Sunday, November 10, 2013

While anchored in Ladder Bay at Saba Island we met a wonderful Norwegian family sailing aboard their boat Solignac, and a couple of fun Brits from the catamaran Sara Jane.  We had a dinner party and everyone had a really good time telling stories and sharing a few drinks.  Sunny Ray, Solignac and Sara Jane met up again in Port Zante at St. Kitts after a rough windward sail from Saba and more parties ensued.  A few days later all three boats met up again at a gorgeous well protected anchorage with smoother water than we had in the port.  So of course we did some waterskiing.  It's been a rare occasion here in the Caribbean to have skiable water.  This is a picture of our Norwegian friends Halvor and Unn.  Halvor is an expert waterskier.  He ripped it up skiing on Dales surfboard.  Unn learned how to wakeboard with Halvor at the helm.
Dale did the most skiing of the day.  She just didn't want to stop and never seemed to get tired.

Halvor showed us how it's done on the surfboard.

Halvor at the helm, Ida and Teo on the bow.  Ida and Teo had a great time playing with Ray and Dale.  A bunch of squealing blondies.
Sweet Unn
The other boat in this festive group was the catamaran Sara Jane.  The crew of Sara Jane, Race car driver Bruce and his friendly wife Sara.

I'll add more pics as soon as we get a better internet connection.  People are starting to wake up here at the docks in Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda and the wifi is slowing down as more and more cruisers get online.  Today we sail for the Dogs just to the west a bit.

These dolphins led us for about a half an hour, no fancy tricks this time, but they were very friendly swimming on their side to get a better look at us.  The larger ones enjoyed scratching their bellies on our bows.

All is well aboard the good ship Sunny Ray.  We've been touring the islands southeast of the Virgins.  This pod of dolphins greeted us as we approached St. Martin.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dales first night watch

Life at the docks in St. Thomas

High performance dishwashers.
Home school in your undies, after sleeping in and eating pancakes for breakfast.  "The kids got it easy".
  Richie's house off the starboard bow.
Sunny Ray sitting 2 inches higher in the water after the new "light load" policy was implemented.
Notice the very skinny boy on deck, very light.
Completely submerged night divers looking for sharks in warm deep clean water.

Big Al's visit

Going pro.
Marty and Dales birthday party.
Al's makes famous Bloody Mary's.  We were out of horseradish so we used wasabi instead... yeah baby!
Multi-talented biologist, bartender, scuba diver, poison fish slayer, barber, etc.

Poison fish, filled with Ciguatera toxin from it's prey, and very delicious.  I believe it's a King Mackerel and it was caught on the south side of St. John USVI in 100ft deep water while trolling under sail.  Al cleaned it for us into really pretty filet's, but he didn't get a chance to eat it because he was getting ready to fly home.  He and Ray missed the dose.  Ray, with his high performance body, regurgitated the fish, minutes after eating it, so he had no symptoms of the poison.  Marty, Dale and I, thought the fish was delicious and noticed nothing.  It had firm sweet white meat, and we grilled it on the BBQ.  Then we slowly started having symptoms.  Marty and Dale had severe joint pain, and other nerve related discomfort.  We all had bleeding gums and dark under our eyes.  I thought I was having a heart attack and was whisked away in a reascue boat, which picked us up while at anchor off St. John, to the emergency room.  I was having partial fainting spells and my heart would race like crazy, so fast you couldn't feel my pulse, it was more like a hum.  This would happen if I layed down and tried to go to sleep.  If I got up and walked around the symptoms would subside.  I ate the biggest portion of fish.  Crazy.  We are all better now with no lingering symptoms.  On with the cruise!

Breakfast with Richie and Kayden

Cookie monsters in St. Thomas

Friday, May 3, 2013

New uses for old boats

Great idea for recycling those cluttering boats!
Fort Pierce, Florida
Sunny Ray in the Turks & Caicos
Well, Uncle Dan, having no mast makes Sunny Ray a lot closer to the corn planter in your dreams.  Just a few more alterations......!


Wind direction indicators

These are the best wind direction indicators ever!  I don't know why it makes me laugh to see the birds pointed into the wind, but it does!
Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

Near Pumpkin Key, Florida

Turks & Caicos Revisited

Turks & Caicos - March 2-26, 2013
12 inch diameter starfish 10 feet under the water on the Caicos bank
The Turks & Caicos prides themselves on the clarity of their water and rightly so.... it's beautiful.  Supposedly, throwing trash in the water is akin to murder.  They take it seriously and it shows.  We appreciate the water there and in the Bahamas more now that we are here in Puerto Rico with maybe a 2 foot visibility.
There are lots of shallow places in the whole chain of islands but with good light can usually be seen.  That makes navigation easier!  It was a delight too to have the anchor come up cleanly with just sand sliding from it.
The water hue is Dale's favorite color
Sunny Ray limped here for more repairs and now is a better boat.
My guy, Dan, working in paradise
Maybe the universe has heard the quote "I'd rather work on it in paradise," or "you know, it's a boat" one too many times!  Anyway, we are changing our verbage..... today! to...uh.... "Sails like a dream boat" and "because we live on a boat, we have so much more time to read and explore!" or other positive affirmations please!
Regardless of if our powerful words affected our repair rate, we added one more to our chronicle and spent nearly 3 weeks on the island of Providenciales in the T & C.  (Really, I don't think Mr. Fisit broke it on purpose just to fix it in paradise!)
The island is oppressively expensive for cruisers on a budget.  Even people who live here say that they go to Florida, shop for groceries & ship it back!  It's cheaper!  But, had we not had to be here, we would have missed out on meeting some awesome people and getting to enjoy this beauty.
Evenson, one of our favorite guys, with Dale. His mom, Venise, has a wonderful one room restaurant with outdoor picnic tables at the dock.  She kept us fed and Evenson kept us entertained.  Venise also showed me how to make her yummy plantains!  She has a special recipe that is extra good.
Evenson's dad, Paul, is a marine policeman stationed right at the marina.  Venise & Paul had us for Evenson's 4th birthday party at the beach! What fun! Please send us pictures, Venise!

The Caicos Shipyard was a good place to do our repairs, with helpful, friendly people and to sail on Pearl!  It is quite a protected little harbor with a little canal to explore by rowing.

Venise & Paul told us that Evenson doesn't like the water.  Hmm, maybe he just likes being on top of the water!

We celebrated Danny's birthday on the 16th.  The kids surprised him with fun things and we had celebratory coconut banana cream pie!  
Dale's buddy Tiger
There seem to be hundreds of stray dogs here called potcakes.  Supposedly people would let them lick their pots when done cooking so they wouldn't starve.  Everyone takes care of them but they could really use homes.  Dale always saved Tiger something to eat.  Only once, when Dale gave Tiger a bath, did she need a breathing treatment.  She's been fortunate in that department - hope that honeymoon lasts!  At least she's been getting her dog fix now & then.  Just glad that she doesn't want a horse on the boat!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

dainty little waterfalls

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But where the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing thro'.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
                                               -Christina Rossetti.
from: Dale

Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic

April 8th-14th
The sounds were incredible............
Somewhere between my grandma's house in the woods without the whip-or-ills or bobwhites and a jungle.

 Lots of caves
 Mangrove forest, I mean BIG mangrove forest

 the growing rock
Dale, being pulled on her surfboard 

 Sunny Ray in paradise

 my guy
 bikini time!!!
 paradise goes on forever
 Ray having a heap of excitement right after tubing

 my boy
 the trail to the cave
 my girl chanting for nature 

 our new friends: Charlotte, Muriel, Alexis, Jean. Francois, Thomas