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Oh my Blog - How I have neglected you

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Today's date - 5th February 2019 - Its hard to believe that I have not visited this blogsite since 2015.  I remember so well at the beginning of our adventure aboard MoondancerX how vital it was that I write and publish posts even when the internet connections were so bad that it would take hours to post just a couple of photographs and a little bit of text.
In September 2008 when Tony, my son Johnny and I left Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club we were so 'fresh' and excited about what was to come - Oh did I forget to say 'nervous'.   The preparations Tony and I made to MoondancerX took 2 years.  She was already an ocean going boat but needed a few major repairs and updates and we needed education, most of which we got through the Bluewater Cruising Association, a great organization to belong to if planning to go offshore.  And now that I am back I still value the company and sharing of common experiences with other 'doners' - and what is as important to the …

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015 – Great Abaco Island
Its Boxing Day now, it was supposed to be a race day in the Sea of Abaco hosted by the Hopetown Sailing Club, but for some reason at 8.15am it was postponed until next week due to inclement weather.It would have been a great race day with tons of wind and sunshine – maybe they thought it was too windy, or maybe the organizers were suffering Christmas Day hangover, I know I was, but was still looking forward to the wind blowing away the cobwebs.Hopetown is a lovely little town on Elbow Cay but not somewhere I would want to be for that much time, so I’m back in Marsh Harbour.

Its not that Marsh Harbour is particularly beautiful but it is the hub of Abaco and has the life sustaining facilities.Its also where I don’t feel guilty about running my generator for many hours trying to get my batteries up to 100% capacity.I was given a battery monitor by another lovely couple on Sargo, John and Lory.They didn’t need it and John definitely felt I needed help wit…

Life on Great Abaco Island – Bahamas

Its now December 20th 2015, almost Christmas and that time of year when the urge to be home with my family becomes quite consuming and of course a bit sad.

I got back to Marsh Harbour mid-October, spent 2 weeks living on board in Marsh Harbour Boat Yard with 10,000,000 little biting bastards that left almost no skin unbitten anywhere on my body; noseeums – worse itch than most mosquitos.
Its always tough living on board in a boat yard but its bound to be as that’s not where boats are supposed to be – on land.But of course it’s the necessary evil – boats cannot be submerged in water without protection from all of the little underwater critters who will embed themselves in the fiberglass, not to mention just the water getting in, so we haul our boats out regularly and spend lots of money painting the soon to be submerged part.
And then of course while its out of the water there are all of the other projects
to get done.So me and the little bastards lived together for 2 weeks, every evening …

Grand Turk to Great Abaco - 450 miles

9th – 13th May 2015

We were all pretty glad to get out of GrandTurk, maybe we were there at the wrong time of year, but even if it were the height of their season (whatever that is) there was little to offer the sailing cruiser.Perhaps the cruise ship terminal has sucked all of the life out of the tiny island, and as we didn’t go to the terminal (no interest in doing so) we didn’t see where all the life went.
And the biggest issue on my mind was FUEL FILTER, or lack thereof.The marine supply store didn’t have one. So we were going to have to sail pretty much all of the way there because I was saving whatever filtering ability the one I had installed to get us in through the hazardous reefs leading into Great Abaco Island. And as we were going to be in the Atlantic Ocean all the way there I fully expected us to be using the trades to get us there.

And that’s exactly what we did – it was generally great sailing, mostly broad reaching,generally always heading north west with a few sail alter…

Grand Turk 6th - 9th May 2015

Grand Turk 6th – 9th May
As we approached, kinda limped into Grand Turk we called (as one does) the Harbour Authority to ask if we could go straight to the Town Site as we only wanted to anchor once, while we got all of the earlier described problems dealt with. A very nice gentleman called us back and said that would be fine, suggested where it would be good for us to anchor and even told us he would wait for us to take us to Customs and Immigration.  Wow, now that’s hospitality – never been received into a country like that before. But as the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.  The nice gentleman turned out to be the only ‘white’ taxi driver on the island, we didn’t really give a s—t, what color the taxi driver or the taxi is, but it would have been honest for the guy to tell us what he was when he answered our call on VHF.  I did tell him that – he didn’t comment.  The next day I hired him to take us to get water, take our laundry, buy groceries and find fuel …

Sint Maarten to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

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Sint Maarten to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos 29th April – 6th May 2015 Approx. 600 miles – no stops
(Author’s note -  My memory is a little vague now on this journey and the log kept is mostly essential information only, which though helpful is not that interesting to anyone – not even me anymore – so unless something really exciting was going on this might be dry reading).
Planned route was Sint Maarten to a waypoint above Anegada, then a long leg supposedly heading west with a little bit of north until below Mouchoir Bank  before turning further north for Grand Turk which is just a little bit of land which manages to stay above the reef, or a 7000’ high underwater mountain.   It is the northern part, the southern part of it is about 30 miles south, where the reef shallows up to about 20feet, quite suddenly.
Off we went, left with the 10.00am bridge opening to get out of Simpson Bay Lagoon, all tanks full, Jerry cans full;  200 gallons of liquid and the fridge and cupboards busting open wi…

Saint Lucia - Sint Maarten - 23rd - 26th April 2015 SHAKEDOWN

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Saint Lucia – Sint Maarten 23rd – 26th April 2015
3 days in St. Lucia and we worked very hard while there – the genoa halyard was very difficult to re-wind onto the drum, with all three of us putting our  heads together, Adam and I dismantling the lower drum several times – all of us taking turns to read and attempt to understand why we kept getting it wrong.  Now and again I think that I might be dyslexic, this was one of those times – no matter how many times we re-wound the furling line onto  that drum it was backwards.

Debra and I working on sewing the sun strip back on the genoa
We got it on eventually,  and furled and unfurled it while on our mooring and all seemed well – It wasn’t, it plagued us throughout the rest of the trip – we were constantly reefing and unreefing it – the unreefing was the problem and I broke another rule I usually adhere to – ‘if you have to use brute force to make something work, something’s obviously wrong and you have to stop what you’re doing and fix it’…