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Jan 1, 2008
I was so exhausted I slept all day today. Jason tried to put the belts on that Margie brought back with her. They were the same size as the ones on the boat but we made do. Jamie and Casey invited Jason and I over for dinner tonight last night and we agreed. I literally woke up and went over for dinner. We stayed until 10pm but we all were tired so called it a night. Dinner was delicious. Jamie made paella with chorizo, crab and fish.
Jan 2, 2008
We sailed most of the day to the swimming pool. We are meeting up with a boater that can help us with our freezer issue. It is not staying very cold so we think it needs more Freon which this man has. It keeps getting warm even though we are running the engines 2x a day to keep it cold. We were on a beat so it was a rough ride over there. We sailed the entire way which was nice. I was on the helm today for raising the sails. It was a little tricky since it was so rough out. We started with a reefed main since the winds were so strong. I helped with the tacking of the boat when needed and pulling in the sails at the end of our sail. I read most of the rest of the time which was nice. It was a beautiful day out. Jasonís mom seems to be feeling bad since Jason seems to be always working on something that is broken. I think we new it would be there way. When you travel by boat and there is no marina or repair shops you have to trouble shoot it yourself and fix it. No choice about it. I know she feels that it is a new boat and it should not have these problems, but we knew and told her over and over to expect it even with the best survey it happens. Jason also noticed today that there are 2 leaks in the watermaker. Jasonís repairs list keeps getting longer. We shall find out tomorrow how well the freezer is working now that J added the Freon. We made up some dinner while J was working still on the engine. We girls watched 2 episodes of chick TV while he finished up.
Jan 3, 2008
We were all totally excited this morning because the freezer was colder than usual. Hopefully this means it is on its way to recovery. Definitely is a cause to celebrate. Our neighbors on a sister ship (same boat as ours but a different year) stopped over for coffee. They were brothers and were kind enough to let J borrow some tools yesterday to work on the engine. They were very nice and interesting. One brother is married to an American woman (he owns the boat) and the other has done extensive travel so we talked a lot about Cuba. A dream we all seem to share on this boat. We are leaving today to go back over to East lemon Cay. The snorkeling was so good there we are excited to get back. The brothers are coming over as well.
Before we left though, I made a big fruit salad; I put all the scarps of garbage from the fruit into a Tupper ware container. I went to throw it over board and the container slipped out of my hand. I immediately stripped down, took off my sunglasses and dove it to retrieve it. The current was so strong when I popped up I was almost a mile away from the boat. I tried swimming but was making no headway while holding the container. Finally Jason came to rescue me! It was a little daunting. The sail over was perfect we had the opposite of the way here (which was a beat). We had following seas and smooth sailing. A fast sail with the entire wave surfing we were doing! My favorite conditions since the Biz can hit 9 knots while surfing!! This boat was fast and we arrived before 2pm. Jason had class when we arrived and I sat reading while the learned more about sailing. It was so nice out.
Jan 4, 2008
This morning after my Pilates I was involved in their lessons. We were going over safety features of the boat and where the clip in areas is for our harnesses. We also went over MOB and performed some MOB drills. We are preparing for our first passage which will be from here to San Andres. In the afternoon we went in search for another location to snorkel. The dingy ride over to the wreck was too rough. We checked out two more areas but they were just ok. We decided to go back to the wall and snorkel there. There are tons of big fish there and nice coral. We met Jamie and Casey so that the boys could spear fish together. Jason speared a pretty good size fish. It will be yummy in our paella tonight. We saw so many fish packs and schools all around. When I first jumped in I saw a huge fish with big teeth. I thought it might be a shard but realized it was just a barracuda but still it scared me a little! They have such big teeth!! After we finished snorkeling which we did for over an hour, Jamie and Casey came aboard for a beer. After they left I started cooking. I was taking a lot of meds today and lately in general. I was not paying close attention and accidentally put in 4 cups of rice instead of 4 cups of water. Opps, I guess we are having a lot of paella!!! I had to use more of the fish stock so it was a little fishy tasting for Margie who does not like fish too much. It turned out good though! Everyone else loved it which of course is exactly how I like people to feel when they eat what I cook!! Yesterday I made bread on the way over and it was the best I have made ever!! I laid down on Jasonís lap while we talked about different cultures and Jason explained to Margie and Mom the only way to get to know them is to spend a couple of weeks in one location building a relationship with them. That is why we travel and why we sail so that we have the time to spend in these places. We like to help the locals out and invite them to our boat to eat with us. We enjoy going to their homes and seeing how they live and I love to learn how they cook. We want a clear understanding of their way of life. We know we have had a successful stay in a country when we have a good relationship with someone from there and know what their life is like. We had a 5 star day today!
Jan 5, 2008
I spent the morning on my heating pad while Jason had his sailing class. Jason and I are going to a Kuna dance on shore this afternoon with Jamie and Casey. We are bringing some beers along to quench our thirst. The dance was nice. They were also selling molas and other Kuna mola paraphernalia. The guy that was running the event or rather put the event together was telling us he wants to start having something once a week for the cruisers. The dance was very good. The boys played a flute made from bamboo and the woman maracas. In-between the first and the second dance he asked for $20 a person for the show. Unfortunately, he did not tell us in advance about the charge so the cruisers were outraged. Some left right then and there. Others tried to talk with him to lower the price. Finally it came down to whatever you wanted to donate. We, unfortunately only had $8 so we donated all of it. We decided to stay for the rest of the show but most of the cruisers did not agree with us and just left. I could not imagine why they were leaving if they already paid now not to mention the amazing show we were seeing. The guy running the show let the dancers do one more dance told them to stop and gather their things. I was buying a mola and he was yelling at the Kunas to take down their stuff. I could not believe it. It was a very sad sight. I was able to buy my Garden of Eden Mola but the rest of the show was cancelled. On the way back to the boat we stopped at this super power yacht to say hello. They were from Melbourne. We stopped and talked with them a while and we invited them to come to the beach where we were having happy hour tonight. It was the ownerís daughterís husbandís birthday. We went almost straight away to the beach with everyone. It was fun. Lu (the daughter) and Rob showed up and we all hung out. A the sun was setting Jasonís mom needed to go back to the boat plus it was getting dark and we had no light to guide us back. Lu invited us to come over to their boat for drinks tonight after dinner. We played cards with Jamie and Casey until the party on the other boat began. When we arrived everyone was dancing the gentlemen were all cross dressed except for the birthday boy. It was truly comical in a good hearted way. They put on some tunes of an Australian band that were wicked cool. We had birthday cake of chocolate mouse layered with chocolate cake. The boat was beautiful. We had a lot of fun hanging out with such a fun and cool family; we were disappointed that I became seasick and had to leave. It is so unusual for me to get seasick but the motion of their boat was so different. At sea it is actually has less motion due to the stabilizers but they are not for use under anchor. You had a feeling of being drunk since you kept stumbling due to the roll of the boat. It was a beautiful evening and Jason and I sat in the sugar scoops thinking how fun and wonderful Australians are.
Jan 6, 2008
I slept in late this morning after our fun adventures of yesterday. Today Jason had class with me included since we were going over the safety features of Siren's She does not have excellent places to clip your harness in along the deck. Jason pointed out the best ones to use. They have these cool bracelets for the person on watch. If you fall over an alarm goes off to alert the crew of the boat that are sleeping and it also marks the GPS with a man over board. We tested them out and while they are a wonderful addition to safety they are not foolproof in that they do not go on until you are quite far from the boat. In the afternoon Casey came by to help us get Jason up the mast. We had to install the new tri color light as well as change out the main halyard which is the line I brought out from Florida. I made some beer bread today as well and we decided to skip the happy hour at the beach today; it took us quite a bit longer to change out the halyard line than we had planned for. Casey stayed for a beer afterwards and I sent him off with some beer bread. We were unable to install the tri colored mast light because the hole for the wires to go through was in the wrong place therefore Jason would have to drill a new one. Nothing is ever easy on a boat. Everyone was exhausted tonight so we just had a great dinner and passed out.
Jan 7, 2008
Jason went back up the mast to put on the tri colored light. It went smoothly. It is a lot easier to put him up the mast with the electric winch plus there are 2 cams that stay locked and he is triple wrapped around the self tailoring winch. It is very safe. On our boat I use a regular winch and tie him off once he is up. He also uses climbing gear and basically climbs up the mast on our boat where as on this boat has a new bun sons chair that has pockets for tools. When we was finished and the boat was ready to go we went over MOB procedures and when we sailed out of the bay we simulated a MOB and everyone had a turn as the spotter, at the helm, as a line handler and sending as much floating things as you can out to the person struggling in the water. It was fun but a very practical dress rehearsal. We arrived in Port Venire and immediately went into town to get our zarpe. Margie and I went to the fruits and vegetables boat and picked out some supplies for the next few weeks. He had lots of good vegetables so we stocked up. I made some bread while mom and Margie went to make some calls. We also bought some Kuna bread which is tasty. I washed all of the veggies and fruits in bleach water to make sure there are not any bugs burrowed in them and put them away. It was quite a job since we bought so many. Mom came back with her surgery date set. I spent the late afternoon and evening resting for our sail tomorrow. I made some fajitas for dinner. I absolutely love Mexican food. I canít wait until we hit Mexico! We all crashed early since we have a 4:45 am departure date for tomorrow.
Jan 8, 2008
We pulled up anchor at 5am and we were on our way. We have 7-10 seas and 20 knots of wind. We are cruising along at 7-8 knots. I tried to sleep in until my usual shift time of 9am but the noise of the anchor chain coming up woke me up. I lay in bed for a little while during the sail and noticed a little wet spot at the bottom of our bed. Our hatch was closed but not locked which means it is not sealed and drops of water were coming down onto our bed! I fixed that immediately and went to double check all the windows of the boat. The seas were coming from the north so we put down our starboard screed to protect the captainís chair and the person on watch from getting drenched. After my watch I made an apple cake and prepared all the veggies and chicken so that it would be easy to make dinner later. I had a hard time sleeping since Margie took the watch before mine. I usually get at least 3 hours of sleep before my midnight to 3am watch but with Margie on watch Jason and I both slept in the main room and had to get up every 15 minutes to check why the radar alarm was going off. The person on watch really has to look around as well as use the radar, which is even more important while coastal cruising. Our radar on Siren's Song is very nice because it will track an object/boat for you so that you can see how fast it is going, which direction it is heading, and when the point of contact will be if they are in your path. This is very useful information if it is utilized but still the most important thing on your watch is to do a full 350 degree visual every 15 minutes or so. On my shift there was a big glow on the horizon which could be a star coming up or a ship. I tracked it and sure enough it was a ship. But, I caught it by sight way before the radar picked it up. This gives me lots of time to track its direction and plan so that a collision does not occur. The ship passed behind us. As the night went on I ended up losing wind on my shift. Losing wind is not the most pleasant occurrence on a sailboat, since there were big storm clouds passing in front of the boat a ways up, this can sometimes cause the lack of wind and sure enough after they passed us by the winds picked up from 7/8 knots to 15-18 knots and we were making over 7 knots SOG (speed over ground). I just sat back in the captainís chair set my timer for 10 minutes and enjoyed the sky. I was also able to let Jason sleep an extra 2 hours before his shift. It is the most difficult on him because he is the captain and really I am the only other person who knows how to sail so he can rest easy only on my shift for now.
Jan 9, 2008
Mom and Jason let me sleep in a little longer this morning until almost 11am. During the early morning they turned on the port engine which woke me up and at that time I moved to the forward cabin. We sleep in the aft cabin while under passage usually because it is not as rough. We lost wind again and needed to motor so that we can arrive before dark. We were making 6.8 knots while motor sailing which is not bad giving there was barely any wind to sail at all. The afternoon was a better the winds picked up and we were cruising along at 8/9 knots. We arrived in San Andres before 5pm which was our goal. It was a large island with big hotels lining one side of it. The water was incredibly clear and beautiful. We were going to the marina and yacht club to wash down the boat and we were having a hard time locating where it was. All we could see was a small dock and further ahead it looked like more boats. We decided to go to the other dock and a jet skier came up and told us it gets very shallow and that the marina we are looking for was the small one. So back we went to the little dock. You had to drop anchor and back in and tie up. It was a fun process and all went smoothly. I was the spotter coming in therefore mom and Margie had to tie on the fenders and get the lines ready to throw to the marina workers on shore. After we dropped the anchor I ran to get a line to throw to the guys on shore but they were not even attached to our boat yet and I was scrambling to get all of the lines attached. That is something we need to go over in class. When you get the lines out for use you tie our side on and untangle the line so that it can be smoothly thrown to the guys on shore and then adjusted by us on the boat. But, it is still way early in their training and they had a long sail and so much to remember. All in all they did pretty well for their first big sail! The marina charges are $65 for a slip but they are not sure we can use our AC. Tomorrow someone will come over to see what can be done. . If you are anchored out it is always much cooler out than when you are parked by land. When at a marina there is usually much less breeze. You can be stifled at a marina and cold out on the hook. We drank our Champaign that night in celebration of our first big sail. I made some roasted garlic humus and homemade garlic and herb bread to go along with it. We decided not to cook dinner tonight so Jason, Margie and I went to town to scout out some dinner. We ended up stopping at a little cart on a corner that was selling chicken skewers and this pita bread looking things filled with local cheese. According to the owner it is a staple in Columbia. I canít wait to explore the city tomorrow.
Jan 10, 2008
Jason and I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. It is more work with two students than it is just the two of us.The students do seem to be interested in everything. San Andres is a cool small island city! It will be fun to explore another day. Today was a clean the boat day. We cleaned the entire interior. My back was killing so I rested periodically during the day. The boat looks very nice inside. Jason and I brought our dinner to our cabin to just be together and chill out. It was nice to have a little time together.
Jan 11, 2008
Jason and I ran around town today with a list of boat parts and supplies. We had such a fun adventure finding the stores we needed to go to. No one really speaks English here since it is basically a Columbian vacation spot. We love trying to practice our Spanish and the fun of trying to figure out what someone is saying! Sometimes between our Spanish and their equally talent at English we can communicate! It is so fun. Of course we stopped at the first bakery we saw and bought something. It was a white powdery color and looked like a biscuit with a dollop of dulce de leche on top. It crumbled apart as you tried to eat it. But it dried out your mouth so much you needed to have something to drink along with this treat! I am not sure Jason liked it too much, but it definitely grew on me and I finished it over the course of the day! We finally found a Do It Center; funny that the big name is above it but no one knew it by that name apparently it has a different Spanish name!! But the important thing is we found it! We made it back to the boat in the late afternoon. It was a lot of walking and we were beginning to learn our way around. For dinner we took a cab to this little hip area near the ocean. The restaurant was on the street that ended in a walking mall and behind that walking street was the board walk. There were tons of people out tonight. We ordered a veggie pizza and it was definitely different than NY style but everyone seemed to enjoy it. I of course, was waiting for the ice cream afterwards. There was a gelato place right next door and I had two scoops one of dulce de leche and one of tiramisu both of which are my favorite flavors. The ice cream was super creamy and was the best I have had since LIKS at home. I know I will be here every day possible. After dinner, mom and Margie took a cab home. Jason and I decided walk back to the dock and on the way check out the board walk and all the stores, restaurants, and bars along it. We are doing reconnaissance for when we go out on another night to go dancing! There were some vendors out and I bought a bracelet made of coconut shell. We walked the whole length of the board walk. There were a small amount of bars to hang out in. We ran into a Rasta man, who played instruments and sang as a street performer. He had J and I play an instrument while he sang a Bob Marley song. It was a very interesting experience. He walked with us down to a Reggae bar and had a beer with us. The bar was pretty cool they had music on and a single TV in the middle of the room that was playing the videos of the music. The bar was still not very crowded considering it was almost 1am. We decided we had better get back to the marina before we get locked out for the night and actually opted for a cab for expedience.
Jan 12, 2008
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Jan 16, 2008