Sunday, August 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Today is my brother's birthday. Ed lives in Eastern Washington State and it is his wife, Laura who made Bullwinkle's beautiful cat quilt (and one for Bob & I, too) that you can see down at the beginning of this blog...

So, Happy Birthday, Ed! Love you and thanks for everything then, now and forever. I'm going to give you a call later on. We might be a few thousand miles away, but we will have some cake & ice cream in your honor this evening!

Right now, we're going to hop in the dinghy and go out into Simpson Bay for a swim.

Have a good one y'all,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tropical Depression 4 - Debbie?

This morning, Tuesday August 22, 2006, brings us Tropical Depression 4 or TD4. I've never noticed one starting on the far side of the Cape Verdes islands. At least it looks like it will not come to the Caribbean.

Click on graphic for larger image.

Still early days... We'll just watch it and see how it goes....

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mediterranean Cruising Guide DVDs - Shards

We are thinking about returning to Europe in the next year or two. These videos, sorry DVDs... by the Shards look quite interesting.

Check it out HERE

RVG wind vane self steering gear

Bob has been busy this weekend working on repairing / improving / carrying out maintenance (you know how it goes) on our RVG wind vane self steering gear.

I'm going to have to make a new sail for it soon.

Check out a newer posting (Sept. 12, 2008) for links to documentation about the RVG: CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Visit our sailing bookstore : books dvds tools

While Bob was outside this morning installing our new deck organizers and other bits and pieces to bring the mainsail controls back to our cockpit, I've been busy with our store.

Have you visited it yet? Here's the link: OUR GENERAL STORE

You know how difficult it can be to search for certain items on Amazon? Well, we have carried out the tedious task of searching Amazon for you. We have Books (cookbooks, cruising guides, rigging, boat maintenance), Music (soon come!), DVDs (personal entertainment, sailing instruction,rigging, etc.), Tools (DeWalt cordless power tools, etc.) and other cool stuff. More to come, such as diving equipment, for example.

Today, I added some DVDs that you may enjoy for your personal viewing pleasure. We like having a collection of TV series aboard. We feel that they are "good bang for the buck" and they are good to loan to other cruisers.

One problem we have is making sure that we don't view spoilers or read something about a series that is currently running because we won't be able to purchase and see the DVD for another few months! Did they decend down the ladder from the hatch in LOST? Don't tell me!


LED cockpit anchor light UPDATE

Yesterday was mail day and we received our replacement LED cockpit-anchor light combo. Bob hooked it up and it works perfectly.

Thank you so much Bebi Electronics for your quick and excellent service.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Free lunch at The Boathouse St Maarten (Martin)

Well, not really, truly a free lunch as you had to earn it... It was one of those lunch card deals where you have nine lunches and the 10th is FREE!

Once again, we had an excellent lunch at The Boathouse restaurant located on the little channel in Simpson Bay Lagoon between Simpson Bay Marina and the little bridge that goes to the Isle de Sol Marina.

We had their lunch special which was mahi-mahi stuffed with crab. It came with a nice salad and seasoned rice. We splurged and shared a slice of Strawberry Cheesecake. Good stuff!

Needless to say, the service was wonderful...

Here's a link to their web site. Please check them out when you are in St. Maarten.

Not a DEBBIE or even a TD yet

Hurray. Doesn't look like this possible weather system will be forming into anything too exciting for us in the near future... If it does develop into a TD4 or become named Debbie, it will be long gone from us (hopefully). They are still going back on forth on this issue...

300 PM EDT WED AUG 9 2006

The current models show it passing west through the island chain and not curving to the north as they predicted earlier.

We'll still be prudent and keep an eye on it!

What's happening with this system

Well, I guess we'll know pretty soon, but what's going on with this system???

Click to enlarge - 9th Aug 2006 10:45am

It's been kind of an "on-again/off-again" type of weather system but it might now strengthen. When? Where? A couple of models show it coming over us, but a few days ago they had it going directly to the west... Hopefully it will become "off again" and head swing farther north and bypass the islands...

We consult Dr. Jeff Master's weather blog quite frequently for a source of good weather information. Check out his weather blog HERE.

We won't have much to do in preparation for the storm as we were ready for Chris last week.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Willy Ts - End of an era

Well, it's true... I heard about it earlier this week and just had it confirmed via email from the Willy T's... Due to a recent near-fatal accident, jumping off the William Thornton Floating Restaurant and Bar will no longer be allowed.

How is one to earn their free t-shirt?

The Willy T's will be closed September through the first week of October 2006.

I'm sure they'll come up with something before the new season starts up...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tropical Storm Chris is a No Show in St. Maarten / Martin

Hurray! It was dead calm throughout the night. A couple of light sprinkles of rain which made me open and close the hatches during the night but that's OK! NO COMPLAINTS! Very happy that Tropical Storm Chris tracked farther north than forecast.

11am - Click for larger image

St. Maarten (St. Martin) is in that little blue line under the orange "current position" marker.

We are pointing in the wrong direction which is weird (West & Southwest). The planes are coming over us to land. Some are quite impressive! One of the big catamarans left with the 9:30am bridge but the other one is still here... They are probably tired (like me) as they were out in their cockpit until the wee hours. I didn't really sleep until 5am.

We'll finish our second cup of coffee and then go out and pick up our second anchor and perhaps put the solar panel back outside for our 12V system.

I notice there appears to be another tropical wave out there this side of 50W... hmmmmm.

It looks like the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are not going to get the brunt of the storm either which is good news. Our friends, Kerry and Baz of the charter yacht PROMENADE begin a new charter this afternoon so Chris's nonappearance is good for them as well. Have fun, guys!

And thanks to our friends Jerry & Shary, owner-operators of the charter yacht CARABELLA, for writing and asking how we fared down here in St. Maarten.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tropical Storm Chris St. Maarten 8pm update (St. Martin)

Well, I'm very happy that the rain only lasted for 25 minutes and we were able to go outside at 5:30pm. We had quite a few boats come in with the 5:30pm bridge. Several small motor boats, the Edge II ferry (Edge came in earlier), a few daysailers.

These two 80-foot catamarans came and anchored to the north of us, followed by the Lady Sheffield over to their right. Oh well, at least we still have a good zone of clear space around us. I was happy that nobody wanted to place their anchor over ours.

We charged up the 12V batteries somewhat, made sure we have a couple of DeWalt batteries charged up just in case we need power tools (maybe I'll feel like vacuuming... Not!). Tested the deck lights.

The 8pm coordinates are 18.3 N...61.6 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1003 MB. We are approximately 18N 63W, so the center of the storm is a little north of us and about 100 miles east... So I expect Chris to be at about 3am with a bit of weather beforehand. Still quite pleasant out at 8:30pm.

Click on image to enlarge.

St. Maarten / St. Martin is in that little short strip of blue coming out of the V section. Just popped outside and everything is nice and calm. Not used to this amount of dinghy traffic as it has been so empty lately. It is a bit chilly feeling at 83F (inside). My feet are cold, which is kind of enjoyable.

So, we've topped up the Honda generator, fed the Bullwinkle, and the cat box has been cleaned. Guess it is time to make some dinner and watch a couple of DVDs. Probably won't sleep much tonight but we have a couple of books to doze with...

Hanging in there!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Tropical Storm Chris and Lady C bar in St. Maarten (St. Martin)

What does it mean when the bar leaves town?

Here's the Lady C Floating Bar zipping past us this evening.

Tropical Storm Chris at 5pm from St. Maarten (St. Martin)

Well, it looks like T.S. Chris is going to be passing close by...

(This image from Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog VISIT HIS BLOG)

It just started raining at 5:05pm (EDT & AST) and now, at 5:23pm I just saw the first lightning flash and the thunder was less than five-one-thousand away. I don't like electrical storms as that is what "did in" Loose Moose 2.

We put out a second anchor and have cleared the decks. In about 5 minutes the Lagoon bridge should open. Hope we don't get any new neighbors, because as you know, the holding around here isn't very good, and with the rain people might not take as much care as they should.

Oh well, we'll see.... So It Goes !

I hope everyone has a good evening!

Tropical Storm CHRIS

Well, this morning we awaken to a tropical storm watch advisory for Chris. Nice, friendly sounding name.

Click on image to enlarge in another window

Hey Chris... we're all a bit busy right now so perhaps you could occupy yourself and play quietly a bit further north out in the open and calm down some? Take your meds and CHILL! Don't be bothersome... We'll tidy up, in case you drop by, but please get your act together in the meantime... and no nighttime visits, please.

Thanks for your understanding!