Saturday, February 27, 2010


So the next day was like nothing had happened. Well, except for the one boat on the beach and another's owner & friends snorkeling back & forth looking for their anchor. We are back to our abnormal weather of absolutely no wind and bathtub seas (it's usually windy as snot on the ocean side/northeast; we keep getting a puny 4 knots from the south). People here can't help but wonder a bit about what all this strangeness means for the summer...

We did get some rain one night and you could hear the island itself, along with its islanders, breathing a huge sigh of relief. I, too, was quite relieved to see Diet soda on the shelves again. I was also told by my Dad that I could replace the keyboard on my laptop, so as long as I don't jar the thing and upset it, all is well.

After putting all the pieces together about the Jacumba incident, it seems the following happened: The clip holding the bridle had been rusting and had developed a crack in it, causing it to fail. The bridle keeps the anchor chain between the hulls and acts as a bit of a spring in the front of the boat to keep pressure off of various anchoring parts. When that snapped, Jacumba thrashed about all over the place in those angry seas, with the anchor chain going back and forth directly under and into the hulls. This tore up both hulls' gel-coat/fiberglass (cha ching). Eventually, this activity got to be too much for the anchor windlass (what the chain is wrapped on and lets the chain up or down), which released all 185' of chain and most, if not all of the 100' of rope. This, of course, made the boat look like she was dragging, because she was now 200' closer to the beach than she was before. Now all that was really necessary was for someone to get on the boat, use the anchor windlass to pull the rope & chain back up and then someone finding a new clasp to use on the bridle. The problem was that there was so much pressure on the line, that it was necessary to motor up on it to give it some slack. With one 18-HP engine, in those conditions, that would have been impossible. Jacumba would have needed X's boat to pull her forward. This was going to take awhile and meanwhile, the rope was still rubbing back & forth between the hulls. So X cut the rope (he had put fenders on it for easy retrieval, but they actually sank with the rest of the anchor stuff...).

What I'm not sure about is why the rudder cable broke (what attaches the steering wheel to the rudders so you can steer the boat). Either the pressure from the waves caused the rudders to move so violently that they snapped the thing (which would happen if the steering wheel wasn't locked with the rudders in the straight position) or Jacumba hit bottom causing the rudders to jar and snap the cable. I'm going with the 1st scenario.

Xs boat went on the move because the cleat the mooring rope was wrapped around detached itself from the boat.

And people ask us if we miss this...

Yesterday morning, I had a great dawn run. The skies were pink, the seas a calm, glassy blue. Mist was silently drifting across the ocean, while stealthy swells crashed onto the beaches breaking the stillness with their violent thunder. The boats and freighters anchored on the sea side looked like they were forever captured in ice or resin. Palm trees were silhouetted against the brightening skies...Just as I was becoming hypnotized by all of this, the sun came up in blazing orange and woke me back up. What an awesome way to greet the day!

Last night we went to our first slab party. A fellow hasher, and British consulate, had a bunch of people to hang out on what's been built of one of his houses so far. Sorry about the blur, but I had to use Mike's camera and apparently didn't have the touch.

This is Peter (or Petah - said with a very British accent).

He even had some grub. We brought our 5-minute olive dip and some bar mix we bought in St Martin back in the day. I haven't seen doughnuts in about 3 years and these were huge! Michael was singing the praises of the chocolate covered, jellied doughnut and was singing the praises of this item for the rest of the night. I see Ritual's trips for him in the future. And pictures of an ever widening Michael for us.

Of course, there were also beverages.

The almost-house has amazing views, presenting Peter the sea, the Peninsula (and Nevis), Basseterre (capital), and the rolling hills behind. It's really beautiful. The lot will actually have several rentals on it eventually. We might have to look into those if we're still here by then.

The full moon kept things pretty lit up, so we enjoyed the view the entire time.

His down-hill neighbors knew Peter was having this bash, so actually lit some fireworks for the occasion. They were actually pretty good! We oohed and aahed and applauded as appropriate. It was a lot of fun (except for the poor guy who had a centipede crawl up his shirt and bite him - ouch!).

Today? Hiking Nevis