Sunday, December 19, 2010

The night was rather quiet, good for sleep but not conducive to my intended downwind sailing plans. Perhaps I'll end up motor sailing after all instead of doing a pure sail. I've forgotten whether or not the bakery/café is open on Sunday and can't quite see it from my anchoring spot. I'll head ashore anyway in the hopes of getting a good breakfast and connecting with the internet.
I hoisted the old dinghy and engine aboard last, using some soap to clean the LodeStar dinghy and I let it dry overnight, so now I have to get the air out and fold it up without destroying more seams and to make it fit into the storage bag, then it will be relegated to the sail locker to be used as a backup. The big task of getting the heavy Caribe dinghy aboard (to say nothing of the 18HP engine) will be done late in the afternoon after my last trip ashore - I'll also re-anchor the boat further outside in Marigot so that I won't have to thread my way between unlit anchored boats when I depart in the dark tonight.

It is now 18:30 and I'm beat. After breakfast I took my laundry to a new place right at the bridge on the French side, then headed out and joined the crew of Pinta for some breakfast (again) at a crêperie next to Jimbo's in the lagoon. I returned and found out that Laura Dekker was going through the bridge at 17:30 so I returned to the boat around 14:00 and started preparing for departure.

While 18HP and a big Caribe dinghy sounded great, the effort required to get it aboard was significantly more. It is now 18:30 and I just finished getting engine and dinghy aboard and quickly re-anchored way outside so that I can depart later on tonight without having to worry about hitting another boat. The engine was affixed to the dinghy by two screws and, of course, one of them broke off as it had seized solid. After letting it soak in WD-40 for a while I used what tools I had along with a hammer to get it unscrewed enough to remove from the dinghy. That took over an hour, then I changed the aft rail mount for a newer, larger one... but the difference in weight between 9HP and 18 is significant and I was beat when I finally got the engine on the mount (and will have to fix up some scratches on the white fibreglass). I'd bought 2 blocks for hoisting the dinghy aboard but even with those it took a long time and a lot of sweat to get the dinghy on board, then flipped over, then tied down. I'm ready for some shut-eye and think I'll set the alarm for midnight and hopefully will arrive in the BVI in time to clear customs; but if it takes two hours or more to get the dinghy ready then I'm not sure I'm going to make it, or be in any shape to check in should I do so. We'll see what the winds are going to be like tonight and I might end up cheating and motor sailing back to the BVI.

Breakfast crepe Breakfast crepe

[18°1'57.14"N 63°5'23.18"W ]
Breakfast crepe
Palapa Marina Palapa Marina

[18°2'14.16"N 63°5'41.79"W (facing SE)]
Palapa Marina

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