad!
We arrived approx 0930hrs Monday morning, the yard had the travel lift ready and straight in, done and dusted on the hard by 1030hrs. I spent a week there, and as Susie had hired a car she took the dogs and me on a tour of the Islands North Coast and the beaches, Wow! Following the pics of that.

following pics from the Cathedral of Bamboo 

More later

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma and Jose ( in Spanish)

Hi Everyone,
Well this is just to let everyone know that the 2 hurricanes are far away from Grenada where I am at the moment, at the beginning of this season all the bad weather was down here in this area, the boats that came this way early had some bad tropical storms to deal with, so everyone planning had a decision to make...go south or took me awhile to make that decision, but knowing the history of these hurricanes I decided  to leave it for a bit then come down at the end of July, I am now patting myself on the back for that decision. BUT !! the season doesn't end till end of November, so I am keeping a wary eye on the weather, this link is the site I follow, I choose WIDE View and can watch with only an hour delay of present storms approaching and there forecast tracks. ><
So keep a watch and feel very sorry for anyone in their path. I've been in quite a few during my travels and know just how frightening these storm winds can be when they hit you, imagine sitting on the wing of a jet air-plane taking off !! its even worse that that !!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 1st post

Hi all,
been about 12 days so here is my update, I left Rodney bay 6pm Saturday for Carriacou had a nice evening sail and day sailing during the Sunday passing Union Island as the sun went down. Decided to down sails there as don't like entering an anchorage with sails up in the dark, motored across to Carriacou and dropped anchor with lovely electric Windlass in deep water for the first time in a long time at about 2230hrs and Susie from s/y Spirited Lady came over with a few beers and wine for herself, we drank and swapped stories till about 0100hrs and then I went to bed whilst Susie had to find her boat again.
Left all awnings off as the Regatta was at the weekend so just moved the boat in closer to the beach, anchor came up effortlessly! what a magic thing an electric windlass is! love it to bits.
couple of drink sessions and the regatta was upon us. Friday was the race around the Island, Saturday was the South coast race, Sunday was a day off on the Rum Runner to watch the Carriacou Sloops racing, this is a booze cruise and I am only going to post 1 UNO one picture some one took of me letting my hair down !!! there were lots of them.

Grenada next guys, for 'Carnival' what happens then on Monday is anyone guess


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Info on POST

Hi everyone again
As I was posting my update this morning I found the post email to Susie hadn't been posted at all This was supposed  to have been posted on Tuesday 18th just after I arrived in the morning from St Maarten !!!


Julysecond post "email to Susie" sent today"

Instead of wring all this again please read on, St Maarten to St Lucia arrived yesterday morning.

Hi Susie,

I left St Maarten 4pm bridge Saturday afternoon 15th and headed on down Island with a clear 5 day Atlantic forecast for the next 5 days! Had a really nice evening sail, but the wind started to go into the SE and I had a problem getting to windward of St Kits and Nevis. After achieving that I didn't have a problem till clearing the bottom of Nevis. As that happened I was going to clear Redonda and Montserrat to windward with plenty of room steering 130 deg. but the wind veered back to the SSW by S giving me a course of max 225 deg going SW !!! I thought I dont't care about that as St Vincent is that way and could give you a nice surprise ! during the day (Sunday) the wind gradually backed round to the East and I was then going in the Lee of Montserrat, that continued to Guadalupe and then the wind increased to over 22knts and the seas became very rough and confused, I was onty doing 3.5 knts instead of about 8, so went up foreward and found my big jib ( which I hadn't put up yet) had untied itself gone over the side and had become a rather large drogue parachute !!! bugger, Took half an hour to sort that, found the clew reinforcement patch on starboard side had torn off but said I don't care and I put it up as well, boat don't like 22 knts without everything up!. continued then past Guadalupe doing 7.5 to 8.8 knots until I arrived next morning (Monday) at Dominica. That was when I noticed the Main Sail had torn on the leech in the middle of the panel, and only reason it hadn't gone and torn right to the mast was the No1 batten pocket which was sewn across that panel II
Just then I was doing 8 knts so started to slow the boat down a bit, THEN the wind just died completely! the waves disappeared and I was becalmed!! I had to motor the whole way past Dominica!!!! took all day, at the bottom again the wind was from the south and again I was going 225 deg and aimed directly to St Vincent !! so as it went dark Monday night t set Fred up and went to bed. When I woke up 3am the boat was again doing 7 to 8 knots and now doing 116 deg. the wind having backed round to the North East!!! I was now heading for the coast of Martinique and had to bear away back to my course which I was very high on. Rest of the night was a very gentle sail until about midnight when the thunder heads with lightening white out rain thunder the works, passed the bottom of Martinique at approx 2am into another storm, I was now very worried about the two sails both having damaged leeches and how I was going to get the main itself off without tearing the sail into rags, again I was having trouble with the wind as it had again gone into the South East, I was babying the boat towards St Lucia Tuesday morning and thankfully the wind went back to the East halfway across. I made Rodney Bay at about 8 am and then tried to down all sail !! only one more problem had come up wich again was the wind ! 24 knts in the Bay ! did the little Jib first no problem, tried to do the big jib and it just wasn't happening, I had to go down wind, the only direction I didn;t want to go. nearly got it down when the No.1 batten pocket failed, the Main gradually tore itself in half with me helpless to stop it. Managed to get the big jib off but by the time I went back round into the wind the main had taken 2 turns right round the mast, I had to go within 20 feet of the rocks out of the wind at Pigeon Island and turn the boat round twice with the engine to unravel it !! (during all this I was being watched by a young cruising couple on a boat, they waved, I waved back ! what else could I do?) I finally wrapped the errant sail around the boom, looked as if nothing was wrong with it. Called Rodney Bay and booked J13 for repairs and it was 1130am when I cleared customs ! Completely Knackered then went to Bosun's Bar until I was drunk.
you know Susie people shouldn't ask me how I'm doing if they don't want to read another novelette !!!
Love you but stuck here for a bit I think !!
Roy xx
PS in Bosun's bar last night they showed me the named storm Don. No wonder then I had all that crazy weather! on my trip !!!


Hi Everyone
Just to say I found a sailmaker and he has repaired the sails, hoping to get them back today, I am outside at anchor in Rodney Bay St Lucia, sort of where I was this time last year, soon as I have the sails Ill be off to Carriacou only a year late! looking fwd to seeing all my friends again.
Hoping my next post will be at breakfast on the beach at Gallery Cafe Carriacou!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July first post

Hi Everyone,
Well all done, well when I say all, I mean all I was supposed to do except for the dam computer battery from my sister, Rowan will be pleased (joke) to know that the tech guy at Jolly Harbour took about 20 minutes to ruin the one she had acquired for me ! I only left him to have a fag!
Anyway have removed so many items from top and bottom priority lists waiting for my passport to arrive, a saga in itself.
Don't know if the guys remember at the classics but I had a horrible smell in the sink ! I was blaming bad seawater smell in English Harbour, but eventually found not the reason, it was the fresh water activated carbon filter had failed some how. it took 2 days and 450 ltrs of water + 32 ounces of strange chemicals to get it smelling and tasting sweet water again, first time its ever happened on any boat I have owned. ( I was still drinking it) tasted ok to me!
So I am already to go go go, only the customs to see and put everything, and I do mean everything back were it belongs, as small as I am just getting to the bog is a marathon obstical course! trying to get to bed is even harder, usually asleep before I make that.
So I am off on my travels armed with the new and improved work to do list.
will let you know when I find out

Thursday, June 1, 2017

1st June post 2017

Hi everyone,
First post for June with a couple of pics, since Antigua I went to Nevis and met up with Mark of Double Deuce fame (a beach bar) got invited too his annual staff party at his house 1000ft up the side of the mountain spectacular.
I then went to St Maarten were I have been since. I started the passport renewal here. So while that is ongoing I started the new installation of the electric windlass, I suppose its been on my distant future wish list since I bought the boat, where I have anchored and which anchor I used has always been influenced and coloured on whether I could lift the thing up again, this especially since the original windlass was smashed on the reef in 2011. But over the last 2 years I have gradually been collecting all the bits required to do the job, including the windlass itself here in March this year. So a couple of pics of that as well, I can report it took me 8 days to complete, I tested it of course on the mooring, and practised a routine for deployment when needed, and now I can not wait to anchor willy nilly anywhere I like !!!!! I have now a leaky toilet to fix, and install a new regulator for the wind generator, I blew up the last one in a very strong wind in Nevis, blew it to bits. There is also three deck leaks now really annoying me, this after it rained here 2 days ago for approx 6 hours! a torrential tropical downpour. Then I need to put a bit of Gas into my fridge.
OK pics next

We did have a good time

I only spoil the picture

unusually Nevis without the cloud on top

Took me ages to get the courage to drill the holes in the deck

Fitting the Gearbox 1
you can see how awkward it was with so many beams in the way

After the rain and no leaks inside! job done

Have met quite a few cruising friends who have arrived, some already left for the south, Hurricane season has its official start today. The anchorage here is nearly empty as everyone goes south.
Have also had a visit from friends from my seagoing days, Dave Ward and Rachael, they came out on holiday to see me here. Last time they did that was at St Lucia, when they got there I had already left 2 weeks earlier! so we missed. We have taken quite a few days catching up on where and what we have been doing! A few beers have been disposed of as well!