And Still Waiting…

Yes, so we are still stuck here in Falmouth Harbor if you can call it “stuck”. Waiting our our part for the stove that as of this Friday still did not arrive. Going on three weeks now and if were not a necessary part we would have sailed on by now. But just because we have to stay here waiting does not mean that we can’t have any fun! So here to share with you are some pictures of what we have been doing to bide our time. It still has been pretty windy and some swells in the harbor so getting off of the boat is always a welcome idea. Hope that you enjoy and hopefully we will be sailing on in a week or so. We did have a surprise for us and our daughter Rachel and if you would like to ask her what it is you can. For everyone else they will have to wait for our next post to find out what it is.
Oh…the suspense I know 🙂

 

Reggae house on the main road here in Falmouth. Can you read the words of wisdom that he shares with the world?

It is so clear today that in the distance you can see the Island of Montserrat  from Falmouth Harbor and it is about 45nm away!

Brian boarding the boat at the dinghy dock…recognize that grocery bag? Publix grocery bag all the way in the Caribbean! Plastic bags are not allowed in Antigua so you have to bring your own bag to the store or pay for a reusable or paper bag when you check out.

A couple of the boats from The Atlantic Rowing Race.
The Atlantic Rowing Race is a once a year ocean rowing race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies, a distance of approximately 2,550 nm (2,930 statute miles or 4,700 km). How amazing is that! Records were broken this year and there are still boats out there! You can read more at,
https://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/

Can you believe that four guys rowed this across the Atlantic…the record was this year at 30 days but most spend way more days than that at sea together rowing a tiny vessel like this one!

This is just part of the ridge that our hike too us along on the “Middle Ground Trail”.

Oh Haayy!

 

Someone was nice enough to tie a rope up here for easier climbing up the slippery slope. Pull Brian, pull!

View from top of the hiking trail from Nelson’s Dockyard to Pigeon Beach. You can see Fort Berkeley sticking out on the closest point and Shirley Heights way across the bay on top of the hill.

Dive boats anchored off of the famous “Pillars of Hercules”.

Here is proof that Mother Nature will aways be able to overcome us humans…
Look at the roots on this tree, it took one of the stones that was once part of the forts floor!
This is also another where’s Waldo episode…This time the little guy only has his head sticking out. Do you see him?

View of some of Falmouth Harbor from unknown fort ruins on our hike.

We finished with our hike with a dip at Pigeon Beach.

I see the Full Moon a Rising….

Take care for now.

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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Playing The Waiting Game

Hello there again from SV Moon. As of today we are still in Antigua. We were first waiting on our new stove to arrive and now we are waiting on a part for it to arrive that we did not know we would need. Things do not move too quickly around here, island time at it’s finest. When our pretty new stove top arrived and Brian went to install it he discovered that it is a French made stove and the propane connection did not match ours. After many bus rides around Antigua to search every hardware store we could find for the connection that would make our stove work we finally gave up and ordered it from Budget Marine adding another $50.00 to the price of our stove! So now we are playing the waiting game but hopefully our part will arrive today or if not next Friday. (It takes about 2 to 3 weeks with most items being sent by boat from St. Marteen)

Brian had to create a whole new counter top after removing our old stove/oven to install our new counter top stove.

New stove top installed and project is closer to completion.

Some of the rails that I have started to scrape and sand to make them pretty again.

We’ve been staying busy with projects around the boat. Brian had to re-fabricate the counter top to make our new stove fit and will eventually make shelves for the back side too. The pricing for plywood here for the project is $200- $300 for a sheet depending on who has it, if they have it and where you buy it so with that complication and with the counter top in place we might wait on making the shelves.

Square rigged ship entering Jolly Harbor.

Rain, rain and more rain…and then it rained again!
Double rainbows!

This has to be the lowest rainbow that I have ever seen!

We sailed Moon back to Falmouth Harbor because we are expecting big winds this weekend and this is the most comfortable harbor for us to be in. No swells and very protected. Plus there is more to do on shore here if we want to get off of the boat.

Where’s Waldo? Do you see him?
Spotted this guy hanging out in Nelson’s Dockyard.

This is the Historic Copper and Lumber Inn that we stayed at for New Years in Nelson’s Dockyard.

We did have an unexpected surprise and saw some dolphins before we left Jolly Harbor. This was nice and you would think that I had never seen them before with how giddy I was! I woke up early every morning hoping to see them as they fished around our boat.

These kids from the local sailing school and yacht club entertain us almost daily.

Don’t tell the authorities but we have a pet! We have a guest on board that we noticed a while back and he seems to make an appearance every other day or so. It’s a gecko. I did some research and it seems that they can live up to 10 years in the wild. I’m guessing that he will be with us for a while so we are working on giving him or her a name…any suggestions???

OK enough for now. We hope that you are doing good and staying warm and healthy in your parts of the world. We sure miss all of you! Soon we will be heading south, exploring islands that are full of new wonders and adventures and we will have finally something new to share with you too. Take care for now…

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year to all!

Sorry that we haven’t written in a while but we like most of you have been busy having fun for the holidays. Rachel spent just over two glorious weeks with us and we had a awesome time together exploring Antigua!  We got to play tourist, rented a car and even stayed in a few resorts.

Brian taking Rachel out for a sail in Falmouth Harbor.

Big smile on Brian’s face as he enjoys what he loves best…sailing!

Saw this furiistric Tri in Falmouth Harbor:
42.5m trimaran Adastra
The striking 42.5m trimaran Adastra was launched in China on 11th April 2012. She has covered over 40,000 miles, weathered 50 knot winds and crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans!
Adastra is the second largest trimaran yacht ever built (the 61m White Rabbit being the biggest), and is the fourth largest powered multihull in the world.
http://www.shuttleworthdesign.com/pdf/Adastra_Superyachts2014.pdf

This yacht was anchored just outside of Falmouth Harbor:
28th largest yacht in the world… Le Grand Bleu | 112.8m (370’1″)
The yacht has a crew of 65 and carries a veritable arsenal of tenders and watertoys, both on her aft decks and in her extensive below-deck garage, where there is a large aquarium. Her watercraft include a 22 metre Dubois-designed sailing yacht, Bellatrix; a 21 metre Sunseeker motor yacht; two 11 metre, 60-knot Buzzi sports boats; and a landing craft to carry a 4×4 Land Rover used for excursions ashore.

We took Moon to Deep Bay, North Sound and then back to Jolly Harbor for some beach side fun.

Climbing up to Fort Barrington.

Rachel preparing to raise the Nelson flag on Fort Barrington’s flagpole.

Our dinghy in the small cove facing “Hell’s Gate”.

Rachel at “Hell’s Gate”

Exploring the caverns at “Hell’s Gate” Island.

It’s winter time here and although we don’t get the cold weather like it seems that everyone else is getting…we do get big winds! They call them the “Christmas Winds” and it tends to make it challenging to get around from harbor to harbor. Unless you enjoy bashing up and down through some really big waves or spending the night rolling in an anchorage. As all of the British folks here would say “that is not our cup of tea”! So we explored a bit by sea and then decided to treat ourselves to some resort living so we could explore some of Antigua by land.

Rachel enjoying the view at North Sound.

This was pretty cool… a floating ferry that you use to get to the mangrove trail that leads to the beach.

Pull, pull, pull!

Next walking through the mangrove boardwalk trail to the beach.

It was amazing how much we packed into the time that Rachel was here. I don’t think that there was anything that we did not do and we could not even cover all of the fun that we had with you. Lots of pics for you to enjoy though!

This way to the top of Goat Hill!

Amazing view from the top of Goat Hill!

Brian found us the perfect resort, complete with a bathtub on top of Goat Hill!

We were lucky enough to get a room at the Copper & Lumber Historic Inn in the heart of Nelson’s Dockyard for their New Years Eve party. The room was just gorgeous and we were front and center for the nights events. And they had fireworks! My favorite! We had a blast!

Entering Fort James.

Ready, Aim…Fire!

Ruins everywhere and sometimes decorated.

Rachel signing the famous Red Rum Bus.

View from atop of Shirley Heights. Below you can see English Harbor and Falmouth Harbor.

Well, Rachel has returned home and things are getting back to normal here…no more playing tourist for now, just another regular day. Can you hear me pouting from there?? We plan on doing some more work to Moon as always there is something that needs to be done. I added to the list by accidentally stepping on one of the hatches and breaking it when I was helping to put our sail cover on. We also pick up our new stove top this week so as you can imagine there is plenty of things to keep us busy around here!

Take care all until next post.

Supposedly the large home on the point behind us belongs to Eric Clapton.

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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Hanging Out In Jolly Harbour, Antigua

Hello all.

We hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a dinner out Caribbean style, (fish for Brian and veggie pasta for me). It was a nice night under the stars. We have been working on Moon and getting ready for Rachel’s arrival. That’s when the fun will begin. We’ve been getting plans in place and then we will finally get to play tourist.

Dinghy dock that we tie up to in Jolly Harbour.

Grand Princess Casino is a derelict casino that sits on the harbour here. It’s quite a shame because it’s such a huge building and you can see where it would have been grand in it’s day. Now it houses a feral cat population. Lots…I mean lots and lot of cats live in and around the grounds of this abandoned casino! I searched on line and found that the building is for sale could not find a price though. Might be a bargain!

We are still anchored in Jolly Harbour. It’s a good spot and close to everything that we need. Groceries, water, lots of restaurants and shops to pick thing up. It’s also close to the local bus stop too so the big town of St. John’s is just a 15 minute ride away for $3 EC that’s about a $1.25 US each way.

Local fishermen pulling in their nets.

Most days we plan a couple of projects. Try to finish up around 4:00 so we can swim before it gets dark (sun goes down at 5:30 and I don’t want to be shark bait in the water around or after sunset!) This is usually when new boats will start to come into the harbor to anchor for the night and it provides us with some entertainment. Especially when the chartered boats try to anchor. Most of them don’t know what they are doing and it can be quite a funny scene to watch.

Weekend sailboat races.

The anchorage can provide all kinds of entertainment. For example it is normal for sailors to be naked on their boat. Most use some modesty but we have a boat that has been anchored next to us for about a week now that we think should be on the show Naked and NOT afraid! They do everything naked in on and around their boat. If only they were a little good looking it might be OK but no such luck!

Brian’s favorite store, we spend hours in here!

Sewing the bimini top to prepare it for our new solar panels.

Shiny new solar panels on top of the bimini.

Here power can be a issue. We have a wind generator and solar panels but when there is no wind our solar panels were never strong enough to give us enough power to last the day. (Our refrigerator uses lots of power…as Brian always reminds me) So as we were shopping in Brian’s favorite store one day (Budget Marine) we saw some solar panels on display…bingo! We have always had our eye out for some and have looked in the magazines but never took the time to order them and low and behold there were two there just waiting on us to purchase them. We now have two 160 watt panels added to our power supply and no more power worries. Actually now even when we charge all of our electronics we have an excess! I think that I am going to get a blender for Christmas……yum…smoothies!

Brian down in the dungeon, see him there on the left side. He’s making final repairs too the stringer and placing in “Jim Beam”.

It may have a mouth-watering name, but don’t eat from the South African sausage tree (the popular name for the Kigelia tree) unless you know what you’re doing! As the common name “sausage tree” implies, the fruit of the sausage tree resembles a huge sausage. It is eaten by several species of mammals, including baboons, bush pigs, elephants, giraffes, hippos, monkeys and porcupines. Lots of health problems are treated with extracts from various parts of the tree including malaria, headaches, syphilis, rheumatism, inflamed spleen, ulcers, and gastro-intestinal issues (just to name a few). The fruit is known to have anti-microbial properties, and is thought to help with skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. It even makes its way into high-end anti-aging and beauty products! But here’s the other thing…you can make beer out of the fruit too! In order to make the fruits safe for beer brewing, they must first be sun-dried, then fermented with sugar cane juice for around 24 hours, then dried again, before finally being added to a large barrel of sugar cane juice, where it ferments again for around four days. Besides being potentially poisonous, there’s another good reason to be cautious of the sausage tree and its famous fruits, their size…The fruits can grow to over three feet in length, weighing up to of 22 pounds! That could be one lethal weapon!

Brian…painting…

Jolly Harbour is usually pretty tranquil at night but last night there was quite the shindig at one of the grand houses that are along the shoreline here. They had a big set up with a live band, a magician and a big fireworks show that went off at 11pm….which by the way was not a great way to get woken up…took us a minute to realize that we were not in the middle of world war three! I love fireworks though so all was soon forgiven on my part.

Ocean rowing boat in Jolly Harbour. The annual race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world. The challengers row their boats from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua. In the 2015/2016 challenge, history was made with several records being broken, including Antigua’s very own Team Wadadli, being the first Antiguan team to row an ocean, and also officially the oldest team to row any ocean with team member Peter Smith, aged 74, being the oldest person ever to row any ocean. Hopefully we will get to see some of these boats arrive from their adventure in January.

Exciting news here is that Cuban President Raul Castro arrived on Thursday morning in Antigua on an official visit to attend the sixth Cuba-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit. He’s at a resort on the island here with mucho security I am sure. Not someone that we would care to see so I guess that we won’t be the paparazzi that his security has to worry about. Now give me some Brad Pitt on the island and that might be a different story!

We took a day off and walked over to Starfish Jolly Beach Resort to enjoy a brew and the view.
http://www.starfishresorts.com/en/resort/jollybeach.aspx

Who knows though maybe we will come across some stars closer to Christmas and New Years. Antigua is a pretty hot spot for celebrities to visit and there are a few that have vacation homes here too. That would be cool to see some famous faces!

OK, now I am getting off topic. Going to go for now and get to work….oh and by the way just because all of the pics that I have show Brian working doesn’t mean that I am not helping out too but someone has to hold the camera!

Take care all.

Jennifer and Brian

SV / Moon

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Antigua Bound!

Hello again from the sweltering hot Caribbean. Yea, ok, I know you have a lot of pity for us but I would love to have a cold day or two to change things up a bit. Actually…it did get kinda cool last night. I mean it was bad, we had to use the sheet to cover up for about an hour or two while we were sleeping. 🙂

What we get to wake up to every morning…Nevis Peak, a potentially active volcano!

View from the Nevis Port Captain’s office looking towards St. Kitts.

Moon anchored in Nevis with a different view. You can see our favorite red roofed church up on the hillside to the right of us.

Brian is filling our water tanks at the commercial ferry dock in Nevis. We used to be able to use the smaller dinghy dock but it was damaged during hurricane Maria.

We always pass by this house as we walk to the Nevis hot spring. Not sure why but it always calls to me to take a picture…love this house!

On our way to the Nevis Volcanic hot spring.

As planned we sailed from Nevis to Antigua. We had 8 to 12 knots of wind, and seas of less than 3ft. We made the 42 mile trip in just under 8 hours. This was practically heaven compared to the last time that we sailed here. That time we had to beat straight into 5ft or more seas and it took us 12 hours. To say that we were happy with our sail this time is an understatement!

Beneath the roof is a super steaming-hot, pool of spring water warmed by the island’s volcano. The spring water is reputed to contain minerals of medicinal value and is known to have cured chronic rheumatism, gout and many other aliments. Its water temperature ranges from 104F to 110F, hot, hot hot!

No, Brian is not in jail…at least not yet! He is enjoying the volcanic hot spring. We have never seen this many people there before. Guess that we have been lucky in the past to have had it all to ourselves.

Rain heading our way down Nevis peak at sunset.

Have you ever heard of the Caribbean island of Redonda – it’s actually a KINGDOM! Not exactly a resort destination, it hasn’t been lived on since the first world war, and even then it was only inhabited for a short period of mining. It is really just a big rock, with nowhere to anchor and no easy access to get ashore. No beach, no palm trees, the only thing it does have is some goats, and some unique species of lizards that can only be found on Redonda. The thing that I find fascinating though is that some eccentric Irishman claimed it as his own, named it the Kingdom of Redonda and he was thus the King. He then passed this claim down to his 15 year old son. Somehow this “Kingdom” has survived and even though the island is now a dependency of Antigua & Barbuda, there are apparently 9 pretenders to the “throne” of Redonda.

Passing by a flock of boobies floating in the Caribbean Sea as we sail to Antigua.

Approaching the West side of Antigua.

We arrived in Jolly Harbor one of the ports that you can clear into on Antigua. We raised our Q-Flag and went in to see Customs, Immigration and the Port Captain. The process to clear in here is quite painless and all went smoothly.

Closer to Antigua now and approaching Jolly Harbor, our first stop to clear in with Customs, Immigration and the Port Captain.

Inside Jolly Harbor is very protected and it reminds us a lot of being in South Florida.

We’ve been hanging out here in Jolly Harbor for the last few days getting supplies from the Budget Marine and grocery store. Brian has been working to replace a stringer (wood piece that holds things together and up) that is under our battery bank. I guess that over the years the weight of the heavy batteries caused it to sag and crack a bit. He made a new beam that he calls “Jim Beam” to support it all.

Moon anchored just outside of Jolly Harbor.

The Jolly Harbor Yacht Race entertained from the anchorage our first weekend here.

We never like being away from family around the holidays and with tomorrow being Thanksgiving we just want to say how thankful that we are to have all of you in our lives and we sure miss you! More than you will ever know!! We are hoping to see Rachel soon and that is what is keeping my spirits high. Everyone always says that we are living the dream but sometimes I am jealous of all of you…you are living the dream if you can hold and love your family everyday!

We plan on spending Thanksgiving here in Jolly Harbor. I heard that there is a popular reggae band playing at one of the restaurants that night so we will probably check them out. After that we have plans to head to Deep Bay and on to North Sound. Lots of work to do on Moon. Next for us will be to start painting the cockpit and top deck to get Moon all pretty again. Seems like there is always something needed to be painted or scraped! Still jealous?? 🙂

Love and miss you all,

Take care for now.

Jennifer and Brian SV/ Moon

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Splash Down!

No longer in the dirt and back at Sea! OK, this calls for a big WOO HOO! We are back in the water. What a good feeling, can you see us smiling from there…sure you can!

Travel lift coming to take Moon away!

Leaving the spot that we sat out hurricane season.

Moon going to the loading bay just ahead.

Bye, Bye boatyard!

The big ‘ole travel lift came for us, lifted us from the dusty ground and put us in the pretty blue water. So happy to be wet again!

Finally at sea!

Pretty colorful houses dot the shore as we sail by.

Sailing past the town of Basseterre, St. Kitts.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a university in Dominica has turned to an unconventional facility to house its storm-ravaged Caribbean medical school campus: a cruise ship. This is a “uniquely fitted cruise liner” docked off the coast of St. Kitts, where about 1,050 students from the Dominican-based Ross University School of Medicine will temporarily live and take classes.

This is where Moon belongs and we are once again on our way to new adventures. First things first was to make sure that everything was OK after splashdown before we set off to the deep blue sea. We decided our first stop after leaving the boatyard would be one of our favorite (and calm) anchorages in St. Kitts, White House Bay. It was a chance for us to get used to being back on the boat and a good place for Brian to give her a once over for any unexpected surprises.

Moon approaching White House Bay. This is a popular spot to anchor because it is a nice calm bay. We were amazed that we were the only boat here, this was a first and we have been here several times.

Salt Plague Restaurant White House Bay. Right in front of where we anchored.

Pretty rock cliffs that line one side of White House Bay.

Moon, the only boat in White House Bay!

Well…Surprise! (and not the good variety)

As Brian was looking through the amas (that’s the two hulls that are on the outside of the boat) he discovered in the starboard hull where the travel lift had placed its straps to lift us that it had caused two small cracks and we were taking on water. Nothing major but not a great find either. So job number one was to repair the cracks. Brian has been glassing both inside and out to make repairs so that we will be watertight. Not a fun place to spend your days in the cramped, windless, baking hot, small ama with itchy fiberglass. Thankfully Brian can fix the leaks and we have all of the supplies on board for the job.

Have I ever told you that Brian is my hero 🙂

Watching the beach around sunset from the boat we see monkeys every night!

I’ve just been getting things organized and back to making the boat feel like a home. I know, it doesn’t seem fair. But Brian is the brains behind the operation and my job is to make sure that he is successful at his. I do have an important job though…making sure that he has cold beer waiting for him when he is done.

Our first snorkel of the year, a shipwreck that lies just off of the beach at White House Bay.

We did take some time to have some fun too when we were in White House Bay once we knew that we were not going to sink. We enjoyed some snorkeling on an old shipwreck not too far from where we anchored and took some time out to enjoy a favorite watering hole.

Approaching one of our favorite “dives” as in “restaurant/dive bar” called Shipwreck.

Shipwreck Restaurant. Moon is anchored way off in the distance by the mountains.

Once we are sure that the ama repairs are good to go we plan on sailing to Antigua. Antigua has better marine stores and access to other materials that we might need and is a fun place to visit too. We have been throwing around some ideas where we will sail to after that but will let you know when we do. Dominica is off of the list but we’re hoping that they might be safer to visit when we sail back north. But we will see.

Our first sunset. Look to the left, high in the clouds and I see a heart!

We are tentatively planning to sail from Nevis where we are currently anchored to Antigua on Wed/Thur depending on weather. As always we will take lots of pic along the way. Hope that you are all doing good we sure miss you all!!

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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A Crab Never Forget He Hole “There’s no place like home”

We made it back to our beloved Moon in St. Kitts!

Our fun started when we arrived at the Miami airport for our flight only to find out that our tickets had been canceled. So let me explain, we had originally planned to fly out of Ft. Myers to avoid driving to Miami (crazy traffic). After we purchased our tickets we found out that we would have to first fly to Charlotte with a 4 hour layover and then another 12 hour layover in Miami. So, we decided instead to drive to Miami and fly straight out. Apparently if you fly on American Airlines and have connecting flights and do not use one of them they cancel your tickets for all flights that day. This was news to us. When we arrived at the airport we could not sign in and we were directed to a desk agent. The guys at the counter said that we would have to purchase new tickets at a price of 450.00 each because we missed out other flights and our tickets were canceled…ggrrr. As you can imagine we were not too happy at that moment. Thankfully after typing on his computer for what seemed forever Guillermo at the ticket counter was able to find a seat for us at no charge. Quite a bit of emotions ran through us that morning!

Moon sitting pretty in the boat yard 🙂

The flight over was fine and we were so happy to see Moon sitting right where we had left her. We were told that she was fine after the hurricanes but we can’t even begin to tell you how we felt when we finally saw that it was true. Boy did we get lucky! If either of the 2 hurricanes had gone 10 or 20 miles north or south of where they went Moon might not have survived.

Brian up the mast re-rigging our halyards. We strip every line and all of our canvas when we store the boat.

We’ve spent the last week getting her ready to be launched so we can get out and have some fun. No major surprises. We discover a few ant colonies that came in for refuge from the storms and set up camp but thankfully most of the ants were already dead and so far most of the others were quick to leave with the help of some toxic spray.

Guess that so many boats hauled out for the hurricanes that they ran out of boat stands at the yard and had to block some boats up with 4 by 4’s!

We decided that it was time to replace our very old and not safe leaking propane stove/oven that we believe has on the boat since it was built (1970). Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find a marine stove because the stores did not have any in stock as far as St. Martin so we have to make do with a camping stove for now. Main thing is that it is safer so we don’t blow ourselves up! We’re hoping that we will come across a replacement in Antigua or Grenada.

I tried to find a picture of our old stove/oven but this was the closest that I could find. We threw out the old one before I could get a pic and apparently I need to take more pictures inside of the boat!

Our new temp stove and the gaping space left behind from our old one. Brian has plans for a new stove top and some custom shelves in the future.

Speaking of places that we might be heading, we are not exactly sure what we have in store for ourselves. These hurricanes really took their toll on so many islands that security seems to be an issue in some. We had so wanted Dominica to be on our lists of stops this year but it will not be. Same for St. Lucia and St. Vincent. After our boarding in “safe” St. Martin we are not willing to take any chances. Unfortunately where people have virtually nothing you have everything when you stop there. We know that it is the acts of a few that reflect on all but we would just rather avoid any crime “hot spots”. For now we splash down tomorrow and will be spending a few days at a local favorite harbor of our for some much needed R&R.

Back to finding chaney and sea marbles at one of my favorite beach combing spots. This is where I got the marbles that Dave Brown turned into beautiful jewelry for me.

Jewelry that is made from some of the marbles and chaney we’ve found. My friend Dave Brown turned my beach finds into works of art!

That is it for us for now. Wish that we had more pictures for you but my camera had some “technical difficulties” and I just found out that most of the pictures that we took were blurry. No worries though it was just a setting and human error and we got it all fixed up and ready to take more fantastic shots. Take care for now all we will post again soon.

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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The End Of Another Summer Means the Start of New Adventures

Hello all!

We just wanted to post something since it has been so long since we’ve been on here to let everyone know that we are still safe and sound and heading out on the sea once again.

It’s that time of year for us!

Over the last couple of weeks we have been visiting family in south Florida and making our last minute preparations to return to the island of St. Kitts where our beloved Moon has weathered out not one, but two major hurricanes this year, Irma and Maria. It is so sad to see so many of the beautiful islands that we have visited and our cruising community affected as terribly as they were. It is unfathomable what so many are going through because of these hurricanes. We were incredibly lucky and believe that Moon is safe and sound at our boatyard in St. Kitts. (we have not seen any pics yet but have been told that the boatyard received minimal damage) The island was spared from the worst of both hurricanes and we know that we were very fortunate! Hopefully we will be reporting good news once we get to see her in person.

We can’t believe that our summer is over already. Not to say that it flew right on by but it seems like that now. If you asked us in the middle of the summer we would have said that it felt like it was never going to end but, it always feels that way when you are working in the hot sun! It was a good summer we had maybe a little more rain than we wanted but we were able to work and make our living so that’s what it is all about. We stayed in the same apartment complex as we always do and had the best roommate ever, our daughter Rachel.

The summer comprised of us waking up early, going to work, coming home late and tired just to get up and do it all over again the next day. We worked every day, around 10 – 12 hours a day or more, 7 days a week. Why? Because it is our the time to make the dough$$

Brian worked mostly at the marina keeping the marina and the boats running. I took sun burnt tourists out to see our famous bottle-nosed dolphins that frolic in the Gulf of Mexico.

I even got to learn how to drive a 25 passenger jet boat that started up business in the area. That was an adventure and a blast and if you come to PCB I would definitely recommend you take a wild ride with them!

http://gulfcoastjetboats.com/

Here’s the website for the marina that we work for if you want to check it out too: https://www.watersportspc.com/

If Moon is as we expect her to be when we arrive it should take us about 10 days to get her shipshape and then it will be splash time. We have not set in stone where we will be cruising to as of yet since it seems that some off the islands are still recovering. We don’t want to be part of a problem for those recovering from the hurricanes but want to bring business to the islands that are ready for us. We understand that tourism is everything. That is how we make our living too! We will be sure to keep you posted on our whereabouts.

Take care for now and hopefully soon we will be posting more pics of the beautiful places that we visit.

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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Still Around But On A Different Path

Wow, OK so I have been slacking a bit on the blog but it’s not what you might think. LOTS has been going on in our world and we are back in Florida. From the minute that we arrived back in PCB it was back to the grind of landlubber life.

I know you are saying what the heck…the last you left us Moon was sitting in Antigua and you were looking for another place to jump off of the boat and explore the undersea world. Well, it’s one of those things where you keep meaning to get something done and darn priorities keep popping up and taking it’s place. Here we are finally tell the story of our last adventure before we flew back to the mainland.

Last we left you I had mentioned that we had a hairline crack in our starboard ama and it had a slow leak. While we were in Jolly Harbor Brian decided that he should take care of it the best that he could before we set sail back to Nevis in the hope that the crack would not get any larger. He dove down and made an underwater repair right there in the harbor with some underwater epoxy that we had on the boat. Not an easy task as the anchorage was quite bumpy and rolly that day but he did a fantastic job. In fact when we hauled the boat out and could really get a good look at the repair it was amazing! It was even sanded nice and smooth. I would never had guessed that it had been done under the water. Kudos once again to Brian my superhero who can accomplish any task no matter the difficulty!

Wow…check out the waves behind the fisherman!

Our sail from Antigua was a dream…finally down wind and with the seas behind us and at speeds of around 8 to 13 knts…need we say more? We even saw our first pod of dolphins for the season who seemed to be showing us the way.

Remanent of a sugar mill at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.

Nisbet Beach on Nevis with St. Kitts in the background.

We arrived back to one of our favorite anchorages at Pinney Beach, Nevis. Here we grabbed a mooring ball and spent one of our last weeks as cruisers. We of course spent more time at the hot spring (Brian’s favorite spot). We also hopped on another local bus to explore Nisbet Beach on the NE side of the island.

Nisbet Beach

A boat turned into a restaurant…sadly closed the day that we wondered by.

Saw these guys monkeying around as we walked to the beach.

In the anchorage one night as we were watching TV in the cockpit an inflatable dinghy drifted by us with no one in it. Once again Brian to the rescue. We brought it back to the beach where it must of come from but no one was there to claim it. Sure that the owner would come back for it and need it to get back to their boat we left it high and dry up on the sand for them. The next day a very thankful owner found out that we had rescued his dink and brought us a bottle of wine over as a thank you. If you have read our past stories then you know that somehow we end up rescuing lots of dinghies and now my wine collection is growing rapidly !

Black Rocks Lava Formation, The seashore formation known as Black Rocks is one of the few dramatic reminders of the St. Kitts’ volcanic past due to Mt. Liamuiga.

After saying our good byes to Nevis we headed to St. Kitts where we anchored in Cockleshell Bay, White House Bay and Frigate Bay so we could have our last bit of fun before it was time to haul Moon out for the summer.

Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill

We found a new favorite hangout called Shipwreck Bar and Grill.
http://shipwreckstkitts.com

This place is awesome. Grab a bucket of beers and lunch and hangout by the beach in their free beach chairs. Snorkeling was pretty good too, (reef was dead but lots and lots of fish and I even spent some time with an octopus!) They have wild monkeys that hang out there and for my cruiser friends they have free fresh water showers…oh yea, we were pretty and clean when we left!

Our own private beach for Valentines Day

We also found a nearby cove with great snorkeling and a small private sand beach. We found it on Valentines Day so now we call it Valentines Beach.

Fort Thomas previously known as Bluff Point, Basseterre

Fort Thomas or Bluff Point
When Fort Thomas or Fort Bluff was in its heyday, it was armed with eight 24 pound guns facing the sea.

Of all the forts which were located in Basseterre, this one is the most well known today as it has become the venue for many different events. Originally after its use as a fort it was used as a quarantine hospital for the troops which fell ill. It is located in what is known as the Fortlands named for their vicinity to the fort itself. The lands at one time were all cane fields.
In the 20th century Fort Thomas was the site for a Holiday Inn, the well known chain of inns. After that it became known as the Fort Thomas Hotel for a few years.

Our last couple of nights we decided to anchor in Basseterre because it is the closest anchorage to SKM where we hauled Moon out. Once again we chose St. Kitts Marine Works to store the boat for hurricane season. The price was right and they treated us very well last summer.
https://www.skmw.net/

We spent our last days aboard exploring more of St. Kitts, it’s beaches and looking for chaney and sea-glass and just plain enjoying ourselves.

Brian walking on the jetty near Basseterre as I look for chaney on the beach. Nevis in the background.

Brian exploring the salt flats, St. Kitts

We took 4 days to “put Moon away” for the season. We took all of her canvas off and stored everything on deck and below. We reluctantly hopped on our plane and flew back to FL where we are now.

So clear that you can see the crater in Mount Liamuiga as we sail by on our way to the boatyard.

As I said we are back to work and if we have a good season this will be what we will do every day for the next 6 months. Sure we miss being on our Moon but what we do here makes it all possible. There is a plus side to being here too we get to spend time with our beautiful daughter Rachel 🙂

Moon in boatyard

The site will be a bit stale while we are here but I promise to get writing again as soon as we are back in the islands and the fun starts.

Thanks all for staying tuned…

Jennifer and Brian

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Barbuda

OK, so we are finding out that most people have never even heard of Barbuda. Barbados or Bermuda yes…but Barbuda…where is that island??

Well….Just around 27 miles North of Antigua lies the beautiful island of Barbuda, at 17.5º N by 61.35º W, the island is about 14 miles long by 8 miles wide and is rocky and very flat. It reminded us a lot of the Bahamas or even parts of Florida. The highest point is only about 125 feet and with a population of around 1800. Our tour guide told us that they just started counting the children in the census so the population count rose from what it used to be, around 1500. He said that there is not much to do on the island except to make babies so he expects that the count will keep on going up 🙂

Lighthouse Bay Resort…most guests arrive by helicopter for an afternoon lunch or sunset dinner. We heard that the beers start at $20.00 US so be sure to bring your wallet and credit card!

Barbuda is the sister island of Antigua. It is part of the same country along with one other much smaller island called Redonda. (Redonda is one huge rock with a few grassy patches here and there. It is only one and a half miles long by half a mile wide. It is an isolated, forbidding island circled by sheer cliffs and is not inhabited and rarely visited by anyone. As you can guess we don’t plan on visiting there!)

Barbuda, low and flat in the distance.

OK, back to Barbuda, it has been known to be called the “Last frontier of the Caribbean.” Picture 17 miles of pink-and-white sandy beaches, often without a beach bum in sight. Well, that is if you don’t count us of course. Barbuda is one of those very few islands in the Caribbean that remains and probably will remain for some time so undeveloped that it seems positively deserted at times. There is only one town on the island and it’s called Codrington and the only way to get to it is to travel there by land or through the large inter-lagoon if you have a boat. This is different than other islands because most main towns that we visit are found along the coastline.

Beautiful pink sand beaches!!

Barbuda became separated from Antigua by about 28 miles, when the sea-levels of the world rose considerably at about 10,000 BC. Today parts of Barbuda are geologically flooded to form interesting lagoons. Here is the one of the worlds largest breeding and nesting colony of the magnificent frigate birds in the world. It was amazing to see them flying in their sanctuary, round and round they flew like a tornado made of birds…the pictures that we took just don’t do justice to what we saw.

Hundreds of frigate birds flying in the distance.

Barbuda has the deep blue Atlantic on one side with wild beaches full of driftwood and shells, and the Caribbean Sea on the other. We could not even begin to count the amount of sea turtles and fish that we saw swimming around this island it was full of life. It just goes to show that if there are less human impacts in an area that the wildlife seems to flourish!

Every house has a cistern to collect rain water.

Barbuda has all kinds of wildlife not seen on other Caribbean islands, including deer and wild boar, land turtles and guinea fowl. There are cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep and goats wandering about in the town. Here all of the houses have gates of some sort built around them to keep the wondering animals out.

When we first arrived to where we planned on anchoring the ocean’s swell was much larger than it had been forecast to be making the anchorage quite uncomfortable. We spent the night riding up and down and bouncing all over the place. Thankfully for a guide book that we had and our shallow draft we were able to navigate through the spotted reef and corals heads to a very calm and protected anchorage on the north side of the island the next morning. Even though the wind was still howling we were nice and protected in the islands lee. There was only one other boat there and it was just about flat calm. Gotta say love having shallow draft boat!! Without it we would have been miserable in the other rolly anchorage and most likely had been forced to leave Barbuda! Now we were ready to explore.

Other than enjoy the wildlife there is not a whole lot to do on Barbuda. I know that the tour guide had a suggestion but we did not want to make any more babies! So we instead set off to explore some caves that we had read about in one of the tourist guide books.

We hired a tour guide called “Loose”. Nice guy and he did a great job telling us about the island and his history on how he ended up there…he was not a “belonger” he had just moved there a few years ago. He came for a visit and fell in love with the place and decided to make it his home. Not any easy task from what he said since he was not born there especially starting up a tour business.

He took us to the Indian Caves and the cliff caves of Two Foot Bay where Barbudans have hunted and camped for centuries. Hunting is a big deal here and it was evident that lots of people have camped in and around these caves with remains of campfire pits all around. It also looked like a big party spot for the locals on the weekends and such. We thought it would have been awesome to camp out there for the night!

 

The caves were amazing! We climbed up and around scrambling to try to see every nook and cranny. If you ever find yourself in Barbuda you should definitely check them out. I also read that there were a couple of caves on the other side of the island however there was a rain storm approaching and we had a long dinghy ride back through the lagoon to get back to Moon so we decided to save that adventure for another time.

White Tailed Tropic bird

On the way back from our cave tour we had a dark storm chase us through the mangrove lagoon and all the way back to the boat.

Mangroves…felt just like we were in Florida!

We loved this place but Moon had developed a little leak in her starboard ama that we had been keeping an eye on. It was not bad but it was on our minds. Brian made a repair to the inside of the ama but we still had some water seeping in. So we took advantage as soon as the winds and seas were in our favor to head back to Antigua and closer to St. Kitts in case we had to make a quick sail back to the boatyard to be hauled out.

Here we sit once again in Jolly Harbor, Antigua. Brian dove down under ama and was able to get a closer look from below to see why it was leaking. He found a hairline crack and made a underwater repair which we are happy to say has been holding up very well. We are going to keep an eye on it. We plan on heading back to Nevis this weekend and we will be much closer to the boatyard in case we need to haul out early. Sadly, our time is starting to come to an end anyways. We plan on heading back to the states in early March.

We plan to have lots of fun through out the next month though so no fear we will have more to share! There is always something that we haven’t seen, some rocky, steep slope that we have to climb or some reef that we have to snorkel that calls to us…

Take care all –

Jennifer and Brian

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