Friday, December 23, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Something amazing about this cruising lifestyle is moving frequently. Every few weeks or so, there is a new Island to visit and within that Island, there are new anchorages. Every time you visit a new place you have to figure out where things are, for example, the Immigration office, where to find internet, a local market, marine store, where to get propane, water and so forth. It didn’t take long for these two Earthlings to settle in St. Martin. It feels like home here already. Large anchorage sites where many cruisers visit and stay for a longer time, such as St. Martin, have a VHF radio Channel just for cruiser’s. It’s called the “Cruiser’s Net”. On the Cruiser’s Net the weather forecast is given, there is an exchange of goods or services, general info, and they usually announce arrivals and departures. In other words it’s a networking community for cruisers. We have listened and engaged in the cruiser’s net since we were in George Town, Bahamas. The Cruiser’s Net has been very useful for us, we get local information and/or exchange things. Since we’ve gotten to Simpson Lagoon, Channel 14 has been on at 7:30 am every morning. We listen to Mike, the host of the Cruiser’s Net in St. Martin. Kelly has been offering haircuts for cruisers on the net and Mike has offered her  to use his establishment, “Shrimpy’s Laundry & Yachting Center” to cut hair. We row to shore, then bike to Shrimpy’s every day.  We’ve really gotten to know Mike, Sally, and Meme. They have been sailing and cruising before we were born.  They are wonderful people who have been very welcoming, and helpful to us. Offering haircuts also helps us meet new people and cruisers that have a plethora of information to share. Today we are invited for dinner aboard Elaine and Bob’s boat M/V “Mar Azul”. They have been cruising just since April and are going the same route as us down through the Leeward Islands.

We have been here for a week now and are already settled in. We could live here for a long time if we wanted to. Now we know where most of the things are and have already been anchored in 3 different sites. The other day we biked all the way around the lagoon to the Dutch side. What makes it feel most like home is that we made friends.  

St. Martin is a major boating and yachting center in the Caribbean. It’s a great place to fix and upgrade your vessel. Caribbean’s biggest boating stores, Budget Marine and Water World have warehouses here and are located almost next to each other. You can find anything for your marine needs in St. Maarten. Furthermore, you see the biggest yachts you have ever seen, which reminds me of Monaco. There are many 100+ foot yachts in the lagoon. The masts of these mega sailing yachts are so tall that they have red anchor lights, which I believe is for the safety of aircraft traffic. There are at least 10 masts with red lights on their stick. We caught a moment on video of a super yacht when we were waiting in Simpson Bay for the bridge to open. Check out the video here!

Caribbean Christmas spirit comes with the Christmas winds. The past few days it has been blowing 20 to 30 miles per hour. The windgenerator has been turning off frequently since the batteries are topped off and with the combination of solar panels there is no need to start the engine at all. It’s all about being as sufficient and resourceful as possible in this life style. In addition, Santa doesn’t ride in on a sleigh here, he zooms through on a jet ski! The Holiday’s are here and we wish all our followers and friends a Merry Christmas, God Jul, Happy Solstice, and Happy Hanukkah!

Love from Simpson Lagoon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

St. Martin

It’s surreal to be in France after a night passage from St. Croix. The mainland of France is far a way from here, but you get the taste of it in St. Martin. You see Citroens and Peugeots, which make it European and feels like home to me. The fresh smell from bakeries making baguettes and croissants is wonderful. Moreover, French wine is present everywhere and all you want to do is drink slightly cooled Chardonnay during the warm sunny days and Bordeaux at night. The radio stations play great music here and the locals dress more tastefully in this part of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, this Island is not only french, it’s also Dutch. We entered St. Martin on the French side, Marigot, since it’s a few Euros cheaper to check in and out here and there are no anchorage fees in most sites. As most of our followers and friends know, this adventure is happening with very limited resources. This Island is less than 50 square miles and it’s easy to dinghy, walk, or bike from the French to the Dutch side. There is a lovely story about the division of this island. It is not supported by historical fact, but according to Chris Doyle’s Cruising Guide, “The French and Dutch were so civilized that, rather than fight over the island, they had a Frenchman armed with a bottle of wine walk in one direction and a Dutchman equipped with a flask of gin take the other. Where they met became the boundary, and the French ended up with a bit more because the gin was stronger than the Wine”.

The 92 mile night passage from St. Croix to St. Martin was smooth. The heading was 92 degrees and wind NE at 6-10 with moderate seas. We sailed on a close reach all the way to Marigot. Being strictly under sail going East in the Caribbean is very rare, because of the trade winds. But we were very lucky with the weather window. This was the first night passage for this leg and we were missing the tranquility. To most people it might be frightening to be on the water in the dark, where you can’t see anything but the sky. Even so, there is a feeling involved with this experience that is exceptional. Being alone in the middle of nowhere under darkness brings you closer to your higher self! It’s great meditation time. A few hours after total darkness, where we couldn’t even see the water, the almost full moon rose with enough light to see the swells and still all the stars. Nonetheless, you can’t wait for the sun to rise and bring light to all!

One of the difficulties in a cruising life style is access to information. In other words, lack of internet. We forget how comfortable we have it on land. When you live in a permanent place, it’s easy to have access to internet endlessly, but when you are traveling from one place to another in different countries, it’s impossible to have internet at all times. Mostly, we find wifi signals from the boat with an antenna, still most are locked and sometimes you can purchase the password. What we usually do is to go ashore to find wifi in a bar or coffee shop and that requires that you purchase something to be able to use the wifi.  It requires time and effort to have a blog update or post pictures and keep in touch. So please don’t be worried and be patient if you don’t hear from us every few days or so. One amazing device aboard now is the spot connect. Anytime we set sail, the spot connect will be activated and keep a track of Earthling’s passages and actual location. We are looking forward to the day where internet wifi covers the whole planet free of charge for everyone.      
Love from St. Martin

Monday, December 12, 2011

Typical Earthling Life

How would you feel and what would you do, when you have an uninvited visitor fly into your boat?

It’s morning, the current is pushing the boat one way and the wind the other. Suddenly the oil lamp in the cockpit gets knocked down, Kelly starts screaming, and a big fish is flapping around in the cockpit. It all happened within few seconds. The shock and excitement was incredible. What should we do?! Grab the camera is the first thing that comes to mind. The young wahoo flapped around and made the floor slimy and stinky, until it was tired and then it went into the bucket (Check out the video). To me it just looked like great dinner! Thank you god for sending us a fish without ever needing to put out a line. This is what we do with unexpected visitors, we let them flap around till they are dead, filet them, grill them and eat them!

Life on Earthling is becoming more and more self sufficient. Beside the Wahoo jumping  in the boat for dinner, we also make our own bread. Kelly made some delicious bread in the pressure cooker. Making bread aboard costs us 1/5 of buying it in the store, and it can be made to personal preference. It requires time, but hey, as a cruiser, you have the time of the world and why not make your own food from scratch? Kelly also made my favorite brownies mixed with Persian walnuts. The baking experience is still in the beginning stages and will be improved as we go. Maybe we’ll start trading Earthling bread for a bottle of Rum soon! We catch rain for drinking water, get energy from the sun and wind, make own food, and grow sprouts for salads and sandwiches. In other words, we are trying to live in a small utopia. 

The last event in Christiansted for us, was the Christmas boat parade. Down here in the Caribbean, Christmas spirit is somehow absent, at least to us. We grew up in the northern climates, where there is snow in December and Christmas is associated with that. Down here in the Caribbean, it’s always summer and Christmas is never in summer! Anyhow, during the Christmas boat parade aboard Tony’s motorboat, “Sweet Pepper”, the Christmas spirit was finally felt. Twenty plus boats from 15ft to 50ft were dressed in lights and did a parade by the boardwalk. There were thousands of spectators and aboard Sweet Pepper, there was a trio of trumpets playing Christmas music. Sweet Pepper won the prize in it’s class and it was great to have dinner with the crew, afterward, at Green Cay Marina.

There have been 3 anchorages for us in Christiansted, St. Croix. The last one is right by the Seaborne Airlines dock. There are seaplanes landing, taking off, and turning around from early morning to sunset just 50 yards from here. One of the pilots is Wayne, we have raced on Cayennita Grande. We are waving at eachother everyday and it feels totally like home here in Christiansted. Tonight he gave a private farewell show for us, you can check out the video on Youtube!

The next blog update should feasibly be from St. Martin/St. Marteen. You can follow our trail on spot connect on Tuesday Dec 13th after 6pm Eastern Standard time.   

Love from Christiansted

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Mixed-Up World

Cayennita Grande
In our lives we have no control over other peoples actions and sometimes shocking things happen. This time it was not one of those unfortunate, unexpected incidents, but everything happens for a reason. We must keep an open mind and stay positive.

The Gustav Wilmerding Regatta in West End Tortola was one of the funnest  races ever. We crewed aboard our friend Tony's boat, Cayennita Grande. It started with the east wind on our back, flying the spinnaker around Great Thatch island, then around little Thatch. Next, up and around Sandy Cay, around great Thatch again and finally, back to West End. This course was approximately 27 miles and very exciting. It's such a better experience to race around islands, instead of buoys. The wind blows between theses islands like they would blow through a tunnel and change direction very frequently. 
We came in 3rd place, which was to everyone's satisfaction! That night, Tony invited the crew for dinner at Jolly Roger, where the awards ceremony was held. Great dinner, great company, and a great day... but it didn't end that way. After dinner, Tony and Kelly were on the dance floor and a heavily intoxicated man, named Justin, who is supposedly from Steel Point, Tortola, walked up to get between Tony and Kelly. Nobody pushes Tony away. He didn't move and stood there strong while the troubled guy Justin raised his Heineken glass bottle and it shattered against Tony's face. He fell down and blood was everywhere! The music stopped and everybody was in shock. We ended up riding with Tony in the ambulance to the emergency room. We waited with our friends Mike & Diane Kirk till early morning. Tony got 17 stitches along his eyebrows and a stitch on his knee. He had to spend the night for an eye doctor to examine him before they could discharge him. Most of the day after was spent at the hopital and police station to give statements.

Di, Tony, & Mike in entrance of West End Police Station

Tony had planned to singlehand Cayennita Grande to St Croix, but with one patched eye and a swollen face, it was our duty to help him to deliver Cayennita Grande. Now we are back in Christiansted again. The good news is that the solar panels arrived! We will be ready to sail to St Marteen within the next week.
What we've learned from this is that there are good people and bad people in this world and we have no control over what can happen. We just have to stay calm and positive and know that everything works itself out in the end.
Love from a Mixed-Up World

Sunday, December 4, 2011


What's so wonderful about the energies of this world
is that they are always being transferred,
from one thing
to another.
The beautiful souls
and open loving people,
are destined to meet if you put yourself out there.
Love them,
they will love you back.
We will meet ,
for this first time,
and again there after,
it is also hopeful.
You are the one I want to cross in my life,
as perpendicular lines
intersecting and then becoming one for a time
but still continuing on...
and meeting again in the future.
The web, circle, tree of life,
we call it.
The 6 degrees of separation...
The true meaning
with puzzle pieces missing,
even when you know and are sure,
you still continue on.
What is it that we are all thriving for,
lust, love, security, serentiny, peace, hatred, tranquillity, bad, good.
Without one there is not the other.
We shall see.

Written by: Kelly Bailey Dalton

Friday, December 2, 2011


Approaching St. John, Virgin Islands
It feels great to be moving on and sailing to new ports. Earthling’s way of cruising is to move on every few days, to not be anchored in one certain place more than 10 days. However, sometimes you have to stop in one place for longer, to repair your vessel or just work. We had to stay in St. Croix for one month to get the boat “a little more ready”, and even though all the things on the list are not accomplished, time is up and we have to move on. Our friend Tony Sanpere, has his race boat, Cayennita Grande, stored in Nanny Cay, BVI and it will be launched soon. We will then sail to East End, Tortola, to do a race with him. We better get first place, because Tony always comes in first! Cayennita Grande was just freshly painted white on the hull and bottom with a nice thin red water line. She looks super sharp!
It is also great to have a guest aboard here on the mothership Earthling. We haven’t had many guests aboard since returning to the boat after hurricane season.  Tony is here now and we are pleased to have him aboard. 
Even though Earthling is yearning to sail south to St. Maarten and further, we can’t do it quite yet, since solar panels that were purchased a month ago, have still not arrived in St. Croix. So we must return there to pick them up within the next couple weeks. Meanwhile, we are going to cruise to explore and take advantage of the time we have further in this area. There are many places that we have not seen yet, such as the island of Culebra, which leads us to new crossroad.

Love for Nanny Cay

View photos on the facebook page