Thursday, January 26, 2012

Far beyond fifty five miles...

Evan and Dacia working on repairs to LB's deck and engine.

January 26th, 2012

I looked back at the last two weeks and couldn't believe that we only travelled fifty five miles. Our time actually sailing on the open ocean was probably only around 15 hours in total. Looking back at what we accomplished as a team of friends travelling together in two weeks, we had been around the world and back again.

Tears came to my eyes when I first laid eyes on my friends way back in Viques, PR. They had taken two single engine planes to meet me on the island 20 miles of the east coast of Puerto Rico. I had only slept two hours that night when I set anchor off of a town called Esperandez. You get into a routine where you automatically wake up to check the anchor and lines. I was exhausted and relieved to have a helping hand and far more the morale support.

We celebrated and rested up for our journey up the southern coast of Viques. Our first day sail was rough and hard on both Lizzy Belle and the crew. We only travelled three miles and called it a day. We showered, ate, drank and laughed all day in the sun. Our next mission was to head to the very eastern edge of the Island. I'm not sure what got into these guys but no one felt sick and despite being super wet we all loved life.

From here on in, it was a piece of cake. We visited beaches without spotting another human being for days. We snorkelled a shipwreck, watched a manta ray jump at least three feet out of the water after it's prey, found unexploded bombs under water, ran from barracudas, and despite the spanish "No Pase" signs under military authority, collected beautiful sea shells on white sand beaches. Nothing beats being completely alone and only relying on the boat and each other for survival.

CULEBRA, PR...What a time. We were told Culebra was the place for us by fellow sailors and crew. They didn't let us down! A community completely off the map. Entire cities of tents, dinghy bars, golf cart rides, swim up bars and so much more. We were sad to leave.

Here we are in St Thomas. Back to the real world it seems. I made a reservation on our sail into the harbour to Crown Bay Marina. I asked if they had a slip for a twenty eight foot boat. They laughed at me and mentioned that if my boat was only twenty eight feet than they could accommodate me. We pulled in and were surrounded by mega yachts, cruise ships and styles of boats I had never even dreamed of. The "Hooters" mega yacht is even here. Our goal was to fix LB's exhaust, repair dry rotten wood on her decks and reprovision. We took care of the business and everyone helped out. Dacia sewed sails, stirred epoxy and helped Evan and I by delivering fresh Pina Coladas hourly. She flies home to Mahone Bay tomorrow and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be missed greatly by both Evan and I. Dacia took on a role on the boat that will be hard to replace and I believe that she fully understands now what my dream here in the Caribbean is all about. Her attitude and understanding will keep us going in the worst of times.

As for Evan and I... we are ready for the next set of challenges. Bring it on Virgin Islands!

Talk soon,

We proudly, always fly the Canadian Flag. People seem to really enjoy our story and help out however they can.
Tsunami signs eh? Comforting...
The day Evan and Dacia joined in on the adventure.
The crews first salt water bath...I'm sure there were no crocodiles in this mangrove bay. I was watching though. Hahaha
Happy to be clean!
Something about unexploded bombs from the war. We stuck to the beach but kept finding them in the water while we were snorkelling.
Big fish!
Underwater Dirty Moustache!
Sting Rays!
Evan and LB from the water. She had many bumps and bruises as well.
Evan and I mostly sleep on the deck under a tarp. Sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night to an absolute downpour. We scurry below as quickly as possible.
Chilling at the Bar in Culebra. You have to be a close crew if you live on a twenty eight foot boat.
Walking through Tent City.
Random tank...not sure what that was all about
Sailing to Culebra with ZINCK on our noses.
LB in Crown Bay Marina before the repairs.
We had to find Marine Plywood to fix her deck. A local ship repair yard hooked us up for free. Then this dude cut out our template for two Heineken.
Dacia making Pina Colada runs to the grocery store.
LB's Dry Rot, first step is to chizzel out all the rotten wood. Evan took this job on like a hero.
Step two. Clean it up and make a template.
Step three. Fit the wood.
Step Four. Epoxy and fabric.
Step Five. Epoxy filler.

Step six will involve sanding, fairing, and painting.

Alright guys, this is it for me tonight. I'm happy everyone is enjoying the blog and I appreciate the facebook messages. Hope all is well at home!

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