Friday, November 27, 2015


As soon as the attendant came in the morning (7:30 am), we paid for the water that we filled our tanks, and got underway. We hoisted the sails with a reef, and started our three day treck to Martinique.

It was the usual route with stops in Bequia, in the Grenadines; Jalousie at the Pitons, St Lucia, and our destination St Anne, Martinique. Starting every morning around 6:00 am, stopping around 3:00 pm, get beaten by waves and wind in between. Quite tiring when there is no respite, but this year we were in a hurry to come to St Anne, because we have to go back to St Lucia to meet my friends coming from Hamilton, Canada. We will spend the week together there, since it is not worth sailing back and forth in such a short time. We will go on land to explore together, and maybe sail to different anchorages around the island to have fun. Making a passage and back within the week is too stressful, especially if weather does not permit. We shall see.

Isn't this uncanny, that after four years of not even seeing a cocroach in the boat, we should encounter two kinds of pests inside, and one outside at the same time? (The outside crustaceans are actually helping, not a pest I think, but still.) This season is marred with problems it seems, I hope it will not continue. Being a Turk, I can only think of the evil eye! In Canada we talk about our life on board with everybody, it sounds like boasting most of the time. Well everybody, you can see that it is not always a picnic, so please do not wish us evil!


While we were still in Canada, about two months previously, Al read somewhere that the submerged volcano in the middle of the way to Carriacou, Kick 'em Jenny, started some rumbles, and degassing activity. The underwater volcano is active and the peak is slowly rising, closer to the surface (500 feet since the last eruption). When any activity is detected in the volcano, the no-sail zone radius is increased from 1.5 miles to 5 miles, which obstructs the usual route, since there are a series of small islands on the edge of the small zone. In order to avoid the dangerous area, people have to take a route about 10 miles to the west  of the normal one, and come back to Carriacou, which is a little to the north east of Grenada. Alternately, one can follow the north coast of Grenada to the east, and pass from the east of the small islands. This route is closer to Carriacou, however, getting there is the problem; wind, current and waves are on the nose. In normal conditions, the wind is quite strong, pronounced by the island effect, and boaters seldom pick that route. But this time, the wind and waves were the mildest we had ever seen, so Al did not change his decision of taking the easterly route, even though we saw at least 5-6 boats before us, picking  the westerly one.

We were looking around to check out the eastern sides of the small islands (Diamond rock, Round Rock, Sisters, Les Tantes on the north, London Bridge on the southeast side etc) and taking pictures, having a good time.

 Then I tried to wash my hands, and saw that there was no water at the tap. I asked Al if he had turned off the water pump, but he had not. Al looked around on the inside, switched the pump to the other tank, but got no water. Then he went to the lockers at the bow to feel the tanks. When he tapped on the tanks, he saw that they both were empty, and the bilge pump was also working. Mystery to the max, didn't we fill both of them the last thing the night before? having used up all the water was not a possibility. Since we were motoring all the way, we did not hear the bilge pump working, I only saw its light flashing while passing by the control panel. It appeared that we had emptied our tanks into the sea while motoring the last few hours.

The pleasent trip turned into another anxious wait until we reached Carriacou, where a boatyard is getting established in the recent years. I checked Doyle, and saw that there were a number of mechanics servicing big boats. I was sure that somebody would give us a hand to find the problem.

We reached Tyrrell Bay around 3:30 pm, and anchored. First thing to do is to clear out of Grenada. Luckily Customs and Immigration is next to the boatyard. The clearence procedure did not take long, and we managed to climb the second floor of the Customs building to speak with the boatyard office. It was 4:30 pm on a Friday. Half an hour later everybody would leave to party!

Anyway, when we explained our problem to the nice receptionist girl at the office, somebody sitting behind her told us to follow him to the boatyard. We found a small group of guys puttering about a shed. Our guide explained the problem to one of them, and he told us to weigh anchor immediately and get tied to the fuel dock, so that we could put some water into the tanks and see where it was disappearing to.
We rushed back, I pulled the anchor, tied the fenders in a flash and gave the lines to the attendant. The problems are never ending, but thankfully the remedy is not too far off! I asked the fuel dock attendant if we could stay the night there, and he said yes. I hate anchoring in the dark, expecially at such a crowded anchorage like Tyrrell Bay! Who knows when the problem would be fixed?

The nice plumber/mechanic came to the boat, got us get some water into the tanks, and started looking systemmatically, at the tanks, the pipes, the bilge etc., discussing with Al. I was beat, and wished to splash some water and get away from the nerve wrecking situation. I gathered my tablet etc., and headed to the small restaurant beside the boatyard. Al knew where to find me when they finished.

I could see Al walking about the boat, and before half an hour, he came by, beaming. The problem was the hose, bringing water from both of the tanks to the hot water tank, being unhooked. Because the leak was before the lines reached the pump, it was not turning on automaatically to maintain the pressure; that would actually give us a clue of a problem with water systems while on the way. Why and  how the water line to the heater disconnected? Nobody knows. Fixing it was the easiest thing in the world, all he had to do was to put it in and clamp it. He asked for 100.- EC ($50.- Canadian) for his trouble, but Al was so happy, gave him a tip. Phew, that was close.

One more night at a marina, listening to the lines being jerked about, and giving out those awful periodic sounds as the boat rolls with the waves. Above all else, the creshendo of the crackling. Tyrrell Bay was the worst for the noise coming from the hulls. According to the Internet wisdom, the crustaceans were rampant in shallow and warm waters. The boatyard in Tyrrell Bay is at the shallowest end, which could explain the activity.


As usual, Al checked all the weather sites, and thought that Saturday night would be calm enough, 10 to 15 knot winds, 3 to 5 ft seas, ideal weather to sail. At that angle (almost 90 degrees), 15 knots is enough to push us 7 - 8 miles per hour (our absolute limit is 9 miles). Coming down was a bit stressful, but we managed to lower our speed by playing with the sheets. Al thought going back was to be easier still,  looking at the forecast.

We hoistred the main and let the mooring ball go around 4:00 pm, and started motor sailing along the south west coast of Chaguaramas, toward the next small island on the west, and turned to the channel in between.

The wind was erratic due to the land effect, so we patiently passed through, and slowly started sailing into the open seas. Since the land mass was much bigger than all the other islands, the real strenght of the wind was not felt until after a few hours. By the time we got to the real open seas, it was pitch dark outside, and we started to fly on water. Letting out the sheets and the traveller, whatever we did was not enough to slow us down.

Al started the engines, turned into the wind, and ordered pulling down the sail to the first reef. Easier said than done; it was dark, we thought we pulled the first reef halyard to its mark while being beaten by wind and waves, and continued on. After ten minutes, Al saw that sail was not down enough, so we repeated the process. The waves might have been 3 ft, but the swells were much higher! Long story short, slowing the boat became a real ordeal. Both of us were out of breath and sweating buckets, until we came down to a steady manageable speed.

This time Al tried once to sleep a short while, but decided to keep going. I have to admit that my stamina did not last that long. I slept a few short periods during the dead of night.

We reached St George's around 6:00 am, in 14 hours as opposed to 15 on our way there. We had reserved a spot at the dock of the Yacht Club, but Keeron, the dock master would not show up before 7:00 am; so we motored into the bay, and turned the engines down, started drifting in the gentle breeze to wait. It was great, no sound, no waves, so peaceful. We had  our breakfast, tidied around the boat, time passed quickly. Then Al called Keeron on the phone, and asked if we could come in to be tied up. Kiran told us to wait until 8:00 am, since our spot was occupied for the time being, but the boat was leaving. One more hour of drifting, and we went in, got tied in and relaxed.

I was planning on scrubbing the boat from top to bottom, which was the reason of coming into the marina again. Marina life is the worst life imaginable for me; usually it is hot, noisy and full of bugs, and there is no swimming; not the boat life we love. However,  water is abundant and cheap at the club, and it is centrally located, close to the grocery stores we shop from. So we planned to endure three more nights to finish our chores, and get on our way.

The first night before we go to bed, I started hearing the old crackling sounds from the hulls. I almost fainted! After all the ordeal, were the damned termites still devouring our boat? However we listened carefully, and realized that they were coming from the hulls, and not from the bow or the inside of the boat. As a matter of fact, I could hear the noises from the open side hatch, which made me think that it was coming from the outside of the boat.

While we were lying in the bed, unable to sleep, Al searched the Internet, and found a lot of people writing about hearing noises in reference to pistol shrimps eating the nutrients stuck on the boat hulls, like barnicles and such. After reading some, Al opened the hull cover in our cabin, and looked all over. There was no sign of any activity inside, but the noise was more pronunced in the bilge area. We decided that it should be coming from the outside, and tried to get some sleep. It was torture, but we tried to beleive the other boaters' assessments. We even watched some videos, which depicted similar sounds as coming from the pistol crabs and other crustaceans feeding off the hulls. I was a bit relieved, but made a mental note to get the fumigators in Martinique to come and check our boat, if they could identify the source of the noise.

In the meantime, we did our scrubbing, shopping and laundry, filled our water tanks and got ready to start our trip north.


Trinidad seems to be more affluent than all the Caribbean islands we had seen, even Porto Rico (except French islands). Since it is almost connected to Venezuela, they have oil/gas production, and a rich soil that is not  volcanic. They seem to be industrialized and sophisticated, offering any kind of marine service imaginable.

Power appears to be cheap, which translates into air-conditioning to the hilt in every enclosed area. One freezes one's butt staying indoors too long. Food prices are not too high, but not as cheap as Doyle suggests.

We visited the market in Port of Spain, by a maxi taxi driven by Jessie, who picked us up from Peake at 6:30 am on Saturday morning (!) It was about an hour away, but we were done fresh produce shopping before 8:00 am. They did not have a lot of vegetables; but our staple tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers were available, as well very good watermelons, so we were happy. However, I was expecting more I guess, compared to the market in St George's, it was not impressive. There were a small fish and meat market in the adjoining building as well. We thought of buying fish, which were plentiful,  but carrying it seemed too hard. We ended up buying some fresh cut meat, which turned out not too bad.

We stayed in Trinidad about nine days, and endured two week-ends. The people in Trinidad seem to work hard and play harder. Saturday nights the pleasure rides in big boats start at different hours, to the sunset, later in the evening, and at 2:00 am, and continue until sunrise. The clientele constantly drink and listen to the deafening music. With them, everybody else in the harbour. What I could not understand was the reason of their boats coming to Chaguaramas and slowly going around the harbour, passing by almost every boat that was moored. The land around the harbour is solely industrial. When we walked for hours along the way to Port of Spain, all we saw were marinas and stores. Maybe that is the reason, disturbing the people in the residential areas was not allowed, but  outsiders moored in the harbour do not count probably. Anyway, while we were trying to sleep in the never-ending kakaphony, we thought of Grenada, where people are so respectful towards each other, and strangers alike. Their pleasure rides (towards sunset) is a pleasure to watch and listen to from our own boats. I guess affluence brings self indulgence and egocentry!

All in all, this trip was different from any other that we had taken; we had not for a second contemplated about the long and ardous way; all we thought about was to get there as soon as possible, how did not matter. However, I would not attempt it again for just pleasure. I hope we would not be forced to do it again, for any reason.


On Wednesday morning we piled up the mattresses on the cock-pit table, rest of the perishable stuff (like pills, dental items, packaged food, water filters etc) under it, and covered the whole thing by two tarps (it rains in Trinidad several times almost every day).  We started to work early in the morning, since Luke promised to come around 10:00 am. We got everything ready before long, took our suitcase and moved into the hotel facility at Peake Marina, which was the place to haul out the boat if need be.

The hotel rates were reasonable (US$88,- per night), for a  clean, air-conditioned room with a mini fridge and electrical kettle. What else do you need.

Grenada Marine should learn from these guys how to operate a boat yard. Peake's grounds were as big, but the facilities much better, roads and buildings impeccable, and prices comparable. As well, Grenada Marine does not offer sleeping quarters for the sailors while working on their boats on hard. Although several years ago a crude complex of small cottages were available near by, their management was so bad and they were so overpriced that it did not survive and closed, rather than serve Grenada marine customers. The only place to stay around there is La Sagesse. Not very convenient and full of bugs! On the other hand,  Trinidad prices were not cheap enough to tempt us to take the 14 hour passage twice every year.

After settling into the hotel, Al returned to the boat with Luke and his two guys, to seal the boat from the outside by covering all the wholes, to get it ready for "bombing". After the prep work was done, Luke was so impressed by Al's help, that he asked Al, if he would consider working with him as a fumigator! Al watched the guys empty 10 canisters of the gas inside the cabins and the galley through one of the hatches; and two more in the lockers outside using a specially designed system of tubes and can piercing apparatus. We had to leave all hatches closed but unlocked, so the boat could be aerated after 24 hours without entering the salon and the cabins. Before the fumigation crew left, they placed "Danger, Toxic Gas" signs outside the door and on the hull, to keep two-legged pests away from the boat, while the hatches were unlocked.

When Al returned to the hotel, I asked if the crew were wearing gas masks while working, and he said no. Poor guys, who knows how much exposure they are getting every day, even though they stayed outside when they pierced the canisters. Earning a living should not be so hard.

Next morning, Al took the guys back to the boat to open the seals and got it aired for us to move back in. Apparently the toxic gas was lighter than air and left no residue after proper ventilation. The gas had no odour, although deadly for insects as well as humans. So, in order for it to be detectable, they were adding tear gas to it, which had a distinct smell.  It took Al two days to completely clean the air, by opening every window, door and hatch, while sitting at the cock-pit. Unfortunately leaving the boat unattended while airing  out was  not an option. It would have been easier if Ruyam II were on hard, in a secure atmosphere. Oh well, Al sat there for two half days, and got it done, while I languished at the hotel.

The whole operation cost us $1,000.- Canadian dollars. Tenting  would have been triple that, so we felt lucky. I hope this will be the last time I see those unwelcome visitors!

Luke  gave us a small sample of the bait for dust-mites, which we can use to spray the new larvae that might come out of the eggs if any, in about 6 weeks. We will check carefully, and apply the bait before the new year.


The best thing about Trinidad is Luke, the terminator! He was extremely professional, courteous and knowledgeable.  When we called him first thing after settling on our mooring, he promised to come in the afternoon. True to his word, he came on time,  and went around the boat, looked at all the storage areas, the woodwork inside etc., and declared that we had two types of pests onboard; the nest that we had demolished was the subterrenean type of termites, not the flying one, and the infestation was new and localized to the two lockers at the bow. The two places that we had seen some dust and small holes on the wood were done by dust-mites, which were not as dangerous, but harder to kill. He proposed to use gas on the inside of the boat and the bow lockers, as well a special bait for the dust-mites. He did not think that tenting or hauling the boat on hard were necessary, since we had gotten rid of 80% of the problem by throwing out the nest, as well as the wood partitions in the locker which they were eating.

Unfortunately, Tuesday was a new holiday (Hevali, apparently East Indian), so he would start on Wednesday morning, and open the boat after 24 hours. In order to get rid of the toxic fumes, we would have to air the boat for another day, before we could move back in. Luke thought that we could leave everything in the boat during fumigation, except high density foam (like our mattresses) and open food items.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


The next day at 4:30 pm, Al got Jerry, the master dock attendent, to give us diesel. He came to help with the lines, and directed us to the fuel dock, which was at the outer side of the docks close to the harbour mouth. We were ready to sail in ten minutes, and  started out through the narrow channel between the reefs. The treck was well marked, so no problem! After passing by Tara shoal further on at our port and Porpoises at starboard, we were ready to hoist the main.  Because of six months of idle standing, the reef lines were tangled stif and got stuck twice, but we were able to get them going by the help of the wind. That is to say, we made some zigzags while dealing with the main sail, but we managed in the end.

We got going on our route (190 degrees straight) around 5:30 pm. Winds were steady at 13 - 15 knots from between 60 - 45 degrees. Perfect, and pleasent, since the sea was at its tamest. No rain either, so we congratulated ourselves for avoiding the miserable conditions of the evening before.

This was our second long passage during the night; first being to St Martin in 2012. That had been such a pleasent trip, it cured us from all misgivings about night travel. However, this was our first night sail. As it turned out, nothing to it, as long as the wind keeps its promise of being steady and mild. Around mid-night however, we started to see steady 7 knots speed when wind picked up to 20+ knts, and I got a bit apprehensive, especially when we reached over 8 knot speed several times. Anyway, we played with the trim on the main sail  and genoa, and were able to manage without reefing the main sail. After a while, I could not stay up, and slept a bit. But I could not get Al to sleep at all. I hope it was not because of  any mistrust about my proficiency. Whatever he thinks, I feel much more confident now, as opposed to our first passage; and he had left the helm to me then for a couple of hours. That was scary, let me tell you!

Apparently while I was sleeping, the wind wound down and we slowed to 3-4 knots, and Al had to start the engines in order not to waste too much time. All in all, it was a 15 hour treck. We passed Hibiscus oil rig around 4:00 am, which is about four hours away from the north coast of Trinidad. It can be seen from a long distance, lit up like a christmas tree, and gives a lot of confidence.

When we got closer to Trinidad, it seemed that we were headed into a line of mountains. The island and several smaller ones to the west, along with the northern tip of Venezuela which appear to be connected, and the entrance to Chaquaramas is not visible until you almost hit the land. Thank god for GPS, otherwise second guessing oneself is very easy.

By the time we came to the channel, the sun had risen, so the short passage was easy. We saw that many boats were coming out, probably starting their long journey north, or east (to Tobaggo). So there was some competition in the narrow channel, but nothing scary.

Chaguaramas is the harbour, close to the northwest tip of the island, which is surrounded with a few island to the south and a peninsula to the east. It is not very long, but every inch is utilized by a string of marinas and docks, servicing pleasure and commercial vessels, since it is very well protected from trade winds.

 Customs and immigration is located at the end of the harbour, along with the biggest marina (CrewsInn). Its dock also serves a small ferry. We thought that the ferry should be going to Venezuela, a stone's throw away, looking at the size of the ferries (as well as the language of the passangers).

Doyle warns sailors that arriving vessels were expected to come directly to Customs, without stopping anywhere. So we went all the way in, up to the red and white striped lighthouse, and tied to the dock, in front of the ferry, with the help of some people loitering about. When we entered the Immigration office (again warned about going there first before customs), we saw several people waiting to be dealt with. There was a sign on the wall, indicating that the office would open every morning at 6:00 am, but service starts at 8:00. I saw that it was 8:00 on the dot. The officer was busy with somebody, and the next person in line showed Al the forms to be filled in triplicate. Al got busy for half an hour. In the meantime, more people walked in, one asked the officer what to do. I noticed that the he did not mention triplicate forms, so I made a point of asking him about it, and he confirmed. Imagine, the poor man would have filled one form (who would think of multiple forms), and would be chastised for not doing it right. I think the man was grateful, and started talking to us. It was such a slow process, since the officer was taking the filled forms, and transfering all the detailed information into the computer (with his limited typing capacity). Why? We must have been spoiled by the lax attitude of French customs, where all one has to do is enter the information into the computer (no hard copies), and save! It is the most efficient system available. Most of the other Caribbean islands have started utilizing computer as well, with the Sail-Clear system, which is accessed by one's own laptop or mobile device. Trinidad is not a part of that system unfortunately.

I overheard the officer mentioning that he liked working on the week-ends, to avoid serving  the crowds of week days. Apparently the overtime charge applied on week-ends deter a lot of people. When we were there, the workday had just started in the Saturday morning, but there were at least five people already waiting. We got out of there in about two hours. We shall see the situation while clearing out on a week day.


At the end of last season, we left Ruyam II in water, docked at Secret Harbour Marina, Grenada, after securing a promise from the dockmaster to start the engines for a short while every month. We also asked our driver Richard to take a look once in a while and make sure the engines were operational.

Al was in constant contact with the marina and Richard, and everything was in order until it was time to come back. Richard sent a message in October, complaining about the starboard engine. Oh well, we were going to take care of it. It sounded like the age old problem with the starboard battery draining when not in use, and reviving after the port engine generating enough juice.

We arrived in Secret Harbour around 10:00 am on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015, after flying red-eye to Trinidad. We were very happy to eliminate staying the first night at a hotel, which was not possible when flying during the day.

Everything was great, there was a bit of a moisture inside, but nothing major. I also saw some dust on all the doors, inside and out, which was odd. I had never witnessed dust when Ruyam II was left on hard at Grenada Marine, in the middle of a ton of dust and mud. I reasoned that the dust must have come from the marina, undergoing some renovations close to where we were tied.

During the night and next morning, I heard some noises coming from all over. At first I thought water was dripping, but soon realized that the sound was like the one coming from popping bubble wrap. It was strange, but we had a lot to do, no time to dwell on it!

I cleaned our side of the boat, emptied our three huge duffle-bags, and settled in. After all the work inside, I took the last bag to the outside locker, where we also store the water hoses, fenders, plastic stools and some other odds and ends. There were some old suitcases which we wanted to discard, so I took one out, and saw some white worms wriggling on it.


Poor Al was busy with the dinghy engine alongside the handyman Devon. They both rushed to the bow, and after inspection Devon declared that we had termites. It was very interesting actually, the insects made tracs like highways from black, sand-like mud on the floor of the locker, as well as all around the top crevice. What's to be done?  Devon thought that the tracks were going under the water tanks, so we should dismantle the tanks to see where they were heading. That did not  seem like a good idea to me, and I thought we could find a bait or poison to get rid of the colony, like ants. So we took to the Internet, but what we found was quite disheartening, and outright scary. My spirits hit the floor, and I lost all interest in furhter clean-up.
Since we were hearing the clacking inside, which seem to be coming from the hulls, we started to think that they were eating away the wood of the hulls, sandwiched in the fibre-glass. As usual, we thought of the worst possible scenario, and almost got convinced that our boat was damaged irrecovarably, and we would have to leave it. That was such a heart-breaking moment! We literally could not think of any other thing that we would do, if Ruyam II was out of our hands.

However, we came to our senses and talked to some people and learned that there was a remedy, only in Trinidad mind you, which was guaranteed to deal with them. Stephan, the carpenter working at the marina, stongly urged us to make the trip to Trinidad. Stephan said that even if the procedure should cost US$10,000.- we should have it done, speaking from experience. But  he assured us that the insects would definitely be eliminated by the poisonous gas. Generally, the boat would be completely covered and sealed in a tent, and the gas would be applied to the inside under pressure.

We took to the Internet again, to find a company around Port of Spain, Trinidad. I dictated the telephone number of Trinidad and Tobaggo Pest Control (TTPC) to Al, and he immediately reached Luke to get an estimate. When Al explained what we had encountered, Luke  confirmed that he would make the tent on hard, and suggested we contact Peake Marina in Chaguaramas, Trinidad to make the arrangements to haul Ruyam II out. Luke's  ballpark estimate for the tent was US$2,000.-; hauling out, living off the boat at a hotel for at least 48 hours etc was to be extra. Who cares, as long as we could get there before it was too late.

In the meantime, Al was trying to find Mike, the mechanic to check the starboard engine. Al connected the portside starting battery, but was not able to start the engine. So he was convinced that the starter or something else was not functioning properly. We felt trapped, and were not sure about the integrity of the hulls to withstand the 14 hour journey to Trinidad.

The next day, we checked the other locker, where the anchor and some unused lines were stored. Despite being quite full of stuff, the presence of the insects there was more pronounced than the other locker. When I looked, the front of the locker was almost covered with mud. I refused to look at it, so Al went in, and started to pile the coils of lines on the trampoline. While I was inside, he discovered their main nest among one of the coils, and immediately threw it into the sea after tying the end of the line.

Later on I helped him to clean the mud from the locker, and dosed it with a lot of sea water, as well as break up the wooded partition between the anchor chain and the rest of the loker. When I threw the wood into the sea, I could see the insects floating away. Creepy!

However, the clacking sounds persisted, albeit somewhat subdued. We could not think of anything else, waiting for Mike to show up. He did come after two days (an eternity), and after tinkering with the engine a little, declared it to be perfectly operational. Starter was fine, nothing had to be changed, but he said that the engine choker was a bit stiff and hard to release. Al speculated that dockmaster and Richard must have tried to start the engine without fully releasing the choker, using up the battery (mistery solved).

Now that we were almost ready to sail, it was time to check the weather, and hoist the genoa etc. We got ready to sail overnight on Friday, November 5th., and sent out e mails to family and friends, got our clearance from Grenada, even prepared the sandwiches and tea, and sat to wait for the nasty rain to stop. It got worse instead. We had a window of an hour to get out of the harbour in daylight,  which is almost covered by reefes and we had passed through it six months previously the first time.

It is not advisable to attempt a blind passage as experience had taught us. Both of us decided to wait the night, and make the passage the next day. Al had to notify everybody, including Luke, and got a promise from him to check the boat on Saturday afternoon. I felt relieved that we would not be miserable trying to deal with the sails in the downpour. Sitting at the helm in the rain is also not very pleasent. As I have mentioned before, we are in this for enjoyment, and any preventable hardship is unwelcome. I guess we are getting old and not up to too much adventure (and proud of it).