We are back at UVI now....
Regarding my cracked regulator
, it was the Argon Gas Regulator
the welding machine. Apparently, the housing was milled too thin and the pressure generated by the nipple on the High Pressure Gauge caused same to split radially. I think the housing was split invisibly when supplied, because I used enormous amounts of argon while welding on the ship.
Once I get some funds from the pension again, I'll return the machine and
all its peripherals for Refurbishment and Repair.
. I cruised there, did Venezuela
too. The coast has always been problematic. It is my understanding that things are better now. Cruising World had several features regarding such.
Kit Kapp cruised the Spanish Main extensively during the 70's and 80's, created special charts
of lots of the anchorages
, of which I have one. He made no bones about only surviving because he defended himself and his ship with a gun on at least one occasion.
Regarding firearms aboard... I don't carry them... But I am very alert to
the situation I'm entering or in. so if things don't seem right, I leave. If you choose to carry firearms, a few suggestions from a war veteran..
a) Practice using each weapon until it is part of you, and you can put a bullet where you want, when you want.
b) Don't pull the weapon unless you are going to use it.
c) Once you pull the weapon, commence firing within a split second
d) Hit whatever or whomever you are shooting at
e) Sort out things after you are in control of the situation and the opposition is toast.
That said, one certain way to avoid problems is to learn to say hello, how are you in the local language, and to ask permission to anchor
Much of the previous pages regarding security
, cruisers killing local economies etc is rubbish. Cruisers on micro-budgets do not destroy local economies, if anything, they offer employment
opportunities to locals through their purchase
of goods and services. They most certainly change the local economy much less than the backpackers do.
I think that far too much of this thread is being spent jaw boning about
political matters, and far too little is being spent on the matters of outfitting and provisioning
We have armchair sailors who are not taking advantage of the current
economic crisis to buy good boats cheap
. Nor are they looking at the obvious places to buy same, such as Trinidad, Florida
and the Carolinas.
I just saw a Cheoy Lee
42, built in 1970. Gorgeous boat! Some are available for ~ $35k. Others far more. A bit pricey for this thread.
If you cruise
regularly, I suggest that you stop by the Customs
office downtown Charlotte Amalie and signup for the Local Boater Option program. It makes returning to the USVI painless. You don't have to go to the customshouse. Simply call from a local phone
If you are on a budget
, plan on buying
your tea and powdered milk at the large supermarket in St. Martin, and the rest in Martinique
. Apparently, the DR no longer makes food
in tins, instead they are imported. I'd really like confirmation on that.
Food in Colombia
can be a bargain, depending... The fuel
If cruising Venezuela, leave the Testigos suddenly, and without notice, at dusk. Travel north west to get north of the rhumbline between the testigos and Margarita, and approach Margarita from the north. Travel without lights and be sure to do your westing at least 30 miles from the coast. Once you leave Margarita for the Rocques head
north west to get 30 miles off the coast, do your westing and approach the Rocques from the north. Again leave Margarita suddenly, and without warning and at dusk. Travel with other boats if you can. Don't use the VHF
to organize your departure, visit the other boats personally instead.
Again, I remind one and all that micro-budget crusing is only possible on boats between 28-32 Ft LOA
, with displacements less than 8 tons.
And, on boats without an engine
. An engine
increases costs dramatically.
Regarding Solar Panels
We finally got the renewable energy systems installed. They make a very big difference. We now only use the engine for propulsion
. We now use very little fuel
. The solar
panel array and the wind
turbine run the fridge/freezer, the computers
, the autopilot
, the instruments, the lights, etc.
When outfitting your boat, it is now practical to dispense with oil
lamps altogether, instead using LEDs for all lighting
, including anchor lighting
. On boats less than 12 meters, the sidelights need only be visible 1 mile, and a candle is vsible at a mile. the anchor light ditto. This means that a solar
powered garden light available at Home Depot can legally be used as your anchor light, and.... such a light comes with a photo
diode that turns it on at dusk and off at dawn, and they are cheap.
Should you equip the boat with 60 watt panels
mounted on the hatches, and possibly a larger panel aft, you can run all your lights, and the fridge. If you add a 400 watt marine
wind turbine, you most certainly will be able to add a laptop
Regardless, you must have a boat that sails
well, and sails
to drive it. You don't need roller furling
, you don't need RADAR
, you don't need a chart plotter, but you do need to know how to make your boat sail where and when you want to.