Thursday, March 21, 2013

Busy Daze

Wandering Star in Simpson Bay Lagoon, SXM
Sim and I have kept up a steady pace of work over the last couple of weeks. We kept the two boats rafted together until last Saturday to make the whole moving process a lot simpler. We are still absolutely astounded at how much stuff we have been able to carry around on Alianna and how little space Wandering Star has to offer. But it has been a cathartic process in the purging of all our unnecessary (and necessary) items – a process that is surely good for us. I mean, is it truly necessary to carry around enough pieces of wood to start a carpentry business or enough spares to fix a fleet of boats. We carried enough paper charts to navigate the Med, N America, the north coast of South America and the East and West Caribbean and discovered all sorts of pieces we never knew we had. As a couple we are hopeless at being minimalists despite our love of the simple life.

Saturday morning monthly boat jumble
So we lugged our unwanted goods along to the flea markets and advertised on the local radio net, we gave stuff away and chucked bag after bag into the skips. We are still packed to the brim on Wandering Star and still have stuff to stow away. But Alianna is looking great without all the clutter.
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In the mean time we have been catching up with friends old and new – meeting for dinner on people’s boats or drinks ashore at the popular cruisers hangout “Barnacles”. We haven’t had time to go exploring or for walks on the stunning Simpson Bay beach but hopefully we can start to relax over the next few weeks and take things at a slower pace. It’s not like me to not want to go ashore and stretch my legs but days fly by with all the sorting and before I know it almost a week has gone without my feet touching terra firma.

Simpson Bay Beach
On a quiet afternoon

Capt'n Ali

Keeping watch

Well almost!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Old Love and Our New

The first day with our Armada
It’s been a week since we have moved aboard Wandering Star. We put Alianna on a mooring so as not to have two boats to look after on anchor in the notoriously bad holding of Simpson Bay Lagoon. As the winds have been light we have rafted the two boats together to make the ease of moving more convenient. I don’t know how we would have managed if we hadn’t of done this. Glyn and Jenny the previous owners bought Wandering Star along side Alianna last Friday. They walked away with only what they could carry and so we have been fortunate enough to go through all the spares, belongings and bits and pieces that go with full time cruising. It means that we are able to leave Alianna well equipped and ready to go.

side by side our old love and our new.
We always knew we carried a lot of “stuff” – all you need and beyond to be self sufficient. But I don’t think either of us realized quite how much we actually have. It brings me back again to just how much storage Alianna has on board for a 39ft sailing boat. We are struggling to fit everything in to Wandering Star. The spare cabin is piled high and every available space and locker has been filled…..and we still have more stuff to bring over. The aft end of the boat is full of bags to take to the boat jumble this weekend. Anything we can’t sell or give away will have to be chucked :-( - Throwing goof stuff out just kills me – one thing lacking in the islands are good thrift or charity shops.
The main cabin
But Wandering Star is a beautiful boat; her saloon is large and airy. The galley is easy to use AND we have a seperate freezer….with ice cream in!! Joy of joys. Though it does drain a lot of battery juice. Overall we are absolutely thrilled with the new boat. It will take time to get her just so – heck I’d say it took us 8 years to get Alianna how we liked her. But we have the time to plod away slowly. We need to learn all her idiosyncrasies that every boat has. Soon we will start to learn what the up keep of a steel boat involves. Although there is a lot of blistering in the painted Aluminum which we will start to tackle later this year the steel hull seems in good shape. Its funny how things never stay the same – rust is the new element in my life – everywhere I go (not including WS) I see rusty cars, rust streaked tanks…rust, rust, rust. But we will work hard to keep her in tip top shape and in return she will be a safe and strong sailing boat.

The saloon
The galley