Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holidays are over

Well the Holidays are over and we had a nice time with the fellow cruisers here in the French Harbor area. We camr together for a potluck dinner, the food was great and company even better. 

We also visited the local Iguana farm that we are anchored near. Steve could barely walk through it, he isnt a big fan of reptiles and there were tons of them.  They mostly roam free and the owners keep them around by feeding and protecting them. 

Starting in January we will be looking for the next good weather window to set off to Providencia, Colombia. We need to allow a good 3-5 days. So come on northerns, not too strong. Lol. 

On a personal note, Im missing coffee shops, parks and sidewalks. Steve of course doesnt....

Almost forgot to share our latest video of Schooner at the beach. She is such a little fish

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Monkeys and Rodents, Oh My!

Thought I would share a few pics I have on my phone with you all. We are still hanging out in the middle of Roatan Island in French Harbor's anchorage. Not too much beach here but lots of cruisers at the moment. People are coming from all around, the Rio Dulce, Guatemala as well as Panama and Providencia Columbia which is where we are headed next month. Always nice to get the current scoop of a place before heading there. Cruising Guides help but much if it is out of date or they only shared what the written laws is  which can and is different from what is practiced. 

So we have joined in on some of the store runs and veggie trucks offered by the two operating marinas that are in this area. Fantasy Island Resort and Marina brings in a veggie truck for all the cruisers to buy from on Mondays. On Tuesdays a bus takes cruisers to the local big super market, Eldons, and gives them about an hour to shop and brings them back. Great service, because it is always difficult hauling groceries back to your dinghy. On Wednesday nights they have a bring your own BBQ. 

The other marina here is Brooksey Point. They have a laundry service which is a huge plus, they also have a weekly Eldons run but later in the week which is nice and live music on Thursday nights. 

 Fantasy Island has all kinds ofanimals that roam free on the Island.  Schooner wasn't too sure she liked the monkeys because they love to gang up on little dogs. In her mind it is like a scene from Wizard of Oz.   

Steve also worries, we heard the monkeys have been seen throwing the iguanas out of trees. 

I started my herb planters. Im using two litter bottle with rocks in the bottom to help with drainage. I am starting with a mint plant. I feel two or three litter bottles are great planters for a boat because they can easily be stored away while on passages or in heavy weather. They can also be hung on the outside to keep the dirt or leaves from falling on the deck, which is something Steve doesn't care for much. 

I have also started some seeds for the other containers, basil, cilantro, rosemary and some salad greens 

We have also taken Schooner with us snorkeling. She is a little fish butshe doesn't seem to like us putting our heads under the water. I usually pull her with me on a float but when either of us go under she dives in after us. I guess she is saving us. We will have to put her life jacket on so she can stay longer in the water until she figures out we are fine, just another strange thing we humans do. Maybe she needs her own snorkel gear?

Hmm what else, Oh we had to move from our position in the anchorage the other night because of a boat dragging on us. It always happens in bad weather. It is a bit unnerving because you can't predict it or use some sort of warning signal like an anchor watch. You end up not getting much rest when in bad weather because you are always watching that guy that is right in front of you. 

So we moved but then someone else moved right in front of us again, this time even closer. They didn't use an anchor light at night and the next day we had a squall come over us and their little boat was whipping around in front of us with no one on board. A fellow cruiser notified us over the radio that he thought the boat in front of us was dragging. Great!  Of couse this will happen when no one aboard. Luckily we found the owners and they moved the boat up some but it made us feel like we were overreacting because they didnt hit us. What were we suppose to do, wait until they did hit us? Ridiculous!  If you ever want to see a overweight redhead beat someone that is what you do, it is the quickest way to make me mad and I don't recommend that. 

Well that is all that has been going on around here. Next week is the holiday so we will join the other cruisers for a potluck Christmas meal. Those are always interesting. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Are We Minimalists

Recently a friend said we were minimalists. I have to say that is a goal of mine in some form but not sure I have succeeded yet. So lets see….

On Saga Sea, Steve is the CEO, because he is the sailor, I am the admiral. Sailing and living on a sailboat has always been Steve’s dream so this made him in charge of all systems on the boat. The boat is mostly how he dreamed of it being. I am along for the adventures. 

In the very beginning of our marriage we bought an Alberg 30. Steve was convinced that it was the perfect boat to go cruising in once the kids were out of the nest. He thought this because he was a follower of Lin and Larry Pardey ( and James Baldwin (  . Go Small, Go Now! I thought of it as being a great weekend boat for overnight trips. 

Steve seemed to work on the boat more than sail it. He was working hard at making her “bullet proof”. He removed the diesel engine and installed an outboard motor. He closed up almost all of the seacocks. Removed the head, replaced it with a portapotty. That was a compromise, he wanted a bucket with a toilet seat. Yeah I had to pull rank in that situation. 

He installed a gravity water system which consisted of a big blue igloo that was at my feet in the Vbirth.  I wonder sometimes if he needed a short wife for times like these. Hahah. He didn't want the normal systems that could break down when you're  in the middle of nowhere. He wanted to keep things simple so he can do all the maintenance and repairs. 

Simple is good in my mind but after having the Alberg And living on it for a year, I realized I rather not “rough it” during this stage in my life, unless it is required because of a drastic situation. I was interested in finding some sort of middle ground. 

Steve took the challenge and scouted out the boat that would have the things on his list as well as mine. He wanted:

Full Keel - protects the rudder when grounding as well as no keel bolts to maintain or break 

Heavy Displacement - rides smoothly in bad weather, i'm sure for my comfort 

Double Ender - Stronger and he likes how they look

Cutter Design- easy to maintain proper balance with sail reduction 

So boats that were on his list that he felt we could afford with lots of discipline were boats made by Robert Perry, specifically a Tayana 37 since there were more of them made. I fell in love with them. I loved the warm teak cabinetry inside. I loved how beamy they are as well as the U shaped galley. 

After living on the Alberg for a year we ran across Saga Sea, a Union 36, a Robert Perry design. She had a Gammon Iron staysail stay attachment that gives forward mast support if we lose the bowsprit. She also has an Edson worm drive steering, which gives me the feel of a wheel without cable issue that Steve hates. He rather have a tiller anyday. She also has two 50 gallon fiberglass diesel tanks. 

I'm enjoying her pressure water pump. We did add a backup foot pump and a saltwater hand pump. She had refrigeration that Steve doesn't seem to mind. He did refigure the propane system for the stove. He liked the Pardey hand valve idea instead of using solenoid that is known to corrode and fail. 

So when answering the question if I think we are minimalist I have to say we are probably right in the middle somewhere on the scale. There are some cruisers out here with some very nice amenities. Such as watermakers, but I say I have one, Steve, powerful generators that run everything from air conditioning to coffee makers, water heaters, electric push button toilets, nice walk on transoms with pressured water rinse hoses and of course much more. The cruising life is no different than in a neighborhood. You have people that have less to those that have it all. 

We are very content with how Steve fitted Saga Sea. I am sure I will change small things the longer I am on her, but that is how women are… She seems to be a seaworthy vessel and the best looking in most anchorages, at least in our eyes. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sunrises in French Harbor Roatan

Life isn't the same on the east end as it is on the west end of Roatan. East end is more rural and greener, so less white sand beaches. I don't believe Schooner much cared for it so we left and now in the middle of Roatan, French Harbor. 

We did have a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with the Trico Peeps before leaving,  Mr. Gala was sweet enough to include us, we enjoyed it very much. It's always difficult this time of year to be away from family and friends. 

Steve has keep up with a few things. He replaced the step we use when boarding the boat from the dinghy. He replaced it with teak so it should last a long time. 

I refurbished my sun umbrella with some colorful duck tape and paint pens. I always like sprucing things like this up, anything to bring attention. Hahaha I know Steve loves it. Hahah 

Our plans are to spend the holiday here in Roatan. As soon as we see a good weather window to go east we will head to Providencia Columbia.  For now we will enjoy Roatan's sunrises.