Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hurricane Season… .Where are we now? Some Q and A’s…

Q: Where are you now?

A: After spending close to a month in St Kitts, we waved good- bye to our friends at Port Zante Marina and cast off for southing. At this moment we are in Carriacou.

Q: Did David fix our engine problems?
A: No.

Q: What happened with the repairs?

A: David, although an engineer and very capable, was not really interested in heading up this problem. He builds catamarans – and that’s what he wants to do. He referred us to a mechanic at the marina named “Brashun” – which we later found was short for “Vybrashun”. The man knew engines! He was a Rastafarian and had dreadlocks enclosed in one of those big stretchy hats. He was really a nice guy.
He couldn’t fix our fuel delivery problem.

We left anyway.
Q: Where did you go when you left St Kitts?

A: We traveled non-stop to Bequia. We passed Nevis, Monserrat, Guadeloupe, Iles des Saintes, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent. So many islands we dreamt of visiting on our way to Trinidad….
Q: What happened when you got to St. Vincent?

A:  We passed that island too! Even though this was the place where Cap and I got married – Young Island – just off St Vincent – we didn’t stop. We wanted to get to Bequia while the boat continued to run.
Q:  Did you have any further problems with air in the fuel stopping the engine after Vybrashun worked on it?

A:  Yes. We luckily did a 48 hour non-stop trip – which was the longest period we have gone without a fuel delivery problem – then just in the lee of St Vincent it conked out!- Numerous times actually – until we struggled into Admiralty Bay, Bequia and anchored.
Q: You must have been exhausted after that trip and especially with the unlucky ending…
Cap and I at Green Boley
A: Cap and I really thought that Brashun had “fixed” our problem and were just breathing a sigh of relief, when she quit. After that both our stomachs were in knots for hours, until we anchored. We immediately went to shore and started drinking at the Green Boley!
Q: Then what?

A: We met some wonderful people there and just stayed for hours sitting on that green picnic table and talking and talking. It was marvelous! How crazy to be so “down” and so “up” in one day. Our new found friends were locals – ex-pats living for 17+ years in Bequia and making their lives in this quaint little seaside village.  We stayed a few days – changed to a different micron Racor filter, per Bob and Jeremy’s suggestion – but it didn’t change the outcome.
We carried on anyway.

Hurricane season was here.
We were not in Trinidad yet. 

We needed to get there and decided to just go through the pain of our continued problem.
That plan ended soon after.

Q: So…?
A: So, we decided to make short trips and went to Mayreau next.

That’s in the Grenadines.
Mayreau Beach
It was beautiful!

Les – s/v Golightly and Sherman and Judy- s/v Fairwinds- were there too – friends we’d made in St Kitts. It was great to see them again!
There was a cocktail party on the beach with 12 or 14 cruisers.

What a blast!
The cruisers all left the next morning for the Tobago Keys.

We didn’t go with them.
The water was very shallow with lots of reefs and we didn’t trust the control of our boat.

We carried on to Union Island to check out with Customs and Immigration. The boat stopped several times in the short trip.
Q: Where next?

A: We headed for Carriacou – part of Grenada. Many people stay hurricane season in Grenada as it is pretty safe and out of most hurricane paths.
We still want to get to Trinidad.

The engine stopped numerous times. Cap and I just can’t take the longer trip to Grenada without something done. It’s too, too much.

Heart Attack Causing.

Q: What do you plan to do next to fix your fuel delivery problem? Can you get help there?
A: There is a yard here with a travel lift and many experienced people. Chris Doyle writes about this in his Windward Island guidebook. We have already had Gus out to run some tests on the engine and discussed fabricating a separate “Day Tank” to by-pass all the problems. Cap thinks this is the most cost effective solution.  The previous owners had four new aluminum fuel tanks installed to replace the old cracked iron tanks. The new tanks have no inspection or access port to clean or see the tanks. They are behind a bulkhead and we would have to tear apart almost the entire boat to get to them. Can you say: “Cha-Ching”? – Not to mention -“Inconvenient” !

Q: What’s it like in Carriacou?
A: As soon as we arrived there, Simon – a boat boy arrived to offer us – Chilean wine,,, beer, garbage take out,  Island Taxi Tours; fresh fish or oysters – and anything else we would pay money for!

We bought a dozen oysters from him on our first day here.

He comes every day now.

Checking in at Carriacou
Carriacou is small. We checked into Hillsbourough and met a very interesting  and kindly Dutch sailor. We exchanged a few words while waiting for Immigration to open from their lunch siesta. We left after check in and went directly to Tyrrel Bay – around the corner. This was more protected and a known cruiser anchorage. It is undeveloped – not many houses. It’s very pretty. It’s quiet here because – just like Florida – it’s out of season. Many places are closed. We haven’t seen much more than the shoreline, as we are working on our boat problems. The Aluminum fabricator – Dominique is out of town till next week, so we will have to wait until he returns,  to start our day tank project.
Q: Did T/S Chantal affect you there?

A: Luckily no.
We had light rain, slightly increased winds and clouds for one day.

clouds from TS Chantal
We did, however, have a catamaran called Mandu break free of its anchor and float right onto our bow. It got caught in our anchor chain and snubbers and rubbed and rubbed on our fiberglass, creating a bunch of damage. That wasn’t the worst part. We were trying to have a relaxing dinner and glass of wine, when we heard a squeak.  Cap went to investigate and I heard him say: “Get off my boat!” I thought we had a seagull on the boat. I went to look and there was the cat! He was talking to nobody – the owner was on shore – eating and drinking – which left just us to solve the problem!  We whipped into action – got fenders in place; turned on all lights; got on the VHF and tried to hail for help from anyone… Blew our horn a few times… Finally a fellow boater called us back on VHF – and asked if we needed help. HA!  Yeeessss…. (Sarcastically). Two men and a dinghy were here in 5 minutes. By that time Cap had been cleaver enough to free the cat from us without losing our snubbers in the process! The cat was floating towards our stern, but looking like it was going to come back in on us. The friends pushed it away with their dinghy and took it to another area to re-anchor. The owner – whom we met that evening – returned the next day to offer very sincere apologies and we ended up forgiving him for only putting out 25 feet of anchor rode (he had about 10 feet of chain!). He was a nice guy – just bad decision. He made good on the repairs to Partners, so it’s just another Story now.
View of Carriacou waterfromt
Q:  That’s amazing. So how long will you be in Carriacou?

A: Probably about two weeks. Once we get our day tank installed and working we should have trouble free travel from then on. (Knock on wood)
Q: “Knock on wood”? Are you superstitious?

A: After all that has happened with this fuel delivery problem, I’m everything – superstitious, religious, I believe in Karma, angels, rabbits foot, four leaf clovers and anything else! Please just fix this problem – because we do not want to give up this fabulous lifestyle any sooner than we have to!


  1. Who needs a summer novel ! Your BLOG is better than a good book...we wish you two the best and hope you get to Trinidad on time! I love the photos!! Feels like I am right along with you....are you using your IPad for the pics?
    Take care....keep us posted!! xoxoxo

    1. Thanks Robyn! I use my computer for the blog and take the pics with my iPhone (very low tech!)We will probably stay here for a couple of weeks and then go to Grenada, before finally ending in Trinidad. We are at 12 degrees north of the equator and our insurance wants us to be farther south at 10 degrees north of the equator. Luckily we are covered for everything else except a named storm, so we are "close enough" right here for a short while...Thanks for the comments and being so enthused! xoxox