Monday, July 31, 2006

Barge Sindbad sighting in St. Maarten Lagoon

We were just leaving So It Goes yesterday afternoon to go for a swim when we saw the Barge Sindbad heading our way. You certainly don't see barges like this very often in the Caribbean. They have Dublin as a hailing port and I was hoping to have a chat with them this morning, but they left last night with the 5:30pm bridge opening.

You can see some more photos of them here:

This morning we bought some new wire for the rigging as we have to replace a couple of stays, and Bob is in the process of installing a new winch "as we speak"... We have the iPod on shuffle mode and listening to some great tunes.

Hope you are having a good day!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

St. Maarten Fees, Regulations, Bridge Openings


Here is some information concerning the Dutch side of the island of St. Maarten / St. Martin.

Entering the Lagoon through the Dutch bridge. Dinghy dock for Port Authority and Customs & Immigration. Convenient for clearing in.


The John Sainsborough Lejeuz Bridge which is situated between Simpson Bay and the Lagoon.
  • WINTER (December 1st through April 30th)
09:00am - Outbound, from the Lagoon
09:30am - Inbound

11:00am - Outbound, from the Lagoon
11:30am - Inbound

16:30pm - Outbound, from the Lagoon (4:30pm)
17:30am - Inbound (5:30pm)
  • SUMMER (May 1st through November 30th)
09:30am - Outbound traffic from the Lagoon, has priority
11:30am - Outbound traffic from the Lagoon, has priority
17:30pm - Outbound traffic from the Lagoon, has priority (5:30pm)

Even though they are called "departure fees", they should be paid in advance, if possible. Please note that the fees are for one week OR a portion thereof... thus, if you are in the Lagoon for 10 days you pay for 2 weeks. Do so with a smile as they are nice people.

Prices are in US Dollars for one week, or portion of a week:
  • $10: boats 9 to 14 meters in length
  • $15: boats 14 to 20 meters in length
  • $25: boats 20 to 28 meters in length
  • $45: boats 28 to 36 meters in length
  • $85: boats over 36 meters in length
  • A bridge fee of $100 is charged to boats over 28 meters (90 feet) in length.
  • There is a fee of $300 for special bridge openings between the hours of 6am and 6pm, regardless of the length of the vessel. This fee must be paid in advance.
  • $2: for boats between 1 and 99 tons
  • $5: for boats between 100 and 499 net tons
  • $9: for boats 500 net tons or more

The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority office is open every day (Monday through Sunday) from 8:00am to 12:30pm and 13:30pm to 17:00pm.

  • Outbound traffic always precedes inbound traffic.
  • They report that the bridge accommodates vessels with a maximum beam of 56.5 feet and a maximum draft of 20 feet. Also, when the bridge is closed there is reportedly 8.6 feet of clearance in one channel (port?) and 8-foot clearance in the other (starboard?) channel
Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority:

Another funky day in St. Maarten

Looks to me like it rained somewhere between two and three inches last night.

At least we didn't have gusty 30+MPH squalls that we've been having the past few nights. This morning is mostly gray and a light breeze.

We noticed an American boat who appeared to be leaving the Lagoon this morning. We had a very filling breakfast at the St. Maarten Yacht Club and noticed them coming over from the French side and hightailing it for the bridge. We decided to putter on over to let them know that they had another 30+ minutes to wait because it is summer-time hours for the bridge and it opens at 9:30am, 11:30am and 5:30pm between May 1st and November 30th, with outbound traffic having priority. They were happy we stopped by as they thought it would open at the "normal" time of 11am and that could have caused a bit of anxiety (island time?, closed on Sundays?, can't be bothered for one boat?). Our good deed for the day :)

We'll post more info about St. Maarten bridge times and fees in another blog post.

Hope you are having a good one!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Books: Sailing & Cruising with Pets

I was surprised to only find one "sailing with pets" book at Amazon. We have also included a couple of other books which may be of interest.

Book Cover
Cruising With Your Four-Footed Friends: The Basics of Travel with Your Cat or Dog (Paperback)
by Diana Jessie

Editorial Reviews:

Boat US : "It's about time someone researched and wrote about taking their pets on boats. In "Cruising With Your Four-Footed Friends", Diana Jessie has been able to add facts with personal experience, plus draw on others' experiences into something that at times reads like it could be called "Chicken Soup for the Boating Pet Lover's Soul". This book is both entertaining to read and is full of helpful information! Now the rest of us have one book that will help us prepare and plan for taking our pets on board.

Book Cover
The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats (Prevention Pets) (Paperback)
by Amy D. Shojai

Book Description

Is there an animal doctor in the house? Most likely, the answer is no. And when an accident or other emergency threatens your pet, every minute counts. Don't be unprepared! Open The First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats and learn:
  • Basic first-aid techniques, such as cleaning a wound, making a splint, and performing CPR-- step-by-step!
  • Which over-the-counter human medications can help-- or harm-- your dog or cat
  • What to keep in your pet's medicine chest (many essential items are probably in your house already!)
  • How to quickly pinpoint what's wrong with your pet, using the First-Aid Symptom Finder
Plus, you'll discover a comprehensive A-to-Z guide to more than 150 common, and not-so-common, injuries and conditions.

Book Cover
Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook (Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook) (Hardcover)
by Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffin

Book Description
  • Signs and Symptoms Index on inside front cover
  • Easy-to-understand text
  • Authors with collective experience of over a half century
  • Hundreds of instructional photos and drawings throughout
  • Covers every problem from Pediatrics to Geriatrics
All cat owners wish that their pets really did have nine lives. Now, with this newly revised and expanded edition of Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, the one life cats do have can be made longer and happier. Virtually every problem that owners will encounter is dealt with in language that teaches everyone how to cope with and prevent those unpleasant surprises. Part of the cat's mystique is a uniquely curious nature. This innate curiosity can create many dangerous situations and unwelcome consequences. This book, a classic in its first edition, has been updated to include the very latest solutions to the daily occurances and special problems in all phases of cat care, including behavior and training. Yes, training! Now, in clear and simple terms, symptoms are identified and thorough instructions are given so that with this book, owners can become the best friends their cats can have in a lifetime.

Book Cover
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook (Howell Reference Books) (Hardcover)
by James M. Giffin, Liisa D. Carlson

Editorial Reviews : Open the front cover and the first two pages you see contain the Index of Signs and Symptoms, from Abdomen (painful, swollen, distended, and tucked up) to Weight loss, Wheezing, and Whining (continual). There's a comprehensive index in back, of course, running the gamut from Abortion to Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis, which is all very useful, but when your pooch is in pain, it's great to be able to turn, with the minimum of folderol, to the page that says to relax, it's nothing a bit of extra grooming won't fix, or alternatively to hightail it over to the vet hospital. It's a wonderful reference for any dog owner, with chapters on emergencies (such as burns, dehydration, and poisoning), as well as worms, infectious diseases, skin care, and canine eyes, ears, and nose. There are chapters on the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems, the nervous, musculoskeletal, and urinary systems, plus dog sex, whelping, puppy pediatrics, geriatrics, and chapters on cancers and medications. In short, it covers every health dimension a dog owner might want to know more about, identifies the possible causes, helps you determine the severity of the condition, and indicates what treatments or actions to take to best insure your dog's good health. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Midnight squalls are a drag

The squalls started at about 3pm yesterday afternoon, just as we were leaving The Boathouse restaurant after yet another excellent lunch. We planned to stop by The Mailbox as Wednesday is "new mail" day and perhaps our toilet parts are here. It was starting to rain with the promise of becoming a heavy downpour, so we decided to hightail it back to So It Goes.

Throughout the afternoon and early evening, we had quite blustery gusts, accompanied with white caps here in the Simpson Bay Lagoon in St. Maarten. There were also short periods of rain which meant you had to close the hatches and sweat for a bit until the rain stopped... then there wouldn't be a breeze, then the cycle would start over.

By late evening it really picked up. Sometime after 11:30pm when I was getting ready for bed, I took a peek outside and noticed a boat to our starboard that had left around 6pm. Hmmm, where did they go & why, and why did they come back after dark? Before pondering those questions for too long, I noticed that the boat seemed to be getting closer to us. I woke up Bob (didn't realize he fell asleep during the DVD) and asked him what he thought. Well, he noticed that the boat was now appearing to be dragging away from us.

I went below and got our handheld spotlight. We shined it on the boat and yes, it was the boat that left earlier as perhaps his anchor wasn't holding then. There was a dinghy behind so someone was aboard but didn't appear to be aware of his situation. A few minutes later, somebody came out to probably to see why someone had hit his boat with a spotlight, and noticed that he wasn't in Kansas anymore...

Bob was getting our dinghy ready to assist but the person had started his engine and appeared to have the situation under control. It started to rain, but fortunately only a few drops and not the deluge we had several times earlier.

He managed to putt off OK and we soon lost sight of him (it was very dark as it in a new moon) but we took comfort in knowing that we were no longer in his flight path.

From previous experience, we know not to be overly smug about our anchor and kept checking our location throughout the night. According to the airport, we had gusts up to 36MPH. This morning we have had constant wind but no rain since 7am. Daytime gusts don't seem as bad as those in the night and we swing from East to South, back and forth, during these gusts. Just a tropical wave blowing through... It is quite foggy looking out and I wonder if that is due to Montserrat or Sarahan dust... Oh well, so it goes... getting quite a bit of web work accomplished though.

Weather image courtesy of the most wonderful Wunderground

It looks like the rain has passed us. We will probably go check our mail soon and have lunch at "Island Seafood" Chinese restaurant ($5 lunch specials) across the street from Palapa Marina. Hope you are having a good day!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bookstore for cruisers

We just added some new books to our Amazon Bookstore for Cruisers.

Right now we have:
Soon, we'll be adding books on:
  • Sailing with Pets
  • Other Cruising Guides
  • Diving
  • Cruising Lifestyle
  • Boat Maintenance
and others...

Check out our convenient book store, as we have done the searching for you!
CLICK HERE for our Amazon store.


Monday, July 24, 2006

LED Lights - UPDATE - Good News!

We're impressed. We got an email response from Bebi Electronics and it is the middle of the night over in Fiji. He's going to send us a new unit immediately! Thanks!!!

Dear Sheila and Bob,

We're very sorry you've had a problem and will get another one off post-haste. As before, we will send a second email to confirm shipment: expect it late today or tomorrow (our time).

Question to you on the failure mode: Did a single LED fail, a group of LED's, or is there no output at all? As we know that you purchased the product, there is no need to return the unit if you can give me the information I need for failure analysis.

In spite of our testing, as you empirically know, there are still failures (6th in the last year out of 3500), hence our lifetime warrantee. The best we can possibly do is make it good to the customer, without argument or any lame excuses. Please accept our apologies.

Best regards,
Michael Homsany
Bebi Electronics, Ltd.
When it gets dark tonight, we will examine the unit to see how many LEDs are not working, and send Michael a photo if possible.

We'll keep you posted as to what happens. So far, we are very impressed with their SERVICE which most companies don't seem to understand anymore...


Darn! Last night when I turned on the LED anchor/cockpit light I couldn't tell if it was on as there wasn't any noticeable difference in the amount of light outside.

Upon going out and looking at the unit, it appeared that some of the LED were very dim and others might not be working at all. This is after using the light for one week. We are VERY DISAPPOINTED.

We installed a similar LED light cluster last week to replace the tricolor light at the masthead. I hope that's not going to fizzle out on us as well. The lamp is hardwired (never needs replacing!) in the light and with the modifications we had to make, we cannot just install the old bulb.

We will look at the anchor light to see what we can see, and then we will contact to see what they offer as a solution. We'll keep you informed.

So, for now, buyer beware!

[Please read our Good News UPDATE of this Update: CLICK HERE or see above]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Installed New LED Masthead Tricolor Navigation Light

Today's accomplishment was installing the new LED tricolor masthead navigation light that we mentioned in a previous posting.

Bob did most of the work, while I just took care of winching him up/down the mast, keeping an eye out for boats who like to make big wakes in the anchorage, and doing some gophering.

Bob also took this opportunity to replace the VHF antenna. Unfortunately, or actually it was fortunate, he noticed that we need to replace two bits of the standing rigging... oh well, so it goes...

We were lucky that we finished up before the Air France flight took off, as that might have been a tad uncomfortable up there on top of the mast when they pass overhead. Sometimes they shake the boat!

When night fell, we went to check the new lights. Not a very good photo but as you can see, we were successful! The light on the lower part of the mast is reflective tape that was shining due to the camera's flash.

One more thing off "The List". Hurray!

Monday, July 17, 2006

LED navigation lights LED cockpit anchor light

Last week we received the LED lights we ordered from Bebi Electronics in FIJI

We received them within two weeks of order which is really amazing. They weren't dropped shipped either, as the envelope has stamps from Fiji. They were shipped in a padded envelope from Fiji to our mail service in Miami and forwarded to our mail service in St. Maarten. This was faster than a DVD from Amazon.

We have hooked up the LED Cockpit / Anchor Light and I'm amazed at the brightness. You can read a book with it. The best part is that it appears to draw only 0.1amp as the ammeter read 0.9amps (our Coleman Stirling refrigerator) and it went up to 1.0amp when the light was plugged in. Our previous cockpit light gave up the ghost as we were waiting for this new one. It was one with a light sensor so it would automatically turn itself on when it got dark which was a nice feature... until it decided not to turn on anymore. It also consumed something like 1.2amps which is more than the fridge and new LED light combined!

We hope to install the new masthead LED lamp today. We had to modify the lamp housing but that wasn't too much trouble. I love saving power as it means you are not afraid to use it.

Check them out and read their story.

s/v So It Goes (1969 classic plastic CAL 34 liveaboard sailboat)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Vet - Animal Hospital - St Maarten

Click on photo to enlarge

This is a bit of a walk but not too difficult when just going for Bullwinkle's (ship's cat) vaccinations.

Dinghy over to the Port de Plaisance Marina and tie up at one or the other dinghy docks. Follow the diveway to the left until you reach the main road, then take a right towards Philipsburg direction, not towards Marigot. The veterinarian office will be on the right hand side of the street, after the gas station, and just after the Subway sandwich shop.

Unit 4 & 5 Crowne Plaza
Union Road, Cole Bay
St. Maarten, N.A.

There is another vet on your way to Cost-U-Less, after the roundabout and before the old, Rams supermarket. Much too far to walk.

Batfish Photo from Promenade in BVIs

I've never seen one of these fellas! Look at the lips on this guy! What an expression!!! This was sent to me from our good friend, Kerry, owner and captain of the charter yacht PROMENADE.

She says that this is a rare fish to see and took the opportunity to take about 100 photos. Send more Kerry!

Promenade is one of our favorite charter yachts with a fun crew. They are a 65-foot trimaran that accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 cabins. Great for diving and they have lots of other activities available. Excellent for families or groups!

CLICK HERE for more info on PROMENADE.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Easy Cheesecake Cupcakes

Thank you to the wonderful blog, Cooking for Engineers, for this tempting CHEESECAKE CUPCAKE recipe.

To make a dozen cheesecakes, gather up one pound (455 g) cream cheese, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, and a dozen vanilla wafers for the bottom "crust". The cheesecakes can be topped with whatever you like - maraschino cherries, streusel, Hershey's kisses, mandarin orange slices...

Someone suggested using a shortbread cookie, or a Girl Scout chocolate mint cookie (oooooh, it's been years since I've had one of those!).

Read his recipe HERE, but I've included a abridged version in this blog as well.

Preheat oven to 350F or 175C
Place cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
Place baking cups/muffin liners in cupcake pan
Place a vanilla wafer (or other favorite cookie) in the bottom of each baking cup
Fill each baking cup about 3/4 full of cheesecake mixture
Add optional topping
Bake for approximately 15 minutes
Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate (if there's any left!)


Monday, July 10, 2006

Easy Ziploc Omelettes - Cooking While Cruising

While perusing Renegade Cruisers this morning, we were reminded of this simple, fast, yet tasty, method of cooking omelettes which is perfect when passage making, that we'd like to share with you.

ZIPLOC OMELETTES (or Baggy Omelets... your choice!)

Into a quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag, crack open two large eggs and discard the shells elsewhere. Shake the bag to break up & scramble the eggs.

Add whatever ingredients you'd like to the Ziploc bag:
  • cheese
  • onion
  • chives
  • bell pepper
  • olives
  • ham
  • bacon
  • chicken
  • tabasco
  • salsa
  • salt & pepper
  • other seasonings
Use your imagination!

Add your extra ingredients to the eggs and shake to mix.

Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible, and zip it up. You don't want air in the bag to expand while cooking because it may cause the bag to burst.

To cook, place the bags into boiling water for 12-15 minutes. Depending on the size of your pot, you can cook several (6-8) omelettes at a time.

To serve, just open the Ziploc and it will slide out onto your plate (or eat out of the bag). No mess, no fuss, and EASY CLEANUP!


Weather Blog interesting this morning

I found Jeff Master's weather blog interesting this morning. It was about "typical" July tropical storms. This is a cool graph that was in his Wunderground blog.

Here's the link to his blog.

One encouraging thing he mentions is that for three years in a row, 1999 through 2001, that there were no tropical storms in July... of course, last year there were five... shhhh...

Don't worry, be happy!

Here's to a safe summer!

Dragging Anchor in St. Maarten Lagoon

In the past month or so, we have had many, many boats drag by us. Fortunately, they drag past without incident but we did have one close call in June...

I heard a buzzing noise that sort of sounded like a bug outside... Like a large moth buzzing about a light? I didn't want to see a bug, but I looked outside and there was a boat about a foot away from us! We were in the same spot but this boat was dragging its anchor. (The noise was from a bit of plastic electricians tape that was around one of his stays as a telltale). Fortunately it didn't hit us and it didn't pull up our anchor with his as he passed in front of us. We jumped in the dinghy to get its name to make an announcement on the VHF. We had just zipped around the back of it when the owner came back. We told him his boat was dragging and he asked if it was OK now (like we had reanchored for him). I said no, look it's heading off that way! We went back onto our boat and Bob noticed that when the guy pulled up his anchor that he didn't have much chain out. Some people don't understand and think that if the water is 10 feet deep that you only need to put out 10 feet of chain. Well, some people do get away with it!

This week, we were awakened at 2am when a 40-foot catamaran decided to re-anchor next to us after their episode of dragging. It's amazing at how much distance you can cover in a little amount of time... especially when the rocky shore or pristine yacht is rapidly get nearer... I wonder if there is a mathematical equation for this? I bet the guy on Numb3rs could concoct one :)

Yesterday though, we had a different situation... I heard a dog barking and then a bit later I heard it woofing again. I thought it was someone taking their dog ashore for walkies and back but a couple of hours later when we were going to dinghy over for a Chinese lunch, we noticed a big old French ferrocement sailboat in front of us. That is where the dog was barking from. His anchor was up but he was obviously aground. We watched him for a bit but he wasn't able to move. We stopped by and asked if there was anything we could do to help but he said no, he'd wait for the tide. Hopefully the water would rise by a foot sometime and that should be enough for him. His boat draws 9 feet. How can you live in the Caribbean and have a boat that draws 9 feet? It would really limit you. We are about 4.5 feet and that seems like a lot to us because the Mooses were 12" and 16" with their boards up. Anyway, at about 4:30pm he was able to leave. Hope he made it over to wherever he wanted to get to on the French side. Guess he just learns to be patient.

Lots of sailboats get stuck when they are heading over to the Island Water World gas dock or FKG. They usually seem to try to push through, when it seems to me that they should try to back off the way they came... but that's just me :)

Anyway, be warned: the holding is not great in the Simpson Bay Lagoon (we know personally, but we're not going there!) and you'll probably find a big ball of vegetation on your anchor when you pull it up. Watch your depth sounder, too!

All the best & safe sailing!

Audio Books on Sale at Amazon

As we have to order another part for our toilet and wait for the mail, we might as well take advantage of's Audiobook Sale which has some selections for 42% off retail price.

Audio books are wonderful for when you are on watch, which is a good time to listen to a book on learning a foreign language. They have several of these on sale, including French, Spanish and Chinese... Chinese is great if you are a Firefly / Serenity fan!

Other books are on sale as well, such as mysteries, comedies, and Shakespeare. War and Peace might be good for those really long passages!

Here's a link, so check it out! Sale: Audio books

And, here's a link to access all of their books available on CD: MORE Audio Books

Happy cruising!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Neil Young Heart of Gold - New DVD music video

We just received our Amazon order in our twice-weekly St. Maarten mail drop. We really enjoyed watching the new Neil Young music video DVD, Heart of Gold.

CLICK LINK: Neil Young Heart of Gold

This film, directed by Jonathan Demme, is of two concert performances by Neil Young and friends at the famed Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Some of the performing artists on stage with Neil Young are: Emmylou Harris, Wayne Jackson, Jimmy Sharp, Diana DeWitt, Gary W. Pigg, Tom McGinley, Anthony Crawford, Karl T. Himmel, Clinton Gregory, Larry Cragg, Grant Boatwright, Rick Rosas, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Chad Cromwell, and, of course, Pegi Young.

So far, we have only watched the main concert footage, but we are looking forward to exploring the special features on this 2-disc DVD which received a 5-star rating on

I've been waiting for the release of WELD to come out on DVD for a long, long time. Our video of this Neil Young concert was lost along with our beloved Loose Moose 2.

Hello, to the visitors from Neil Young News,
We're doing our best to keep on rockin' in the free world ...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rude Awakening

This morning while having first cup of coffee and reading our electronic version of the July Cruising World on my laptop, I heard a big-boat-moving type noise. We looked out the hatch and saw a large barge with crane and other bits of machinery coming up behind us. That was OK, but wait! they're slowing down... not a good sign. Looked out again and saw that they have stopped right in front of So It Goes. What's going on?

So we wait a bit to see what's happening and then get in the dinghy to check it out.

Turns out that they will only be in this spot for a couple of hours as they are drilling samples for the proposed bridge across the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

We have heard this bridge mentioned in the past but it has always been dismissed as a joke or something that is brought up on April 1st. If they are actually doing surveys, it must be a serious project in the making. I haven't seen anything about it but if it cuts the lagoon in half I can see that being a problem for businesses such as Bobby's boat yard. It would be a drag to go out the Dutch Bridge go all the way around to the French Bridge and then double back in the lagoon to Bobby's. But, as I said, I don't have a clue as to what's going on... just my personal speculation...

and so it goes...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bullwinkle, ship's cat - cruising with pets

Here's a photo of Bullwinkle (Mr. B) our ship's cat that I recently took. He is happily sleeping on my rather messy bookshelf.

Why do cats enjoy sleeping on what appears to be uncomfortable objects? He has a very nice cat quilt that his Aunt Laura from Zillah, Washington sent him, but no, he prefers laying on uneven, lumpy things... Although, I must say, that nothing beats a box from He loves them!

All the best from St. Maarten!
So It Goes
Cal 34

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Fourth !

Hi everyone! Hope you had a Safe & Sane or Dumb & Dangerous, depending on your personality type, Fourth of July weekend!

The beautiful, charter yacht Hanalei Bay stopped by Marigot, St. Martin (French side) and invited us over for a Fourth of July BBQ. And, even though Germany did not win their match in the World Cup yesterday afternoon, Franz was still in good spirits. Dinner was excellent, as always, and we had a wonderful time until the wee hours.

Hanalei Bay departed for St. Barths (St. Barts, St. Barthelemy) this morning and they are working they way down to St. Vincent where we have a charter for them later this month.

Here is a photo of Franz working his magic. These aren't just four slabs of New York Strip from the store. Franz buys a whole loin and prepares the steaks himself. He was trained as a professional butcher and really knows his stuff. I can't rave enough about my steak!

Diane garnished our drinks with fun little American flags which Bullwinkle, our ship's cat aboard So It Goes, is facinated with... hours of entertainment (with supervision... I'm the Safe & Sane type).

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Coleman Stirling Cooler - 12V refrigeration

We've had it for two months now, and I'm very happy with our 12V Coleman Stirling Cooler. We bought it on the internet from Costco because they have it for quite a reasonable price. We had it shipped to a Miami hotel where Bob would be staying at the night before his return to St. Maarten after a month-long film job in South America.


Coleman Stirling Power Electric Cooler : Thermoelectric 26-Quart Portable Cooler W/ DC Power Cable & Household Power Supply: about $449 from Amazon (click link above)

We did have a few problems communicating with Costco. Then we had a few problems with the courrier company messing up, but they did manage to get it to the hotel before Bob's flight thus saving us big, big bucks in shipping charges.

Of course, I'd love to have a home-sized refrigerator/freezer like quite a few of our charter boat friends have but, so it goes...

It seems to consume 0.9ah, so figure 25 amps or so per day...

I haven't filled it up completely with soda cans, but you could easily put 30 cans in there (3 x 5 and 2 high) with a couple of inches left on top for other stuff...

It says it freezes and I believe it. We started with it at setting COOL 3 and it was too cold so it is now at COOL 2 and quite happy! If we had room, we'd consider a second unit as a freezer.

Check it out!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Google Earth - St Maarten Lagoon SXM St Martin

I've been playing about with Google Earth again this morning. I was looking at Le Port Marly, France where we lived on the Barge "Black Moon" for a couple of years. The resolution of the photo is excellent. You really have a sharp image of the cars along the chemin de halage. Wow! It has been 20 years since we lived there!!! No wonder why it has changed and is more built up. The rowing club has really grown. Black Moon was 2 barges down river (to the north) but the boat is obviously not there anymore. The other barge, closer to the rowing club, doesn't look like Guy and Ruth's boat. So it goes...

Here's a Google Earth screen shot of our current neck of the woods. Simpson Bay Lagoon, St Maarten, Netherland Antilles in the Caribbean. We can be in France (St. Martin) in less than a minute! Wheeeeeee... I love our new 15HP outboard.