Sunday, October 20, 2013


Hey check out our new webpage!

Have fun reading

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Hi, everyone we are in Atlanta, Georgia and will fly to Montreal Tuesday morning, from there we are renting a car! We are determined to get home. Yes, our flights were canceled because of the snow! However even a San Juan flight from St. Maarten was canceled too! What? Volcanic ash problem there in San Juan.

See ya

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday here in St. Maarten

We said our goodbyes to Traci and Dave last night at the Sunset Beach Bar that is very popular because it is at the end of the airport here. The idea is you can see planes landing and taking off constantly. And I mean the END (or beginning) of the runway. Signs everywhere telling you how dangerous to get close to the fence because the exhaust from these mega jets can cause harm or death... the wind power takes a section of the sand of the beach away. Anyways, lots of people here taking pictures of them with a plane coming in for a landing right above their heads. Dave and Traci left this morning at 4am for Virgin Gorda, the closet island in the British Virgin Islands... it is the longest sail yet and they wanted to arrive in the daylight. They are well, (if Brandi and Kara, their daughters are reading). The three of us went shopping but did not buy much, went out for lunch and will have dinner in our hotel/villa.

Thursday morning, as James and I were walking along the road to meet Paul at Customs and Immigration (we picked up our laundry and went to the bank).... we walk over the well known bridge that opens and closes for large boats... to Simpson's Harbour (Yacht club). This bridge has designated times they open for incoming boats and then again for the outgoing boats. We got to the bridge right when the crossings went down. Well.... what a sight. A beautiful sailboat... the largest I've ever seen in my life, the ones I only view in the glossy yachting magazines Paul gets. This sail boat had to be over 100ft long, tall and was "squeezing" through the opening. Staff had their fenders on both sides to inch their way through. Yacht club staff on their boats would help "bump" them in position. Paul and Dave saw from the other side and we from one side. During this whole time all cars are stopped and not just for that one yacht but many more. It is a traffic jam during this time. We had to meet Paul at
Customs because we were leaving Daruma and entering St. Maarten on our own now. We would be leaving by an airplane. In the Caribbean they like to account for everyone. For example, when we were in Montserrat, we never did check in, we got their too late and we left first thing in the morning, well, the next island wanted to know why our last stop was so far away, Dave just said we were sailing the whole time. We didn't like Montserrat and wanted to leave.

I will attach photos one at a time because they do take a lot more time, James will talk to friends tonight and be on this computer tomorrow I'm sure. There is a time change (we are Atlantic) so he remembers that.

Paul and I have lost weight, so I jokingly want to take pictures of us asap before we come back to our diet back home.... but.... anyone who knows me, I've been drinking diet pepsi (or in a pinch, diet coke) for years, probably 2 a day! Well, no more, water is good for me. I've kicked the habit. I don't want that stuff anymore. I do still like the white wine though. And the chocolate is delicious down here, ok it is good anywhere.

This will be my last blog, but Paul may come along and add stuff. But stay tuned for pictures.

Sunset in St. Maarten by James

In Statia's old fort

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Now in Sint Maarten

Sunday in Statia was just a relaxing day snorkeling and walking the village. It is a small town with a lot of history. We traveled up the “Old Slave Road” to see the fort built in year 1629. It was good to get out and walk. The roads were all paved and the village well maintained. There are at least 8 ships here in the harbour at one time with a good many tug boats. These ships are here to drop off and pick up.... seems like petroleum, since many tanks way upon the top of the island.

Monday morning bright and early we headed onward to St. Maartin (the Dutch side). We are sitting here outside of Simpson's Bay.

This is our last stop with Dave and Traci. We booked our flights home for Sunday. We are getting a hotel for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights here right on the beach. James says he is looking forward to a warm shower, I've reminded him I've been on the boat 2 weeks longer than him. Paul and Dave went ashore to get one sail repaired and then James and I will go ashore and drop off laundry.

There are billions of dollars worth of mega yachts sitting here amongst us little catamarans. One yacht even has a sailboat on their back deck beside their helicopter pad. Dave always jokes and says it is Mel Gibson's yacht as he is known to have one. All these yachts have numerous staff maintaining the exterior and interior (we have the binoculars on them). Our little Calypso in Prescott may be the biggest boat there BUT it would be on top of some yachts here as a “toy” boat. This is the capital of mega yachts on this side of the ocean (Monaco on the other).

We will do some duty free shopping here (prices are pretty good) and just relax before we head home. Friday and Saturday airfares were more than double so we will head home on Sunday. Of course, James knows there is snow and is rushing to get back to snowboard!!

Here is a recap... began in Grenada, Union Island in the Grenadines, traveled to St. Vincent, onward to St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe (where we picked up James), Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, Sint Eustatius (Statia), now Sint Maarten. Now within those islands we may have been at more than one port. Daruma will continue on Friday to Virgin Gorda, part of the British Virgin Islands, continue onto the southern part of Puerto Rico, Over to Punta Cana, Samana and Luperon, Dominican Republic, From Dominican Republic to Turks and Caicos, From there to the Bahamas and then to the southern tip of Florida to enter a waterway up to near Naples, Florida. This the final stop for Daruma for awhile.

We so enjoyed the journey we had with Dave and Traci and thank them immensely for inviting us along. We have all learned a few things about sailing, navigating, cultures of different islands and then of course, living in close quarters for over a month.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

St. Kitts

Today is Friday and we enjoyed our visit in Nevis. We are now in St. Kitts. We arrived at lunch time and spent some money to spend the night here in the marina in Basseterre. We have topped up our water and provisions. Two cruise ships are sitting here and the stores here are amazing. I only bought a bathing suit for James, a special hat for him and a pair of shorts for me. One cruise ship just left and boy do they honk their horns. Last night's Barracuda for dinner was pretty good. It is a very firm fish and took no time at all to fry up. The rice with it was firm, some organic healthy stuff that took so long to cook and still was not nice and soft. We shopped for groceries today and it was like being in America now. We bought sour cream, salsa and pasta sauce which was not around in the other islands. Also bought some Oscar Meyer turkey slices... mmmmm! James bought himself “kraft dinner” for lunch today. The prices here are expensive though.

Traci and I went a second time alone to the Ram's grocery store just to pick up a few more things that we couldn't carry the first time, including drinking water (the water we bought from the marina for our tanks has some floaties). Packed to the gills, this store, we were probably 10th in line for the checkout and many were behind us. Traci and I waited patiently and lo and behold, we arrived for out turn, the cashier says she is on break and everyone go to another line!! What the #$@!*&! The two men from India that were behind us were furious and said if this was India that cashier would be fired. So, they left their cart full of food and left. We just moved to another cash. As we waited patiently there and now we are 3rd in the line, that other cashier comes back and a swarm starts at her cash. She doesn't come up to us and say hey... come and be first at my cash, no no no. Our new cashier, says just right after us that she is closed, we just exhaled and said whew! It is an experience. Everyone brings their whole family to shop and socialize in the grocery store. We went back to the boat and had actual showers in the marina's washrooms. No hot water BUT unlimited fresh water, no washing with salt water and rinsing with the rationed fresh water. I stood under the shower so so long... and used a hand dryer to “blow dry” my hair for the first time in 3 weeks. When I get home a warm shower will be luxury. Dave and Traci's boat's hot water tank is broken, it is normal for most boats to have hot water, but no problem, water is warm. My friend Lyne would even be in the water (hair and all!). This water is clear blue and warm, warm, warm! We walked into town for a dinner. We went to a grill place not far from the marina, but we did walk too far the other way and saw some sights! I mean all the locals celebrating a Friday night by eating at food stands, with bands and music playing. Our dinner was great, Paul said it was the best snapper he has ever eaten. Christmas music is played everywhere and it seems odd to us as we have been conditioned to associate Christmas with snow.

Saturday morning we left about 8:30am for St. Eustatius (Statia, for short). This island was only 20miles from St. Kitts, but we had to leave as the sailboat in front of us at the marina was leaving and we were blocking them. We were leaving anyway, they beat us here to the island though, friendly race. This island is full of history and ruins one can see from the water. Unfortunately, we are flying our “Q” flag all day and can't check in. The customs office is closed until tomorrow at 8am. So, no shopping at all the duty free stores they have here.... the whole island is duty free, a big shipping and trading station. Right now as I type this there are 7 oil tankers sitting offshore waiting to come in. The snorkeling here is awesome. I will go soon, but James and Dave went and saw hundreds of fish near the shore reef (not by the boat Lyne, it is clear around the boat, no weeds, just sandy bottom). Dave brought up a conch, and the conch inside was gone but a mini octopus was inside the conch, so cool.

I'm making a sausage pasta sauce for tonight's dinner and James was able to buy “Zebra Cakes” down here in St. Kitts, the ones we can buy at Giant Tiger (well, I don't buy them, but James has seen them). The store here even had President's Choice brand name goods, their pasta sauce tonight. We may head to St. Martin, the French /St. Maartin is the Dutch side.