Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Keeps Us On Our Toes

Ahh The Lovely Grenada
One of the things that Sim and I enjoy about hurricane season is dropping the hook and staying in one place for a while. The boat becomes “un-shipshape” and life becomes a little easier when objects and belongings don’t have to be constantly stowed safely away. However, so far this season Sim and I have been unable to stay in one place for more than a week. This is very unlike us. On one occasion we had settled nicely into a comfortable spot in the notoriously rolly Prickly Bay. We liked it there. It is convenient to get into town; it has a couple of good local bars and restaurants. We anchored nearish to the beach and every afternoon we would finish our day with a dip in the sea and a swim to get a little exercise. The roll held off and it was a lovely place to be. We had the generator out on deck, the sun covers were up, we had “stuff” all over the boat in a (pathetic) attempt to declutter and spruce up the boat now that she is For Sale. But that roll didn’t hold off for long; despite the fact that tropical storm Isaac was miles to the north of us it was/is a very large system. It turned our calm anchorage into a washing machine ride. The prevailing easterly winds, turned to the west and were forecasted to come out of the south at a strong and steady 20-25kts gusting 30kts for the following day. Enough to make our little bit a paradise turn into our personal inferno - a tad over dramatic perhaps. But I love my life very much and I love living on a boat but I HATE it when the boat rocks and rolls wildly at anchor. When it is relentless and you are thrown from one side of the boat to the other, I seriously loose my sense of humour. Plus the strong winds would put us on a lee shore. With it getting late in the day we called our friends on “Darling Blue” and told them of our plans, checking the weather themselves, they decided to follow suit. It took a good couple of hours to get the boat in ship shape order as we knew too well that although we were only moving a couple of miles it can be a bumpy ride. We weren’t the only ones making this move. Mount Hartman, Hog Island and Clarks Court Bay were all chock-a-block with boats looking for a little protection from the seas.
Isaac is a big system
So here we are in Clarks Court Bay again. Because it has been raining so much the water is a muddy brown. We are surrounded by little green hills and Alianna is very comfortable sitting at anchor here. We celebrated Naurys birthday yesterday on “Darling Blue” and were treated to sumptuous Sardinian feast cooked by Chris.
Naury's Birthday

Two Lovely Ladies
Passing by Prickly Bay this afternoon we happen to see the mast of a sunken boat peaking up out of the water near to where we were anchored before. I wouldn’t like to say for sure that it sunk as a result of the weather but its easy to imagine that it may have!
Chris and Naury
Sim pulling Chris up the mast
Chris up the mast!

Beautiful Bourganvillea
My favourite abandon lily pond is still here :-)
Lovely water lily

My favourite water lily

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let The Fun Begin!

Prickly Bay
 Now that the boat is on the market all those itty bitty jobs we have been meaning to do for years but have been quite happy to live with, are suddenly glaring us in the face screaming to be attended to. So this last week has been met with a sander in one hand and a paint brush in the other touching up little bits of varnish.

We moved Alianna from Clarks Court Bay to Prickly Bay last Monday. It is great to be back in a place that is so familiar to us; it is like we have never been away. It was carnival over the weekend but having “done it” 3 years on the trot we decided to give it a miss this year enjoying the peaceful calm days while everyone was out partying. In between slinging varnish about the place, catching up with friends, running errands and having fun on the weekly chaotic shopping bus we have been pouring over web pages and scrutinizing photos in an attempt to find ourselves a new (old) boat. We probably shouldn’t even be looking until we have sold this one but the temptation is just too great. We even went to see one over in Phar Bleu Marina. Serefe is a 47ft Tayana, I really like this boat, it looks strong and sturdy and still has a traditional feel to it with plenty of woodwork inside which is something Sim and I both like. The only downside (apart from its price) is that it suffered hurricane damage in 1995 and is still requiring a lot of work, not to mention the stigma that is attached to “hurricane damaged” boat. It would be a project boat for a while, something to sink our teeth into. But she is a beauty. Sim isn't so keen and is looking for something a little more sporty.  I thought he had been through the " middle age - red sports car" phase before we met! I wonder what the boat equivilant is?

One of the issues we have is that we really do not know what we are looking for. Should we go cat or monohull. Should we get a project boat or something ready to go? Do we want two cabins or three? Light wood or dark? Sim has dreams of a workshop and I have dreams of a walk around bed and a swim platform.  You can see where our priorities in life differ!

So many decisions and choices; it is still early days. But the fun has begun!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Alianna For Sale

Yes, Thats right, our beloved "Alianna" is up For Sale. After eight wonderful years of cruising and living aboard full time we feel that we have out grown her and ready for something new..  We now need a little more room to accommodate all the hordes of stuff we carry around with us.  Which is understandable considering that our boat is our only home.  We can't recommend Corbins enough. The Corbin 39 is a well made heavily built blue water cruiser designed and built by Marius Corbin in the 1980's. This a ready to go live aboard offshore sailing boat. She is strong and sturdy and easy to handle and will look after you in the worst of weather. We have heaps of living space inside, the pilot house is like a second living room and the saloon is spacious and comfortable.  If you like to cook our galley area is great with plenty of room to prepare food and huge amounts of storage.  You wont be one of those cruisers complaining about a tiny galley.  Check out our About Alianna or Boat Gear pages for more info and pictures. 

We are currently in Grenada, (a beautiful sunny island in the Caribbean!) Come and see for yourself and make us an offer!  Either contact us directly or via our agent Tony at The Little Ship Company

Large Aft cockpit with bimini and screen, pilot house with internal steering station and 2 sea berths, good access to engine and engine room, large galley area, spacious saloon, heads, and comfortable forward vee berth cabin. Alianna has beautiful flush decks that can collect vasts amount of rainwater directly into the water tanks via a Y valve. 


Price: $69 000US
Year: 1983
LOA: 41ft
Beam: 12ft
Draft: 6ft
Mast height: 58ft
Cabin: 1
Sleeps: 6
Heads: 1

Alianna is well equipped with;

New main and genoa and stack pack system 2012.
ProFurl NC42 Genoa system.
Cruising chute, staysail and storm jib.
Spare main and genoa.
Standing rigging new 2004
Running rigging new 2005/2012

Enkes Primary self tailing x 2
Enkes sheet and halyard winches x 4

Well maintained Westerbeke W33 engine with extensive spares and service records.
Hurth vee drive 150 transmission.
1.25" shaft with 18 x 12 prop.
Engine room blower.

Yamaha 950 watts 110 volt gas generator. 2007
Xantrec 40 amp 110/12v charger. 2008
Shore power 110v socket and cable.
110 v inverter.
3 x Kyocera solar panels, 215 watt. 2005
Marine Air X wind generator, 400 watt.2005
4 x 6v 225 aH Trojan T-105 batteries giving 450 aH. 2008
Separate emergency/engine start battery 80 aH. 2007
Full nav lights.
Deck light

4 x water tanks, 175 gal.
Diesel tank 100 gal.
Holding tank.

Interior and exterior steering positions.
Autohelm 5000 auto pilot.
Aries wind vane steering gear.
Edson cockpit steering pedastal.
Wagner hydraulic inside pilot house steering station.

Navman wind speed and depth instruments.
Furuno GP-32 GPS 2006
AIS receiver.
HP Navigation computer.
Brass clock and barometer.
Selection Caribbean charts.

Standard Horizon Eclipse VHF with twin masthead antenna's.
Icom M600 SSB radio
AT120 antenna tuner.
Sony CD player with FM radio and iPod input.
Sharp flat screen TV with seperate DVD player and laptop inputs.

Electric, auto, and manual bilge pump.
High capacity Edson manual bilge pump.
Pressure fresh water system.
Galley sea water footpump and faucet.
Cockpit shower.
Deck wash pump and hose.

Simpson Lawrence windlass.
44 lb Delta anchor.
44 lb Bruce anchor.
30 lb Brittany kedge anchor.
60 metres 3/8" BBB and 50 ¾” metres warp.

New full deck awning.
Fore deck sun cover.
Swim ladder.
AB 10’ dinghy 2009
Yamaha outboard.

Seaward Princess 3 burner hob and oven 2009
2 x 20 lbs propane cylinders with solenoid shut off all in external vented locker.
Adler Barbour 12v Fridge and freezer.
Propane BBQ. 2009
Various internal fans and LED lighting.
Teak cabinetry and trim through out..
Teak and holly sole.
Lee cloths on sea berths.
Bowmar hatches with sun covers and fly screens.
Extensive storage.

Avon 4 man life raft.
Lots of spares.
Dan bouy
Various Flares etc.
Life jackets.
Life bouy.
2 x fire extinguishers
Auto fire ext's in eng room.

Some of the following had a big influence on our decision when we bought Alianna.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hello Grenada

Hog Island
After the uneventful passing of Tropical Storm Ernesto to the north of us we spent a few more quiet days in Port Egmont with Chris and Naury on “Darling Blue” before moving on to join the rat race in the more popular bays of Grenada.
We moved around to Clarks Court Bay a large and reasonable protected harbour with easy access to the small village of Lower Woburn, Clarks Court Bay Marina, Whisper Cove Marina and Hog Island. Every Sunday on Hog Island a beach BBQ and party are held at Rogers Beach Bar – a small rickety wooden shack that serves as a bar with a small covering. Locals arrive on fast boats and lime away, dancing and enjoying the BBQ while cruisers mingle, their dinghies lining the beach. People gather, chill and relax as the evening wiles away. It was nice to catch up with friends we left here last year and some we hadn’t seen for years.
Dinghies - Hog Island
During the week I met up with Jackie and her boys Fin and Oz on “Xicale” to go for a walk on Hog Island. I pulled up at their boat in our dinghy and waited for them to get ready. In the mean time their cat Jasper, eager to jump ship, leaped onto the dinghy waiting for a lift to shore. Ever since he was a kitten Jasper has been given shore leave and on occasions has even swum back to the boat. – A very different cat to Ali de Cat who is a giant scaredy cat!

Fin and Oz and Jaspurrr the cat.
Later in the week with a couple of others, I helped Susie – a single hander, move her boat from Hog Island around to Port Louis in St Georges. Sim would have helped too but he cricked his neck the night before and managed to get out of it! “Spirited Lady” is a beautiful brand new 56ft wooden classic – the kind of boat where a tiny scratch does make a difference. After a few false starts we got underway and had a wonderful sail around to the marina. You forget what hard work it is getting a boat ready for sea, sailing her and then putting her “to bed again” all in the blaring sun; very different from the shaded cockpit of “Alianna”. By the end of the afternoon our feet were scorched from the hot wooden decks and we were all sun burned and exhausted.

Spirited Lady with Mikie at the helm
It is wonderful to be back in Grenada, it is such a relaxed and chilled country; so beautiful and green with burst of flowering colour everywhere. What look like scruffy villages, are tight little communities. It is wonderful to see how excited the country got when their man won a gold medal – a half day holiday was issued. Lucky they don’t do that in the UK or no work would get done!

Liming in Hog Island
Morning stroll for Jasper
The Bar!
Susie, Mark and me on Spirited Lady
So pretty...
..and green

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hurricane Hole in Grenada

Alianna at anchor in Tyrell Bay
We had it all planned out. The Carriacou Regatta was approaching. Sim was going to race on our single hander friend Ken’s boat, SV My Sin, a Dufour half tonner. It’s a small 30ft boat but apparently fast for its class. We would watch all the colouful work boat regattas and join in all the festivities like the potluck and the auction that are held by the cruisers in order to raise money for the education of the children of Carriacou. But like the best laid plans of mice and men, things don’t always go to plan. A large blob on our laptop screens weather page was showing an area of disturbed weather, a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa. This is how many hurricanes get started. As they move closer to the Caribbean they become better organized forming into a Lo and then a tropical depression before they turn into a hurricane.

Lots of blobs and TD Ernesto
At the lower latitudes of the Caribbean, like Grenada and Carriacou the longer the storms take to develop off the coast of Africa the more potential they have for hitting us down south. If a hurricane does form it has a tendency to turn north. But this blob was slowly moving westwards and straight towards us as a strong tropical wave with the potential for worse. We hoped it would give early signs of turning north so we could stay in our beautiful and peaceful spot in Tryell Bay but it wasn’t to be. So it was time to make some decisions, Grenada, Trinidad, Venezuela or to stay put as some boats were. During hurricane season we always have to be prepared to make decisions and move the boat if necessary to put her somewhere safe where neither she nor ourselves can come to any harm or cause any damage ourselves.
Port Egmont
Three days before it was due to arrive we decided that we would leave Carriacou and head to Grenada to an all enclosed lagoon called Port Egmont. It was full moon at the moment which means higher tides and stronger currents. Which fortunately turned out to be in our favour. We flew across the gap between Carriacou and Grenada hitting well over 9 kts at times which for us is a first. We sailed down the east coast of Grenada in a gusty 20kt breeze and arrived at Port Egmont in record time. Port Egmont is surrounded by pretty little green hills with some very expensive looking mansions. The bay is completely landlocked so we are protected from the seas and the holding is excellent in thick clay. The edge of the lagoon is surrounded by mangroves – a tree that grows in muddy tropical coastlines with strong roots. The bow of a boat can be pushed up into the mangroves and lines tied to their strong roots – a well (but not on Alianna) practiced hurricane tack tick. There is room for plenty of boats to tie into the mangroves if necessary but as it was 15 of us were all anchored with plenty of swinging room around us and room if more boats arrived.  To be honest I was fairly surprised how few boats were in there.

The entrance to Port Egmont
As it turns out the now named Tropical Storm Ernesto passed to the north of us near the south coast of St Lucia. We didn’t have to prepare for the worst by tying into the mangroves. We sat limply at anchor, the storm sucking all the wind to the north of us and waited for the surge of wind and rain that was expected later that afternoon. Thunder, lightening and huge amounts of rain fell but that was about all the bad weather we saw. Now that we have arrived in Grenada I guess we are here to stay for a while. All we have to do now is decide which bay to go and anchor in and watch out for the next blob.