Sunday, 2 June 2013

End of an Era

Irony now has a new owner and is tucked up safely in Spice Island Marine for hurricane season.  We have been living on her almost 11 years since July 2002.  She has kept us safe and been the catalyst for a decade of amazing adventures.  On to a new chapter for us and for her.

Our new website is

Monday, 20 September 2010


A very welcome day off on Sunday brought fun and games on Hog Island.Gypsy Blues organised a Kayak tug o' war competition off the beach by Roger's bar. Teams of 2 (one in the dinghy, the other in the water) fought it out, trying to pull the opposition's kayak across the anchored marker, a rather fetching decoy duck. Rules were loose and cheating obligatory, leading to kayaks being turned over and the duck being moved! Three heats later, we actually managed to win, mainly due to Nic's deadly tactics in the water. I just kept madly paddling in the kayak until the whistle blew.
Today work has been rained out; will we ever get these jobs finished?! I am looking at the brand new paint I applied this morning to various spots in the scuppers which are now immersed in a river of rain water, not ideal but it's a welcome opportunity to fill the tanks.
We have also pulled the dinghy out to re-glue it yet again. Thanks to the incredibly kind Gypsy Blues, we won't be boat-bound for days this time, they have generously lent us their spare dinghy to use.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


We are feeling far more positive today...the final coat of paint has gone on the coach roof (my hand is aching from 2 days of stippling non-slip paint!) and the generator is working (hooray, back to normal cooking on more than one burner at a time!).
On Monday we motored around to the marina in the next bay, Le Phare Bleu, to fill up with water and to enlist further help from Mike of Palm Tree Marine. After a compression test he established that we have an injector problem. The offending injector has been cleaned and we have power. It really needs replacing but that requires specialist tools for the installation that are not available anywhere in the Caribbean. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Nic can keep it going until we get up to the States next year.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


We enjoyed a brief respite in the work schedule and joined the Grenada Hash House Harriers for a hash in Sauteurs on Saturday. After convening on the beach, a huge group of walkers and runners set off on the course which took us up steep, muddy slopes but afforded spectacular views north to Carriacou. The crowd quickly dissipated in all directions following circles of shredded paper. Everywhere around us we could hear calls of "On, On" to confirm we were on the right track and not one of the false trails culminating in a paper X. The cold beers and bbq were very welcome at the finish. As "hash virgins" we were given certificates and ceremoniously sprayed with beer as we sprinted through the hashers. A very kind Haitian couple gave us a lift back to St Georges despite our beery, damp state!

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Grenada has the most spectacular sunsets of anywhere we have been in the Caribbean, maybe it's something to do with its position??? Nowhere else are the colours so intense, especially the deep blue, or seen on such a majestic scale. Friday night outdid itself and gave us a full arch double rainbow. My photos couldn't do it justice but the memory lives on.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


We've finally finished stripping the coach roof and have got a few layers of paint on. The weather is not cooperating...a torrential downpour stopped work yesterday and it has been raining continuously today. Open bolt holes cause us to have plastic trays under the ceiling in the saloon to catch water coming through!

We've also started work on the decks and, just to make life more difficult, had to take off a pulley which had not been installed properly. This entailed dismantling part of a bedroom cupboard (my clothes are now sitting out) and emptying part of the saloon storage. The disruption expands daily! Nic had just removed a couple of bolts before the deluge began yesterday and within seconds we had water pouring in from the river running along the scuppers.

The generator parts arrived and Nic installed them but we still have the same problem so investigations are ongoing with no solution in sight. We've been here a month now and haven't yet even started a single job that we came here to do. Very frustrating!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Trials and Tribulations

Our maintenance programme seems to be expanding. We began to prepare the coach roof for painting. Just a few tiny cracks and rust spots to grind and prime before putting on a couple of coats of paint. Then one of the hairline cracks suddenly opened up and the paint started coming off like wallpaper. That was last Friday and since then we've had to strip the whole area which involved taking off lots of deck equipment, which meant taking down some of the ceiling in the saloon so that it could be unbolted. And, and, and...

Fortunately we paid for an extra hand on the first day but our helper was not prepared to put in a second day! Unfortunately we had just finished the stripping and treated the whole area with rust converter when we had a torrential rain shower. As a consequence all the chemicals on the roof were being slowly washed off onto the windows so we were out trying to mop them off endlessly. The rain continued through the night and at 4am I went into the saloon to find water dripping from the ceiling, it was making its way through the bolt holes. the next day was the wettest we've had since arriving in Grenada and ensured the bare metal rusted nicely!
The big blow came yesterday. The messy wire-brushing, angle-grinding etc was over and I was putting a complete coat of paint over the whole coach roof. Finally we were seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Nic had a niggling concern about the paint we are using and telephoned the paint manufacturers in the USA. We've applied the wrong primer for the area and all of it has to come off again. (It wasn't a light it was a train!) Some of the earliest sections we've done have 3 coats of fresh (costly) paint and it's going to be incredibly difficult to get it back to metal again. It will be several gruelling Groundhog days before we reach the same point again.
On top of that hurricane season is starting to become more active. Hurricane Danielle is out in the Atlantic, thankfully predicted to miss us, and Tropical Storm Earl behind it is expected to become a hurricane this afternoon. Another more worrying tropical depression is still near the Cape Verdes with an 80% chance of developing into something. Generally our local weather has remained settled but hot and very humid. A boat in our cove was hit by lightning the other night, Nic actually saw it and we were deafened by the crack. It fried their electronics but thankfully no one was hurt. The forces of nature are a powerful thing.
To keep us on our toes we've also been fighting the local wildlife. Apart from flies and mosquitoes finding their way to the boat we've had a stream of hornets visiting and discovered they had built nests in the curtains. The last two nights we've had squid committing seppuku on the deck, not before spraying everything with black ink. How do they leap so high and why?!
Lack of wind and sun is challenging our power supply. With the main generator broken and no parts arriving until the beginning of next week, we're having to run the very noisy portable generator for hours every day, our poor neighbours! Oh yes and I forgot to mention the dinghy is leaking again so will need another long glue session very soon.
Oh joy!