A dinghy motor named “Freedom”

Well, we finally got a dinghy motor, delivered by a delightful couple, Sue and Peter (friends of the previous owner-Peter). It sure is nice to be able to leave the docks in it. I told Greg we need to name it “Freedom”, because without it, we wouldn’t have our freedom, now, would we! So “Freedom” it is. When he went ashore in it to get some errands done, he took the VHF and hailed me “Freedom to Aquataurus”. It sounded nice! So there it is.

Greg has cleaned the hull above waterline, all the way around:

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But we still have other things that need to get done before we leave the docks: bottom needs to be cleaned and the baggy needs to come off the prop (done by a diver), we need to lower and raise the anchor on the windlass so we are sure that is working and we know how to work it, we need to put the US Coast Guard registered numbers on the inside somewhere on the hull, and other little things, in addition…and LASTLY we need a day with little wind, so we can be sure we know how to maneuver her. If it’s blowing hard the day we want to leave, we’ll probably postpone it until we get a better weather window.

Last week, we did remove the name of the registered city (Basil) on the transom (that was sad), and we put our own hailing port (Bristol, RI). Still haven’t hung the US flag.

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OH! AND..I’m becoming an expert cooking with the pressure cooker! It takes less fuel and less time, and doesn’t heat up the cabin as much. I’ve made a great chicken dinner with potatoes and carrots, as well as a rice, chicken and pea dinner in it.

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So our routine each late afternoon, is to take a shower on the docks. After the hot sweaty day, it is amazingly refreshing. Then enjoy this view-sunset (below). Anxious to see this view on the anchor. AND can’t wait to post some photos when we are there! We are shooting for a Feb 1 to leave the docks, but as above, it depends on a lot, and if we need to stay a few more days, well, it’ll be what it’ll be. I’m not complaining! :-). I’ll enjoy these views where ever Aquataurus is.

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Knitted socks DONE!

Well, they are done! BUT I won’t be wearing them while I’m here. These will be going home with me! I can’t imagine wearing socks down here, it is so hot!

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So now on to the shawl! I’ve re-started it, and hope to be done soon! The instructions are not so complicated, and it is looking beautiful so far!

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Here are the instructions:

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Dinner with friends

We have been watching a sailing blog called RAN Sailing on YouTube since last summer. Milan and Johan left Sweden last February (2016), and we’ve been following their adventures. A few weeks ago, Greg sent an email to them, knowing that they were on their way to Martinique. After watching their adventures from Episode 1, we felt we “knew” them. Yesterday, they stopped by our boat to say hello. After yesterday afternoon and then dinner with them last night, we have truly found new friends! They are a delightful couple and we had a fantastic time visiting. Here we are after dinner at Kokoarum at Le Marin:

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I highly encourage you to follow their adventures on YouTube, here is the link:

RanSailing YouTube

I’ve also added to my home page, so scroll down to “Links” and you’ll find it there.

 

The days go on…

As we continue planning on sailing AT, things keep coming up. BUT we took Sunday afternoon off and went to a little beach that we found, nobody else was swimming there, so we aren’t sure if the water is good here in the harbor, to swim in. We just walked in to cool off, then sat in the sun for a while, then went to a little beach bar for a rum punch drink, she asked Greg something in French, and we ended up with an aperitif rum called Ti Rhum!! One was PLENTY!

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After we went back to the boat to shower and clean up (on Sunday), we went to a local bar/restaurant called Kokoarum for appetizers.

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We continue to do something every day, we got the big jib up, then found out that it was the staysail, so we had to take it down and put it up on the stay just behind it. We took the big jib out to put up, and found a section that was glued so we made the decision for Doyle to just fix that so the halyard raises easier. Want to have everything done right! Here is Greg at the mast, going to raise the jib halyard:

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Then, as he was doing that, I had to wash ALL the lines with soap and water, and rinse them. They were salty and crusty from just being here. I already did the mizzen lines last week, but here is a photo of my washing the main sail lines:

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All these little tasks keeps our days pretty busy! This isn’t a “charter boat” where everything is ready to go when we get to it! We are in complete control of EVERY system, and continue to be in daily contact with Peter (previous owner), who has been a lifesaver! Ruth (his wife) has also been a blessing, with tips from her regarding issues that I have (like sending us replacement parts for the pressure cooker!). I have never used one on a sailboat, but a neighbor here said you can cook in such a short time. And conserving fuel is important! One more issue is that this boat has a propane tank, and Martinique only sells butane tanks, so at some point we need to get to St. Lucia to refill our propane tank! And then there is the issue of documentation needed for taking Toto there! All these logistics make for sleepless nights! I now know why our live-aboard friends, Carolyn and Lloyd, sometimes take 2-3 months before they even launch their boat after they get there. Definitely not the “charter” life! But, hey, we are loving this, it’s our new home and we need to do things right, no matter how long it takes!

THEN…Greg and our friend Tobi (local here), have been working on our outboard motor for the dinghy (still not working). They found a broken piece, and Greg has been trying to fix it. No success yet. But if we don’t have a dinghy motor, we don’t leave the docks. It’s pretty crucial. So, they are still trying to fix that part. But the next option is to purchase a new outboard motor. Another complication logistically! Martinique (being French) does not allow 2-stroke engines. They only sell 4-stroke engines (I leave all this kind of stuff to Greg and Tobi!). St. Lucia does, but Greg found out they are out of motors until March! But Grenada has some! THEN there is the logistics of getting one! And bringing it here through customs! WHEW, a lot to learn!

Anyway, this is just an update of what we are still dealing with! Still haven’t left the docks, (can’t without a dinghy!), but little things every day, we are getting there! I’m wondering if we will even LEAVE the docks by Feb 1! But, this is a great alternative life to being in MN in a 6 BR house on 2 acres! Sun, breeze, being done by 4-5pm, shower up, cocktail time, enjoying the breezes and our accomplishments of the day. Just a bit of the end of a typical day (this sun and breeze exhausts Toto! He has slept SO SOUNDLY every night!):

And a favorite photo I took last night:

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Settling in

Well, the days are getting to be routine now, we are getting used to AT, we have all necessities: water, power, gas, etc. I fried up potatoes for dinner last night, and made asparagus soup (ok, it was a packet left by Peter and Ruth, but tasted delicious when reconstituted!).

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Yesterday we put on the mizzen sail and main sail. In between the rain showers. Was raining off and on all day (at least it’s not snow! I don’t miss that!), anyway, they are on. She looks like a sailboat now! One glitch is that the outboard to the dinghy isn’t working. We are going to have somebody look at it, but without that, we are pretty much out of commission, as this is our main mode of transportation when we anchor! And we extended our departure date off the docks to Feb 1, no need to rush things, we still have a lot of stuff to figure out and put back together to sail. I feel like we are truly “live aboards” now!

Also, yesterday, poor Toto woke up with his “gurgly tummy” that he occasionally has. Didn’t eat all day, pretty much slept all day. He’s better this morning, actually ate breakfast. I think the stress of the last week (driving to Illinois, flying to Miami, staying in a hotel, flying to FDF, staying at a bungalow and now, on AT), pretty much got to him. I guess it was kind of a stressful week-has it only been a week? Seems longer.

I’m progressing on knitting my socks-I’m almost done with the 2nd one. I’ll post a picture when I’m done. And I’ve already made 2 dish cloths for AT. But have yet to restart my shawl! Susie I haven’t forgotten that you want the pattern! I’ll get it to you!