Saturday, December 31, 2005


Hello everyone from s/v So It Goes!

We are having a most excellent holiday season and hope that you are as well.

We received a Christmas package from Sheila's brother and his wife from Zillah, WA which Bullwinkle immediately claimed for himself. Mr.B received a kitty quilt a few months ago that we have mentioned in a previous posting, but he definitely approves of the beautiful people-sized quilt that Laura made for us.

Today is New Year's Eve and we will be voyaging over to France (St. Martin) to pick up a few delicacies for this evening... Brie, Camembert, pate, real French baguettes, jambon cru, sausages, and other nibble food!

Wishing you a safe and fun New Year's weekend!

Sheila, Bob & Bullwinkle aboard So It Goes (Cal 34)
Currently in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles
Paradise Connections Yacht Charters

Friday, December 30, 2005

Hurricane season is over, but ZETA is coming to party

Surprised to see Tropical Storm ZETA!

Tropical Storm Zeta is about 1000 miles south-southwest of the Azores (Dec.30,2005, 4pm EST) at 25.3N and 37.3W. Zeta is the latest tropical storm on record to form in the Atlantic. The previous record was held by Hurricane Alice of 1954, which also formed on December 30, but earlier in the day than Zeta.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Another Beautiful Day in the Caribbean Paradise of St. Maarten

It was another beautiful day, like most days here in the Caribbean. This photo was taken from our bow, looking North towards the French side of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Santa sighting: Palapa Marina, St. Maarten

We spotted Santa welcoming folks aboard the yacht Cyclos over at Palapa Marina, Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten.

The captain of Cyclos told us that Santa was making the rounds as he was found aboard other yachts, at the Soggy Dollar Bar, and even snoozing away in a palm tree.

The holidays are surely a time of good cheer amongst the yachting community.

Best wishes for the holidays! Sheila & Bob

Monday, December 12, 2005

New Dinghy:Lightweight 9-foot Caribe RIB

We bought a new 9-foot Caribe RIB lightweight dinghy today. Here's a photo of us towing it back to our boat, So It Goes. We are currently using our 5HP Tohatsu outboard with it. We plan to install the dolefins to the motor this weekend and that might help out a bit until we find a 8-10HP outboard that fits the bill. Our 14-foot Caribe was just too big to tow behind our Cal 34 (34-foot sailboat).

The yachts in the background are at the Port de Plaisance Marina in Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

An Unusual Paint Job - Marigot, St. Martin

While on our way to visit our friends aboard the charter yacht HANALEI BAY in Marigot, St. Martin (see below), we passed by this boat with a most unusual paint scheme.

It is a fiberglass boat but has been painted to look like a wood planked boat, complete with shipwreck accessories!

I bet there's a story here...

An Evening Aboard Charter Yacht HANALEI BAY

We were so happy to have received a call on the VHF from our friends aboard the charter yacht HANALEI BAY. They had arrived in St. Martin the day before and planned to stay a couple of days before continuing to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands from Trinidad. We visited Diane & Franz last night over in Marigot on the French side of St. Martin and had a wonderful time.

Here is a photo of Franz waiting to take our dinghy painter and welcome us aboard.

Diane & Franz sailed to Trinidad last summer where they hauled the boat for its annual maintenance and to prepare for the next charter season. They enjoy their time in Trinidad and have made many friends there over the last seven summers.

Hanalei Bay is a beautiful custom-built yacht designed and built to high Canadian standards for the charter industry. We enjoyed our evening lounging on the aft deck with the great company for our hosts, topped off with excellent French Cabernet Sauvignon, Camembert cheese, and wild boar pate that they picked up on Martinique.

Hanalei Bay still has a few weeks available in their charter calendar for the 2006 season. Please contact us ( for more information and availability for a Caribbean yacht charter sailing vacation aboard Hanalei Bay in the Virgin Islands.

They are an excellent choice whether it is for honeymoons, families, corporate incentives, or a group of friends! Hanalei Bay also offers charters for their annual passage down the Caribbean island chain from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad in June/July.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Veteran's Day in the Boatyard

We spent our long weekend on the hard in the boatyard. On Thursday, November 10th, we hauled out our Cal-34 So It Goes at Bobby's Marina at Simpson Bay Lagoon in St Maarten and we launched Monday November 14th.

We were satisfied with our accomplishments as we completed all the tasks we wanted to do and thus shortened "The List".

I drilled 4 holes in the bottom of the boat to reroute our cockpit drains. Bob applied the new antifouling paint, Sea Hawk Islands 44, with the help of his iPod. We'll see how it does. Simpson Bay Lagoon has to be one of the nastiest places for fouling... especially when we were anchored over in the part by Budget Marine. We are now closer to the airport extension and the water is much cleaner. We also drilled a couple of more holes in the bottom for our new depth sounder and log. Worked on the installation of our RVG windvane self-steering gear.

As we had to stay out for five days because of the long holiday weekend, we weren't rushed and didn't worry when the rain came (it usually waited until we were finished with an outside chore like painting).

On Monday morning, the travelift put us back in the water and there were no leaks from the new thruhulls... Hurray!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This morning we had a visit from the Sint Maarten Coast Guard to make sure our paperwork was in order (it was). They have stopped by So It Goes before, as well as a couple of other teams from the SXM Coast Guard over the past few months, and each time they have been professional and polite. I would guess that their boat is approximately 30 feet and find it quite impressive. Bob asked one of the officers "How fast does it go?"... The reply was "As fast as we want it to".

Sunday, October 16, 2005


It was another beautiful day in St. Maarten and we tackled a few of the items on "The List".

I really enjoy splicing. Here is a photo of the chain hook I spliced this morning. It is a team effort as I splice and Bob does the finishing whippings.

We also dealt with our anchor chains. We spliced rope onto the two forward chains and rearranged their stowage in the anchor locker.

Bob also worked in the cockpit. We are installing a new teak cockpit coaming and this is a photo of Bob cleaning up the cubby hole under the winches.

A productive day!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


This has been one of our favorite stores since coming to Simpson Bay, St Maarten. They have a large selection of nice wine with a range of prices.

Today, we finally took Ashok and Ajit up on their offer of a rum tasting. They carry a line of flavored rums produced on the French side of St. Martin. We tried several varieties and we were pleasantly surprised that the rum was good as we are not fans of French rums. When we lived in France we learned to request something else when offered rum (nasty stuff that has to be cut with fruit juice). But this rum was quite tasty. We bought a bottle of banana rum which must have a full banana sliced up in the bottle. This is their most popular flavor. We also tried coconut, vanilla, coffee, and something with a blue color. They were all very good. It was a difficult choice to just choose one and we'll have to go back for another bottle soon.

Connoisseur's Duty Free is conveniently located for boats as they are on the dock at Palapa Marina, plus they deliver. They also sell soft drinks, liquor, ice, and Cuban cigars.

Check them out!
Palapa Center, 3
Airport Road, Simpson Bay
St. Maarten (Netherland Antilles)
Phone: (599) 545 2902
(if calling from the USA, use international dialing code of 011 before the number)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Skype - Internet phone - FREE VOIP

Click on image when you are ready to download SKYPE!

We have been using Skype for just over a month now. We would have used it earlier but they were having problems accepting credit cards. Well, I tried once again to buy "SkypeOut minutes" and it worked! We can make calls for about $0.02 per minute.

We are using WiFi out here in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, St.Maarten and Skype usually works pretty well. Sometimes we get disconnected but not as often as the satellite phone... I'll spare you and won't start ranting about GlobalStar's "service" for now though...

We also use the free Skype-to-Skype service when the other party is also a Skype user. Works very well and we recommend it. PLUS, toll-free numbers (800 numbers in USA) are free and accessible for many countries!

Great for travellers. If you are chartering and your yacht has internet access, just log into your Skype account and talk to your friends and family for CHEAP! Those credit card calls made from your roaming cellphone with BVI Boatphone can be really expensive. You may want to pack your headphones with your swimsuit.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Coming of the Second iPod

We are now a two iPod boat with a 4GB mini and a 6GB mini. I was going to wait a bit before buying a second iPod but Apple has discontinued them with the release of their new Nano iPods. The mini iPod (I like the pink!) does everything that we need and at a good price so we wanted to get them while they were still in stock.

The next thing we have to purchase is a waterproof housing to keep it dry. Don't know about taking it in the water with us while snorkeling but it would be a good thing to have when things get a bit wet in the cockpit. It's going to be a good companion while on watch. The listening time on one charge is something like 16 hours! We have a couple of language courses (French and Spanish) on them, audiobooks, podcasts, along with music!

Check it out!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

First day of Autumn

Well, today, September 22, 2005 is the first day of Autumn. The length of our day today in St.Maarten is 12 hours and 7 minutes with sunrise at 6:01am and sunset at 6:08pm.

As we are at 18 degrees north, the days won't get too much shorter... Not like when I worked in Paris and in the depths of winter (brrrrr) it would be dark when I arrived at work and dark when going home (although the long summer nights were nice!)

Bullwinkle seems to have noticed the change in day length as he has been shedding somewhat.

Daylight savings time should be ending soonish, I'll have to check that out. We don't have it in the Caribbean. We are always 4 hours behind GMT.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

We missed it! Argh me hearties!!!

Monday, September 19th was International Talk Like a Pirate Day and we missed it!!! Aaaargh!
So, make sure you put it on your calendar NOW for next year!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Walker Bay Dinghy

We bought an 8-foot Walker Bay Dinghy (rowing version) last month. We really wanted to buy one last October/November but Budget Marine here in St.Maarten was sold out of them and, like everything else we needed, would arrive in 6-8 weeks.

But, we lucked out! We were walking into Budget Marine to buy a few nuts and bolts and there was a dinghy in the parking lot displayed suspiciously like it was going to be a great deal. I ran in and inquired about it while Lilly was in the process of typing up the "For Sale" sign. 25% off because of a few dings (well it is a ding-ee, isn't it?).

I may be cheap but know it good deal when I see one. Bob concurred. We bought it and Bob rowed it home. We made a little video to show the boat to my brother, but you can look at it if you wish: Watch Sheila Row the Walker Bay Dinghy Video (2.8MB QuickTime video).

I was very surprised when I noticed that the Walker Bay Dinghy is from Union Gap, Washington just outside of my hometown of Yakima... Do any of you remember the group Gary Puckett and the Union Gap??? My brother is a little farther down the highway and he sent us an article about the good folks at Walker Bay sending 200 of their 8-foot boats to navigate the flood waters of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. Good show!

Check them out at:

We'd like to make a sailing rig for this little boat but that will have to wait a bit as our Job Jar is already overflowing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Busy with Charter Yacht Newsletter

Well, this week we didn't do much work on the boat and, So It Goes...

We have busy working on our newsletter for Paradise Connections Yacht Charters which we have decided to assemble using Blogger. You can view our newsletter here:

It has a list of good charter yachts that are still available for the holidays (what about a barge on Loch Ness to ring in the new year?), some news on various charter yachts, dates of Cannes festivals, special offers, and a bit about Mr.B.

Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

FOR SALE: French Canal Barge Berendina

One of our friends from St.Thomas is selling their barge that they have been chartering along the Canal du Midi in the south of France. We lived on the French canals for many years on previous boats (Loose Moose) and we really enjoyed it. In fact, Bullwinkle (see first post, below), is French.

This is a great opportunity... Check out their website at:


Greetings from So It Goes! which is a classic, fantastic, CAL34 sloop. This is our first attempt at using Blogger so please bear with us...

Bullwinkle QuiltThis is a photo of our cat, Bullwinkle (or Mr.B to his friends) trying out his new handmade quilt that was made by his Auntie Laura way up in Washington State. It has parrots on one side and a quilted compass rose design on the other.

He loves his new quilt as it has a smidgen of catnip sprinkled into the batting by Uncle Ed. His feline cousins helped out testing the quilt before shipment to the Caribbean, so they have added their messages as well.

It is another beautiful day in St.Maarten.

More soon come...