Not too much to report, but we thought we'd
better keep in touch, just in case you're worried that we're not enjoying
There were no exact answers on the snake ID
in the last blog, barring some facetious suggestions, though Michael's brother
Dave was probably closest to the mark saying it was similar to an Antigua Racer
(world's most endangered snake and only a couple of hundred left on an island in
Antigua). There aren't supposed to be Racers outside Antigua and of course no
snakes in Guadeloupe anyway, so any budding naturalists should head to Ilet a
Cabrit and check out the wildlife.
In fact any budding naturalists could do
some useful work out here generally, as we reckon that most data is old and
inaccurate. Ospreys, for example, are supposed to be rare and occasional
visitors, but we see them everywhere all year round - there are a pair on Green
Island here in Antigua right now.
Anyway, security issues...
Guadeloupe seems to have settled down again
following the disturbances after we left: we reckon that the whole place relies
on the big container port so much that you can only riot for a week or so before
everyone gets hungry and calls off the shouting.
Antigua has it's fair share of security
concerns too this year as a quick google will confirm. As we learn that tourism
is down 40% this season, it's a problem that should really be addressed soon...
Anyway, we take care and don't generally go out after dark here.
The Technical Blog
And for the techies out there: we had
some troubles with the watermaker. We were using it quite happily and then one
day it just refused to start, or at least would not pass water through the
system. We consulted Julian at Watermaker Services here in Antigua who persuaded
us to take it to bits, despite our trepidation, to see what was wrong. The
watermaker is a 12 volt model which has a pump taking the pressure up to about
10 bar which goes through a hydraulic amplifier to increase the pressure up to
about 40 bar. Since the pump sounded fine, we disassembled the hydraulic
amplifier, which is the strangest contraption we've seen in a long
The slices of the thing are sealed by about
150 'O' rings which we were convinced would escape overboard. In fact , all we
really did was clean it thoroughly and reassemble with a little vegetable fat on
the moving pistons, not really expecting the thing to work ever again. And guess
what ? it's just fine and now makes more water - about 25 litres an hour - than
it has ever managed before. No one was more surprised than us.
Alex survived three splendid months on Blue Sky and has now
returned to British Columbia where he found it ... COLD. As he was probably the
best crew ever, we hope he will carry out his threat to join us going through
the Panama Canal later in the year and eventually across the Pacific. Amongst
his other skills, Alex was very competent with repairs, certainly helping
with the watermaker games and he's
good with winches too...
note carefully positioned pilot book 'South
Pacific Anchorages' on left of pic.
We're still in Green Island and having used
our abundance of fresh water to catch up with washing, George is now catching up
with sewing jobs. Michael is of course, blogging. In a day or two, we'll check out and sail up to St Martin/Sint
Maarten for some serious shopping and stocking up with lots of spares before
We hope the snow / floods / bushfires and
sundry storms and tempests are abating wherever you are. If it's any
consolation, it's not been too sunny today and it's blowing like crazy: 25 - 35
knots most of the time.
George & Michael