Sunday, December 29, 2013

Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada

Happy Holidays everyone!
We made it to Grenada with a pleasantly surprising overnight sail.  Neither of us got much sleep after being keyed up for the first trip in over 6 months, but the wind was steady, the waves relatively calm and traffic light.  There had been some recent pirate attacks off of Venezuela, so we kept a "weather eye on the horizon" but luckily didn't see any nefarious ne'er-do-wells and were in the company of several other cruisers making the passage.  Once we arrived, we went straight to the captiol city of St. George and settled in for a week.

Kellee has been preparing for her Padi dive instructor class and spent her days at the dive shop going through the course.  It went well, she is now an emergency first response instructor and plans to take her instructor examination in Florida.  She would've liked to do it here, but Padi sends someone from California to do the testing and it wasn't worth it for them for just two candidates, so she'll keep studying and hope that goes well!

Chris put the boat to rights.  We left Trini with the minimum done, so he spent the week catching up on projects, doing some shopping and enjoying the pool!  After the week, we were ready to have some fun, so we headed up the coast a bit to a marine park mooring with plans for diving the next day.

 Little did we know that "typhoon Rudolph" was going to wreak havoc over Grenada on Christmas Eve.  The weather forecast had no indication of a big thunderstorm that lasted all night.  We pitched and rolled and had to re-secure some of our deck gear, but the mooring thankfully held.  Around 4 in the morning, Chris saw a couple of red flares go up and we tried calling the Coast Guard.  We couldn't hail them on the radio, but finally got through on 911.  The next morning, the water was very murky and still rolly, so we abadoned our plans and headed for calmer anchorage.  As we passed the next bay, we saw a sailboat on the rocks with her crew onshore.  We called 911 again just to make sure they had responded and were happy to see a Grenadian Coast Guard boat pass us about an hour later.  Some locals described the storm as bad as feeling their house was going to shake apart, like an earthquake.

Once we got into Clarkes Court Bay (historically important for the rum trade), we spent Christmas sleeping and talking to family.  It wasn't really a typhoon, and we named it in the Christmas Eve spirit, but it was definitely memorable.  Since then, we've been in cruiser chill mode.  Reading, working on fun projects like Kellee's quilt and Chris' videos and trying to get back in shape doing swimming and stretching.  Despite being active people, our land touring made us soft!  We're also getting excited for our upcoming visits from the Coles and Berubes and planning our route north through the Bahamas.  It's hard to believe we're on glide-slope now and we are anxious for the email to come through with our new job assignments.

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and look forward to a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Back on the boat. Great feeling.

Our 6-month, round-the-world "Eurafricoz" trip is in the books, and we flew from Cairns, Australia to Port of Spain, Trinidad with a short 4 day stop in Honolulu to visit Tom, who hooked us up with an awesome room at the "Modern" hotel in Waikiki.  During the stop, we were able to visit with some great friends, do some shopping at reasonable prices in the USA, get our mail, and generally get situated for the mental transition back to Navigator.

Unfortunately, the 10 time-zones and 160 degrees of longitude that we crossed have our internal clocks messed up pretty well. But that's ok!

Upon arrival, we found Navigator right where we left her, just a lot dirtier.  After 6 months sitting in a dirt lot next to a highway, she needed some TLC.  So we spent the last 4 days getting ready to launch…painting the bottom, varnishing the teak, washing the hull and deck, hoisting sails, servicing the engine, stowing our gear, and generally getting her ship-shape.

Tomorrow afternoon we launch Navigator.  We'll spend a couple days getting situated, and then when weather, equipment and tide permits, we'll sail for Grenada.  Kellee is signed up for a Dive Instructor class in Grenada (through PADI) next week, which will be an awesome experience and qualification, and Chris will spend the week knocking off a few minor maintenance items (for instance, the starboard cabin fan or the starboard cabin light will work - but not both), and also working on his YouTube Navigation Training videos (links above).

Beyond that, we're excited to have some visitors coming to Grenada after the New Year…after which we set sail for the Greater Antilles and start the long voyage back to New England.