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Hurricane Irma

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I had hoped Chris would fill you in on his last week but he’s a tad busy and mildly stressed right now so you get my perspective again!

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Chris and the kids seem to have a great time while I’ve been away. Harry has been at the Antigua Sailing Academy most days sailing, fishing, tug-o-wars and all day fun. The sailing academy is an amazing non profit facility and Elizabeth and her team have been so great with Harry. Chris and Lily seem to have been mission in it on boat work, buoyancy aidless swimming it would seem and perfecting her backflips. Sadly most of that boat work has now been pulled apart.

After a whistle stop tour of Europe attending the wedding of my Bermuda bestie Lorna in stunning Sorrento, I headed to Dorset still on Carribbean time. House sorting was the order as our container was back from Bermuda. A massive clear out and fitting our landlife into 1 room somehow happened. The clear out wasn’t big enough and the reality is what we have on the boat is enough. A clutter of possessions and memories doesn’t fulfil anyone, but it is useful to have the odd bed to sleep in! Seeing family and friends that mean the world to me did make me a happy lady. Those meetings with girls I’ve known forever are precious & seeing my parents, brother and is family was priceless.

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The downside of a necessary trip was so much time away from the boat and my people! I returned only to wish we were further South. The reality of hurricane Irma is upon us. We are preparing as best we can. We’re staging some kind of sit in on the dock at Antigua slipway & hoping they will find space in the yard to haul us out this morning. Chris insists this is not the time for blogging!

Gabri (weirdly from Sorrento) gave up a day of his holiday to help us while his gorgeous wife Shana took the kids. We stripped the boat of sails, cushions, biminis, pulleys, sheets and basically anything which may blow around in a potential cat 4 storm. Chris pulled all the halyards up the mast and had a crack at getting the wind gear off. We’ve packed the inside of the boat imagining everything may be soaked and damaged from a broken window or similar. The advice of our insurance company (Pantaeneus) is that we re insured 100% on the hard but 85% in the mangroves. In many ways I feel we’d be safer tucked away in the mangroves. On the hard we ‘re going to be sitting ducks for flying objects and debris but there it is.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, calm and flat. Perfect conditions for swimming what felt like miles after an escapee flamingo! The kids had a great afternoon at the beach skim boarding with friends. Not your typical pre-hurricane conditions but then it’s a long way off yet.

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Irma seems to be as decisive as me with PMT trying to decide what to wear. The models were conflicting but now they seem to be in agreement that the leeward islands (including Antigua) are under threat. From my understanding the high around Bermuda is stopping the normal northern curve of such storms away from this area. But here’s hoping it does head off away from us and our to sea in the coming days.

It’s funny but a threat to your material possessions, life savings and family is daunting but we did put ourselves in this position! We did choose to cruise the Carribbean in hurricane season. Believe it or not there are some positives, particularly if you like surfing! Other than that you realise how kind people are. They offer their help and open their homes – thanks Rachel, Shannon, Louis and many others you guys have all been diamonds. Realising how fragile our existence is does make you feel grateful and more alive and ready to drink rum!

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As we prepare to haul the boat in the humid muggy pit that is currently our players keep home, all I hope is that we are safe and that we can continue living this extremely selfish dream. Do I wish we weren’t exposing our children to this danger? Yes, but I do want them to have all the experiences this journey is brings.

Let’s hope Irma heads north and we’ve all worried for nothing. “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as my Dad would say. We’ve controlled what is now controllable and when they turn the power out we’ll be ready for the hurricane party. Oh and there is a second storm in the wings too!

 

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Antigua Daze

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The last week has been spent in Antigua dodging tropical depressions & storms. Sadly that has meant no trip to Barbuda as we aired on the side of caution over the weekend. It also means that the boat isn’t in Guadelope and I flew to get my Paris connection. Ironically Tuesday would have been a glamour day for sailing across to Guadelope.

We’ve filled out week with some exploration of Antigua. We ventured to the “Florida of Antigua” in the form of Jolly Harbour. I wasn’t quite prepared for how different it is to Falmouth harbour! Not as rustic by far, more resorts and cruise ship heaven apparently.

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Chris made the most of the unsettled weather and got out surfing with Harry at Turtle Bay and Rendezvous whilst Lily a I did some serious beach combing. Not the day for her to ride waves, but the little fashionista is very proud of her new necklace and earrings. She also gave us a heart attack by upping her diving anti and randomly pulling out a back dive in a swimming pool!! No idea where it came from and even Harry couldn’t follow suit.

We also made it to Jabberwocky beach for some kiting. Once you got past the few feet of sargasso it was a glamour spot to kite in. I kind of forgot no kite instructor was there to massage my ego and pick up my board, so I left the board upwind for a wee while! It’s all part of the process I’m sure.

Harry’s been doing laps of Falmouth harbour surfing behind the tender at every given opportunity. This is proving a useful bargaining tool for school work & no hour is too early it would seem…light is preferable. I particularly love his need to sing as he does it. Chris tells me singing was an oppie sailing must for him, so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The kids were delighted to head to the flicks in St.John and watch the Nut Job 2. It was a big novelty after 2 months without TV. I was sadly nearly as excited by a trip to the Epicurean supermarket (in “normal” life I am not obsessed by food shopping I promise). However, I’d still rate the local food and fruit & veg stalls as the top draw on the Island.

Harry’s been trying his luck at fishing. He can pretty much recite all the fish (400) we shouldn’t eat in the Caribbean for risk of ciguatera: A rather mean food poisoning which is accompanied by neurological symptoms which can last weeks or even years. Generally purported by locals not to effect smaller reef fish, eating them is probably not worth the risk! At 7 Harry’s taken it upon himself to try to provide for the family- a bit much to take on, but you can’t tell him. On one fishing jaunt up the dock Lily joined him. She evidently got a bit peckish so got stuck into the bait of raw bacon!! Following misguided old wives tales that makes Chris & I feel psychologically better when we’ve eaten something dodgey we fed our 4 year old coke….have you seen what that stuff does to old coins & rusty tools? Surely it can sort out some raw bacon. *i have no evidence this works at all *

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With more time on land the kids have been playing with their new friends and haring around on scooters & skateboards. There has been a lot of tolerance around the marina-hooray for the low season!

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The question is will family Draper ever leave Antigua? We’ll be hopping South for sure from the 2nd September, but definitely haven’t ruled out a return. Harry has requested a geography field trip to explore the volcano on Monserrat and we’d love to fit that in too.

Misadventures
*Daddy diving services were required off the dock.

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*They have some furry friends here

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*Lily is a bait eating monster.

*Picking up AC parts and hull filters in UK, barnacles don’t seem to filter things too well.

 

 

 

 

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Drinking Carribbean Gatorade in Antigua

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Living in paradise was frustrating at the top end of the week. Arriving in Antigua for carnival was great idea in principal but we wanted to get some chandlery supplies, fix a few things, restock on food and get washing done in English Harbour. Buuuuttt everything was shut for 3 days. I admit it sounds ridiculous that this could actually be a real life issue, but everyone got a little antsy, stir crazy & forgot just how lucky they were! On the upside Lily can now bum wiggle with the best of them (clearly at 4 this is an important skill).

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History lessons, meeting stow away cats and collecting new instruments was the order of the day in Nelsons dockyard. We met a lovely boat with Stan & Jenny in tow. Having sold them our kayaks, the kids proceeded to swim over and play with them for the first time! They were rewarded with instruments including a recorder or “Satan’s flute” as Jenny put it. Looks like music is an addition to the curriculum too….

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All moods were lifted by the Haywards & the gallons of Carribbean gatorade (rose) we accidentally drank over the course of a few days. Anchoring in beautiful Carlisle Bay was spectacular & we had a pod of dolphins lead us in. The Hayward boys were equally as playful & perfect entertainment for the kids. What a stunning resort that place is. We are eternally grateful to Chris & Sarah. We topped off our meet up by stealing Sarah for the day & lunching at “Boom” while the kids swam in the pool there.

Escaping to Green Island was the perfect tonic for the family. A top spot for some kiting and generally living on the East Coast of Antigua near Non-Such Bay. We made it up there on 2nd attempt having called off in 30knts & some big sea a few days prior. The best find, aside from the hermit crabs, tortoise, racer snakes and deserted Island was a 10 year old child named Marlin & his friends Patrick, Henry & Arthur!! This was epic news for the Hazman. Whilst all other cruisers are generally South, we stumbled across a local family hanging out on their ex-RNLI boat for the weekend. This place & meeting changed our week and led us to more friends in Falmouth harbour. The boys skurfed, trainer kited, swam, fished, explored & shared tech knowledge.

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Us olds were happy to dabble in some kiting & sit in the best bean bags in Antigua courtesy of “Lazybones”. Chris made a new friend too- the security guard at Bernasconi’s house. He took a trip 2 miles downwind to meet him as the breeze dropped & the rescue crew were pre-occupied with extra kids & beach exploration!

We’re now in Falmouth Harbour at Antigua Yacht Club Marina. The kids are rampaging the dock and fishing with their new friends. Harry has also spent 2 days in sailing camp to join said friends at the National Sailing Academy for amazing value. It’s a great non-profit set up that trains local kids to become instructors and beyond.

Antigua in the summer is a far cry from what the season looks to be. The great news for us is the locals have time & a lot of kindness for those passing through. Seeing Shannon Falcone, Chris sailing around to North Sound on the Falcon F4 with a great crew including Louis & Alex Sinclair was another highlight this week. He’s definitely missing the foiling & the smile hasn’t left. It’s a pretty cool boat and is an evolution of the original foiling gun boat.

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Harry was particularly jealous of Louis’s fishing capabilities & proceeded to show off his new spear-Thanks Shannon.

As ever our “plans” are changing on a daily basis. It looks like Barbuda trip this week is on hold as the tropical depressions are lining up to the east between us & Cape Verde. We need to do a little hop to Guadelope for a planned airport drop by next Tuesday. I head home for a week to see my family, meet my not so new niece, sort out our house annnnddd hit up my stunning friends Lorna & Neil’s wedding in Italy! Busy week and going to miss my people like crazy, but spoke to my Mum today for the first time & I cannot wait to see her.

Team Draper have been drawn in by Antigua and we will be back very soon.

 

Misadventure

-More stuff needed fixing – yawn. Can’t even remember what.
-Harry cut his own leg with an axe when prepping a BBQ….when I say “cut” it was more of a scratch with blood…
-Lily still hasn’t realised she can’t free dive wearing a swim vest. Watching her get to legs overhead and pop back up is too funny….

 

 

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French Heaven

imageFille de Joie arrived in St Barts last week after a 3hour trip from St.maarten. We had 6 nights sleeping well on anchor in the harbour. Despite a minor faux pas when we first anchored in 40ft of water & I tried to grab the anchor chain as it jumped out the windlass all was well & I still have my hand. What was I thinking???!! Pleased we fitted the big anchor in the very early stages.

Upon checking in with customs we discovered we’d died & ended up in a French heaven. Full of beautiful people, stunning views, beaches, waves & food, St. Barths sucked us in for longer than the planned 36hrs.

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Slightly cross that my 13year old self rebelled against my former French teacher Father & took German. All that comes to my mind when I try to speak is Italian. The kids enjoyed putting Madame Carde & Madame Lee’s work into practice & Harry’s little accent was very cool to hear.

St.Barths is stunning & just the kind of place that draws you in. The quaint streets of Gustavia with all the chic you’d expect from the French. There are way to many beautiful people for 1 place. The mild draw back is the price tag. Fortunately my accompanying social hand grenades made it impossible to even window shop. Though I did “run” around the town bright & early one morning just to gawp in a few windows. The things I now do for some alone time!

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We met a fantastic couple & their daughter Hayley at “Le Plage” near the airport as we dodged the planes coming into land. We headed back to their stunning rented villa for dinner. I was inspired by the 102 marathons John had completed- this was not music to Chris’s ears!!! However, getting any exercise in is proving to be a challenge. Definitely a downside for me at the moment.

Taking our first sailing guests out was also an experience. I felt awful for 2 of our guests who were not appreciating the considerable waves. The 25-30knts with big swell on the way home from “Isle de Forchue” wasn’t the best for non sailors! However, the octopus whisperer did his thing again & I think that, swimming 100s of metres with turtles & stingray helped offset the seasickness! We were thrilled to meet such a great family.

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Harry’s been getting his surf on at a local spot called Toiny. Bit of trespassing to access the beach & the exit was only possible after holding up a few bulldozers. Super cool to see our 7 year old paddling himself into 3-4ft open faces. He wasn’t that impressed by snapping his leash on a decent sized set & was pretty devastated that his beloved board “Stump” ended up on the rocks. But Daddy saved the day & even the board survived to surf another day. The surf has been perfect for Harry, he’s riding waves on reefs and generally seems to have very little fear. Some amazing time together with Daddy.

 

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Glamour eats at Black Ginger, Bazbar, Tamarin, Quarter. Don’t think you can go far wrong anywhere in St. Barts though. The French just rock this eating thing-as our waistlines will attest!

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We arrived in Antigua yesterday afternoon. The sea state was pretty bumpy but not enough to put Harry off his Harry Potter obsession. Not much brekkie to keep down as our spare gas tank seemed  to have a faulty regulator. Have no fear there was caffeine at 0430 though.

 

I’m pretty excited at the prospect of seeing Sarah Hayward & family from Bermuda. Possibly one of the funniest ladies on the planet & I’m sure she might share a glass or 2 of vino with me-yay!

Nearly forgot to mention there was potential for a tropical storm setting up in the Atlantic. We were planning to hide in English Harbour, if it was good enough for Nelson it’s good enough for us. Fortunately though it looks like it’s fizzled out.

Things we’ve learned in the 1st month:

-Homeschooling is do-able. Harry’s maths will be better than mine soon.

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-Clean clothes & showers are overrated.

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-Remora fish are epic if your boat bum needs a clean. I’m hoping they ll hang out with us for the foreseeable.

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-Fridge tetras is an actual game. I’ve been known to weigh up access to ingredient vs actual taste value. Sod it sometimes it’s not worth it!

-We’re mastering the wedge, which is outwitting the seastate by fixing oneself into a corner of the galley or anywhere else whilst sailing.

-Never did I think I’d dream of owning a household appliance!! Hand held dyson I think you’d change our world.

 

 

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St. Maarten

So we aren’t still floundering in the Carribbean somewhere and we did make it to St. Maarten! Comms have been intermittent this week so here is a quick update on all things Draper.

Spanish town in Virgin Gorda wasn’t spectacular but the slow easy drinks at dockside & the beautiful evening at cocomaya was a utter treat as we wrapped up our time in the BVIs. The scrumptious Latin-Asian fusion restaurant was hidden away & had beach games & a relaxed friendly vibe. The eve was slightly mared by getting back to the boat to realise there’d been a random shower into a open hatch & our bed was soaked! Rookie moves strike again. At least it cooled the night down though.

We cleared customs in Spanish Town on Friday morning, meaning we’d committed to atleast 10 hours on the nose to make the crossing to St. Maarten. With no better wind direction later in the week and not too much swell we took this option as hurricane season is marching on. The afternoon was all about some chillaxing and snorkeling. First a race ensued with another lipari 41 of course! Chris was pissed when he realised they had their engine on in the final approach to Saba rock.

The crossing on Saturday went smoothly. We left at 5am. Sadly we had to motor for the 2nd half as wind was on the nose. We were also sorry not to be close enough to help a yacht sending out a pan pan 30 miles west off St Maarten without an engine in no breeze. We were surprised to hear them 24hrs later still stranded- gulp! Harry was dead chuffed to catch a barracuda on the route. Mummy was slightly horrified- its just mean if you can’t eat it.

We arrived in St. Maarten to a lush green mountainous view. It looked like it the Island was straight out of Moana. The kids insist on singing the soundtrack 20 times a day, so it was apt. We anchored up in Grande Case on Saturday night. We had the prime spot for low flying plane spotting & Lily was itching to join the reggae party on the beach. Bummer we just missed Bastille Day.

Seems that the local customs at Marigot Bay were pretty relaxed about our checking in, but it was done by Tuesday! Marigot was a useful base to get stocked up on supplies and provisions. It’s fair to say the French side came up with the goods and Sarafina patisserie was a hit. The animal lovers also took a shine to “cute fluffy fury animals” on the dock at night. The armies of these not so cute rats looked pretty keen to join us in the tender too. Lush. It being the end of the season, the markets and local crafts were not on full display. I’m sure its a great spot earlier in the season. We sadly narrowly missed Tom and his family. Harry has been seeing mirages of his boat everywhere and is keen to make some friends soon. We hope to catch them in the coming weeks.

When we ventured off the boat, Grand Case was more our scene at night. The owners of “Le Cottage” on the main drag took great care of us & might have achieved top 5 meals of all time. Please remember we’ve been cooking on a boat for nearly a month, so maybe our scale is off wack, but I think not.

This week has also seen us hike to the highest peak of St Maarten, chill at Kontiki at Lorient beach and avoid the willy swinging over 65 year old nudists further down the beach. *(I have nothing against nudists but pre brekkie it’s a tad much for me).

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More sea-life highlights included an octopus making and appearance on deck after escaping its not so empty conch shell. It got back to the safety of water unscathed by the savages though! Hanging with the turtles whilst they munched on sea grass and seeing jumping rays was pretty special. During the crossing we also saw more flying fish than you can shake a stick at.

Tintamare, a tiny island off St Maarten was thursday afternoons haunt. Snorkelling was ace & Harry caught his 1st reef waves. There was significant shark chat, but mostly from the budding marine biologist amongst us. I’ve been getting over my mild open water swimming aversion by taking Harry with me as bodyguard on his surfboard into the shore- winner. Yes I am a woss but I don’t think they noticed. Oh actually there was a shriek as the tender was deposited on shore in breaking waves around Monday. Harry gave a good account in his journal pic!!

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Liferaft service yesterday took me back to doing a similar thing with my Dad at around Harry’s age. Just as I remember being, the kids were enthralled by watching all the bits come out, it blowing up & sitting in it for a demo. I’m not sure they grasp the reality of needing to use it and let’s hope that doesn’t happen….Certainly a reality check. The lady, Anke, at Liferafts etc was awesome and a wealth of knowledge. Pretty disappointed that the last service it had in St.Thomas was well below par. They’d not replaced vital parts but had charged and marked them off as safe….less than cool & pretty shocking when you re supplying safety equipment! Sadly Anke wasn’t surprised. Note to self- don’t service in St Thomas.

We’re making plans to head to St Barts and Antigua. Once again the old windows of weather are having to align and there is funky stuff brewing. We will see how it all pans out!

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Misadventures

  • What appears to be heat rash on the kids scalps.
  • Chris has an eye infection. He still insists on driving the tender with no contacts which says a lot about my driving!! This is a problem as he’s without contacts for 5 days but we’ve decided to head to St. Barts anyway and I’ll try not to fall overboard.
  • Maintenance maintenance maintenance….

 

 

 

 

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Learning process

imageEventful morning a few days back after we arrived back in Virgin Gorda from Nanny Cay. It strikes me “Fille de Joie” -The newest member of the family is pretty similar to having a new baby. The prep to leaving to go anywhere reminds me of the hour it takes to organise a baby for all the possibilities the day may entail. It causes us a lot of sleepless nights & you need to figure out its nuances. Other people offer a lot of advice, but really you need to figure it out as a team. Figuring out what all the cries mean- in this case annoying beeps & flashing lights can seem never ending!! Hoping it doesn’t take 9 months for it all to get easier like a baby. We’ ll get to know each other & figure it out in time!

This week the beeps & flashes meant..,

-We were loosing water due to a split in a hose.
-The water maker is unhappy.
-The water prefilter needed servicing & judging by the state of the filter we’ve been making water in some spirious places.
-There was no water left in the tank!
– There’s an airlock.
– We re struggling with battery capacity.

Another time to worry with a baby is when it goes quiet…. Having slept on deck due to the heat I was surprised to wake at 430 to no noise of the tender butting the stern on Saturday morning. I was grateful & relieved the obvious thief hadn’t disturbed me in anyway. Chris was a little more sceptical of my knot tying capabilities. Sure enough at 1st light with the binocs out it was obvious to me that the thieves had seen our tender as unfit for purpose & dumped it on the beach which just happened to be dead downwind of us. My gallant husband rode his trusty kayak to retrieve our tender (did I mention how much he hates the kayaks). I could almost hear how happy he was to be on the beach at dawn cleaning weed out of Timmy & trying to get it to start. But hey, when you re just downwind of Eustasia & Necker Island there is only so pissed you can be. I had coffee and brekkie waiting for his return, but using leftover water as our tank was empty…you’re welcome!

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Dawn

In actual parenting news we are trying 2 hours of homeschool for Harry (max) and much less for Lily. Easy they say….just English, maths and write a journal they say. I actually wish to jump off the boat at points & remember this is very early days. To be honest I think everyone has just been testing the boundaries. For Chris & I one child each pushes all of our buttons…fortunately it’s different children for each of us. I desperately want the learning to be fun as possible for us all, I want to foster the projects they lead blah blah blah, but day 3 saw a lot of frustration involved for all of us!! Conversely this morning was awesome. Harry devoured the rest of Harry Potter, was speedy with his maths & there was even some giggling over Badger biffing in comprehension & he’s started his own shark research. A healthy break time featuring the “America’s Cup” game on the bow helped a heap. When it works it’s magic- much like parenting in general!!

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In other news- Bitter End Yacht Club was awesome. The welcome committee of the friendliest Englishmen, Alec, helped as did the fact that the kids loved the hobi sailing, the sailing team & finding a tonne to do. The bonus for me was that I got kitesurfing. “Stitch” of Carib kiting had me up & riding in an hour- pretty stoked about that. No pics of me nailing up wind or working on transitions as Chris was busy getting sand out of the tender engine!!

Oil Nut Bay was another gem of Virgin Gorda. Protected by a reef and quiet as can be, we had the beach to ourselves. Thanks to Ian, of Oil Nut Bay resort, for letting us loose on the water trampoline & explaining the finer points of cooking conch. The kids had some close encounters with loads of nurse sharks hidden in the shallows amongst the sea grass as well as more pelicans,turtles, trumpet fish & jelly fish. Chris had a long cross shore right hander to himself and was loving his new cabrinha kit and strapless board. Happy days indeed. We snuck around the corner to Deep Bay to a protected anchorage overnight.

imageThis morning we’ve had a good check of the rig & are looking to make the jump to St. Marten over the weekend. We have loads more exploring to do in the BVIs, not least to Anegada, but we know the weather windows are closing up & we need to get moving. Oh and my legendary husband fixed the watermarker – and we are now full of water – my hero!image

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“Shredding”

It’s been a busy week with a few curveballs thrown our way. Early in the week we had a great sail to the stunning sandy spit at Green Cay. The kids fizzed as Chris took them kiting between his legs and Harry got his trainer kite up in the air. No night has been complete without a local “painkiller”; a sugar laden feast of orange, pineapple, coconut milk, rum and of course nutmeg sets us right up for kids bed time- rock and roll. Foxy’s taboo bar at Diamond Cay gave us a fix and the kids explored the salt ponds.

We then hit up Guana Island, White bay, in a chilled 10-14knts of breeze. Chris insisted we were “shredding” his chosen opposition….I’m pretty sure we kayaked into the shore quicker. Chris had a stealth search for surf before we stayed in Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. At this point we had a minor monty with the generator breaking down. Cue trip back to Nanny Cay to discover a pathetic bit of plastic was to blame, oh and an oil leak due to a badly fitted sump plug needed some attention. Some time, patience and a few spare impellers later we got back on our way.

Lily did some more door mousing and Chris was delighted to play a few “glamour shifts” all the way to Virgin Gorda yesterday. Our Fille goes upwind pretty well as long as you don’t look back and see the leeway! We’ve taken in the usual tourist sights and a few other gems along the way. The huge boulders at The Baths made for a great playground to go under, over and through, topped off with more snorkel action. I’m pretty convinced Lily thinks she’s a mermaid.

I have no reason to want to leave Virgin Gorda! A stellar anchorage just off Eustasia Island was our home last night. Even 8 hours of torrential rain 30knots and thunderstorms haven’t put me off. Huge wind direction changes and a lot of noise made for a crap night’s sleep but the big bertha anchor stayed firmly set. The Bitter End Yacht Club was a welcome retreat this morning as the rain abated.

Kiting lessons are all set for tomorrow. In prep Harry and I got the kite in the air at Prickly Pear Island (another stunning beach with dense undergrowth- trying not to labour how pretty it all is). I may have ditched the kite in a tree when left to my own devices…could be a long day. I think Harry had forgiven me by the time we took him to Saba Rock to wrestle the massive tarpons.

In un-cruisy fashion we have a quick trip back to Tortola later tomorrow  to pick up some toys coming from Bermuda. I suspect this may create some surfboard storage issues.

Misadventure

-A playground incident helped Harry’s front tooth out!

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-Its frigging hot! This boat has fans and AC for a reason. The battery monitor does not agree. Sleeping on deck seems to do the trick.

-Homeschooling has tentatively started.

 

 

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We left the marina…

I feel a mild fraud saying the adventure has started as there has been a lot of hanging out in Nanny Cay marina! We had high hopes that we’d be out of here cruising the BVIs on day 2. However, with any boat ownership comes tinkering & wallet emptying. Not on moth ownership scale, but a few things to take care of. Our primary issue has been changing anchors to one with a cat’s chance in hell of holding us. It didn’t fit through the windlass & some welding etc was needed. We’re on Island time so it’s taken a while. There was also a potential tropical storm forecast for the weekend which caused a bit of angst & made us reluctant to give up our cheap rate berth. Don’t worry Mum this looks like it’s now going to pass some 200 miles north of us….we’ll keep an eye.

Yesterday we were getting restless & we finally left the marina for a shake down sail on our fine new yacht! All systems go & Chris didn’t seem to disappointed by the lack of foiling. Harry was stoked. Lily was underwhelmed & slept through the whole thing.

The bonus to marina life (apart from the showers, pool & bar) has been meeting other families doing similar things. Pete, Janine & their 3 boys from Australia were the 1st guests onboard. A lovely family 5 months in, they have imparted much knowledge. Harry has stuck to Tom like glue. Despite being on enforced holidays (thanks Lu Chigs) he joined Tom for homeschooling – amazed that he’s keen! Dave & Dawn next door on a 67ft cat have helped us no end too.

Thursday saw Chris get legitimately excited about doing 8 knots on our way back from anchoring near Peter Island. Lily even managed to be conscious for some of the journey back to Nanny Cay! Simple life indeed it is. I went all Martha Stewart & baked cookies. Have no fear this will not last.

We’ve been asked a few questions in the last few days so here goes with answers:

– We have never been cruising as a family. No try before you buy 1 week bareboat charter. No, we went all in with commitment & a massive purchase after selling a house.
– We don’t know if the kids get seasick. I believe everyone has a tolerance. I’m sure we’ll nudge it in some of the swells & sharp chops.
– We have no definitive plan or timeframe. It’s all dependent on Chris’s work & what happens with the America’s Cup & how much we enjoy cruising.
– Basic plan is to cruise the Carribbean until February. Hide south for the latter part of hurricane season as we have arrangements to lift out in Antigua as needed.
– If come February we’re still sailing & all sane we may head across the Pacific & make our way to New Zealand.
– The boat is a Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41 that we bought out here in the BVIs.
– Yes we looked for a long time with lots of help to find the boat. Particular thanks to Rod Waterhouse, Elvira Llabres and Pablo for that.
– Yes we intend to homeschool the kids!
– No I am not a Teacher & quite frankly I went round the houses & was slightly blinded by all advice & curriculums. We have the basics & will supplement where we can.
– Yes we’re all pretty nervous but you only live once & we wanted to grab this opportunity by the horns. The chance to show the kids some of the world by boat is too good to miss.
– Yes we could have waited but we don’t believe there is the perfect time…,

Best quotes of the day:
“I can’t believe we actually live on a boat” said Harry.
“Living in a house was so boring” said Lily.


No *#$#arama quotes from Chris all day- result!?

Chris Draper · Cruising with kids · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Hello Fille de Joie…

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Yesterday we said goodbye to Bermuda after two awesome years. The past 6 weeks has been an emotional rollercoaster as only the America’s Cup can be. The highs, the lows, the pack up, the goodbyes all so intense.

Last night we arrived in Nanny Cay (British Virgin Islands) to begin the next  adventure on our Lipari 41 Cat. As we rocked up at the marina in a taxi with two sleeping kids during a torrential down pour I’ll admit I was nervous to say the least. However, turns out agreeing to buy a boat I’d never seen has panned our pretty damn well. Smiles all around as we boarded our new home.

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Today was was all about getting the kids settled. Just us….all day….together. I think the last time that happened was due to a hurricane! We stashed all the useless junk that it was really important to bring 24hours ago & hit Nanny Cay pool & beaches. Day 1 rocked. Tomorrow it’s time to go sailing.

Misadventures

Each blog we’re keen to not sugar coat this experience completely, so will give you a taste of the not so great…

  • Our little blondie is now more green haired.
  • Despite her best efforts Lily still has a little finger after she shut it in a rather large door-doh!
  • Harry had some hanger issues- should be resolved when we’re properly provisioned.