Sunday, November 2, 2014

Boating, Blogging and Bastardly Technology

I'm not even going to apologize for abandoning my blog.... No "Sorry folks"... no "Life is (too) Good to waste time indoors on a computer".  No.  None of that for me.

I'm just going to tell you that this past year has been.....real.

"Real what?" you say.

Well, it's been real life - on the sea - in the Caribbean. It's been so much real life, that I just didn't seem to have the energy or desire to interrupt it with - well - blogging. Staying inside, typing - on a computer (that works or doesn't work so well, depending on many things - including the operator), dealing with poor to non-existent internet service, often at an island no bigger than your neighborhood that has simply, an anchorage, a beach, a bar and a ganja salesman.

 We've had a wonderful second year of cruising the Caribbean. We've made many more good friends and felt a little more comfortable in our skins - as we re-visited many of the cherished anchorages we came upon in our first cruising season, as well as newfound anchorages too. And we've loved every minute of it!

Oh sure, there are the little "squabbles" that are so common to being a couple living together in approximately 600 sq ft of living space. "Do we have to anchor there?" "It's so hot I can't stand it!"  "Why won't you hike with me today?"  "It's so hot I can't stand it!" "Are you really going to wear that white t-shit again today? "It's so hot I can't stand it!" "Why do we spend all the money on your boat stuff? - I never get anything new!"  "It's so hot I can't stand it!" ... But somehow we've managed to stay friends and lovers through it all.

After a tumultuous first cruising year where we had to work out many of the kinks in our 30 year old Kadey Krogen, we have had a virtually smooth second cruising season - and it's been wonderful. We treated ourselves to a new Northern Lights 9kw Generator and had it installed at Nanny Key, Tortola in 3 days! Tim Dabbs and his team with Marine Maintenance did a super professional job and we would highly recommend them! We had new Lifeline batteries and a Victron Inverter installed in Trinidad last November and when we went to Martinique, we had the Victron Distributer there tweak it, as we were not sure the installation in Trinidad was working correctly. Tim Dabbs installed some heavier wiring, when he found a melted wire connection and once again we dodged a bullet. Now everything was running smoothly and between the new generator and batteries and the solar panels we found we only had to fire up "Mr White" once a day now. (Like many other cruisers, we name the various things on our boat, and since our new genny was white in color - and we'd just watched "Breaking Bad" - we named that mean machine Mr. White!)

We flew back to Florida in April 2014 to have a reunion with our children, grandchildren and my sister. It was lovely, but we did have to sacrifice seeing the Antigua Classic - which we were told was a fun and fabulous time with party after party, beautiful classic sailing yachts and many of our cruising friends there. We are hoping to make it this season and see firsthand what everyone is talking about!

Rather than blog - I did post many photos on our Facebook Page "The Travels of Partners" as well as my personal Facebook site. That is so easy, because our good friend Bill Miller had urged us to switch to T-Mobile for our cell phones. T-Moblile partners with Digicel and many other networks and as a result we had unlimited international text and data and $0.20 /minute for international phone calls. So it was easy to use my iPhone to upload pictures instantly. All of you back in civilization just have no idea of the limitations with internet usage!
But through Facebook and networking with other cruisers, I found I could install a Blogger App on my iPhone and do my blog there! So I should have more regular posts ... But I'm not promising anything just yet!

So what are our future cruising plans? Right now we are in Culebra - one of the Spanish Virgin Island of Puerto Rico. It is beautiful! And our friends Bill & Ann Miller have just arrived on their Krogen 58' "Ann Louise". We have been having lots of fun together, along with Bill's aunt and uncle Jim & Linda Miller, who accompanied them on their journey from Stuart, Florida.

Then we plan to move to a marina in Puerto Rico and fly back to Florida to see family, friends and doctors. When we return we will begin our passage south to explore the many beautiful islands of the Caribbean and the anchorages we've come to love, as well as new ones we've not yet seen. Follow along with us, there's so much more to come....

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