Monthly Archives: February 2010

snow in ny, sun and no gas in martinique

Today started off well enough – awaking with the anticipation that the day my Baby Cakes would be back on the boat was enough to brighten the day considerably.  I got up early and headed over by dinghy to the nearby “Bichik Services”, where I would have a cup of coffee and inquire about filling the water tanks.  As there was no boat currently on their one berth at the combination fuel and haulout dock, they warmly said to come by any time…

About 30 minutes later I was tied up at Bichik, took on 15 liters of gas for the dinghy and 900 liters of water: 28 Euros total.  Water is very cheap at only 1 Euro cent per liter.  Gas on the other hand… Is expensive.  But any time we fill the boat with water we’re happy so things were going pretty well.  Now it was all about putting Walk On back on the hook out in the bay and start the final cleaning and organizing surge before the Admiral arrived.

Just after returning to the anchorage, I talked to Larissa on the phone.  She was packing in her hotel room and getting ready for the trip home.  We said goodbye and “have a nice trip, see you at the airport tonight” and then only a minute later I got a text message from Mom.  She said that we needed to contact the airline and re-book Lara’s flight… It’s snowing heavily in NY apparently (hard to believe from this point of view…. 80’s to 90’s and hot dry weather) and in the end, her flight from NYC to San Juan was actually cancelled.  First bad news of the day.

A while later my father-in-law called.  Larissa had been unable to get a hold of me and had called them to confirm that indeed the flight had been cancelled and the re-booking was for Sunday (day after tomorrow).  Second bad news of the day.  I haven’t spoken to her yet and I don’t know what her situation is – but she was on the way to the airport where, hopefully, the airlines will be doing something about accomodation.  Otherwise, she might be headed to Queens to visit a friend of the family, originally from Rio.  We’ll see what happens – I’m anxious to see.

The stove and bbq mount had been promised for 14:00 and so I showed up at the boatyard shop at just about half past two.  Nothing had been done yet. They asked me to come back in 90 minutes, asking in a crummy sort of way if I had anything to do for an hour or so… I said that I lived on the boat and so my life, thankfully, is always full of things to do, and I left, with serious doubts about whether I would see my stove today or not.

Aside from re-installing the stove, if and when it’s ready, I also need to take care of a rather serious issue: the lack of cooking gas.  As it turns out, the 13kg bottle that I’ve been carrying around since Brazil is a dead item – noone is willing to fill it as the fittings are uncommon to the Caribbean.  This had already been a problem back in St. Vincent. To make things a bit more complicated, I discovered that the valve from the bottle that I did buy in St. Vincent has a slow leak.  I’m not sure how long it’s been that way, but I figured it out on Sunday when I was taking the stove apart in the first place.  Lucky to discover it without blowing myself up.  Anyway, now that I know that it’s there, I simply won’t put that bottle back into the loop – too dangerous. So even if I did have a stove, I wouldn’t have any gas to cook with.

With the new 90 minutes of free time that I just received from the machine shop, I decided to hoof it around and resolve the gas question.  The bottles of course are different here and so the only option is to buy one (no re-fills or trade-ins with the bottles I’ve got).  Sounds easy, I know.  However, the larger bottle (around 13kg as well) is about 1 cm too tall to fit in my gas locker.  Oops.  There is a smaller bottle, a 3kg “Campingaz” bottle very common in Europe and apparently easy enough to trade or refill in other locations around the world.  That’s cool.  Too bad noone has a valve for the darn things.  I went to 6 different stores and always found the bottles, but no valves.  So even if I had the little bugger, I couldn’t use it.  As chic and quasi-European as Martinique feels sometimes, it’s still thoroughly caribbean in other areas (like the sharp drop-off in the work or productivity of professional servcies after noon on Friday).  Then again, I’m a cruiser and this is part of the lifestyle.  Don’t be in a hurry if you want to be a cruiser.  You’ll just get frustrated for nothing.

After the nice walk around town hunting for gas valves, I went back to the machine shope to pick up my stove and bbq mount. Right.  The bastards (now I was getting pretty ticked) still hadn’t touched anything and had the gaul (actually, they’re Bretons) to tell me that they hadn’t had the time.  As they are closed on the weekend, I don’t have  a chance of seeing my stove or using my barbeque until Monday afternoon, at the earliest.   The French word merde comes to mind, repeatedly.

So – that was today.  Turns out that since my last post quite a few things have actually gone quite well.

Yesterday morning I resolved the bilge pump issue.  I took a piece of plastic grating, a kind of flooring material, and wired the bases of the two pumps – the electrical bilge pump and the bronze spoon/scoop attached to the manual bilge pump – and secured the automatic floating switch the same way.  The plastic grating was just the right size and so now the pumps are secured and right where they are supposed to be – on the bottom of the bilge!  It was a load of my mind to finally get that one taken care of – so much so that I forgot to take a picture for Rimoli.  Oh well.  At least it works.

Later in the morning I picked up the Racor fuel filter / water separator to replace the MWM unit that I have.  It was expensive but I feel good about it in the end because now I’m sure that I’m filtering the fuel efficiently with a clean filter.  The other good thing is that the Racor filter elements are relatively easy to find in well-known cruising spots.  They aren’t cheap enough here to stock up on them, but I did get one extra for the next change.  I’ll pick up more in Colombia or Panama.  Oh, and I installed a fuel shutoff valve just before the Racor too – something that had been overlooked at the boatyard.

I closed out the day with some cleaning, listening to a series of Live Trax albums from the great Dave Matthews Band.  Excellent cleaning music!  Adriana and Eduardo hosted me yet again on board the good ship Anima Mare for dinner and we feasted on a special Neopolitan recipe for meatballs.  Che buoni!!!!  It’s already lucky for me that they’re here – and even better that Adriana loves to cook so much.  I’m the first cruiser to gain weight over a week, WITHOUT a stove to cook on.  Thanks again Adri & Edu!!!

Now I’m sitting in the cockpit, waiting for sunset and the cooler breezes of the evening.  My Baby is somewhere in NYC, hopefully well, with a place to stay tonight, and not too cold!  Just thinking of all that snow reminds me of South Bend.  If the motivation kicks in, I’ll dinghy over to Mango Bay (restaurant) and get on the internet to post these meager ramblings from a crowded bay in the French Antilles…

More soon gang, more soon.

Au revoir.


middle of the week from the middle of the bay

Martinique, work week.

Since the last update, things have been a bit different on board the good ship Walk On.

The first of course is that I’m solo on the boat: Lara took a flight together with her brother Leonardo for NYC: a quick trip to a city she’s never visited and birthday present to celebrate her 30th.  They flew out of Martinique on Friday morning, the 19th.

But first:

On Ash Wednesday, the 17th, we took a ferry over to Fort de France to visit the island’s capital.  We were going to tour the island, but there were no rental cars available in Anse Mitan – and we checked all 5 agencies!  The capital was a bit ‘dead’ as you might expect in the middle of the day during carnival: hot, empty streets.  Only near the ferry boat docks, where the carnival celebration was to take place later that afternoon, did we see some action – folks starting to gather at the various booths and vendors set up for carnival, to have a bite to eat before the festivities started.  We opted not to stick around for that… Perhaps too many great carnivals in Brazil, or perhaps it was just the heat.  Caribbean sun in full force.  You really have to remind yourself sometimes that it’s still winter….

On Thursday the 18th we managed to get a car and so set out to tour a bit of Martinique.  We drove up the west coast towards St. Pierre.  At one time, this was the “Paris of the Caribbean” and apparently quite a place.  But in 1902, Mount Pele changed all that, with a violent eruption that killed all but one of approximately 30 thousand citizens… The town today could do more to mark some of the ruins, making it clearer for tourists what is a ruin and what is simply a poorly maintained structure from the 20th century.  Anyway, we then turned to the high internal areas of the island and drove through some increbile valleys and moutain passes – a bit reminiscent of St. Vincent.  Then we headed to the east, windward, coast.  It took us a while, but we finally found the Clement estate, which today is a nicely kept rum distillery.  The tour was 90 minutes long and it was getting late in the day – so we decided just to buy some rum and continue on our drive around the island.  Back on the south coast we visited Le Marin, ate McDonalds (first time in ages and ages), did a bit of grocery shopping and then headed back to Anse Mitan and the boat.

Friday Moring I drove Lara and Leonardo the airport for an early-ish departure.  Then I turned the car back in and took the day off on the boat:  cleaning some, washing some towels and clothes, and then watching some movies.

Saturday the 20th I left early: a single-handed trip back down the leeward coast to the pleasant anchorage of St. Anne.  Anima Mare was back at St. Anne… They had left for Los Roques (Venezuela) a few days earlier but ran into some autopilot and engine trouble about 80 miles out and decided to return to Martinique to put things in order.  Not only was it great to see them, but it turned out to be a turn of luck for me too… As Sunday would prove.
In any case, the sail on Saturday was truly pleasant – a bit of a beat back towards St. Anne after rouding Diamond Rock, but Walk On got into a very nice groove and seemed to ask for more as we beat to windard in more than 20 knots.  I hadn’t sailed alone since Brazil (Santos to Ilhabela… May 2009) and I had a lot of fun.  With every passage, short of long, I learn more about sailing this wonderful boat, learning to listen to her and trying to treat her right – ‘cause she loves to get up and go, not doubt about it.  Also, with every passage, I’m thankful to David de Villiers for a great design and to Ari Vilas Boas for the great build.

Anyway, the reunion with Anima was great as always.  We all figured that since it was the weekend, all the chandleries and services in Le Marin would be closed anyway – so why not hang out in St. Anne, where the water is clearer and cleaner, better for swimming!  The plan was to enjoy Sunday and head to Le Marin on Monday morning. I had a pending list of projects that was nagging at me somewhere in the back of my mind anyway, so the weekend would be nice catch up with Edu and Adriana – and then get to work on Monday!  All this while Lara and Leo were in NYC, braving the cold to walk the city and get to know her a bit.

So with a light Sunday in mind, I woke to a beautiful day.  Only to discover the the coming week might be busier than expected:   the refigerator refused to start up.  For about a week I’d suspected a problem with the thermostat (it wouldn’t cycle on and off automatically any longer – and so you had to turn the dial to get the fridge to come on, and had to turn the dial again to turn it off when you got the temp you wanted.  The risk of course was that the thermostat was no longer capable of doing the job and so if you forget to turn it off… It goes on forever… Or at least until your  batteries are dead!).  Now I had no reason for suspicion, I was simply without a working fridge.  I transferred everything to the freezer, which had been off and empty since my in-laws visit in January, and put the “fridge thermostat” at the top of my priority list fo the coming week.

Feeling like it was time to roll up sleeves and get to it – despite it being Sunday – I decided that the stove needed attention.  We have a 3-burner stove and oven, manufactured in Porto Alegre by a friend who brands his stuff “Brazilian Sailor”.  For the last 4 or 5 months, this 3-burner stainless marine cooker was actually a two burner, as one of the larger burners had stopped working some time ago.  We’d nearly forgotten about it and become quite accustomed to what we had left: two good burners, plenty for most anything we cook on board.  But, it was Sunday.  Nothing else to do with my lovely wife in New York City, and nowhere else to go.  It took a while to get it all disassembled, but when I did I started cleaning the ‘working’ area of the stove, where the burners and gas connections are.  Easy Off is a nasty material that probably should be outlawed but that’s what I had on board.  In any case, I hooked the gas up again and noticed that despite my best efforts, the nagging third burner had still not come back from the dead.

The feeder tubes were clean, and so I suspected the valve.  BAD IDEA.  I managed to loosen the connection with the main gas tube.  No problem, just unscrew it and re-do it.  WRONG.  Because of the way it’s constructed, you can’t unscrew the valve without breaking rivets and basically starting from scratch.  Before I figured that out, I managed to break the valve even further.  Now I was screwed.  Dead stove.  Hook it up to gas again and you’ll only fill the galley with propane (butane?) before you can make coffee……. The work week hadn’t even started yet and the list that I already had of important boat projects was now being further demoted, by two!  Morning: no fridge.  Before noon: no stove!  Hmmmmmm…..  Like I said before, it turned out to be quite lucky for me that Anima Mare had autopilot problems!!!!!  Had they not been nearby, this week might have turned out far worse.

Every day since then, I’ve dined with Edu and Adriana on their boat, and even showed up by dinghy every mornging for a dose of that wonder liquid, coffee in an Italian moka.  🙂

Monday I managed to find a thermostat replacement.  First I found one just like the one I have, made by a company from Italy called Vitrifrigo.  But the store that stocks them wanted 68 Euros for it.  OUCH!  So I hunted around and thanks to the help of another store (Le Ship it’s called, and I highly recommend it here in Le Marin), I managed to find another option for only 30 Euros.  Even better, it’s a Danfoss (same manufacturer as my fridge compressor anyway) and in the process I had a long and enlightening conversation with Fred – an expert in such things and a nice guy to boot.  We also discovered quickly that my older Vitrifrigo thermostat was completely without gas… That little copper tube has to be treated with kindness and respect… Otherwise, No Fridge!

The thermostat is now installed and I’m pleased to report that the fridge is working better, colder and more efficiently than ever!  This is very good news indeed because battery consumption is always a primary concern.

On Tuesday I found a place to “fix” the stove.  The idea is to take out the old valve and seal that hole only – continuing with 2 burners and not worrying about it any longer.  I was mega mega mega tempted to scrap the lot and buy a French stove which is top of the line (actually, I was looking at the middle of the line).  It would have fit perfectly and been very nice indeed – but it was 700 Euros and that’s just too much cash!  I fought temptation and won, and so the day after tomorrow I’ll have my Brazilian Sailor stove back (and hopefully hooked up and fully functional before the Admiral arrives from New York!).

I also managed to affix a whole bunch of things in the boat that have been rather homeless… A permanent place for the emergency rechargeable light, another for the portable vacum cleaner, yet another for the satellite phone and even one for the portable VHF radio.  I also fixed a locker door that had a nasty habit of opening when heeled to port and spilling locker contents all over the place: with a new latch in place, that puppy won’t be opening by surprise any time soon!

Today, Wednesday, I also managed to have a piece made for the BBQ – so we can use it!  We’ve had bad luck with BBQ’s over the last 12 months… Two of them lost on the bottom of the sea, and unrecoverable. Another story.  A long one.  An embarrassing one.  Buuuuut, that’s what it is.  Anyway, I found one at a second hand store that was new, but missing a bit or two.  So it was about 1/3 of the original price, and never used. One of the bits was the clamp to attach it to the purpose-made bbq arm here in the cockpit (ask JP & DuDu about that).  So, when the stove is ready, so will be the bbq.  Now I have to decide what to cook first:  something on the stove or something on the bbq (which we haven’t had since August of last year…..).

I also put a new furling line on the genoa furler today.  The old one was too short, dangerously so, and Lara and I had decided it needed to be changed.  DONE!

– – –

Right now I’m working on a permanent fix for a nagging bilge pump problem.  Mayble I’ll take a picture or two of that if it turns out, and send it to Alexandre Rimoli.  They did a great job on the plumbing, but they didn’t get the bilge right.

Thursday (tomorrow at the time of writing) is shaping up like this:
complete bilge pump project
Start fuel filter project (Racor may be easy to find around the world, but it’s pricey in the French Antilles – perhaps I should go to St Maarten)
Try to solve the mainsheet problem
Re-check the list
Clean up a little bit!!! The boat is a mess!!

Friday, the glorious day on which my Baby Cakes will be back in Martinique!!!!, is looking like this at the moment:
clean up the boat for the Admiral!!!
Pick up and install stove (pray that the gas bottle isn’t leaking… I have my doubts)
Chek to see the bbq will stay put with the newly manufactured “fixer-bracket”
Try to attack lower priority items on “THE LIST”
Double-check that the boat is clean for the Admiral
Rent car at 18:00 and pick up Admiral Lara at the Martinique airport at 22:00

– – – –


Some noticed, others didn’t.  About a week ago I put a photo on the blog of a little tiny part of my anatomy that had been recently pierced… Yes, I got an earring, and on the right side in case you’re wondering.  The pictured showed a tiny silver (tungsten?) sphere in the middle of my rather considerable lobe.  But the hole was done, the pirate process already started.

From those that did notice, I received certain feedback that surprised me.  In other words, Mom didn’t like it.  Not a bit.  Imagine if I’d done a tattoo (someday…).  Anyway, I got some SMS’s about this and even a PS in an email from my brother-in-law.  I must publicly apologize for any discomfort!!!! In the end, it didn’t hurt that much and, more importantly, it is for me a temporary thing.  I’ve long yearned to take this mini-pirate step, if and only if, when and only when, I was able to realize a bit of the cruising dream so long harboured in the depths of my imagination.  Well, here we are. Boat built,  Cruise started,  Caribbean wandering – not to mention the rest (of the world).  So, I did it.  And I’m happy about it.  Liberte!

That being said, I will try not to post pictures of myself in the near future, as the tiny sphere has been replaced now – with a pirate ring that I’m getting used to. Jack Sparrow would be proud (and my sister Jer too).  My wife hasn’t even seen it yet, so you can bet I won’t be sharing it with the blog faithful until she returns from the great white north.  🙂

Sorry Mom.  Truly.  Forgive me!

– – – –

Fat Tuesday – Anse Mitan (Martinique)

I realized this morning that I’ve been suffering from writer’s block.  I’ve been rather ‘down’ about this, but I didn’t really realize what it was until, while answering an email from a friend, I discovered that I had been bothered for some time about the loss of the ‘old blog’.  It was indeed quite a loss for me – the digital decimation of words, photos, and, more importantly, the ongoing record of what we’ve been doing throughout this little adventure of ours.

I haven’t even fully discovered just how I did destroy the darn thing anyway (though I have my suspicions – I wiped our domain pretty much clean when I was attempting to publish the new, face-lifted, version of our rather static site:… It turns out that the blog was actually hosted there, and not on WordPress as I had imagined, so the real villain was really just me). Doesn’t matter so much now – what does count is that I’ve allowed this loss to disturb me in some way or another.  Basta!

So – how to get out of the blogger’s funk?  Why, get back in the saddle of course!!!!!

New saddle, new mount, new chances to blog our hearts out (and make regular backups as well.  :-))
– – –

It’s Fat Tuesday and today we’ve anchored at a picturesque little peninsula called Anse Mitan (anse, or bay, is on the leeward side of the peninsula to be honest – I don’t know what the peninsula is actually called).  Anse Mitan and the Trois Iles area is actually part of the southern shore of a much larger bay – the northern shore is dominated by Fort de France, the capital and principal city of the island.  This Trois Iles / Anse Mitan area is the same neighborhood apparently where Josephine, Napoleon’s bride and Empress, was born.  It’s also home to a small marina with quaint shops, a chic hotel, and other open-aired shopping plazas.  Today is relatively quiet, as most things are shut down for Carnival it would seem.  But the atmosphere and pleasant weather are very nice and there are plenty of people out enjoying a day off (the locals) or a holiday away from the winter cold (European vacationers – in ‘grand large’ the French of course). We haven’t seen much of it yet but Lara and Leonardo are out exploring at the moment… Trying not to shop too much but rather looking for a grocery store!

Monday we sailed from St. Anne to a small bay on the western (leeward) side of the island called Grande Anse d’Arlet(s).  It was a bit of a boisterous sail, with a stiff aft breeze and rollicky waves from the aft port quarter – doing 6 knots with only the double-reefed main!  But Grande Anse proved to be a nice place, a seemingly quiet place for cruisers with families and vacationers with families to enjoy a relaxing time on a small beach.  We ran into Gerard from “Akat” for the first time since late December in Grenada.  The brother-sister-adventure team of Lara and Leo did some snorkeling (I’m abstaining from diving at the moment – trying to abolish once and for all the reoccurring earache symptoms, staying dry and using anti-bacterial ear drops… Thanks Sebs!), and then we had dinner aboard.  Sometime in the early night the whole place got rolly and we didn’t sleep all that well…

So this morning we headed just up the coast to an even smaller bay called Anse Noir where the gang snorkeled again and gave it a thumbs up.  After a few hours there, we raised the anchor again and motored just up the coast, a bit further, this time to Anse Mitan.  We’ll see what happens tonight – perhaps a bit of Fat Tuesday Carnival action here ‘in town’.
– – –
The thing you really have to see is how happy Larissa is with her brother together with us on board.  On the one hand, Brazilians already suffer, more than some it might seem, from intense “saudade” – not exactly homesickness, and not as simple as missing something or someone – but a feeling much stronger and strangely only perfectly described by the Portuguese word: saudade.  Now a full-time cruiser and away from home and hearth since August of last year, Lara certainly carries her share of saudade.  Heck, I’ve got plenty of my own pulling at the heartstrings – and I didn’t live there for quite a full decade!  On the other hand, you have to know Leonardo to see just how happy he makes my wife.  They are less than two years apart and grew up very very close.  He’s a great guy too – easy going, intelligent and witty, and has been constantly ready and willing to help out on the boat.  Plus he’s just plain fun.  It’s breeding I guess, because Marco Aurelio’s visit with Cris back in Brazil was much the same – as was JoJo and Ivis’ visit in January.  Come to think of it, I married into a pretty cool family, and now they’ve all visited us somewhere and somehow, and even more than once!

But back to the moment – Lara is visibly delighted to be hanging out with her brother again, constantly laughing and joking with him, taking loads of pictures, and swapping stories from childhood and gossip from Rio.

In a few days, Leonardo’s Martinique visit will end, unfortunately, but…  The end only brings a further trip, to New York City!  As Lara just celebrated her 30th, we worked it out that a sibling trip together to the Big Apple would be an appropriate b-day present – and so they’ll go together and spend a week exploring.  She’s really pumped about it, especially as she’s never been to NYC before.  I’m curious how she’ll handle February NYC winter temps after so many continuous months of warm/hot weather.  🙂  I think that it all fits together quite nicely, as I also need some time to do some prep work and projects on the boat for our next adventures (more on that in a coming post….).

Though we’re not quite doing Carnival the way we used to (RIO!!!!), we are all doing well in Martinique: Leonardo relaxing and getting ever more interested in boating (betcha he buys a powerboat!), Larissa laughing and loving the company of a much-missed brother, and me, pleased that I can head back to Le Marin in a few days and tackle a nagging project list that, try as I might, doesn’t go away!

Tomorrow we’re considering renting a car to take a further tour of the island – should have some more pics and stories from that.

Ciao for now – the MIA blogger, FOUND!

–  – – – –

Some photos from the latter end of Leonard’s visit:

This our anchorage at Anse Mitan – if you look close,  you can see Walk On there in the middle.

This is the city administration building in Fort de France (capital of Martinique)

Some typical architecture in Fort de France….

The obrigatory Hotel de Ville, in Fort de France

Posing…. 🙂

Fort de France…

On the ferry back across the bay to Anse Mitan and Point du Bout

This is the anchorage at Fort de France and the Fort Saint Louis in the background…

The fort was REALLY cool from the outside, a fort from the XVII century (or was that XVI?) – but what really surprised and disappointed me was that it’s a Military instalation, even today… and therefore… NOT OPEN FOR VISITORS!  It should be a UNESCO site ore something, a Museum to bring $$$ to the island. But that’s my opinion.

Dodging traffic on narrow streets in St Pierre

Anchorage in St Pierre

An older church in Morne Rouge, on the high volcanic plains above st. pierre, but still below the famous Mt. Pele!

– – –

That’s it for now.

Lara is in NYC with her bro, and I’m tackling a series of projects on the boat. In a about 4 or 5 days we plan to head to Los Roques…

quick update from Grande Anse D’Arlets (Martinique)

hello gang!

we’ve been so busy doing so very little that there hasn’t been much time to blog – hardly enough to take a picture or two.  anyhoo…. after leonardo arrived safe and sound in Le Marin, we spent a night or two there, and then went just around the corner to st. anne – a very full anchorage but not too crowded because it’s so large.  we spent a few beach days on different beaches in the area, did several dinners together with edu & adriana from anima mare (including a bbq on walk on, something we haven’t done since buzios last august… if you know the story, you know why), and generally enjoying the laid back french/caribbean style. the highlight of course was lara’s 30th b-day: we had dinner in town and then a kick-butt chocolate cake with brigadeira topping by adriana, aboard anima mare.  lara says she’s going to blog soon so who knows, maybe she’ll write more about that too.  🙂

the only other news i suppose are two:

– we picked up a new bbq for less than 1/3 of the original price because one little piece (the attachment) is missing – something i can have made for 10 euros.  it’s also gas so we can expand our cooking optionsi without the mess

– but speaking of ash, the whole are got a major ‘ash-down’ these last days from the volcano in montserrat.  i don’t know exactly what happened, but we’ve been cleaning fine ash from everywhere and everything for days now… the trades weren’t strong enough to blow the ash away further west, strange!

today we left st. anne and sailed west and north to a small bay called Grande Anse d’Arlets.  tomorrow we’ll go up the coast a bit further.

we’re having a great time with leonardo aboard, and i think he’s more relaxed than ever!

right now lara and leo went snorkeling so i’m checking on internet stuff and found a few photos to publish:

playing cards, a favorite pasttime (this game is ‘tranca’)

another is frescoball, or paddle ball, on the beach.  here lara and eduardo battle it out

leonardo on the beach.  does he look stressed to you?

walk on at anchor, in le marin

they enjoy carnival in martinique too!  it’s not rio, but we’re not in rio!!!!

lara gets better at frescoball everyday!

i’m getting better too – here playing with adriana while lara cools off in the water

brother and sister reunion in martinique – who would have guessed a year ago?

life is stressful in the caribbean, for sure


lara’s 30th bday dinner!!!!

and then a killer chocolate cake, with brigadeiro icing, on Anima Mare (obrigado Dri!!!) – that’s pretty cool for a 30th i think.  where were you on yours?

another day, another beach to explore – this picture with lara, leonardo and eduardo

our challenge for the day: another beach!  this was on the beast we’ve seen since brazil

leonardo gets in a game of frescoball with eduardo

edu & adri headed back to the dinghys at the end of another difficult day

leo & lara & log on the beach

a sunset at the st. anne anchorage

leo & lara

this was earlier today, sailing between the coast of martinique and this rock, diamond rock.  great scenery to be sure, but the story behind the rock is perhaps even more interesting:

sailed by this town, anse d’arlets, on the way to the bay where we’re anchored now (grand anse d’arlets)

leaving Le Marin

Hey gang!

Leonardo made it here without any problems and is already relaxing onboard.  Larissa is thrilled to have her baby brother together with us, as am I!

Yesterday we filled the water tanks, did a bit of shopping, and relaxed in the Caribbean afternoon warmth.  Last night we did a BBQ on board (thanks to the BBQ loan from Anima Mare) and today we’re preparing to leave Le Marin.  We’ll be going just around the corner to another anchorage, St. Anne.

In the meantime, we’ve managed to replenish some stocks (like French wine 🙂 ) and map out a bit of our next days…

The big day of course is tomorrow, when my baby cakes will turn a big page… into the big 30 decade!!!!

Oh, and I managed to do this today, my first step to embodying the pirate lifestyle.  The ring comes next, but the hole comes first (you may have to zoom to see it… but it’s there, with a titanium post):

Peço desculpas a Michelle e tb a JoJo que nao tem ainda fotos do Leo, nem dos irmaos juntos.  Hoje vai rolar alguma foto, e no aniversario amanha entao, muito mais!

Estamos todos bem a bordo.


waiting on Leonardo in Martinique

Lara’s brother Leonardo will be here tonight.  In the meantime, I’m trying to polish up the site a bit, correct some errors, and all that.  Have you seen the new version?  Take a look:

A couple of pics from the last couple of weeks (Bequia, St. Vincent, St. Lucia)…. CLICK FOR A SLIGHTLY LARGER VERSION OF EACH

Looking out over Friendship Bay (Mustique in the background) – I thought the whale theme gingerbread border at this bus stop (top of photo) was pretty cool, even though I’m not so sure it’s cool that the Bequians still hunt whales… though I guess they get credit for trying to do it the way they did back in the 1780’s….

After our walk across the island, a relaxing ice-tea at a bar with hanging chairs… in Friendship Bay.

Ladies to the Right

Gents to the left.

Beach scene… Friendship Bay

Anchorage in Admirality Bay, Bequia, where we were.

I got a serious sheave from this guy, Clive.  He loves the Phonix Suns…


Our anchorage in Cumberland Bay (St. Vincent) – this just up island about a mile from a similar bay, Wallalibou, where they did the principal filming of Pirates of the Caribbean.  🙂

Our side of the bay in Cumberland.  A very nice spot indeed.

A pic from the bow of Susie’s “Spirited Lady of Fowey”.  She really does have a lovely boat.

My baby and me under a waterfall at Dark Falls, St. Vincent.  🙂

blog… next generation?

Well…. here we are.  New blog.

I’m not yet sure I want to answer questions about the old blog – that’s because I’m still not entirely sure I can recover any or all of it.  In any case, I’ve managed to put up a newer version of “” and now the new blog address is NO LONGER, but

I guess we’ll have to live with that at the moment.

So… that’s it, for the moment, from Martinique.  Everything is fine here.  Enjoying lots of quality time with Edu and Adriana from Anima Mare, and waiting anxiously for Leondardo (Lara’s ‘baby’ brother, who’s coming tomorrow night).  Have a good trip, Paraiba!

Ciao 4 now.