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 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies


More Stupid Boat Tricks

This journal is a log of all the messages from Susie & Lance. For pictures, please see the Gallery.

Tyrell Bay, Carriacou, Grenada 12.17.09

Launching Eaux Vives at Rodney Bay

Eaux Vives Launch

When last we left you, gentle reader, your intrepid travelers were leaving Kia Orana in the ICW for a launch of Eaux Vives and a quick trip up to St. Martin where our beloved vessel was to meet its new owners. The launch went very well. We wanted to do it in as civilized manner as possible given the time constraints. We stayed in Chez Marie Alish (as opposed to on the boat) and managed to get Eaux Vives in the water and on the road in a record 4 days. This despite the chaos of the still-under-construction boatyard. Our Lucian friends, Elvis and Ricky, conspired to get us going quickly and go we did, taking only 5 days from St. Lucia to St. Martin.
Sailing grin on Lance's face

Sailing grin on Lance's face

  • Stop One: Ste. Pierre, Martinique
  • Stop Two: Basse Terre, Guadeloupe (bypassing Dominica altogether)
  • Stop Three: Carlisle Bay, Antigua
  • Stop Four: White House Bay, St. Kitts
  • Stop Five: Simpson Bay, St. Martin

This is quite aggressive for us and most of these anchorages are notoriously rolly so we were able to get early starts and sail long days to accomplish our goal of getting to St. Martin before the buyer's anticipated arrival on November 20th. On the plus side of the ledger: We saw a whale broach. Leap clear of the water and make a huge splash. We played with a pod of at least 30 dolphins. We caught a tuna. We had some great sails. Eaux Vives is fast and fun

The Dutch bridge in St. Martin went on some kind of random, unannounced opening schedule which delayed getting into the Lagoon for a couple of days, but we were in place, on time, when word came from the buyer that their flight must be delayed because of the press of business. It appears that Eaux Vives is going into charter in Croatia and that the people the broker has been talking to are buying on behalf of “an investor”. We shall see...

After all the hurry up and go, we spent a week sitting in the Lagoon with a lot of slow down and wait. We did prove to ourselves that every thing needed to go sailing was on Eaux Vives although it seems that whatever you need is always on the other boat. Again, we took to the skies and flew down to Grenada where Queen Emma has patiently been waiting for us. This time the launch was quite a bit harder as we don't know the boat and we don't know Grenada as well. Number 1 issue was housing. We lived on Queen Emma as we cleaned her up. This means climbing a ladder propped against the transom. This means living with a great deal of chaos. This means mosquitoes. Not my vision of Caribbean yachtie life.

LIAT to Grenada
Liat to Grenada

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Queen Emma launch
Queen Emma Launch

This year's stupid boat trick: Failing to open the exhaust valve before trying out the engine. The engine starts quite well. It slurps up water out of the bucket I am holding up to the raw water intake with one hand while filling from a running hose with the other. It just doesn't come out the exhaust. Susie is upstairs leaning out over the side wondering why nothing is coming out while I am head down in the engine compartment supplying the noisy beast. Diesel and water in + nothing out = loud explosion while the top blows off the water lock (a British version of the blue lunchbox thingie). Lance yelling stop the engine while exhaust and water spray around the engine compartment. We didn't even have an exhaust valve on Eaux Vives. We are still writing the checklist on commissioning/ decommissioning Queen Emma. Another little item: don't plug 110 volt tools into 220 volt outlets. Computers and electronics who accept any input don't mind, motors do. Our dremel tool lies in smoking ruins.
We got dusted by Montserrat

We got dusted by Montserrat

This year's triumph: Our all new, high tech, integrated Raymarine navigation “system” has never been able to tell which way the wind blows. It knows the water temperature. It knows the depth. It knows the boat speed over ground and “Velocity Made good to Windward “(whatever that is). We can let the autopilot (called Jeeves) steer the boat under Ray's direction or from the control in the aft cabin or even from the remote control clipped to your belt. We just can't tell which way the wind blows. In Eaux Vives we could just look out the window in the bimini but on Queen Emma, this is not possible. The previous owner had replaced the direction sender, the wire that sends the info down the mast to the unit you look at and then finally replaced the unit you look at. No luck. We hired a Raymarine expert who finally declared himself baffled. We spent quite a bit of time hanging around the Raymarine booth at the Annapolis boat show muttering about what junk this complicated stuff was until one of the exasperated staff finally mentioned that the wind direction was really a very simple analog device and the only non-digital part of the system. The light dawned. Putting all this electronics into the slot allowed for the old GPS had severely taxed the power supply. Supply a solid 12Volts to the wind indicator and we no longer need a weatherman.

We got the yard to fiberglass closed the hole in the water lock and we have sorted out much of the contents of the barrel we sent ourselves from home. We are still figuring out where things go in our new home and working our way through the TODO list. One new item: replacing more running rigging. On our first sail, the trip up from Grenada to Carriacou the genoa halyard let go. Our brand new Genoa hoists very smoothly. It holds a beautiful wing shape. It is very slippery. It also comes down very quickly Several hectares of sailcloth slithered down the forestay and tried to make their escape into the big blue wet thing. We have a great number of halyards on the foredeck of Queen Emma, so we were able to get things going relatively quickly. Nothing and no one went overboard. We fished the halyard back into place. Renew running rigging is added to the TODO list. I'm glad we've had the experience with a simpler boat before tackling this one. At least we can make new mistakes.

Water still blue. She sails sweetly and points like a hound. Life is good.

We remain,

your eager-to-be-one-boat-owning sailors ,

Lance & Susie

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