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Today was one out of the box!


We had our best day EVER in the Caribbean today, and that’s saying something!

We had chosen today to sail back to Grenada from Tyrrel Bay as the weather gods seemed to suggest it would be the best. So, up with the sparrows this morning and we were ready by 7am. It started out a little windy and we were a bit concerned about the boat in front when pulling up the anchor but all went well and Team Kool Kat were away!

We hadn’t even left the Bay when rain clouds peeped over the horizon. We quickly put up the heady and the main before they were upon us. We had thought we might anchor at Isle de Ronde on the way down to check out the snorkelling but the weather suggested otherwise. We actually stayed ahead of most of it and kept looking out the back at the black clouds from whence we had come, very happy for our early start.

Confetti on west coast of Grenada

The crossing from Carriacou to Grenada was the fastest we have done in KK peaking at 11 knots; we were riding the waves and scooting along. By the time we reached the top of Grenada we were very pleased with ourselves and how good ol’ KK performed.

The trip down the west coast of Grenada was gorgeous; fast and the clouds gathered over the island, not over us – we were bathed in beautiful sunshine. This isn’t the first time I’ve thought the villages on Caribbean islands look like sprinkled confetti. The houses can be a collection of reds, blues, oranges, whites, yellows and my iPhone photo doesn’t do it justice.

Just off the tiny fishing village of Gouyave we spotted a mother humpback whale and her calf. We’d been on the lookout most of the day as she’d been spotted in the region by other yachties a week or so ago so we were thrilled to see they were still here.

With the weather being so beautiful we decided to check out the moorings at Moliniere Point, the home of the Grenada Underwater Sculpture. We weren’t disappointed, visibility was fantastic. It is a Marine Park and we are required to pick up a mooring and pay a fee ($10US) but, unlike Tobago Cays, I don’t think you can stay overnight.

Pipe coral (Google image)
Fan coral (Google image)

We jumped in straight away and snorkeled straight off the back of the boat. We were astounded – we haven’t seen so many fish – schools upon schools and such a huge diversity; barracuda, parrot fish, bright blue littlies, yellow and blue, pale blue, etc,  and the list goes on and on. The coral was good too with lots of fans, pipes and brains! And then we found the sculptures. They aren’t too far down and the photo at right is when they were pretty new and is taken from the website. They are now covered in coral and fish are constantly picking at them making them a ‘living’ sculpture. There are several installations and this is just one. Check out the link above if you are interested in seeing more.

Underwater Sculptures

We snorkeled back to the boat, had lunch and then reluctantly got on our way again but we’ll definitely return. We arrived in Prickly Bay Grenada about 2pm and then had a little Nana-nap. It’s been a big day and it’s 2 for 1 pizza at the Marina tonight so we need to rest up!

We also saw a turtle on our travels just to top off a wonderful day in paradise.

I’ve added a couple more photos that may be of interest: friends (Scott & Paula from Scherzo and Pete and Dee from Wind Lass) and a little boy at Tyrrel Bay.

Love, Sue & Mal. xx

L-R: Scott, Pete, Dee, Paula & Mal

Sitting on the beach wall at Tyrrel Bay

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Heading home to Grenada

We loved our short sojourn (10 days) in Bequia (pronounced Beck-way) and the trips we made to other parts of St Vincent and The Grenadines, but there is something very homely about coming back to Grenada.

This morning in Tyrrel Bay
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

 We arrived late yesterday in Tyrrel Bay, on the island of Carriacou in the country of Grenada, and we will spend a few days here in this relaxed little township before sailing down to the main island of Grenada and home.

Cheryl and the children
Participants of Bequia Reader’s Program
I’m fed and I need a sleep!

Before departing Bequia I participated in the Children’s Reading Program held at The Figtree Restaurant under the strict but caring and loving direction of Cheryl, Figtree’s owner. The children learn English at school and some are really advanced. Others have tough challenges in life; two siblings have cataracts and have recently returned from Virginia in the US where they underwent operations. The young boy (7) in my group was thirsty to learn as a new world has opened up for him but his self-esteem is low as he is behind his peers. His younger sister’s (5) operation wasn’t as successful and she will require more ops. All this whilst being brought up by their grandmother in a tiny shack; their mother has moved to Canada and their father isn’t around. I have included a photo of a baby who was there with her Mum waiting for her older brother. These little ones go part-way to helping me cope without seeing my little Autie! I had a great afternoon with these kids.

Deep in concentration

The time we spent in Bequia gave us an opportunity to do some maintenance on Kool Kat, re-stock our provisions and update my sailing knowledge! Bob Almond, you’ll be pleased to hear my anchoring has improved out of sight but one area I have never tackled is driving the dinghy, or tender. Knowing that we’ll be spending the next three or so years on a boat, I definitely want the independence of being able to go ashore when I want to. So, with that in mind, Mal, being the good teacher that he is, threw me in at the deep end one day and told me to take over when we were half way back to the boat. Boy was that an experience! I think learning to drive a dinghy is a good left brain, right brain exercise. Whilst turning the throttle on the tiller and pushing it in the opposite direction to where I want to go, I had to navigate through boats, buoys and swimmers back to Kool Kat. I was so glad to get back safely and without running over anything! I have improved after more practice and even got it up on the plane a few times but there is still room for improvement!

Mal purchasing our cray

We bought two lobsters (live) whilst in Bequia from the local boat boys; at 15EC/lb each one cost us about $19AU. They were so sweet and fresh!

We left Bequia on Monday and had a beautiful 4-hr sail with both the main and the heady up. We arrived at Tobago Cays, had lunch and then went snorkelling. Magic, the visibility was fantastic. We saw a barracuda, needlefish, stingrays, amongst many other tropical fish, and my personal favourite, the trunkfish; very 3-D (photo courtesy of Google). I know some of you won’t believe this, but whilst we were relaxing after our swim, we witnessed a flying stingray! We’re not sure what was chasing it but it was sure moving fast and became airborne twice!

Trunkfish: I love these little guys!

Beach bar at Salt Whistle

We stayed one night but the weather wasn’t as good the next day so we sailed around to Salt Whistle Bay on the island of Mayreau. I was keen to do some geocaching so we popped into the bar first to pick up the wi-fi. Alas, no luck as the bar didn’t have it and I didn’t have the cache’s coordinates. Met a lovely Polish couple over a beer and had a great chat.

Back on the boat we decided it was a bit choppy so we moved to Saline Bay for our overnight stop. Up early the next day and then off to Clifton on Union Island to check out of Immigration and Customs before leaving St Vincent and the Grenadines and entering Grenada. It was raining and wind squalls were coming through during the 1/2 hr crossing from Mayreau Is to Union Is. n was crowded with yachts and the boat boys were at us to pick up a mooring. The squalls were coming through and every time we tried to anchor, it kept dragging. Until suddenly the port engine stopped and we were being buffeted around every which way. We couldn’t move which was thankful given the wind and the close proximity to other boats. Unbeknown to us, we had picked up a mooring: not at the bow but around the port propeller! Just as all this happened a strong 30 knot squall came through with the boat pointing towards other boats and us being held by the mooring rope on the propeller. We put the starboard engine in reverse to alleviate the pressure on the prop. Other boats dragged their anchors during this time and it was chaos all round. After the squall Richard, a Brit from the kite surfing school who also has the same boat as us, came on board and gave me a hand while Mal dived in and freed the propeller. We were then free and off to anchor somewhere else. With the wind and rain, it was difficult to see the sandy bits on the bottom but we tried two more times – each time the anchor dragged and we finally had to accept the offer of a mooring. We have decided Clifton has a mozz on us so it will be moorings for us there in future!

Mopion Island

After finally checking out, we sailed across to Petit St Vincent (PSV) and then Petite Martinique for refuelling. We sailed between two of the smallest Caribbean islands; Mopion and Pinaese. I think this is the island you were looking for Jo Almond; it only has a thatched hut on it and is surrounded by coral reefs. Pinaese is similar – just sand, no vegetation.

We then enjoyed a beautifully relaxing sail down the west coast of Carriacou and arrived at peaceful, spacious Tyrrel Bay. No trouble anchoring here and then straight in the water for a dip and then into the G & T’s. We were exhausted after our horrendous anchoring episode on Union Island and are happy to spend a few days soaking up the carefree atmosphere of Carriacou.

We’ve got Americans, Paula and Scott on Scherzo, coming over for a sundowner or two at 5pm so until next time, lots of love, Sue & Mal. xx

Bob & Jo’s Caribbean Experience


Hello to all the followers of Kool Kat 1. 
Home
Clifton on Union Island

We are writing to you on board this luxury sailing vessel, as the very first guests of the adventurous seafarers Mal and Sue. Currently we are anchored in the azure blue shallow waters of Tobago Cays. Now if you were ever looking for paradise this is it. A 360 degree view reveals small deserted islands which are, of course, covered in white sandy beaches with coconut palms that are protected by a shallow reef. But put on the snorkelling gear and Tobago Cays reveals it’s true magic.

Kinder kids on Mayreau Is
Bob filleting mahi mahi
Getting online onshore
View of Tobago Cays from Mayreau Island

A protected marine sanctuary with a sandy grass covered bottom provides the perfect breeding grounds for green turtles which swim gracefully and in abundance in the crystal clear waters. I don’t know about you but this experience has gone straight to my top 10 amazing experiences. A perfect day topped off by dips in the ocean, a gin and tonic, or two, and a few good laughs. I could go on to explain that the night sky sparkled like diamonds, but I need to leave some magic for you to discover for yourself.

Dinghy concert revellers

Our sailing adventure started as we flew in to Grenada to meet Mal and Sue who kindly gave us a couple of quiet days recovering from jet lag and adjusting to life on the boat. We explored the colourful Island of Grenada, swimming in waterfalls, absorbing the history and mixing with the locals. 

Then it was full swing into the social boatie life, with a dinghy concert to open a sailing regatta. Well what a blast that was. The band performed on a small tug boat, the dinghies rafted up to a floating pontoon with a bar or tied up to each other, the drinks flowed and the sea folk sang along. The music was great and the crowd loved it!
 

Yanni’s Island Bar with Palm Island in backbground

The next day we sailed for six or so hours in not so pleasant conditions; I’m pleased to say no one was sea sick. The reward was the sheltered harbour of beautiful Carriacou. We went ashore and finished the day with a few drinks and a beautiful meal at the Slipway Restaurant. We left the country of Grenada when we sailed out of Carriacou and entered the country of St Vincent & The Grenadines when we arrived at Clifton on Union Island.

Pre-dinner drinks at Yanni’s Island Bar

We have been on board for just over a week now and the gentle rocking and cool breeze as we sleep is providing for the best night sleeps we have had.  In a few days we will leave Mal and Sue to continue our own adventure, but not before sailing to and exploring a few more islands and relaxing or liming as the locals call it. Hang on, did I mention tonight’s BBQ Crayfish dinner on one of the small deserted Islands. 

My advice to you is to book your dates for your very own Caribbean Cruise on Kool Kat 1. We can’t thank Sue and Mal enough for the chance of a lifetime to join them and explore the Caribbean. We are already trying to workout dates for next year.  Jo and Bob .

Postscript from Sue & Mal:
Wednesday 12 March, Bob & Jo caught a charter flight back to Grenada for their early morning flight to Miami Thursday. We are going to miss them as we’ve had such a blast these past few weeks. They are continuing on their fantastic holiday and we are continuing to sail north. Thanks Bob and Jo, you are great crew and we’d love to have you back again. Can’t wait to follow the rest of your journey.
Yesterday (Thursday) we sailed to Bequia – an island we remember fondly from our previous visit. We are pleased to say it is still as beautiful as before and we will now spend a week or so here. Breakfast arrived this morning via one of the boat boys: fresh croissants and baguette! At $2AUS for a fresh croissant delivered to the boat, we’re happy 🙂
Until next time, love Sue & Mal. xox
      

Week Two

Approaching St George’s
Kool Kat’s helm
St George’s harbour
St George’s Carenage

This will be a lot shorter than my previous posts 🙂 Before our guests arrived, we wanted to have a quick trip around to St George’s, the capital of Grenada, to fill up with fuel, see how KK handled and to try the anchorage. So we upped anchor and motored out through Prickly Bay, around the bottom of Grenada and up the coast. We just got out of Prickly Bay and spotted a large turtle which promptly took a dive. Mal played around with the Chart Plotter and the auto pilot and KK handled beautifully so we had a great trip. No sailing yet.

We approached the Grenada Yacht Club to refuel and a small dinghy was already at the wharf looking to fill some gerry cans. The husband had gone looking for someone to assist and his wife looked on ominously as we approached; David and Goliath. We held back a little but she waved us in and quickly hopped out of the dinghy, moved it out of the way and then proceeded to help us with tying up. Debbie and Dan on Ladyhawk are from Delaware and they were absolutely delightful.

Mal talking to Jnr Kofi
Stunning passionfruit

All fueled up we then motored out of the harbour to find a good anchorage. The first attempt saw the anchor drag so we moved in closer to shore, about 15′ of water, and this time the anchor set beautifully. Mal does the anchor and I do the helm which seems to work well. We took Kitty into shore and did some food shopping. We hadn’t been back long when Junior Kofi pulled up alongside selling fruit. We bought pawpaw, tangerines, a couple of mangoes, which unfortunately are at the end of their season, and a dozen or so passionfruit. I was a bit worried as the outside of the passionfruit was very unfamiliar to me but I needn’t have worried, the taste was fabulous.

L-R Hope and Wendy
Chicken Roti overlooking harbour

We returned to Prickly Bay and the next morning I was invited by two American cruisers, Wendy from Merengue and Hope from Starshine, to join them in a girls’ day out; lunch and shopping in St George’s. Sounds good to me so off we went by bus for a day’s shopping and a chicken roti on the Carenage. The girls showed me all the little places they go to and we toured a few local art galleries. Good day out!

Giselle and others
Cordial and cake

Saturday morning I went with Hope and some other cruisers to a private home in the hills of Grenada to participate in the Mt Airy Reading program. This program is run by volunteers and offers extra tuition and practice in reading, writing and maths for young Grenadians, mainly aged from 6-14. We start off holding hands in a very large circle and say The Lord’s Prayer. Unfortunately, we had a few cruisers cancel through sickness so there were less volunteers than is required. This meant I had eight children to work with when the norm is four but we managed. We break into our groups and each student takes a turn at reading out loud and I check their comprehension, assist the poorer students and generally provide an audience for them to practice. Following reading we play games; some wanted to play scrabble and others didn’t. For those who didn’t I set them challenges with their times tables. They were really good at that so I had to pull out all stops and test their long division; that was really stretching my memory! Following this everyone, about 40 students, gather to take turns at reading a story out loud. Then one of the volunteers reads the whole story out loud. Then we celebrated birthdays, medal winners from the recent sports day and sang a song. Then a final prayer holding hands again and it’s time for cordial and cake. I’m exhausted but it’s been fun 🙂

Back in the bus and we’re off home. Mal and I spend the afternoon relaxing and then we’re off to collect Jo and Bob Almond from the airport. Our next post may be a “guest” post!

Until next time, love to everyone, Sue & Mal xx

Learning about our new home

Whilst Junior and his team at Spice Island Marine were working on Kool Kat (KK) Mal and I tried out some eating places, did some food shopping, did a few minor jobs on KK and generally took it easy.

Happy chappies at Dodgy Dock

At the end of our last post I mentioned a beautiful meal we had the night before. We had walked around to True Blue Bay, yes True Blue but not the Aussie True Blue, and had dinner at Dodgy Dock Restaurant http://www.truebluebay.com/resort-facilities/details/dodgy-dock-restaurant where we’d eaten breakfast a few days earlier. I can’t remember what Mal ate but I had a meal of grilled chicken served on a bed of callaloo with garlic and accompanied by smashed plantain. Callaloo is a delicious type of spinach that is a staple part of the Grenadian diet. It was lightly sauteed with butter and garlic. Callaloo is very popular soup. Plantain is a type of banana that is a bit more starchy than our regular bananas and is used more as a potato type of vegetable here. It’s not pleasant eaten raw but is super delicious cooked, normally fried.

Previously at Dodgy Dock we had ordered a Grenadian breakfast: eggs, saltfish, plantain and warm bread. Salt Fish is fresh fish that has been salt-cured and dried until all the moisture has been extracted. It is then rehydrated to cook and remove alot of the salt. It was presented chopped up with finely chopped spring onions and red pepper. Combined with the delicate sweetness of the plantain it was delicious. The warm bread was a wholemeal damper style; I think I’m going to have a bigger weight problem fairly soon! I’d better stop talking about food.

Natalia, Paula & Owen

I also mentioned in the last post that I met a lovely young family. What I love about travel, and particularly about cruising, are the people you meet from all walks of life and from all over the world and each with an interesting story to tell. I haven’t met the father yet but I met Natalia, who is Spanish, and her two adorable children, Paula and Owen. The father is English and they have a mono-hull, Te Natura. Natalia home schools the children and they are travelling around the Caribbean. Natalia is a sculptress and says once the children are in bed at night, she then gets down to preparing lessons for the next day. Remarkable. Paula (9) speaks English, Spanish and French. Owen (4) speaks English, Spanish and un peu Francais! This is what I call education; it’s all around them everyday 🙂

The currency in Grenada and some other parts of the Caribbean is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, known commonly as EC. At the moment, $1AUD = $2.43EC. To give you an idea of costs, this morning I bought a small loaf of bread, a croissant and a danish for $8EC or $3.20AUD. Lunch yesterday in the marina was a BLT and salad 25EC ($10AU – Sue) and Mal had roast beef, yorkshire pudds, potatoes and vegies 45EC ($18.50AU – Mal). A small charcoal type chicken is 15EC ($6AU).

Getting around Grenada on land is either by taxi or bus. Buses are obviously the cheapest 5EC for 2 of us and are definitely the most entertaining. They come along frequently and are small vans which would probably be licensed to carry about 12 people in Oz, but here the norm is 16. Mal has been in one with up to 20! They have a driver and a “lookout” who also collects the money. They are always young and the music is pretty thumpty but every trip is a surprise; including the route! They drive past as you are walking along the road and either beep their horn or yell out to ask if you want a lift. The driver stops, the lookout throws open the sliding door and you pile in. They are so diligent about picking people up that we have been in them when they have reversed, very carefully, along the main road to see if the person who was walking down a little side street in the direction of the main road needed a lift. They go down side streets and make detours to drop off or pick up either people, someone’s lunch to be delivered, or other bits and pieces. Nothing seems too much trouble and it’s always interesting. Mal & I got on one the other day followed by a woman with 2 small children – about 2 and 4. The 2-yr old, a little girl, sat in the first row of seats next to the “lookout” and the mother and the 4 yr-old boy sat in the back row behind us. We stopped a few times and then she said something to the lookout who told the driver to stop. He then picked up the little girl, holding her in front of him under her arms stepped out and looked around for who he should give her to. Meanwhile some people got on and the woman in the back told him he had the wrong stop, it was the next one. So he turned around, still holding her out in front like a parcel, and put her back in the bus next to him. She looked quite relaxed about it all. Then, before we reached the next official stop, she called out and the driver stopped on the main roundabout. No cars could get past and everyone just waited. The lookout hopped out, picked up the little parcel (girl) and took her to another van who was waiting on the central part of the roundabout. The lookout put her on the front seat, tucked in her clothes, ran back to our van and collected a black plastic bag (her lunch) and ran it over to the other van. He then hopped back in and we were on our way again, followed by the 10 or so cars who had all waited patiently. I turned to the mother behind and we exchanged big smiles.

We got off at the IGA and did some pretty basic shopping as our fridge/freezer hasn’t come up to temp yet and we’re relying on bags of ice. I’d been to this one on my last trip and it has everything you need, including vegemite! I’m pretty fussy about my muesli and I found a great one so I’m happy. I note that most of the dairy produce is from NZ, which is similar to when I lived in Kuwait 6 years ago, which makes me wonder about out our exporting. We investigate a few of the shops and checkout the wines which are mostly from Chile and Argentina, although we did find a Jacob’s Creek Nick.

Mal admiring his handiwork.

Another 5EC and we’re back at the apartment. Checking on the boat progress we find they are working so well that we should be back in the water on Friday 21st. Whilst she’s out Mal takes the opportunity to apply KK’s new name (we had to add a ‘1’ to register her in Oz) and home port.

We had morning showers come through over a few days but they don’t last long and everything dries off very quickly so this doesn’t slow the boat’s progress. While we are on land I find a local beautician within walking distance for a much-needed mani and pedi – 60EC = $AU24 for both = good value. We are currently anchored in Prickly Bay which is very close to St George’s University so there are lots of amenities nearby for students and cruisers.

Carefully lowering KK into water
Washing down

Friday comes and she’s back in the water with a beautifully clean bottie! Mal carefully reverses out of a tight spot and we’re off looking for an anchorage. This is our first shot at anchoring and Mal steps me slowly through it. No boat hooks this time, just Mal on the anchor and chain and me on the motor. We establish a transit point to ensure we aren’t dragging and all seems good. The boat is filthy after being in the yard so we set about giving her a washdown. Mal has one more job he wants to do; raise the Aussie flag! It’s always fun trying to ID all the flags on other boats so we can’t wait to put ours up. Then it’s time for a swim and a cool-off, it’s been a big morning!

Aussie Ensign on Kool Kat I

This is probably the best time of year in Grenada – humidity isn’t too high and there is a very gentle breeze to keep you cool, although it’s been a bit windier the last couple of days. Most days it’s 28C and today (Monday 24th) humidity is 69%. We’ve been having a swim every afternoon off the back of the boat, although today’s was a little earlier as I missed my footing getting on board from Kitty and ended up in the drink! Fortunately, I’m not bad under pressure! I whipped off my bag with my passport and iPhone in it and threw them on board – neither got wet 🙂 Once I knew they weren’t wet I couldn’t stop laughing, I was drenched. Good thing the water is about 26C so no worries, be happy! Sorry I haven’t got any photos to show you! Note to self: remember to use the mobile waterproof bag on KK next time I go ashore.

Barracuda and band setting up.

Friday night we went across to Prickly Bay Marina for dinner and listened to some bands. The first was a local tin band which has such a recognisable Caribbean sound to it and the second was previous KK owner Linda’s favourite, Barracuda. He was fantastic. We left before it finished due to a rain downpour but we could hear it clearly from the boat until they finished.

Buses also offer “shopping” trips for cruisers which is brilliant. I went on one Saturday morning where they picked up cruisers from Prickly Bay, Secret Harbour and then Clarke’s Court Bay and drive you into town, wait for you whilst you do the shopping and then bring you back. It’s a great way to do the shopping on a bigger scale. I met lots of other people who are doing similar things to us and it’s a great way to pick up hints and news. Unfortunately, there were two cruise ships in town and Patrick, the driver, said we’d be harassed so we should state we lived here and then we’d be left alone. Although he said those cruise ship tourists are whitey-white and you guys are brown so they can easily tell you are “locals”. So as I made my way through the St George’s market and shops I kept saying I lived here whenever someone welcomed me to Grenada or tried to sell me something. It worked well and I had a great morning.

I’m sorry this is so long. I started it today and thought I wouldn’t have much to say but I keep thinking of something else as I’m writing so it just keeps coming. Even as I’m finishing off I know there is more I want to say but it will just have to wait until next time. We might venture around to the yacht club near St George’s tomorrow for fuel and anchor off St George’s for a night.  Then we can return here and be ready for our first Aussie visitors, Jo and Bob, arriving Saturday night 🙂

Lots of love to everyone, Sue & Mal xxx

We’re finally on board

Hi everyone
The purpose of our blog is twofold: one, a way to keep family and friends informed of our travels and two, a diarised record for us to keep when the journey is over. We hope you enjoy it and it gives you an insight of what it’s like to live on board a Cat and cruise The Caribbean.
After seven months of preparation and a 44hr journey from Oz (roughly 23 hrs flying over 3 legs) we finally boarded our new home for the next few years, and she’s a beaut! Kool Kat I is a 47′ Leopard Catamaran with four berths, four bathrooms, a galley kitchen overlooking the saloon and nav station with glass doors to the outside saloon and deck. She’s got everything that opens and shuts; washing machine, fridge, freezer, air-con, outdoor shower and lots more we are yet to discover! All part of the fun.
The previous owners, Texans Linda and John Moorhead, left her in fantastic condition and over the years had equipped her with everything one might need, right down to pineapple and mango corers!
She’s been moored in Hartman’s Bay, Grenada, since September last year with George employed to keep an eye on her, turn on the engines and give her a bit of a clean whilst she waited for us to arrive. He did a fantastic job and she was spotless when we boarded her.

Mal checking water tanks
Sue watching Mal!
Our first day (Sunday) saw us unpacking, sweating, drinking, resting, sweating some more, swimming, resting again and generally testing that everything was still working. It’s a little rocky and I’m feeling slightly queasy on and off during the day.
 Had another swim where we tried out the flippers and face masks and started a health regime of chin-ups off the back of the boat with a couple of laps around her. The water temp is around 28 degrees, heaven 🙂

Took Kitty (dinghy) into Secret Harbour Marina and had a couple of burgers for dinner. Bed is really comfortable but we had a terrible night’s sleep waking to all the new strange noises. Still on AEST, we got up at midnight for a cuppa, a vegemite toast and a good chat. Sat outside with the most gentle warm breeze caressing us – loving this temperature. Chatting was more like strategising about how we were going to move around to Prickly Bay (only one bay away) the next morning (Monday). She is due to come out of the water at Spice Island Marine on Tuesday at 8am for a bottom scrub and new anti-foul and Mal needs to coach me about what my job is. We need to turn around and safely manouevre a 14 metre long and 8 metre wide vessel for the first time and hitting another vessel may not be a good look! Midnight chats are good; us retirees can catch up with a nana-nap during the day!

We’re up at sunrise (about 6.30am), we’ve tied George’s buoy onto the mooring and we’re motoring out of Hartman Bay by 7.15am. It’s quite choppy but we’re only out in the sea for 20 minutes or so and then surfing the waves into Prickly Bay. Now comes the fun; we have to pick up a mooring. Sue’s got the boat hook in hand giving expert hand signals to Mal who’s on the helm and because of the size of the boat, can’t see the buoy when we get close. We get it on the 3rd attempt and we’re quite pleased with how the partnership is working on our first-time experience on Kool Kat!
 

OK, we get organised, lower Kitty into the water and go ashore at De Big Fish. Mal knows Ricky, the owner, and we spend alot of time here over the next few days drinking lots of coffee, eating meals and using the wi-fi. We still have ours to set up on the boat so this place is a godsend. We’re starting to get used to “island-time” – everything happens in its own sweet time. Quite a nice concept actually!
De Big Fish
Mal handling Kitty-Kat
Tuesday is D-day. We have to motor into the haul-out area so Kool Kat can be lifted out of the water with only a foot or two away from concrete walls on either side of her. We’ve got all the lines ready and we are assured there will be lots of helpers there to guide us in. As we’re approaching we can’t see anyone and anxiety levels rise; slowly we see a little movement and when we’re almost there out come two guys, followed by two more. It’s quite scary but Mal does an amazing job. I’m rushing around moving fenders so we don’t graze the sides. I had a refresher earlier on knots and was quite chuffed that I remembered how to do them under pressure! Phew, she’s in and they commence the haul out. It’s fascinating to see how big she is out of the water and how many barnacles have grown to love her over the past five months!
Not so squeezy!
Hauling Out
Can’t get any fresher.
She’ll be out of the water for a few days and we book into an apartment across the road. On the way I purchase a fresh coconut juice and the sweetest bananas from a guy who sells fruit and veg to cruisers every Tues and Fri at De Big Fish.
This might be enough for our first blog although I can’t wait to tell you about our fabulous dinner last night and the interesting family I met this morning but that will just have to wait.
Thanks if you’ve read this far. Until next time, lots of love Sue and Mal xx

Australian Registration

One of my tasks has been to register the boat as an Australian registered vessel. This will allow us to travel in international waters and fly the Australian Ensign. It has been a process with lots of formality with Statuary declarations etc. The Australian Marine Safety Authority are very precise with boat names. We saw that Kool Kat was not on the register, so we thought that we were safe to keep the name. It was not to be, as there was a “Cool Cat” so we were not allowed to have “Kool Kat”. In the US there are “Cool Cat” and “Kool Kat” but that is not allowed in Australia. So to cut a long story a little shorter our boat is now “Kool Kat I”. There is now no “Kool Kat” in the US, so maybe we will see an American “Kool Kat” emerge somewhere in the Caribbean.