Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jan. 2008-Home Sweet Home-Back on High States

HIGH STATES under sail.

Jan. 8th, 2008

After three weeks in Beautiful B.C., we are thoroughly enjoying the toasty warm weather. We had a great visit with family and the friends we managed to see. Ash made it down from Lilloett which was an added bonus. Sean
and Carlie hosted Christmas Eve with a delicious dinner; where we got to see all her family minus her mom and dad who are on their boat in the Baja. Randy and I cooked at their place Christmas day. Mom put up with us staying at her place. Thanks mom…Our only regret was not

being able to see many of our friends.

Kathy and Kerry graciously picked us up at the airport on Jan. 5th. We had previously decided to jointly rent a car for three days to do some sight-seeing and provisioning. We spent our first day walking Old San Juan visiting the two forts. This being a Sunday and also the local holiday “Three Kings Day”; most stores were closed.

This was one of two forts we saw. Castillo San Felipe del Morro . Construction began on El Morro in 1539 as a simple tower and over the next 250 years the Spanish continued to fortify it.

We found Old San Juan very clean and we really enjoyed all the history.

By the time we got to the second fort it was pouring with rain. Purchasing rain gear, which of coarse we also had on the boat but did not bring with us, we figured we best stop for an early happy hour in a local bar.

Our second day took us on a three hour drive to Arecibo to see the massive observatory used in the James Bond movie Golden Eye. We also moved to a hotel in Fajardo to be closer to the ferry dock. Our plan was to be up and ready by 0800hrs, have breakfast, return the car and head for the 1100hrs ferry. Around 0700hrs. Kathy knocked on our door and said the ferry was in fact at 0900hrs. We decided to try and go for it. Unfortunately at the car rental the van was not available to take us and all our bags to the ferry so we had to wait for the 1500hrs ferry. Oh well, off for a leisurely breakfast.

Back in Culebra Scott met us at the ferry dock with Kerry and Kathy's dinghy. Then Kerry and Rand went to get our dinghy. Then they both come back to the ferry dock for Kathy ,me and all our luggage.

This is part of the canal that we go through to take to Ensanada Honda, the bay where we are anchored.

A warm welcome back from Sue and Scott (Enee Marie) as we drive by the Dinghy Dock Bar.


What an exhausting day. Randy had the very tedious, unpleasant job of untangling our second anchor which is attached to 200 feet of rode. Of coarse the job was made worse today by some guy (next boat over) coming over and stating he hated two anchors. LIKE WE DON'T!!!! No response was necessary. We'll just say he will never be invited onto our boat.

The winds are from the NE—what a beautiful afternoon. I continue to do some organizing. As I put things away I pull the cupboards and storage areas apart just to confirm what is where and update our floor plans.


Stopping by Taima for a quick visit, Yvon told us to go to Mosquito Bay for great snorkeling, plus the lobster are a plenty!! He said a group of them got 12 lobster. We decide to try our luck with Kathy and Kerry. Yvon did you wipe out the family????
We’re not having lobster to-night!!

Jan. 14th
What have we been doing these past few days? Randy took the stove completely apart. After a

year of use it needs a bit of maintenance. The burners take forever to boil water. This task took Rand most of the day. I tried to stay out of his way by oiling the interior wood, wiping down the ceilings and then started to clean the outside stainless.

We also make time for regular hikes.

And we always make time to enjoy our friends Kathy and Kerry's company. Happy Hour at the Dinghy Dock.

Jan. 15th. Randy installed a 12volt “cigarette lighter” out in the cock-pit. Now we can recharge the hand held VHF’s while underway outside. To celebrate the completion of this task we plugged in our 12volt Christmas lights---- A little festive fun.

01100hrs. We have decided to leave Ensenada Honda for a couple of day and head for Bahia de Almadovar. We traveled 2.8 nm through the Canal del Sur. We have use of mooring balls which is a nice treat. To our port side is Culebra and to our starboard is the very long reef “Arcecife Culebrita”. Stephen Pavlidus in his book on Puerto Rico states that there is a SW/NE current that runs as fast as two knots through the canal. We are tucked in behind a small island named Pela and it’s surrounding reefs so we should at least be protected from swells.
It started raining on and off shortly after we got settled. While I started chopping for dinner, Randy started cleaning the hull.
Celebrating our first year of cruising we had Kathy and Kerry over for home made Chinese Food. We had an h’ordeurve of prawns and then chow mein, Ginger Fried Beef, Rice, and Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken. We finished off with a dessert made with jello in the bottom of a martini glass with a layer of blueberry cobbler and topped with graham crumbs. The “cobbler” was a freeze dried camping food. Pretty tasty.

Kathy helped with the stir frying. The beef (Churrasco), was a challenge and really never got “fried” per say, but it certainly was tender.

All in all a lovely night--- Great company, the meal turned out okay, and the view was most impressive with the lights of St. Thomas.

Thurs. Noon;

The weather is deteriorating so we are leaving a day early for the safety of Ensenada Honda at Dewey.
Jan. 19th

Looks like rain, high seas, and high winds are with us all week. We had been hoping to circumnavigate Vieques before Sean and Carlie’s visit, but we will be sitting tight.

So off we go for some exercise.

and more exploring of Culebra.

Are we fit yet??? This trek was a long way up.

Looking out towards Puerto Rico.

January 20th.

We of course have time to go to "Heather's" Pizza with Jim and Wendy (Merengue)

and Kerry, Kathy plus Kerry's daughter Tina and her girlfriend Terri-Lynn.

Sun. Jan. 27th

The week has flown by. We went across the Canal de Luis to Cayo de Luis Pena by dinghy. This island is a bird sanctuary west of Culebra. We saw a few goats but no birds. We continue to do some provisioning daily and of coarse check out the internet. The signal is not consistent so we usually have to go into the Dinghy Dock Restaurant to check emails etc. It’s truly a bonus when it works on the boat.

Kathy, Tina, Terri-Lynn and Kerry stop by for a visit.

On Friday night we went for dinner with Kathy, Kerry, Tina and Terri-Lynn. (their weeks vacation has flown by and they leave tommorrow). Getting back into our dinghy around 2030hrs., Randy started our motor and then I exclaimed “where is our gas tank?” Obviously not in the dinghy---can’t believe someone stole it!! Very disappointing, but I was more amazed that we had enough fuel in the motor itself to make it back to High States without rowing.

0700hrs Saturday morning we were trying to decide if we should make a trip to Fajardo to get a new tank. Enjoying our morning coffee in the cockpit Randy noticed “something” orange along the shore. “Lynn, can you get me the binoculars please”. Sure enough it was the gas tank. We lowered the dinghy, rowed to shore and walked down to the main government dinghy dock (where we had been last night). Approximately 180 feet along the shore line Randy retrieved the tank. Unfortunately the cap was missing. A couple of local men were watching us. When we got back to the government dock they figured out what had happened and “Bill” said he may have a spare cap.

Our challenge however was yet to come. We had to paddle 300feet back to High States and paddling we have not done in awhile. Of coarse by this time the winds had picked up and the seas got choppy. It was a challenge and a good reminder as to how much we depend on our dinghy and motor. Of course we should be paddling every day to improve our upper body strength but that would be too much work. Later Saturday afternoon Bill and his friend stopped by with a gas cap. Thank you Bill.

Mon. Jan.28th.
After a delicious breakfast on board Taima, we’ve headed out to Dakkity to clean High States bottom. It’s a beautiful day in paradise…light winds and it's hot. After we have secured a mooring and Randy checked it out to ensure its safety, we’re off to meet Taima, Phoenix III and LaBete over at Mosquito Bay to try our luck snorkeling for lobster. By the time we arrive they have found two lobsters and a couple of fish and have decided to return to their boats. We in turn decide to go back to High States to start to clean her bottom. I enjoy swimming circles around the boat as Rand gets to work with scrapper and screw driver.

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