30 June 2012

Best public transport system - ever!

Marco squeezed in the bus

If it comes to public transport we're spoiled. Back home, public transport is fantastic, it goes everywhere, is clean and on time. That's maybe the reason why small Switzerland is world leader with annual miles per person in public transport. So it was just fair to consider the Swiss public transport system as one of the best. WRONG!!! The public bus system in Grenada can top that:

There are minibuses running everywhere. They have a few lines which serve the whole island. Price for a fare/person is 2.5 EC (0.9 USD). But the price is not the point. The bus drivers act more like taxi drivers, they stop almost everywhere and fight for each customer (for a few EC extra they may even make a diversion to load you off closer to your destination). If you leave the marina they already yell at you before you even reach the exit, then they drive towards you to pick you up. You never wait more than 2 minutes for a bus. They are simply amazingly friendly - frankly I have no clue why there still are taxis on this island. 

Yes, the little buses are crowded like hell - I was not aware that you can seat 20 people in them (including the driver and the guy who collects the money, handles the luggage and yells for customers). So they may not be as comfortable as back home, but their better sound system is more than compensating for that. You always get the latest hits, some buses even run a small TV to show music videos. 
notice the TV in the front!

I give a damn about all the gimmicks like big seats with arm rests, WiFi and so on in the trains back home. I prefer this little buses which carry us with almost light speed towards new adventures than traveling in full comfort towards the office! Like I said, best public transport ever.

29 June 2012

We DON'T like dirty linen!

Be honest, when was it the last time you've hugged your washing machine?? What, never?! Go.Do it.Now!! I can tell you, I miss mine terribly... It would be a luxury to have one on board and I appreciated it endlessly, sigh. Fact is, I had to find another solution.

There are three ways to wash clothes for a cruiser (without a machine on board):
First: you bring it to a laundry lady. Sounds convenient. It should be! But there is usually a drawback. Either the clothes aren't clean despite their vanilla scent that almost makes you faint. Or they are clean but smell just awful. And it's usually the most expensive way.
Secondly: you schlepp the bags of laundry to a do-it-yourself-laundry. If you're lucky the machines are in an OK condition and may even add water to the rinse circle. But I'm still not convinced that the clothes should be clean after 20 min of washing, let alone be dry after 10!? OK, there is still the possibility to schlepp the wet laundry (now double of weight!) back to the boat and hang it up to dry.
Thirdly: wash it all by yourself. Yes, you heard right - the oldfashioned way of doing laundry in a bucket.

I refused to try this for a long time. I mean, I'm a modern time girl and used to push a button to get clean clothes! The hardest work was to fold them. BUT, after half a year of disappointing attempts with No. 1 and 2 I decided to give No. 3 a try. And after some experimenting, I think that's the way to go! I'd already researched in the web and talked to fellow cruisers about their methods. One remedy mentioned most often was "Ammonia", the ordinary houshold cleaner with the pungent odor. Never, ever try to smell on the bottle - it can make you cry. And a real NO GO is to mix it with bleach - a potentially deadly gas can be the result (a chemical weapon commonly used in WWI). Hydrazine can be another unhappy result (one chemical used in rocket fuel - very explosive.) But it's not my intention to die while I'm blowing up my linen!

So this is how I do it:
Put the laundry in a bucket, cover it with water (warm or hot if available but cold water works as fine) and pour in 1 cup of Ammonia.
Mix it with a toilet plunger and let stay for 30min.
Pour in just a little of your normal detergent (Again: make sure it contains NO BLEACH), mix and let stay for another 10 to 15min.
Wring out clothes, empty bucket, put clothes back and cover with fresh water - Rinse. May have to be repeated.
Wring out clothes again and hang them out to dry.

Plus factor:
removes traces of sweat and body fat, nice smell, bright colors, cheap
Negative factor:
doesn't remove stains, I usually pretreat them with bile soap

I'm quite happy with the result! Despite that it's hard work it somehow is an exercise aswell - just try to wring out 3 loads of laundry and you'll know what I'm talking about...

With love from paradise

24 June 2012

Learning curve

The Hurricane Season break is a great time to ponder on the past months. And there is a funny aspect about sailing we never really talked about: The learning curve of complete new things. Of course you would expect that I learned to sail and steer a boat, know about knots and some of this sailing language stuff. I admit I'm still not a heroine when it comes about handling the sails, but I love to steer and navigate! But there is some other, I guess not very girl-like stuff you have to learn when cruising.

Here is my personal Top Ten:

1) I'm in the meantime a pretty great "Tool Nurse". When Marco is buried in some deep locker to fix something I'm usually handing him the tools. I admit it was a nightmare in the beginning as I could hardly distinguish a side cutter from long nose pliers, but by now I know most of the tools by name and I even have somehow a clue how you may use them...

2) And yes, I would be pretty confident to make an oil & filter change on our engine by know - which I'm probably impressed by most ;-)

3) But it's getting better: I'm even able to understand most of the emails from Chris Parker's Marine Weather Center with all its acronyms: TROF, WAVE, RIDGE, LO, wind-chop, surface-convergence

4) Which leads to the fact that I'm always knowing the weather forecast - even now in the marina. And I do not talk about the usual landlubber stuff like sun, rain and temperature. Ask me and I'll tell you wind patterns (direction and speed for a particular time of the day!) and even the regional outlook for at least a few days. I may know where a storm is building up, yes I normally even know the exact timing for tides, sunrise and so on....it's scary.

5) For some obvious reasons I'm more or less always aware of the cardinal direction. I mean instead of 'turn right' I may say 'go South'... even on land. I'm a bit afraid that I even may use this accidentally in a supermarket or so, guess it sounds real silly if I'd say: the milk is East of the vegetables, right?

6) I really love our navigational toys: I plan a trip with the navigation computer, underlaying it with wind and waves for best direction. Then submit that into the hand held GPS for backup, and to our chartplotter at the helm. For longer trips I may even plot our course on paper. Sounds very complicated, and believe me it was in the beginning. Now it's a daily routine which even is fun!

7) Since I'm working so many times with maps I have a complete new understanding of geography. It's obvious that I learned about the islands we visited which I could not even point out on a map a few months ago. But further on, you get a complete new sense for distances. Looking at a world map is complete different while you plan to travel this beautiful blue planet!

8) After all this discussion what is to lube with which special grease, which chemical cleans that, what glue for this purpose and knowing the difference between hard and ablative antifouling it's just fair to say that I may have earned as well a degree in chemical engineering by now...

9) I don't like AC/DC too much, I mean the band. You probably knew that AC and DC can also stand for alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC)? I'm aware of that fact now too and I directly live with it day and night! When we're not plugged into shore power we try to live with DC only, that means with the power that's provided from the solar panels and the batteries. When we want to charge our laptops (or run the hairdryer or the vacuum cleaner, which we hardly do) we can switch to the inverter - that does the same job as if we'd be plugged into shore power aka AC... Clear now?

10) and yes, I can start and drive a dinghy by now, but I still don't like it at all...

From love with paradise

23 June 2012

Swiss Apéro

sunset in St.George's anchorage

Switzerland has an estimated population of 7.9mio which is roughly 0.1% of the world's population. Around 1'300 high sea yachts are sailing under a Swiss flag. Of course I don't know how many of those are currently cruising in the Caribbean! But the number has to be tiny aswell. Despite this facts we bumped into Swiss boats on almost every island! They have been mostly from the German speaking part - which was a relief as our French unfortunately is very sparse. Most of the Swiss cruisers we've met were very experienced sailors, many had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and have been on the sea for a couple of years already.

You know, English is not our native language and we're sometimes still struggeling to explain boat related stuff in the right words (time to thank all our English speaking friends for their patience!). So to exchange tips and tricks in our mother-tounge is usually a big relief all the more considering the wide experience of our compatriots. Like for example our newest acquaintance, Vreni and Hansruedi on their s/v Verena, a beautiful Amphora 38. Since we got to know them here in Grenada they have been sharing their wealth of experience about sailing and boat maintenance in general and about the Caribbean, especially Grenada in particular. Besides the fact that they're eager to share their boat related knowledge they are very warm people and great to chat with. Which we were able to do again this late afternoon as they'd invited us for an Apéro on their boat. Apéro is how Swiss call an Apéritif or Cocktails. We had some beers and a bottle of Cidre and our hosts pampered us with delicious snacks (bacon wrapped dates and garlic bread). We chatted about everything and anything while the sun went down.
A special Thank You to Vreni & Hansruedi and at this point to ALL the nice people we've met so far during our trip on sea and land for their hospitality!

I'm wondering: do we connect fast with Swiss cruisers because of the language or because we share a similar way of life? Any thoughts?

Apéro in our host's cockpit

From paradise with love

21 June 2012

one table, two uses

work table in the salon

As we mention on our blog (Upgrade/Projects - Wood Work) we had this table built for the salon in order to be able to work on a laptop or having dinner for two. We are now not forced to fold down the big table all the time. I learned later, that the original idea came from Hayden on his gorgeous Island Packet 35 (http://islandspirit35.blogspot.com). Guess the carpenter helping "deploy" our table was aware of his design. Anyway, a clever solution.

But one thing was still bothering us. The wooden cockpit table was very small. Even folded out to its full size it could hardly handle any additional guests as it was simply too short. So I thought extensively about any easy way to extend it while avoiding too much hassle and another big piece of wood to store somewhere while not in use. I was hit on the idea while sitting in the cockpit on a rainy day. Why not using the existing table from below when in need of an extension? It's easy to move and doesn't have to be stored away.

existing cockpit table

After a few attempts the modification was very simple. I screwed two wooden brackets below the table so it sits tight in the frame of the existing cockpit table. I may glue some rubber below where the table touches the wood and the helm in order to avoid any scratches and movement (I still didn't find the right material over here). This way the extension can't move in any direction as it lays simply on top of the existing table. I added a wooden bracket which holds an additional leg in front of the table for support. Just in case a guest would lean on it while a full meal is on top :-) I used a self made wooden bracket on purpose - it would be easier just to screw in a metal bracket for the table leg. But this keeps the whole profile underneath the table as low as possible and you avoid hitting the brackets with your knees when in use down below.

mounting of brackets below work table

It worked out amazingly well and we even think the look is OK. The table is much longer, finally enough space for four -  guests with "special food needs" are welcome again! Pulling it out from below and putting it in place in the cockpit takes less than one minute. Additionally it's even more comfortable to eat on it as it is slightly higher. The best, I spent less than 25 USD as I had the stainless leg from my scrap box.

work table on top of cockpit table

We really love this solution, but let me share the minor drawbacks & a few hints as well:
- I would have used nice teak in the beginning if I knew of the double use - but that's what I had already on the boat. 
- Since the table has now a few wooden brackets below, it's roughly 2,5 cm higher. It may not store that easy under the upholstery anymore. For us not an issue as we never did this anyway. Remember, the table is built so you still can fold the original table down while the small one is mounted. 
- Keep the brackets below the table as low as possible. As soon you use the table in its original position in the cabin you have to slide in sideways. Your knees will appreciate small brackets with round corners. It's not a problem on Habibi but keep this in mind before you screw in any big, easy to fit, stainless brackets :-)
-  And finally, the table would be nicer if it was 5 - 10 cm wider for use in the cockpit. Since that would not fit below anymore we needed a complete new table and where to store that damn thing again? Guess it's a great use of existing stuff - on a boat you really like if one thing can serve multiple purposes. 

Hopefully see you soon at our "new" table for some cocktails and nibbles!

20 June 2012

New toy on board!

We don't miss to have an iPad even though so many cruisers swear on it and try to convince us!
BUT what really made us think was the discussion about the Amazon Kindle. First we thought it's just one of many e-book readers and never really digged deeper into it. Then we did of course notice the big number of cruisers that own such a device. "Bookworms", we thought. That turned out to be not entirely true. Yes, when you're finished with the daily boat maintenance, repair and cleaning and fed up with snorkeling there might be time for reading ;-) And as the space on a boat is rather limited it makes sense to carry and store just ONE "book" namely an e-book which is even lighter than a paperback but still gives you the possibility of keeping a decent library. But that's just one side of the coin. What made us badly want to have one ourselves was another benefit that comes with it: the Amazon Kindle includes 3G and WiFi connectivity! What is that 3G, you ask? I did aswell! So basically it's using the mobile phone signals to give you a free (Yes, FREE!) internet connection. I learned it's called "experimental" since it uses some unused bandwith on the cell phone signals. Even though it can be incredibly slow and the keyboard is not that handy, it's still a great source to get weather reports and a few emails. What we believe to be the biggest advantage: it's working without a local SIM card. In case it's still not entirely clear, here is the explanation taken from amazon.com:

Kindle Keyboard 3G offers the convenience of no wireless setup--you are ready to shop, download, and read right out of the box. Kindle Keyboard 3G uses the same wireless signals as cell phones, so you don't need to worry about Wi-Fi connections, passwords or internet charges. Unlike cell phones, with Kindle Keyboard 3G there are no monthly fees or commitments — Amazon pays for Kindle Keyboard 3G's wireless connectivity. 

So it will be of great use in a remote anchorage where there is no internet available but cell phone signals (just imagine where you DON'T see people clued to their cell phones?!) Especially important to us is the possibility to download weather forecasts. That will give us more peace of mind. And last but not least: it will be great for reading books, newspapers or magazines!

A big *Thank You* goes to Miriam & Rick Longay from s/v Me Gusta who kindly offered their help and delivered our Kindle!

With love from paradise

18 June 2012

After Hurricane Season Plans

Here we are again: Planning! After having a couple of healthy gin and tonics we found ourselves sitting in the cockpit and planning the season after the Hurricane break. While planning in this case means we're discussing options, without any weather charts or even world maps. The main topic was: Should we make our way towards the Pacific or stay another year in the Caribbean?

To make a long story short; We will stay another season in the Caribbean! Even if I would love to go on, there are several and I believe good reasons to spend some more time here. First of all there is still a lot to see, a bunch of unexplored islands (at least by us) are still out there! After all, why the hell should we rush through one of the most beautiful parts of the world?
Additional a bit more experience cannot be a bad thing either. No, we are not scared to make the 3'000 miles passage between Galapagos and the Marquesas, we just have a healthy respect. I really believe Habibi is ready and the crew would manage it as well. So far, neither 40 knots of wind nor 12 foot waves on the nose could stop us, why should a longer trip? I'm pretty sure in twelve months or so we'll announce our heading towards Columbia, ABC's or St. Blas islands at this point. Stay tuned...

Knowing now our next season's plans, we really look forward to sail up north again. We're already discussing anchorages we missed and places we need to visit again. Since the trips will now be shorter, it's more plannable as well. Which maybe means that some more friends can stop by easier. We are really exited and already looking forward to the end of the Hurricane break in a few months....

PS: Dear parents, before you take now a too deep a breath since we postponed the Pacific crossing, please acknowledge: Postponed! It's still on our agenda. But anyway,  I can ensure you, sailing is not as life threatening as you think. By experience, the single most dangerous thing we encountered so far was the liquor locker :-)

14 June 2012

Best of Grenadines

Guadeloupe - Pitons: from here we headed for the Grenadines

In May we sailed island after island: Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia. It was a month full of emotions, discoveries, adventures and making new friends. And we got closer and closer to our final destination for that season: Grenada. But not so fast - there was something in between... ah yeah, the Grenadines! Cruising there really stands for "island hopping" as the distances are getting short. You can easely have a lazy start in the morning, lift anchor at noon and be on another island for your sundowner - of course by then you already snorkeled in the nearby reef and explored the little island! Even though we rushed a little bit through this area (something we might catch up on next season, but more on this in a later post) we really enjoyed it. Every single island is special in its own way and we post ONE picture for each one of them with a little description what made it unique for us:

St.Vincent: We decided NOT to stop there as unfortunately we've only heard bad things about it. But we still had to sail along its Leeward side which meant for us - slack, no wind at all. So we had to start the engine. The advantage was that there also were no seas, so we could cook and eat lunch in extraordinarily calm conditions!

Bequia: While approaching Bequia we had our sail of the season! We run constantly 7 knots of speed all the way from St. Vincent till the entrance of Port Elisabeth! I was steering when we all of a sudden saw a dinghy appearing in front of us. I was not willing to tack so I kept course - even though I was concerned to hit it at one point! Then it turned and came along our starboard side. And our stern. And our port side. Finally we realized that the guy in the dinghy was taking pictures - OF US! Later the day when we were anchored in Admiralty Bay the photographer Kenmore Henville stepped by our boat and showed us the pictures he's got taken of Habibi. We were thrilled and bought them after some negotiation. The picture above is awesome, isn't it? If you ever sail there watch out for him!

Canouan: This is a small island with the huge Charlestown Bay on its Leeward side where we anchored in green-turquoise water off the Tamarind Beach Hotel. The wind was shooting down the hills in gusts which can be noisy, but as there was anyway a local party going on in town with very loud music all night long we didn't care. Together with Monica and Ron from s/v Eos we had a sundowner and dinner in the Hotel which wasn't cheap but nevertheless a pleasant evening! On this tiny island there are two resorts that stand in stark contrast to the life of its inhabitants. We didn't see much of the island but we still wondered how locals feel about this developments. For sure they're not the ones that get any profit out of it...

Tobago Cays Marine Park: This.Was.Just.Amazing! It's a group of small deserted islands protected from the sea only by a Horseshoe Reef. It literally gives you a feeling that you're anchored in the open water with nothing in between you and your boat till Africa! Have a look on Google Maps, you'll be amazed! But besides this the water is so clear you can see the bottom and all the fish swimming by your boat. We felt like to be back in the Bahamas... But the most amazing part were the turtles. We heard about a designated "turtle watching area" off Baradel but thought with all this boats anchored next by and people jumping in the water they must have been disappeared long time ago... Fortunately we were wrong. When we put on our snorkeling gear and started to swim in this area they were all over and seemed to be totally disinterested in us! Can you imagine how exciting that was for a newbie snorkler like me to see turtles grazing on seagrass??

Union Island: Clifton is a port of entry and we had to check out of St.Vincent's and the Grenadines at customs here. That gave us the opportunity to stroll around this charming and colorful town. They have a picture perfect fruit and vegetable market and many little restaurants and bars along the bay. When we were there it was already off season and left a sleepy impression. But we could imagine it to be bustling during high season. There shall be some nice hiking, maybe something we might consider on a second visit...

Carriacou: Even though it's already part of Grenada I still decided to include it in here. We checked in in Hillsborough for Grenada and moved then over to Tyrell Bay - that's where our anchor windlass broke down. There are around 70 boats anchored in this bay but it was surprisingly quiet. We guessed that many boats were live aboards or even abandoned. The "town" didn't impress us too much. It literally consisted of a couple of shacks that either were identified as a restaurant, a bar or a store. But all of them advertised "Free wifi"... What we really were looking forward to was to take the dinghy and explore the nearby mangrove swamp. It did not disappoint us - except that we maybe expected to see or hear more animals. It was so peaceful in there! There is even a mangrove oyster growing on the roots of the mangroves.

If you still don't like our Facebook page habibisails.blogspot.com please push the button now! We post much more pictures and news there, don't miss them.

With love from paradise

13 June 2012

Let there be light!

Calabash Tree
Under way since more than seven months and we were literally sitting in the dark all this time... in the dark cockpit, I mean. We've been looking in any kind of store you can think of to find a light: hardware, marine, antique, local crafts - we could either spend a few hundred bucks on a stainless piece of art or get a cheap, ugly, greenish plastic camping light, both not an option for us. Then in St. Lucia we discovered the Calabash, a round fruit growing on trees as you see in the picture above. We learned that you actually can't eat the pulp, but that people use the hard shell to make bowls, cups or artwork out of it. Our Rasta-tourguide Vision "organized" some of these babies for us and it was then when Marco was stroke on an idea. Why not tinkering a lamp out of it? Here is the making of our new cockpit light:

One need a pristine and firm Calabash of the size of your liking

Cutting off the top of the fruit - a saw or the like will work fine

Spooning out all the pulp which unfortunately is not edible

Drill a hole on top of the Calabash big enough to insert an electrical
cable, attach a little bulb at one end and a 12V plug at the other

We hang it up on a removable hook at the Bimini straps and connect
the plug to the 12V socket which is mount at the side of the helm

The Calabash looks almost golden while illuminated
Now we have a warm and bright light in our cockpit which is actually our living and dining room. We enjoy this space now even more often to chill, to read or to eat. We're de*light*ed!

From paradise with love

07 June 2012

Companions of the sea

While sailing from Bequia to Canuan we've been accompanied by a group of dolphins.
I tried to catch the virtuosity and dynamics of them with my simple camera and would like to share this exciting moment with you:
Dolphins in the Grenadines from Rahel Urech on Vimeo.

From paradise with love

04 June 2012

Arrival at destination - for now

Phew, after 7 months and more than 3'000nm of cruising we finally arrived in St.George's Grenada where we decided to stay at Port Louis Marina for at least one or two months. Hurricane season officially started on first of June and according to our Insurance Company we are safe here - let's hope the Hurricanes know and will give this area a wide berth! We like what we have seen so far from the marina today: the facilities are brandnew and clean, the staff is friendly and the internet pretty fast! The next days we'll explore for sure the city and its surroundings and see what our "home for now" has to offer. But first Marco has to cure his toe, according to the color we think it must be broken - he hit it somewhere on deck while preparing for the docking maneuver. And then we have to face an endless To-do-List. But first let's have a sundowner, Cheers!

With love from paradise

03 June 2012

A not so perfect day..

I guess I deserve it. After my yesterdays' blog there had something to come....but let me start from the beginning:

We decided to move to the next anchorage before finally heading on Monday to Grenada for Hurricane Season shelter. It was again a very short trip - not even much sailing. But the bay is amazing, full of cruisers and even with a mangrove swamp in one corner. This time the anchor set right the first time. Great. When I made some final adjustments all of the sudden the windlass stopped. No movement at all - the breaker always tripped right away. At least the anchor was really in so I could address that problem without any hurry. After spending one hour in the real cramped anchor locker and measuring all kind of connections it looks now like the motor or the gearbox is seized. Since the windlass company is not longer in business it may be hard to get some spares, looks like another 2500 USD replacement!! 

We are both not sure if we should be really mad about this or not. We anchored now for months, sometimes at night in really hairy spots and the windlass never let us down. Now, the LAST TIME we set the anchor before heading into a marina for weeks it failed?? Is this now luck or bad luck? The only thing I really do not look forward to is to haul out by hand 40 meter of chain with a 50 pound of anchor attached. If you are back in the office on Monday please think of me - this weeks' start will be harsh as well on Habibi. 

After all that stress we decided to check out the "Lazy Turtle",  a highly recommended cruisers bar - famous for good snacks, real espresso and quick internet, they even have their own dinghy dock. Well, that guy who wrote the guide with this recommendation was maybe already too long in the Caribbean. The 400 pound lady behind the counter made the bars' name program. Sitting there and watching TV she looked more like a big lazy turtle than a waitress.  She was in fact hardly to convince to move at all. The most irritating fact was that she started to crawl her beard while explaining to me why the kitchen is partly closed. French-Burgers? No, the fryer is cold so no fries with it. I could convince here that we have plenty of time since we are on holiday. I could her hear swearing while she slurped finally into the kitchen :-)

The burgers would be basically ok, really made with fresh baguette.  It's maybe the fact that they have been served by a bearded 400 pound women which made me simply a bit too frightened to enjoy. And yes, the internet was fast as promised but the highly praised espresso machine is broken for months....

So you see, cruising can sometimes be hard as well. If the windlass would still work and the local waitresses would shave in the morning I felt much better.  Now I have to sell a kidney to pay the new windlass and I still hadn't any real espresso....I guess it's fair to say this was not that perfect day after all..


02 June 2012

A (almost) perfect day!

if you wonder what's in the front: "work less"
This day was almost damn perfect! We planned a very short cruise from Union Island to Carriacou, which is already part of Grenada. Just a short island hop. The weather forecast said winds over 25 knots and still high waves. Nevertheless - we decided to go. Getting the clearance from Union island was quite hilarious. It took the lady at the customs some time to convince the other lady to stop the computer game, get rid of the headphones and do her job. Immigration was even a bit more tricky:  Why do I have a blank stamped and signed (!) immigration receipt in my passport? After I could convince the lady that I do not sell immigration papers for human trafficking purpose and I guessed it was just a mistake from the guys at our port of entry (they watched TV while doing my papers) all was easy again. I could join Rahel at the French restaurant where she had breakfast while I was "working"  
Finally we almost flew with up to eight knots over to Carriacou. Way to short that trip! Anchoring was a bit difficult in Hillsborough as the ground was very grassy. Finally after the fifth or so attempt the hook went in. Immigration to Grenada was a blessing. Yes, I had to visit three different offices, but the guys are really friendly. 

After some sightseeing and bargaining at the local fruit and vegetable market we found ourselves later this afternoon hanging around on the boat, having a few beers, fishing and discussing the meaning of life (yes, we still talk to each other). Sounds perfect doesn't it?

So if you still wonder how a perfect cruisers' day may look like here are a few hints:
  1. In my case the most important thing is to ensure my wife is not hungry! Don't laugh! You've probably never met her when she hasn't got eaten! I tell you, go into your zoo of choice and ask if you could play whit hungry lions - you will get the picture! Since we (she) had nice breakfast, late lunch and dinner with dessert all is perfect.
  2. Nothing broken on Habibi
  3. Work slow and sail fast: Clearance and Immigration are not the fastest over here. But sail quickly in between so you make the office hours (8-12 & 14-16H!!) and things are again (almost) perfect.
  4. Have some ice cold beers in a nice anchorage
  5. Catch some fish. While some is probably a stupid description. I mentioned the gremlin already on my facebook site, but at least we still have something to laugh about...see pic below
  6. Have some more beers
  7. Prepare dinner (no fish tonight!) and have a glass of wine or two while watching the sunset
  8. Still nothing broken (yet)
  9. Making bananas with local nutmeg syrup for dessert
  10. Having a few more....I guess you know....
  11. and last but not least, go to bed with the only concern if you should stay another night here or not....
I admit, it's not always like this, but I can ensure you the sun shines generally much brighter here than in every office cubicle I've ever visited the last 25 years! So go and live your dream!

our little Gremlin