Hey look, it’s June!

It’s the month of June and we’re at anchor in Grenada. We’re not waiting for a weather window to hop to Trinidad. We’re waiting for a late month haul out. Why are we hauling out so late and why not Trinidad? I forgot why we scheduled such a late date. Oh yeah now I remember. We were supposed to be sailing the islands during the “good months” and having fun. And of course you know why not Trinidad by now but basically we can just about nurse this tub to the haulout so open ocean for ninety miles is not happening. I do wish we were in Trinidad right now because the vibration problem would most likely have been solved. Not joking.

I kind of I miss being in Trinidad because of the familiarity with the whole haul out and storage process. Doing this in Grenada is new to us and brings with it some anxiety. Add to this new process the removal of our shaft and prop for inspection and the possibility that the problem will still exist when we get back is very unnerving. Next season is an important one for us and this boat needs to be in working order.

It just dawned on me the other day when I saw a blip on the hurricane tracker app that we are in the water and exposed to mother natures summer rage parties. Not worried really, but it is different for us. We see plenty of boats just left at anchor for the season with sails still on and everything on deck. I’m assuming these people are returning soon and will ride out the hurricane season onboard because it would really bother me to know they just dumped their boats here hoping for the best. Speaking of dumping your boat, here’s a pic of the knob that dumped his boat in front of us and over our anchor. Asshole. When we haul chain we’ll have to raft up and push them out of the way to get at the anchor. We have the worst luck sometimes. This season has been like a weird dream. I do have thoughts of smashing our left over eggs in their cockpit and spreading bird seed over the top of it but I’m sure cooler heads will prevail. 😎

Today I thought of getting out and getting some exercise but it’s been raining on and off and just opening and closing hatches is like step aerobics. Feel the burn. We still have some chores to do but it’s a pain in the rain. About the only entertainment right now is watching people in their dinghies get caught in the rain. I love how they go full throttle when it pours. Their glasses are soaked and hair is hanging in their eyes but let’s go 20 knots between boats.

Do you think breathing Tea Tree oil is hazardous? Man that stuff stinks. Combine it with vinegar and it’s pretty potent stuff. Deb came out of the V-berth all glassy eyed and coughing. Deb, this is how you would look if you smoked weed. I sure hope this concoction works. We will not have a dehumidifier running this year. Our last season in Trini we really didn’t have one either because the damn earthquake knocked over the unit and it wasn’t running most of the time until our contractor found it. What I want to know is why didn’t our battery monitoring guy see it? Huh? Why didn’t our battery guy notice the diesel fuel being pumped out of our bige after our tank leaked? Huh? So based on this event we feel that maybe we don’t need the damn dehumidifier because we coat the boat with enough Tea Tree oil to kill anything. Let’s hope so. I could not imagine coming back to a boat full of mold.

We have a paid caretaker so we should be OK. Hopefully he would alert us to any unusual things. No, it’s not the same guy as last season. This new guy probably has other issues like drinking our liquor or wearing Deb’s panties or both. I’m just kidding. I’m sure no shenanigans like inviting his cousin and girlfriend to live on our boat while we’re gone will happen. Should we wrap the mattress in plastic?

So it’s Fathers Day. Congrats to all the Dad’s out there! I’m looking forward to seeing my Daughters and Grandkids. It’s cool to see yourself in your kids when they deal with their own children. Pretty funny actually. Should be some good times ahead. We just need to get this boat out of the water. It’s all downhill from there.

Cheers!

P

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Rough Week

What a week we had. Being sick on the boat is not comfortable at all. It reminded me of my Zika week. Horrible. Even though we were ill we managed to get a lot done. We even got to watch the Stanley Cup finals with a bunch of weirdos at the Tiki Bar. It was Bingo night as well. Kind of fun and kind of strange. My team lost. Plenty of Blues fans out there celebrating and poking fun at me. It’s all part of the fun about sports. There’s even some Suddenly Blues fans out there who became fans just to rub it into the losers. But, the losers may have been a wee bit vocal about the opposition the week before. It’s just human nature to be a dick sometimes 😀

I’m feeling better today and Deb is still cautious. We’re not sure what caused this episode but we’re unwilling to repeat it so we’re careful about what we are eating the last few weeks. I haven’t had a fresh vegetable in over a week and it’s killing me. I want a fresh green pepper, nice and crisp that I can slice and salt and pepper and just eat. In fact I want four of them. It will not happen. I just can’t get a veggie here lately without it being rotten in spots. I might have to settle for carrots. Local veggies are fine but they’re mostly root veggies. I’m not going to gnaw on a root veggie except a carrot. Though I do know someone who eats raw potatoes. Gross.

Hoping to be out and about today.

I’m at the point now where I need to leave the island. I’ve reached peak paradise.

Cheers!

PJJB

Oh, the pain.

We are near closing out on our fifth season of sailing/cruising. Interesting. I assumed we would get this far. Will we go further? Further than the Caribbean? Nah. Our entire goal and dream was to sail to the Caribbean and hang out like boat bums down here. We achieved that goal and then some. Grenada has been home since November, well for me anyway. Debra took a little break from the lazy life in the sun.

Will we continue with cruising? Yes. We plan on living on the boat for a few more years. The reason I state this is because I have been fielding some questions about my attitude towards cruising. In other words I’ve been whining a lot. Even Deb called me a whiner. Ouch. I suppose I have been.

One thing about me that you should know is that I live with a constant smirk on my face. I’m always seeing some humor in my life. I may get wound up about something and and start ranting but minutes later I’m joking about it. I am generally a happy person but maybe a paranoid one. Every stinking rotten thing that has happened to me in my life has been balanced with something wonderful so I shouldn’t complain but the paranoid in me wonders when my luck will run out. It’s just who I am and it’s probably too late to change this behaviour now. So, when my blogging appears to show aggravation, disappointment, extreme whining and you’re “feeling my pain” just remember I am typing these posts with a nice little smirk about to break out into a giggle. I’m retired and on a boat in the Caribbean playing guitar in the sun. Oh, the pain. 😀

Cheers!

P

I do appreciate the concerns though. I have some dear friends who worry we’re losing our minds and money down while we try to figure out this engine issue. No worries. We lost our minds long ago and the boat can always be sold or left to rot in front of a CEO’s vacation home 😀

And yes, I’m still going to be a whiner.

A season without head repair

Never happens.

Yesterday the macerator froze on our aft head/toilet. We had discussed a few days ago that a macerator (a poop processor) would be a good spare to bring back from the States. We have a Raritan super toilet. You press a button and all the troubles you left behind vanish. It was a beautiful thing until last night.

Last night I was in a fog because beer we only had four hours sleep the night before watching turtles lay eggs in sand. So I was in no mood to enter the waste treatment business. I tried to free up the motor but it didn’t work so I left it for morning.

So, here it is…morning. I have not finished my first tea yet but I’m thinking how shitty my day will be. Good thing we have a forward head. We keep this one un-magical and it uses a hand pump. It’s like having a Tesla and a horse in your garage. OK, maybe a Tesla and a bicycle. When the high tech fails you fall back to the old manual way. It will do what you want it to do. It just takes more effort and you might get wet. Always close the lid before you pump.

Tea number two, a double bagger has arrived. I’m looking at the bag of Grenada coffee I have and thinking that’s going into the percolator next. I’m gonna need all the stimulants I have today. Maybe throw some cokes into the fridge. We have friends arriving from Carriacou later this afternoon. I need to get this shitty job off the list before then. Will there be any handshakes after they read this? Stop by for a salad?

I will shower and hand sanitize. Promise.

Everyone have a great day. And when things don’t go the way you wanted them to just picture me with my hands in a toilet scooping pee out of it so I can disconnect a motor and not have it flood all over the floor. Then I have to free the macerator blades….

Yea, I’ll stop right here. Go have breakfast. Skip the apple juice. Those fudge brownies…ah never mind.

Cheers!

P

Stuck

Stuck? Yes, not in the mud or sand but in a harbour at anchor. Prickly Bay Grenada is our home for the next two months because we can only move slowly under power. The vibration we had is worse than when we arrived and nobody can figure it out…yet.

“Why can’t you just sail somewhere?”

We could. We could power up and slowly move forward to raise anchor and then slowly move into the wind to raise the sails then peel off to a change of scenery. How lovely that sounds. Sure, Shakey Breaky will give us stuttering speech the whole time this happens and we’ll sound like goats communicating, but it can be done.

“Puuuull iiiinto the wiiiind and Iiiiii wiiiill raaaaaaise the saaaaaiiiiiiil”

It would be marvelous to get away but unfortunately we’d have to come back. Coming back involves rounding a point and plowing straight into tradewinds and waves. Sure we could tack towards Venezuela for 10 miles and then tack back towards Barbados for another 10 and then maybe get an off wind angle to make it back to Prickly before nightfall. Maybe. It is entirely possible to do this.

Meh.

Color me lazy but I don’t find that scenario pleasing. Yell all the “You call yourself a sailor” bullshit at me that you want but taking two months to decommission a boat in a safe harbour with two restaurant/bars and a brewery a 2 minute dinghy ride away with the occasional dip in the water with a beer sounds pretty good to me. The way this season is going I’m afraid something else would break while trying to be good sailors beating into the waves.

I talk about the south end like it’s a death trip and this day it was flat as can be

So here we are. We have a list of things to do. It’s a checklist which means Deb is definately back. She has a ‘in-water’ checklist and a ‘on land’ checklist. She shares the list with me online but I bet hers is a wee bit different. Deb probably has another column listing who completed the task. Oh yea. No doubt. Just in case I mention how much work I did she can whip out a few stats on completions. “Actually…..”

Now there are a few of you thinking that we had reservations to haul out in Trinidad. Nope. This season we decided to haul in Grenada. Nothing against Trini mind you. We think that’s a great place to haul and get work done. This was a choice we made after the last crossing to Grenada. We splashed and noticed a problem but had a window to cross, so we went anyway. Yes there was some vibration but it smoothed out before cruising RPM so we felt it was a safe situation. That trip, with engine issues on our minds, was hellish. We ended up taking a rogue wave over the bow that swamped the cockpit, knocked me over and poured ocean into our salon. We never took water that far back, ever. Our dodger was open because this never happened before.

We venture quite a bit east into the wind and waves to avoid any confrontation with pirates. That doesn’t seem to be a remedy anymore as a sailboat was attacked approximately where we were diverting to and they were shot at. Several bullet holes were made in that boat. We monitored the situation in Venezuela closely and when we added up all the concerns we felt it was in our best interest to stop making that trip.

Of course this decision could be a bad one if a hurricane plows into Grenada making KN just another pile of fiberglass to dump into the deep or burn in a pyre of sailing dreams.

I’m glad now we made the decision to stay because we really can’t go anywhere else. I do miss the workforce in Trinidad. I’m pretty sure shakey breaky would be solved by now if we were there. It’s just a different mindset. We’ve had those guys onboard KN working overtime at the start of Carnival. That’s dedication.

Today we start on the list. We’re off to a bad start. I’m blogging and Deb is playing games on the iPad. After lunch we find out if we’re on a turtle watch tonight. That would be cool but we need more people interested to make the trip. I have a few easy tasks on the list and I’m going to knock them off just to get a head start on Deb. I’m going to remove the satellite antenna. Whoa! Two screws. Might need a nap after that. 😀

Cheers!

PB

I still do not have a reliable speel cheker so bare with me. Also grammar. I did skip 3rd grade so….

Reunion

Lonely days and lonely nights are gone. Debra has returned and boat life has returned to normal. I even went back to closing the bathroom door and eating off plates.

Debra has wished she purchased ear plugs before flying back because I’m talking way too much and way too early in the day. I have to let it all out. A month and a half of me not talking was torture. Apparently the torture is continuing only I’m not the recipient. Deb just has to endure a couple more days until I’ve exhausted it all. I’ve run out of things to tell her anyway and I’m starting to repeat.

The First Mate was hoping to return to a boat ready to sail away but that is not the case unfortunately. She was here for the last idea to be implemented in the ‘Bad Vibes’ saga. Our shaft extended past the cutlass bearing by a good four inches. By design it should be no more than the diameter of the shaft which is 1-1/4 inches. With the new money for nothing coupling added the shaft was too far out and needed shortening. It’s now where it should be and she still shakes. So at this point we are not leaving Grenada and are resting at anchor until our scheduled haul out in June. That’s a long time to be sitting in one place. For two restless people who like to be moving weekly that’s going to be tough. I was already losing my mind here by myself for a month and a half but now I have to sit for two more! At least I will have company this time. It’s great to have Debra back. I really missed her.

The good news is our paint is holding up real well except for where it just fell off the rudder. I have a spot on the rudder where nothing sticks. Odd. So the boat is relatively clean underneath except for this patch on the rudder. It’s always something with a boat isn’t it?

We’ve decided to start on our decommissioning list and just do a little something every day. This way we will not be scrambling in June to get her ready for storage. Once we haul out, the people who are stumped in fixing Shaky Breaky are pulling the shaft and prop to check them out. Also checking the P bracket and bearing. We NEED this boat ready to sail in November.

There are plenty of things to do in Grenada and we have a few activities on our schedule. I think we’ll be OK. I’m positive the boat will be ready come November and we’ll be back to our old sailing life again but right now I am ready to leave the old girl in the islands while we go home to the kids for some land life.

At this point I am usually craving something from the States I can’t find here. I still crave a proper Greek salad and it will be one of the first things I order when I return. Another thing I miss is bike riding. I don’t know, I just want to ride a bike. I’m going to buy a good used bike and a rack for the car so I can ride on some good trails. I miss that. A hike in the woods sounds good to. We’re heading to the Great Smokey Mountains for a week and it will be cool to walk in the forest for a bit as long as the bears don’t rip me apart. I will be the dude with four cans of bear spray strapped to my belt and one in my hand. I’ve been reading about bear attack stories. Geez. Hell of a way to go. Also, ticks. Lyme disease sucks. I’m used to mosquitoes so that’s not an issue for me. There’s a famous waterfall in the Smokies that people hike to. One story I read told of two bears that attacked the people at the falls and ripped their limbs off. WTF! That would really curtail my progress in blues guitar.

Maybe I don’t want to walk in the woods. Maybe I’ll just ride the bike to get a Greek salad.

Cheers!

PJJB

Good Morning Grenada

Another day to myself but It’s getting closer to the Queens arrival. We’re anchored near the airport so it’s a short drive from there and the plan was for me to meet Deb in the beer garden at the restaurant at the dinghy dock but she arrives on Easter Sunday and they’re closed. Bummer. I might just bring a couple cold one’s and sit in the garden anyway.

My lazy last few days alone are anything but that. The boost pump on the watermaker decided it doesn’t want to boost much anymore. As you may recall this pump is not that old. I ran to the chandlery to find another pump and there were at least twenty of this model on the shelf. Huh. Wonder why? So today is booked with watermaker repair because I know it will not just be swapping out the motor and running. It’s always more involved. Now I know I said I wasn’t going to do anything involving squeezing into small spaces and using too many tools here in the home stretch of lonely living but if the watermaker isn’t running Deb will be right back at the airport.

If we ever bought another boat, and that’s a big if, the first thing Deb would ask is, “Is there a watermaker? What type? How old? How many spares?”

So after cleaning the boat yesterday I’m going to mess it up again with a project. Oye. It never ends. I look back on this boat life and you know, it was never without projects. In a way it’s a handy guys dream. Not that I’m THAT handy but I like projects. It’s fun to fix something, always has been but now I’m older and retired and floating in the Caribbean and I don’t want repair projects. I want to read, play guitar, cook a nice dinner, laugh with friends, sit on a beach, etc. Crawling around in an engine room is getting old, like me.

The other day I opened up a filter to check the strainer and jammed the tail of the hose clamp into my knuckle. It bled all over the floor until I found the neosporin and band aids. While I was stopping my blood from messing up the cabin floor the fridge came up with an error code. It needs a new module. Son of a..

This is why we invented beer. It keeps some of us sane. Now I have to replace the fridge module but I have to dismantle part of the interior to get at it. It’s running at low power just fine so I’m going to wait for Debra to get here for this project. She can provide the band aids so I spill my blood in one place.

Cheers!

PJ