Monday, February 22, 2016

Migration of the Cruisers

Migration of the cruisers. Providencia is a stopping place for cruisers coming from the Panama Canal that came from the Pacific side or cruisers that are coming up from Panama that have worked their way from the Eastern side of the Caribbean. 

These cruisers are on a much faster tract than us. We are here for the culture experience. We stay for the 90 days most countries allow us to visit. 

Many of them enjoy getting in groups and experience the place together. We have joined in for a few meals and Steve hiked to the highest point of the island with a group. They have gone snorkeling and enjoyed Valentines dinner together. The snorkeling pictures come from a fellow cruiser that takes great picw of sea life. 

Steve and I have been hanging out with the locals. One couple had family in from France. One of them had these great glasses that are to help from getting seasick. I have seen them online but I had to try them on. I need to find me a pair even if they dont work. Hahah

Yesterday, Steve reworked our sun cover. A fellow cruiser has a great design and we had to try it out. So far we love it. I finally get more shade on the side and Steve doesn't feel the need to pull it down in higher winds. 

So like I said it is migration time for many of the cruisers. We had around 11 boats in this gorgeous anchorage. This morning 6 of them headed off to the Caymans. We enjoyed our coffee outside watching them head off. We are now down to 5 and expecting one to leave for the Panama Canal in the morning. 

Cruisers come and go. Wonder who will come next while we are here. Wonder if we will know any of them. The cruising group seems so large at times, yet youcontinuously  run into someone you know or someone who knows someone you know. Small world

I have been visiting my little dog friend, Isla. Still having the vet treat her. Also arranging for her to get fixed. A local has volunteered to care for her after her surgery. 

So island life is good.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hiked to Morgan's Head in Isla Providencia

Last night a cool Schooner sailboat came in so this morning we decided to hike up to Morgan's Head on Isla Catalina to get a better look and pictures of her. It turned out to be a gorgeous day and perfect weather for the hike

Schooner couldn't wait 

I just had to catch the Schooner with the cannon 

This spider has a great view

We had so many great pics that I wanted to share and this was the easiest way 

Schooner loved the hike up

Loved watching all the pretty tourista

Look at that water. Just gorgeous!

Had to take pics of the photographer doing her thing

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How we live on the hook

Years before leaving, Steve read everything he could find on living and cruising on a sailboat, especially if it was the “old” way. He likes to be as self sufficient as possible. Meaning as long as I agree. 

He would ramble his findings to me and what he felt was the best strategy for us. I took it all in and looked around myself and we came up with our lists of priorities for living on the hook before leaving. 

On the top of our list was ground tackle. My thoughts were go big or go home. Steve is the frugal partner where I am all about the moment. So we hunted for somewhere in the middle. He agreed with me about the importance so he had to give in on spending the money because it made sense for the future. He went between two of the newer models in anchors, the mantus and rocna. 

Mantus got scratched off the list because the mantus’ dealer couldn't figure out how to fit it on our boat. So the Rocna was our choice and we went up on the suggest weight, go big or go home. He also explained to me about the two choices we had in chain or rope and how some people use a combination of the two.  We went with all chain but our second anchor has rope. 

When living on the hook ground tackle is your foundation of your home. I want to sleep when winds are high and that can be an issue when you are depending on it so greatly. I appreciate our AIS’ anchor watch feature. It helps me sleep because I know if we move from the perimeter we set it will alert us in time give us to start the engine and reset or find somewhere safe before dragging into a fellow cruiser or worse reefs or land. 

The second thing on our list is power source. You need power, well I need power. I like having my electronics and refrigerator. So solar panels are how we regenerate power.   

Steve installed six T105 Trojan batteries because they are reliable, cheaper and easy to find around the world. He uses the charger that is matched with our Honda 2000 generator that we use to operate power tools, shop vacuum and to top the batteries off when the solar panels. Our panels are two 140 wts each. He has them where he can rotate them down in rough seas or to catch the sun better. He has a Victron monitor to view the state of charge and a Morning Star 45 amp solar regulator smart charge 10 amp. I have links to these items under our treasure chest tab. 

Next on our must have when living on the hook is a reliable dinghy. We chose the Portland Pudgy. Simple reason, she can't pop or leak air, she is stable, she rows easily, you can sail her and she is a certified life raft. She is slow but we both agree that we rather have all of the above for the price of speed. 

Another important necessity is water.  Saga Sea holds 150 gallons. We use the Seagul water filter system for our drinking water. We haven't had any problems finding free or almost free local water. Yes, Steve has to gerry can it to the boat but he says he is young and needs the exercise. So far this is working well for us. 

We enjoy living on the hook over marinas. Marinas have their place in our life, we use them when leaving our boat for any length of time. We will use them if I am left with the boat alone, simply because I don't want to handle the boat. Remember I'm not the sailor, Steve is and this is his choice, I would have a narrow boat or RV, Lol.  But, I prefer the breeze at anchor and the gentle motion. As well as the privacy and less bugs. 

In regards to sewage when living aboard we follow what the rules state in the area. We have an operating holding tank that can be emptied at a pump out station or we can manually empty it with a hand pump out at sea. 

We have a LVAC toilet with a huge hand pump. Steve loves those bilge hand pumps. We have them everywhere and many back ups. I dont mind the LAVAC system but I dont care for cleaning it because of all the caskets. 

Our laundry is usually taken to a local or business that washes and folds for a resemble price. If a place is not available I do it in the bucket. I have started using the amonia technique with my towels and sheets. 

1/4 cup of amonia with a bucket of water

I soak the items over night then in the morning I wringer them out and hange on the life lines. No need to rinse. So far so good. Luckily there is usually someone who does it so it hasn't been too much of an issue. 

Sun shades are a priority for me but it would be the same at a marina. Steve and I go around and around in regards to the shades. He knows they are needed but he also knows they are vulnerable. All I know is I want shade and protection from the elements.  One day I will have a decent place to sit outside but it might not be on Saga Sea, or with Steve. Hahah 

I can't think of anything else that might be questioned when living on the hook. If you have any please feel free to ask. I want to help you get out here as well 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Island Life

Life is good here in Providencia, Colombia. We joined a few other cruisers on the beach last week for a traditional island meal, rundown. We have had something very similar in Guanaja and I believe it is an island dish that has many names depending on which island you are on in the Caribbean. 

Another fun part of that day was taking a launch to the far south tip of the island. We tour the island by land but this time it was by sea. Providencia has some gorgeous waters. 

So the rundown dish consists of all kinds of seafooded and starch and root veggies cooked in fresh coconut milk. 

A local family prepared the dish at the beach on an open fire for us 

The whole family and friends participated. We had a great time and we thank all that made it possible  

This is Isla, she is a stray pup that hangs out at the dock and greets everyone. Because she has this skin condition the locals have shunned her and attempt to keep her away because they are afraid to catch it themselves. 

I believe it is mange  so I have started feeding her daily, trying to give her a high protein diet to help her regain her strength to fight the parisite.  I am also working with the island vet in getting her cured so she can be fixed and find someone to care for her when I leave in a few months. 

I wash and feed her at the docks where the local can see me tend to her. I was laughed at when I had to cary her to get bathed. The next day I met the vet at the docks and several members of the community came out to speak to the vet about their concerns for her. I was please to see that there are a few people that do care about her they just needed a ressurance that they efforts were not wasted.  

The vet was pleased to hear I was sticking around for a few months. He feels we can help her and find her a place in this community 

So here is to island life and their herbs. Even comes in energy drinks which gave me a headache and tasted like redbull

Until next time my friends. Love the ones your with and yourself