TODAY, I am 39, which is pretty awesome. Middle age, here I come! Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the birthday camera fund – we’re going to get a waterproof, shockproof camera that takes HD video next time we are in the states or have someone visit. I can’t wait, because the videocamera we have takes awful-quality photos, but here are a couple sunset ones that aren’t too bad.
Last night, we celebrated both our birthdays by treating ourselves to an actual dinner out, a rare event for the Picaroons. Our friends Gary and Celeste of Sol Surfin’ – from Southern CA, of course – invited us to join them in an outing to a local marina’s restaurant. The marina sent around free cabs to all the area marinas to fetch cruisers, which meant that there were probably a hundred folks gathered for the tapas and music. The drinks were strong and the music excellent, which made up for the mediocre tapas that was pretty much just meat dishes. We met lots of cool new friends and danced the night away (well, Celeste, Gary and I danced – Philip was still recovering from the stomach bug we both have had and sat out the dancing, as usual). All in all, a perfect evening, and a great way to say goodbye to Sol Surfin’ before they head back to SoCal for the summer.
Lots has happened since we last had decent internet and could really update the blog. We spent a day in St. Georges, wandering around town until our explorations were cut short by repeated downpours. We did take advantage of a slight gap in the rain to visit the old fort on the top of the hill, a run-down colonial edifice that now houses the police training center. There was pretty much nothing to see, apart from the great views of the town and harbor, and we spent the whole ten minutes there laughing hysterically and chanting, “Lamest. Fort. EVAH.” Then it pissed it down again and we ran to take shelter, thanking our lucky stars that we only paid two bucks apiece in entrance fees.
Friday, we decided to move the boat to Prickly Bay, where the marine services we need for the autopilot and fridge repair are located. We also thought that the anchorage would be less rolly than St. Georges, which hasn’t turned out to be the case, but at least there’s much more of a cruising community here – the local “tiki bar” has loads of live music and tonight is movie night; they’re showing the Lorax. It was only about an 8-mile trip, the majority of which was down wind, so it seemed like it was going to be an easy-peasy sail until we rounded the point into strong headwinds and high, confused seas. Figuring that it would be easier to just motor straight into the wind rather than try to tack upwind in such heavy seas, we started the engine and furled the sails, expecting the 1.5 mile trip to take about a half an hour. Five minutes later the engine sputtered, and died.
Turns out, we were out of gas. Seriously, we are such dumbasses. Both of us had thought that we should fill the tank with the 15 gallons of diesel we had in the jerrycans that morning, then promptly forgotten. D’oh! So we turned off and ran downwind under bare poles while Philip used the siphon to add as much diesel as he could to the tank, which was only a couple of gallons from each of the jerrrycans. However, even after bleeding the engine, there wasn’t quite enough in the tank to keep the engine going in such rough seas, so out came the sails again and we tacked up into the bay. I hadn’t had time to eat lunch, what with all the drama, so had a mini-breakdown complete with tears and whining when we repeatedly failed a couple of tacks because of the heavy wind and seas, but all in all, we did fine, and looked like total badasses when we anchored under sail. Oh, yeah. We might be dumbasses, but we’re finally figuring out how to sail this damn boat.
Turns out that Prickly Bay, however, is even more rolly than St. Georges, so we have a stern anchor out to keep our bow into the swell. Only problem is that we’re now side-on to the wind, which was fine when it was blowing 15 but is pretty stressful now that it’s gusting over 25 again. Ugh. We are either going to roll like crazy if we remove the stern anchor or deal with side-on wind. This is why I plan to go to the tiki bar and watch movies all night!
Oh, and because Captca is getting pretty much impossible to read these days, we turned off the Captca filter for comments. Of course, we then got approximately three bazillion spam comments, so we turned filtering back on, but now you have to do MATH. Ha. See what happens when you complain? The management hears your complaint, addresses your complaint, and screws you.