Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dollar Buses Fare Hike - St Maarten

Dollar-and-a-half buses just doesn't have the same ring to it... but, the fare hike is supposed to be ratified by the powers that be by November 1st (isn't that a holiday?) or the bus drivers will take action.

They don't mention what the rate increase will be, though we did hear one report that it was going up by 50 US cents. So, remember to take quarters with you as you know how they don't like to make change.

I think St Thomas's dollar buses (Safaris) went up to $2 a couple of years ago....

Well, the price of gasoline is over $4/gallon, so it is understandable... Simpson Bay all the way into Philipsburg for $1 was quite a deal!

I haven't heard anything about the French buses, such as Marigot to Philipsburg, which did cost $1.50.

So It Goes....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Palapa Marina, St. Maarten Dinghy Dock

The other day when we went to check mail at The Mailbox, and rent a DVD at Island Video (both at Palapa) we were surprised to see a little mountain of dirt piled up near where the marina docks their dinghies.

Wow, there is now water in the corner by The Soggy Dollar Bar! Maybe people won't raise their outboard legs anymore (one can always hope). It was getting to be quite a beach in there.

I'm tempted to claim this little island for our own and plant a little moose flag at the summit :)

Sorry, I keep forgetting to take my camera... maybe tomorrow when we take out the garbage.

Added SEAMANSHIP books to aStore

We just added a few SEAMANSHIP books to our Amazon store.

Let's see if this fancy widget works! We are having a slow internet day, hope your connection is faster...


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thanks BLONDIE for the link

Blondie, author of the blog My View from 30,000 Feet, has placed us on her blog. Thank you, very much and we are glad you enjoy All About Boats.

My View from 30,000 feet is very interesting as Blondie is a flight attendant so she sees a lot of the world and shares her experiences with us.

Check it out!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday BOAT Cat Blogging : Jacob aboard Flame

Today's boat cat is Jacob who lives aboard the charter motor yacht FLAME.

Jacob is a fabulous charter cat. He really does the balance of entertainer, but not too-much-in -your-face charter host. His folks are very pleased with him and Flame's guests have adored him.

This morning, we asked Barbara and Wayne for a new photo and a bit about Jacob. Here is what they said:

Jacob is skinny in this picture cause he was still a kitten. He is still pretty slim but he has this funny droopy stomach that the vet says is very normal, just usual in older cats.

Jake is two years old. We got him at the St Thomas (USVI) humane society when he chose us for parents. I sat down in the cat enclosure and he climbed in my lap. I put him down to check out the other kittens and he climbed back on... my heart was won! He is not a lap cat for other people...

He likes to interrupt me when I am at the computer. When he was little he would lie on the computer keyboard and roll around listening to it beep! I had to stop that when somehow he managed to make my entire picture file go away. He loves to lie on the counter at the bottom of the steps going into the main salon so he can keep track of everyone. Me, he whacks as I go by so he can get attention. He is playful in the morning and the evening.. right now he is finding the charging cord for the phone a fun toy. He is also fond of hunting flies. I suppose the funniest thing about him is that he uses the toilet. We used the insert to train him and now he is down to the last ring with no litter in it. Last summer Wayne and I did a charter on Eliza (they had no crew and were in a panic) and we told them we come with cat. Jake just rolled with the punches and used the toilet there just like on Flame (on land he uses the great outdoors).

Well, obviously I could go on and on about him! He is just the sweetest, good natured cat!
You can see another post (June 12, 2006) with Jacob and Flame HERE.

Unfortunately, Flame won't be at the November St. Thomas charter yacht show as they will be on charter. But, as we will be in the Virgin Islands aboard our boat, we will probably run into them and catch up on everything... including more pictures!

View FLAME's brochure : CLICK HERE

Contact us, Paradise Connections, to book Flame : CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm soooooo excited! I just discovered that the CD/DVD set of the Jimmy Buffett concert that we attended in Anguilla earlier this year is coming out on November 6th!

You can pre-order it through this link on Amazon.com... We have!

A double CD and an 82 minute DVD were recorded LIVE at the Dune Preserve, Rendezvous Bay in Anguilla, in Bankie Banx's backyard and the site of famous Moonsplash Festivals. The CDs include 30 songs, all of your favorites, plus some special in-concert rarities like Domino College, Waiting In Vain, When Salome Plays the Drum, King of Somewhere Hot, Treat Her Like A Lady, and Distantly In Love.

The DVD was recorded in High Definition and is in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.

Make a pitcher of margaritas, put on your parrothead paraphernalia and ENJOY!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Butterflies on parade

We went in to the Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten, this morning to get a saw blade from Budget Marine. Of course we forgot they were closed this weekend for inventory... so it goes...

But, I was so surprised at the amount of butterflies flying across the Lagoon... hundreds! I believe they are called "cabbage whites" although a few of them are yellow. I'm so afraid that they are going to run into the dinghy, or me!

When we returned to our boat which is anchored outside in Simpson Bay, there were butterflies flying in from the west. Where did they come from??? Certainly not all the way from Saba!

Some cross the Lagoon from east to west, while others are going west to east? Why? Where are they going? It is a beautiful day and I hope they are enjoying it.

Update: LA SUCRIERE French Bakery in Lagoon

Hi, I wrote about this bakery back on June 4, 2006 and thought I should give an updated opinion... I was so excited when this bakery opened, but not now. We hardly ever go there anymore. The quality of their pastries varied greatly and I don't think they have wifi now. When we were having wifi problems, the ladies thought some people could get it near the front of the store, but perhaps that was using the wifi from the restaurant across the street? They don't have ice.

I bought a baguette-type bread today. 95 cents but much smaller than a "real" baguette.

A couple of months ago when I went there for bread they only had three loaves and the lady refused to sell them to me as they had been there too long...

Maybe it has changed hands... the few times we've been there this year we haven't seen the owner.

Oh well... Still an option of where to buy bread in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Humdinger wind generator

This is cool. Bob just showed me this video (CLICK HERE) about a different approach to generate electricity by the power of the wind. It really is a humdinger!

Visit the Humdinger website CLICK HERE and see The Windbelt.

MacBook Kernal Panic

Not another kernal panic! I was writing a blog entry using Firefox and also had Calculator & Entourage open, plus using Airport and I was shut down with the dreaded kernal panic.

A few weeks ago I had a kernal panic followed by another and another.... and finally it just quit and I had to get a new logic board.

I was in the process of writing a blog and ranting about getting water at Island Water World in Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Maarten. I take this as a sign as to just feel good about typing the rant but not to actually post it :)

Hope my MacBook is OK. We will be purchasing the AppleCare Extended Protection Plan for MacBook and thus extend our warranty for another two years, as it looks like it is a necessary and wise purchase... plus I save $50 instead of buying directly from Apple.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

US Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center web address

I have a difficult time finding the website for the U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center so here it is, just in case it will help anyone else:


Their phone number is 1-304-271-2400 and press 6 to speak with a documentation officer.

Hope this helps others!

Coffee and a barracuda

We just went outside to have our second cup of coffee out on the foredeck. I spilled mine... oops! and when Bob came back out with a paper towel for me, he saw a good sized barracuda off our bow.

So, I quickly mopped up my coffee drips and ran down for the camera.

I hope he's gone by the time we want to go for a swim :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Halloween Festivities

We picked up our mail this afternoon at The Mailbox and there was a flyer advertising the Lady C's Floating Bar's Halloween party. My gosh! Halloween is just around the corner. We won't be in St. Maarten but there is a pirate dress-up party at the St. Thomas boat show.

Amazon.com has lots of costumes which you may want to look at too, if you are as unprepared as I am... They have categories broken down on the left side of the page in case you don't want to look at all 57,000 entries :)

Click here for Halloween Costumes

Hope we can find something...

We can narrow down the search to Women's Pirate Costumes

Have fun!

Pet Locator Transmitter

I just ran across this in an old 2004 Sail Magazine... The Cat Locator.

Their website is: http://www.thecatlocator.com/ but it looks like they no longer sell this item... Could it have been some FCC issue? Oh well, check it out anyway.

It would have been handy for all of those times I would go around the Joinville-Le-Pont marina shaking a box of cat food and calling Wacka's name. She loved to go into the greasy engine room of a unused motor boat that was a couple of spaces up from us. Usually, she'd just look at me... then I'd have to try the "cheese" ploy. Our cats loved fromage!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Amazon store - Gift Certificates - Very Handy

Today I logged in to Amazon.com and tried to buy some DVDs of television series as they are definitely a good bank for the buck. We are going to be going up to the Virgin Islands so I wanted our order to be shipped to a different address than what is our credit card billing address.

I made several attempts to get around this discrepancy but to no avail... Amazon would not let me use my credit card, but they had let me use a gift certificate for my book order...

Amazon Gift Certificate
Buy an Amazon Gift Certificate

Aha! Like Baldric of the BBC Black Adder series, I had yet another cunning plan :) I'll buy myself a gift certificate for the amount of the order and use that for the DVDs that are to be sent to St. Thomas. It's great. You receive an email with a code that you then redeem for later use in your account or you can enter the code when you are at the check out. Simple! What an easy way to buy something while travelling, or to send a gift to another person with no hassels!

Saturday, Saturday!

We planned on going to the movies Thursday night to see either the new Mr. Bean film (we love Rowan Atkinson's BBC series, BLACK ADDER) or the ping pong movie, Balls of Fury. It started raining Thursday afternoon and finally stopped at about 7pm Friday, so no movie.

I did get quite a bit of web site work done though. Check out the Barge Blog (Oct.4,2007) for the cool barge charters for Christmas in Scotland followed by New Year's on the Thames. I also did a nice posting on our Yacht Charter Blog (Oct.5,2007) to promote our friend Kerry's special pricing to fill in Promenade's calendar for next season.

So, it is still very overcast but we hope to see an early 2pm-ish matinee. Otherwise it is just too crowded on the weekends and we'll have to wait until Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening (ladies night $4)... Films change on Thursday.

Book Cover
Black Adder, complete set

Hugh Laurie ( House, M.D.) is a delightful recurring character in Black Adder.

We'll be off in a few minutes for a water run and possibly go to the SXM Yacht Club for some pancakes!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today, October 4th, is World Animal Day

Today, October 4th, is World Animal Day. World Animal Day takes place every year on 4 October. Animal welfare groups, sanctuaries and individuals throughout the world hold special events to heighten public awareness of animal issues and to encourage people to think about how we as humans relate to animals.

The website can be found at : http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/

Here are photos of our wonderful French cats that sailed across the Atlantic with us aboard Loose Moose 2 and shared their much too short time (15 & 16 years) with us...

Here's Wacka and a younger Me. This was taken aboard the original Loose Moose at Meaux, France, probably in the summer of 1988.

Here's Bullwinkle with some of his moose friends at the house we rented on Water Island, Virgin Islands, after we lost Loose Moose 2. This might be Spring 2001.

I also love lizards. Here's an iguana at Molly Malone's, Red Hook, St. Thomas, USVI

Enjoy your fine, furry, feathered, or scaley friends today and everyday!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Skinny fish

It was way past sunset last night by the time we had our "sundowner" of rum and brie & crackers (I'm going to miss the good brie we buy on the French side of St. Martin) so I had my new little LED flashlight with us out on the foredeck to be able to find the cheese on the plate.

I turned and pointed the beam of light into the water and I was surprised that we had so many of these skinny fish (I don't think they are ballyhoo but maybe cousins) all around the boat.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Coleman Stirling Refrigeration

Recently this blog has been getting many hits for the post I did about our Coleman Stirling fridge. We've been using it for a year and we still love our Coleman.


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

We'd love to buy a second one to use as a freezer... if we only had the room!

Is there a 4th dimension thingy out there where we could expand the interior of our CAL34 to a 50-foot boat?

Check it out! ==> CLICK HERE


French St. Martin - Clearing In FEES

Better late than never.... I meant to post this several months ago...

Today, May 18, 2007, we checked into the French side of St. Martin in Marigot.

There is a clearance fee of $7.00 (US) which can be paid when entering OR leaving. (Charter yachts must pay $2/guest upon departure)

There are NO overtime fees

OFFICE HOURS (in season):

- Monday-Friday:
  • 9:30am - 11:30am
  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
- Saturday:
  • 8:00am - 10:00am
  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
- Sunday:
  • 9:00am - Noon

ATTENTION! New anchoring fees coming soon...

The Port Official (nice guy, speaks excellent English) told us when we were checking in this morning, that there will be anchoring fees in the future. The regulations are currently in effect but they do not have the manpower right now to implement collection and processing. He expects they will be in effect for next season. It will be for Marigot Bay and Grand Cas... not sure about the French side of the Lagoon but as it is so close to Marigot I would expect that yachts will have to pay there as well.

(I bet all of those people anchored by Mt.Fortune on the Dutch side with their little French courtesy flags up pretending to be on the French side so they don't have to pay the $10-15 per week Dutch fees will be upset.)

He said fees will be 0.40-0.50 euros per meter per day. For my 10m boat, that translates today to $5.40 to $6.75 per day. I hope he meant per week.

Oh well, so it goes... :)