Old Friends Come To Stay

Welcome back Boatbloggers ®

Of course, when we say “Old Friends Come To Stay,” we don’t mean old as in, ‘of pensionable age.’  We simply mean that we have known them for a long time.

Restaurant 1

Yes, Nicho & Shelagh visited us in Nevis and St Kitts, for a week of fantastic sailing.

Unfortunately, it was really windy.


…which those landlubbers among you might think is what you would want to go sailing. And of course it’s true up to a point.  But sometimes it gets too windy and it’s better to stay at anchor and talk about sailing.

So, we went to a restaurant instead…

Restaurant 3

And then we went to a restaurant.

Restaurant 2

…and then we went to..er…a….


But after that we went to the famous Nevis Botanical Gardens…


..which is mainly famous for it’s…er..restaurant.


Cocktail Hour

It’s always nice when old friends can get together, and have long and deep meaningful conversations…

Chatting With Friends

…with people who are somewhere else.

(Are there any photos of you actually not in a restaurant? – Ed)

We saw pineapples growing.


And monkeys.


But sad to say, didn’t actually do a lot of sailing.

For this edition, of the Boatblog ® we have decided to introduce a new competition, called “Showers of the Caribbean.” The first contender is….

Surf Dude Shower

Surfdude Shower 1

Next up is….Canoe Shower

Canoe Shower

Then for those who don’t mind sharing…His & Hers…

Functional Shower

…and finally…Flower Power Shower

Flower Shower

To cast your vote, simply call 0898 898989, and have your credit card ready.

To continue the Bathroom Theme, some of the signs outside the restrooms (that’s toilet to our English readers. Not quite sure why they are called restrooms. Do people go in there to have a rest?) are quite unusual. This was obviously quite an upmarket sort of a place.

Rolls Royce

And this one for some reason seems to be able to detect things that shouldn’t need detecting.

Motion Detector

This next message kind of sums up life in the Caribbean, though it does give a hint of urgency that doesn’t really exist.

Caribbean Message

And in another brand new feature, introduced especially for this edition we would like to present

 The Poor Seamanship Award 2016

And this years unrivalled winner is…

(Pause for fanfare)


…with his splendid entry called “iPhone Beermat.”

Poor Seamanship Award 2016

Yes dear readers, that really is an iPhone 6 being used to protect the cockpit table from a cup of tea. Many of you might think this would actually count as poor landsmanship, but on a boat it is truly spectacular.

Congratulations Nicho!

We have a number of contenders for the arty farty prize. Lyn’s first entry is called simply “Floor.”

Arty Farty Floor 2

That is actually a floor made from coral that they used in one of the (many – we know) restaurants that we went to.

Next up we have, “Kite,” seen at Nevis’ annual Kite Flying Competition.


But the overall winner is Lyn’s “Mailboxes.”


All too soon, Nicho and Shelagh had to wend there way back to The Old Country, while we went North to St Maarten. It was quite a nerve racking trip. Our engine wouldn’t start, so we knew that when we got there we would have to go through the swing bridge under sail to get it into a marina where it could be repaired. Tricky stuff, even for master mariners.

When we got there, Lyn had a fiddle with some of the wires that led to the engine. And lo and behold it just started. Panic over. We’ve no real idea why, but Lyn now reckons she’s a master mechanic.

Fortunately, once we’d moored up, we met Jef from Marine Solutions here in Simpson Baii – and he really IS a master mechanic.


His last job was in Portsmouth working with the America’s Cup team. Ju told him that next time he is over, he should mention that he has been working in Domini to Ben Ainslie. It might help.

Next we are going to be sailing to Santa Cruz in The Galapagos Islands. That’s thousands of miles away from here. To find out how we manage it, make sure you order your next instalment of…


Vaarwel for now.

Ju & Lyn

St Maarten (Dutch side)


We hope you manage to receive this blog. Internet connections aren’t always that great.

Wireless Internet

Same Places, New Faces

This week we were visited by Rory and Zoe,


…and we once again went round all the places we went to with James & Emma, Alice & Ben. In an exciting new development for the Boatblog, Rory has made a video of highlights from the trip.

So without more ado, I hand you over to our guest blogger, Rory.


What’s dad looking at?


It was good to be able to spend some family time together.


And here are a few contenders for this instalments Arty Farty Prize.


And here’s a picture of Zoe.




We have a crew!

Yes Boatblog ® fans, we are no longer double handed.

We have been joined first by James & Emma,

James  Emma 2

…and a couple of days later by Alice & Ben.

Ben  Alice 2

So, with our new crew aboard and raring to go…


…our first stop was Hillsborough, capital city of Carriacou.


Hillsborough High Street – James has this fancy app on his phone which makes his photos look like Cuba in the 50’s.

It was here that we found Deefer Divers, so we took our crew underwater. Alice has been SCUBA diving before, but for the rest of them it was the first time.

 Getting Ready to Dive

It’s fair to say, that Emma didn’t enjoy it that much. In fact, that’s probably a bit of an understatement. She hated it. Which I guess shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise given that she doesn’t really like snorkelling. But fair play to her – she gave it a go.

We dove/dived (which is it?) off a little atoll called Sandy Island. The water was unbelievably clear. 

 Cool Diving Photo 1

But let us introduce you to the new crew.

JAMES was really keen this year to get more involved with the handling of the boat, and to do some of the sailing, and we agreed to capture pictures of him in action. Here is a short selection…

James In Action 1


James In Action 2


James In Action 3


Then there is BEN. Ben loves to swim. And eat. In fact it is believed that he part fish…

Ben 2

… part wolf.

Ben has a healthy appetite

But it’s not all just muscle on board. We also have glamour.

The girls


From Carriacou we headed up to Petit St Vincent in The Grenadines. Nearby is a perfect deserted Robinson Crusoe Island called Morpion, which we re-christened The Heap of Sand.

The Heap of Sand 2

It looks a bit like the old Apple screensaver. Here is the Captain and Crew,

The Heap of Sand

 … or The Caribiners as we now call ourselves.


Of course we just had to go back to the Tobago Cays to snorkel with the turtles. 

Turtle 1

James has another fancy app on his phone which turns his photos into an iPhone screensaver.

Turtle 5

The Tobago Cays are not only famous for the turtles, but also the lobster barbecues.


Lobster  Before


Lobster  After

They couldn’t really be any fresher.

The best way to get around the Cays is by canoe.

Canoe Team

Ju always goes in the back so Lyn can’t see if he’s paddling.

Then from Tobago Cays to Mayreau, once again seen through the lens with the 50’s Postcard filter.


The main village is at the top of a steep hill.

A steep climb

A very steep hill.

A steep climb 2

It was soon time to return to Grenada so that our new crew could get their flights back to the cold and wet. But before they left, Grenada had plenty to offer. There are the famous underwater statues…

Statues 2


Statues  Mermaid

and James.

Statues 4

We swam in the waterfalls…

Waterfall 1

Ben jumped in, which was pretty brave,


Waterfall Jump  Before

…and a shame that the camera missed it.

Waterfall Jump  after

Fortunately, Ju’s photographer was a bit better.

Waterfall Hero

We ventured deep into the reforest, and discovered some strange and exotic creatures,

Creatures of the Rainforest,

…painted rocks,

Painted Rocks

…and a chocolate factory, with the world’s biggest bar of chocolate. 6lbs in fact.

Big Chocolate

One each then.

Then back to St George’s where we anchored the boat, and James took another 50’s postcard photo of The Carenage.

The Carenage

But now it is time for the usual Arty Farty photograph competition. With so many crew, we have a number of strong contenders. 

Arty Farty Branch


Arty Farty Cool Diving Photo 2


Arty Farty Turtles


Arty Farty Patriotic Palm Tree

PATRIOTIC TREE (Red, yellow & green are Grenada’s national colours, and come independence day, everything gets painted)

Arty Farty Tighrope Man


Arty Farty Waterfall 2


To register your vote please write on the back of a cheque for at least four figures, made payable to the Cayman Island Superyacht account.

Of course it wouldn’t be a true Boatblog ® without a gratuitous sunset…

Gratuitous Sunset

…and a selfie.

Waterfall Selfie

So we say a sad goodbye to our crew for now. But next week we are joined by Rory and Zoe for more adventures on the High Seas.

Yea mon.


Ju & Lyn

To Antigua and Beyond…

Hello Boatbloggers ® and welcome this year’s first edition,

When we last wrote, we were stuck in the Virgin Islands waiting for a decent weather window to get to Antigua. Well, the wind never did quite come from where we wanted it to, but we set off anyway, thinking that the rainbow was a good omen.

Rainbow 2

We decided to break the trip up with a stop at St Maarten. (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but in case not, it was here that we came FIRST in the Heineken Regatta.)

A lot of other people had the same idea, including Steve Jobs. Well, probably not him personally seeing as how he’s dead, but nevertheless he parked his $100,000,000 superyacht next to ours. I expect he wanted to make a good impression.


The iBoat.

Very nice, though to be honest, we though it just looked like a big iPhone 6. Apparently, to make it work you have to keep switching it on and off.

In case you didn’t know, St Maarten is split down the middle and is half dutch and half French. This time we spent more time on the French side of the island than the Dutch side. The food was better, but there were less tulips.

St Maarten


We couldn’t stay long. We had a flight to catch, so after just a few days we set sail again to Antigua. Once again we were beating all the way. You would think you’d get used to it. But you don’t…

We anchored up in Jolly Harbour, and it was here that we realised our transmission had gone. This meant we couldn’t motor forward, and had to go everywhere in reverse. As Ju thought, it was the drive cone and shifter that were knackered. These are relatively small parts costing a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately, being a boat, the only way to get at them is to take the boat out of the water, at enormous expense.


Once you’ve done that you then have to take the engine out, then the sail drive and finally you can begin work on what is otherwise a relatively simple job. But not one for Ju.

So we got Ivan at Extreme Marine to do it.


 And that is how a $200 lump of metal no bigger than your fist ends up costing two thousand dollars to replace. No wonder Ivan is smiling.

Fellow cruisers – Ivan is brilliant. If you need a repair doing in Jolly Harbour, go and see this man!

While Ivan was busy mending our boat, we flew home for Christmas. We’d rented a cottage down in Devon, and had a week there with all the family.



It was nice going for walks along the English beaches. Now I’m not one to criticise the Old Country, but…


Barbuda 2


Devon Beach 1

There is a major sea pollution issue in Teignmouth, caused not as you would expect by oil spills and the like, but by something much more insidious…

Naughty Gulls 

Sadly we had to leave England, and head back to the Caribbean.(Aaaaah.) Unfortunately Domini was still out of the water, so we decided to go to Montserrat while Ivan carried on with the tricky stuff. We had passed it last year and anchored offshore, but had not been able to land because the anchorage was deep and not well protected. This time we decided to go by ferry, and stay at a place called Gingerbread Hill. It was delightful.

Montserat 4


Montserrat was devastated a few years ago when the volcano erupted. That’s it you can see blowing out smoke behind us.


It’s still active, and they won’t let you get too close.

No Entry

Though a bit of prosecution is probably the least of your worries if the volcano goes off.

This is all that is left of Plymouth, the capital city. It’s been buried under dust. It’s tragic when you see the photos of how it was before.

Capital  Plymouth

And this was one of the island’s famous luxury 5* hotels, The Montserrat Springs.

Luxury Hotel 1

Ju found this in one of the rooms.

Luxury Hotel 2

Dear Room Maintenance. There appears to be a volcano in my room.

The swimming pool was no longer so inviting.

Luxury Hotel 3

And this is all that is left of the George Martin’s legendary Air Studios, Montserrat.

Air Studios

This is where the likes of Sting, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and now Ju have recorded.

Julian Ronnie.LIVE at Air Studios Montserrat.mp3

It might be that Ju is now one of a very few select group of musicians who have recorded at all three Air Studios. He has recorded at Air on Oxford Street, Air Lyndhurst and now this. Not one to brag, but….

It’s a lovely island, with charming and it must be said, resilient people, and we were sorry to leave.

Montserat 8

Which we did on a plane as the ferries weren’t running.

A very small plane.

Plane 1

A Smart car of planes.

And so back to Antigua, where Domini was now back in the water.


And so were we…


One way or another.


Ju met with Gavin on Secret Smile, who is a fantastic jazz sax player, and they did a few gigs together.


Gavin used to be a Major in the British Army, so if the audience didn’t clap he could kill ’em. Of course it’s not all glamour.

Gig set up

One day we’ll have roadies.

But now we have to make our way south to Grenada, because James and Emma are coming out to visit us again. 

First stop Guadeloupe.

Which is tres Francais.

French Market

We could be in St Tropez.

Guadeloupe 1

We couldn’t stay too long, as we needed to move on to avoid a storm, and so here we are, back where our Caribbean adventure began in December 2015 – St Lucia.

Rodney Bay1

And this episode’s arty farty prize is a tie between Ju and Lyn. Bottle Bank and Rainbow.

Bottle Bank


Arty Rainbow

Yea Mon.


Ju & Lyn

2015 in review

Hello Boatblog® fans, and Happy New Year to you all!

Or should I say, Feliz Ano Novo!

Once a year The Boatblog stats helper monkeys prepare an “annual report” for this blog. We were pretty surprised to see that we had had about 3,700 visits last year, from over 93 countries. Mainly the UK, but followed closely by our fans in the US and Brazil!

We didn’t know we even knew anyone in Brazil.

But thank you and Obrigado for visiting.

Ju & Lyn

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Virgins Underwater

Hello again Boatblog® fans,

Welcome back to another exciting edition, this time coming to you live from Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands. To be honest, we hadn’t expected to be here for so long, but we have been waiting for a “weather window,” that would allow us to sail over to Antigua where we are catching our flights home for Christmas. Unfortunately, the wind has been pretty strong, and going in exactly the wrong direction, so we have been stranded here, forced against our will to while away long hours in beach bars supping cocktails.

Ju at The Bitter End

But it hasn’t all been idle time wasting . We attend self improvement classes in yoga…


…and meditation.


But fortunately, still manage to find time to go for lunch with friends.

The Hog In Heaven

At  Hog Heaven, with the Captain & Crew of Second Wind (Left to Right, Howard, Hope, Lyn, Ju and Ed). Not only are they justifiably famous for their barbecue ribs, there is a breathtaking view too.

View from The Hog In Heaven

The red arrow is pointing to Domini. And that’s Richard Branson’s place, Necker Island, in the top left corner. (Apparently they are called The Virgin Islands after his record company.)

But our thirst for adventure was growing, so we decided to go SCUBA diving. We dug out our PADI  diving licences, which have barely been used since we qualified…

Who is this boy?


Check out these glasses…

Lyn PADI card

…and booked ourselves onto a dive boat.

At first we didn’t know our air supply from our elbows, but it wasn’t long before it all came flooding back, and soon we were jumping in with complete confidence…

Ju jumping

…even if the instructor did look a bit worried.

Next it was Lyn’s turn….

Lyn Jumping 2

It may look like she’s wearing a Santa hat, but that’s actually the dive flag.

Soon we were pulling ourselves down into the depths.

Roping Down.

We saw jellyfish…

Jellyfish 1




Barracuda Shoal

…and lunch.

Lobster for lunch

But most exciting of all…

We saw…



(Der, dum, der, dum…)


Shark  Ju

Now before you start panicking, this was the most friendly shark you could ever want to meet.

Shark 3

It’s a nurse shark, and apparently they don’t have much in the way of teeth. If ever Spielberg was going to do a movie sequel, he’d have to call it  “GUMS!”


It was quite happy just swimming around us.

Shark 1

A really amazing animal.

The coral is pretty too.

Coral 3

All too soon it was time to return to the surface.

Just have to get past the Giant Tarpon…

Giant Tarpon

…and the killer jellyfish.

Jellyfish 2

But everything was….

Divers Ju  Lyn OK


This edition’s arty farty prize goes to marine photographer Devin, who came down with us.

Arty Farty 1

Thanks to Kay and Ben at Sunchaser SCUBA who dived down with us, and reminded us how to do it.

That’s all for now Boatblog ® fans. We’ll get back to the exhausting work of waiting for the weather window.

Ju & Lyn

Diver Aces


The Salty Dawg Rally

Welcome Boatblog® fans,

 And in this instalment we bring you the Salty Dawg Diaries,

It’s been quite a tough crossing, what with dodging hurricanes, becalmings and strong headwinds, but we got here about one in the morning last night.

So we are now officially “Salty Dawgs!”

Monday 2nd

We’re all ready to go, but have just heard that our departure is to be postponed, possibly until Thursday and maybe even next week. The weather forecast is not looking great; indeed it’s pelting down with rain right now, so we’ll just sit it out until weather guru Chris Parker gives us the green light. 
 Delayed departure
ALL DRESSED UP, AND NO PLACE TO GO – sitting it out in Hampton VA waiting for the storms to pass
Which comes sooner than we expected. Chris Parker says tomorrow is a ‘Go.’ We go to bed early ready for a departure at first light. 
Tuesday 3rd
And it’s a great start to the rally. A nice beam reach means the going is fast and comfortable. It’s raining, but that’s ok. The wind is good and the sea not too high, and it won’t be long till we reach the Gulf Stream.
Which is when everything starts to change.
As the sun goes down, the wind veers to the south, which is not so good as it puts us on a beat. (Note to our landlubbers friends:- ‘Beating to windward’ is when the wind is coming from where you want to go, and you get involved in tacking and all that palaver. The boat is tipped over so it can be quite uncomfortable. It’s fun and exciting for a short while, but hard work. We don’t know why it’s called a beat, but it’s probably because the crew and boat both take a beating. If it’s not that, it should be.)
 Pretty tippy
Wednesday 4th
We’ve been crossing the Gulf Stream all night and it has been choppy and uncomfortable, beating into strong wind, big seas, and torrential rain. It’s very dark with no moon at all, and we are cold, wet, and miserable.
Other boats have been struggling too. One called – somewhat ironically – Trouble, called the US coastguard out because it was taking on water. This of course led to lots of ridiculous mayday messages between the nearby boats and the rescue helicopter. “We’re looking for Trouble,” and that sort of thing.  Another boat was forced to turn back because its mainsail ripped. 
No let up from the weather. Still cold and we’re still beating, but at least it has stopped raining.
Pretty Cold
We had a bit of a disaster. A particularly strong gust broke the lazyjacks on one side making it difficult to lower the sail. Ju, Mr Incredible, has managed to lash it down for now, but we may need to live with the third reef in for the rest of the trip. Not a problem at the moment with the winds as strong as they are, but it may slow us down later. 
Some time ago, our Scottish friends, Stuart and Anne (Yes, the very  Stuart who led us to victory in the Heineken Regatta. As of the time of writing, Domini  remains undefeated in high level International competition.) taught us a new word. The adverb, “scunnered.” As in ‘To be scunnered.’ It means something like ‘fed up,’ or ‘hacked off,’ but these English expressions don’t really do it justice. To appreciate the full power of this word, it is no good saying it with a Home Counties accent. You need to imagine it as being said by a Scot.  
Picture if you will, a cold winter’s night in the middle of Glasgow. An inviting glow of a light beckons you to a local tavern, where you enjoy a few quiet pints round the fire. Perhaps a wee dram or two to round off a perfect evening, You espy a local and decide to engage him in conversation, and so you venture to enquire after your new Glaswegian friend’s health. He replies, “I’m completely scunner’d ya wee gob**ite. Now **** off.”
Perhaps now dear reader, you can appreciate the true majesty of this fine Scottish word. We encourage you to use it whenever possible so it may achieve the universality it deserves.
And it’s how we feel right now. We’ve been beating for what seems like forever. it’s cold. It’s raining. The seas are tossing us all over the place. Every time we go up on the foredeck to do something we get completely drenched. We’re wearing so many clothes, we look like the Michelin Man and can’t put our arms down by our sides, let alone move about and do anything.
We’re – there’s no other way to put it – scunner’d!
Thursday 5th
The wind has died down a bit, and so have the seas, so although it’s slower, it’s more pleasant. We’re fighting a pretty impressive current though, so must still be in the Gulf Stream. 
Lyn has come up with an ingenious solution to the problem of the broken lazyjacks. We manage to jury rig something using the spinnaker halyard and so we are once again able to use full sail. 
Lazyjacks repair
LAZYJACKS’ REPAIR – Hooray for Lyn! 
But the really good news is that we have made quite a bit of distance south, and it is now too warm for trousers, let alone full oilskins. We get out our shorts for the first time in months, and decide to wear our official OCC* polo shirts.
*OCC = Old Codgers’ Club
 Ju OCC T shirt
If all else fails, Lyn can always get a job on a superyacht.
 Hostess Lyn 2
Woo woo. Caribbean here we come!
Friday 6th
We get news of possible tropical storm, so we tack east in the hope of avoiding it. We are now racing towards a safety line that Chris Parker tells us should be out of the danger area if it does indeed develop into a hurricane.
The cover has blown off the dinghy. Fortunately all those years working in the theatre weren’t completely wasted. Ju knows that there is NOTHING that can’t be repaired with gaffer tape. 
Saturday 7th

More beating to get out of the danger zone. It feels like we’ve been beating since we started and it’s pretty exhausting.
The scunnerometer is high. 
With us being tipped up so much, it’s hard to eat without all the food falling on the floor. Fortunately we have our hi tech non-slip marine eating platforms on board.
 Dog Bowls
 THE LATEST IN MARINE GRADE NON-SLIP TABLEWARE –  also available at your local pet shop. 
But we know we’re in the middle of the ocean, because in the morning the decks are strewn with flying fish.
Flying Fish
And we’ve clocked up 10,000 miles on the ground log since we left Southampton. (That’s the number in the bottom left hand corner.)
Ground Log 10 000
Sunday 8th
And now it’s time for the calm after the storm.
Calm at last
We had to motor all day – or as us sailors say, ‘We hoisted the Iron Sail.’ But eventually the wind picked up and we had great night sail. Still beating, but the seas have died down so it’s not so rough. And at last we are actually heading in the direction of the Virgins, and not tacking all over the place in an effort to make some headway South and East. 
In the picture below, the straight yellow lines are the ones we wanted to take.
A long way round
The black wonky line is what we’ve actually done.
Monday 9th

The possible tropical storm now has a name – Hurricane Kate, so it was a good job we headed east when we did. It was a bit of a close call, but fortunately we seem to have skirted round it. We still get quite a few squalls though.
Using both his extensive knowledge of the movement of the stars and planets acquired during his celestial navigation training, and his iPhone app, Ju is pleased to inform our readers that the white dot just above the cloud is Jupiter. 
Tuesday 10th
And now, for no very good reason, a series of pictures by Ju, who does the watch when the sun comes up, called “Pictures of the Morning.”
Pictures of the Morning 1
Pictures of the Morning 2
Picture Of The Morning 4
Wednesday 11th. 
 The wind has died and looks like being this way for the next 36 hours at least. So we’re motoring. Now the worry is whether or not we have enough fuel.
 Refuelling at sea
Thursday 12th
A completely moonless night, so the stars shone even more brightly than normal and right down to the horizon. Ju kept mistaking stars for boats, and was considering taking avoiding action in case he collided with Sirius. Lyn got this amazing picture of Jupiter on her watch, which was so bright it was like the moon reflecting on the sea.  
Jupiter 1
The winds are still avoiding us, but should build as we get south of parallel 22N. Little to report, but there is only enough fuel to last us till midnight tonight. 
Friday 13th
Oh no – Friday 13th!
Not that sailors are superstitious.
The wind finally picked up, about 6 hours before our fuel ran out! So we won’t have to do what sailors do when they are becalmed; pointlessly re-trim the sails, drink the grog, and talk about which one of the crew they are going to eat first.
And so we kept going to the Bitter End…
Bitter End
THE BITTER END – British Virgin Islands
….and now we’re here it all seems worth it. Turquoise waters, warm enough to swim in, Painkiller cocktails, and of course, the sun.
Thanks to all at the Salty Dawg Rally. Especially Tatja for tracking us, Chris for the weather and for keeping us out of the way of the hurricane, and of course Bill and Linda for organising it all.
Gotta go…we have a ton of repairs to do. As they say, cruising is just boat maintenance in nice places.
Ju & Lyn
Salty Dawgs