Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Long Way Home

Our original plans were to spend about a month or two exploring the British Virgin Islands. Now with the funeral, we were down to about two weeks at the most. On April 25th we did a short sail from Virgin Gorda Sound North down to Spanishtown, where we anchored the boat just outside the marina.  We needed Internet to help make funeral arrangements with Meryl’s sister Durlyn, so we spent a long evening at a local restaurant communicating back and forth. The next morning we took the dingy back to one of our favorite places in the world, The Baths.

Huge house-sized boulders create a labyrinth of passages, both above ground and underwater, for cruisers to explore.
 Try to imagine a long stretch of what would normally be white sand beaches, but this time a shoreline covered by huge prehistoric boulders — some the size of small houses. A trail of sorts winds in and out of the labyrinths formed by the balancing of these gigantic rocks on each other, so when you shinny through a narrow passage you come out to a hidden pool of azure blue water as clear as gin, with the light dancing from one spot to another. Now imagine all of this underwater.

It is common for 50 to 60 boats to be anchored off The Baths on any given day.

Since The Baths are immensely popular, you need to arrive early to get a mooring ball for your boat. We made it simple by just anchoring at Spanishtown and taking the dingy down. We tied to the outer buoy rope line, designed to allow a little swimming room for people amongst the bevy of boats, and slipped over the side into an underwater wonderland. I took my little underwater video camera, but it simply doesn’t do justice to the majesty of the place. As you round corners and slide through cracks in the rock, usually propelled by a little surf action, you can come upon a group of parrot fish nibbling on the coral, or even better, a school of brilliant indigo Blue Tangs, whom you follow along as they wander through the underwater valleys. It’s as close to a religious experience as you can get. As you dive deeper, shafts of light penetrate and add magic by dancing from rock to rock. Then a wave will break and the effervescence of a million bubbles washes over your body in a sensual delight. We spent over an hour, mesmerized by the beauty and wonderment of it all. We’d been to The Baths several times before and never tire of the experience, always wanting to spend more time exploring all the nooks and crannies.

We dingied back to Spanishtown and upped anchor for our next port, Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island. We were at the point now where we just wanted to rest, girding ourselves for the long trip back to Seattle for the funeral. Cooper Island Resort was the perfect place, a protected little lagoon with about forty mooring balls, all of which were full by about noon each day.  We basically did nothing for a couple of days, with the exception of a morning snorkel at nearby Cistern Point which proved a good snorkel location with an interesting reef and many fish. We think we got a drive-by from two huge tarpon, but we’re not very good at fish identification.

While at Leverick Bay, where we had Internet, we tried emailing a number of marinas to find a place to leave the boat for two weeks we would be back in Seattle. Naturally two large sailboat rallies, one from Europe and one from the US, were due into the BVIs that week, so our favored marinas were booked full. We used Active Captain (a sort of social networking tool for sailors) on our navigation computer to check out some additional ones, and found one called Penn’s Landing that had great reviews. We emailed them and they had room on their dock (or so we interpreted the email).

On the 26th we motor sailed over to Penn’s Landing, which is located in Fat Hog Bay, about 10 minutes from the airport. We initially took a mooring buoy while they rearranged some boats at the dock to make room for us. Once we got in we found the great price we had been quoted (I didn’t read the email as close as I should have) was for a mooring ball, not moorage. We decided to spend the night at the dock while we got packed and prepared the boat for an extended stay.

The dock was interesting:  two immaculate Mason 62’s right next to us (they are made in the same yard our boat was) and a Tayana 47, also Taiwanese constructed. It was like old home week on the dock. We met a nice couple from North Carolina who live on their boat, My Deere (he’s a John Deere dealer), about five months a year and the rest of the time back in NC.  They were leaving the next day on the flight before ours.

Early the next morning we took Flying Cloud out to the mooring ball we’d originally been on, closed her up, and got a lift into the dock by one of the marina workers. Ironically, it was much cheaper to be on the mooring ball. Security wasn’t an issue since the marina keeps a close eye on the boats for theft, etc.  With our new solar panels we can now leave Flying Cloud with the refrigerator going (saving us about $100 in not having to throw food away) along with the $300 we saved not being at the dock. When you are a cruiser, every little bit helps.

Ironically I'm the one with flight training, so they put the cute brunette in the co-pilot's seat.
That's a very forced smile on Meryl's face given everything she's facing when she returns to Seattle.
It's very hard to leave Paradise on a day like this. Here's one of our favorite places to eat, Marina Cay.
We took a short cab ride out to the airport, had a quick breakfast, and boarded our Cessna 410 (9 place aircraft) for the 40-minute flight to San Juan. Ironically, Cape Air gave us a free confirmed space ticket to San Juan since we were going to a funeral, yet United Airline for whom Meryl worked for 25 years didn’t offer any confirmed seating. Weird, but thank you very much, Cape Air.

Once at SJU, we had three flights we could take to get us back to Seattle. Once we told the UAL gate agents our story, they really tried to get us on the Chicago flight but two guys showed up at the very last minute with confirmed space tickets. We quickly ran over to the Houston flight, but that was also full. Luckily, through help from the gate agents (thank you very much Ms. Sepulveda) we got the last two seats on the Newark flight. We were the only two stand-bys to leave SJU that day. Ironically we ran to the My Deere crew on the concourse when we arrived and had a nice chat with them. Nice people.

We had to spend the night in Newark, but we’ve found a great hotel at the airport that gives airline employees a good rate. We almost thought we were on the wrong bus to the hotel since the driver is a former Marine drill instructor who gives an “interesting” welcome speech. Our driver looked like him but was very quiet, until a few minutes later he went into his spiel. We were on the right bus.

Had a good night's rest and caught the morning flight to Seattle. So good to be back home, but so sad the reason we were there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Sad Passage

We left Sint Maarten at o’dark thirty on April 16 for the 80-mile sail across the dreaded Anegada Passage to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Compared to our first passage with 20 -25 knots and 8 ft. seas, we only had about 6 to 7 knots from behind, which is hardly enough to move a big blue water boat like ours.  It was a gorgeous day, however, and we mused about how in the old days this would have been a good opportunity to top off the batteries with all the motoring. Now, however, with our massive battery/solar array we seem to always be topped off. It’s a wonderful feeling.

View of the Bitter End Yacht Club Resort complex from the top of Guy's Trail.
We arrived in Virgin Gorda North Sound about 4:30 pm and were excited to see our old friends, Mark and Sue on Macushla of Shannon anchored nearby. We set the hook in the lee of Prickly Pear Island, since the wind had naturally decided to strengthen to 25 to 30 knots by the next day, and blew that strong the entire week we were there. Getting to the upwind dingy dock and resort was an exercise in splash therapy, as we tried to dodge the bigger waves hitting us on the nose with every seventh wave soaking us to the skin.

Once the wind calmed down later in the week things got back to normal.
The Bitter End Yacht Club has lots of sailboats to rent and is a great place to learn to sail.
The pool at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Rooms start at $600 a night.
Virgin Gorda has changed a lot since our first visit back in the 1980s and I still miss the old dingy docks with the shark pen in the middle. Meant you had to be very, very careful walking back to your dingy at 10 pm after three or four Rum Punches. We walked around the Bitter End Yacht Club Resort, which has expanded greatly, and enjoyed an ice cream from the little store. The British Virgin Islands these days seem to be an extension of Florida, with Americans on charters making up about 90% of the visitors.

Back at the boat we had a few projects (the term “a few projects” always seems to be a misnomer when describing boat work), including finishing the varnishing of the inside teak window trim. Trying to carefully varnish around windows with the boat rocking up and down in waves is always fun.

Remember when you'd be startled by a little bug walking across the trail?
It's a good thing it's a long walk to the Fat Virgin because the cheeseburgers have about a million calories apiece.
We meet Hannah from Finland on the Guy's Trail and had a great conversation with her has we hiked down the other side.
A nice view of the Biras Creek Resort. Don't even ask what the rooms cost.
We took a day off on the 19th and walked along the Mangrove Trail from the Bitter End Yacht Club along the water to Brias Creek Resort. We continued a short way further around the bay, being startled at one point by a big iguana slithering out on the trail, and on to the infamous Fat Virgin Restaurant for their signature BBQ’d cheeseburgers (which were really good, but incredibly expensive). On the way back we hiked over the peak behind Bitter End Yacht Club along Guy’s Trail, which featured expansive views out over the British Virgin Islands. Near the top we met a Finnish girl who was lost, and hiked with her back to the beach near Saba Rock. I’d never met anyone from Finland so it was fun to talk with her about what it’s like to live that close to the Russians (she said they are scared to death with all the recent happenings).

From L to R: Martin and Tina off Petronella and Mark and Sue off Macushla sharing Painkillers at Saba Rock Resort.
On the morning of April 21st we received an early morning call from Meryl’s sister, Durlyn. When I saw the Caller ID I immediately knew what it was, and I dreaded handing the phone to Meryl. Meryl’s mother, Joan, had passed away the night before at a long-term care facility in Olympia. She had been in declining health for quite awhile and at 89 had a long and full life, but it’s still devastating to hear of your mother’s death. After a good cry we began to plan for leaving the boat somewhere and flying back to Seattle. Luckily that night we had previously scheduled sun-downers with Macushla of Shannon and Petronella of Wight (I just love the British boat names) and met Mark and Sue and Martin and Tina for drinks on the deck of the Saba Rock Resort. It was good to be with friends that evening and the four Painkillers certainly did their job. Meryl’s sister had scheduled Joan’s memorial service for a week away, so thank God we didn’t have to rush back quite yet.

The indomitable Michal Bean Pirate Show at Leverick Bay Marina.
The crew off a charter catamaran were all decked out in the requisite pirate regalia.
The family in the front came as the cast from Gilligan's Island, including Gilligan in the red.
On the 22nd we moved the boat a short distance down Virgin Gorda North Sound to Leverick Bay Resort, where we decided we need some good old fashion cheering up. We dingied in at 5:00 pm to watch the somewhat infamous Michael Bean Pirate Show. It’s corny, it’s packed with Mid West-based tourists, and it’s predictable; but it was just what we needed. We laughed at the corny jokes, sang the songs, and Meryl even ended up on the stage at one point. Michael is an institution in the BVIs, and charter groups dress up in their pirate gear complete with tattoos, eye patches, and headbands to take part in the show. However, if I never hear the phrase “Arrr” again, I will die a happy man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let There Be Light!

The last week in St. Martin was a flurry of activity on the boat finishing up the solar project. First we had John and his beautiful wife, Maneula, come and install the stainless steel frame that would hold the solar panels.  John is the son of a tall ship’s captain and grew up around sailboats, including sailing on the German tall ship Passat. He was trained as a shipwright and is one of those guys who can fix anything on a boat. His German wife, Maneula (named after a German folk song) helps him with projects and also repairs dodgers, biminis and other canvas projects.

Watching them approach Flying Cloud with the huge stainless frame stretched across their 12 ft. work boat, I had to hold my breath hoping they would make it before a big wave tipped them over.  Wrestling the big frame up and over the top of the davits was like watching two big guys doing ballet moves.

Just getting the two boxes of two solar panels a piece on the boat was a challenge.
After all the effort buying the panels and getting the frame built, we had a very difficult time finding clamps to hold the solar panels to the frame. Island Waterworld had some beautiful Norwegian clamps (at $26 @), but naturally had only one and we needed 24. John rooted around for about a day and came up with an ingenious solution involving stainless/rubber cable clamps that actually look better than the official clamps.

Manuela helps John with mounting the panels to the stainless steel frame.
 It took about a day to get the frame installed and the four Kyocera 140-watt panels attached. Given the design of our transom, John had to suspend himself in our bosun’s chair from the davits to attach the outboard ends of the panels. Trying to screw in tiny allen screws while the boat rocked and rolled from boat wakes was quite an adventure for John. Manuela was the perfect assistant, handing him the correct tool or bolt after a short exhortation in German. I learned lots of tool names that day, but my German still is terrible.

It took us a while to get used to the new “heliport” (as one wag described it) with the 4 ft by 8 ft expanse of panels on the back of the boat, but once the amp meter peaked out at 26 incoming amps, we knew we’d done the right thing.  We were a little uncertain as to whether we had calculated correctly for both the size of the solar panels and the size of the battery bank. We probably erred a little on the conservative side, but that’s OK on a boat.

With between 4 amps in the morning and 26 amps at peak sun, we now charge our battery bank full by about 2:00 pm on a semi-overcast day (naturally it has been overcast almost every day since we installed the panels).  With our 550-amp-hour battery bank (rated at 24v) we now rarely see the bank drop below 89%, which is amazing given that we’re running a huge 24v motor for our refrigeration system. The MPPT solar controller actually “boosts” the incoming amperage of the solar panels by about 20%, so that helps on overcast days.

We still had lots of drama left as David came over to wire the new panels to our battery bank. He had a propensity to not allow enough “fudge factor” when calculating the wire runs, necessitating many trips for me back to Budget Marine, Island Waterworld, and Electec to buy more wire, connectors, and other parts.  We had a heck of a time trying to run the heavy 8-2 gauge wire through an already full conduit back to the circuit panels. We had also decided to buy a new Blue Sky Solar Controller and network it to our existing (but smaller) Blue Sky Controller, but some esoteric settings in the black boxes gave us fits. And simply trying to mount the solar controller box and fuse box in the only available space meant that David had to twist, turn and contort his body to get both hands through the small opening, then couldn’t even see where the screws were so he could tighten them. David said many bad words that day. What I had calculated would take us a day to do took two and one-half days, but we finally got it working. Wonderful to see those big numbers coming in on the amp meter display.

All it needs is a small helicopter.
The six panels (12v panels wired in series in groups of two) gives 830 watts of pure sun energy for Flying Cloud.
 After almost a year of limping along with virtually dead batteries, hoping the engine would start or the refrigeration would keep running, we’re now in solar heaven. Now matter what happens we still have an abundance of power and no longer have to be careful about shutting off a fan when we go from one cabin to another. Even more important, we don’t have to run the engine an hour in the morning and an hour at night to charge the batteries. If you are a sailor you hate the sound of the engine anyway. We found that the engine (and the old generator) created so much heat in the engine compartment that it actually warmed up the refrigerator box that shares part of the same space. So the more we ran the engine, the hotter the icebox would get and the more we had to run the refrigerator unit to cool it. A vicious cycle.

With our new solar panels it’s like starting life over again. Wish we would have done this on day one.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Marching with Mark

As you can imagine with all the projects we had going on the home front  we were in desperate need of some exercise and a little social interaction.  Once we heard Mark on S/V Sea Life, announcing on the morning net a group hike we decided to sign up and join the group. Mark is an amazing guy from down-under with a deep booming voice that immediately captures your attention.  He has an acting background from Australia and decided to retire at an early age to take up sailing.

Our group of seven couples off various cruising boats get their marching orders from Mark.
We first met him in Grenada as a cruisers radio net controller.  He is a spot-on kind of guy very involved with the cruisers safety and has helped out boaters in numerous emergencies.  Right, so come Saturday we were raring to go.
We met at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club at 10:30 am right next to the Dutch bridge as boat traffic was lining up for the morning opening.  A group of seven couples showed up. We checked out the boat parade and then we all caught a bus heading toward Philipsburg, the capital and largest port in St. Maarten accommodating hundreds of cruise ships every year. We got off the bus early and took a detour toward the beach opting for a more scenic walk eventually reaching the beautiful coastline.

You need to be prepared for anything with the intrepid Mark in the lead.
Although we'd been in Sint Maarten for over a month, we'd never seen this beach until the hike with Mark.
Mark had already scouted out the route so he knew where he was going. We had ample opportunity to chat amongst ourselves as we walked and coincidentally, reconnected with a couple on Ptarmigan, whom we had briefly met when we refilled their Soda Stream CO2 cartridge.  Nice couple.

Meryl and Mark from Australia.
Cruise ships at Philipsburg.
Cannons guarding Fort Amsterdam.
Stars and Stripes and another former America's Cup boat spar on the waters outside Philipsburg.
We climbed up to a point overlooking the harbor where Fort Amsterdam Heritage Park displayed old walls and cannons built to ward off invaders centuries ago.  As we looked off in the distance you could see two former America's Cup boats cross tacking.  Practicing for the upcoming Antigua Classic Regatta the following weekend.
Our group of intrepid travelers pause for a couple of Caribs at a beach side bar in Philipsburg.
While all the cruise ship people hang out on Front Street, Mark is about to show us the hidden treasures in the shops on Back Street, where all the locals shop.
We continued hiking along the road toward a long string of hotels and then walked along the beach for a distance.  We ended up stopping for a round of Carib’s at a beach-side restaurant.  Perfect!  Next, we headed toward the center of town along Front Street where all the cruise ship passengers shop.  We took a left turn and headed for Back Street which is where all the locals shop! We followed Mark into a store entrance which opened up into a huge three-story building with everything imaginable to buy.  We all wandered around looking for something we really needed as you know with limited space you are limited with what you have space for.  That being said, it is a good thing!  By now it was past lunch time and we had probably walked close to four miles so Walter and I dropped off to get a quick bite at Subway, no less.  We eventually caught up with the rest of the group as we hopped on a local bus bringing us back to the yacht club. 

Meanwhile, Walter and I had learned about a fabulous ice cream & gelato shop called Carousel as we were walking with the group.  So we had to go scope it out and hurried over by dingy.  Pretty amazing place with so many flavors you couldn't make up your mind.  It was a place we wished we had the grand-kids with us.  Finally, after a great day it was time to sit out in the cockpit and pick up a book or just collapse.

The Carousel gelato store is a hidden treasure back at Simpson Bay Lagoon.
So many choices.
This is only one of about five freezer cases full of every type of gelato you could imagine.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Refilling SodaStream Bottles

One of the difficulties of cruising is lugging cases of soda (i.e. Coke, Pepsi, etc.) down to the boat and finding storage for all the cans/bottles.

A great alternative is Sodastream (www.sodastreamusa.com). Sodastream is a shoebox-sized dispenser with a CO2 cartridge that injects the fizz into various flavors of soda or pop. The flavor is provided via a 16.9 fl. oz (500 ml) bottle of concentrate that makes 50 servings. You typically store several special SodaStream (carbonating) plastic bottles in your fridge until you are ready to mix up 32 ounces of drink.  Many major brands, such as Coke, Dr. Pepper, Crystal Light are available as concentrates, along with fruit juice concentrates you can buy in many Caribbean grocery stores.

Various styles of SodaStream dispensers.

To make a drink you (great instructions at http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Soda-in-a-SodaStream-Machine):

  • Remove cap from carbonating (storage) bottle (that is full of water) and screw into underside of top of dispenser unit (you need to screw it in at a slight angle).
  • Push the top of the unit 2 to 3 times to carbonate. You will hear a "whoosh" noise each time.
  • Unscrew the bottle.
  • Pour your favorite concentrate in, replace the cap, and then gently mix the concentrate.
Typically the drink will stay carbonated for several days when stored in the fridge.

If you are in the US or other major metropolitan areas, you can easily exchange your CO2 bottles at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Walmart, Costco or other stores. The problem for cruisers, and it is a huge problem, is that you cannot legally bring the CO2 cartridges on an airplane or ship them. And with the exception of Puerto Rico, the C02 cartriges are impossible to find in the Caribbean.

Recently an email on a cruisers net said you could get them refilled in St. Martin, which is true. The only issue is getting the exact directions to the vendor and the issue of what types of bottles they will refill. So here is the skinny.

The vendor is Caribbean Industrial Gases, which is located between Grand Case and Cul de Sac (closer to Grand Case) on the French side of St. Martin.  When driving east on the main road (which runs just south of Grand Case Airport) you will see a round-about ahead. You turn left unto an unmarked dirt road just before the round-about (or circle the roundabout so you are heading back from where to came). Drive a short distance to the end, where on the right you will see a somewhat rustic business with large gas tanks outside. 

Please note dialing instructions for various phones. If you have a US phone, you need to dial 011 first.
They speak excellent English are actually great to deal with (once you find it). They charge US$ 5.00 to refill the standard 14.5 oz bottles and $10 for the 33 oz bottles.

Valve on the left is refillable. Larger valve on right can not be refilled.
The second trick is knowing whether your bottle can be refilled or not. The key is the little brass button on the very top of the bottle. Bottles with the very small brass button (slighlty larger than a pin head) can be refilled. Those with the larger brass button can not be refilled.

If anyone knows were to purchase just the valve/head piece, I'd love to know since I have one tank with the larger valve that can not be refilled.

And if anyone knows of other industrial gas companies on other islands, please let me know and I'll add them to this page.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fly-By Visit with Dottie and Dirck

In the early days when our daughter Christa was dating her husband-to-be, Nash, our extended families began sharing holidays together.  Always a fun and eclectic group with an adventurous spirit, we shared Thanksgiving at the Cape Cod numerous times, Christmas at Jackson Hole and Lake Taupo, NZ, and many more adventures together over the years.  Now we alternate trips to Hong Kong to share our two grandkids, Quinn and Conner. We are very fortunate to have had this bond for all these years. 

We got an email from Nash's mother, Dottie and her friend Dirck, saying they would be coming down to Sint Maarten for a much needed winter break from Boston. We mentioned we were anchored in Simpson Bay Lagoon as a reference point of our location.  They found a great guest house nearby called The Horny Toad, of all things, right on the beach about a 5-minute walk from our favorite dingy dock at Barnacles Pub. Perfect!

We were certainly ready for a little diversion from our “chores” and a chance to visit and tour around the island with D&D sounded like a great idea. They arrived Tuesday afternoon and we headed over for a visit. We were immediately luxuriating in the spaciousness of their unit with a large kitchen, living/dining area, flush toilet and a huge shower.  Walter staked out a place on their huge couch and almost fell asleep. We shared some drinks and snacks out on the deck and watched the sunset. Dottie, slightly our senior and an energizer bunny with lots of ideas, prepared a delicious dinner of roasted chicken and asparagus.

The next day we took a dingy tour of Simpson Bay Lagoon, visited the town of Marigot on the French side and had lunch at “Serafina" a popular bakery/ restaurant.  We sat and chatted between rain squalls and finally headed back to our boat before the next squall hit.  We sat out in the cockpit and enjoyed some drinks and snacks before heading back to D&D's for a swim in Simpson Bay.  For dinner that night we walked down the beach to a lovely restaurant, “Characters” and had some great tapas.

Dottie, Dirck and Meryl for sundowners on Flying Cloud.

We had a few things to catch up on the next day so we let D&D enjoy their beautiful place on the beach and invited them over for dinner.  I decided to prepare “Stew Fish in Gravy” (Grenadian Style), along with rice and salad.  It’s a delicious dish we learned from our cooking lessons with "Esther and Omega" back in Grenada last year.  Following dinner we had the opportunity to see photos and videos of Dottie’s recent 5-week trip to Ethiopia.  She had some terrific photos and her videos were amazing.  Ethiopia is definitely a third-world country few have the opportunity to visit and we enjoyed learning more about its people and culture. Thank you Dottie.

Our plans for Friday, our last day together, were to rent a car and see some of the island.  We had to run a small errand on our way to get our Sodastream cartridges refilled with CO2 at an industrial gas supply company.  It turned into somewhat of a scavenger hunt as it was very tricky to find.  (see our blog post on refilling Sodastream bottles). Thank God both Dottie and Dirck speak fluent French or we would never have found the place.

We continued on to Ilet Pinel, which is supposed to be one of the best snorkeling spots on the island.  You ride a small boat out to the island and can snorkel on the reefs on either side of the beach. It has two restaurants and a beautiful beach with fairly clear water for swimming. We all snorkeled and checked out the scenery. Walter asked two topless French ladies from Paris if they would keep an eye on our belongings while we snorkeled.  They jokingly said they weren’t planning on going anywhere too soon, so no problem.  Anyway, after snorkeling everyone thanked them many times over, especially Walter and Dirck! 

Boat ride out to Ilet Pine
Beach on Ilet Pinel

After snorkeling we drove to Grand Case on the northeast side of St. Martin, which has a wonderful beach and some great restaurants. We ate at one of our favorites, Sky's The Limit, and enjoyed some cold beers and a huge plate of ribs with numerous sides. 

After eating so much it was good that hiking was next on our agenda.  We headed to the rainforest area of Pic Paradis to Loterie Farm, a renovated sugar plantation turned into an eco preserve where you can wine, dine, climb, hike and glide over the treetop canopy.  The ropes course and zip lines looked like a lot of fun but we opted to do the hike up the trail along a small stream and eventually up to a view point. After that we took in the comfort and ambiance of the treetop lounge and had some drinks.

Tree house lounge at Loterie Farm. 

The next morning we swung by "The Horny Toad” to say good-bye to Dottie and Dirck as they headed over to St. Kitts for a couple days.  We thanked them for coming and sharing some fun times with us. They mentioned they had a five-hour transit at the airport on their way home the following Tuesday and planned to walk over from the airport to “Characters"  for a little swim and brunch.  Unfortunately, we were back in the midst of our solar panel installation and couldn’t get over for a last minute swim.  We told them to be sure and wave to us as they flew over us in the harbor. 

We have to give them credit they sure know how to squeeze in a lot in a very short time.  We on the other hand will probably still be here working on boat projects ad infinitum.