Monday, December 23, 2013


Mustique is a privately owned island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  There are less than 100 houses there, and they are owned by some pretty famous and very wealthy people.

We like visiting there -- not because of the chance to glimpse a celebrity (we never have), but because it has a world-class bar (Basil's), some interesting hikes, and a great place to go for a run (around the salt pond/lagoon).  The one downside is that you have to rent a mooring, and you have to pay for three nights even if you only stay one or two.

Normally that doesn't bother us, since three days is about right for a visit.  However, this time we were informed after tying up that there were restrictions on where visitors could go.  We could jog to the lagoon, visit the few shops, and visit Basil's (and the famous Firefly restaurant with special arrangements) but that was it.

It was explained to us that nearly all of the owners were present on the island (an unusual circumstance), and they had been offended sometime in the past when visitors took photos. 

Well, its their island, I guess, so they can make the rules.  Not very friendly, and it seriously reduced the number of visiting boats.  We thought they should have at least offered a discount on the mooring fees, since so much of the island was unavailable.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Anchoring adventures on Bequia

We had a very challenging day today in Bequia - the rode on our mooring broke while we were off the boat, and we returned from our shopping trip to find the boat in a different place than we had left it.  Some kind soul had captured her drifting in the harbor, and tied her to a different mooring.  What a surprise!

Bequia is a notoriously challenging place to anchor.  You can get the anchor down, but then drag dozens or even hundreds of feet.  Some places the sea bottom looks like a farmer's field, with long furrows everywhere.  Because of this, we chose to use a mooring this trip.  Didn't work out so well.

After the bad mooring experience, we decided we would trust our own anchor.  We had to try a couple of different locations to anchor before we could get hooked.  The first try, we just contributed to the furrow collection.  The second try, we were finally successful.  A looong way from town, but still attached firmly to the bottom.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hash House Harriers at Momma Cannes

The Hash House Harriers is an international group (mainly British and former colonies) that organizes mad treks through beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. You can either walk or run (or a mixture of both). An important part of the experiences is the cheap beer and local foods at the party afterwards.

The chapter on Grenada is very active, and there is an event nearly every Saturday.   There are often a hundred or more participants.  We really appreciate the mix of people -- Old and young, locals and visitors, and students from the medical school.  A great chance to meet folk you wouldn't otherwise interact with.  The Hashes are held around the island, so you get to visit some rural areas and small villages.

We have joined a few times, and its lots of fun. Here are some photos from the Hash on December 7 at Momma Cannes (that's the name of a village).  This was a bit smaller crowd than usual (I think the med students are studying for finals).  The run was described as "very tough," and considering that we are still acclimating to warm temperatures, we decided to walk.  This was nice, but it must have been the shortest Hash in Grenada history, only about 35 minutes.  But the party was fun!

Before and After

Gretchen promised some photos to document the process of getting Callisto ready for launching, so here they are:

Just getting started at sorting things out:

And here's a shot after the dust had settled:

Quite a difference!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

In the Water 2013

We completed nearly all of our pre-launch to-do list, and splashed on schedule on December 2.  It is awesome to see this 30,000 pound object moved around so gracefully by the boatyard.  Our engine started with no trouble, and we slowly motored off into the harbor.

The first few hundred meters are always a bit tense, because the water is quite shallow and we worry about running aground.  After making this journey several times, you would think we’d trust the depth a bit more – but we don’t.

Out in the harbor, the first task is to find a place to anchor.  You have to be out of the traffic lane, and preferably not too far from the dinghy docks.  And of course you can’t end up too close to other boats.  Naturally, there are already dozens of boats in the harbor, all with the same objective.  We usually end up prioritizing having enough room over minimizing the dinghy ride.

There are a few commissioning activities that can only really be done after we’re in the water.  For instance, to flush the watermaker we need a lot of seawater.  This year we had a further task, which was completing the repair of our refrigerator.  This unit uses seawater to cool the condenser, so the final check out and adjustment had to wait until we launched.

We are getting into the rhythm of life aboard.  It always takes a few days to adjust to the warm temperatures, and to get used to the boat rocking in the water.  Prickly Bay is one of the rollier anchorages we spend time in.

It seems as though we always end up spending more time in Prickly Bay than we planned.  This year is no different.  We had to order a new chartplotter, and it takes more than a week to come from St. Martin.  Our old chartplotter works fine, but the joystick button broke last year.  We were disappointed to find that, even though our model first came to the market in 2009, Raymarine can no longer supply parts to repair it.  Hopefully we can get the new unit on the island and installed by the middle of next week, so we can start the northward portion of our season.