11-29 Trois Islet

Pos: N14deg32.8min/W061deg02.3min. Fortunately,we're not in a hurry or on a schedule. The weather around here has been challenging. We had a great sail from Rodney Bay to Martinique, but changed our destination from St Pierre to Trois Islet. Why? The weather was predicted to change radically as a low pressure system formed nearby and the trough was tracking directly overhead. Trois Islet affords really good protection, and winds were forecast to go southwest to west, which, indeed they did. Torrential rains and wind to 40 knots came through. We had no problems at all. Can't say the same for those boats anchored in St Annes; lots of drama. Boats dragged; one boat went aground; same story in Rodney Bay. The westerly swell was 3-4' there, hitting the fleet with standing waves and making for a really horrible night. We were thinking of heading up to St Pierre, but a secondary low is forming nearby the first one, and the weather experts aren't quite sure what's going to develope; the next 24 hours should clarify the situation. Meanwhile, we had a lovely game of dominoes aboard sv Gosi (Tom & Barbara) along with Bill & Tracy of sv Zephyr. Good times, dreary weather; patience, grasshopper...

11-19 Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Pos: N14deg050min / W060deg57.5min. We’ve arrived in Rodney Bay, St Lucia! We had to motor-sail for 25 hours, going east along the Trinidad coast and keeping well east of Grenada. When the wind filled in we had a glorious sail on the windward side of the island chain all the way to the south end of St. Lucia. We then stayed about 2 nm west off this coast at night with a beautiful moon overhead. (Motoring once more). The anchorage wasn’t crowded and is an easy night entry, although we had our previous tracks to guide us in. We checked in with Officialdom the next morning; overtime is 50EC. Most everything worked well during this, our initial voyage after layup, and we’ll address a few things that need a bit of tweaking when we get organized.
Pic: I caught a nice 2’ wahoo the first morning, sailing along at 7.5 kts, so we had ceviche and have a few meals to look forward to.

11-14 We've launched!

After haul-out, it’s always amazed me how many last-minute things there are to do before the boat is put back in the water. To name a few: visit the marina office to pay our bill and get our documentation for Customs as well as the travel lift crew, canvas had to be stored, the hose and electrical cords had to be cleaned and gathered, since we had the A/C unit in use, it had to be tied down as we weren’t sure whether we were going to use it over the next few days so we didn’t want to store it below yet, four long lines had to be placed on the fore and aft cleats, all engine fluid levels had to be checked, fenders had to be ready for deployment, the extendable boathook had to be handy to loop our line over the port aft piling at Coral Cove, everything down below had to be secured and cabinets had to be latched, the windlass breaker had to be switched on and windlass tested, and a deck and cockpit wash-down had to be done. I'm sure I've forgotten a few things, but you get the idea. The boatyard crew arrived in a timely fashion, and once we were hoisted in the slings by the travel lift, the keel bottom was sanded and painted where it had sat on the supports these last months. Infini was placed gently in the water, and Sue, myself and Falco boarded, each of us with a goal in mind. Sue got the fenders placed, and Falco and I checked for water leaks around the seacocks, engine intake strainer and in the bilge; all’s well. The engine was started and we once again checked for leaks; none. So, with Falco’s brief visit done, he departed, and I then put the boat in gear forward and reverse, and was ready for the lads to cast off the lines. We were off – yea! We went on a 10 minute ride up and down the bay before calling Coral Cove Marina to let them know we were coming into our assigned slip, and two of the guys were waiting to catch our dock lines. No drama. After adjusting the dock lines, we went up to the office to check in. After, I made a visit to Budget Marine and Sue took a bag of ice to the boat. We had started the freezer which has a keel-cooled compressor, so we needed to be in the water to use it; we help lower the box temperature by placing a bag of ice in it. Of course, the thought of a few cubes in my rum was also considered. After showers, it was good to once again sit in the cockpit and enjoy being back on the water. New Zealand cheese, French pate, South African wine (thanks, Kilkea II!), and local veggies – a true international happy hour. A busy day – all’s well. There’s already a list of things to do tomorrow.
Pic: Infini with a black bottom for the first time ever.

11-9 Update

Lots of projects have been completed this past week. Our go-to engine guy, Falco, came by to further service the Perkins. The dodger went out to Sean at Superb Canvas for replacement of the old, sun-damaged, clear vinyl windows with Stratoglas; a huge improvement. Mitchell, the welder, finished another engine part that needed replacement, and today, Falco returned to check everything out. We started the engine after first having bled fuel through the injection pump and injectors. The start battery needed replacement; it was purchased in Thailand a bit over 3 years ago and gave good service, but wouldn't hold a charge so it was time. The yard here at Peake's has sanded the bottom, put on a tie coat, and several layers of anti-fouling. This is the first time we've used Seahawk bottom paint, and in black no less. Sue flew in yesterday and returned to find the caprail varnished and the boat looking pretty spiffy (at least I thought so!). She went on a shopping run with Jesse (Members Only Maxi-Taxi Service), easy to arrange over the VHF net which comes on daily at 0800 local, channel 68. So...it's been an exciting week; I think at least as much as went on in the States...Btw, launch is scheduled for Monday, 11-14.