Sunday, August 30, 2009

Funny Simon's Cat Cartoon - Fly Guy

We love Simon's Cat cartoons as they are so real. He really can capture the essence of our furry felines.

Bob noticed this on Moldy Chum (fishing blog) this morning. It's great to share a laugh...

Buffy & Willow love flies... so entertaining :) Fortunately, we haven't had any Palmetto bugs in a long time.


Friday, August 28, 2009


Here's Buffy & Willow

Cat Blogging Friday

enjoying the shade of their new dodger

Happy Cat Blogging Friday!

Wreck shifted in St Martin Lagoon

We were surprised to see that this wreck which used to be up against Explorer Island in Simpson Bay St Maarten / St Martin and then last year moved across the way when it dragged its mooring in Hurricane Omar, has shifted.

It used to be parallel to the shore but after the night that ex-Tropical Storm Ana passed through, its bow is now angled out away from the shoreline.

There was that workboat that worried us who was moving about and couldn't seem to settle anywhere. After shooing him away from us by turning on our deck lights he went over by the wreck but had moved again by morning. Did he tie up to the wreck and shifted it? The amount of wind was certainly not enough to do so.... I hope it won't go "walkies" in the next big blow we get.

This boat eventually tied up to the wreck's old mooring. They left last Sunday (hurray). Seemed like OK people but we worried about their holding. We noticed yesterday that the line on the bouy has been cut, so hopefully nobody will tie up to it again as it is probably unsafe.

We don't like things that go bump in the night :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Wow, I'm so EXCITED! September 9, 2009 is the date when the new digitally remastered Beatle albums will be released.

According to
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.

I didn't know had a BEATLES STORE (duh!). There is so much cool stuff there! Such as The Beatles Trivial Pursuit Game where you get to prove how big of a Beatlemanic you really are :) Plus, of course, T-shirts, music, guitar gear, etc.

The Beatles came to Seattle, Washington in the summers of 1965 and 1966. My Mom liked the Beatles and when we asked her if she'd drive us up to Seattle (3-hour drive) for the 1966 concert (I was 11 years old) she said "next year"... of course, they didn't come next year. (I now realize that the logistics of this type of a trip would not have fit into my family's lifestyle routine). Friends of my sister went to the Portland Oregon concert and they actually saw the Beatles driving about! Lucky them :)

My first album was a birthday present, The Beatles Second Album. They originally gave me The Beatles' Story, but it was in stereo so we exchanged it as we had a mono record player.

While looking up the Seattle concert dates on the internet, I came across this website, The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. They have an interesting article Beatles play two concerts at Seattle Center Coliseum on August 25, 1966. They have an image of the special Seattle Post-Intelligencer Beatles supplement, which I special ordered TWO copies of... It was big bucks at the time... something like $2.50.

I was such a loyal Beatle fan. I didn't buy a non-Beatle album until after they split up... Well, I did buy the Monkees first album which has also been remastered. A while later, I felt so guilty that I traded the Monkees album for The Beatles US album "The Beatles VI". The Monkees was a good thing though, because I had a cheapo acoustic guitar that I was learning to play via "Educational TV" which had a weekly Folk Guitar lesson for newbies. But, I also bought a Monkees' instructional song book which had music and instructions for all four band members. Complete tabs and "proper" musical notation for Lead, Rhythm, Bass guitar, and Drums. I wish I could find something like that now.

We really like ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith and have several of his albums and DVDs. He has a great sense of humor, in addition to his more serious pieces. This is one of my favorites El Dorado to the Moon. After I finish writing this post, I'm going to ask Bob to look at the MP3 downloads for Michael Nesmith to add to our collection. Individual tracks are only $0.89 but we'll splurge and go for the whole albums which is how the songs are meant to be heard... as a collection.

The nifty Amazon Music Widget above, doesn't seem to be working like I'd like it to... Perhaps because of our slow internet connection? So, here's a link to access Michael Nesmith MP3 music from Amazon.

I wasn't totally ignorant of rock music as we had a local top-40 radio station in my little town, but you know I never listened to a Rolling Stones album until I was in my early 20s when a friend came over to my apartment and loaned me SOME GIRLS! He played bass guitar in a local band (The Ragg Band) that played locally and toured from Montana to Arizona. I hope he's doing well.

Bob is from Los Angeles and he had access to LOTS of great performers when he was growing up. He was in a band in high school and college that played various gigs around & about, plus was even opening acts for some of the biggies! Bob has taught and exposed me to much of the music that I missed out on. Merci beaucoup!

So, remember to check out the Amazon's BEATLES Store


Friday, August 21, 2009


Lately, almost every day between 5 and 6:00pm our neighbor feeds the birds.

This is great entertainment for Buffy and Willow. They watch the swooping birds and make that special "bird" sound...

Buffy watching birds

Willow bird watching

My camera was a bit to slow to get the real toothy photo. I need to take a video so I can get the sound as well.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Patagonia Promotions on Quality Outdoor Clothing & Gear

Have you noticed our new ad for Patagonia in the left column? We have loved Patagonia (and Great Pacific Ironworks, had the T-shirt) for a long time and we are happy to be part of their program.

We'd like to tell you of a few promotions that Patagonia is having:
and this one, too:

or, just click on the ad on the left and it will take you to the Patagonia web site.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tropical Storm & Depression ANA

Yesterday afternoon we had a sundowner on the foredeck, it was the best we've had in weeks as the wind wasn't blowing the cheese and crackers off the plate. It was pleasantly calm and we enjoyed our drink, cheesy-whats-its, and of course, quality time with Buffy & Willow. Our neighbor throws out bread for the birds around 5pm and our cats really enjoy the show.

We were surprised to see this sailboat anchor between two wrecks... sort of like they were tying up in the mangroves :) Not a spot I would choose, but then, that's me...

(Click on photos to enlarge)

The wreck on the left dragged there during Hurricane Omar last year. It was previously across the way at Explorer Island. The sailboat wreck to the right, has been there longer than we've been here... possibly Lenny?

This French catamaran (a Punch) came in Sunday afternoon. We've always liked the design and the various ways they paint them. I was happy to see that they were still in the same place this morning.

In the newspaper this morning, they said that 50 boats came into the Simpson Bay Lagoon yesterday to shelter from the upcoming storms. Quite a few workboats were required to leave Philipsburg and came through the 5:30pm bridge. There were many small cargo ships, tugs, and barges that came in. A couple were in our neck of the woods.

I was keeping an eye on this one, and when I looked out at 2:00am he didn't seem to be in his original spot. Between 2am and 3am he was moving about. At one time we thought he was going to anchor directly in front of us so we put on our deck lights to be noticed. He then moved over a bit. Looked like he was directly behind the sailboat between the two wrecks mentioned previously... wonder what they thought about that! But later, he had dropped (dragged?) back and he tied up his stern to the mooring buoy that the Omar wreck in the previous picture had dragged there. I hope it has more holding power than a fish trap :)

Here's another lagoon photo. It doesn't really do justice to the white caps that we were having.

We are very happy to have stayed in the same spot all night.

We hope that Hurricane Bill will follow the predicted path and stay well out of our way. Bill sounds so friendly but...

We didn't sleep very well, and neither did Buffy & Willow. We're taking it easy today, napping & nibbling. It's calmed down so I'll see if the cats want to sit outside with me for a bit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Staying put in St Martin - TS Ana 2009

We are still in St Martin. TS Ana has gone to the south of us and doesn't appear to be much of a problem for SXM, and Bill is expected to curve and miss the Virgin Islands (and us). We'll be keeping an eye on things.

Quite a few boats are hauling out...

Some have hauled for the season and are in pits.

This morning some workboats came in to the Dutch side of the Lagoon.

How would you like to see this dragging down upon you?

Smile !

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Boats have been streaming into the Lagoon today. I hope we don't get anyone too close to us that we'll have to worry about throughout the night if the wind increases.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where the heck is that one coming from?

Today we went into Philipsburg and bought a new unlocked, tri-band cellphone as ours was getting rather dodgy, we had a successful stop at Radio Shack where the they had 3 out of 3 things we wanted (hurray!), then we did some provisioning as we are probably going to scoot out of St Martin ASAP. Plus we took our laundry in to Yvonne at Bobby's boatyard in the lagoon. She's doing us a favor and will have it ready for us by 10am tomorrow. She said that we'd have to fold it, but that's not a big deal. Thanks, Yvonne!

We went by the BluePoint computer store and definitely got NO JOY there. Those guys do not understand anything about customer service and customer satisfaction. Enough of them for now. We'll leave that for another day. We do NOT recommend them though.

So, after putting stuff away and having a bit of quality time on the foredeck, we just looked at to see if there's been any change in their forecast. Looks just about the same as in this morning's post below...


Then I scrolled through the next few frames and the last frame (NEXT Saturday, 22nd August 2009) showed a surprise... Another purple blob. Where the heck did that come from????

So It Goes... and goes... and so do we!

New weather to look forward to

Well, thankfully TD2 has been downgraded to tropical remnants, but they are still hedging their bets and say it still might become something....

BUT this is the system lurking behind it... There's still quite a bit of time for the situation to change, but this is what has for us next Wednesday.

We are currently in St. Martin but we will probably boogy down south, possibly to Curacao!

Click on images to enlarge...

and the next one

Darn !!!

Much stuff to do today... So It Goes...

MooseJaw Promotion ends Sunday!

You all know how we are Moose Crazy folks! Perhaps you've noticed the MooseJaw ad we have in the left column of this blog. They have lots of neat stuff (even though it may not be moose-ish). We definitely must get a couple of their t-shirts!

Their current promotion ends this Sunday, 16 August 2009.

Receive Triple Rewards at with code 3XREWARD. Coupon Code: 3XREWARD

Check it out. You might find some good stuff there, too.

St Maarten Dutch Bridge Closes Monday

The bridge on the Dutch side of St Maarten will be closed for two weeks beginning this coming Monday, 17 August 2009.

Many thanks to Gary Brown of Oceanmedia and presenter of the weekly marine broadcast of YachtBlast! which can be heard on Island 92 FM in St Martin, online, and as a podcast, for forwarding this press release to us.

Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation



August 13, 2009.

Bridge to be Closed for Maritime Traffic August 17 for two weeks for repair work

SIMPSON BAY - Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation hereby announces that as of Monday, August 17 the Simpson Bay Bridge will be close to maritime traffic for a two-week period to facilitate additional repair work.

Boat owners and captains therefore must decide whether they will leave their vessel in the lagoon or in the bay. The last bridge openings will be on Sunday, August 16 for inbound and outbound vessels.

The main contractor Hofman Sliedrecht will work on the replacement of the traffic barrier boxes and booms; installing new traffic lights and installing a new electrical control cabinet for the bridge.

All the repairs to the Simpson Bay Bridge are based on the recommendations made by Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Authority for Waterworks and Bridges. They are done to ensure the durability and longevity of the bridge structure.

In August 2009 Inspectors of Rijkswaterstaat will once more asses the condition of the bridge after all the improvements and will submit a report to the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority.

# # #
With the possibility of a bit of bad weather coming our way next week (the system that is behind the now defunct TD2), this might present an interesting situation. I wonder if the people in surrounding islands that come to Simpson Bay Lagoon for storm protection know this.

The French bridge will still be opening twice a day through August and then it is scheduled to be closed for maintenance in September.

Fun in the sun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will this be "A" ?

Well, it had to happen sometime as it is getting on to the middle of August...

It's official, we now have Tropical Depression #2 out to the east of us... What was TD1? Something that wouldn't affect us so ignored I suppose.

Click on images to enlarge
06:00am 11 Aug 2009

600 AM AST TUE AUG 11 2009




Well, at least the various forecasted tracks shows that it will swing to the north of the island chain...

We'll be keeping an eye on it... Didn't care for Omar's visit last year :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Seven Seas Cruisers Association (SSCA) cruiser locator map

Today we renewed our Seven Seas Cruisers Association (SSCA) membership. While in the Member Area, I clicked on the "Member Locator" link which took me to this map:

I hope Catamini is OK because they show that he has just fallen off the edge of the world with two others soon to join him :)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Heads up on new credit card fees

Thank you to the charter yacht Hanalei Bay for giving me this heads up, which I'm now passing on to you...

Diane told us that they knew of someone who received a hefty foreign transaction fee for paying their BVI marina bill with their credit card. This was for a charge in US Dollars in the British Virgin Islands (the BVIs don't have their own currency and use US$). She said that some cards started instituting this new policy on June 1st of this year.

I thought (and hoped) that maybe it was just a misunderstanding of his tale of woe at cocktail hour, but decided to check my MasterCard statement. Wow! MasterCard charged a 3% fee for my Cost-U-Less purchase in St Maarten which is also in US Dollars. They never charged anything before for the Dutch side.

We've always been charged something for using credit cards on the French side of St Martin which is understandable since their currency is Euros.

My Visa statement seemed normal at that time, but I just checked it this morning and note that we are now being charged a foreign transaction fee for US Dollar purchases on the Dutch side as well, albeit it at a lower rate of 1%.

Guess which card I'm going to be using when necessary...

So It Goes...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cat Blogging Friday: Steve Martin

Actor & Comedian Steve Martin has a new album out. No, it's not comedy... it's banjo music!

Here's the Product Description from
Comedian, actor, author, and banjo player Steve Martin releases his first musical recording since 1978's number 1 hit "King Tut." This is no novelty record though. It's some of the best banjo music to come down the pike in a long time. The Crow features able assistance from some of Steve's pals, including Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien and Mary Black. Martin wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on this album, creating a new body of work that will stand alongside the classics for years to come.

Steve Martin Wild and Crazy GuyWhat does this have to do with cat blogging Friday?

You must remember Steve Martin's classic Cat Handcuff routine... Besides that track, A Wild and Crazy Guy, also has the bit about cat juggling... Buffy & Willow were with me when I played the Cat Handcuffs piece the other day. Hope they weren't listening, as we already have a boatload of cat toys :)

You can hear samples and buy his new album, The Crow, HERE

It's Friday! Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Honesty, it's so refreshing!

This morning we went to fill up a few jerrycans of water and gasoline. We arrived at the Port Royale marina at 8 minutes before noon and I was happy that they let us get some water just before they closed for lunch. (76 litres = $2.35)

Then, we went to the Cadisco gas station to fill up two 5-gallon jerrycans of gasoline (essence). We got a bit over 20 litres for $16.75 ($0.82/litre). I paid the guy $17 and started to get back in the dinghy. He told me I had paid him too much. A $20 had stuck to the $10. How super nice... He didn't even think about it, just spurted it out as soon as he noticed. Gold stars!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Frustrating day

It's been a frustrating day. This morning we went to the BluePoint computer store (St. Maarten) to get replacement RAM for Bob's MacBook. Last Monday when we were there trying to sort out the issue with our WiFi Engenius Bridge that they've had since the beginning of December, they said to bring in the MacBook and they'd swap out the RAM. So we did.

It only took 45 minutes in the store (which is an amazingly short period of time for a BluePoint session) just to find out that they do not have the RAM in stock, but they should have it in a day or two. We've heard that before :) Well, that was a waste of $6 bus ride and a few hours of our time.

I could go on about BluePoint but should I? Probably not. I'll probably go ballistic and rant on this blog next time we go there to get the RAM and see (maybe) what they propose to do about the 3-month old Engenius Bridge we took back to them for warranty way back in December, nine months ago...

Then, this afternoon we declined a charter booking through a travel agent who really just doesn't get it. We want happy clients and for them to have a good yacht charter experience. We care about our clients which obviously too many companies just don't.

But, we did go to Radio Shack and they had what we wanted. Yippee!!! Happy Dance time.

Blondie, a twitterer I follow, fellow blogger (My View from 30,000 feet), and cat person, will be arriving by cruiseship tomorrow in St. Maarten. Welcome, Blondie! Hope you are enjoying your cruise.

So, the sun is definitely over the yardarm, it is after 5pm HERE, nevermind the "somewhere", and I'm going to make some popcorn to go with our sundowner.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

MAC OS Snow Leopard

In this morning's email I received an announcement from about the soon to be released operating system from Apple... Fanfare please... SNOW LEOPARD...

Now, I don't really feel the need for a new operating system as what I have seems to work just fine on my MacBook and I don't plan on buying any new software in the near future that would require a new operating system.

But, maybe you'd like to check it out... It's only $29 which is a good deal...

This is what my Amazon email had to say:

Apple's most exciting operating system yet, Snow Leopard is now available for pre-order for just $29.

Available in September, Snow Leopard is a truly exciting addition to the Mac OS X line, with half the footprint of previous versions, great new features in Expose & Stacks, quicker Time Machine backup, and faster wireless network interaction.

Snow Leopard: Better. Faster. Easier.

Sometimes I long for my first notebook. It had 120MB hard drive which tells you how long ago that was... Plus it had Windows 3.0 and Word v6... How many of you remember that? One thing that was cool about it was that I could plug in an acoustic couple and send faxes. This was very helpful when we were in the Canary Islands, plus we got to help out many cruisers this way, too.

I could rant about how back in those days, we programmers were proud of writing the smallest, most concise code we could, instead of the bloated beasts you have nowadays... But we won't go there.

So, check out SNOW LEOPARD... Buffy & Willow like the name :)