Saturday, March 30, 2013

A spider hunt and a cold swim

Concord Waterfall, Grenada
Yesterday Andy, Lori, Ian (our new spider hunter) and I went to the Concord Waterfalls in Grenada. There are three falls, the first reached by highway, the second a third a hike up the side of the watershed.

We arrived at the site of the first waterfall and began the hike up to the second waterfall. This took us about an hour, most of it easy trail but the last bit required climbing over a bunch of big rocks. There were several places were we needed to cross the stream, at some point in the past there had been quite a flow of water and all of the bridges were destroyed. We used the stepping stones to get across. It was not hard but some of the stones were covered with moss so they were quite slippery.

We arrived at the second waterfall and I was the only one to take a swim. We decided not to continue to hike to the third waterfall but to work our way back while Lori and Ian did their spider collection.

We gathered back at the car for a quick lunch and then headed down the stairs to the lowest (first or third depending upon your frame of reference) waterfall. There Ian and I did the necessary jump from the cliff into the water where we were joined by Lori. Andy waded into the water, declared it too cold, and decided not to join us.

Refreshed we headed  back to Reboot.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sonic - Marina Bas du Fort

We are here in the Marina Bas du Fort and they have a firewall that blocks certain kinds of web queries. Most of the time this is not a problem but I was surprised to see that Victoria's Secret is blocked. I guess the women can't buy sexy American clothing in France.

Fair winds and following seas.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Med Mooring - Marina Bas du Fort

The Bas du Fort marina here in Guadeloupe uses the "Med Mooring" scheme. This means that there are no finger piers. Everyone goes bow or stern into a dock. The other end of the boat is held by a mooring buoy. Since Reboot's stern has a wind vane steering device we elected to go bow in. Fortunately there was not much wind so sliding in between two other boats with nothing but fenders on either side was less of a problem than I anticipated. The Port Captain also takes care of tying a line to the mooring buoy and passing it to someone on the boat. But all in all it is not a very favorable setup. We have to climb over the bow pulpit every time we want to get on or off. Getting groceries, laundry, and so forth on and off is a two person job. The advantage for the marina is that they can get more boats in the same space. To the extent that this is reflected in lower prices I guess it is a good thing.

I continue to be amazed at the high prices for everything but wine in Guadeloupe. It seems every time I go to the grocery store no matter what I purchase the bill is $100 US. Rum is also cheap but we are not much of rum drinkers.

We are looking forward to Lori (Dr. Esposito) returning to Reboot this weekend. The plan is to sail direct to Granada and then work our way back north. After the run to Granada we will hopefully have more favorable winds.

Fair winds and following seas.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quicken 2013 - I love stupidity!

Today I downloaded Quicken 2013. Of course I did not want to pay for it and download it. Quicken is disabling many of the features of the previous versions of Quicken to force you to purchase the upgrade. Now for a simple user like me each new version is slower and less user friendly than the previous version. So  to pay to upgrade from a piece of crap to a bigger piece of crap just puts me in a great mood.

I upgraded. My password would not work. It turns out that some genius at Quicken has shortened the password field. My old password was too long. So I had to uninstall the upgrade, restore the old version, change my password, re-install the new version. Such customer service. Wow - you can depend on Quicken.

Fair winds and following seas

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Best of the Web

In the spirit of my friend James Taranto"s Best of the Web column in the Wall Street Journal (Click for archive) here is my "Questions that no one is asking:"

Why, in a 1000 boat marina are there only two washing machines?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guadeloupe - Sticker Shock

We are currently at the Marina Bas du Fort in Guadeloupe. I am suffering from sticker shock. The marina itself is not all that expensive - $50 US per night including water and electric. But everything else is out of sight. After paying $25 US for a carton of cigarettes $70 US seems a bit steep. We are back in the world of $5 US beer. Even more annoying is that the bottles are the little pony size. What a massive ripoff.

The marina here is reminiscent of the marina in Cascais, Portugal. It is a large marina with a "technical area" for repairs, a travel lift, and a number of chandleries. The rest of the marina area is apartments, restaurants, and shops. This makes everything quite convenient. My guess is that it is also expensive, but not a great deal more than the surrounding area.

Tomorrow is Sunday, on Monday we will take a trip to the local shopping mall. It is quite big and we will see what the prices are like.

Fair winds and following seas.

Sailboat Science

See our trip write up at http://www.islandbiogeography.org/1/post/2013/03/sailboat-science.html

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guadeloupe

We are currently in Guadeloupe. I am tired after a long day and night from Montserrat, a few hours at anchor, and then a relocation to the marina in Pointe-a-Pitre. I will update this post after some sleep..

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Montserrat - the Volcano

Soufrière Hills volcano
We have been anchored in Little Bay, the only remaining port in Montserrat after the series of volcanic eruptions made two thirds of the island uninhabitable. This is the area where the government is building the new capital. The old one, Plymouth, was destroyed in the early volcanic activity.

The Remains of Plymouth
Montserrat has a remaining population of about 5,000. The area around Little Bay was not heavily populated and remains pretty much empty of people. That said, we have had a lot of fun here. As you come off the dock through the port you will for sure meet Moose. He owns the first bar along the road and is quite an outgoing personality. Due to its proximity to the dinghy dock Moose's is also the cruisers' meeting place. There are also two nice restaurants, one usually open for lunch and the other for dinner.

There is no marina nor mooring balls so we have been at anchor for the last few days. Holding has been good in moderate winds (25 knots or less.) Montserrat has many dive and snorkeling sites We have not had the opportunity to take advantage of them but the water is crystal clear with visibility frequently 60 feet or more.

Andy had an unexpected good time when a charter boat with three men from the Czech Republic came into Little Bay. We met them at Moose's, had dinner and the next day had a dingy party on their boat. For Andy it was a treat to be able to talk Czech instead of having to think about talking in English all the time.

It has been hot and cold and pretty much everyone has picked up some kind of cold. We are hacking and blowing in the beautiful Caribbean.

Fair winds and following seas.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Montserrat

We motored from Nevis to Montserrat. What a night. No wind, then wind from the wrong direction. We tried to get to Barbuda, Antigua, and finally were decided on Montserrat as it was the closest. With any kind of wind on the nose and the Caribbean 1 knot current from the east this going southeast is a bear.  We hope to explore Montserrat and see what the volcano has done to the island.

Fair winds and following seas.

Bawran, Indonesia

At anchor. Pretty bay. All OK.