Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gunboat Catamarans in St Maarten just prior to Heineken Regatta 2009

There are a few Gunboat catamarans currently in St. Maarten and we expect to see a few more in the lead up to the Heineken Regatta, March 5-8, 2009.

Gunboat catamarans in the Caribbean St. Maarten

Here's a bit from the local St. Maarten newspaper The Daily Herald, January 22, 2009:
SIMPSON BAY--Gunboats have returned to St. Maarten. This year the fleet is bigger and includes the newly launched 66 series. A new breed of racing cruiser catamaran, the Gunboat was designed to hold provisions for up to six months of cruising and still able to race with all carbon spars and Kevlar shrouds. The Gunboat, named for the fact they win or take the gun at so many finish lines, consists of composite construction of vacuumbagged, epoxy foam sandwich and Aramid Honeycomb Nomex with carbon fiber inner skins & Kevlar outer skins for impact resistance. The fast 48 foot version, capable of speeds in the mid 20’s, will be sailing the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta the first weekend of March. “Gunboat is excited to have one, and maybe two of our latest series, the Gunboat 66, at the regatta,” said Chandler Collins from Gunboat. “This new 66 embodies luxury, comfort, and SPEED! The 66 was launched this winter in Cape Town, and she has just completed her maiden voyage across the Atlantic to Saint Maarten.” Also expected to race Heineken, like last year, are Gunboat 48s and 62s.
We went and took a few photos of the Gunboat catamarans that are currently in Simpson Bay and in the Lagoon in St. Maarten: Looking for Elvis (Gunboat 62), Kanaloa (Gunboat 66), and Safari (Gunboat 62).

Catamaran Gunboat Looking for Elvis in St. Maarten - Photo ©2009
Looking For Elvis - Feb. 25, 2009 - Simpson Bay, SXM
(Photo by ©2009)

Catamaran Gunboat Looking for Elvis in St. Maarten - Photo ©2009
Looking For Elvis - Feb. 25, 2009 - Simpson Bay, SXM
(Photo by ©2009)

Catamaran Gunboat Kanaloa in St. Maarten - Photo ©2009
Kanaloa - Feb. 25, 2009 - Simpson Bay Lagoon, SXM
(Photo by ©2009)

Catamaran Gunboat Safari in St. Maarten - Photo ©2009
Safari - Feb. 25, 2009 - Simpson Bay, SXM
(Photo by ©2009)

Catamaran Gunboat Safari in St. Maarten - Photo ©2009
Safari - Feb. 25, 2009 - Simpson Bay, SXM
(Photo by ©2009)

Safari is available for crewed yacht charters. Contact Paradise Connections for more info.

We looked at the entries listed on the Heineken web site and for the Catamaran Class it shows the Gunboats Cream, Safari, and Sugar Daddy. They only show a total of 175 entries but in a recent newspaper article they said that had 200-some, so their website probably hasn't been updated yet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking For Elvis - Gunboats in St. Maarten

This morning we went looking for Looking For Elvis, a 62-foot Gunboat. They've changed the graphic for their boat name since the time I showed it here on the All About Boats blog in 2006.

Then (2006)

Now (2009)

I like both.

The home port on the transom is LAS VEGAS :)

Today in Simpson Bay, St Maarten 2x3 masts

This morning we have two 3-masters in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten.

We expect the anchorage to be filling up soon with boats for the Heineken Regatta.

I'll have to remember to take the camera with us when we run some errands (must buy kitter litter!). We saw the Gunboat "Looking for Elvis" dinghy yesterday. Visitors to this blog seem to like photos of the Gunboats so we'll see what we can do.

More soon come, mon!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A couple of interesting posts

A couple of recent blog posts that I've found interesting:
  • Stinky Soy Goo Could Fight Alzheimer's
This looks like a tasty way to keep Alzheimer's at bay :)

"Natto is a soybean product that is sticky, slimy and smelly, but it might be able to ward off Alzheimer's disease. Once a theme ingredient on Iron Chef, natto contains an enzyme called nattokinase that can shred brain plaque, and chemists think it could become a game-changing medication."

  • Won't find these on Vicodin Earrings
One of our favorite TV shows is HOUSE MD. Having lived in Europe for over a decade we became big Hugh Laurie fans and we were intially shocked to see him as an American super-doc as opposed to the foppish English aristocrat in BLACK ADDER. House is not known to see his patients unless in extreme circumstances but this will get him running to the bedside... Vicodin earrings. See this post on how to make your own!

Monday, February 23, 2009

They're Back... Maltese Falcon in St Maarten

Got up this morning to make coffee and saw that the Maltese Falcon is back in St. Maarten.

Maltese Falcon again in St Maarten Feb 2009 - c2009 Yacht Charters

Maybe they're here for the Heineken Regatta which starts soonish.

Speaking of the Heineken...

The Wailers play the Heineken Regatta 2009

We were happy to hear that the big band for the final night's party (March 8, 2009) will be The Wailers. Yes, as in Bob Marly and the Wailers, although there is only one original member but still, it will be a good time! Visit the Heineken Regatta's website. Click for MUSIC BY THE WAILERS.

I was lucky a few years ago when they had the big party on my birthday and JIMMY CLIFF was the big act... How cool was that???!!!

Name change for Antigua Sailing Week

From their web site

23-02-2009 11:06:30
Stanford no longer sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week

With Stanford International Bank title sponsors of Antigua Sailing Week for the last two years now in receivership, the bank will no longer be a sponsor of this year’s event. As such the event will be dropping the Stanford name with immediate effect and will revert to simply Antigua Sailing Week.

Once more we would like to reassure everyone that the event will be going ahead as planned. The racing will not be compromised in any way and we will ensure that the 2009 edition of this great event will be as enjoyable and as memorable as the years gone by.

It's amazing how this one man has affected so many...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pressure Cooker Walnut Bread Recipe

Bob sent me a link to the SIMPLY SPICY Indian Spices and Spicy Recipes Blog for a wonderful looking recipe for Walnut Bread that is steamed cooked in a pressure cooker.

Besides being tasty, this recipe looks EASY to make in the galley.

I'm definitely going to try it this week!

Here's the link to the Walnut Bread recipe: CLICK HERE


Sunday, February 15, 2009

WiFi in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles

Many places now have FREE wifi. Be sure to carry your computer in something watertight as sometimes a dinghy ride in the Simpson Bay Lagoon can be quite wet depending upon your dinghy and weather.

Here's a few places accessible from Simpson Bay:
  • MacDonalds near Simpson Bay Bridge (use Palapa dinghy dock)
  • Bubble Tea in same building as MacDonalds (use Palapa dinghy dock)
  • Ric's Sports Bar near Simpson Bay Bridge (has dinghy dock)
  • Taco Macho - next to Texaco station (might be allowed to tie up behind gas station at Texaco dock, or use Palapa dock and walk towards airport, or use Portofino marina behind Gourmet Marche and walk just beyond the Shell station in the direction of the bridge)
  • Blue Martini, ex-Fathoms, (between Bobby's Boatyard and Turtle Pier) has dinghy dock
  • Jimbo's Mesquite Grill at the Simpson Bay Marina - use marina dinghy dock
  • Cappuccino Diner Bar & Restaurant (across from FedEx & Domino's Pizza) - use dock behind FedEx?
  • Turtle Pier restaurant at Turtle Pier Hotel (Airport road) & Marina (dinghy dock in the lagoon) Happy hour, too!
Here's some NOT-FREE options, but it's worth it to us to have 24/7 internet access aboard the boat:
  • Smart Wifi: Web site We did use Smart WiFi a few times last year, but we were not able to get it on the boat outside in Simpson Bay. We used it at Lagoonies and also at the Pasta Restaurant at Palapa.
  • Netstar: Can't find any info about this service and I haven't known anyone who has used it.
  • Scarlet: Web site We are currently using Scarlet. It was very good in January and the first bit of February, but their service has been very slow for the last week to 10 days. We've heard this from other users as well. Scarlet is not WiFi. You use their unit (omnidirectional, inside the boat, 110V) for a $150 refundable deposit. They let us test the unit on board before signing up which was very nice. FEB.23rd 2009 UPDATE: They listened to us! Their service has improved over the past few days and we received a reply to the email we sent today saying that they have made changes and that they are still working to improve the situation. THANKS GUYS! It didn't last long... Service has too many people on it so it is SLOW. It has picked up a bit since Easter because all of the charter boats are gone and fewer tourists, i.e. more bandwidth. Price went up to about $105/month.
  • CaribServe: Web site I haven't been able to access CaribServe in a long time. Can acquire the HotSpot but cannot get web page or login screen. We've heard other people having similar stories, and also it being slow, and another one accessed the payment page and paid and then couldn't get service...
IDL is no longer in existence.

We've recently heard that there is good WiFi in Deshaies Guadeloupe.

And we've also heard that Hot Hot Hot Spot in Falmouth Antigua is NOT SO HOT.

So it goes...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Cat Photo

Here's a cat with interesting markings. Happy Valentine's Day!

Bob found this picture at

Our first ship's cat, Wacka, had a Star Trek Enterprise insignia on her back. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures as this was in the days before digital cameras and we didn't take many photos when we lived in France.

Then again, most of the few photos we do have were ruined when our office was flooded by the apartment above us in St. Maarten. My most missed photo is a picture of Bob with very long, curly hair that was taken during the winter that we stayed in the marina at Carrières-sous-Poissy on the Seine, west of Paris.

Here's me & Wacka (circa 1987?) on the Marne river in Meaux France aboard our first Loose Moose.

Have a good one!

Friday, February 13, 2009

FREE Marvin Gaye song from

Something good for Friday the 13th...

THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED. HOPE YOU WERE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT sent us an email this morning to let us know that they are offering a FREE download of the quintessential Valentine’s Day song, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. This offer is only good for today, Friday, Feb.13, 2009 and tomorrow Valentine's Day 2009.

I've already taken advantage of this fantastic special. After it downloaded it automatically started playing and both cats came in from outside in the cockpit to listen. Buffy was sitting on the table (naughty girl) right behind the laptop screen. I think she's a BIG Marvin Gaye fan so now we'll have to download a couple more of his songs :) It is so easy to do and pretty cheap (that's me!)

Click for MP3 Music Downloads

Happy shopping!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

WiFi Detector T-Shirt - Clothing to Anchor In

Here is the perfect attire to wear when anchoring... a WiFi detector T-shirt. Who anchors according to the depth anymore... Where's my WiFi :)

I just happened across this while surfing the net and just had to share it.

How COOL is this??? Check it out!

Here's the Amazon link: CLICK HERE FOR WIFI SHIRT

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Unlocking cell phones RANT

WARNING: This is a customer service rant.

My St. Maarten UTS Chippie cell phone is not in the best shape, and since I have 3 other cell phones from AT&T/Cingular, I decided to look into getting one of them unlocked so I can use them here in the Caribbean.

Saturday, I did a search and found a company that would sell me the unlock code for my Sony Ericsson z300a for about $15. But, there was a Google Ad that gave a price at £4.99 or about $7. I went to look at them. In their dropdown menu for Sony Ericsson phones they listed my model. You fill out their order form and click on the "agree to terms & conditions". I quickly read the terms and conditions which stated that if you couldn't unlock this phone you'd get a credit to do another. No problem, I thought, because it was listed in their dropdown menu... I paid via PayPal and didn't log into our account. I just used the PayPal pay by credit card option. The order was accepted and it said I'd have the code in 4 hours.

Well, I received an email saying they couldn't unlock this phone and to check their terms & conditions and I'd see that the phone was not listed on this page but I could get a credit to unlock another phone. I was a bit miffed... why was it listed in their dropdown menu then?

But not to worry as I have another phone... a Nokia 2610 that I got in St. Thomas in November. In the form I filled out it asked for the PayPal receipt number, order number, the phone's IMEI serial number (which I assumed was for the 1st phone so they could check my account record). Then in the message area below I put the new phone information with its IMEI serial number.

I received a reply with the unlock code but by the way the email was written, I was worried that they didn't use the correct serial number to generate the code, so I send another message and ask them to verify that they used the correct one and gave it to them again.

I received another reply with a different unlock code. It starts with PW+ and I can't get my phone to enter "P" it just displays 7, so I ask how to do that. In the meantime I find the answer on a different web site. I then understand how to enter the unlock code and do so. It doesn't work. I try it again and it doesn't work. I read on the internet that you can only do this 5 times.

I write to the unlock data company again saying that it doesn't work. They said they were sorry and that they have modified my account giving me credit to unlock yet another phone. How many phones do they think I have? I told them I was unhappy and I would contact PayPal or they could give me a refund.

I wrote to PayPal. Gave them my receipt number, the name of the company, and the amount charged. I told them I'd like a refund for services not rendered. Gave them a very short account of how they claimed they could unlock my cell phone but failed twice. I mentioned that I had felt safe to puchase this via PayPal.

I'm sure this scammy company (UK) makes most of their money by not delivering product in the full knowledge that their customers will just go "oh well, it was only $7 and I should have known better". I felt this way, too, but I didn't want them to get away with this yet again.

The next time I checked my email I had a nice message from PayPal saying that the company had given me a refund! Hooray! Thank you PayPal for your help.

I don't know how many hours I've wasted with this. At least 6 over the past couple of days.

Oh, by the way... I called AT&T yesterday and they'll give out the unlock code for their phones (FREE) but you need to have had it for at least 6 months. That was a nice surprise. Thanks!

I think I'll just look into buying a new phone in the meantime :)

Monday, February 02, 2009


Happy Groundhog Day 2009!

Well, according to Punxsutawney Phil, there will be another SIX weeks of winter!

Any of you fancy a sailing vacation in the warm, blue waters of the Caribbean? Check out Paradise Connections Yacht Charters (had to give ourselves a plug!)

You can see the official declaration at

Take a look at the pictures here (scroll down a bit)... Reminds me of a Jimmy Buffett concert!

Jeff Masters at Wunderground explains how this crazy tradition started:
It all started in Europe, centuries ago, when February 2 was a holiday called Candlemas. On Candlemas, people prayed for mild weather for the remainder of winter. The superstition arose that if a hibernating badger woke up and saw its shadow on Candlemas, there would be six more weeks of severe winter weather. When Europeans settled the New World, they didn't find any badgers. So, instead of building wooden badgers, they decided to use native groundhogs (aka the woodchuck, land beaver, or whistlepig) as their prognosticating rodent.
I've always enjoyed this holiday. Does Hallmark make cards for it?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

AMAZON Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Today is February 1st. The first month of the year is gone. Wow, what it month it was...

This morning I received an email from to remind me about gifts for Valentine's Day. How thoughtful :) It gave links for Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, or the one I really liked.. GIFTS FOR ME!

One of the items they displayed for ME was Bacon Air Freshener.... What? How bizarre is that??? Well, it is cheap at $1.69, though it doesn't seem all that romantic... Different strokes for different folks, I guess :)

Here's a link for their Gifts Central page.

Here's another Amazon link for Save $10 on Select Intimate Apparel

Amazon is an especially great place for cruisers like us who are outside of the US Postal system to buy gifts for those back in the US. We used to have hassels using a credit card and sending a gift to another address which was not our cc billing address. We now buy an Amazon Gift Certificate and have that sent to our email and then we make our Amazon order and use the gift certificate to pay for it. No problem. Life is easy :)

Try it!