Friday, June 26, 2009

Guitar Amps

Just when I think we are gaining a bit of space on So It Goes, sends us an email...

Save over 30% on Select Line 6 Spider Amps

Oh, well... So It Goes :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sailrite Yachtsman Sewing Machine WORKING!

Back in May, I set up our heavy-duty sewing machine, a Sailrite Yachtsman, and to my dismay it wouldn't stitch properly.

I thought it might be a tension problem and when I went to turn the upper tension knob, it fell off. Didn't know there were so many little bits and pieces inside of there. Darn! I pushcd it back on and screwed it down tight but no joy.

I wish I had a photo. The needle would go down and then when it came back up, the thread was in kind of an upside-down V formation. Definitely seemed like a tension problem, and the upper tension dealy-bob did fall off... hmmmm....

I put it away and took out our little lightweight cheapo sewing machine that we bought from K-Mart last time we were in St. Thomas for $40. It sewed the net bags for our lures just fine.

Well, a couple of days ago when Bob was preparing the new hard dodger for its next step, I took out the Sailrite machine to have a closer look at it. We bought this from the sailboat Sourcis a few years ago, so it is a 2nd or 3rd hand machine. Unfortunately, they are back in the frozen north (Minnesota?) so I couldn't pop around for advice :)

I dug out the manual but it wasn't all that helpful with the tension problem. It did have an exploded diagram though and it looks like I didn't lose anything.

One strange thing was that after a couple of non-stitches, the thread was no longer through the needle... how could that possibly happen? I changed needles hoping that my problems would be solved... no such luck.

So, I had Bob come inside and sit next to me. I showed him the upper tension doo-hicky and the manual. Seems OK. We then looked to see about the needle and it turns out that I installed it backwards. In fact, I had threaded the needle from the WRONG SIDE! I had inserted the thread from right to left which is what I consider normal, but it goes from left to right! The last thread guide just above the needle had broken off before we bought the machine so that would have given me a hint (I hope!).

Guess what! Problem solved!!! YIPPEE, DO THE HAPPY DANCE!!!

I hope that if you have a problem with your sewing machine it is just a simple thing like threading the needle from the wrong side.

One common tip for these machines is to wrap the thread around the upper tension knob once (a double wrap) for more tension (it's even mentioned in the manual).

I should probably scan the manual & post it for other cruisers.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SXM Boat Paint & Stuff closed for summer holiday

Boat Paint & Stuff over at the Time Out Boat Yard (near the French bridge at Sandy Ground) has closed for Bernard's summer vacation.

Closed: June 24 through August 16, 2009.

Glad we bought epoxy from him yesterday ($65/gallon)!

When in St. Martin, check out this shop for paint & epoxy needs. He even has courtesy flags! Bernard's English is excellent so don't be afraid to visit :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whale watching more profitable than whale hunting

Saw an article this morning on BBC that Whale Watching is much more profitable than Whale HUNTING! In fact, the title of the piece is "Whale-Watching 'worth billions'".

Read the BBC Article (by Richard Black)

Here's a bit from the article:
"The group commissioning the report, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw), says whaling countries would gain from a switch to whale watching.
"However, Iceland's delegate here said the two industries were compatible and could grow together.
"Iceland recently announced a major expansion of its fin whale hunt and plans to take 150 of the animals this year, along with up to 100 minke whales."
What is Iceland thinking?! Compatible???? OMG, I hope they are not thinking of doing a TV show which combines hunting and watching... I know that's a disgusting thought even to use in jest, but ya know, I wouldn't put it past the "entertainment" industry or those viewers who thrive on "reality" shows.

Some small countries vote in favor of whaling because they get big payoffs from the whaling countries. Not cool.

So, cut it out guys! Whales are necessary for the well-being of the oceans which in turn affects the entire planet.

And, while I'm at it, knock off the killing of sharks, too!

Have you pushed the purple button at The Animal Rescue Site, today? Check out their "sign a petition" page.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sale on Fein Tool Accessories

This morning I received an announcement from "Save up to 40% on Select Fein Accessories".

This is great news for us as the Fein Multimaster is one of Bob's favorite and most used power tools. We'll be using it today to cut through the temporary epoxy spots that we used to tack our new hard dodger down to the coachroof.

Look and see if they have something that you need:
Amazon Sale on Fein Accessories

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One of my favorite things...

This is an RSS feed that I follow. It is the National Hurricane Center for the Atlantic....

It has my favorite subject line:
There are no tropical cyclones at this time.

Keep up the good work !

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yesterday's activities

Yesterday was a pretty good day.

We are anchored over by Explorer Island (French side) of the Simpson Bay Lagoon and we put-putted our dinghy over to Island Water World without getting wet. That was cool.

At Island Water World, we found the two bimini fittings we wanted (hurray!) plus we bought two sheets of plywood. Transporting a 4'x8' sheet of plywood in an 8-foot dinghy can be rather difficult so we asked if they would deliver it for us out to our boat... Doesn't hurt to ask... They said sure! That was a BIG help!

After lunch, we went back to the Dutch side to Palapa Marina and rented 2 DVDs, bought another week of Scarlet WiFi, and most importantly bought Buffy & Willow a bag of Cat Chow. We've been buying the Green bag for indoor cats and they seem to like it just fine. They don't seem to be picky eaters (Wacka used to like only Purina Poulet & Ron-Ron canned lamb variety. Bullwinkle wasn't fussy. Loved pork & McDonald's fries. Such a gourmand).

Then, after checking email back on the boat, Bob started cutting up the plywood to build our new hard dodger.

We then went to the movies and saw The Proposal. Coming out of the cinema, I called ahead to Dominos to order a take-out pizza. We had the pizza & G&Ts on the foredeck with the kittens. This was their first pizza experience. Buffy & Willow have discovered Pepperoni and Italian Sausage. Buffy also loves the pizza box.

Of course, since we have plywood outside, we had a couple of early morning downpours. It looks better now & I can see some blue sky. We are going to go to the French side and buy gas (Dutch side raised gasoline prices by almost 25% Wednesday) and then go to the supermarche for some lunch stuff.

It's Friday! Have a good one...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day: for the man who has everything

This guy already has three of the largest superduper-megayachts in the world, but now (for how long?) he has the biggest of them all...

Here's the article from

m/y Eclipse is about 170 meters (558 feet) and only accommodates 24 people and has a crew of 70.
Apart from the luxury fittings and indoor and outdoor pools, it has a military-grade missile defense system to keep the oligarch safe. At 170 metres, it will be longer than Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's 530-ft. Dubai, currently ranked as the biggest yacht in the world.

The Eclipse is also being equipped with armor plating surrounding the bridge and Abramovich's master suite, as well as bullet-proof windows. There's also a submarine that can be launched underwater and dive to a depth of 160 ft. that doubles as an escape pod, as well as two helicopter pads.
So It Goes was recently in the boatyard so we could do our antifouling paint and a few other things. Can you imagine what the cost of just one coat of antifouling paint would cost for a boat of this size? Neither can I...

Maybe you could make do with an Amazon gift certificate for Father's Day :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gourmet Marche - St Maarten NEVER AGAIN!

I'm a bit calmer now, so I can rant about my experience yesterday at Gourmet Marche, Portofino Marina (where Shrimpy's used to be) on the Simpson Bay Lagoon, near the Shell station.

Gourmet Marche in St Maarten. We'll never shop there againWe've been 2-3 times/week customers of this store since it opened over a year ago. And, to tell you the truth, I've been getting a bit upset on how many items are not priced so you have to use their scanner (when it is working) to see how much it has gone up since the last time you were shopping. There are NO bargains here, just convenience.

Well... anyway... Yesterday I went shopping using my red daypack as my purse. It has my wallet, passport, sunglasses, camera, cell phone etc. loose in the bag just as it would be in a proper, pursy-looking purse.

So, we are popping into Gourmet Marche to buy some meat for dinner and a 12-pack of Coke Zero when I hear a "hello" behind me. I keep going and again... "hello". I think this is directed at me so I turn around and the security guard tells me I must leave my bag. I tell him no, it has all of my stuff in it. He points to someone else's daypack which is sitting on top of a shopping cart in the space between the open entrance and exit doors. I'm not leaving my bag with my valuables sitting there where anyone can grab it! And I'm not going to remove all my stuff and juggle it in my hands while shopping.

I go to the manager's office to ask him if it's OK to take my bag in the store as you know me and know I'm not a thief, etc :). For sure, he'll say yes because he's been friendly to us forever... Nope! He stays sitting at his desk and tells me it is policy, nothing to do with me, & waves his hand in a go away gesture, then he turns back to his computer screen. OK, I understand his point, but he is blowing me off... He doesn't care about a "valued customer" especially when his number of shoppers are rapidly dwindling.

Also, for at least 6 months, I've been using a shopping/tote bag to carry my stuff. This is a large bag about 16"x20" with an open top. Very easy to stuff things in if I was prone to shoplifting. Much easier than yesterday's daypack with zippers. We have also walked around with shopping from other stores without question. In fact, it would have been nice to have a place to check a bag instead of lugging stuff around the shop.

Don't these guys get it? Just because one has a daypack doesn't make it easier to shoplift. You should restrict ALL bags and have a proper system for storage and identification of bag with owner (tag number).

When we lived in France, if you didn't check your bag (consigne) they would look in your bags/pack when you left the store. That's fine with me!

So, back to yesterday... After leaving the manager I stood by the cashier and muttered "I'm not shopping here" and waited for Bob to bring whatever shopping we had to be purchased... I was still seriously miffed and went back into the office and said "I just want you to know that I am really ANGRY. I AM NOT A THIEF". No response... What does he care? Go away crazy lady...

Bob came back and asked why I was screaming (I didn't realize I was) and we left without buying anything. We have decided not to ever go back to Gourmet Marche again.

You might be thinking "what's the big deal" & "why should she get special treatment"...
  • I don't like getting singled out because I have a daypack while other large bags are OK
  • I didn't like the way the manager handled it. I was a bother to him and he doesn't care that I'm a long-time customer that needed her feathers smoothed.
We spend a few thousand dollars a year at that store, which might not be as much as some of his customers but in "these difficult economic times" you have to take what you can get. We have other choices which means crossing the street. Airport Road is well known for car-pedestrian accidents. Motorists just not paying attention to others... Come on people, get your act together! Think about your fellow man and how you affect (I was going to say "impact") their lives.

There's a Chinese store directly across the street, plus there is a new Chinese store near the bookshop also on the other side of the street but inbetween (and across from) the Shell station and The Mailbox. It is new, clean, well lighted. $3.75 for one liter of Cortez Rum :) They haven't had Coke Zero, but they have had Sprite Zero. Plus there is the Seven-Alive store right across the street from Palapa Marina (they have the best price on the poppyseed crackers I like).

Enough ranting... I think you get my drift :)

Now having third cup of coffee and then it's off to the French supermarche, US Imports.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cat Blogging Friday: Buffy & Willow

I have ten minutes of Friday left so I'm going to post two photos of our wonderful boat cats. Buffy & Willow are sisters and were born in November of 2007. We adopted them from the vet in St Maarten on December 20, 2007.

Buffy & Willow

Right now they are running back and forth, chasing each other inside the boat, as we have closed up the boat for the night.

Dean Guitars - Amazon Sale - Father's Day Gifts

This morning when looking through my email, I was aghast when I saw a message from with the subject line "Save an Additional 40% on Dean Guitars". Bob LOVES guitars and where to put another one???

Fortunately, he's not to hot on Dean, but if it was Guild, Gibson or Martin, well, we might just have to build a lean-to shed on the back of So It Goes to store them all :)

But, perhaps you would like to look at this Sale on Dean Guitars

Dean Guitars Dean GuitarsDean Guitars Dean Guitars

The prices look good and Father's Day is coming up, too.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mail awaits us in St Thomas

Edy from Reefco, Inc (refrigeration, air conditioning, watermakers) in St. Thomas, USVI called yesterday to let us know that several of our packages have arrived, plus a bit of good old chit-chat. It will be nice to see the gang... Edy, Denny, Jimmy, and of course, little Zoe!

Looking forward to receiving our Harmony House order of dried foods which should be excellent for our passage to New England, and afterwards.

Plus there will be some DVDs and books waiting for us too... I hope the order I made from The Animal Rescue site will arrive before we leave, as I could use my new bag :)

Thanks Edy!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fruits de Mer - SQUID

I admit that I have been a fussy eater. When I first met Bob, I didn't eat things like onion, green pepper, mushrooms, curries, spices, etc. which now I LOVE! As a kid, I'd eat Campbells Vegetable BEEF (didn't like Vegetable) soup but remove the green beans, onions and most of the beef :) My family's meals were basically a bland meat & potato type of thing.

( Something the cats brought inside one morning. Thanks, Buffy & Willow! )

So, although my eating habits were becoming a bit more adventurous, I still did not care for critters like langouistines in their full body armour, mussels, squids, octopus... my boss made out well when he took me out for Sushi lunches in Paris :)

When French boat friends asked us over for dinner one evening, she asked what I didn't eat and I replied fruits de mer. So, guess what she served... SQUID! Well, I didn't have any of that, just good ole veggies for me that night.

All of this preamble is to mention that Bob has posted a video on "An Island Gourmand" which makes me want to try squid. Isn't that amazing... Me wanting to try squid!!!

Check it out: Squid Done Right...

He has a more recent post on mussels but I'm still not too into them... one baby step at a time :)

Monday, June 08, 2009

SPOT Personal Locator Beacon - Summer Rebate

There are three SPOT special rebate deals (valid June 1 - August 3, 2009):
  • Free SPOT after rebate when signing up for 2 year basic & tracking service
  • $75 rebate when signing up for 2 year basic service
  • $50 rebate when signing up for a 1-year basic & tracking service plan

Here's the link:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Beatles : Strawberry Fields & Penny Lane

While having my second cup of coffee, I watched both Penny Lane & Strawberry Fields "videos" by the Beatles. This is in the time before "music videos". Way back then, I would place the mic close to the speaker of the black & white TV downstairs (we had 3 channels) and hope nobody would make a sound while recording to our huge reel-to-reel tape machine. Those were the days (I was very young, of course!)....

Hmmm, is that an All in the Family reference which I also watched downstairs and away from parents?

I also taped Beatle songs off of the cartoon show. Unfortunately, this also recorded the cartoon's sound effects, such as Frankenstein yawning which I still expect to hear when I listen to the original recording from the album :)

So, it was with great pleasure that I found Penny Lane & Strawberry Fields on YouTube.

I always liked Penny Lane better because it has horses and I didn't care for the destruction of a musical instrument in Strawberry Fields.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

65th anniversary of D-Day

It's the 65th anniversary of D-Day this year (2009). It doesn't seem like it was that long ago when we were living in France and they had the 50th...

Last night we just happened to watch Spike Lee's Miracle at St Anna. Good film.

(Does anyone notice that I try to update the "Watched Last Night" DVD over in the right-hand column of this blog? I thought it was something interesting for the blog.)

So, take a bit of time to reflect... Maybe play a bit of John Lennon "Give Peace A Chance".

Thursday, June 04, 2009

GARMIN recall of BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision Data Card Version 2009

Garmin has issued a recall of their BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision 2009 Data Cards.

This is what they say:
Out of an abundance of caution, Garmin has voluntarily chosen to globally recall its 2009 version of BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision data cards. In certain waters, there are inaccuracies and/or omissions in the way that this specific version of charting represents depth contours and depth areas, resulting in the depiction of water depth as deeper than the actual depth under certain display conditions.

Boaters should not use BlueChart g2 or g2 Vision 2009 data cards, dated March 2009, for navigation. Any boater who owns BlueChart g2 or g2 Vision v2009 will be given a replacement BlueChart g2 or g2 Vision card v2008.5 (dated July 2008) free of charge and will also receive the 2009 card free of charge when it is re-released.

Visit their web site and read more here:

We recently purchased a Humminbird GPS/ Chart Plotter which takes Navionic charts... Whew! So, this doesn't affect us, but thought we should pass this information on to other cruisers.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Outboard Motor Repair & Maintenance Book

This morning we went to Budget Marine to buy an impeller for our outboard.

Think we're going to buy this book...

Outboard Motor book

Outboard Motors Maintenance And Repair Manual, by Jean-Luc Pallas

Looked good.

St Maarten - What is this? Restaurant???

Does anyone know what they are building here? It's been going on for a couple of years now. When we went by it today in the dinghy it looks like they've painted the gazebo-looking part of it that is over the water.

( Click image to enlarge )

It is between the FedEx Building and Pineapple Pete.... or to narrow it down a bit more... it is between the old Harley-Davidson bar/Coconut Joes/Chinese place and the Three Palms Plaza where Dominos Pizza is located.

Back when Peg Leg Pub was still in that neck of the woods, I think that Jack said it was going to be an ice cream place but... maybe he was pulling MY leg :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

St Maarten Yacht Club Bar & Grill Closed Temporarily

The St Maarten Yacht Club's Bar & Grill is temporarily closed.
Sint Maarten Yacht Club

This is a wonderful place to watch the yachts pass through the bridge.

Hope they find new management soon and that they will hire more staff... Too often, there is only one waitress during busy times.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Protect the American Monk Seals - Sign Petition

Fewer than 1,200 monk seals remain, making them the most endangered species in U.S. waters. Sign the petition...
Trying to do our bit!