A stream of migrating boats attest that the Caribbean sailing season is starting NOW. The fleet heading north from Grenada and Trinidad, those taking the offshore route from the USA, and boats in the trans-Atlantic fleets. Yet questions about the Caribbean’s readiness in a post-hurricane season still swirl: after the havoc of Irma and Maria, what’s changed? Where can we go? Even for sailors here in the islands, contemplating their next move, the answer seems to hang just out of reach like a suspenseful plot twist.
Spoiler: THE CARIBBEAN IS WAITING FOR YOU. You can go now. Please.
Cruisers merrily claim they “go where the wind blows.” It’s sort of true, but implies a more laissez-faire approach than migration patterns belie. On the day we departed – just as hurricane season is waning – we saw more boats sailing north and away from Grenada with us than we saw during entire stretch from Tortola down to Grenada a few months ago, at hurricane season’s peak. Weather patterns are shifting, and the fleet is on the move!
Provisioning up for our own departure at the bustling Saturday farmer’s market in St George is a treat for the senses. Aromas ... Read More
Friendly, supportive, egalitarian. The cruising community has a subculture all its own: we tend to know each other faster and deeper. Cruising really is all about the people you meet, and this culture is a big part of the reason why. There are standouts, like our friends Ted and Claudia pictured above, and their cool kids Max and Anya. They live aboard Demeter in Tortola. Right, Tortola, one of the islands that took a whack this hurricane season! We’re thinking of them especially today because it’s Claudia’s birthday. Read on for their story and the aftermath, for a peek into ... Read More
We’ve traveled north to connect with a friend and sailing legend Yves Gelinas of Cape Horn Self Steering Gear. We originally met Yves two years ago (already?) while staging in Portsmouth, VA for the trip down to Abaco. Yves was there with Jean-Du-Sud, his Alberg 30 that he completed a solo circumnavigation in during the 80s. A true old school sailor, Yves methods come through years and years of long offshore voyages and hard-won lessons. He went on to complete the trip to Martinique in 12 days. Yves has a trailer for His Alberg and launches, hauls and trailers it between Montreal ... Read More
Since the boat was last hauled back in 2015 before the start of the Caribbean trip, we thought it was about time to haul her again and check on everything. It would be nice to look at the hull and fittings without holding my breath.
The plan was simple, a new coat of bottom paint, clean and wax the hull, new coat of paint on the boot stripe, and new zincs all around.
At Old Bay Marina we paid $10 a foot for haul, power wash, blocking, and launch.
I bought 3 gallons of West Marine (Pettit) CPP Ablative bottom paint, $99 ... Read More
With spring finally here, some readers may be thinking about doing some painting. I couldn’t find much information on how to prepare a deck for nonskid. Here is the method I used that yielded good results.
First, the deck is painted with whatever topcoat will be your base. For my boat I used oyster white as it matches my off white hull really well. Notice I did not paint the entire deck. I did this for two reasons. First, since the nonskid areas will get two coats of topcoat, painting areas I’ll just be repainting later is a waste of paint ... Read More
Each day after waking up, having some coffee, and checking the internets for the newest developments in the world, I open the hatch and leap effortlessly onto our finger pier. I walk down the dock towards the key card gate and push it open, to the right I see the racks where both my and Rachel’s bikes sit locked and ready to go. As I enter the large parking lot in front of the marina, I pass my car on the way to the bathrooms and laundry. Past this is a large security gate the opens into downtown Fells Point, everything ... Read More
It’s been quiet on the blogging front as of late. Winter, and hustling to start 3 new businesses will do that to you. However, that’s not to say I haven’t been making content. God knows I consume enough content: writing, youtube, and podcasts – especially podcasts. I love podcasts.The unique thing about them is that you can be entertained or even learn something new while doing some mindless activity. Driving, mowing the lawn, sanding teak, finishing out your 2 – 6 am watch. I can double my productivity on even the most boring, yet necessary tasks!
I’ve listened for years to a curated ... Read More
Apologies to those I’m about to offend, but the ICW is boring as ___. Flashes of pretty, the odd dolphin, aren’t enough of a tradeoff for the monotony of motoring day after day along narrow channel. If the weather was fine, it might cross into the realm of pleasurable for a short stretch, but in conditions we’ve had these miles are just something to get over with. To answer the question in the title: no, not in Florida yet! But Charleston for Christmas, along Totem’s slow path south down the ICW, is going to be great.
So foggy we couldn’t
Satori has two new warm blooded pets on board for the winter. After several stubbed toes and near falls, accompanied by several four letter words I wont mention here, they we’re unceremoniously dumbed “In-The-Way One” and “In-The-Way Two”. Then we drew cartoon eyes on them and took pictures in a fit of joy and enthusiasm. Now they adorn the nooks and crannies of the boat and are a bit easier to deal with due to their more life-like qualities. These two electric radiator heaters, combined with our Dickinson “Alaska” model diesel pot-heater, have done an admirable job in keeping the ... Read More