Nothing really new or particularly interesting; working on boat, doing a little snorkeling and scuba diving, but the one trip worth photos I forgot the camera – naturally. No sailing or cruising. Reluctant to go anywhere when threat of hurricane still possible. Weather has been tame though. I’ve thought of trying a few spots around this island, but keep losing the will power or motivation. I did buy a small plastic kayak today; pic It probably looks properly secured, eh? Real ship-shape. It wasn’t always so. I haven’t had any serious, or funny, snaffu’s lately, but this was close. I bought the kayak from a couple on a pretty 47 ft Beneteau, Tom and Anne, on Caribbean Lady (see their website: caribbeanladysailing.com their charter business). They are up from Vieques, the other Spanish Virgin Island. I towed it to the sailboat with the dingy and went for a quick paddle. Except for feeling like I’m on wet ice trying to sit down in it all went fine. So, now where do I put it? First I thought up on cabin top (pic) I struggled to get it up the 5 ft high topsides (pic) But, after straining my back, paining my heart, and burning under this scorching Caribbean sun (high UV), I gave up. Next it occurred to me I have some small tackle gear (pic) This is actually the second one. The first one was closer to the transom and I couldn’t get past the kayak to get in the dingy (pic) Anyway, while I was doing all this the dingy was actually trailing back behind the sailboat with its painter draped over the ladder to the swim platform. While I was wrestling with the kayak I somehow knocked the painter off the ladder and the dingy, now free to follow the wind wherever it may lead, took off. I didn’t notice until I got the kayak up on the davits (metal frame) with the tackle. While I was admiring my work with a bit more pride than was warranted considering the neglect I had shown the dingy, I noticed “a” dingy drifting some distance down the bay. I thought some one on one of those sailboats had failed to secure it properly – with somewhat critical consternation I might add. I went back to my admiration then a bit later noticed no one was going after the dingy. Well, in a moment of societal responsibility I decided I would. I looked over the swim platform for the dingy and low-and-behold! No dingy. You probably guessed… It was mine (no pic). I quickly realize it was too far to swim for it. I was perplexed. What can I do? Then I called Rick on S/V Orion and asked for his aid. While I was watching him go after it in his dingy I glanced up and again saw my new kayak. A kayak is a boat. It floats. It rows and quite speedily I might add. When Rick got back with my errant dingy ( I shall put the blame on the dingy) I felt the fool and told Rick I gave up swimming but didn’t even think of rowing after the dingy in the kayak – such a dolt! Who said ‘messing about in boats’ is so wonderful?
Nothing new…nothing interesting…cruisers come and go, winds come and go, and I stay…
You’ve heard of Robin Williams death – very sad. You’ve probably seen some of his best movies; Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets’ Society, but get Bicentennial Man. It was a box-office failure, but an excellent example of his work. But, don’t watch any of his stand up routines other than from public TV. I just watched part of one – full of gross vulgarity and foul language. Too bad. Maybe because he was so anxious to make people laugh he would stoop so low.
The National Weather Service shows it tracking just south of Culebra with winds from 25 to 45 knots. But, it is still unknown. Currently it has winds about 35, but they can’t tell whether it will gain power or lose it as it progresses through the Windward and Leeward islands. Also, if it tracks as they say it will put it just south of Culebra so conditions here could be light. We’ll see.
As a precaution I am going to get out the scuba gear this morning and dive down to try to locate some old mooring screws that I think are there. If so, that will give me plenty of security against winds up to hurricane force. Here’s hoping…
That is me – deep in thought – what shall I do now….
I did work on the boat some. Got the sander out, rigged a safety harness so I didn’t drop it in the ocean… like some other things that I won’t mention, and got out on the dingy
and sanded the rub rails (hard to describe but they are on the side of the hull, an extrusion of fiberglass with wood on top, that protects the hull from pilings, dolphins (groups of pilings) and/or other boats.
Here’s picture of new visitor. But, he’s been here several times before. About my age, I guess, alone, and wandering the virgin isles. Presumably, like me, he doesn’t go south along the leewards and windwards. And, like me, he’s a bit of a recluse. I’ve dingyed by his boat before, but couldn’t even get him to pop his head up.
P.S. If you don’t leave a comment I don’t know you read the post. So far, apparently only one has read this post. Although I appreciate that faithful reader, I feel I should wait then for more readers before further posts . . .
Well, really there isn’t much new down here. I’ve yet to do a few things I want to; explore a good coral reef – that is one with lots of fish (needs to be near ocean shelf which means the ‘weather’ side of an island). Hopefully in a few weeks. I bought a new underwater video camera and am planning a short trip to the island of Vieques to pick up a plastic kayak that I can load on this diver friend’s car in order to get out to the Atlantic side of the island and out to reefs.
I haven’t discovered any new living ‘experiences’, or let’s call them my ‘awkward’ moments – haven’t tumbled into the ocean or through out an untethered anchor or dropped a laptop. Nothing you would enjoy reading about. Had a big male manatee with a cow grazing the kelp bottom nearby. He was huge. But, he didn’t come close enough for pictures. He was so big I’m now hesitant to get in the water and scrape the hull, that so desperately needs it. I should pull anchor and move over to Dakity anchorage where the water is so clear, over a sandy bottom. So there’s unlikely to be any manatees or big fish – barracuda, tarpon, etc
I doubt I will go further than these ‘virgin islands’. They consist of the Spanish VI; Culebra and Vieques, the USVI; St Thomas and St John (St Croix is too far south), and the British VI; Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. The BVI’s have a reputation for excessive cruising fees and immigration costs. Plus, like most of the West Indies; it’s very crowded. But, I might cruise up there. It’s just a ways beyond StT and StJ. I could see them when I cruised there a couple months ago.
The next group, starting with St Marin, are south of a passage about as big as Mona – you remember the infamous Mona and how she tried to turn me into a landlubber for life. Besides the passage there are many reports of thefts and problems with locals and local governments. This has discouraged me cruising further south.
My next adventure, if you’d want to call it that, is the 2014 hurricane season. It is upon me. Boats are thinning out as cruisers either put their boats up in dry dock (the wealthy ones), lay over at a hurricane hole (big mangrove area like near Salinas) or sail south below the hurricane zone.
But, I’m going to stay here. I really don’t want to go back to Salinas – so many bugs and boats. And, I do like Culebra. So here I’ll stay until there is warning of an actual hurricane and I have time to sail over to the hurricane hole near Salinas.
So should a hurricane, over 70 mph winds, or a Tropical Storm, with winds 50-70 mph, come my way, and I survive, I should have quite a story to tell.