Wednesday, August 22, 2018

St Lucia Update

Hi Everyone!
Well here I am in IGY Marina Rodney Bay, and at last they have fixed the internet service, its only  taken six years to happen !!! So this Post has pictures as well !!!

First three pics were taken after buying Apollo and antifouling the bottom ready for the launch No other work required.

I hope the plum bow shows up ok.
Next job was to take her round to Falmouth Harbour from the boat yard  North Sound Marina.
After launching Guiding light I took her round from the Slipway boat yard and anchored her just off the Sailing Academy dock in Falmouth.
So then went up to North Sound with Susie (Spirited Lady) and her crew James who had volunteered to help with the fist sail. We had already put the sails on ready.
So Apollo was launched and we has a magic sail around the coast to Falmouth, it was a long journey, it took 4 hours and having launched a bit late we just made it to the dock before it went pitch black.
Next morning I moved her off and anchored next to Guiding Light

 I then did a full survey of her to find everything, I hadn't found all the batteries even. Afterwards I found the engine batteries were dead, I had to go and buy 2 new ones, The reason for this was an incorrect voltage SSB transceiver had been fitted ! ie 12 volts DC instead of 24 volts DC which is the fitted system aboard, To get 12v whoever did it connected the negative wire to the centre strap of the 2 engine start batts, this then fried both 12v batts with 24 volts ! being a lecky I fixed this buy completely removing the equipment and selling it to Ian on Salima, he had helped me in Antigua when my last engine blew up a couple of years ago, its on the blog, 2015 I think. During this I found the service batteries, they are 2 banks of 2 batts each giving 24v, but they had been paralleled, not good ! Having no shore power or charger they relied on running the main engine to charge them up, being large capacity ie 460 amp hours in total the engine could not achieve this, so that was a future job when I had the boat down In St Lucia. Meanwhile my friend Renford helped sand and varnish seal the cockpit sole and the shower grating.

It was then time to move both boats, First to go was Apollo, she has no dinghy as yet so I coulden't take GLs and would have to go into the Marina when I arrived. This journey was my first in Apollo on my own, putting sails up sailing and so on which was all new to me. I had an amazing sail in high winds, leaving on Sunday late afternoon and arriving in Rodney Bay early Tuesday morning....But it was blowing a hooligan, 32 knots and now I had to drop the sails. Genoa is a furling one so that was dead easy, Main however was becoming a pain as being much lighter than GL I couldn't manage to keep her head to windward, I had fitted Lazy Jacks in Falmouth so.....I took the engine out of gear and drifted with the wind (all done in the shelter of the cockpit) loosed the main-sheet then when the boat seemed calm enough still blowing 32 knts I just let go the haliyard, I couldn't see the sail from where I was, but did hear it coming down swoosh, looking out the sail had flaked itself perfect on the boom and with just 2 sail ties I secured the sail and went into a berth in the Marina !!! Magic !!
I then attended to the Batteries, drew out a connection diagram bought a couple of switches and wired them up properly. Couldn't find a Battery charger but the engine could now do a better Job
4x 115 amp hour service batts under the port bunk in the saloon
Engine Batts under the floor Aft

I had to wait till the next Tuesday for a flight back to Antigua to get Guiding Light. Arrived there then because no one had one in Antigua I tried to get one sent to St Lucia first, from Island Water World and having it sent to St Lucia,  that got very complicated so canceled that one after ordering and paying for it. They wanted 180 US $ delivery charge from St Maarten, a similar story from Budget Marine store and that was me Failed. So decided to sail to St Lucia Via St Maarten and get it myself. This I did, took only 1 night to cross between Island stayed 3 days getting all the bis successfully then left St Maarten for St Lucia.

As a little note I had met a friend in Antigua 'Kevin Gray' who told me of the disastrous effects of the Hurricanes last year !! he himself had been wiped out with his boat sunk and no clothes losing everything he had. He introduced me to a new weather site that he claimed was so accurate as to be scary. His boat wasn't to blame for it sinking as he had known and prepared for it, unfortunately a huge steel boat like 80 foot had broken free and sank on top of his boat in Road Town Tortola. 235 mile an hour sustained winds for over 20 minutes !! I can not imagine what that must have been like.

So before leaving St Maarten I checked out the forecast on the site, I had a 2 day weather window or have to wait more than a week before the tropical wave coming had passed. This meant leaving Friday late afternoon, and had to get to Dominica late Sat but before Sunday otherwise it would get me !!!
I trusted the info and left, I was able to watch as the storm approached and engulf Guadalupe and Dominica Saturday night sailed all day Sunday with it behind me and arrived in Rodney Bay Monday morning at 0700hrs journey taking only 50 hrs in calm weather. Site is called . and IS accurate !!
Following are a few Pics of what I've been up too

new fresh water tank lid fitted as found to be leaking

empty engine batt box

painted bilge underneath shower grating

following 2 pics = going round to Jolly Harbour to clear customs and be legally entitled to leave Antigua with minimum cost !  very scary two days. After being threatened with paying 18 months of cruising charges which I wasn't about to do,  I waited the weekend and went again on Monday morning, they went through all my documents and came up with the cost as only 20 EC$ that's about £5.00, and now legal with no worries

2 pics towing dinghy round to clear customs in Jolly Harbour

Shore connection fitted and power cable connected in St Lucia

double 13 amp socket fitted by chart table, charger fitted underneath chart table

2 New change over control switches fitted

 Next pics are of me and my fleet along side the same finger in Rodney Bay Marina !! this may never happen again

So that is me all up to date, Apollo has now been moved to anchor GL next but have a few items to attend to first


Saturday, August 4, 2018

GL is on her way.

Hi Everyone,
Well GL is now ready to go, first to Jolly harbour for shopping and clearing customs , and then a small change to plan 'A' I will go to St Maarten first, this is to pick up a 24 volt DC charger for Apollo. I failed to get one sent to me in Antigua, so.... it will also give me a chance to get 2 spare parts for Guiding Light, and have them sent there from the states. Not worried about Apollo as on the dock. So next post should be from St Maarten.
have fun everyone.
A very special get well soon wish goes to Jayne Mac. had a very mild attack similar this year so have a slight knowledge of what its like.

More coming

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Udate of Apollo and Guiding Light

Hi everyone
Arrived in St Lucia week ago today at 08:30hrs, very strong winds for the whole trip, wind was then up to 32 Knots !! in Rodney Bay.
I was worried about getting the sail down, not having done that yet.
I couldn't keep the bow into the wind so stopped the eng. and waited for Apollo to stop, then whilst still in the cockpit I just let the main halyard go ! The sail came down perfectly folding itself up on the boom, wow I was impressed. I went out and put 3 ties round the sail and then went to a berth in the Marina.
Yesterday I flew back to Antigua  and I am now aboard GL again, couple of jobs to to then I'll do the same trip again in GL.
Apollo behaved very well and is seriously a very good sea boat, I would have no qualms on taking her out on the Ocean. didn't even get wet in the white out rain that came down on us ! I do get wet on GL as nowhere to hide. 
So amazingly everything went to plan, lets hope the next installment has the same result
More coming