Thursday, September 26, 2013

Go West.........

Dear friends,

And that is exactly what we are going to do, starting tomorrow. We will be sailing westwards, from Grenada to Isla Blanquilla, on to Los Roques, Los Aves, and then to Bonaire. Obviously no internet connection untill Bonaire ( omg, will this even be possible?)
It will be an awesome trip, picture deserted snowwhite beaches, turquios pristine waters..... ( Google earth).
The preparations on board are still in full swing ( Lucky got vaccinated, and a health cerificate), laundry (still need to do), stocking up on food, checking out at customs and another 1001 things. Onda Boa is ready as she can be and so is the crew.

We expect to arrive in Bonaire in abt 15 - 20 days.

Grenada is a great place to stay, and our favorite anchorage by far is St Georges (crystal clear water, good internet connection from the boat, hardly any waves so very comfortable, and near by shops etc). We have anchored at other popular locations (Prickly Bay, Hartmann Bay, Hog Island...but all of them suffer from the waves that enter side ways in the bays, which makes it a very rolly place to be...

 Contemplating.... Grand Anse beach


Down town St Georges - Grenada

Our busy dinghy parking lot (in the back ground the St Georges Anchorage)

Shopping near the dinghy dock... very convenient

...heading back and heading out...

Anyhow, we are  of sailing....

Take care and enjoy


Monday, September 23, 2013

Wheels of fortune....

Dear friends,

Funny how things go...I heard on the cruisers radio net a couple of days ago somebody wanting to sell bicycles (the fold up type, great for when you dont have space). So we went over to check it out. .... Great, our new friend was indeed selling two Strida ( bikes and so we didnt think twice, and now we have both our new pair of wheels. Great for exploring the anchorage surroundings etc. 

Who would have thought I would be riding a bike again?... Back in late 2004,  fanatic moutain biker, almost every weekend biting dust or ploughing through muddy roads near the Curitiba hills (Brazil), I suffered THE CRASH.. A, what later turned out to be, life changing event. The healing of 8 broken ribs and  broken collar bone, took much longer than expected ( they operated on my collar bone no less than 3 times), and all that time I was confined between my house, the office and the fysio clinic. 

During a weekend at the beach, I saw a group of sailboats and crew anchored out and having a great time...and I said to myself:.. I should have a sailboat too.... You can sail all year round....I can sail.... I have some money to spend .... I can swim, so in the event of me falling overboard, no problem, I wouldnt be breaking bones at least.... Yeah, I surely should have a boat. I walked over to a beached 43 ft catamaran, and talked to the captain (Ricardo Portela of SV Bravo, who a year later took his family for a three year adventure around the globe), and he gave me valuable advice: first buy yourself a small sailboat, say an ODay 23, play around and if you continue to like it, go and upgrade....... A week later ( and without consulting the home front( big mistake ?.... I guess it was already part of us separating)) I bought indeed an ODay 23....  7 years fast forward....

Living aboard a comfortable 40 ft catamaran exploring exciting locations, redesigned lifestyle, a wonderfull partner... In retrospect, THE CRASH, was the best thing that happened to me.

And you know what? I have two friends, that had to go through similar experiences, rather dramatic accidents, after wich they changed their lifestyles ( my friend and "brother" Vagner ( SV Christalino ,, car accident; Rodrigo ( SV Sotalia, motobike accident)...
Sometimes you need a wake up call, something that rattles your chain to realize that life is too short to be sweating the small stuff.. You dont have to get yourself in  a dreadful accident, but just take some time and reflect... That is all.... 
In retrospect, it all will make sense
Take and all the best


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Still here....

Dear friends,

Yep, still here.... Here being Grenada, at anchor in St Georges. Wow, a lot of good things have happened since my last publication. Some highlights: Dora arrived from Brazil, because after our trip from Trinidad to St Maarten last March, it was clear to both of us...we want to sail together

We went to see my family in Holland and celebrated my dad's 83rd birthday.
The family

Included a short trip to Paris... Tres bien..
Paris, Paris....

And all this time Onda Boa waited patiently on a mooring in Chaguaramas. Now with a new bimini, interior totally redesigned (thanks to Dora).

 Herewith I want to thank my friends Rodrigo, Rico, Beto, Carlos and Alastair for taking care of the boat, and getting us at warp speed to the airport in Port of Spain, as yourstruly suffered from a senior moment and got the dates mixed up, but that is another story.

We are now here in Grenada, prepping for our journey westwards. As usual some boat things need to be taken care this particular case the wiring of the windlass, and wiring of a washdown pump through the 12 v switchboard ( no I am not a an electrician). We hope to get this done asap (Thursday). Then we will pick the right weather window, and on our way to Isla Blanquilla, Los Roques, Los Aves, and then Bonaire.

To us Grenada has a much friendlier feel to it, than Chaguaramas, the water is clean (daily water work outs around the boat, something   you wouldnt do in Chaguaramas). We even went lobster fishing...

We did anchor in Prickly Bay, Hog Island, Secret Harbour/ Mt Hartmann Bay, but we still like the open ocean anchorage of St Georges the best. Using the BadBoy Bitstorm WiFi antena, even the internet connection issues are kind of solved. 

Somebody told me that there are 2000 sailboats, scattered around in the bays of Grenada. An interesting comunity. Every morning at 07:30 on Vhf channel 66 and 68 the cruisers net is formed. A very productive daily routine of welcoming new boats, security issues, weather forecast, social activities, and even local business is granted airtime to talk about their businesses. Very good indeed.

Lucky is doing great...she spent her holidays ( when we were in Europe) on board SV Sotalia (Rodrigo) and during this stay she did learn a lot...

Did I mention that my good old laptop died on me, and so I bought a Tablet (Sony experia).... You can call me old fashioned, but frankly, I dont like it. Cant have all the stuff that I want, and typing on a touch screen.... Nah... Not good... Anyhow..we keep on going...

All the best, have fun and till the next post..