I’m sure the title grabbed some attention.. I will get to that in a little bit! Hang in there!
As you can imagine a husband and wife team doing something like this are pretty close. Much closer than we would be in land life! As such Rhonda and I keep some things close to our heart as we cruise. We are usually super candid about our lives and the things we do, but our “long term plans” are held close. St. Thomas was one of those plans. We knew back in Grenada that we would do everything we could to get up here this season. Even though we never published it, It was our seasons goal.
For those of you that don’t regularly read our blog, we had 2 reasons for this. First, we really wanted to see our friends on Smitty and Kookaburra again. Both those buddy boats were instrumental in our “bash” south and we wanted to see them again. Our second reason was to get a bunch of needed work done to Party of Five.
First, lets talk about Smitty and Kookaburra . Call me a sentimental fool but I can literally remember the moment we left both Smiity and Kookaburra (no I haven’t forgot about SeaFrog). For some strange reason, both of those partings have emotional significance to us. I have no real explanation or reason but it felt like we would complete something by coming back here and seeing them again. Stupid, I know, but it cruising life can be like that.
Second… Work on Party of Five. I can hear you saying “Did you ever stop working on her”? That is definitely true, HOWEVER if you go back and read my blog you will see numerous posts on how difficult it can be to get parts down in the island chain. Although places like St. Martin offer great access to “Mainstream” stuff, they still lack access to American based companies. Having access to big corporations like Amazon, Sailrite, Defender, Westmarine make a HUGE difference! Seriously.. Making this a destination probably saved us over $4000 because we could order from those companies. The list of work done here in St. Thomas is as follows.
1. New electrical circuits to make it easier to plug in items when one of the generators is running.
2. Brand new pure sine wave inverter to replace the one I foolishly blew up! (I tried to repair the blown up one, but it had so many failed components it wasn’t worth it. Don’t backfeed 300 volts into a 120V inverter. Bad shit will happen!)
3. More new electrical circuits for the inverter (to separate it and prevent a dummy from blowing it up again).
4. Wire a timed electrical circuit from inverter to water heater (Ohh baby hot water).
5. Build a new thermostat for the water heater.
6. Replace main hatches in the salon (bye bye 15 year old leaking hatches).
7. Sew covers for new hatches.
8. Remove stainless bars over small salon hatches. Fill holes with epoxy and gelcoat.
9. Move solar fan from old hatch to new hatch
10. Install new fan in salon. Move old salon fan to Quincy’s cabin.
11. Cobblefrig a BBQ igniter into our stovetop. (Yay no more stupid butane lighters).
12. Manufacture new salon cushions (ya that’s a big one).
13. Fix our washing machine. Belt disintegrated and required some “customization” as it was a weird Chinese size belt.
14. Figure out where to get rid of all the garbage from our projects (seriously a big issue down here).
Hhmm that’s about all I can remember, but I’m sure there was a couple smaller projects! Again I have to put out a big THANK YOU to Jesse and Stacey on S/V Smitty. They stored a bunch of our orders and allowed us to use their address to have those items shipped. Not to mention helping us with the logistics of living and anchoring here in St. Thomas. THANK YOU GUYS!
Ok.. So now that the work is done, what are our plans? Well we have decided that we have been here in St. Thomas twice and failed really appreciate what St. Thomas has to offer. Sure we enjoyed access to the post office and McDonalds. What we have not done is enjoy St. Thomas as a true paradise. We are going to spend the next week (or 2, or 3 three) enjoying what St. Thomas has to offer. We have made new friends that run a wicked charter catamaran here (again thanks to Smitty). They have not only been over generous with food and gifts, but shared their unique knowledge of these islands. We will use that knowledge to see the paradise side of St. Thomas and St. John.. Thanks Makai! (Seriously.. You want a vacation of a lifetime, look them up.. I’m not saying this lightly, they offer a different experience that you will never forget!)
Ok, now back to the title… Tis true.. We have finally made some plans for hurricane season this year. Of course cruiser plans aren’t like “normal people” plans. Basically we have decided on Plan A (with Plan B and Plan C as strong candidates)….. Just writing this, I can sense some of you dancing foot-to-foot wondering what that is. So here it is!
We plan to come back to Canada for hurricane season this year (June to October)!
Shocker, I know! Although the details are still a blurry haze the rough outline is as follows.
– Jump on the next good weather window south east (bound for Antigua)
– Prepare the boat to weather hurricane season by herself (this is a very big job).
– Haul the boat at a big boat yard in Antigua (we have already reserved and partially paid)
– Fly back to Canada
Yup.. That’s about all the solid parts of the plan. Of course there are other parts that are not solid yet, so I will leave them out! One thing I do want to say “THIS IS NOT THE END… ALL OF US AGREE WE ARE NOT DONE!”. We just decided it may be time for a “reset”. The one picture I posted in the last blog is part of the reason. Some of the lifestyle as become “normal” and no longer special. We are thinking a trip back to the great mosquito breeding grounds of the north may change that! . Now I said that Plans B and C are strong candidates and that is %100 true. Beyond the bullets above, our plan relies one some fantastic generosity of friends and family. Of course that is not a guarantee so we have solid plan B and C in reserve! We are ecstatic when people offer to help us, but we never want someone to feel “obligated” as land life is so different than ours. If all the pieces work out, then great, if not, we move on to plan B and aren’t really stressed. So if all pieces work, we plan to head back to Canada in the first week of June (ish). We then plan to head back to the boat around October 1st. Once back on Party of Five, we will make a mad rush back to Grenada! That’s its.. That’s all… Please, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Not sure can answer them, but we will try..
P.S. It’s a crazy hope that Behan reads my blog.. However, if you do, we have been in the USVI and BVI for about 60 days. We have only met 2 other kid boats (both headed south). The kid boats all run south from here. If you don’t want to run to Grenada or Martinque, goto to St. Martin for kids! It’s a kid desert up here in St. Thomas! (However we do have friends in St. Croix with kids that match up to yours. SeaSchell)