Saturday, April 29, 2017

St. Lucia: from the balcony

       Carol is again above the Atlantic Ocean and I am again on GANNET.  We had a wonderful week, the last five days in a cliff side bungalow at a rather luxurious resort.  The above is the view from the balcony or perhaps porch of our bungalow.  The beach is 166 steps from the open air lobby of the resort.  We climbed down and up them each day.  There is a restaurant at beach level where we ate lunch and another at the lobby level where we ate breakfast and dinner.  The food was gourmet.  It is probable that few of our species have ever had a more contrasting diet than a solo sailor who was not long ago consuming uncooked freeze dry.     
        We swam, we paddled a kayak, we snorkeled and looked at fish, fish looked at us, we watched birds up close and personal who joined us on the balcony and at the dining tables, particularly at breakfast.  Blackbirds, doves, finches.  Some fed them, we did not.  We watched day trip boats enter the cove and a few cruisers.  Odd for me to be outside looking in.   I am on record as saying that one should live so that one does not need a vacation from life, but I just had one and it was pleasant.
        Back on GANNET around noon, I partially reconfigured the interior, scrubbed slime from the stern, end for ended the main sheet, and ordered online a replacement Torqeedo battery to be delivered to the West Marine store in Key West.  They promised to hold it for me.  Torqeedo has come out with a larger capacity battery 915 watt hours versus the standard battery’s 532 watt hours.  Even though I don’t power much, I ordered the bigger battery.
       Most businesses and shops here are closed tomorrow and Monday, which is a holiday, so I am planning to sail on Wednesday.  I don’t need much to reprovision.  Cookies, chocolate, snacks, a bottle or two of wine and spirits.
        Our route will be from Rodney Bay to the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, then north of Cuba in the Old Bahama  Channel, which is narrow and sometimes filled with cruise ships.  I’ve sailed it two or three times before.  The distance is about 1400 miles, all of which should be downwind.  Twelve days.  Plus or minus one or two.  Assuming the Torqeedo runs for at least one minute and gets us clear of this slip.