Friday, October 30, 2009

Yard Period in Grenada Going Well

Up on the Hard Grenada Marine, South Coast of Grenada
Number of times up and down the ladder: 500 at least

The passed two days the weather had much improved with little to no rain, but still blazing hot. I've had to stay ontop of the yard folks to make sure we have no communications snafu's. I've rigged the sails, sanded the bottom, cleaned and greased all sea cocks, checked out all my electronics, re-filled water tanks, re-commissioned  the main engine, had the yard fix/tune up "big red" the little generator and mounted the new lettering for Christa.

All that is really left is for the yard to compound and wax out the hull and for me to apply the anti-fouling bottom paint on Christa bottom, and lets not forget, pay the bill. Moving right along, I have been keeping tabs on the weather and thus far everything is looking good for a departure next week sometime. The GFS tropical model keeps hinting at a possible tropical low somewhere in the central Caribbean next week and pulling it northeast, Omar/Lenny style. Chances are very low that this will occur and by Monday things will be much clearer. Even though it has been a dud of an Atlantic h-season, November hurricanes are highly irregular in all aspects. Just something to watch.

I snapped this pic on my way to dinner this evening. Enjoy!

Capt Chris

PS: Looking for feedback on the tan background color on the blog. I think on some computer monitors it can be fatiguing to the eye's.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Up on the Hard, Grenada Marine, St Davids Grenada

 Three words, hot, humid and bugs. Has my ability to bear the discomforts of boat-life waned during my summer stay in plush accomadations? Maybe, not really sure, but anyone who endures a boatyard, in a jungle while tropical waves pass without complaint, is someone who I have not met yet. It's brutal, trying to get work done. But that is the deal!

I rolled out of bed at 3am Monday morning and my Dad had me to Tampa airport with plenty O time to spare, which is how I like to roll. Onward to San Juan, where I had a very long, 8 hour layover, but boarded my flight to Grenada with out incident and landed in Grenada tired, but unscathed. I got all jacked up at Customs as I had boat parts and who knows what else, that the folks wanted an import tax on. Not stoked about taxes. I turned up the charm to warp speed, difficult given my sleep deprivation and revulsion for taxes, but received my stamps after some friendly bartering. Cuthbert my Grenadian taxi driver was waiting, a real relief when landing in a 3rd world country at night. I arrived back aboard Christa at about 10 pm.

A mixed sense of relief to see Christa is fine, but terribly dirty and dread as it's dark and steamy hot. You see, where Christa is there is no lights at all. To get aboard you need a ladder, so I had to forage around the yard in the pitch black to swipe a ladder from another boat, and hope no one is aboard. An unsuspecting person could wake up in the night and need to use the bathroom, with no way to get off the boat. But I had no choice. Once aboard, I was surprised to see the batteries totally dead. I thought they would hold some charge and maybe there is some current draw I'm not aware of. So now I had to string power to the boat which was another Special Forces operation to get that taken care of. So I finally got things situated. It was a long day.

I'm cranking away at the worklist. Not on the agenda is the chainplate replacement project. My man Devon works in the yard and has been a great help. I don't understand much that he says, but his speech is peppered with alot of "yeah Mon" and "we cool like dat mon" He is always looking for extra work and is really mellow.

So today, within less than five minutes, my galley whale-gusher broke, the lawn mower type pull chord for the Honda Generator snapped (completly hosing things up), the power to the boat tripped, it down poured on my new paint job and the ladder fell over. I thought, what have I done to anger Neptune and then remembered this is a bit extreme, but really this is what boat life is like. The highs are very high and lows can can scrape Satins underbelly.

All in all everything is fine. The varnish is failing in all spots, but this is what happens in the tropical sun, so the boat looks like hell. But that is the way it goes. I'll work on it!

The above picture is for all the ladies. The kid cica 1969

Capt Chris

Monday, October 26, 2009

Camera Upgrade

Enroute to Grenada Via Plane

I've found I enjoy taking pictures so much that the usefulness of my Fujifilm A800 is waning. It surely takes nice pictures under the right circumstances, however, it just can't compete with my new Canon G11. Very excited and please stay tuned for some nice pics!


Capt Chris

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My General Track To Florida

On Assignment in Central Florida
1 day until Grenada
8 days until Christa's scheduled re-launch

 Plans are always set in jello. My first leg is from Grenada to St Thomas, just shy of 500 nautical miles. For planning purposes I use a speed of five knots of advance, so about 120nm every 24 hours. Should be a wonderful passage and I hope to bug out from Grenada soon after launch.

 I likely will pre-stage from St Thomas to Culebra, just 25 nm west of STT. Then another 3 to 5 day passage to either the Turks & Caicos or the southern Bahamas. Once in the Bahamas, I'll hop from island to island to Miami and then down the Keys. From the Keys it's a 90nm sail to Naples, where I'll base out of for the winter.

View Grenada to Florida in a larger map

Capt Chris