Christmas fun on Jost van Dyke

Sunday afternoon we dinked around the point to White Bay to visit the Soggy Dollar and were surprised how quiet it was.   Pulled dink up the beach – so he could show off his new painted numbers and his clean bottom – and left him alone to enjoy the space!!!   We wandered into the bar and got a great welcome from Mic who gave us beers before we even opened our mouths LOL.   Was pretty hot so we – surprise, surprise went bobbing …

Dink with his new decals Perfect Soggy Day Bobbing at Soggy Dollar

After a while we headed down the beach to One Love. Seddy was missing although Teddy the dog was around and we bumped into Christian and Karen – the honeymoon couple from Florida – that we’d met the previous night in Corsairs. They were drinking bushwackers and were quite jolly!   They hadn’t been to Soggy yet – having started at the other end of the beach – so we escorted them down so they could try a famous painkiller and they then joined us in a bobbing session.  Getting out of the sun and it was time to pay our tab – returning to the bar we had a lovely ‘welcome home’ from Simone, Winsome and Shaneek who had just come on shift….   Time to go and we gave the couple a lift back to their boat as they had swam ashore – but did think that they should have been picked up really as they were the only guests on a crewed catamaran charter!

Honeymoon couple

We headed back around the point – enjoying the view of Morphie in the anchorage – and were back on board for dinner and to get cleaned up – and then into Corsairs.

Morphie in Great Harbour

Vinny greeted us by telling us that our American friends were already there!   We had recommended the food and told them we would be going there later, but we really didn’t think they would make it back…. They were pretty sozzled when we had left them in White Bay – but somehow they had managed to persuade the captain to move the boat to Great Harbour.   We had a lovely time ending up in the boys doing shots…. Oh well….. Then they left to go back and we found out that they had a dinghy on the dock – we couldn’t believe that a paid skipper just gave his non-boating guest who was already a little worse for wear a dinghy to come ashore in.   Really not good enough!!   Richard helped them on the dock and thankfully they made it back without incident.

After a pretty hectic Sunday we decided not to go ashore Monday – so got up later than usual.   We sorted out the water maker, serviced some more winches, did some laundry and polished some wood down below.   About three o’clock we were taking a break in the cockpit and saw Orion coming into the anchorage….   Hurrah!   They got their anchor set behind us and went in to clear into customs and immigration. They came back legal and we all got together for a reunion on-board Orion. Such fun to see Lyle and Julia again….

Tuesday morning and we were up early and into Corsairs for internet again – the only semi-reliable service it would appear at the moment.


Back on board mid-morning and we waited for Lyle and Julia to pick us up as we were going to dink around to the Soggy Dollar.   Had a lovely bobbing afternoon followed by a roti at Gertrudes and back round the point … to found that we were surrounded by large boats anchored.  After a fun afternoon in the sun we had a quiet evening on board.

Us being silly

Lyle and Julia Anchored out with the big boys

Wednesday morning – Christmas Eve – and back out to get internet again – still trying to sort out spare parts to be shipped into St John and to secure a slip in American Yacht Harbour to allow Kevin the mechanic to come on board to fix stuff….   Finally all sorted out – phew – and while I was on line Richard fixed the D-ring at the front of dink which had been leaking.   Back on board and more wood cleaning / polishing again and got the generator running to charge things up and make water.   Unfortunately our water maker decided to spring a small leak so we investigated with Richard’s new wifi endoscope. Great tool – spotted the source – just a shame we can’t reach it easily!   Nothing to worry about though just a loose fitting – we’ll sort that out soon…..


Later on we went into Corsairs for dinner with Lyle and Julia. Perfect day and the anchorage started filling up quite early – and we ended up surrounded by big boys again!

Christmas Eve - anchorage getting busy

Our big neighbours today

We had a lovely dinner and a few drinks and laughs – we caught up with Vinny and Lori too – and then headed down to Foxys where there was karaoke going on.   Pretty busy night but the singing was dire – maybe that’s why the rest of the people there looked so miserable!!!!!  Richard asked the DJ to play one of his favourite songs from down island and then we had to dance of course. We had a good time….

Christmas Eve at Foxys Looking miserable at Foxys

And so to bed – late!

Thursday morning – Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

We had already planned a full-on party day today starting with a trip to the Soggy Dollar scheduled for early afternoon.    So we got up – had breakfast – had a swim and chilled in the cockpit, having opened our Christmas cards.   Thanks everyone – we miss you all….!!!!

Christmas cards

Lyle and Julia gifted us their sea anchor as they no longer have any need for it.   We had this on our list for future purchases so were very grateful for this generous gift.   For our non-sailing friends you only use this in serious storm conditions…. So something that you should have and hope never to need to deploy!

We went over to Orion to pick them up and dinked round to Soggy.   Was a perfect day on the beach – everyone was in a great mood – and we looked the part in our Santa hats.   So bobbing in the beautiful blue water was the order of the day. There was a small stingray moving around which made a few of the other people get out quickly – and some little fish that kept nibbling our toes!!!   Funny….

Soggy Dollar Christmas Christmas Day fun 2 Christmas Day fun 3

Christmas Day fun

During the afternoon we also enjoyed the wandering Christmas minstrels who came in and entertained us with some carols for a while before they moved on…..   Great service from Mic and Shaneek as always!

Wandering Minstrels Shaneek and Mic

We dinked back around to Great Harbour before the sun went down and we got absolutely soaked – the waves were building and breaking over the front of dink – and I took the brunt of them, much to the delight of the rest of the gang!!!!   Oh yes, and to keep morale high, we sang Christmas carols en route…. LOL

After getting cleaned up we headed back into Corsairs for their special lamb dinner. Was lovely and we had a great evening.   Lyle and Julia bailed on us a bit earlier as they were leaving the anchorage in the morning but we stayed on – moved down to Foxys in Vinny’s army truck – and partied with the Corsairs gang which, of course, involved more dancing…..  Oh yes, and spot the Duffys hat worn by Pizza Dave….   We donated them to the local kids and they left behind one in Corsairs – so Dave nabbed it!

Happy Christmas!

The Corsairs Gang Corsairs gang

Another late night….

Friday – Boxing Day – and we had a lazy recuperative one.   We stayed in bed, we lazed in the cockpit, we dozed and we read books….. We even ate some chocolate to make it feel more Christmassy!!!   Orion had left us by the time we surfaced – but we have made plans to get together for New Year’s Eve so didn’t feel sad at the loss of our Canadian play mates.  We didn’t attempt to go ashore just enjoyed watching the boats moving around and the usual mad dash for mooring balls at the end of the day.   This is a great anchorage with the sounds of the goats in the hills; the views across to Tortola; and now that the big boats have left we are out here on our own enjoying the lapping of the waves on the hull and the wind whistling through the rigging……

View across to Tortola

A quiet day, followed by a quiet night, and so to bed.

Saturday – up early and Richard has installed our transom shower hose and tap covers while I wrote this….   We then came ashore for breakfast and to blog….. planning a quiet afternoon on board and perhaps some after dinner drinks at Corsairs.   It was a quiet morning in Great Harbour and the anchorage…. and we just ran into Shaneek with her new baby boy Kaleb…. Lovely cuddles!!!

View out to the anchorage Shaneek and Kaleb Another busy day in Great Harbour

Bye for now


Getting ready for a Virgin Christmas

Merry Christmas

Wednesday morning I did all the laundry while Richard and Blaine got on with some maintenance jobs.   They took apart a couple of winches that had been temperamental on the passage and also did some trouble shooting to see what was going on with our engine temperature sensor.   They couldn’t work out whether it was the gauge or the actual sensor itself playing up – so we need more expert advice on this one.   Richard and I then went off to visit the new supermarket across the road and were delighted to find it full of good quality meat and veg….   Yay!   So we stocked up on meat to take advantage of shore power to get it all frozen down before we head out.

I also spoke to Garmin – again – yawn!!!!   They have been driving me nuts… We chose not to order the new chart plotter chip that we need for this season in the UK because it was £160 rather than $160 on the US site. So knowing we were coming this way and being able to access the US Postal Service to St John we were confident in our ability to get it.   So the first hurdle – can’t order to the US Virgin Islands on line – have to call their support team. No problem – sorted – order done. Than a follow-up e-mail to say there are problems with the credit card. No worries – another phone call – sorted. They had switched the billing address with the delivery address, no wonder it didn’t work!   Then I get another email to say something wrong – please call again. Turns out – after four frustrating (Skype) phone calls and about two hours – they will not guarantee delivery to a PO Box address in St John – even though it is a US territory.   So they will take the cash but we’ll have no recourse if it doesn’t turn up.   Grrrrr….. why is this so difficult?   They supply marine charts but can’t support cruisers who do not have a local physical address???   So I tell them where to shove it and will leave it to another day….

Garmin thoughts

Later on Richard and I met with Bill, Judy, and their sons Bill and Jonathan – who are the proud owners of Charbonneau, which is Blaine’s old Island Packet.   What a small world!   They are planning to go down island and wanted some hints and tips. We had a delightful couple of hours with them in Mollys before heading off out to eat and then to Duffys for ladies night.   Blaine was already there dancing around and it was rammed – ladies night means free alcoholic drinks for any girls – so gets pretty popular! And Richard particularly enjoyed the “cockodile” shot…. which was a surprise gift from the barman.

Laides night at Duffys Ladies night at Duffys 2 Cockodile shots

After Duffys we returned to the Tap and Still for a nightcap and Richard and I got roped into shots with big Kevin and his friends who were celebrating a birthday and Christmas all rolled into one….   Fun times and, of course, ended up getting to bed much later than planned!!!

Big Kevin and friends Birthday girl Christmas silliness

Thursday morning and Kevin, the mechanic, came over to look at the temperature sensor – looks like a new part required – and I cleaned down the stainless and wood.   I also filled up the water tanks. Richard tightened up the genoa halyard which had stretched a bit and cleaned up down below as we started to get ourselves sorted out post passage.   We then headed over to the ATM – bit nervous – and YAY our US bank account debit card works!   At last, we can relieve it of some cash!

We met Dave and Susan – Blaine’s friends – at Mollys for happy hour and then headed over to Lattitudes for some live music.   Great sounding band – mid West American music, not really our genre – but enjoyed it anyway – especially as we had chicken rotis for dinner. Yum.   Interesting bunch of people at this bar – drunk and / or just plain scary!  …

Jason Jones band


Owner of the bar

The audience loved to dance though, including the guy who danced on and broke one of the tables.   As the band closed their set for the night we headed back to the marina and, guess what, ended up in Duffys again….   This is Blaine’s final night here in St Thomas with us – so we partied, but not too hard this time as he had an early flight.

Blaine enjoying his last night

Friday morning and Blaine was up with the lark and left for the airport.   We then spent time getting the boat straight and re-utilising the space he’d vacated.   We were excited that our friends Lyle and Julia were coming in on their boat Orion, but were sad that the marina couldn’t accommodate us for an extra couple of days to stay here with them.   But they are heading to the BVIs for Christmas and New Year so we are looking forward to a proper reunion with them very soon!   We rushed around doing some final fresh produce provisioning and stowing it all away when Dave turned up. The previous night he mentioned that he had all the physical marine charts and pilot guides that we would need this season – and we had ones that he would need to travel further south in due course.   So we did a swap – excellent!    I also had success in sourcing the Garmin chart plotter chip from another company who were happy to ship to a Post Office box on St John. Hurrah – things are finally going our way!

New charts

We left the slip at American Yacht Harbor just before the 1pm deadline to depart – and motored straight across a very flat Pilsbury Sound. The water and views across the islands is always spectacular but we really appreciated it having been in boatyards and marinas so far. We rushed into customs and immigration – as we planned to check out for Saturday – but were told that we no longer need to do this. That’s very good news – thanks!   Shame I had already completed the forms though LOL…

Leaving American Yacht Harbour

Underway againBeautiful vista across the islands

We parked dink by the ferry terminal and went to Connections to collect the two parcels that were waiting for us – and then onto Woodys for a late lunch. Well, it was supposed to be a snack, but it was huge US portions, and I struggled to finish even though I’d only ordered an appetizer / starter!   Richard peeked in his parcels and after a couple of drinks we left – back to Morphie. We dropped the mooring ball and motored down the coast of St John towards Mahoe Bay. Opened the parcels – only spare fuel / air filters and threaded impellers – nothing fancy, but Richard was excited anyway. There will be more parcels to collect next time we go across…   We had a very quiet evening on board and retired down below for an early night having enjoyed a spectacular sunset.   We needed a break after the madness of the last few days!

Beautiful sunset

Saturday morning and it was lovely to be back in cruiser mode, enjoying tea in the cockpit admiring the anchorage.

Mahoe Bay anchorage

We left the USVIs and sailed straight across to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke.  Was a wonderful reach in 18-20 knots of breeze.  Just perfect….  We cleared into the BVIs and then headed to Foxys for internet connection.   Which, of course, wasn’t working… Really frustrated – need to talk to my mum and we have other stuff to order – and, of course, I wanted to post this!   Never mind- we headed down to Corsairs to catch up with the gang and see if their internet was working….   No, of course not, this is the islands!   We had a couple of beers and waved to Vinnie and Lori as they left for a Willy T afternoon on his new boat – they did invite us, but we declined this time LOL!

We had a quiet afternoon on board enjoying the beauty of Great Harbour and ended up being surrounded by super yachts as the sun went down…..

Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

Later on we headed into Corsairs for the evening to catch up with the gang and meet the rest of the new staff. Fun time was had by all – Vinny was on great form – and so back to Morphie to sleep.

Woke up this morning – Sunday – early and we’ve come into Corsairs to get internet with lots of fingers crossed as I need to phone my mum before she goes away for Christmas. Thankfully it worked!   Yay!   Was a bit tearful after speaking to her but glad we managed it….   Just had a late breakfast and we’re catching up with internet stuff – and planning a soggy dollar afternoon.

In the meantime, we’d like to wish all our family and friends a wonderful Christmas.

Happy Christmas!

Bye for now


Passage to the US Virgin Islands…and beyond!

We got up really early on Thursday morning and slipped quietly from our dock as the sun was rising and motored away down the river, admiring our final view of the big bridge as we passed under it.

Leaving the Willemstad bridge behind

We reached the pontoon bridge and radioed the operator – to be told they had just opened – so we had to wait. We stooged around for almost half an hour until finally it opened – the pilot boat came through first followed by the Venezuelan fishermen….

Stooging waiting for the pontoon bridge to open Time for tea Blaine getting reaquainted!

In come the Venezuelan fishermen

We slipped through the gap that was left into the swirling currents and then turned to port to run – under motor – along the rocky coast of Curacao.

Passing through the opening

We left early as the wind often doesn’t get up until later in the morning – and this held for us thankfully – so the dreaded part of the journey was slow but not too uncomfortable as we motored into the wind and strong currents….   We then headed towards Klein Curacao to ensure we could pass around the point of Curacao without getting caught out by the really nasty lee shore and strong fetch that comes from miles.   During this time motoring down the coast, Blaine was down below catching some sleep as Richard and he were going into their shift pattern straight away – I was a spare pair of hands to do some daytime shifts to help them out and to supply the food, of course!

Richard on shift

We passed the end of Curacao safely and put in our rhumb line to Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands.   We knew that, if possible, we should aim to stay east of this line but because of prevailing winds and currents we knew realistically that it would not be possible.

We sailed as close to the rhumb line as we could and it was pretty lumpy out there but we had lovely clear skies and much better conditions than we had been expecting. The wind only got up to 25 knots and most of the time was running at 15 to 20 – although we were getting pushed west by the current with no hazards apart from the tankers that move around this area in huge numbers. Luckily we had no near misses this time!

First big ship of the trip

The first sunset came and it was time for me to retire and Richard and Blaine to move to three hourly shift patterns.   We were bouncing around a bit but not too uncomfortable…. And we had a pretty uneventful night…..


Friday morning and the sight of the sun coming up at sea – perfect – and the wind continued to ease now settling around 15 knots.   The boys continued their shift pattern and I did a few hours here and there while they took cat naps….   It was almost a perfect day apart from the increasing distance that was appearing between our rhumb line and actual direction of travel – almost 35 miles west now. That’s a long way to claw back. Oh well……

Sunrise Big lumpy!

During the day we were visited by a small school of spinner dolphins playing around in the sizeable waves until they almost bumped into Morphie’s bow – and then turned at the last minute to avoid getting hit.   Really funny – you could almost imagine them chuckling each time.   Unfortunately they didn’t show themselves much above the surface so I wasn’t able to capture their fun photographically.   A great day on passage – and the sun set for another night at sea.

Perfect conditions!

Saturday morning and the wind changed….   It stayed about 13-15 knots but the direction went south east which was absolutely perfect for us and pretty unusual for this area.   Yay!!!!  So we made some easting while we could and headed towards our rhumb line – we were about 10 miles away from our rhumb line when the genoa just wouldn’t set, whatever we did or how far we fell off the wind.   So we rolled it away in frustration and went under main and staysail only while we had some lunch.   With the wind change now confirmed and holding we had a sailable direction to St Thomas if it changed again.   Wow – wasn’t expecting that at all…..   An amazing perfect day at sea followed by another beautiful sunset.

Sunset 2

Sunday morning and another sunrise – and the wind started to ease a lot.   We now had about 10 knots but still with a south element so we continued on our course.   Then the wind almost disappeared and started to fluke around and we wondered what weather was following.   During the day Richard had some excitement – he caught a fish!!!   A pretty small one and we put him back – but a better start to the season…  Let’s hope it continues LOL…

Name that fish!

Sunday afternoon Richard spotted some nasty stuff but it passed by us without any effects. During the night, however, he came down for me to check the radar – and there were squalls all around us. The wind picked up – and moved east – but fine, we can sail that!   Sunrise 2

Monday morning and we are getting close – and then the storms came. The wind went north east, but because of our easting earlier, we were still able to sail direct to St Thomas. Then the storms got nasty and we even spotted a water spout out there….   The heavens opened and there was a white out. And that set the scene…   Rain, rain and more rain…..

Storm coming Visibility disappearing See the water spout! White out! Horrible - just horrible

But we’re still making way…. And eventually we get close enough to see St Thomas in the gloom and we encounter our first cruise ship of the trip at the same time as the skies cleared……

First cruise ship of the trip

But then there was more rain – more gloom – but eventually we set our hook in the waters of Charlotte Amalie at around 2.30 pm.   It had taken us 4 ½ days and we covered 516 miles in total.  Woo hoo!!!!   Great passage…..

Cleaned up quickly – into the ferry dock – and we cleared into the US Virgin Islands.   We then ended up in the Fat Turtle for our first alcoholic drinks for a while and something to eat.   Back on board pretty tired but happy and we settled into a good night’s sleep – again, back in our beds rather than in sea cots!

The Fat Turtle

Tuesday morning – and we went ashore to get internet at the coffee shop.   Had some breakfast and Richard posed for a special photo for Dan and Ruth, showing off his Wisconsin souvenir tee-shirt!

Souvenir from Wisconsin

The Shops

We returned to Morphie admiring all the mega yachts in the marina, and had to run through the channel next to the cruise ships. Disney was in so we spotted Dumbo flying off his stern and Mickey was painted on his bow.   Pretty ship!   And of course the boys were being silly in the dinghy!

There's Mickey! They fancied being on the Disney ship Superyachts lining the docks Busy with huge boys toys Dumbo what are you doing up there The dinghy dock is behind there somewhereBack on board, got ourselves ready, and then – in the torrential rain – picked up anchor and motored along the coast of St Thomas to return to Red Hook.   This was our home port when Morphie was in charter so interesting that the guy on the fuel dock remembered us and welcomed us back!!!!   Well – rain stopped work although cleaned all the salt off Morphie – so we sat in Molly Malones enjoying a few Coronas and tried to catch up, but the internet failed….   Grrrr….. feeling the need to get connected LOL.

Then we met one of Blaine’s friend Dave – and had a burger dinner with him – and then headed to Duffys for a party night.   It was pretty quiet although it was Tequila Tuesday – but we really had a lot of fun as I think the photos show! Great night out.

Blaine and Dave Duffys Love Shack Let the fun begin! Fancy a shot Tequila Tuesday

This morning and its back to work – I’ve just loaded up the washing machines in the laundromat and am now sitting in Mollys drinking coffee hoping for internet to get this published.   Yay – it’s working!   Richard is back on board doing post-passage maintenance jobs….

Bye for now


Having fun in Curacao

Sunday we finally finished the boat jobs…… and had a takeout for tea!   We were too exhausted to cook and the marina dogs certainly enjoyed the left overs…. Followed by an early night on board.

Monday and we were up early….   I cleaned down below and Richard did a final engine check and other useful stuff.   Come lunchtime we were done – showered up – and headed off to the airport to pick up Blaine.   His flight came in at 2.55 pm so we had some lunch while we waited.   It was really hot and humid and we stood at the arrivals rail – we knew the flight had landed and people were trickling through… but still no sign of Blaine. Finally after a very hot hour he came through frustrated by the length of the customs queue.

Back to the boat with Richard showing off his Formula 1 driving skills in our rent a wreck – avoiding pot holes and giving Blaine a bit of a scare! After a quick visit to Morphie we went out to Pietermaai to take him to our favourite restaurant and show him around a little. Visited Mundo Bizzaro first – and we had a couple beers – followed by a fantastic meal at Ginger with lots of chatting and catching up going on.  Back on board completely full up and a pretty early night!

Boys having fun at Mundos

Tuesday and we took the day off! Hurrah!   So headed over to Jan Thiel beach and had a great time playing in the water, bobbing, and generally just chilling.   It was really hot and we couldn’t get enough shade – so we ended up in the bar.   And honestly we were rehydrating with soft drinks – there was no rum involved at all!   Blaine and Richard enjoyed posing by our old car as we left.

Jan Thiel beach Having fun in the water Staying hydrated Our trusty wreck

We had a great time chilling and once we’d got ourselves cleaned up we headed over to Pirates Rest where Happy Arghhhhh had just started.   We had a nice BBQ supper – followed by the bill served in a pirates chest! – and then ended up back on board for pontoonies and so to bed.

Pirates Nest Happy Argggghhhhh Pirate chest for the bill

This morning – Wednesday – and we headed into Willemstad. Primary purpose was to visit customs and immigration to check out as we are leaving tomorrow morning.   But while we were there we enjoyed the sights of the pontoon bridge opening to let a yacht come in; the Venezuelan fruit and veg market; the cruise ships towering over the city and the spectacular renovated buildings in Otrabanda. Richard found a nice new car to lust after – and some huge new fenders!

Pontoon bridge opens for a yacht to come in Panorama of Willemstad Venezuelan fruit and veg market Willemstad Beautiful renovated old house Venezuelan fruit and veg market 2 Richard fancied taking this one home! Renovated area New fenders.....

We topped off the city day out by mucking around with some tourist things and having a leisurely lunch…. Whilst people watching all the cruise ship passengers….

Don't we look dapper!

Cruise ship tour bus

Eventually back to the marina – returned the hire car – and paid our marina bills….   All done – so now having a quiet night on board in preparation for our trip tomorrow. We plan to set sail early morning and will first have to navigate our way out to the sea and will be greeted by wind and current straight on the nose. So expecting a lumpy old time out there for a while – and in fact all of the 450+ miles will be beating into the wind and current….   Will take us approximately five days for this trip and, as we have Blaine the gadget man on board, you can actually follow our progress via his Facebook page – CapnBlaine (which is publicly available) – as he’ll be putting Spot Satellite updates there morning and evening…..

See you soon from the US Virgin Islands!   Bye for now


The final push

Thursday morning and we were up early…. Today is the day we go back in the water – thankfully. After another mosquito-infested sauna night aboard we will be happy to get some breeze through the boat!

It was around 7.50 am and I’d just made a pot of tea and put on some eggs to boil – and the guys turned up with the monster trailer to take Morphie away!   So we quickly stowed everything in the sink and we are being told to get off!   Yes, OK mate….. but let us check that all is as it should be first!   We quickly climbed down the ladder with just a camera and watched the proceedings.   I was a bit fed up when I saw marks along the hull when the chocks were removed – but, on closer inspection, it was just paper stuck to the new paint, not damage. Phew…..

Morphie on the move 1

So heart in mouth we watched Morphie’s progress through the boatyard and finally into the water…..   Checked the stuffing gland for drips – all fine – and other through hulls….   We found that the knot meter wasn’t seated properly and was letting by a little… so tightened that up and we started the engine. No hesitation – first turn off the key. Well done Morphie!

Morphie on the move 2 Morphie on the move 3 Morphie on the move 4 Morphie on the move 5

Ready to push off and, of course, nobody around to assist…..   So Richard spoke to this Canadian couple who were splashing later on and we asked them for assistance promising we’ll do the same for them later in the day. Deal struck and we’re on our way and then into our slip – unfortunately the marina is full (it is tiny!) – so we ended up stern into the wind.   Oh well – never mind – we were safely in the water and tied to a dock.   Glad that was over!

The rest of Thursday and we carried on working hard….   We got dink off the coach roof, pumped up, and into the water….   Richard did final engine jobs and I carried on stainless cleaning – now that I could reach the outer rail…..   Thursday night we retired very early having had a long day.

Friday we worked hard all day. Very early in the morning we got the staysail hanked on….. The wind picked up so we left the genoa for another day.    Later on Richard went up the mast to check our rigging and give it a bit of a clean, and I painted new registration numbers on dink…..   We compiled a list for provisions for the forthcoming trip and we got the freezer working as a fridge. Unfortunately the fridge compressor wouldn’t start….so we had to get a refrigeration guy out to look at it.   Again it was a gas leak allegedly and he went away having fixed it pretty quickly. We must buy the gauges and the gas so that we can do this job ourselves in future – it happens every year – and these guys are always the most expensive!   Having got the fridge and freezer working we headed out for our first mammoth provisioning run……   Got the basics but very disappointed in some of the offerings – not helped by our lack of Dutch language skills!   Back on board, provisions stowed, and another early night after tea….

Vreugdenhil supermarket

Saturday morning and we got up extra early to hank the genoa on…. Successfully achieved we returned to bed for a little while!   Then we were off out with a long list of stuff still to get – first stop Island Water World to order 40 foot of chain, a new secondary anchor, some shackles and Racor fuel filters.   And as we are such good customers they gave us a pretty good discount and are even delivering to us on the boat on Monday morning.   Our original secondary anchor is just a pile of rust now – and we’ve never actually deployed it ourselves – so wonder about the quality in the first place????!!!!????

Pile of rust!

Then we headed off to the posh Van der Twill supermarket to get the rest of the provisions….   Another disappointment….. Oh well – not sure what to do now!   But we stopped – on the off chance – at the discount place which is a bit like Costco and were surprised that we got everything else that we needed!!!   Pleased with ourselves we headed back and tried to find a place for everything – and I started cooking.   We will have Blaine on board to assist this passage as I’m not yet fully fit after my operation this summer – so it is meals for three and potentially a tough windward slog ahead.   I have decided to cook some decent meals that can be just taken from the freezer to the oven or the pressure cooker.   Managed to get two done – shepherds pie and cheese and bacon pasta bake – and into the freezer before bed time….   Another early night, although we did have a couple of beers first in the cockpit, fighting off the mosquitos!!!

This morning – Sunday – and I got up early and was cooking curry at 8 am!!!!   Richard still managed to taste it to check it was OK LOL.   The final prepared meal of lasagne was done and ready for the freezer by mid-morning. There is other food too – in fact, we might have gone a bit over board on the chocolate, haribos, and snack offerings – but plenty of other meal / lunch / dinner options if the passage takes longer or just gets plain boring…   A girl can dream can’t she!!!!????!!!!

While all this culinary magic was going on Richard was washing Morphie down from bow to stern – and then waxed her.

Wax on, wax off

I ended up in dink going round the outside rail to finish off the stainless, as this was too dangerous up on the hard….

Outside bits need doing too.....

Finally all stainless finished and we hoisted dink up onto his davits in preparation for going to sea.   Phew…… finally we are almost ready…..  Doesn’t she look sparkling???


Sitting in the cockpit now having a well-earned beer and then another early night beckons….

Tomorrow afternoon Blaine arrives and we still have a few jobs to get done but we are almost there….. Looking forward to a couple of days off before hoping to set sail on Thursday – but obviously very weather dependent this far out….

Bye for now


Keeping busy in Curacao

Friday night, as promised, Richard took me out to Ginger for dinner.  Absolutely stunning Asian fusion food – thoroughly enjoyed it.  Curious that this time round the naan bread really was naan – in August they were chapattis.  We had mentioned this to the chef when he came round the tables checking all was well and it looks like he took our feedback on board!!!  Wow didn’t expect that….    We had an absolutely lovely chilled evening – enhanced by the talented duo that performed.  He was clearly Spanish classically trained on the guitar and she sounded like Eva Cassidy at times….   Amazing.

Great songsters

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and headed off to the boatyard.  We were not going to be staying all day as we had a long list of things to do.  We visited Morphie – unpacked some more stuff we had bought from the apartment – patted her and said goodbye for the day.  Then off to the gas filling station and – hurrah, our new adapter worked – so we now have two filled propane tanks!!!  That’s a relief otherwise we’d have been living on sandwiches for a while….

Then we went off to the supermarket and back to the apartment to unpack.   The Christmas Fayre was setting up and we actually had to move one of the stalls to get through our front door – they were clearly not impressed at our impertinence!   Back out again to drop off the cute (but expensive) hire car and returned.   We were going to spend some time in the pool but the fayre activity was all around and we stayed put indoors whilst trying to block out the sounds of White Christmas coming from outside the front door.    After a lazy few hours we wandered down to Miles to meet our man in Curacao  – Michel – who was renting us the wreck again….    Spent a few fun hours with him over a beer or three and then wandered the Fayre.

Our man in Curacao

A bit disappointed really as it was just stalls selling mainly decorations or jewellery.  There was face painting for the kids, a women’s choir, and some young talent playing in Ginger to the amusement of the little ones……

Christmas Fayre products

Face painting Kids having fun Ladies choir Young talent

Christmas Fayre products 2

But we were expecting local food and at least a sight of Sinterklauus and Black Pete….  Nothing.  So we headed to Rock Beach for some food and it was average at best.  Shame – but we had a nice time anyway.  Not so sure some of the parents would have been amused when they got back to their clamped cars!

Not so much fun for the adults

Sunday morning up bright and early and we were on board Morphie by 7.30 am!   We unpacked some more stuff we had bought with us – I started on the stainless and Richard had his head down the engine compartment doing useful things like changing the impeller and fan belt….  He also used his new tap and die set to replace our zincs… and put a new board on the stern of dink as the other one had rotted.   Amazing what you can do with an old plastic breadboard!!!!

Cleaning the stainless Impeller change

We were busy most of the day and didn’t get back to our apartment until almost 5pm – but decided to cool off in the pool – only to find that Richard’s swimmers had been stolen from our patio!   He was not a happy bunny – they were brand new from M&S and he’d only worn them twice….   The citronella candle had gone too – this is a secure area but I guess the Fayre made it less so.   Irritated we still managed the pool for a while.   We then had a quiet time in front of the TV with a stir fry tea….followed by an early night.

Monday morning back to Morphie early again….. laden down with more stuff as we started to empty the apartment.    Unpacked and then got on with boat jobs again…..   I finished the stainless steel cleaning and Richard got on with more engine stuff and fixed the seized Y valve in the heads…..(he gets the stinky jobs!)….   We also talked to Curacao marine about our boot stripe.   This has got small ‘holes’ in it – only a year after being applied by Grenada Marine – and they have accepted verbally that this should not happen!


Curacao marine are giving us a renewal quote but are unable to do it for us at this time – so looks like we’ll have to put up with it until we reach Florida at the end of the season.   Hopefully Grenada Marine will stump up some cash towards it….   So I washed it down, polished it and then applied a protective coating, hoping that it will at least stay as it is until then.   We then returned back to Pietermaai to enjoy our last afternoon in the area and our last time in the pool….    Had a lovely bob and then  another early night.

Happy to be back Final pool bob

Tuesday morning and we finished our packing…  then headed out for breakfast at Mundo Bizarro.   Great continental breakfast while we admired the unusual driftwood Christmas tree – although did note that it had been chained down to make sure it wasn’t stolen!  And then a final farewell to our apartment.

Venue for breakfast Driftwood Christmas tree

Our apartment 1 Our apartment 3 Our apartment 2

Back to Morphie and we are finally moving on board….. on the hard…  This means – for those non-sailors amongst you – that we live on the boat while she is stored on land and we have to climb up and down a ladder to get on / off, and that means we have to use the marina toilets and shower block too….   And of course there is little breeze…  Oh joy!   Can’t wait!  But we are definitely going back into the water on Thursday so it isn’t for long….  And there will be no distractions of pools etc as the marina is right opposite the oil refinery.View from the back of Morphie

So it was a mammoth unpacking job along with reorganising cupboards and cleaning everything that didn’t move!   We were pretty much done by 5pm and we headed off to the supermarket to buy dinner….    Being out of the water means we don’t have a working fridge so we are using it as a cooler with ice cubes for essentials and buying the rest as we go.    Back on board we had tea and retired early…..    Wow it was hot!   Like sleeping in a sauna – with the constant hum of mosquitos as you try to keep everything covered…   I managed to get a bite in my ear and up my nose before I retreated beneath my sheet completely.  Sounds funny but with Chikungunya out of control here in Curacao this is one mosquito borne illness we definitely don’t fancy catching!

Chikungunya mosquito

This morning – Wednesday – and we were up with the lark…. Very tired from lack of sleep but determined to get on.   Richard did more engine jobs like oil changes, oil filters etc…. and he got the outboard out onto the rail.  He also got the generator started again…    I spent most of the day under the boat cleaning the propeller – but doesn’t it look great against her new anti-foul paint….

Shiny prop

I also sat under the boat for a while putting a hose up into the engine intake so that we could run the diesel engine and check no leaks etc….  Jobs done – well done Richard – and we are now relaxing.   We splash tomorrow so will be pleased about getting back into the water and getting the rest of the jobs ticked off the list.   Can’t say either of us are looking forward to sleeping on board tonight though…..    I think we might have a glass of wine first LOL!

Bye for now