Friday, November 23, 2012

Martinique & Dominica Once Again

Martinique & Dominica Once Again
Saturday 17 November - Friday 23 November

We had miss communicated with Wild Thing on departure time, so when they were away from the marina and going past us in the anchorage yelling at 8:30, I had just gotten out of bed. Steve went up on deck and waved then called them on the VHF. They were having trouble getting their main sail out and we told them we would need at least an hour to get ready to leave. We wanted to check email, since in the French Islands it's sometimes not as easy to get, and change the water maker filters, and a few other things before departure. Wild Thing circled around in the anchorage for about 45 minutes before they got their main sail out and were underway. And we were about an hour behind them leaving St Lucia about 10:30. It is a short distance between St Lucia & Martinique, only about 25 miles. It was a great sail with wind just aft of the beam and gentle 2-3 foot swells. We got caught in a 10 minute shower that sucked all our wind away but other than that we sailed along at 7-8 knots. As we were passing Petit Anse D'Arlet I could see that they now had mooring balls, and a lot of them. As we rounded the headland into Grande Anse D'Arlet at 2:30 we could see that they too now had mooring balls. ALL NEW, we were here in June and there were only a few private ones. These are so new they do not even have pennants (line to grab from boat) on them yet. Wild Thing came over in their dinghy to help with our lines, they had trouble when they got in as these are big mooring balls with heavy chain so NOT easy to lift with a boat hook to get a line through the ring on top of the ball. Luckily some one got in their dinghy and came over to help them also. Steve & George go in to clear in, still at the little cafe and still NO charge. No one said anything about the moorings and no one came by the boats to collect a fee, so I guess for now they are free. Still a little room to anchor but in grass (sandy spots taken) that while snorkeling we saw could have debris to snag your anchor. Refreshing swim around the boat and combined dinner on Ocean Star. Sunday another slow start to the day, Steve & I are on island time where George is up and ready to go at daylight, Jan makes him slow down a little but he is always eager to go. We do get to shore by 10:30, we are showing Jan & George the hike up over Champagne Hill to Petit Anse D'Arlet. It has been a while since Jan has done this kind of hiking and it is a little challenging for her and her short legs. She is talking about taking a taxi back, but Steve checks his GPS that he has with him this time and sees that the road back is just a mile over flat streets !!! Where was this information the other times we did this hike always climbing back over the hill the way we came ?!?! We have a big lunch over in Petit Anse D'Arlet, Steve & I go for a swim as we wait for lunch. Find an ATM before heading back to Grande Anse D'Arlet via the road. Hard to believe we never went back this way before. A walk down the beachfront pedestrian walkway stopping in the gift store before going back to our boats for a cool refreshing swim. A cloudless sunset with a Green Flash. Monday we get to sleep in a little again and get under way by 11:30. We are just going “around the corner” to Anse Mitan, a very short trip and with the wind on our nose we just motored all the way. We are anchored by 1, have lunch on board. Steve has a boat project to work on so George drops Jan & I off to go check out the shops. A few hours later with just a few purchases we are ready to go back to the boats. Pick up a warm baguette at the newly redone and re opened little grocery store for dinner later on Ocean Star after another sunset with another Green Flash! A lovely evening with the lights of Fort de France sparkling across the bay. Tuesday we had decided on an early departure and are under way by 7 am with a COOL 77° out to head up to St. Pierre. We motor sail with just the main across the bay and pass Fort de France. By 8:30 it has warmed up to 87° we have the jib out and motor off and are enjoying a beautiful morning on the water. As we are approaching St. Pierre we pass friends Russ & Mary Kay on S/V Once Around who are heading in the opposite direction. A big wave & shout then a call on the VHF, sorry we have just missed them again. As we are coming into the anchorage we have some great views of Mt. Pelee NOT in the clouds and are anchored by 9:15. A nice swim and short rest before heading into town to walk up to the Depaz distillerie for lunch, they have a nice restaurant up there not just rum. A quick tour around the grounds as the distillerie is doing maintenance so it's not up and running. But the tasting room was, and the grounds and views as usual are beautiful. Back down to the boats by 4, another cooling off swim and an easy night as too soon we will be leaving Martinique early Wednesday morning. Another 7 am departure with a cool temp. 75° and an almost cloudless sky. We are in flat seas with light winds so motor sail the whole way across the channel and up the coast of Dominica and are anchored in Prince Rupert Bay off the town of Portsmouth by 2:30. Steve & George go to customs to clear us in while I go for a swim to check the anchor. We had planned dinner on Ocean Star BUT the anchorage is a little rolly. George put out a stern anchor on Wild Thing so she is not rolling. The rolling can get to Jan and make her sick so we bring dinner over to their boat for a steadier dinner. The early mornings and evenings are much cooler now in the mid 70's, jacket weather for me. Thursday / Thanksgiving Day, slept in late then went snorkeling for a couple of hours after lunch. NO turkey day celebration here in Dominica where Wild Thing and us were the only 2 American flagged vessels in the anchorage. If we had wanted to we could have found a small frozen turkey, but it would take a long time to cook in our little oven and use a lot of propane. So we went with steak & potatoes and since Jan & George don't eat meat they brought some fish over to grill and we had a nice UN traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great dinner with great friends in a great location, and we got to talk to family back home. Friday we went in for an early morning walk that Martin the guide we used last time here told us about when he stopped by to say HI. One last view of Dominica before the afternoon departure for the short trip over to the Saints in Guadeloupe for the weekend.

link to pictures;

Saturday, November 17, 2012

St. Lucia Once Again

St. Lucia Once Again
Saturday 10 November – Friday 16 November 2012

We are underway by 7 am with Dreamcatcher right in front of us. Once out of the bay we turned north and had a great sail under partly cloudy skies in 1-2 foot seas between Bequia and St. Vincent. The trip between Bequia and St. Lucia via the west coast of St. Vincent is always a mixture of wind and sea conditions. We reefed and un-reefed several times with a top speed of 9.3 knots to a slow of 2.5 when the motor came back on and sails rolled up. Seas went from 1-2 ft. swells to flat calm to 4-5 ft swells with chop. We hit one of the local surrounding showers and got a little rinse, but we put the cockpit cushions down below several times more when the threat of rain was close by. By 10:45 we were sailing along nicely just off the north end of St Vincent. I hear a metallic sound behind me that I KNOW is not a boat sound. I turn around just in time to see our life raft falling out of its holder into the sea. I yell to Steve as to what happened he hits the MOB (man overboard) button as I start taking down the sails. Sails down and boat turned around to head back to the spot where the life raft fell off. Of course this is where the seas are the choppiest so we are looking for a white box about 2' X 3' in with all the white caps breaking around us. We make several passes in the area, Steve thinks the container might have sunk but I don't think so. Then we spot it and get the boat pulled up along side. On the 2nd try I grab one of the handles with the boat hook and work it back to the back of the boat where Steve grabs it with the other boat hook and brings it to the swim platform. We both grab the handle and manage to lift it onto the swim platform then into the cockpit. Life raft recovered !!! Guess this is our week for mishaps! The adjustment we had done down in Grenada was fine but the pressure on the cotter pin was too much as we bounced along. What we need to get is a clevis pin to put through the holder then the cotter pin goes through that taking the weight off the cotter pin. We had been meaning to do a MOB practice so now we can check that off the list, just wish we could have used a boat cushion and not the life raft which we will now need to get serviced. By 11:15 we are back on course with the sails back up. By noon the winds and seas have calmed back down again so we enjoy a nice lunch. By 2 we have tacked east to avoid the shower right in front of us over the Pitons where we are heading. For once the wind and current work in our favor and we get lifted right to our way point and are moored between the Pitons by 3:45. We are a faster boat than Dreamcatcher so we told them we would have dinner ready when they got in. After a refreshing swim in the beautiful sapphire blue water we start getting dinner ready. Dreamcatcher came in around 6:45, with Judy & Gordon knowing the area and our spot lights and Claude, the boat guy who came back and hung around to help them with the mooring lines it went off without a hitch. Once they got settled in Steve went over to pick them up since our dinghy was in the water. A great dinner with friends followed by a couple of rounds of dominoes. Sunday Steve & Gordon go over to Soufriere to clear the boats into St Lucia. They get into a little trouble since you are supposed to go to an official port to check in BEFORE going to an anchorage, just a $25 EC ($9 US) fine. Dennis & Phyllis and I enjoy swimming and snorkeling. By the time Steve & Gordon get back from checking in, it's noon so we decide to hang out here for the rest of the day. Dennis is way over at the base of Petit Piton snorkeling so Steve goes over with the dinghy to get him so he can help us get the life raft back into the holder. He was glad for the ride back as he would have been fighting a knot current swimming back. Steve had hooked up a snatch block on the arch to help pull the life raft backwards, then we used the topping lift line to raise the life raft up and out of the cockpit to maneuver it back to the holder. Putting a heavy padlock on it until we can get the clevis pin, don't want to go through that drill again. Dennis had caught a small shark on their way up here so they brought that over to grill and have lunch on Ocean Star, followed by dominoes and more swimming. A great day in a great location. Monday we are underway by 10:30 after a break in the rain we had since 6 am. It was a short break as we had rain almost the whole way up to Rodney Bay. Light to almost no winds most of the way so seas were nice and flat, until just north of Castries. Winds picked up so put the main out, could have put the genoa out BUT we were so close to turning into Rodney Bay that it was not worth it. We anchored on the south side of the bay first, we used to be able to pick up a good free WiFi signal from the Bay Garden Beach Resort, but found it password protected this time. Up comes the anchor and over to the north side closer to the Landings to pick up their signal. Re-anchored and all settled in by 2:30, we make contact with good friends George & Jan on Wild Thing who are in at the marina, hoping for a break in the weather so we can go in to see them. Dreamcatcher is anchored next to us by 3:30 and it is still raining, and continues to do so for the rest of the evening a quiet night on our respective boats. Tuesday rain clears and we all head over to Pigeon island to the park and fort, a great reunion with Wild Thing, and lunch at Jambe de Bois . Tuesday evening Steve & I meet Jan & George along with another couple, also from Kemah TX, Tony & Gail on Cetacea and go to dinner at Memories of Hong Kong. Wednesday we were supposed to do an island tour BUT we have had heavy rains since 6 am, skies are still totally gray, it's looking like another full day of rain. By 8, need to make a decision on if we should reschedule the Island tour. Talk to Wild Thing and they say they are fine with the change BUT I can not reach Dreamcatcher, start getting worried about if I should reschedule trying Dreamcatcher every 15 minutes on the VHF radio. By 8:30 (pick up time was 9:30) it is still cloudy so I call and reschedule for Thursday. Meanwhile Steve has talked to the life raft people and they say to bring the raft in by 8:30 so they can get to it later in the day. So between 8 & 8:30 we get the life raft back out of its holder and into the dinghy. Of course by 9:30 the skies start to clear and we finally find the crew on Dreamcatcher, who had gone in early at 7:30 for breakfast. They were OK about the rescheduling, even though they were packed and ready to go and weather was starting to clear. They went back to their boat unloaded their stuff and spent the day exploring the marina and near by shopping and restaurant areas. We run into them as they are sitting down to a late lunch when we go in to see what kind of unlocked phones they have here. I still need to find one I like. Stop by the grocery stores to see what is available, will come back with a list of things we need before we leave as St. Lucia is a great place to provision. Wednesday night we go into dinner with Jan & George & Gail & Tony at The Buzz, and have a wonderful meal while listening to a saxophonist playing some great music. The crew from Dreamcatcher, after a late lunch with drinks were content to stay on board to enjoying drinking wine. Thursday we get to do the Island tour, early morning shower and 1 or 2 during the day but it was a great day and we all had a lot of fun. Chris our taxi driver & tour guide took us on the scenic ride through the interior of the island over to the east coast with a few photo stops along the way we get to our 1st stop near Dennery to hike to the waterfall. It is in an adventure park but we did not want a guide or to do any of the other things they offer. At first they wanted to charge us $65 to go in BUT Chris talked to them and we got to go in free with him leading the way. It was a nice little hike and the waterfall was great, even if the water was a little “dirty” from all the run off from the rains. By the time we are done it is 1:30 and decide it is time for lunch. I had 2 places picked out BUT had under estimated how long it would take to get to this end of the island and do the hike, so they were both still a good 30 minutes away. Chris knew of a place close by with a great view and we all enjoyed a nice lunch. By this time we realize we can not to all that was planned so we let Phyllis and Dennis decide since they were the visiting guest. Next stop is the Mamiku Gardens, an old plantation turned into a serene and natural landscape of plants and flowers. Orchids everywhere and another nice little hike up to the grounds where in the late 1700's local freedom fighting groups (Brigands, freed slaves that were unwilling to be re-enslaved) fought the British, aided and abetted by the French. Again Chris led us on this hike which was a little muddy & steep. Ending the visit to the gardens with a stop at the bar right there on the grounds. It has been a great day even if we did not get to do all the things we had planned. Everyone is a little tired on the way back so not as much talking going on. Once back at the marina we thank Chris for a great job and catch the last few minutes of the J24 races going on in the harbour. Tony & Gail are over on their boat and invite us by for a drink. After visiting with them we decide it is time for dinner, so we all go over to one of the restaurants right there at the marina for dinner. A farewell dinner with 10 Texans !! Gordon & Judy will be showing Dennis & Phyllis a few other anchorages and sites along the coast so Dreamcatcher will head south while we stay in Rodney Bay. Just FYI the 4 of them use to be Steve's neighbors back on Lazy Lane in Lazy Bend in Kemah TX. Friday I go in for a massage, they have a great place F.A.C.E to face right here at the marina. Afterward Steve comes to pick me up and we go check out with customs. Then go pick up our re-serviced life raft. Once back on the boat we spend about an hour trying to get it back in, not as easy this time, tried at first to do it without the topping lift to raise it. Since it was in the dinghy at water level thought we could do it with just the one line raising and pulling, but that was just not going to work. So rigged the topping lift to lift and used the other to pull it back and we finally got it back in and secured. Lunch on board then into the grocery store to provision as we will be leaving St. Lucia Saturday morning. Dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant, Spice of India, with Jan & George and Gail & Tony. Another farewell dinner as Tony & Gail will be staying in St Lucia a little longer as Wild Thing & Ocean Star head north.

Friday, November 9, 2012

North Thru the Grenadines

North Thru the Grenadines
Thursday, November 1 - Friday, 9 November 2012
After leaving the marina in Grenada we thought we would have a nice sail up to Chatham Bay on Union Island in the Grenadines. But the wind was on the nose so we motor-sailed all the way, except for 1 hour as we passed Carriacou and the storm over to the east. We stayed dry with mostly sunny skies and the seas were only 3 feet so with the main out it wasn't too bad of a trip. After a 6 hour trip we were anchored by 3 in beautiful Chatham Bay, Union Island, Grenadines flying our yellow Q flag. It is early in the season for boats to be heading north so not to many cruising boats in the anchorage, just a few charter boats. Vanessa from Sun, Beach & Eat came by to see if we wanted to come in for dinner, Tim from Jerry's also stopped by, they both have wonderful food but we had food on board that needed to be used. Should have asked Vanessa if she could sell some of her breadfruit salad to go, it is the best we have ever tasted. Beautiful water and turtles swimming all around the boat, just love this place. Around 4:30 we see a boat come in and anchor near by and it is friends Judy & Gordon on Dreamcatcher. We wave & after they get settled in call them on the VHF radio to invite them over for dinner. They are also on their way up to St Lucia to meet with mutual friends and ex neighbors Phyllis & Dennis. They have been VERY busy getting boat work/projects done before picking up Phyllis & Dennis on the 5th in St Lucia. Friday we sleep in and by the time we are up Dreamcatcher is long gone. We head out to go over to the town port of Clifton to clear into the Grenadines. Since it is slow season there is plenty of room to anchor, which is NOT usually the case. Always guys meeting your boat to try to put you on a mooring but not sure of the quality or ownership of the moorings so we always prefer to anchor. IF it is not crowded and you find a good spot it is really a nice anchorage, but that is a big IF. We arrive just after noon so of course customs is at lunch, so we have lunch while we wait. Even the town is not fully back into boating season with several stores closed, even a few of the veggie stands are closed. After checking in and picking up a few things that we forgot to get in Grenada we leave Union Island and make the short (less then 30 min.) trip over to the Tobago Cays and are anchored by 3:45. Never enough time spent in Chatham or the Cays, 2 wonderfully beautiful places. Saturday we take the dinghy over to one of the islands (Jamesby) so we can beach it to be able to clean the bottom. During our 3 month stay at the marina in Grenada we were stern to at the dock so we had to keep the dinghy in the water next to the boat the whole time. Marine growth loves to grow on things sitting in the water, so the bottom of the dinghy was very nasty !!! Beaching this dinghy is not so easy. Steve & I pulled it up as far as we could then Steve removed the motor and gas can, everything else had been emptied out earlier, and we were able to pull it up a little more and then flip it over. Then we went to work scraping and scrubbing the bottom of the dinghy for the next 3 hours. We might have cleaned more BUT the tide was coming in so we had to get the motor back on the boat and launch it back into the water. I got to TRY to hold the dinghy steady in the water with waves coming in while Steve got the motor back on. Then we had to get into the dinghy, not easy for me to jump in from waste high water!! Mission accomplished a very clean dinghy bottom and no mishaps with the motor. Sunday we spend the day just swimming and relaxing. Monday we get underway by 11 and have a wonderful sail to Bequia. As we are approaching the anchorage near Princess Margaret beach I am on the bow getting the anchor ready. I say to Steve, look at that boat to our right, looks like Dreamcatcher. He agrees but we can't see the name, then someone comes up on deck and I say that looks like Gordon again Steve agrees but too far away to be sure. The reason we are questioning if it is Dreamcatcher is this is the day they are supposed to be up in St Lucia picking up friends Dennis & Phyllis. We get settled in and call them on the radio to learn their engine fresh water coolant pump failed. SO as it turns out Phyllis & Dennis will be coming a few days later bringing a new water pump. It worked out okay for them also as Phyllis's dad just got out of the hospital so it gave her a few more days to get him settled in. We go in that night to have pizza at Mac's, and hear about the revised visit plans. Tuesday we have internet so spend the morning getting caught up then go into town for a few things and to just walk around. Admiralty Bay is a BIG Bay with lots of room to anchor, but think this is the least amount of boats we have seen anchored here, everyone still down in Grenada. When we got here Monday there was a cruise ship in and Tuesday there was another so things are starting to pick up and getting busy. Wednesday just hanging out doing a few errands & chores a great dinner on-board. Then comes Thursday, as most of you will already know we had a boarding incident. This is what I posted on Facebook pages as to what happened.

Burglary in Admiralty Bay Bequia, Thursday 8th November 2012

Ocean Star a 50 ft. Beneteau anchored by Princess Margaret Beach just off the point leading to Lower Bay. Some time between 3 am and 6 am during this rainy night, our boat was boarded and items stolen. We were asleep in our forward berth during the incident and did not know someone had come aboard to take 2 phones, a kindle, a Leatherman and around. $100.00 EC until we awoke at 7 am Thursday morning. The following is our best guess summary of what we think most likely happened.
We were up late reading, I went to bed at 12:45 doing my usual cockpit and surrounding area check before going to bed. Steve was still up reading in the salon with the lights on. At 3, I awoke and got Steve to turn off the lights and come to bed. At 5:40 (I have a clock by the bed) I awoke and noticed the hatches between our bed and the bathroom were open and the floor was all wet from the rain. I cursed and turned the light on then went to the bathroom. Got some towels to dry up the floor and hatches. Then went through the salon to the back ¼ berth to get another towel. I did NOT notice anything at this time, but in hindsight think I might have scared the person off the boat when I put the light on. I went back to bed and awoke again at 6:45. This time when I went out into the salon I noticed Steve's backpack up in the cockpit on the floor. I got distracted by also noticing that the hatch over his desk in the port side aft room was also open and rain had come in there also. After cleaning that up I went to check on the backpack up in the cockpit. It was on the floor by the closed back door to the swim platform with all the compartments open. I knew it was NOT there when I went to bed and it was just a little damp, not wet like the cockpit cushions from all the rain during the night. Steve confirmed that there was no reason his backpack (where the Leatherman was kept) should be in the cockpit especially since he had not used it the day before, and it should have been in the ¼ berth where he always puts it away. It was then that we realized our phones, that were out on the center island in the salon were gone.
It was at this moment that we realized that some one had come on board while we were sleeping and taken things. A very disturbing feeling !!!   We kept a “fake” “throw down” wallet on this center island also and the cash was all gone. As we looked around we discovered my kindle was also gone. Thankfully still sitting on the salon table 3 feet away was my computer, and Steve's computer was still back in his office.
We do have a sensor mat ( that at night we place under the rug at the companionway that rings a door bell in our bedroom. Who ever came on board stepped over this. NO one had been on board to know that this mat is used at night, so either he got lucky or they know about these “security” mats and avoid stepping on rugs. 
It is a very unpleasant felling knowing some one was on our boat. We are extremely thankful that the intruder did not come into our forward berth, and try to get more money from us and know we are lucky by only having a few items taken. We feel the island of Bequia and the Grenadines as a whole need to take these incidents much more seriously. We did file a police report but do not expect to hear much from them. We heard talk that they know who this “cat burglar” is but can't do anything about it. We hope that is not the case and that something will be done to add security to the anchorages. We want to come and visit and spend money on these beautiful islands but if incidents like this keep occurring we will stop coming.

The rest of the day was great, Phyllis and Dennis finally arrived by ferry, via air to Barbados and an overnight in St Vincent. We joined them and Judy & Gordon for lunch on shore then Steve & I snorkeled the point by where we are anchored and walked the beach. Finishing up the day with a wonderful meal on Dreamcatcher. Friday Gordon & Dennis worked on replacing the water cooling pump on Dreamcatcher so we can head north. I did laundry, both hand and send out, while Steve worked on finding and fixing another water leak from the generator. Yes the generator does get a lot of mention in our blogs, but the pulley rig we had made in Grenada is holding up great, the leaks were quickly found, one from the sea water pump cover and one from the exhaust hose. Sea water always leaves a nice trail of salt to track the source. A quick replacement of the cover plate with a new Speed Seal, a couple of hose clamps tightened, and leaks fixed. Of course there was the 30 minutes of moving things out of the way to get to the leaks, and 30 minutes to put it all back together, but that's life on a boat. Friday afternoon went into town to check out and pick up a few things. Steve and I were determined to leave Bequia with a pleasant memory so we went into Jack's for a wonderful dinner.
Saturday early departure St. Lucia here we come.

Link to Pictures;

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2nd Hurricane Season in Grenada

August 1- November 1, 2012
CAN NOT believe we have been here in Grenada for 3 months, and now it is time to leave !! We are not really ready to leave a place we have come to love & know like a second home. We are even less ready to leave all our friends we have here. BUT with this lifestyle that is the way it works. Some of the people we may see again but some we will not, but we will always have these memories of our wonderful time spent in Grenada. This season was VERY different for us as we spent the whole 3 months at the lovely and wonderful Port Louis Marina. We do NOT really like being in a marina this long, in fact we have never stayed longer then 2 weeks in a marina. Being in the marina has its plus and minus, as does being at anchor. In the marina we can step off the boat any time either of us feels like it and either go separate ways or together. Out at anchor we always have to coordinate the dinghy ride to shore. We do have a pool here at the marina, but it does not even come close to just jumping off the back of the boat to go for a cool refreshing swim when ever we get a little hot and sweaty (which down here in the summer is always). The social life at a marina is a little more active, since you are always walking by each others boats and or docked right next to others also staying on their boats. It is easier to stop to talk people walking along the dock then when you are driving by in your dinghy when at anchor. Whether at anchor or at a marina there is usually a meeting place for happy hour, it is just easier to walk down the dock to HH then getting into your dinghy and going to shore for a drink, not sure if that is on the plus or con side. So after another fun & crazy Carnival and getting the generator fixed, we made plans to get some other work done while we were in the marina. It was supposed to have started back in September while I was back in Texas visiting family so Steve stayed in the marina instead of going out to anchor the day after I left. All the hatches and porthole “glass” (acrylic) is sun crazed = lots of little cracks. None of these cracks leak, it is just wear and tear and sun damage to the windows being exposed to UV rays every day for the last 14 years. Two of the hatches have bigger cracks by the handles, again NO leaking but signs of weakness. So preventive action is to take care of it BEFORE they start leaking or break. As it often happens down island things got delayed. Also has it often happens down island is that the delays are always stretched out. Waiting on parts to be delivered is a way of life, and we understand that. What throws us off is that we get told things will be here first of next week, then its at the end of the week then its the first of the next week then again at the end of the week. This goes on and on, NOT that “they” (the company you are doing business with) is trying to deceive you. Either they truly believe the parts or materials will be in on the next shipment OR they are telling you what they THINK you want to hear. So instead of the company saying we are not sure when we will be able to start, but will let you know when things arrive, we get the in a few days answer. The thing with marinas is that once you are there for 2 weeks the next two weeks are “free” as the monthly rate is ½ of the weekly rate. So that is how we came to spend 3 months at the marina. Now it is time to go, so we have made contact with another company up in St. Marten to get the work done there. The company here did finally get the seals we need for the replacement windows, and we took delivery of them today Oct. 29th and will bring them up to St Martin with us. They were also very good about refunding the deposit given so all is well. In the mean time our hot water heater also died. We have had problems with it before with different hose leaks but this time it is the actual heater. So we have ordered one of those to be delivered to St Martin as well, and it works out better since they are a duty free country it is cheaper then getting it shipped there. We did escape from the marina for 2 days and went over to Prickly Bay to have 2 modifications done to our arch. Nick from Tech Nick who did the work last year removed the 1 D ring that was rubbing against the dinghy when it was lifted and fixed the life raft holder. The closing tab did not match up the same with the life rafts weight in it as it did empty. Once again he did a wonderful job re-welding those 2 spots. While over there we ran into friends Judy & Gordon on Dreamcatcher down from Carriacou. Our visit with them back in August in Carriacou was cut short due to the threat of TS Ernesto, so it was good to see and visit with them a little. They were down to get a new stove and batteries and we plan on meeting back up with them in November up in St Lucia. While in Prickly in cleaner water, Steve dove on the boat to see how the bottom looked. A lot of times when in a marina, since they are usually in a protected harbor without good water flow, bottoms of boats get more growth on them. Steve was very happy to see that our bottom paint job from last year was holding up well and only had a few small barnacles on that he easily removed. We did get our salon cushions re covered with a beautiful ultra-leather material. Grenada Canvas did the work and did a wonderful job, we love our new cushions. Steve battled some major computer problems as well as a cough he had for over a month. He also got some cream to treat some pre cancerous spots on his arms. We went on a few hikes and to a few hashes, attended several music events, and other fun activities. Had several fun parties and gatherings at the marina. All in all it was another wonderful season in Grenada. Our last night there was Halloween and we had a big party at the marina.   Steve & I have never been big on costumes and were so impressed on how creative and elaborate most of the costumes were !! Especially since most of them were made with things people had on there boats, which for most of us does NOT include extra costume making materials. Halloween is not celebrated by the locals, only visitors like boaters or college students from the states and others staying here, which makes it even harder to make or find costumes. But we had a blast at the party and it was a great way to end our stay in Grenada. Thursday morning we were ready to leave, with the help from the marina on our bow lines and wonderful friends JoAnne & Bill from Ultra on our stern lines we were underway by 8:30. With mixed feelings, glad to be on the move again but sad not knowing when we will see some of our friends or Grenada again.