Monthly Archives: April 2015

2015 Apr 15, Last Day of Work This Season

Today was my last day at Nauti Nymph and Magic Moments day charters. I drove Magic Moments 3, a Sea Ray 45′ with Hillary as 1st Mate. It was a nice day trip to some spots in the BVI with very shallow and protected snorkeling spots for a very little boy’s first snorkel. I am surprised when people are staying at a place like the Ritz, with a nice beach they don’t try snorkeling there first, where it’s very shallow and they can get used to using a snorkel and mask while touching bottom. A 6 yr old boy un-used to the water can be intimidated by 30ft deep water, surrounded by Bar Jacks and Yellowtail Snapper looking for a handout. Amazing and beautiful, but scary for some.

Now it’s time to prepare Goldilocks for crossing the Atlantic!

Finished my orientation for Nauti Nymph Charters

First day at Nauti Nymph Charters, ride-along with Captain David Smylie. Peter Island Resort, BVI

Yesterday I tagged along with Captain Kelvin and his 1st mate Joan on Magic Moments III. That, plus two orientations on Nauti Nymph makes me “qualified” to start skippering charters. My first one is booked tomorrow, and another the day after. It sounds like they will keep me busy! That’s good. The mo’ money I can make the longer I can keep sailing. As busy as they are, I don’t think I’ll be doing much other than working for the next several months. So far the guests have been great. Go figure. They’ve already dropped a bunch of money to have a good time. All you have to do is show it to them, and I do like the office decor. Even when it’s raining!

27 Jan 2015, Swims With Turtles

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

I got in a nice swim Sunday with my new GoPro 3+ and magenta filter. After checking the mooring, I saw a nice Spotted Eagle Ray with attendant remora under me, then a cute Green Sea Turtle. Nice way to get some exercise.

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI
Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI


Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI
Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

Jan 2015, Xmas Cove, USVI

20 Jan 2015, Employment Emminent…

Today I went through procedure training with Nauti Nymph Charters, with a big stack of papers to read, learn, and sign. Tomorrow I will shadow a Captain on a charter to see how they run their 29′-35′ powerboats. I’ll also be driving Magic Moments boats which are 46-52ft “luxury” power boats. I’ll be working out of Red Hook, St Thomas.

They are busy so I should be working plenty and replenishing the kitty. Yay!

16 Dec 2014, Back to the VI…

I left Le Marin, Martinique for BVI Nov 14. One last stop in Petite Anse D’Arlet for some baguettes for the trip, then set mainsail and genoa on a beam reach up the leeward side of the island with changable wind and some motoring until I was near the north end. Then more wind shadows  behind Dominica and Guadeloupe. Made 105 nm the first 24 hrs. The Aquagen towable water generator made 4-5 Amps at 4-5 kts of boat speed. Over 24 hrs that’s not bad. Unfortunately there’s quite a bit of sargassum (a floating seaweed) that catches and stops it rotating. Not too bad to clear on a close reach or beam reach, harder on a broad reach. In any case slowing the boat down enough to bring it in is not easy. With all the practice I’m getting better.

On Nov. 16 the autopilot mount broke and I had to hand steer. Not good, especially when solo. I hand steered about 10 hours and was getting pretty tired. I made for St. Eustatius just north of St Kitts, but as soon as I got north of St. Kitts, the wind increased dramatically shooting thru the channel between the islands. I got “headed” or turned more to leeward and couldn’t get close enough. The next bit of land is Saba. A great Dutch Island Colleen and I visited in 2013. It’s tiny though and turned out little protection. With the wind direction and speed, there was no way I could make anything north like St Barth’s or St Martin, so I hove too and spent several hours repairing it in the lumpy seas. Good thing! I was ready for some sleep. You never want to get too fatigued out there in case there’s an emergency. With the AP working and a decent lunch made, I was on my way again.

After that it was beam to broad reach to Virgin Gorda. No problems, except lumpy and the dinghy kept trying to surf into the big boat, plus bad timing. I had to slow her down to get to the harbor about sunrise. There are enough reefs there, even though I know it pretty well, I don’t like to go in while very dark. Nov. 17 I anchored by Prickly Pear Island in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, …and slept. Ahhhhhh.

2014 Nov 7, Le Marin, Martinique. Culinary Adventure Declined:

I may have missed an opportunity. I like to think of myself as pretty adventurous, but this is one I have not, as yet, accepted. At the Carrefour Market in Le Marin, Martinique today I declined to purchase the “Souskay Testicules de Boeuf”, or “Beef Testicle Paste” which contains an astonishing 55.5% Beef Testicles. I admire them for not skimping on the testicles, but I think I’ll pass.

2014 Nov 10, Le Marin, Martinique: Heat Exchanger Woes

After I got to Martinique a week ago I found my expansion tank on the engine full of some sick looking foamy liquid. It tasted slightly salty and there was a bright green liquid in the sump under the engine, so the diagnosis was pretty straightforward. Seawater  leaking into the coolant. This is very bad as it will corrode the inside of the engine and is especially hard on the coolant pump.
The heat exchanger is like the radiator on a car, except it uses seawater instead of air to cool the coolant. After doing that, the seawater is injected into the exhaust gases so it works like a muffler, and cools the hot exhaust, thus preventing fires in a plastic boat. Convenient!

I removed the heat exchanger, ran enough water through it to find the leaky tube. It seemed to be just one tube and was leaking in the middle, so the solution was to plug both ends. The local tech recommended ashore was closed, so I decided to use epoxy to repair it myself.
Acid etch, rinse thoroughly, epoxy with bits of bamboo chopstick to help plug the tube, and heat it up on the stove to speed up the cure.
While working on it I got my wish in the form of heavy rain. My water tanks were nearly empty. Now I have plenty of fresh rainwater to flush and fill the coolant system (not to mention fresh water showers….pinch me!!)  That done, I have to repeat several times to get all the  seawater out of the system. So far, so good.

Other than that, it’s beautiful here. There is a Club Med close by with beautiful “Yoles”. These are traditional sailing fishing boats, that are used now for racing and are very unstable. Make a mistake and more than half the crew is in the water. Most of the crew is moveable ballast.
There was  rain now and then with this beautiful rainbow one day.
St. Anne is gorgeous, and Le Marin is a good place to get work done, and cheese, and bread, and pastries and pates, and etc, etc, etc.