Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Antigua - Happy Easter

It was a busy week. With the insurance settlement out of the way, we were able to hire a local fiberglasser to patch Vagus. The patch sure ain't pretty but it is strong. It also does not leak! Karen wants to paint a big "OUCH!" sign on Vagus' hull. The surveyor came out to inspect the patch and gave his blessing to move Vagus.It is time to move on. It is also an anniversary of sorts. Exactly 3 years ago, on the Thursday before Easter Friday, we arrived in Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands after an 8 day off shore passage from the Bahamas - our first time with Vagus in Caribbean waters. Much has happened since then.

Next I had to clean the hull and find the prop - easier said than done. Over the past 6 weeks, the prop had disappeared beneath a huge ball of growth. I had to pull clumps of grass off just to get to the point that I could use the scrapper. Slowly the prop emerged. With the bottom cleaned, we were ready to move. On Friday, we motored, about 10 miles, to Jolly Harbour on the West side of Antigua. Jolly Harbour is a better spot to leave for heading North-west. Once there we met up with Chinook Arch, who are preparing to haul at Jolly Harbour Marina, and with Mike & Marlene on Drumbeat, who we have not seen in a year. It was great getting back together with friends again. We first met Drumbeat in BVI on our trip south and have met up with them every year since.

On Saturday, I finally pronounced sentence on our house batteries. They have been giving us problems for the last month and I realized we had to replace them. Off we went to Budget Marine to pick up 4 new 6 volt golf cart batteries, each weighing about 65lbs. Saturday afternoon was spent taking the batteries by dinghy to Vagus, loading them aboard, lifting them down the companionway, placing them into the battery locker, and taking the old batteries on the reverse route. It was a lot of lifting, but with a few well chosen boat words, we managed to get through the day. We also managed to finish just in time to shower and head out for dinner with 12 other cruisers, mostly Canadians. Sunday was spent with Advil in quiet reflection.

Now we are really ready to move. Our time in Antigua is officially up next Sunday so before that time we hope to find a good weather window to head out. Our plan is to sail directly to BVI but that is just a plan. We will know where when we get there.
And other good news is that Mike off Drumbeat was able to clarify several of the cricket rules. Stay tuned!

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