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PINE TREES VS. PALM TREES

It’s time for a new chapter in our lives to begin. Since yesterday was the day of Epiphany, I suppose it appropriate.

Today, monies will be wired from the bank account of Captain Briggs into our accounts and “Great Mates II” will become “Chartwell” once again.

Here’s how this all came about.

Captain Larry (Lawrence Briggs) sold “Chartwell” to us in April of 2009. At the time of negotiation he stated that he had two boats and that we could purchase either one. “Chartwell” ~ a 1978 Cheoy Lee 55′ Trawler or “Neptunes Chariot” ~ an 80′ Long Distance Trawler. Neptunes Chariot is a magnificent vessel but clearly out of our price range. Besides, we wanted something we could captain ourselves. So, we agreed on the 55′ Long Distance Trawler on which Captain Larry had circumnavigated twice in 14 years.

In early summer of 2011, Captain Larry emailed us from Malaysia and said that an Australian gentleman had purchased “Neptunes Chariot” so he was now going to look for something smaller. I knew at that time that he wanted “Great Mates II” back. After several months of emails and phone calls, we agreed on a deal with one inclusion. I said, “Captain, we will sell “Great Mates II” back to you IF you modify your Will that upon your death, we have first rights to purchase her from your Estate”. He agreed.

Ed flew to Trinidad to meet Captain and today “Great Mates II” becomes “Chartwell” once again. (I wonder what King Neptune has to say about this process???)

As I took my walk this morning in the brisk Indiana air, I thought of taking walks in the mornings in Sarasota. I had listened to the Laughing Gulls chat and admired the palm trees as they grace the grounds of Marina Jacks and smelled the sea air. This morning in Mooresville IN I smelled the pine trees, breathing in the chilly air, watched the squirrels chase each other about and listened to the beauty of the cardinals singing their songs.

It’s time to enjoy home as we have known it since our birth’s. We’ve had an amazing 2.5 years aboard our home, ‘Great Mates II’ and now we look towards the New Year through God’s vision.

What new bountiful joys will come our way? 33 years of a grand marriage is something few have had. 33 years of truly Great Mates have lifted our eyes ready to be in awe. Dear Lord, what’s next?

Blessings, Lisa
“Personal Travel Advisor” for
The Travel Agent, Inc.
Carmel IN

HEADING TO THE U.S.

Ed, Emma and I have all been to Customs and Immigration, received our umpteen stamped pieces of paper and stamped passports and we are cleared for checking out of Trinidad, W.I. tomorrow morning.

“Martin” the cabdriver will pick us up at 3:45 a.m. in order to have time to load our six pieces of luggage plus three boxes and get us to the airport which is 45 minutes away.

Today we took a little island tour and went up the mountain to the rain forest. We asked about snakes and he said, “not to worry”. We asked about monkeys and he said, “only orange ones”. I asked, “how big to the orange ones get?” “Oh, he said, about as big as you!” We didn’t see one, but Emma had her camera ready just in case.

The town of Trinidad has some beautiful buildings, very very old buildings, a few castles and of course some nice new modern ones. Kentucky Fried Chicken is big here…who would have thunk it?

We asked Martin to take us to a nice place for lunch and he said, “what do you want?” There’s a place with some nice shark and bread sandwiches.” “No, how about something American or Italian?” He said, “I will take you to a place.” We ended up at a TGI Fridays! It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time!

This afternoon is just organization time, as well as time for rest until dinner. It’s so bloody hot here, none of us want to go to the pool.

We talked at lunch about our high points and low points of the trip and we all agreed that one of the best times was dinner with friends Craig and Kim and Herman while in St. Thomas. We enjoyed our trips to the various beaches of course while in
at Honeymoon Bay, St Thomas, St. John, St. Martin and Virgin Gorda. We also agreed that we needed more time to enjoy the places we went but on this trip there just wasn’t time. Another year.

All in all, we are all very anxious to get home and see family and friends and be back in the United States of America.

Thank you for following our journey.

Gods blessing and peace,

Lisa

A MOMENT OF PERSONAL PRIVILEGE…

This morning, after a good breakfast, we all three got in the dingy and headed to what we thought we the Peake Yacht office. However, we just did not see it. There were ships and boats of all kinds and as we looked at the old dilapidated buildings along the shore, we saw nothing that said “Peake Yaghts”. We pulled up along side a fairly large 180′ or so work boat with dark skinned men aboard and I yelled up….”do you know where Peake Yachts is?” To which they replied, “don’t know” in some foreign language. So we moved on; while looking at the VERY black sky coming over the mountain top and hence decided we would postpone our journey to later after the rain was finished. GOOD MOVE!
The rains came hard and fast… all the while we were comfy inside Great Mates II having margaritas.

After eating up the left overs in the frig, we said, “lets head out”. Hence, we got back in the dingy and motored around until we found the Peake Yachts office. Upon checking in and getting all the paperwork with which to store our vessel, we walked and walked and walked to search out the land of boats. Big ships, little sailing vessels from ALL OVER, and “regular” boats. Some stored on the hard already and others being prepared to be stored.

Do you know that an up charge for storage on the hard is GREASE on the chalks of which the boat is stored in order that creepy crawlies cannot get up to the boat. Yep, I’m all about that grease!

Also, please note, I have learned that the best pest control (as well as many other uses) is BORAX. Plain old Borax, laundry detergent, pest control, cleaner, etc.

Now, on to my story for the day.

We watched a movie while enjoying the rainy day and then decided it was time to venture out once again.

Here’s my moment….I watch Ed and Emma prepare the dingy to launch and move. They each know what to do in order to make a smooth boarding for me. How lucky am I? They both have scraps, cuts on their hands from the cables and ropes; but me? None of the above. I just get in and ride.

So at the end of the day….it’s been a good day. Check out the pictures to get an idea of the variety of this place.

Gods peace and understanding,
Lisa

IT’S A HAPPY DAY IN TRINIDAD!

Frankly, it’s hard to believe. For the last 18 months or so, Ed and I have been talking about cruising to Trinidad and by the grace of God….we have made it!

It has been a long journey and there were times I just wanted to say, “I quit, get me off of this damned boat”. But I am not a quitter and, Ed is an awesome Captain and Emma as a “deck hand” has been just terrific. And, Capt. Curt Chapman who made that terrible journey with us from Sarasota to St. Thomas, AND all the workman who assisted us along the way, AND, friends and fellow cruisers who gave ideas, lists and support….we made it! Thanks one and all!

Now what? Well, tomorrow we will check with Mr. Junior Thomas at Peake Yachts to review our check in for being stored “on the hard” for the hurricane season. Then we will begin preparing Great Mates II for storage until our return; likely not until January 2012.

Preparing for being stored is similar to winterizing our camper but a bit more. We are not worried about freezing, obviously, but about too much heat and humidity. So, we will have a window air conditioner installed (that we will rent) and a few fans and we will have a temporary cover made as well. We have to take a complete inventory as well.

June 8th, we depart from Trinidad, fly to Miami and onto Indy! I can’t wait to be home.

We have much to celebrate….primarily that Audra and Billy are expecting a little baby boy in late November. Emma has graduated from college and is moving on to work in the yachting world out of Ft. Lauderdale and Lucas and Stacey have good jobs. And, Ed and I….we are just GREAT MATES!

Cheers to all our followers and may Gods peace be with you.

Lisa

JUNE 1, 2011

Ed double checked our mileage traveled since departing Sarasota. 1900 nm in 46 days and we’re not done yet!

So here we are an anchor in Grenada, “The Spice Island”. We are rolling side to side constantly which doesn’t make for a pleasant anchorage but it is what it is. Raising and lowering the dinghy is difficult and a bit dangerous so we hope for calmer waters later today.

A few facts about Grenada….

This is a relatively small island. Grenada is 21 mi long and 12 mi wide. The interior is a lush rain forest and the island is a major producer of nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, cocoa and other spices and flavorings. Jimmy Buffet writes about spending time here as did his grandfather who captained a large freighter for exporting.
There’s a spice plantation and a nutmeg-processing plant that we might visit today. St. George is the capital of Grenada. I think this is the last of the Eastern Caribbean islands that uses EC’s (Eastern Caribbean dollars) for it’s money. Currently the exchange rate is fixed at EC $2.67 to US $1.00.
Our Latitude is N11.59.977 x Longitude W061.45.825.
Grenada has white-sand beaches as well as black-sand beaches. It is common to see down 100′ of clear turquoise/emerald green water so snorkeling is awesome. One historical fact…there’s a place called Carib’s Leap on the islands northernmost tip. Carib’s Leap is the 100-foot vertical cliff from which the last of the indigenous Carib Indians flung themselves into the sea in 1651. After losing several bloody battles with European colonists, they chose to kill themselves rather than surrender to the French.

Based on our “Clearpoint” weather update, tomorrow will be our best travel day so about 2:00 a.m. we will pull up anchor and head down island 85 m to our final destination, Trinidad!

God’s peace,

Lisa, Ed and Emma
(aka: Ginger, Fillippi, Kuzi Suzi)

The pay toilets in St. Martin
Sunrise at Montserrat
Captain Ed ~ calling home via our satellite phone