February 2013 ~ Warm Water Again

Chronological Order

Day 898 ~ Adventure in the MedFebruary 28th, 2013

I ripped into the port headsail winch, which has been squeaking a little lately.  Went pretty smoothly and Nika, my most mechanical one, actually showed some interest in how it worked.  After breakfast I went to town to check into Nevis.  Other than rubber stamping my form and taking money for the use of the mandatory mooring balls there really wasn't much point.  Oh, wait, the money was the point.  The port had free wifi, a bench and an outlet, so I was able to take care of some client projects at least.  The seating was soft and even in the shade.   Can't ask for much more.

I decided to walk around town a bit and scope out the provisioning situation.  Lisa would insist that preparing food, eating and cleaning up thereafter takes up way too much time.  That is certainly true with the kids around.   Solo, or just her and I, I think meals would take up very little time.   But alas, Nina is eating like a sumo wrestler and Nana is "hungry" 6 times a day.  I think some growth spurts might be brewing.

Upon asking a local where the grocery store was, we struck up a conversation and he offered to take me.  Bought a few things and then returned about the time the girls were finishing up school.  When Infinity returned from town, all 6 girls were in the water swimming back and forth from each other's boat until it was time for dinner.  Their crew came about 6pm and we shared a large pot of spaghetti together while hearing about their Mediterranean adventures.

 

Day 897 ~ Riding the School BusFebruary 27th, 2013

Although St Kitts and Nevis are one country, they require cruisers to check in and out of each before going to the other.  Of course, one can't do it ahead of time and there is no extra fee required.  Instead, you must return to Basseterre within 24 hours of your departure to Nevis to get official permission to go there.  Then, once there, you must stop in Charlestown and hand in your paper before you're allowed to continue exploring the smaller island.

Infinity obtained permission yesterday so must get to Nevis sometime today.  We go where kid boats go.  Rather than take the boat or the dinghy 3 miles back, I opt to find a bus.  Climb up and over the hill, a feat in and of itself, then it flattens out.  Ask a local if there is a bus out here and he says no.  I walk a bit further and ask a second opinion and get the same answer.  Up ahead, however, I see someone in the "waiting for a bus" posture.  Turns out he's a med. student and is waiting for the school's bus.  The driver doesn't mind if I ride so we're off.  We bypass town and, due to the security check at the school, I get off while the bus makes its rounds inside the complex.  He then gives me a ride to town on his way out and doesn't even accept money.  Nice.  Asking how I get back where I started, he suggested to skip the $16 solo taxi ride and share a taxi with a group of cruise ship tourists where the fare would only be $4 for the same ride.

Customs rituals were simple and, now being behind the sacred cruise ship area, I scoped out my target crowd with the snow white skin.  Upon arrival, I acted like one of them and took the opportunity to ask for a wifi voucher as well.  Unfortunately, there were no more vouchers so they had to give me the master password for the admin site.  It was only because they had to try several times to get it to hook up that I was able to see the password.  Darn.

Talked to Infinity about their plans a bit while the girls were finishing school.  We left shortly after they pulled their anchor.  Nice calm sail to Nevis.  Anchored out and decided it was too late to go check in.  Went together to the beach instead and chatted while the girls played.

 

Day 896 ~ A Lucky FindFebruary 26th, 2013

Did the Customs first thing.  All the officers were busy with the 2 recently arrived cruise ships so waited a while.  $12 fee, $35 for port authority fees of all sizes.  Free water and dinghy dock access so that makes life a little better.

Girls were finishing lessons when I returned so we packed lunch and water and set off for town.  Rainy/spitty day so good time to wander about town (not too hot and sunny).  Checked out a few sites and purchased postcards for friends and family back home.  Sun came out later.  The anchorage is a bit rolly so we packed up and sailed for quieter calmer waters aiming for one of the southern bays on the tip of St. Kitts.  Look forward to getting away from civilization for a while.

As we sailed south, I thought I saw the distinctive lines of a Halberg-Rassey, so we tacked in closer.   Sure enough, it was Infinity, a British kid boat we met in St. Maarten but who had left a couple of weeks ago.   A lucky find.  Girls were ready for the beach in no time and played 'til sun began to set.   Ahh, English speaking boat girls.   

 

Day 895 ~ Escaping St. MaartenFebruary 25th, 2013

Had to make one more run for some dinghy gas and a few last-minute essentials.   I was just tying up at the fuel dock when a huge mega-yacht tender pulled in.  He beat me and my 4 gallon container by 15 seconds, max.   He then proceeded to take on 2,000 liters of fuel.  Ouch.  After being here for nearly 3 months, you wouldn't think another hour would matter much, but it was all I could do to cool my jets and just sit there waiting.   Then, I went in to pay and the computers were down.   Hmmm, is this a plot?

Finally zipped out the canal to Simpson Bay for what, I hope, will be the final time for a long time.  St. Maarten has been good to us in many ways, but it's long past time to be moving on.  I shudder to think what our anchor chain has grown.

We welcomed Bruce back into the family about 9:45 am.  Our chain looked like some kind of marine botany experiment and stunk terribly of old dead fish. The lower portion of the bridal had 4 inch twigs growing every which way out of every link.   They were firmly attached.

Raised the main and head sails and sailed south at last.  The winds were fickle at first, swirling around St. Maartens peaks, but filled in nicely once we were well clear.   I expected to bounce around a bit, but the seas were wonderfully flat while the wind was perfectly full, just ahead of the beam 12-16 knots.   With our clean bottom we made good time.   It was really nice to have a speed output in the cockpit again.   

As we rounded the northern end of St. Kitts, the wind piped up for a few miles then completely disappeared in the wind shadow of Mt. Misery at 3,700 feet.   It was almost fun motoring with two working transmissions again.   We purred the last hour and a half past rolling verdant hills, golden sugar cane fields and misty valleys snaking up to lush tropical peaks.  We pulled into Basseterre's anchorage just after the sun had set and dunked old Bruce again.

Rocky anchorage, but perhaps a bit less than our home of one month in St. Maarten so not sure we'll even notice.

 

 

Day 894 ~ Getting CloseFebruary 24th, 2013

There's a sure way to start a Sunday off right: Swedish Pancakes.   A hectic day with a million last minute things to do before we get underway tomorrow (hopefully).  Samantha stopped by, now that they finally have a working dinghy again, and brought us out forgotten paper products.  Buzzed to town to pick up our faithful bicycle and make another trip to Market Garden for a few last items.

We had arranged the day before for a tour of our neighboring catamaran, Razzle Dazzle.  It's 23 years old and was way ahead of its time, sporting features that mainstream cats have just recently discovered.

Stopped by Customs to check-out.  Cost us $167 for the privilege of hanging on our own hook in their bay for four weeks.   The Dutch understand business, their free-trade zone attracts all the action, then they charge you for being close to it.  I guess you pay one way or another.

Girls were going to serve us dinner, playing "restaurant" in the process.   A short trip tomorrow morning to get a couple forgotten items and we should be able to sail away.

 

Day 893 ~ Mobile Pawn ShopFebruary 23rd, 2013

Lagoonies, a marina and restaurant bar affair is trying to steal some of Time Out's action on the flea market thing  I had swung by a couple of times on previous Saturdays only to find little action.   A few people with some old books, DVDs and not much more.   But we have a few treasures that really need a new home, so Lisa headed over with bags of old bilge pumps, paper charts and various kitchen and tableware items.

I hiked up to to Cash & Carry (a Costco lite) for our major pre-trip shopping run.   Having scoped out the lay of the land ahead of time, things went smoothly.  By the time I had taxied back to Budget and loaded the dinghy with multiple shopping cart runs, a couple of hours had passed.   I puttered over to Lagoonies and found Lisa smiling from ear to ear.   She had sold all but a handful of items, including our old bilge pump, binoculars that came with the boat, glass dishes that were used for the previous charter business and a large wind scoop that we came with another we bought on eBay for a small side port.  Made $59 in all, considerably more than the better-attended cruiser's flea market held once a month.   I guess you just never know 'til you try.

Took our returns to Budget and Island Water World and ended up forgetting to load our bulk bags of paper towels, kleenex and TP which the taxi driver had off-loaded.  Lisa went later and found the items still on the cart, just moved inside the store.

While I worked on the boat, the kids went to Samantha for lunch and then the entire crew went on a dinghy treasure hunt at 3pm followed by beach time after.   They came home all smiles sporting new Island Water World swim shirts and other cool gadgets.

 

Day 892 ~ FlooredFebruary 22nd, 2013

We should be leaving today.  The winds have slackened and are ideal for a sail southward.

Instead, we did breakfast and lessons.  Today's project was putting the watermaker back together.  I have completely replumbed the intake side so that I no longer have to dive into a hot engine room just to flip valves and change filters.   More trips to town, more parts.  Starfish (a boat tender) came by again, only this time with diesel.  Same price as ashore and he delivers right the boat.  A great deal and a huge time savings.

The girls brought a hammock back from Alaska which they rigged between the mast and the head sail.   Nika loves it!   She was swinging in it every spare minute today.  I went to town around 3pm to get steering parts and a 3G USB modem which, in theory, will give us connectivity on every island.   I am a bit skeptical, but we'll see.

Finished moving the watermaker to a more accessible location.  By 5pm, all key and critical boat projects were complete.  We should be free to leave, emphasis on should.  However, on a whim, I went into the starboard forward locker.   The hatch had leaked considerably in Maine and I knew there was some clean up involved.   I emptied out the bumpers and bins and found that the glass plywood floor was suspiciously springy.   Glass and ply work fine as long as there is not exposed wood.   Well, crawling around on my hands and knees, I found where one of the previous owners had drilled a 1/4" hole in the floor for some-odd purpose.   That was all it took.   I opened up the access panel and reached underneath the floor.  I began to pull chunks of plywood out with my hands.  

Now what?   We could leave and tackle this 'on the road', or stick around for another few days and try and get it fixed properly.   We opted for the latter using the "you have been here for three months, what's a few more days?" logic.  I'll have to get, you guessed it!, more epoxy!   With that, some brushes and other consumables, I should be able to complete this fix in any remote spot in which we choose to "enjoy paradise".  Translated, it's really fixing boats in exotic locations.   Now where did we hear that?

 

Day 891 ~ Land ShowersFebruary 21st, 2013

Went to go check out another cruiser's watermaker pump he announced for sale on the net.   Since his boat was on the French side and the laundry is piling up again we decided to make a morning of it.  I dropped Lisa and girls off at the laundromat begin the washing while checked out the parts, took measurements and talked price.   The guy is asking more than I am willing to pay since I don't need all the plumbing parts, filters, etc.  It's just not worth it.   He is upgrading his from 12 gallons an hour to 40 since his charter guests like to take long showers.   Land people, I remember how that felt.

Lisa and Nina went to town to get to the post office within their 1.5 hours of opening time per day.   Postal workers here have it pretty good.

Tackled some client work in the afternoon.

 

Day 890 ~ Samantha FunFebruary 20th, 2013

We heard on the cruiser's net that Starfish delivers fuel and water, so we gave him a call.   He showed up this morning and topped our newly fixed water tanks for a whopping $11.   Now that's a screaming deal and saved me plenty of dinghy gas and labor to boot.

Stopped by Atlantic Marine and picked up my steering quadrant/rocker arm gizmo.   It's tight and smooth now, much better.

After lessons the Samantha girls came over for a swimming and boogie boarding fest.  Took them back just before sunset and swung by town for a baguette on the way back.

 

Day 889 ~ Oven Mitt MysteryFebruary 19th, 2013

Lessons in the morning.  Cash & Carry, Market Garden for groceries.  Taking the oven mitts on a shopping trip baffled the girls the first time.  "What are oven mitts for?" I asked when hit with the quizzical stares. 

"For touching hot things!" Nana shot back, incredulous.   "What hot things are there at the grocery store?" I countered, trying to get her to think it all through.  Nana's answer revealed the level of French thinking that has been absorbed.  "Ahhhh, baguettes!" she answered.  "Well, maybe, but not in this case..."   I left them all scratching their heads.

"Pass me the hot pads," I murmured as our turn in the checkout line drew near. The girls grimaced in embarrassment until I opened the Haagen Dazs freezer and slipped a pint of Vanilla Bean into one mitt, and wrapped the other around it for maximum heat exclusion.  Then the light bulbs came on.

 

Day 888 ~ The Magical LimeFebruary 18th, 2013

Wind has finally shifted back toward the east causing our anchorage to be less chaotic though it is still a bit rocky.

Lisa took care of lessons and I finished cleaning the port water tank, finally.  At least now we can top up with water as needed.  Went to Island Water World to drop off our propane tanks before 9am.   You leave your empty tanks and pay for them, then pick them up full after 3pm.   Island Water World is very cruiser friendly.

Lunch then computer work while Lisa played Angry Birds.  She worked 'til her back hurt yesterday so taking it easy today.  Much to the girls' delight she won level after level.   I guess she's a natural.  

Took Nana and Nika out on the boogie board and both got up on their knees.  Dashed off to Island Water World for parts and to pick up our propane.

Lisa had found two frozen Cornish Game Hens at the bottom of the fridge.  "Where are these from?" she asked.   I had to dust off some dim memories to recall that Steven and I, while bach'ing it at the Yacoe's Long Island house, bought them in November figuring that they would be our Thanksgiving Day "bird".   Didn't turn out that way as we sailed out of the harbor that morning and headed for Bermuda.

We grilled up the birds and Nana presented a Key Lime pie for dessert.  Yum.   There's just something magical about Lime down here that never made sense in Alaska.

 

Day 887 ~ Boogie Board DiscoveryFebruary 17th, 2013

Still rocking and rolling in our anchorage due to southeasterly winds.  Some rain squalls during the night.  Lazy Sunday.  I tinkered on a few minor projects in the morning.  Hard-wired the rope light into the Courtesy Lights circuit so I don't have to fuss with it and do a little dance every time I want to turn it on.  The SeaDog deck power connection has always lived up to it's name.  Dog.   Getting doused by numerous waves on our passage here didn't help much.

Tried pulling the girls on our new boogie board with the dinghy.  Nika and Nina did great.  Nina got up on her knees and really had a blast skimming along.

I then took 'give-me-red-meat-or-give-me-death' Nina on a date to Burger King while the other two played in the dinghy and Lisa scrubbed the cockpit floor.

Nana, with Nika's help, made Key Lime pie for dessert and they all served Lisa and I a Sunday dinner at their 'restaurant'.

 

Day 886 ~ Sea Pearl in the SurfFebruary 16th, 2013

Girls did lessons while I worked.  After lunch they paddled to the beach in Sea Pearl to meet Samantha and Evenstar for some play time.

Wind has shifted more to south causing the anchorage to be quite rocky which quickly gets old.  The swells coming in made getting Sea Pearl to the beach and back out and exercise in daring and seamanship.   The girls did great, actually.  

The kids had a great time boogie boarding in the surf.  The cost is sleeping with an extra load of sand in their beds, but the smiles, sun tans and exhaustion are well worth it.

Back for dinner and a read.

 

Day 885 ~ Last GlassFebruary 15th, 2013

Epoxied the last of the fiberglass on port water tank.  Painted a glass/epoxy sample with off-white to see if it would stick and seems to work fine.   Lessons while Nina and I went to Island Water World and Grand Marché for some groceries.

Took the afternoon off.  Now that we have a boogie board, I thought I'd see how it does behind the dinghy.  Nika tried it first then Nina was actually able to get up on her knees.  Stayed on the eastern side of the channel as the swell is coming in pretty good.  Much calmer there.

 

Day 884 ~ Stop is a GoFebruary 14th, 2013

When we had the mechanic here working on the starboard ignition problem we noticed that the stop switch no longer worked either.  Argh!  This is a much simpler wiring setup that the starter side, so I should be able to crack this myself.  Just have to push 12V out to the solenoid.  Fiddled around a while and finally figured it out.  Started the engine, then stopped it with the switch.  Ahh, much better.

Tackled epoxy and glass work next until 1:30pm.  Worked on the computer in the afternoon while girls went to the beach to meet Samantha for some much needed off-boat exercise.

 

Day 883 ~ Stewing Good StuffFebruary 13th, 2013

Lessons, more epoxy (almost finished), work a bit.  Teleconference happened on a picnic table across from a restaurant while planes flew overhead and a small child tripped and skinned her knees on the sidewalk.  Thank goodness for Skype's mute button.  More work is good, I guess, but not sure when I'll ever get it all done.   The reality is that cruising and maintaining a cruising boat is also a full time job.

Took afternoon off and played with the girls building Lego structures while Lisa went to town to see about stamps for Nina's postcards.

Made a big pot of Nina's favorite beef stew.  She must be growing again as food is on her mind pretty much all the time.  She was finally "stuffed" after 5 bowls, an amount that would have had a genuine cowpoke buckled over in pain.

 

Day 882 ~ Board to DeathFebruary 12th, 2013

Lessons went well.  More epoxy in the port water tank.  Wifi in the anchorage is working well and making life much easier for me.  Left to get supplies and look at a boogie board we heard about on the cruiser's net for $10.   When I got there, they pulled it out and admitted it had some rat chew marks they had forgotten about.   "Ahh, those just add character."  The poor folks had picked up a large rat somewhere in Mexico and battled it for weeks while it chewed through wiring and water lines at a whim.   They finally won.

Returned, to the girls' delight, with the boogie board then worked for a bit while Lisa and the kids went to the beach with Samantha and Liberator (boy and girl) to try out the new board.   It was a big hit.  Finally hooked up with Infinity who has 3 girls.  Surf was big, perfect for their new toy.

Went to pick up crew around 5:30p.  Was planning to swim in but the day had been cool and cloudy so chickened out and just came home.

Dinner, book, bed.

 

Day 881 ~ Doctor DieselFebruary 11th, 2013

One of the great things about St. Maarten is that there are so many cruisers here, many virtually permanently, that you can find just about any skill set needed to give you a hand.  Being cruisers, they understand the never ending money problem and look at issues from your perspective.

After replacing the ignition switch per Gordy's recommendation, with no success, I decided to call "Dr. Diesel" a German cruiser who advertises on the net every few days.  

He arrived promptly on time and dove right in.  I wasn't surprised to learn that I had some corroded wiring issues.  Knew that already.   The trick was that he knew exactly which wires to cut and splice where.

Regular lesson day.  Found wifi on boat so I can work from home at last.  Got a client call just when the wifi quit so had to rush off to Yacht Club to finish saving their day.

Squally all day.  High winds, intermittent rain.  S/V Liberator came over late afternoon to go to the beach but the clouds let loose so instead the kids played on the rope swing in between bursts.

 

Day 880 ~ Sunday with SamanthaFebruary 10th, 2013

Had a pleasant Sunday morning.  Opted for a breakfast of French toast since the old baguette parts were piling up.   Nika was crushed.

We invited Samantha over for a swim and late lunch in the afternoon.  A great time was had by all.   If Samantha were still cruising, we'd probably stick together for a good long time.

 

Day 879 ~ Pitas GaloreFebruary 9th, 2013

Girls knocked out more math and I went to Ace and Cash 'n Carry by bike.  The girls now have a penchant for pitas and CnC is the only place that carries them.  I then returned to gather the computer and head to the Taste Factory to knock out several hours worth of hanging computer projects.

Girls took Sea Pearl to the beach to hang out with Samantha and Ooma.  I joined them later and towed them home.  Leftovers for dinner and a Lord of the Rings read before bed.

 

Day 878 ~ Healthy ExampleFebruary 8th, 2013

The laundry has been mounting.  Lisa found several piles while cleaning and then we've generated more in the week and a half since the girls arrived.  Facilities are limited to a handful of full service places for either $1 per kilo or $10-14 per load and one self-serve on the opposite side of the Lagoon, a decent dinghy ride. 

The debate is how many "loads" we have.  Lisa's guess was that she could do it in 3-4 loads which likely translates to 6-7 at the full-serve places.  That's around $75 just to swish some clothes in soap and wring them out.  Please.  Plus, with the constant and balmy Caribbean breeze as our dryer, we really only need it washed.  The self-serve is a long slog, but we finally decided that the $30+ savings was worth a trip to the French side, plus it's been a long time since I had an afternoon off. 

Leaving Nina to 'hang out' by her 13 year old self with a radio and boat neighbors nearby, we loaded the dinghy and went for it.  Dusty two year old memories returned and we found the dinghy dock and a shopping cart waiting; didn't even need to haul the laundry by hand.  I went to the grocery store to get some Euros while Lisa loaded the machines.  While we waited for the last load to finish, the girls and I enjoyed a leisurely dinghy ride around the Lagoon and then a baguette and Häagen-Dazs lunch.   Ahh, just what the doctor ordered.  The gas station where we parked sells fuel at a $1 = 1€ rate so took advantage of the good deal and topped up the tank.

Once back, I headed out for a couple of hours to take care of some client projects.

 

Day 877 ~ Impeller ReplacementFebruary 7th, 2013

Another sunny day and Lisa is happy to be back in the tropics despite the week-long cleaning frenzy.  After breakfast, the girls hit their math books and I went to town to knock out some client projects.  Returned after noon for lunch and tools to get the dinghy motor working again at a guy's dive shop in the Lagoon.   He is letting me use his hoist for free.  Can't complain about that.

This time I had all the right tools and managed to remove the entire lower unit, replace the impeller and put it all back together without stripping any bolts or breaking anything.  That's incredible when you consider that the aluminum outboard has been in nearly continuous salt water use for 6 years.   I would buy another 25hp 2-stroke Tohatsu in a heartbeat if I needed one.   The thing is a tank.

Turns out the old impeller was still intact, but worth replacing once I got in there.  My only guess now is that there is salt build-up somewhere in the head that is restricting the flow.   Muriatic acid is my next move.

The girls went to meet other kids at the beach in Sea Pearl and I joined them later.  

Made curry for dinner.

 

Day 876 ~ StumpedFebruary 6th, 2013

During the cruiser's net, we heard another kid boat announce their arrival so we called to arrange a beach meeting.  The kids are 13 and almost 15, from Britain and have lived aboard seven years.  Evenstar also joined us.  The girls had a light math day to ease back into the school schedule.  We'll resume our normal routine on Monday.

After another round of epoxy on the port water tank, I went off to find wifi and the place where I'll be able to work on our dinghy motor.  Returned about 2:30 to take the girls to meet their friends.

Motor wouldn't come off so we hoisted the whole dinghy up.   Wound up not having several needed tools so will have to try again tomorrow with all the right parts.

 

Day 875 ~ A Close ShaveFebruary 5th, 2013

Squally all morning.  Girls hung out and decorated their now clean rooms while I went to town to work, chase down parts and find a place to work pull the dinghy out of the water to work on the outboard.  Returned about 2pm to take the girls to the kid activity at 3pm.  Picked up Samantha girls on the way.  Kids made homemade barometers and played a couple of group games to expend energy while I just sat down and rested.  Nice to take a break from the busyness.

Returned to find black shards on every flat surface, soot on the galley walls, a funny smell and one of the stove burners still on and flaming.   A burner had been left on and something had been burned to oblivion all the while we were creating and having fun.  Needless to say, it's a good thing we still have a boat.  Best we can figure is a plastic bag clip fell from the shelf above onto the burner.

Lisa got out the vacuum and bucket to vacuum and wipe-down the galley and salon while I made chicken soup for the crew.   As you can guess, she was real excited about having to re-clean.

 

Day 874 ~ Gone in a JifFebruary 4th, 2013

Noisy night with Super Bowl activity until the wee hours.  Hard to sleep.  Calm, little wind.

Lisa stayed aboard and continued dressing up the boat.

Tackled the water tank fix first thing then off to do computer work and chase down a dinghy motor fix.   I suspect the impeller is shot as the the exhaust water flow just isn't what it used to be.

Returned after lunch and took kids to Samantha. Lisa and I went to check out Le Grand Marché, a larger and potentially cheaper grocery than the one the mega-yachties use.  Large alright.  There were so many selections.  There were even US products that we've never seen, like Jif peanut butter in maple, white chocolate and dark chocolate flavors, 4 different brands of cocoa powder, and 3 different brands of rubbing alcohol.

Returned with Sofia, from sailboat Samantha, so the girls could play on our boat.  Got a call from a key client so I dashed to town to snag some wifi and save the day.

 

Day 873 ~ A SundayFebruary 3rd, 2013

Made our traditional Swedish Pancakes and Lisa kept cleaning.  Nina and I dingied over to check email and wander around a bit.  Snagged a few groceries.

Later on, we met a kid boat in front of us in the anchorage, Liberator.  The boat is from Massachusetts.   The kids came over to play and swim for a bit.

 

Day 872 ~ Business DealsFebruary 2nd, 2013

Once a month the Time Out Boatyard hosts a Saturday morning flea market.   It sounded interesting, so we made plans to meet Samantha there.   At the last minute, the girls decided to make some sea glass jewelry to sell.   I was a bit skeptical, but kept my cynical thoughts to myself while they bustled around making display panels and twisting wire.   I even helped set the prices, which is always a tricky point.

It's a bit of a dingy slog from the Simpson Bay through the bridge, through the lagoon and all the way to the French side but our outboard ran like a top and we skimmed our way there like a purple streak of wet lightening, throwing up occasional blasts of spray.  Nika, ever the power toy fiend, sat at the very front, her nose in the wind like a hound with flowing long blond hair, smiling from ear to ear.

The Time Out Boat yard is everything that Bobby's Megayard is not.   Expensive, no.   Organized, no.   Tidy, no.   Clean by boat yard standards, hardly.   They don't even make a pretense of keeping the weeds at bay.   You can tell how much attention a boat has received based on the flora exploding out from around each hull.   There are literally mastless, rusted out hulls lying askew that one must walk around to get places.   Some real jewels.   Each someone's dream turned inside out, gone sour and probably willfully forgotten.

The Time Out Boat yard is very, very French and very, very busy.   As we approached there was already a huge flotilla of dingies crammed on to every available inch of dock space.   I had to tie like three layers out.   This was a good sign.

And deals were going down.   I met the guy who wanted my marine speakers right away and soon had $50 in hand.   Lisa setup her displays with Samantha on a large sheet and enjoyed some mom-to-mom visiting.   The girls arranged their jewelry in earnest debating where to put what.   I zipped off and pocketed some amazing minor deals, solid bronze check valve, $2 instead of $22.   LED lights, 3 for $20 bucks instead fo $24.95 each.   Lots of little minor parts of various flavors.   If one was outfitting a boat, you could find just about everything you needed, perhaps not in perfect condition, but here.   A boat junkies dream.

As I was moving back down the main strip towards our crew, I noticed a lady coming towards me that was sporting a sea glass necklace which looked strikingly familiar.   My heart lept for those girls who had worked so hard all evening and morning.   As I approached they went ecstatic -- "Papa, papa we have sold $18 dollars worth of jewelry!"   It's like free money.   Before the day was out they had pulled in $27.   Nina immediately translates that into "loaves of bread I didn't have to bake", which came out to something like 12.

Back aboard, Lisa tackled still more cleaning in afternoon.   I took the girls to the beach to play with Samantha and Evenstar so Lisa could work in peace.

 

Day 871 ~ SmilesFebruary 1st, 2013

So I knew the boat wasn't spotless, but Lisa didn't say much.  She just got right into cleaning mode and didn't really stop until well after lunch.

I was head down in the water tank still so Lisa offered to take the girls to the beach to meet another family aboard Evenstar.  They have a 12 and 15 year old and just began their cruising life from Rhode Island this fall.  Their daughter, 12, was happy to have girls to play with.

The girls came back with the beginnings of a persistant sunburn and all smiles.