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14 January 2023

7 December An early Christmas present

The batteries have arrived!! An early Christmas present for David.  Our eight new house batteries from Trojan in the US were delivered today, fully charged and ready to be fitted by David. They're heavy things; each weighing 25kgs so it was most welcome when the two younger and stronger delivery men from the chandlery offered to help lift them onto the boat. I had visions of David aggravating his sciatica and us not able to leave the dock for another month. Luckily my fears were unfounded and David's back worked fine.

Budget Marine took away the batteries, hopefully they can be recycled.

Fitting like-for-like meant it was a simple exchange.





We might just be able to leave Grenada and sail north to Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe for Christmas after all.


6 December Birthday dinner

lobster supper
It's my birthday and where else but dinner at the Aquarium to celebrate. I even had a cake with a firework!




3 December What a party!

Helen, me & Lou on Jackster

My super special girlfriends from London days Louise and Helen and Helen's husband Derek, who is now also a friend, arrived nine days ago. It should have been 10 days but their original flight got turned back to London due to a sick pilot. Nine days of fantastic catch up, hanging out on the beach at their hotel, island touring and delicious dinners. I saw Helen and Derek in England in August, Louise not since before the pandemic.

We went to Umbrellas and 61 West on the beach for cocktails and dinners. Everyone came to Jackster for dinner; Lou's first time, Helen and Derek visited us in south island NZ.

Louise, Helen, Derek at waterfall

We had a hire car for a couple of days and did a full tour, ticking off the essentials of a waterfall, feeding the monkeys, Grand Etang lake, Grenville town, the Cuban aircraft wrecks, chocolate factory and lunch with a view through torrential rain.

Annandale falls



Grand Etang

Cuban plane


It has been unusually wet for November, not what I promised when they booked their holiday, still we make the most of the time including a special dinner at our favourite restaurant, Aquarium.
dinner at Aquarium

I hung out with them at Mount Cinnamon hotel for the last couple of days before sadly saying goodbye on Saturday afternoon when they headed to the airport for their flight home. Sad to see them go, but I'll see them in the summer when I go home.

Another farewell. On the last day of November David and I said au revoir to Del & Ryan Dignity and Anita, Federico and cat Shanu – all heading west to Bonaire. We may or may not see them again, but we keep our wonderful memories. 

22 November It's not all work

In the last post I listed the myriad of jobs and upgrades we were doing, but our life isn't all work. In the last three weeks we've been having great days and nights out with friends.

Up in the hills above town there is Matt, an Italian who creates authentic pizzas in a wood fired oven. He's only open three nights a week. You sit in his garden, bring your own drinks and fend off his friendly dogs looking for an easy meal. Our Italian friends Federico and Anita led our party which included Del of Dignity and Camille of Detox.

Del, Dave, Anita, Camille & Federico

When we got back to the marina we were met on the dock by a joyous Polly. She was so pleased to see us she had to roll on her back for a tummy rub. The problem was she was so giddy she forgot where the edge of the dock was and rolled into the water! Splosh!

Fortunately she's an excellent swimmer, knew where she was (clever cat) and swam to the corner of the dock where there are pipes and cables running underneath and was able to use these to make a very swift exit. She didn't like the swim and she didn't like the fresh water shower she needed to have in the cockpit given the yowling she was doing.

Cats and water seem to go together here at Port Louis.  After my (almost) daily swim in the pool I'm occasionally joined by the resident cats Bob and newcomer JJ.

Bob

JJ







Another day out with Del, Fred and Anita was sailing on Del's catamaran Dignity. We sailed back and forth across the bay, dropped the anchor in Dragon Bay and went snorkelling on the underwater sculpture park. It wasn't the best day for a snorkel because the visibility was poor. Everything else was wonderful.

on Dignity for the day

It wouldn't be boat life if we didn't have some boat jobs. One was making a new anchor snubber. The other was to follow up on our order for house batteries.


The saga continues...our initial order at Budget Marine and 50% payment was put in on 30 September. On 27 October we received a text to say they had arrived and went to collect only to find they were Trojans but not our Trojans. They'd forgotten to put in the order in September. We were not happy and even less happy when we were given new estimated ship date of 24 November.

I have three friends, besties Louise, Helen and Derek due to arrive from the UK for a holiday tomorrow and very much looking forward to seeing them.


19 November 2022

28 October A month of boat jobs

While we wait for our batteries to arrive from the States and inspired by cooler autumn temperatures we have both been working through our 'to do' lists.

David has serviced the anchor chain wash pump and fitted new anti vibration mounts. It should have been straight forward but this is a boat and a one day job becomes a week when there's a tricky leak to fix.

More straight forward was replacing the water maker pressure gauge which had leaked glycerine with a new one I brought back from the UK.

Another job was to service and grease the main sail outhaul shaft which if left will seize into the electric gear box, service all the other sail furling motors and serviced the windlass with new clutch cones.


Turning his attention to the dinghy and outboard motors; a new water impeller in Yamaha out board and fitted the new prop (which finally arrived) on the Tohatsu out board, fitted an inline fuel filter and water separator between fuel tank and engine. We bought this filter 13 years ago and have been waiting for the right opportunity to fit! In that time it's had a free trip around the world!

In the engine room he replaced the black rubber hose in the heat exchanger system for a clear reinforced pipe to allow him to see the water flow and to see if there any foreign objects in the system such as a shredded impeller.

Together we pulled out the anchor onto the dock for a fresh water rinse and using this opportunity to reverse it so that the unused last 40m now becomes the most used first 40ms. This was the right time to add a rubber mat under the anchor chain to protect the fibre glass deck. The rubber we used can from a small hardware shop in Galapagos twelve years ago. Another item that's had a free RTW trip!

I ticked off a job I've been wanting to do for months; a deep clean and oil of the teak floors in the main cabin. Our floors are oiled, not varnished so it was a case of dust and scrub, even a toothbrush to get into the corners, under every lift out panel and under the drawers. Applying the oil was the easy part. We sanded and oiled the cockpit tables and the teak trim. Now our wood floors have a rich glow of loving care and the table is a joy to behold.



The sewing machine was pulled into action for repairs to the dinghy chaps and sunshades. There were lines of stitching coming undone, worn by friction and sun. In the end I reinforced all the seams and top stitching just to be sure.

I also made new sunshade screens for the rear of the cockpit for the times when we are on anchor, wind coming from the east and afternoon sun is blazing on us as we repose.

Boats needed inside and outside maintenance and I set to the task of a deep clean of the interior from bow to stern, washing every surface, checking cupboard hinges and handles, vacuuming under the cushions, emptying cupboards. It's amazing how many cat hairs there can be and just as amazing to find treasures I'd forgotten we had. A few items unchecked from LOB.

Reading back this list suggests we were working from dawn to dusk. Not quite there's always time for a cooling swim and a walk on the beach and to watch four F1 Grand Prixs.


 

30 September Batteries ordered

 A month ago we went to Budget Marine to enquire about availability and lead time for replacement Trojan 12v 95Ah. This is the same brand and size that we fitted in Malaysia six years ago. As they have worked well David was keen to replace like-for-like.

Since making the initial enquiry we've been chasing for a reply only to be told we'd ''fallen through the cracks''.

Last week we began the conversation once more, availability and price, and while doing our homework found a larger capacity for a few dollars more. Today we placed the order for eight 12v 115Ah to be supplied from Trojan in the US and paid a 50% deposit. The manager has quoted delivery in 3 to 4 weeks.


15 September Concord Falls

Grenada has some big hills and it's got plenty of waterfalls. Some are easy access and others require a long walk up a steep hill. We went for the combo today; Concord Falls 50m from the car park and then following the path along the river to up to Fontainbleu falls an hour and a half hike through the rainforest. We crossed the river via stepping stones about seven times, climbed over fallen trees, ducked under low branches and finally scrambled over and under boulders to reach the swimming pool at the foot of Fontainbleu. Yes, we did go for a dip, David a skinny dip! And it was refreshingly cool. The walk down was just over an hour.

We should have left it at that, but made the mistake of 'just one more'. As our route home would be taking us past the popular (because it's easier to reach) Seven Sisters Falls we felt we had time for a short walk. Except it may have been shorter than the walk to Fontainbleu, but it was an awful lot more steep uppy and downy, big steps for my little legs. The path descended sharply, rose sharply, a flat bit and then were the Seven Sisters. IMHO not very impressive compared to Seven Sisters in Langkawi which are dramatic.

The walk back to the car was hard. Our legs were tired. We'd run out of energy.

we're going to walk up there

pool at the bottom of the fall


10 September Heavy shopping


Have car, will go provisioning. A day for loading up with the heavy stuff like bulk buying cartons of orange juice, big bag of cat food and a couple of boxes of cat litter, engine oil. Although these things will be available on the other islands we'll be visiting it is much easier the car, a trolley and the boat tied to a dock then dinghy and a boat rocking on anchor.

Dinner out tonight was at the West Indies Brewery with a cheeky little boutique IPA go with our grub and a couple of games of pool after. David is good, very good and I'm just a poor amateur.

And through all this Polly sleeps in the library.

9 September The island dash

Have wheels, will fly around the island ordering and buying! We left the marina in the morning with a stack on shopping bags in anticipation of returning with each of them full. We exceeded our expectations!

First stop was the glass man to order replacement mirrors for in the heads, then on to the gas terminal to fill a propane tank, back to glass man to pick up our order and across the road for 5lbs of sprats / jacks Polly food. Driving past the marina we dropped off the first load. I said it was a dash!

Then to Budget Marine to order a propeller for the Yamaha outboard and a new set of house batteries. The prop should arrive from Tohatsu in the US in four weeks. BM have sent an availability and price request to Trojan in the US for 8 deep cycle lead acid batteries – the same ones that we've used and been happy with for 6 years. This took a long time.

Why cook when we can drive to a restaurant? Dinner this evening was curry take away from Indian Summer at the Container Park. We bought six meals, ate two and put the rest in the freezer. Crafty planning? Yep!

silvering is flaking

out with the old..

new cupboard and wall mirrors


17 November 2022

8 September A loan and a loss

Listening to BBC radio early this afternoon the programme was stopped to announce the sad news that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

Before this, in the morning, our friend Del of SV Dignity, had stopped by to ask if we would like to use his long term hire car for a week while he takes his visitor, Mickey, sailing for a few days. Of course we said ''yes please'', but Del had to check with the hire company and add David's as a named driver. We then need to go to the Police station and get a temporary local driving licence. It lasts three months and cost £20.

Our first trip out was for dinner at our favourite restaurant which is near the airport and only reachable by car or taxi.  It was our wedding anniversary last week so we were treated to a cake with fireworks,