Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Pickleball Broken Wrist

July 28, 2017 Posted by Deb

Deb went down backwards on the Woodbury courts and knew her right wrist was broken immediately. She looked at me kind of scared right at impact.

BrokenWristThey gave her three days to let the swelling go down; and on the day relatives were flying into MSP for our family reunion in the north country, they operated on her and put a plate in. She didn’t miss a beat but did have to keep everything dry.

Bionic Wrist

Bionic Wrist

 

Summer 2015 Wrap

October 10, 2015 Posted by Deb

We closed out the north chapter of summer 2015 with a canoe trip up the St. Croix River to Taylor Falls,Minnesota, The Wheels and Wings car and air show in Osceola, Wisconsin the famous rubber duck race near Hills, Iowa, and the Bauer hayride near Melcher, Iowa.
TaylorsFallsCanoeShowboatWheelsWingsCarPlaneShowJeffsBonfirePagansJeffsParty1TentDuckRace2015KidsPlaneBauerPartyBauerHayride

AWOL Glider

On a sad note, on one of the last days up north, one of my favorite R/C gliders was about 30 minutes into a flight and had just come half way down from over 2,000 feet when I took my eyes off it and glanced at my chair as I was moving it back into the shade. I looked back up and the glider was just gone. It was apparently too high for my eyes to pick up again and despite every trick to make it show up … it is now part of the farmland between Melcher and Des Moines, IA. Oh … if it went through your picture window, this entry was just a joke.Glider_BauerHayride

Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival

February 15, 2014 Posted by Deb

The town is hopping this weekend for the annual art festival. Deb and our friend from Caper, Augie, volunteered to work as art festival helpers.

ArtFestivalBanner

I went in to see the festival and meet up with Deb. My bike must have and auto-pilot set to the Barefoot Bar and Grill or Yoli’s. I did run into Deb and Augie at the Barefoot but they were drinking something non-alcoholic. That’s right … some people still do that. I don’t and didn’t.

Deb & Augie with Watermelon Juice

Deb & Augie with Watermelon Juice

Sailed the little Hobie Cat from Robert’s Grove to the Barefoot Bar with a good southeast wind just the other day.

Barefoot Bar is Beckoning

Barefoot Bar is Beckoning

Valentine's Day Happy Hour

Valentine’s Day Happy Hour

Canouan

March 3, 2012 Posted by Deb

Canouan - Pirate's Cove

We did a particularly bad job of grabbing a mooring in high wind and that put us both in a bad mood, even after we got settled in. In Canouan, like Mustique, there is no mooring line to grab with a boat hook, just a fitting on top of the ball. The options are to drop a dink and put one of us on the mooring ball, get help from the mooring manager with his dink, or to motor past and grab the fitting from the stern and transfer the line to the bow. The latter is difficult in high wind. We got our first gelcoat ding as the mooring vendor thrashed about under our bow trying to wrestle our lines. We went ashore and hit the “Pirate Cove ($A)” and learned that it isn’t just Mustique that knows how to charge. A $14 bowl of ice cream and a $6 beer did lighten the mood a bit and the Pirate Cove is a great location.

Mustique

March 2, 2012 Posted by Deb

Firefly - Mustique

We discovered the Doyle Guide’s category system for restaurants is pretty accurate. He ranks restaurants $A through $D for cost, and you may want to pay attention on Mustique. We hiked to the airport to check out the myth that there was an ATM on the island. It drew a chuckle from the two customs guys who were the only signs of life at the terminal. We stopped by the FireFly hotel and restaurant ($A) for a quick drink and appetizer and liked the view and the emptiness so we ordered lunch. I won’t go into the final bill but they didn’t need any other patrons after we were done.

The highlight for Mustique for me was that Deb found my favorite popcorn oil in a little grocery store. We were on our last bottle so the timing was perfect. We didn’t buy them out completely but I was tempted. We picked up a $16 watermelon on a return visit to a street vendor who gave Deb a garlic earlier for “no charge” when he heard we were struggling to make our EC’s last. It looked great on the rack but was solid green and hard as a brick when we cut it open. So much for good deeds.

Stanley's Fruit Stand

Our three nights in Mustique were up, the black birds were bothering us during the day, the bats were quite aggressive at night, and the swells were getting annoying so we pulled up the mooring lines and went close to dead downwind to Canouan with only the main with a double reef and we still went 7-9 knots surfing.

The Bequia Blast

February 27, 2012 Posted by Deb

We knew that Friday (2/24) and maybe Saturday would be the last good sailing days before both the wind and seas built significantly so we turned the boat from a condo into a boat and headed South at about 5:30 a.m. We gave ourselves plenty of time to cover the 66 miles because the mountains on both St. Lucia and St. Vincent suck the life out of the trade winds and I’m kind of anal about sailing when I’m sailing and not firing up the diesels. We had a gorgeous sail off the wind all the way and passed several monohulls. When we sailed these islands 17 years ago, it was rare to see another boat other than those we were sailing with. This corridor was a traffic jam, requiring course changes six or seven times for other sailboats.

As we rounded St. Vincent at the blazing speed of about 1.3 knots (I kept seeing wind just up ahead … kind of like water in the dessert), we lost power to the port side of the boat including autohelm, navigation, refrigeration, winches, and the windlass. Not a big deal to old monohull sailors who either never had that stuff or were used to it being broken a lot of the time. We did have Deb’s Xoom with the Navionics application and charts and I am a convert. We have paper charts and at least five or six backup GPS capable devices but that little app is our preferred navigation device. The user interface is great, you can use it anywhere on the boat, and it appears to be very accurate.

We remembered Bequia as having bad holding but it made up for it by being deep. We weren’t disappointed. We knew we’d only get one shot at dropping the hook unless we wanted to crank up 150 feet of chain by hand so we were very careful and went ahead and blew the anchor job anyway. Deb tried to crank up the chain and gave up after a few feet. Plan B was to bounce the anchor along the bottom and hope to catch something (and get away from a monohull we were too close to). We caught something that seemed good enough but we were very close to another boat. Deb patrolled the area with our dink to keep me from getting run over while I dove the hook. It looked OK but not great and our options were about zero so we called it a day. I figured we’d be OK unless the wind kicked up. We were anchored near an area called the Bequia Blast for the way the hills funnel the wind. The Bequia Blast hit just after dark with gusts over 30 knots and we did anchor watches all night long with Deb taken the ugly midnight to 3:00 a.m. shift. There’s an anchor watch app for that on the Xoom but we hadn’t downloaded it and we don’t know if we would have trusted it anyway.

On Saturday (2/25) we were refreshed with all of a handful of hours of sleep in the last 48 hours and all we had to get done for the day was to clear in, find an electrician, pull the hook, and find another place for the boat. Missions accomplished by noon thanks to Daffodil Marine, their electrician, and their moorings. We’re expecting Chris Doyle to show up any minute if he isn’t here already and Prince Edward had been shadowing us as well. We got to see the Prince Edward fanfare all over again as the British warship arrived. What it means for us is that we can’t use the main dinghy dock and we’re probably walking around town underdressed.

Spent Sunday (2/26) hiking to Peggy’s Rock, high point of the island with an incredible view of Admiralty Bay.

Hike to Peggy’s Rock

Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

February 12, 2012 Posted by Deb

Rodney Bay ranks right up there with St. Martin as “most changed.” Read the ship log entry from 1995 and you can see why we had no plans to ever come here again. We came here because the Doyle guide painted a nice picture, we needed repairs and were tired of trying to do it in French, and it is an easy way to make it down the islands in little short hops. Chris Doyle walked right by us again today as he did a month or so ago in Lagoonies on St. Martin. We’re apparently on the same route and schedule. We leave famous people alone with maybe a polite “hi” and really dislike seeing the swarming behavior they have to put up with.

Back to the point, Rodney Bay is a hub now with a very fancy marina and an impressive yacht services community. The outside bay where we’re anchored has been cleaned up and developed not unattractively. We’re just settling in and ran into three boats already from Dominica … Allicat, Parrot Tales, and Arnementia. There are restaurants and free wifi everywhere and a nice lawn with folks sitting under palm trees clicking away on their laptops. Our repair work inquiries have us queuing up in about 12 days and we don’t think we’ll be here that long. We may continue to limp down island under manual alternator control. Had a nice $15 hamburger for lunch today.

Flashback to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia: 5/24/1995

Had a major run in with the local hustlers on shore and got into a shouting match. We thought we could save a bundle by going to the town rather than the marina for our laundry. We found out real quick that going to town was a battle through tiers of Rasta hustlers. I fought off three while guarding the dink in a verbal battle that lasted for about 20 minutes. They wanted money for using what they called their little portion of the causeway. In other words, they wanted to charge me for hanging onto a rock. Deb had her own set of problems getting to the laundry lady. We decided to hike in from the main road the next day to pick it up since the Rasta gang said, “Good luck trying to get your laundry” along with several dozen other insults. Nice intro to Rodney Bay.

Martinique

February 8, 2012 Posted by Deb

We’re both surprised that we’re here. It was touch and go whether we were going to take a quick run 220 miles back to St. Martin for orphaned mail, supplies, and repairs.

The new alternator on the port engine has a habit of running the batteries up to 15 volts and we can’t just disconnect it all the time because we need the extra juice for the windlass, the autohelm on cloudy days, the winches, and the port side starter battery. So, if we motor the final five miles to Fort du France (which we did), we have to stop the engine and pull the sense wires off the alternator. If we foul the anchor on a 100 lb piece of dead coral (which we did) and have to pull the hook back up, we have to stop the engine and reconnect the alternator or crank it out of the water with a winch handle (which we did). We hooked that giant piece of coral just as we were about to declare the trip from Dominica over and pat ourselves on the back for a successful but very rough crossing.  A nice squall was coming in with high wind, we had ferries, buoys, and anchored boats everywhere, there was a significant current, and we had to drop the dink, get to the bow, and hammer the coral into submission or get a trip line to work. The trip line worked and we got a good hook on our second attempt.From Deb: Shopping malls here are amazing. Been a long time since I’ve been in one. I got on a mini bus and headed across town on freeways with multiple exits. Got out at the right spot despite no one speaking English and my French not up to par. But, no where to find a clock. We don’t have a clock for our boat and you’d think that would be an easy thing to find. I’ve looked on every island and the ones I buy don’t cost much but they don’t seem to last more than five minutes. On the other hand, this is a great place to stock up on Merlot and good French cheese!!

Rosseau: Dominica

February 6, 2012 Posted by Deb

As we were preparing the boat to move south, Martin, our friend in Portsmouth, stopped the boat to drop off a bouquet from the jungle. 

Rosseau was a bit of a weird feeling after being in Portsmouth for close to two weeks. We tucked into Rosseau because the island of Dominica stole our wind and our ETA in Martinique moved to after dark. Most would have fired up the diesels to clear the island but we played the gusts and calms. Very frustrating. We discovered an alternative to Trafalgar Falls called Papillote. The previous day we talked the tour guide operators down to $120 US for four people on a five- stop tour but we passed. Instead, we grabbed a bus for $5 EC and got off just before Trafalgar Falls. The shots below were taken at Papillote and the tab for entrance, hot pool by the waterfall, and drinks was approximately $24 US.

From Deb: Checking our guidebook, we headed down the big street just off the cruiseship dock knowing there would be a bus somewhere along the route as we headed out of town. As we passed a crowded block with lots of limin’ people, one rasta man on the street looked at us and said, “Trafalgar? Here’s the bus.” We squeezed into the mini-van that already had about 18 people in it and bounced up the mountain dropping people off on the way. We were the last two on the bus when we saw PAPILLOTE painted on the side of a building high up on the mountain. We walked up the hill and stopped in a little guest house oasis for some passion fruit juice. The guy behind the desk told us to walk around the grounds and feel free to use any of the hot springs. It was a beautiful walk with hot springs flowing down a stream and through bamboo shoots along the way. At the bottom of the hill, there was a big cement pond full of hot mineral water perched under a fresh waterfall. Only one other couple was in the pond and they left shortly after we jumped. Beautiful!

A Birthday

January 10, 2012 Posted by Deb

Basseterre, St. Kitts was a nice town and the island access from the marina was great but we couldn’t bring in my birthday sitting in a marina. We cleared out with a post dated stamp (customs was being nice but asked me to keep it “on the low” and I’m pretty sure that includes posting it on a blog), did some final shopping, and crawled around through the boat to make sure it was ready. We cast off in a crosswind with only two people and no dock help and headed for Whitehouse Bay, a small little bay about 5 miles down the coast. It was supposed to be a secluded, little used anchorage but there were four charter cats and seven or eight monohulls when we got there. We dropped our hook in 22 feet, kicked back, and watched all the charter boats and half of the monohulls pull anchor and leave. I was wondering if someone painted Smallpox Bob on our hull. We did the snorkel and hike routine. The snorkeling was a nice workout but only fair and the hike was interesting as we bushwhacked through the Christophe Harbor Development. That is a story all by itself.

Deb had reservations at The Beach House, the best restaurant on the island. They were going to send a van to Whitehouse Bay at 5:30 to pick us up and return us when we were done. We got out the good clothes, dinked in, and the van never showed. We flagged down a cab in the middle of nowhere and made it to the Beach House. Their van was sitting right in front, busy not picking us up. Nice place, best food we’ve had in awhile and great location except that it was on the windy Atlantic side. We held up two giant glasses of Merlot and toasted another year. The glasses were big; the Merlot was in the bottom inch.

We’re travelling alone now as we did on occasion 17 years ago but more often than not, in a two to ten boat fleet. That was a nice floating party and it would have been nice to have those folks sitting around that table. They know who they are and some are trying to get back out here again. We got sad for a moment then the wine kicked in.

Christophe Harbour

I’m a hypocrite in that I condemn what we’re doing to the planet but I’ve been known to make a reservation when they’re done pouring concrete. Christophe Harbour is a ten-plus-year project to convert a salt pond into a mega-yacht complex with a golf course and associated real estate development. They are behind schedule but the machines have moved in to turn inches deep water into slips big and deep enough for mega yachts. I attached a shot, their first reservations are soon and I think it will be another year or three.

Three Fifty for a Coke

St. Barths was a nice sail. We had wind at 60 degrees so the gods are definitely against us (we had 140 to 170 on the way south). We snuck around through the Narrows between St. Kitts and Nevis to get a decent angle and close reached at 7 to 8.2 knots all the way to within a few hundred yards of where we dropped the hook. The place was packed with anchored boats on top of moored boats and many with fenders up full time. We found a small slot and dropped every bit of chain we own in 40 feet. What a zoo. St. Barths is supposed to be the beautiful people hot spot and the shops reflect that. We stopped by a small café to rehydrate and racked up $7 US for a Coke and a Ting. Lemme outta here.