Twister

Yes, it got done; but we needed some help. Initially, it sounded like we got lucky with a local recommendation to work with Marionics in Catamaran marina –  but the guy was too busy.
Luckily enough, Antigua Yacht Services had another recommendation, Wayne, and he had time for us. We picked Wayne up at noon, and two hours later,  the Balmar alternator was installed (but without the regulator).   This is not to say that this was a straight forward game of install — it was a bit more like Twister, where yellow meets yellow and red meets red, and poor Wayne Twisted on the floor in the galley.  All jolly good in the end, and we left Falmouth Harbor with a fantastic sail to Jolly Harbor (where the local supermarket and Immigrations are located).
We sailed past the beautiful rolling hills of Antigua and  many, many resorts with their beaches while enjoying the extremely turquoise waters.
In Jolly Harbor, we cleaned the fridge (we still wonder what the previous crew did to the fridge that made it smell like it did. It must have been more than old cheese, combined liquefied butter and melted peanut butter cups…) went for a late ocean swim in the dark, had a shower and went for dinner.   Hafenkino factor for today is only a 4 as we docked flawlessly, but had a small mishap on the dock when the water nozzle got stuck in the on position while filling a bucket of suds to be used to clean the fridge.  Explosion of suds and Tioga got a suds bath!  What will tomorrow bring?

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We need to move the Dory Club to Antigua

The highlight of the day was clearly the hike up to Shirley Heights (the lookout above English Harbor). It started with a water taxi ride across the harbor from Nelson’s Dockyard, followed by an amazing path to various lookouts before turning uphill to get to Shirley Heights on the top.
As every Sunday, Shirley Heights was filled with an eclectic mix of people (sailors, regular tourists, locals, a steel band and a regular band), offered bbq’ed food and lots of rum punches. We ended up dancing for a couple of hours and had a great time.
In other words  a great party at an even greater location.
The sun had set when we arrived at the top and the harbor was lit up by a see of anchor lights. In our opinion one of the best views (if not the best) in all the Caribbean.

All this fun was a nice finish to a busy day. We started in the morning getting the new crew up to speed on the equipment of the boat, safety procedure etc. We checked the ditch bags, completed the food plan and had Roger review our medical equipment (now that we finally have an actual doctor on board).
A lot of time was spent, trying to figure out if and how we could use the alternator without a regulator (even Bob Hansen, of Hansen Marine – the Westerbeke dealer in Marblehead did not know). We still do not know, but made the decision that is was ok to at least install it and get it ready for use. Of course the new alternator did not fit into the current bracket and we went ahead cutting the brand new alternator into shape (it clearly no longer looks brand new anymore, but now fits into the bracket). It is now wired without the regulator but still does not charge the batteries.
Ulf and Roger motored over the Catamaran Marina and got the contact details of the local alternator expert. We will connect with him tomorrow at 7:30 and try to get him to come to Tioga and help us out. We’ll see how that works out as we are still missing half of the wiring harness…

Going for Gold

When Ellen answered “we’ll kinda” to the question if the golden bracelet she just lost over board was expensive, it was clear that a solution had to be found.
The water was 20 feet deep and relatively milky with mediocre visibility. First dives with just a snorkel and fins confirmed that most of the ground was covered with grass and that is was too deep to spend significant time for actually searching down there.
We therefore collected all the scuba gear on the boat, were positively surprised to find it in working order and started the search.
Due to the poor visibility the captain had to come up numerous times to get back to the search area and when we were close to giving up finding the needle in the haystack, it did actually happen: we found the bracelet in the sea grass!
What a relief – it gave us a good sense of achievement on an otherwise relatively uneventful day.
Linda, Lilli, Peter, Corinna and Lauren left to the airport in the morning (we already miss them and wonder if they will ever recover from 2 weeks without a shower), the captain took care of some boat maintenance and Ulf, Roger and Doug arrived in the afternoon.
We tried to make sense of the new Balmar 60 Series 120Amp alternator but concluded that it was missing parts of the wiring harness to the regulator (we are now trying to confirm that we can run the alternator without the regulator).

Roger treated us all to a very nice dinner at the Antigua Yacht Club. Thanks!!
No Fireballs tonight and no whistling captain… so Byron (our one-legged friend) and Jaffa (the donkey owner) will have to do without us for a night.
We’ll see what stories Ellen, Ulf and Roger bring back from their tour tonight.

 

Another leg is coming to its end.

We got quite a few items taken care of today.
While the Captain went to work, Linda and Cathy dropped the laundry off in town, Corinna and Lauren cleaned the boat and packed their bags. Peter took care of the whisker pole pieces and spinnaker pole.
In the afternoon, after Peter exchanged burgees with the Antigua Yacht Club, we all met at Immigrations at Nelson’s dockyard to check out the crew that is flying home. With the captain back at work, the crew went to the beach to enjoy their last day in Antigua
Back at home, Ulf picked up the new alternator and Ellen started her trip to Antigua (by now all new crew have Captain’s letters to make sure they do not experience the same challenges that Ellen went through at Logan airport).

We celebrated Ellen’s arrival with a first cocktail on the deck of the AYC. Got the laundry back to boat, packed and went to dinner at Trappas followed by lots of dancing at the local corner bar.

The temperature is still perfect, the breeze is still going and the cocktails are still flowing – what more can you want…

Making a life

The captain left the boat early in the morning to go to work (and enjoy the beautiful view) while Peter and Corinna found and fixed the leak in the aft cabin and also installed the new wire for the lpg shut-off valve that stopped working yesterday (and with that stopped the stove and oven from working).

While the girls enjoyed a day at the nice beach around the corner, Peter and Philip continued the troubleshooting of the electrical system. With the help of our master mechanic/shore crew, Dan, they concluded that the alternator was fried (probably because the grounding cable broke off during the trip). Dan and Ulf are working on getting us a new alternator in Marblehead that we are planning to install over the weekend.

We finished the evening with a sushi dinner at Angie Dickinson’s restaurant at the Antigua Yacht Club (Angie turned the old attic into a kitchen and doubled the upstairs patio size after the AYC moved into the new building next door) and a walk to Nelson’s dockyard.

A great trip is coming to an end. We have only one dinner left.

And don’t forget:
Never got so busy making a living that you forget to make a life

Arrived in Antigua

When the sun came up, the clouds had moved on and we had a beautiful, yet sportive finish upwind to Antigua. While Antigua Classics had not begun yet, we came across quite a few spectacular boats that were practicing before the big date.

As before, Antigua or Falmouth Harbor (where we are anchored) did not disappoint. There were lots and lots of amazing boats at the docks (a lot of them classics, but also the Maltese Falcon and lots of other modern superyachts were tied here), the mooring area was filled with boats and the Antigua Yacht Club had renovated quite a bit.
UNESCO world heritage site, Nelson’s Dockyard, is where we went through customs & immigrations and had a brief look a the wooden boats moored stern to.

After a meal on the boat and a few repairs we caught on sleep (hence this delayed post).
Hopefully, we will get our electricity challenge under control so that we can run the fridge again.