Thursday, June 9, 2016

Times flies (again)

I haven't done a "Time flies" post since January 2013, and since I've used "Blog-free month" twice already this seems as good a time as any for another "Time flies".  Either would work. So.....

Backing up a few days before we said goodbye to Free Spirit... John spotted a big Fortress anchor on the bottom near them (not attached to another boat!) and because boys will be boys, he and Skip decided to dive for it, haul it up into our dinghy and check it out. It had clearly been there for a while and was covered in barnacles. We took it to the beach and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed it.

"Hey, let's haul up this big crusty anchor and load it into the dinghy!"
We took a few breaks to play with this little guy named Scrumpy who was SO happy to have someone tossing a tennis ball down the beach for him.

Pleeeeaaaasssee.... throw the ball!!"
Looks better.
Lovely day at Jolly Beach
After the anchor salvage operation, we spent a few lazy days around Jolly, then sailed for Barbuda for one more visit. Another boat sailing for the Azores, s/v Tern, crossed our bow as we headed to Barbuda and I got a few shots of them on their first day out. It looked pretty bouncy, but we chatted with them on the SSB days later and heard that they were doing well after their rough start.

So long Free Spirit!
Tern - headed for the Azores
We settled in at Coco Point, Barbuda alongside friends Maggie & Al on s/v Sweet Dreams and John & Angela on s/v Galadrial. 

Seems John & Angela have a pot of gold aboard Galadrial.
John H needed yet more patching as well as a good overall cleaning, so we took him ashore and tried using lemon juice to clean the dinghy... a trick John & Alex taught us. Wipe the dirty surface with lemon juice (no need to rub it in) and let it sit while you go for a long walk on the beach. When you get back - voila! A clean dinghy. Pretty cool.

Sorry it took us so long to clean you John H...
One more patch... for now
Saralane stays clear of the beautiful squall that spent a day stalled over the west side of Barbuda
I stay clear of it too

After almost a week in Barbuda, we can't put off our departure any longer. We head back to Antigua and get ready to haul out. 

Gulls fly by as we leave for Antigua

Last year we stayed in a rented villa while we hauled out and it made the whole turn-the-boat-inside-out thing much easier to manage, so we decided to do the same this year. I've gotten so bad about taking photos that I have zero pictures of the villa, which was fantastic. It had a private dock where we tied up Saralane for a few days before being lifted, so when we finished each day's dirty work of decommissioning the boat, we could simply walk away from the mess for the night. Nice.

Danny lifts Saralane
Mario asks if we want the bottom pressure washed. Yes please, though it looks pretty clean

Boat turned inside-out
A newly clean and patched John H, neatly tucked away and tied down on deck
Sails and canvas off, outboard covered...
Saralane is safely stored for a few months and we're back in the states, but still somehow feeling halfway between here and there. It's nice to be back and we're looking forward to being on land for a while but we're already missing our floating friends and the lifestyle we've come to love. Our one year plan to sail to the Bahamas and back has turned into six years of something so much more and we still don't know where it will take us. 

Meanwhile, I picked up the camera long enough to shoot this brief Barbuda video, which will have to tide us over until we return.