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GRENADA!

Well, I am beginning to feel a sense of great accomplishment…..since departing our beloved Sarasota on April 16th, we have traveled many miles; probably 2500 but Ed will double check via the chart plotter which keeps a trail for us.

We spent Memorial Day at anchor in Carriacou; and after reading our daily devotion on the back deck after breakfast, we each had a moment of thought about how grateful we are for those whom have fought for our country.

Each area we stop has its own history of initial discovery/ wars over who owns that island/ and dates of events. It appears to me each island has had its occupancy/ownership battles mostly between the French and Great Britain. Of course there is a history of slavery and abolishment on each island.

Fellow boaters understand that at times cruising out in the big water can get pretty boring so, one will make up entertainment. Today as we pulled anchor from Carriacou, we passed three HUGE rocks which did not appear to be inhabited. So while sitting in the pilot house, we determined we would lay claim to those rock/islands.

One has been proclaimed, “Ginger” ~ Queen of Callie, then the next, “Phllippe”, King of Rhonde, and the last, “Kuzi Suzi”, Queen of Kick em Jenny.

Now, the island names are on our charts….the rest we just made up. Then of course, we added in our conversation that dear friend, Captain Craig would be allowed to open his bar on one of our islands….his bar being one that he only wears his lime green mankini and the waitresses wear lime green bikinis and everyone has a kuzi for their cold drinks with a picture of the face of Kuzi Suzi!

Silly….but fun and self-entertaining.

We will stay here until Thursday at which time we will depart around 2:00 a.m. and begin our last leg of our journey to Trinidad.

Personal note…..I am grateful to God for a safe passage. He answers prayers!

Personal note #2….I am also grateful to my husband who indeed, without question is the Captain of Great Mates II. This man can fix damned near anything that breaks, he transfers fuel as needed, empties the bilges as needed as well as the grey water tanks, he activates the water maker so we have plenty of fresh water with which to shower, do laundry and wash dishes. He also anchors the boat while I position with forward/backward/port/starboard wheel. He also takes over the wheel when I “loose it”. Captain Ed! Salute`!

Personal note #3….Emma Kay has done a grand job of learning/helping do whatever/keeping the ropes (lines) coiled neatly on the deck, putting out bumpers needed on approach/dockage and navigating. Good job kiddo! You’ll make a grand captain some day if you wish!

Done for now ~ will post pix when I can; and there are some great photos.

Peace!

Lisa

N14.04.523′ X W060.56.991″ ~ SAINT LUCIA

We have arrived at Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.

Relatively, smooth seas from Martinique, Fort of France.

This, Rodney Bay Marina, is the nicest Marina we have enjoyed since departing Sarasota FL! The docks are well constructed, and the Marina is VERY CLEAN. There are restaurants at the Marina ~ there’s a pool ~ they have a nice laundry drop off ~ they have a grand ships store (Chandlery) and the people are very helpful and nice and they all SPEAK ENGLISH! I could be content to stay here a bit BUT, I don’t think it is a safe hurricane hole. So, we will journey on to Trinidad later after stopping at a few other places.

Here’s an update….

This morning, a fellow came to work on the salon AC which entailed replacing a capacitor. No worries, everything working now.

After he did that, we began to prepare to depart Martinique. I went to Customs, Ed and Emma walked to the Marina office (a good hike in the heat) and after I finished at customs, I went back to the boat to finish getting ready to cruise. As soon as I opened the door, I said to myself and outloud….”OH NO!” I smelled the smoke of an electrical fire! I ran down to the engine room and opened the door and smoke was rolling out! HOLLY SHIT!! Ed was still gone, the starboard generator was running and I had no idea how to shut it off. I ran out to the gas dock to ask the workers to call the Marina office to get my husband back to the boat! They did but he had already left. NOW WHAT?!?!?

I ran down the dock stopping at our dockmates and pounded on their door to ask for help. They didn’t answer. I ran further and spotted another dockmate walking towards me. I said, “Please, help me….I have smoke coming from the engine room, it’s electrical, my husband is gone and I have no idea how to shut down the generator!” He ran back to the boat with me. Down to the engine room, he found a switch and turned it off. We then examined the wiring and it was melted, from the generator starter motor to the battery bank. We pulled down the smoke detectors in order to silence them and all was ok.

I WAS SO SCARED!!!!

He (Clive) said, you’re ok…the boats ok”.

After that, Ed and Emma were walking down the dock. I said, “Ed we have a problem, but this man is our boats savior”. I began to explain. Off Ed and Clive went to the engine room. Ed explained that we have another generator (port side) and it’s seperate than the starboard generator. So, Ed started that generator and we were all good. After which, he started the main engine and we had the dockhands release our lines and we were off. Ed says I missed the sailing vessel to our starboard by inches…Oh well, I missed it, so that’s a good thing and off we went.

Just this morning after breakfast, Ed, Emma and I read from “Daily Guideposts” as usual. The scripture quoted from James 2:18 was, “Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do”.

This man, Clive….he had a background with the British Royal Navy in heavy electonics. God has shown me His blessing, once again.

So now on to Saint Lucia….

We pulled into Rodney Bay Marina and the sight was lovely. That being said, I got a bit close to the docks previous to preparing to back in and SHIT, the dock hit low on my port side and crunch! A bit of damage.

We tied off, I went to customs as usual to check in and then on to the Marina office to check in and while there asked for someone who could rebuild our starter (for that Port Generator) AND, while we were tieing off, a fellow approached and said he did all kinds of boat maintenance. I asked him…”to encompass what?” To which he replied, “gel coat, waxing, fiberglass repair, etc.” Ed said, “can you fix that crunch?” He said, “yes, I will do a temporary fix tomorrow” as he understood we were going into the yards in Trinidad.

God provides! All kinds, all needs, all the time.

NOTE: Emma has learned well how to throw out lines,

We will stay here a few nights and rest, eat and enjoy some snorkeling and the beach.

May God be with those who have suffered storm damages.

Blessings,

Lisa

MARTINIQUE. MAY 24

Well, Ed, Emma and I decided we would bypass Guadaloupe after departing Montserrat and cruise all night since we had smooth seas and get a jump on our schedule. This morning, we arrived at Martinique. Boy, I wish I had taken that Rosetta Stone French course, cause everyone speaks French here.
The seas were perfect! What a delight.
That being said, I backed Great Mates II into the skiniest slip ever. No pylons, only bouy’s and lines. Well, we didn’t hit anything so I consider one more successful dockage. Ed proved an excellent coach and Emma; a great line thrower.
I walked to Customs to check in only to find I needed my ORIGINAL boat registration papers…so I walked back to retrieve those. Then walked back again to give them to the customs agent.
Note….if I were to help make an improvement in global economy, I would standardize the Customs and Immigration forms. So far, the French have it down the best.
Our Salon AC unit is not working so we have requested a worker. He was to arrive today at 2:00. It is now 3:30 and he’s not here yet.
This marina is FULL. And, it is HOT! But, Due to the structures, and language, I really get the feeling of being in a different country. We hung our laundry out to dry over the bow. Maybe I will check out the French beaches….
We will stay here for a few days before venturing on to St Lucie. Ed and Emma wish to zip line and do a canapé walk. Maybe I will too. Or, maybe I will find a nice little French spa and some shopping.
Gods peace and understanding….
Lisa

ST. MARTIN N.A.

It is May 19th, one day after my 56th birthday. I’ve learned and realized several things as I’ve shared before and here are some new thoughts.

The INFRASTRUCTURE of the Virgin Islands and the Islands south are lacking considerably. I have made commentary about roads but that’s just one… “creature comfort” that, the lack thereof, I have found distasteful.

The dirt in normal (?) places….the trash along the streets….heck it’s no wonder that island people feel comfortable in Brooklyn NY…not that ALL places in Booklyn are crappy. Ed and I have visited some places in Brooklyn that are wonderful. But here… trash, crappy apartments, little stores with just enough….suffice it to say, “I am a spoiled American” and I’m unafraid to admit it….because we worked (we worked our asses off) for what we have.

But now on….

Yesterday, Emma and I walked to the nearest beach. It was there that I had a glorious birthday celebration. These two Jamaican women came up to Emma and I and asked if we wanted an…”aloe vera massage”. I asked, “how much”? They said, $20.00U.S. dollars for your legs and feet and another “$10.00 for your back”. So to make a long story short, Emma and I both had both…..are you kidding? I’m saying to myself, I am on the beach in St. Martin, N. A. with one of my children and these two wonderful ladies want to expand our pleasure by giving us a massage with natural aloe vera that they have plucked from their own gardens. YEAH! This is good. Oh, and the massages….over an hour. I can deal with that.

Today….

I had taken clothing from our closets and drawers to box up and send back to Miss Amanda Wenz, our “house manager”. I put the clothing in trash bags in order to take them to the nearby FED EX shop so they may be put into boxes and shipped home.

1.5 hours later after filling out form after form after form we were told our total price for sending these clothes back home. Nearly $500.00 for two boxes. I was shocked! While in St. Thomas we also has sent home two boxes of clothes for less that $60.00.

Well, I figured; “we are in a different country and they are dealing with customs and all the red tape. It’s not their fault.” And, I wished to get the clothes home. So I agreed to the price and gave the FED EX agent my card. Then they said, “I’m sorry, we don’t take credit cards”. To which I blew my top!!!! “Are you kidding me? We have stood here for 1.5 hours, filled out all the requested forms, agreed to you rediculous price and now you tell me you only take cash?” How many people carry around $500.00 in cash?

So, I said, “forget it, give us our boxes back and we will find other methods. I know it’s not your fault but obviously FED EX needs some work.” So off, Ed, Emma and I walked back to the Marina with the loaned cart and put the boxes back on board.

This all being said, my opinion thus far of the Carribean Islands is that I am not impressed. I prefer the west coast of FL….specifically, Sarasota. This is a place I think I will end up. Research continues…..

Tomorrow or Saturday destination is St. Kits. Then; onto Antiguilla.

Thank you for reading my rant. Thank you for following our journey.

God’s blessings and peace,

Lisa

SIMPSON BAY YACHT CLUB, ST. MARTEN, NETHERLANDS, ANTILLES

This morning, Chief Engineer “Philippi”, 1st Mate “Kuzi Suzi” and me, Captain “Ginger”, all arrived safe and feeling pukey at the Simpson Bay Marina and Yacht Club about 9:45. We anchored out….somewhere, about 6:00 a.m. so we could get some rest from the night of horrible weather, big waves from every direction, lightening, and scattered belongings as a result of our little ship being tossed around. Great Mates II did just fine with exception to the main engine room big blower quitting, BUT, the boat can take alot more than can we. We’re alive and safe, that’s all that matters.

We will be here until perhaps Friday after which we will continue our cruise south….maybe next stop will be in St. Vincent, Grenada. I much prefer short day cruises, 4-6 hours, perfect! More than that, it just gets tough, especiallly when one is being tossed about by that mighty ocean.

I once heard Goldie Hawn recall advice from her father. “Goldie, if you ever get feeling too big for your britches, look out there at that might ocean”. Enough said!

It is my sense of things that we will have smooth waters from here on to our final destination, Peake Yacht Boatyards/Marina in Trinidad. I do preach to expect positive outcomes, so I’m doing just that!

As to the nicknames….those are given to each of us by our dear friend and chief imaginary, Captain Craig Rutkai. These “Terms of Endearment” were given over much laughter and story telling so we’ll just leave it at that.

It is hot here, damn hot. But there is a constant breeze so unless you are standing in the sun for more than 20 minutes, it’s pleasant.

We are on the Dutch side of St. Marten and the people seem very friendly and helpful. We will find out if there are any difference’s when we journey by cab or dinghy to the French side, Saint Martin.

For those who are following that are not boaters, I will explain “checking in” when you go to a different country.

Upon arrival, I, as Captain of the vessel, have to take my packet of; all passports of those aboard, boat registration and any previous check-in documentation papers. The rest of the people have to stay onboard until I return. During this time, our yellow (Quarantine) flag must be flown. This time, the yacht club worker took me in their dinghy to the Customs and Immigration Office. I walked in, ask to check-in, they give me papers to fill out, I did so, then showed my boat registration papers, all passports and they checked everything, ask a few questions (like most customers officers) and then gave everything back and send me to another window which, is where I gave them all the papers from the previous window, the passports, the boatpapers and pay the money. To check in here, it was $61.00 US. That’s $40.00 for the people and $21.00 for the bridge fee.

To get here, there’s one bridge that we had to await opening on the Bridge Masters schedule. The boats that are INSIDE the bay, get to come OUT first, then it’s the turn for the boats that want to come IN to the bay. Funny!

Well, that’s all for now. I could write so much more but fear it may become boring.

God’s blessing and peace,

Lisa