Published: November 29th 2009
November 21st 2009
Fishing at sunrise off the coast of Guadeloupe.
What a week! After spending a glorious month in the Grenadines we ran into some problems with the boat. First our rigging needs to be re-done, but we found a temporary solution for that. And our auto-pilot still doesn't work even after sending it back to the States for repairs this hurricane season- frustrating! But the straw that broke the camel's back was that our generator went out last Saturday. And we need the generator to make water and electricity, two vital aspects of living out here.
Unfortunately the problem with the generator was more than Jay could fix, even though he has become quite the grease monkey with diesel engines. It has something to do with the brushes and the current sensor, maybe even the circuit board. We checked all of our manuals, did some trouble shooting on line, and called the mechanics we know in St. Thomas and in St. Lucia. But the verdict was out, and to quote the mechanic in St. Lucia, "Sorry mate, but that sounds like a serious problem!”
Our options were limited and rather grim. We found out that the only place to get it fixed was up in St. Martin. The
Jen and Kona watching yet another sunriuse as we set sail for another long day.
mechanic in St. Lucia said he could try to help, but Jay would have to fly to St. Martin to get new parts. And honestly, he didn't sound too confident. So our only other option was to get the boat up to St. Martin for the repairs. And that is what we did.
So we left Bequia on Sunday and sailed all day up to St. Lucia, on Monday we sailed to Martinique, on Tuesday we sailed to Dominica, on Wednesday we sailed to Guadalupe, on Thursday we sailed to St. Kitts, and on Friday we sailed to St. Martin. That is 6 countries in 6 days- whew! We are exhausted.
Unfortunately we had to hand steer the entire time because our auto-pilot was out. And in order to make the 500 mile trek, we would wake up at 5:00 a.m. and set sail at first light, often pulling into the next anchorage just before sunset. We couldn't do an overnight because it just isn't safe without an auto-pilot. You have to be physically behind the wheel and alert at all times. It is hard work to drive a 38 ton, 50 foot boat against the wind and
Check out the volcano erupting at Montserrat in the distance. Maybe we should change course?!?!?
waves- quite a workout. Needless to say, it was a tough trip and very long. But luckily we could break it up into day sails.
The good news is that the weather was beautiful, fair winds and following seas the whole way and not a single squall. All in all, we can’t complain. We caught one tuna off the coast of St. Kitts, not too big but enough to make sushi. And the only glitch on our trip was that we had to change course because the volcano was erupting in Montserrat, spewing ash and pumice and sulfuric gases. In order to avoid it we had to sail along the windward side of the island. Boy, what a sight!
So we are currently hanging out in hanging out St. Martin. We love it here! And hopefully everything on our boat will be fixed in the next week or two (or three or four).
There are more photos below