About Amoebe Sailing

The final part of the journey home…

 

So at time of writing, Tuesday June 10th, we are about 8 hours from Bermuda,and we will review our plans when we arrive.

 We spent two nights in St Georges harbour, but it was with mixed feelings. We were so grateful to be safe in such a beautiful friendly welcoming place, but we also knew that we still had more than 800 miles ahead of us. After clearing customs, we decided to remain tied up at the dock instead of anchoring out. The dinghy had been deflated and stored, and it would be nice to be able to come and go as you pleased without having to use…

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The trials of passage making

The past few weeks have been very eventful for us as we have valiantly tried to make our way home to Baddeck. Just to recap:  We had engine problems while we were in Antigua  and found our trip coming to a grinding halt because we needed  to order a new engine.  So we had a two month waiting period in Jolly Harbour which is the length of time it took to order the engine, have it modified to our specifications, and have it shipped to Antigua. Where it took 4 mechanics and John a couple of weeks install it, and then make sure everything was running smoothly.

 

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The engine is in

 

 

As you can see from the following photos, the engine is in place in the boat! It all happened yesterday afternoon, the forklift truck arrived at the boat with our motor dangling precariously on the front.  Because we have been here for so long, the entire crew who work here in Jolly Harbour boatyard are aware of our situation, and they have been very supportive, it was interesting to see them following the forklift to watch the ‘launching” of the engine.

There were a few stressful moments as it was raised high off the ground in order to…

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PICTURES OF NEW MOTOR

 

 

 

     

 

 

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PICTURES ARE ON PREVIOUS ENTRY

 

Check th eprevious entry to see some photos

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IT’S HERE!!!

The engine is here.

 

After missing the departure of Tropical Shipping out of Miami by one day, we were informed that our motor was finally on its way, so we had another waiting period of six days before it would arrive in Antigua on Monday May 9th. Then it would have to go through customs, who, apparently, according to the day of the week, the weather conditions, their mood etc etc, could make this process simple, or complicated. They have been known to allow shipments to just remain on the customs dock for days and weeks at a time for no apparent reason. We…

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Waiting in Jolly Harbour

Waiting it out in Jolly Harbour

 

We have been tied to the dock at the boatyard in Jolly Harbour since March 18th. We have become very familiar with our surroundings and our environment as we wait , patiently,  for our engine to arrive.  It has been a long wait with many obstacles placed in our path that have caused such a delay.  There really is a concept known as “island time”. The latest update is that our motor is on a boat owned by “Tropical Shipping” which left Miami on Wednesday, it is scheduled to arrive in Antigua…

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ANTIGUA CLASSIC REGATTA

What an incredible experience to be out there on the water, and to see such magnificent yachts in action .There were sloops, yawls, ketches and schooners of every shape and size, and most with crews too many to count . And when so many yachts come together at the rounding of the mark, well, it gives you goose bumps just to watch it, even if the temperature was in the 90s

 

 

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ANTIGUA CLASSIC REGATTA

What an incredible experience to be out there on the water, and to see such magnificent yachts in action .There were sloops, yawls, ketches and schooners of every shape and size, and most with crews too many to count . And when so many yachts come together at the rounding of the mark, well, it gives you goose bumps just to watch it, even if the temperature was in the 90s

 

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Still in Jolly Harbour - The classics

  

We are still in Jolly Harbour, awaiting the arrival of our new engine, its a ( Perkins 85HP) to be delivered from North Carolina, hopefully within 10 days, then 7 - 10 days to install and hook it up to our transmission, exhaust shaft etc then we should be on our way back. Its been quite an ordeal, we now completely understand "island time" and realize that things don't always work to our schedule. We are learning the true meaning of patience. I would be wrong if I said that…

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PROVISIONING

 

PROVISIONING IN THE CARRIBEAN

I discovered that provisioning the boat - stocking the galley, grocery shopping, whatever you want to call it is quite different from simply "buying food" back home. Whenever we arrive at a new town or village, we do not know what kind of shopping experience lies ahead of us. Usually we are anchored ouside in the bay, and we may have a 10 - 15 minute dinghy ride to get ashore. Once we are ashore we have to find the grocery store or market, sometimes we may have a 20 minute walk or a 30 minute bus ride before we find what we are…

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ENGINE WOES

My family left to return to England on Sunday March 28th, we had enjoyed 10 days of sailing, exploring beautiful islands, snorkling, great meals eaten beneath the stars, lots of wine, lots of laughs and a lifetime of memories shared. So when they left for the airport, it was very quiet and the boat seemed somewhat empty. We spent the afternoon putting the boat back together as we had done a lot of re-arranging of our stuff in order to accommodate 5 extra people. So when the boat was back in bristol fashion, John lifted the floor to check the engine, something he does on a very regular basis.…

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ISLAND HOPPING

 

MARTINIQUE - GUADELOUPE

We left Forte de France and made an easy 4 hour sail to St Pierre. This Is an interesting little town and from the sounds coming from shore as we went about the business of anchoring the boat, they were also still in full carnival mode. We could see hundreds of people dressed in black and white and the steady throb of drums as the music played on. We secured the boat and hopped in the dinghy to see the last of the Martinique canival 2011. The narrow streets were lined with people watching the…

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Martinique

Fort de France  Martinique

 

After saying goodbye to people we know in St Lucia, our sail to Martinique was uneventful and a very pleasant 6 hour passage, we had great winds and averaged around 5 knots. We arrived at four in the afternoon – too late to clear customs that day. Its Carnival week and we have been told that this is the place to be. We dropped the hook in a busy, very pleasant anchorage beneath the Fort St Louis. Forte de France is the capital of Martinique, it is the largest of the cities in the windward islands. I’ve heard great things about…

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ST LUCIA -PITONS

Soufriere in the southern part of St Lucia was a favourite place for us five years ago. The town lies beneath the might Pitons – two magnificent mountains that were formed by a volcanic explosion eons ago. They dominate the landscape with their height and beauty. The town itself is actually inside a volcano – dormant of course – and is a “typical” carribean town with the gingerbread and balcony style of housing. Soufriere (sulphur in the air) is by no means an affluent town. Clearly it relies on tourism from the cruise ships that dock in Castries, the passengers…

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ST LUCIA - RODNEY BAY

 

In all we spent six weeks in St Lucia – three of those weeks were spent in the boatyard living on board on the dry dock. There were many changes to Rodney Bay since we were here five years ago. The marina has doubled in size thanks to a takeover by IGY – the boatyard has been upgraded with new equipment and has new facilities that include new showers. The marina has many new stores and restaurants and fortunately appeared to be busy. There were lots of boats and not too many empty slips available. A good sign – Antigua appeared to be suffering from a decline…

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ILES DES SAINTES

Des Saintes - another little french island belonging to Guadeloupe, it was formerly a community that relied on fishing From our previous visit five years ago, i had always described this island as my "happy place" - a place I go to in my mind when I want to be calm. It is simply beautiful and utterly charming. Little white houses with pink rooftops dot the hillsides. its very lush and green and brightly  coloured flowers bloom everywhere. The town, Bourg des Saintes has basically one main street starting at the waterfront and running through the town. On either…

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DES HAISES

Deshaises
 
This lovely little french town in Guadeloupe had intrigued us on our last trip five years ago, we had stopped there on two differerent occasions, but only to overnight on out way to Martinique. So this time, we were going to stay for a couple of nights to see what was there. We anchored in a deep, well-protected pretty little bay  surrounded by hills and mountains, with perhaps 15 other boats. The one thing we did notice was the wind that funnelled through, strong…

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CHRISTMAS WEEK

CHRISTMAS WEEK

After our christmas day at the dock yard, we went to Jolly Harbour - this was a favourite place of ours five years ago because it was had very pretty marina with lots of facilities , internet access, a fabulous grocery store, cafes, nice reasonanably priced gift shops, bars lots of nice places to sit and just enjoy the beautiful flowers in a scenic park-like area. Now five years later, the signs of recession and difficult economic times are evident in the number of shops, deserted casino and sports bar, formerly busy restaurants, now…

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CHRISTMAS IN ANTIGUA

 

 

Christmas in Antigua

December 24th was a strange kind of day - it began with the wrapping of gifts - we had all bought gifts for each other. We decorated the wheel house with tacky decorations from the dollar store. the boat looked festive in poinsetta garland, a small christmas tree, a plastic golden angel, large glittery gold bows and two giant plastic snowflakes and a stocking for everyone. The decorations were hung to the sound of reggae christmas carols and everyone was in high spirits. We went ashore to use the internet - everyone…

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Finally in St. Maartin

 

So we are all here in St Maartin - it was a long arduous trip to get here, we had one of those airport experiences that nearly everyone has at some point in their lives. Delays. missed connections, line-ups to get re-booked, airport hotels, shuttle buses, lineups to retreive luggage, lineups to get checked in and finally the "airport run" to get on the plane - to be greeted by staff saying "are you the Brysons"? as we board the plane to have the doors closed behind us! But, we made it and with only the minimal amount of stress and worry.…

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Preparation

Over the past three winters, John has spent many hours on the Amoeba lovingly ( and expensively)  restoring her. She is now 32 years old, and in many areas was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The electrical system, for example, was completely renewed - a project that took John several months to complete, the motor was overhauled and many parts replaced. The original teak deck was stripped; each piece cleaned and replaced - a painstaking job that took hours and hours to finish.  When the decision to sail to the Caribbean for the winter months was made, most of the major projects…

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The beginning of another adventure

On Friday November 12th 2010 the Amoeba left the wharf in Baddeck to embark on yet another adventure. After weeks and months of planning, the Amoeba was finally ready to begin another long voyage out to the ocean. The forecast was favorable, it indicated at least five days of reasonable winds and seas.
 
The crew, Owner John Bryson, Mac Fuller, Jamie Kennedy and Joey Burroughs spent the final couple of hours that beautiful sunny morning at the dock chatting excitedly with the many family members, friends, neighbors and well-wishers who had gathered at the wharf to wish then…

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