December Update




Well, we are now preparing for Christmas.  The boat has lights strung around the cockpit, we found a small tree that Riley has decorated, and we are making our way to Virgin Gorda to spend Christmas and wait for a good weather window for the passage to St. Martin.

For the past week we have enjoyed the Village Cay Marina in Tortola compliments of the Manager since we found their service boat adrift.  The timing was excellent considering the arrival of our long awaited wind generator!!! Thanks again Sue, Yeah!!!  Road Town, Tortola has comprehensive services for the Yachting industry.  I was able to find all of the misc. parts to complete the installation as well as complete (some) of the repairs put off before leaving.  While sourcing the mounting pole, I discovered the "Tailblazer" BBQ fabricated by Nautool...very nice BBQ and it turns out Nautool is interested in selling the product line, training, and tooling for a very reasonable price!  I just can't shutdown the business part of my brain just yet!  

During our little stay we have run into some of the greatest people: some delivering awesome carbon race boats, some cruising, and some operating their boats as charters to make ends meet. I have forgotten what marina life was like with the chitchat, gossip, good advice and the giving and receiving of help.  It took so long to get anything done that only half of my list was ticked off.  

One major oversight was the fact that the engine has been up to its old tricks again...Not a good thing when motoring into a tight harbor filled with some of most expensive yachts I have ever seen in one place.   It turns out that the Racor fuel filter inlet had been so choked with debris from the passage that the engine was just starving to death at the absolute wrong times.  The most frustrating part was the fact that the engine was behaving as though the filter elements were clogged even though the fuel filter in the unit was clean as can be.  I discovered the clog when I tried to blow air through pickup tube and the filter assembly.  Now, our confidence in the engine is high...a good thing considering how crowded some of these anchorages are.

Road Town has also been a great place to do some last minute shopping for secret Santa gifts and provisions for the trip south.

Since Road Town, we headed to Peter Island where we found our first conch.  I can't seem to find lobster but we have found plenty conch.   As I was preparing to extract the little buggers from their homes, Roxanne noticed that they were looking at her...back they went!   The next ones are not going to be so lucky.

We are about to snorkel for conch again as the trusty new wind generator throws 5-15 amps into the batteries.  So far the KISS wind generator, the gel cell batteries, and the PUR 40 watermaker have been some of the best additions to the boat, despite some of the good advice some cruisers gave us.  The watermaker delivers fantastic water faster than we can use it, even with all of us taking a shower a day.  You don't have to have a big overpowered (overpriced) unit, just the right size for your usage.  The wind generator was also a good find considering it provides a majority of our power usage with no effort since the anchorages here and further south provide enough consistent wind.

Today we eat conch......well write up the results later.