Start of the Passage from English Harbor to Portsmith, Dominica

Yesterday was chore day. Eric changed the forward racor fuel filter, changed the generator racor fuel filter, changed the main on engine fuel filter, changed the generator on engine fuel filter, changed the transmission oil and filter, ran the wing engine, and replaced the sea strainer for the diaphragm bilge pump. Eric also put the storm plates back on the salon (living room) windows, which we had taken down for the boat waxing. He also put Lanicote corrosion protector on the screws for the storm plates.

Christi did laundry, cleaned, and did the never ending and thankless job of reorganizing storage spaces.

This morning we walked over to Falmouth Harbor to go to chandlery and get breakfast. We ate at a restaurant on the water with a great view. It is a nice looking place, and we expected it to be expensive, but much to our surprise, was cheap and really good. Too bad we didn’t find this place sooner!

Once back at Kosmos, we went through our usual get ready to go routine. We didn’t have much to do, but we were moving slow, and wound up leaving a little behind schedule. One reason is that check out took longer than expected. Eric had to go from customs to immigration and back to customs. All the officials are in one building, so he didn’t have to go anywhere, but he wound up waiting a while for each visit. Then he checked out with the marina office to pay for the slip, then had to go back to the official’s building (only 100 yards away) to pay for the water and power we used.

We are sad to confess that once we had unlimited power available to us, we turned into power hogs. We ran the air conditioning almost every afternoon we were on board, did a lot of laundry, left lights on, etc. Normally on board we are incredibly conscientious about conserving every single ounce of power possible, and we are a little disconcerted at how fast that went out the window as soon as it was no longer a necessity. Anyway, our water and power bill was almost as much as the slip fee! But, we also used a lot of water and power for the carpet cleaning, and we had a house guest, which increased both general water consumption and laundry. And, with unlimited internet, we had the computers on all the time.

We finally were ready to go at 1500. It was quite windy, in the low 20’s, and we were a little nervous about blowing into boat next to us as we pulled out. Christi untied us from the dock and Eric gunned the motor forward to where anchor was. Christi quickly pulled in anchor, with Eric trying to hold position above the anchor and not drift. We got out with no problems, not even getting close to our neighbor. But, Christi was sickened to see that the chain was completely covered in mud. If we hadn’t been in such a precarious situation, we would have washed the chain down as we brought it in. The anchor locker will need a serious washing later on.

Within a few minutes of getting out to the open ocean, the hallway fridge opened and everything fell out. Sigh. We forgot to lock the door. Fortunately, nothing broke, but a cap did come off a bottle and now we have tequila all over our newly cleaned carpets. I guess we just have to accept that every time we clean the carpets or upholstery, the Murphy’s law gods will mess them up again. If we keep Kosmos, we are getting rid of the fridge and making the space a hanging locker.

The first 8 hours the ride was not fun. Not horrible, but bad enough that we were both a little green. We were being pelted by 6 8 foot swells at rapid intervals. Several squalls passed over us, bringing burst of rain and extra heavy winds, but none of the squalls lasted long. At one point we were smacked by a 10 foot breaking wave. The breaking waves are the worst!

So, here are some random notes about Antigua:

The internet in English Harbor is inconsistent. It comes and goes, sometimes dying for hours. Today, while checking out, Eric realized that the power in the buildings is inconsistent, hence the internet goes down when the power does.

All the souvenirs we saw for sale were t-shirts and tacky junk. We had expected to see the same beautiful art work that we had seen in Guadeloupe, but nothing at all came anywhere close. Although, granted, we didn’t visit many souvenir shops, so maybe beautiful artistry is hiding somewhere on the island.

In both Guadeloupe and Antigua the weather has been inconsistent. There are hot days, and there are days when a cold wind blows and it is quite cool. And sometimes it will go from one extreme to the other in the same day. Christi generally wears shorts and always carries a sweater for when the cool blows in. We have gotten rain almost daily.

And on to a couple blog questions:

Q: Did your high water bilge pump start working again after it dried out from the flood in Stromboli?
A: Yes, it did.

Q: How do we sign up to receive your blog via email?
A: Click on the link in the “About this blog” section on our site and fill in your email address.

Q: How do you track down fuel bargains?
A: Unlike sailboats, we can’t get fuels from jerry cans and drums, so we need to go to places with fuel docks or fuel trucks. We seek out places that are popular fuel stops for fishing fleets and mega yachts. We find them through cruising guides, Noonsite, and the advice of other cruisers. We are more concerned with clean fuel than bargains, and will happily pay more at a reputable place than to risk dirty fuel from someplace off the beaten track.

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