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St. Martin - a divided land

Simpson Bay Lagoon
We were able to anchor right in the middle of the lagoon but the water is murky and not as nice as what we’ve been used to. When we cut from the channel to the anchorage we hit only about 5 feet of water which fortunately is just enough but very, very close! Thalia anchored nearby so that Enzo and Hugo could hang out more together. We grabbed a nice dinner all together ashore and were surprised by how american everything seemed. At the restaurant we felt like we were at an american chain restaurant. The southern part of St. Martin is dutch and very developed. Lots of tourists and planes landing continuously. The northern part is French.

The next few days we wanted to enjoy spending some time with our Jayana friends before they headed on. We also needed to get a boost pump for the water maker and bits and pieces of things we needed to fix or replace. The chandleries here are like candy stores and very, very well stocked.

Jayana was at the marina so we met up again with them and rented a car for a few days. They had some ideas for things to explore so we followed and had fun discovering Philipsburg for a stroll on the boardwalk and lunch, Malo Beach for a swim and watching/feeling the planes land and take off right next to the sand and an awesome sunset at Fort St. Luis where Sylvain flew the drone to capture another magical spot. Enzo’s drone has been having issues for a few weeks so he’s not able to fly it which is a huge bummer. Sylvain shared some footage for him to use in his videos but I think Enzo doesn’t feel right using clips he didn’t shoot himself.

For Jayana’s last night before heading off to the BVIs they had us all over for a final dinner and their famous dress up dance party. We put together what we had on hand and spent a great night dancing into the wee hours… we don’t know how they managed to get up and sail the next morning!

Since we still had the car we went with Thalia to a zip line place with a beautiful pool in the hills on an old sugar cane farm called Loterie Farm. Another family on a catamaran met us there and we got a chance to meet a very inspiring couple. Andreas, Guillaume and Worjek went for the extreme zip line and I took Hugo and Enzo on the regular one which was fun. The footage they got from the extreme zip was awesome! We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the pool with Elena, Caroline, Guillaume, Worjek and the kids. 

On our way back to the boat we made a stop at the Carrefour to stock up on lots of good french food - mais oui! Great supermarket where for the first time I saw the cheese section separated; one section was american and the other french. Basically orange and white cheese on the american section and loads of choices on the french. What to choose!?

Marigot
After about a week anchored in the lagoon we decided it was time to get out. The murky water and constant zipping by of tourists on zodiacs was quite enough. We sailed out at the 3pm bridge opening which gave us just enough time to sail around to the north at Marigot Bay, the french half of the island. It was a nice sail and getting to the outside was refreshing. Finally some clear blue waters again. The anchorage was vast with 9-10 ft deep water and lots of space for everyone. Our water maker needed a boost pump which someone started working on while we were in the lagoon. What was supposed to be a 1 day job, however, it ended up being more than a week fiasco. No fun but we still had some margin before heading up to the BVIs.

We also decided it was time to order new sails. Our original main and genoa made it much longer than we thought but it was time to replace them. The main was showing more and more wear and who knows when it would give and completely rip. Incidence has a sailmaker right in Marigot Bay who we went to talk to. It was a big investment especially considering we would eventually sell the boat but it was the right, safe thing to do. We put in the order and planned to come back to St. Martin a month later to have them installed.

Grand Case
While waiting for a new part for the water maker we decided to spend the weekend in some new anchorages not too far away. Grand Case is only a hour sail around to the East of Marigot so we headed over to find a beautiful bay with lots of turtles and a charming town. Lots of good restaurants and a gorgeous white sandy beach to walk on. Anais tolerated the backpack much better thanks to Enzo’s suggestion of adding an extra cushion for her to sit on. The bearing from the wheel on her wheelchair disappeared and the wheel no longer stayed on so we ended up using the big sand tires. We had to order a new wheel which Matt and Jessica would bring when they came to see us in the BVIs in May.

Tintamare
Not far to the north east of St. Martin is a tiny island called Tintamare which we made our way to after one night in Grand Case. As we expected, it was crowded with other boats but by 4pm most left and we had the little anchorage almost to ourselves. Andreas went with Enzo to explore the island which wasn’t much, but fun nonetheless. We spotted more turtles and big manta rays while snorkeling.

Anse Marcel
On our way back towards Marigot Bay we stopped in Anse Marcel, another small quaint anchorage with a beautiful beach. There were a few resorts and lots of water traffic including the flying jet streamers that was comical to watch.

We took the dinghy into the tiny marina to check out the beach and resorts and walk around. We tried getting wifi which wasn’t all that great. Enzo wanted to fly the drone and test it however it was officially broken, much to Enzo’s dismay. We weren’t sure what we could do and were especially bummed to not take cool drone shots for the rest of the trip. 

Marigot
We had to be here on monday morning so that the technicien could bring the new parts for the water maker and finish the repair. This turned out to drag on way more than we had planned and we were getting frustrated by the entire process. We were itching to move on and getting tired of a simple fix dragging on for so long.

Knowing the high costs in the BVI’s, we provisioned several times in the super market to stock up beforehand. We managed to find diapers for Anais which we also stocked up on. It hasn’t been the easiest to find them let alone ones that fit her properly.
Our Jayana friends were moving around their schedule so that we could meet up with them one last time in the BVIs and our window was getting smaller and smaller to go. The wind was favorable as well as the swell for the next few days. We just need the water maker to be finished so we could leave.
And it finally resolved and all the work for basically nothing since it was working again exactly as it was before adding the boost pump. They took it out and left everything as it was - what a fiasco. But we could now make water again!

We left at 5 that afternoon and headed into the sunset - it was a gorgeous afternoon, the wind behind us, our spinnaker up and sailing towards the BVIs to our next destination.

fort st louis

fort st louis

andreas and the french

andreas and the french

enjoying a sunset

enjoying a sunset

grand case; le temps des cerises boutique hotel - perfect lunch spot

grand case; le temps des cerises boutique hotel - perfect lunch spot

...and those orange shoes

...and those orange shoes

exploring the beaches of grand case 

exploring the beaches of grand case 

marigot bay from fort st. louis

marigot bay from fort st. louis

paddle board wars with Hugo and Enzo

paddle board wars with Hugo and Enzo

Voilerie Incidence; Shift's new sails and lazy bag in the works

Voilerie Incidence; Shift's new sails and lazy bag in the works

marigot bay storm approaching

marigot bay storm approaching

philipsburg local art

philipsburg local art

a bit hot on the grill

a bit hot on the grill

master zip liners: andreas, guillaume & wojtek

master zip liners: andreas, guillaume & wojtek

anse marcel

anse marcel

grand case: napping in paradise

grand case: napping in paradise

grand case - this one's been here a while

grand case - this one's been here a while

tintamare island off of st. martin

tintamare island off of st. martin

tintamare - after snorkeling

tintamare - after snorkeling

a toast to Jayana with Sounda, Nina & Silvain!

a toast to Jayana with Sounda, Nina & Silvain!

wind in our backs heading to the BVIs with the spinnaker

wind in our backs heading to the BVIs with the spinnaker

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oooh la la - st. barts

Another small french island between St. Martin and Antigua. When first discovered it was an undesirable island lacking fresh water. It later grew in popularity to the very wealthy and construction was limited to villas with lots of land around them... 

Gustavia Harbor
We picked a calmer day to cross over to St. Barts which wasn’t a long distance away, some 36 miles. We had a perfect sailing direction and flew up to 9 knots at times. Gustavia Harbor is very busy and there weren’t many spots to anchor or moor. We found one that we were later told was private but decided to stay and move in the morning. Known for its upscale and elegant people, St. Barts proved to be just that. It was a change to see so many high end shops and fancy people dressed up. Loads of money everywhere. Still, the town was cute and the grocery shopping was heaven. We loaded up on lots of yummy food.

By chance we ran into our friends Marie and Arnaud as well as Caroline, Hugo and Guillaume right at the dinghy dock. We all agreed that moving on to the next calmer bay was going to be better. Too many super yachts and ferries making the bay very rolly.

Anse Colombier
Crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, very few homes, and an abundance of turtles made this bay quite perfect. Turns out we weren't the only ones who thought so. There were about 6 motor boats rafted up near the shore celebrating the weekend or maybe a holiday. Loud music and happy people but they ended up leaving late in the afternoon leaving us a calm anchorage. We had Marie, Arnaud, Caroline, Guillaume and Hugo over for drinks and appetizers and enjoyed another sunset on Shift. 

There were turtles all around and Andreas swam with them to get awesome go pro footage which they were absolutely fine with and didn't seem to be bothered in the least. 

After 2 nights here we made our way to St. Martin with Thalia. With a lunch stop and nice hike at Ile Forchue, just 4 miles further. Sailing with another catamaran is fun and both of us made good headway on an almost downwinder. The bridge opening to Simpson Bay was at 4 so we need to get there in time. We missed it by 10 minutes so anchored nearby and waited for the 6pm opening.

ay ay capt'n

ay ay capt'n

in the middle of a huge anchorage this mega yacht pulled up anchors at 7am and successful only after 1 hour as they managed to cross their 2 anchors - they weren't very knowledgeable on how to untangle them. Needless to say, we were quite nervous on how close they were getting to us!

in the middle of a huge anchorage this mega yacht pulled up anchors at 7am and successful only after 1 hour as they managed to cross their 2 anchors - they weren't very knowledgeable on how to untangle them. Needless to say, we were quite nervous on how close they were getting to us!

sailing school getting a ride back to the marina

sailing school getting a ride back to the marina

anais doing her part in editing the blog

anais doing her part in editing the blog

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antigua in april

Jolly Harbor
The conditions crossing over to Antigua were favorable so we got an early start and enjoyed a good day of sailing. As usual, we saw plenty of other sailboats out and a few heading in the same direction. Enzo and I are still taking meds to not be too seasick and its getting better. I suppose our systems are getting used to the swells and motion. Anais tends to take good long naps the rougher the conditions are and when she’s up she’s content. And Andreas never gets sick and takes care of all of us!

The arrival into Jolly Harbor is gorgeous. The water is shallow a mile from the shore so it’s an incredible turquoise color and as transparent as it gets and spotting turtles was thrilling. There’s a fairly big marina and we settled on staying a couple of nights to get groceries and laundry done. With Spring Break around the corner there were more tourists. The beach closest to the marina was postcard perfect and Enzo flew the drone to get some beautiful shots as the sun set. We’ve learned the hard way that being in a Marina on a thursday night is painful; its karaoke night and the blaring music [if you can call it that] travels across the water exponentially. Why they have to crank up the volume so much is a mystery. We got hit in Martinique with the french amateurs and then again in Jolly Harbor with the english ones - we’ve learned our lesson!

 

English Harbor
Just to the east some 20 miles is English Harbor - famous for its sailing culture and regattas. It was a tricky but beautiful sail in shallow waters and the turtles and dolphins made it even better. Even trickier than the crossing was the entrance to the harbor and then the anchorage. It’s very shallow, long and naturally protected harbor with super yachts taking up most of the spots and a wonder you don’t see them colliding into each other. We set the anchor out but it took 4 tries before getting it right. It was crowded and some boats were moored. The boat closest to us was a steel boat and they seemed OK with our proximity. However at 4 in the morning we don’t think they were pleased about us bumping into them! The wind kept changing directions and it made for lots of swinging boats. We weren't the only ones up in the middle of the night flashing our light out to make sure we didn’t git anyone. The next day we went over to the boat we hit with a bottle of wine to apologize. They weren’t bothered in the least that our boats collided and offered to have us over for a drink the next night. They’re on a ?junk? boat and had loads of great stories to share. Azimuth crossed the Atlantic on his own and we were left with our jaws hanging - no AIS or fancy navigation to help.

Green Island
Kiteboarding has been on our minds constantly. And to be honest, we thought we'd be doing a lot more of it on this trip! Turns out that when you're anchoring in the ideal spot, its usually leeward with offshore winds - exactly the opposite conditions we need to kite. Since we have not mastered taking off directly from the catamaran, we find that our chances to kite are limited. So, when we heard that there was a good spot to kite on Green Island we couldn't resist going. Its a beautiful spot and although the first night we thought we had it to ourselves, its a well known gem and we were soon surrounded by quite a lot of other yachties. Even so, we had a great time. The wind wasn't as ideal but oh well, we kited!

what could be better? yeah, more wind probably!

what could be better? yeah, more wind probably!

michelin man goofin' around

michelin man goofin' around

Anais' other favorite hang out

Anais' other favorite hang out

not a bad looking yacht!

not a bad looking yacht!

sunset in Jolly Harbor

sunset in Jolly Harbor

setting up for another cool flight

setting up for another cool flight

spotting turtles

spotting turtles

local treasures

local treasures

giant Tarpon hanging out under the docks

giant Tarpon hanging out under the docks

yellow quarantine flag for arrival in Antigua

yellow quarantine flag for arrival in Antigua

finally, bath water temperature

finally, bath water temperature

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northbound; martinique, dominica, guadeloupe

Our stops to new anchorages or islands has been rewarding and varied in many ways. Sometimes the daily routine of finding our way and how to anchor or moor, figuring out the whereabouts of each place can be challenging and a bit tiring but also rewarding and mysterious. Each spot has hidden treasures. Our boating and cruising abilities are definitely improving as is our confidence with the boat. This makes the passages and technical parts that much easier and smooth. Its not to say we don’t run into stressful moments and panic but at least those are a bit less than before, thankfully!

The time we have together as a family is abundant - and that can be good and somewhat frustrating too. For the most part, we find our groove and have been enjoying the journey.

Martinique

After leaving le Marin for all the updates to the boat, we headed out again making a short stop to St. Anne to get some much needed kiteboarding near the Club Med. We even splurged and got a day pass to enjoy a relaxing and luxurious day at Club Med and used it as an excuse for some future vacationing research :-). Andreas and I felt like dinosaurs getting back on a windsurfing rig since we had left our kiteboarding gear on the boat. 

St. Pierre
Our next anchorage was St. Pierre which has in interesting, almost spooky, history about it. It used to be the capital of Martinique and in 1902 its volcano blew and killed all but 2 people in the city-one of them a prisoner. Many remnants from the time of the eruption are being conserved and rebuilt which makes visiting interesting. There are a few ship wrecks near the anchorage that have been protected. Those were too deep to snorkel in but we did snorkel to two underwater mermaid statues-very cool to see lion fish swimming out of the mermaid's mouth! We anchored for a few nights in crystal clear waters and waited for a good wind/swell window to cross up to Dominica.

Dominica

Roseau
The passage to Dominica Island was windy with squalls and 1.5-2m swells. The Atlantic is so much more alive and strong and we experience it mostly when crossing from one island to the next. Once we arrive to the west, caribbean side of the islands, its calm and collected. This smaller, lush island is distinctive. You sense a poorer population however, whatever it lacks in material wealth, it makes up for in natural beauty. And its people value and cherish their beautiful island which makes it a gorgeous place to visit and appreciate. The day we arrived, Andreas caught a flu so Enzo and I went with a guide to visit the rainforest, waterfalls, hot springs and canyon. Despite it raining almost the entire time, it was awesome and we loved what we saw. At every hairpin turn our guide would stop to have us try or smell something he’d stop on the side of the road for. We drank fresh coconuts, smelled nutmeg, lemongrass, cinnamon and tried fresh cacao. It was quite a treat. We hiked to a waterfall and were soaked to the bone from all the rain. On our excursion we met Tim and Jenny, a couple from Minnesota that were fun to explore with. They were sailing their boat for 3 weeks and it was enlightening to share stories.

Portsmouth
Dominica is a very small island with only 2 main areas to anchor at. Portsmouth is the north western town with a large protected bay. We anchored alongside Tim and Jenny’s boat and hopped onto a local boat to visit the Indian River. It was impressive to see how well the locals respect their environment and the nature. There are no motors allowed on the river which makes it serene and you can soak in the jungle around. 

The town itself is simple and rustic with a laid back atmosphere. However at night its a different scenario. We spent 4 nights and every one of them was flowing with music from the various bars on the beach. Saturday night was especially entertaining with a full blown wedding and a rather obnoxious DJ that Enzo imitated for days after.

Guadeloupe

Iles Saintes
It was good to be back on a french island! The food always tastes better. This cluster of islands South of the mainland is popular and we lucked out on getting a mooring the first day. Because of its popularity it gets a lot of ferry traffic as well as the bigger cruise ships. Its nonetheless very charming and you can visit the entirety of the main island either on a scooter or a golf cart in just a couple hours - which initially, was our plan. Andreas finally had gotten over his virus but lovingly passed it on to Anais… and not only did she seem to have the virus but also throwing up. Between the fever, throwing up and becoming extremely weak, we took her to see a doctor and got her on an antibiotic and meds to help. It was 3 days of suffering for her before she got better. At least we were in a nice spot and could get access to doctors or meds if needed.

We met a canadian cruising family on Jayana whom we had a lot of fun visiting with. They’re a very sweet and talented couple with 2 boys, Mael and Lohan who are 8 and 4. Although quite a bit younger than Enzo, they had lots of fun snorkeling and catching lizards together. Their 2+ years of cruising was amazing to hear and we continued sailing together up the east coast of Guadeloupe.

Ile Pigeon
Notoriously famous for its Cousteau Reserve which many come to snorkel and dive to. We left Iles Saintes and headed downwind for a stop here. As soon as we anchored we spotted the welcoming turtles and geared up to snorkel around the tiny island of Pigeon. Jayana was anchored close by.

Deshaies
Charming little town with an anchorage free of ferries and not too crowded. We were welcomed to this bay by dolphins which is a first! The waters are so clear you can see the anchor and everything else around. We felt welcomed and were eager to explore more of Guadeloupe before heading to the next island. We rented a car with Sylvain and Sounda for a few days to head up into the rainforest where we picnicked and hiked in gorgeous local spots. It was a welcome change from the ocean and beach and a breath of fresh air. Stops at a local Cacao grower with really interesting and yummy tastings, a botanical garden and fish farm. Enzo successfully flew the drone over the river and higher up at a peak where the views of Guadeloupe were impressive. He’s getting a good handle of flying as well as taking footage and creating awesome clips. Sylvain also has drone which has inspired Enzo and given him good tips and confidence.

Having a car made it easier to provision and stock up at the french supermarket. You can never have too much good french cheese and bread!

Our last day of touring we packed as much as we could in; zip lining in the forest, a quick lunch at the market and then hopped aboard a boat to visit the mangrove and northern parts of the island. Our french guide had a dry sense of humour, calling the kids ‘des ordures’ [trash!-yeah, not cool] but taught us lots of fascinating things while speeding us through the shallow waters. Sylvain flew his drone above, magically catching scenes from the sky that looked like surreal paintings. We made a stop at the ‘office’ to have a rum punch which was a wooden structure built in the middle of a shallow reef barrier. The sun set, the frigates and egrets flew above, landing in the mangroves as we sped by in calm, clear waters - what an awesome day!

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre 

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre 

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre museum

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre museum

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre with a clear view of the volcano

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre with a clear view of the volcano

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre

GUADELOUPE - St. Pierre

islands visited so far - in blue [we started in St. Lucia]

islands visited so far - in blue [we started in St. Lucia]

DOMINICA - portsmouth

DOMINICA - portsmouth

DOMINICA - portsmouth, Indian river tour

DOMINICA - portsmouth, Indian river tour

DOMINICA - portsmouth, Indian river

DOMINICA - portsmouth, Indian river

DOMINICA - roseau, rainforest hike

DOMINICA - roseau, rainforest hike

DOMINICA - roseau

DOMINICA - roseau

DOMINICA - roseau

DOMINICA - roseau

DOMINICA - treasures snorkeling in Portsmouth

DOMINICA - treasures snorkeling in Portsmouth

haven't been lucky with the fishing!

haven't been lucky with the fishing!

GUADELOUPE - cul de sac du marin, mangrove tour

GUADELOUPE - cul de sac du marin, mangrove tour

GUADELOUPE - stop at the 'office'

GUADELOUPE - stop at the 'office'

GUADELOUPE - treasures from the rainforest found by Mael

GUADELOUPE - treasures from the rainforest found by Mael

GUADELOUPE - mangrove tour

GUADELOUPE - mangrove tour

GUADELOUPE - the 'office' rum punch pit stop

GUADELOUPE - the 'office' rum punch pit stop

GUADELOUPE - anais enjoying the office

GUADELOUPE - anais enjoying the office

GUADELOUPE - finds from the rainforest near Deshaies

GUADELOUPE - finds from the rainforest near Deshaies

one of Anais' favorite spots while sailing

one of Anais' favorite spots while sailing

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life BOB

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life BOB

Now that we’re living Back On the Boat its taken a bit to readjust - at least for the kids and I.

After our super vacay at Coconut Bay with my family, we all parted ways on February 6th and headed back to Shift who was docked at Rodney Bay Marina - the north east part of St. Lucia. It was back to fine tuning our boat life and adjusting to the new surroundings and climate. Yeah for warm weather and water! Enzo felt happy to be back on the boat and Anais had no problem finding her groove once again. 

St. Lucia is english speaking and the currency is Eastern Caribbean dollars. You can definitely sense a rasta vibe from the locals which is surprising for how south the island is.

We replaced our batteries since during the Atlantic crossing they were losing their charge and were at the end of their life. We'll be relying on them more when we anchor out. Once Andreas has those installed we left for St. Anne in the south of Martinique, the next island to the North. Our good friends Pete and Bamboo were anchored there and we were looking forward to seeing them. 

The passage to St. Anne was a short 28 nautical miles, about 4 hours, but quite rough and strong wind. Stupidly, I didn't take any seasickness medicine and it ended up being my worst 4 hours. To top it off, our autopilot and navigation went haywire and Andreas had to hand steer the entire way. I tried to take care of Anais the best I could and kept thinking how incredibly strong she is and what a great sailor she makes. Enzo is right up there with her. He took such great care of me and helped Andreas the entire time.

We made it to the anchorage, a beautiful spot right in front of Club Med with turquoise, aqua and turmaline waters all around. Apparently the other 80 boats thought the same so we were numerous to say the least. Pete and Bamboo has us over on Salty Walter - a Nautitech 40 that we've heard so much about and finally got to meet in person! Bamboo started us off with a ti punch - traditional Martiniquais drink with local rum, cane syrup and a squeezed lime. We enjoyed a few days relaxing and coincided with Carnaval which was happening right in the small town of St. Anne saturday night.

Our navigation couldn't be worked on until monday so we sailed up north to an even more spectacular anchorage at la Grande Anse d'Arlet. The water was even clearer and right when we anchored we spotted a turtle next to us. Perfect spot to hang out a few days to snorkel, paddle board and swim. Enzo's splint came off and he finally got to snorkel which made him very happy. Apparently February is the high season for sailing and there are sail boats everywhere! What a change to the fall in the south of Spain where all we saw out were fishing boats. Here the coast is like a highway of sailboats.

We had a great time hanging out with Pete and Bamboo and were sad to have to part ways to go back to Marina du Marin to work on the navigation... We're hoping we can meet up with them once we're done. The sail back south was pleasant and we got a spot at the Marina. Its a huge hub for charters and there are catamarans everywhere. Fortunately you can find just about anything for the boat which is a nice change.

Navigation turned out to be something simple, and quite dope on our part! We had too much metal stuff around the compass which threw everything off. Since we were here it made sense to add more solar panels and have the structure made. So we've been here a week and we're getting stuff done. Lots of nice, interesting people to meet and we've been practicing our french. Back to paying in Euros and eating good bread, cheese and pastries!

The floating market in St. Lucia

The floating market in St. Lucia

Boat made sushi - one handed

Boat made sushi - one handed

Happy girl

Happy girl

Salty Walter and Shift hanging out in St. Anne

Salty Walter and Shift hanging out in St. Anne

A colorful Martiniquais sailing boat

A colorful Martiniquais sailing boat

To clear customs; go to the local cafe and fill out the forms online. It should always be this easy!

To clear customs; go to the local cafe and fill out the forms online. It should always be this easy!

Stumbled upon Carnival in St. Anne! So vivid and colorful. Anais rocked to the loud music!

Stumbled upon Carnival in St. Anne! So vivid and colorful. Anais rocked to the loud music!

Unique, recycled and homemade costumes were the best!

Unique, recycled and homemade costumes were the best!

p'tit punch and Acras de Morues [fried fish dumplings] - yum!

p'tit punch and Acras de Morues [fried fish dumplings] - yum!

and beer for Anais, of course

and beer for Anais, of course

Sailing with Salty Walter to la Grande Anse d'Arlet

Sailing with Salty Walter to la Grande Anse d'Arlet

perfect lunch spot

perfect lunch spot

Blue shutter photo op

Blue shutter photo op

cool local art

cool local art

Feel like you're on vacation yet?

Feel like you're on vacation yet?

Anchoring in front of Club Med is not too shabby

Anchoring in front of Club Med is not too shabby

Captain Enzo does an awesome job shutteling us to the beach and back

Captain Enzo does an awesome job shutteling us to the beach and back

Such a great concept; order your pizza from these guys and they'll deliver it, by dinghy, to your boat! Hurray for Pizz Boat!

Such a great concept; order your pizza from these guys and they'll deliver it, by dinghy, to your boat! Hurray for Pizz Boat!

traditional recipe for ti punch

traditional recipe for ti punch

da caribbean life

da caribbean life

marina du Marin

marina du Marin

exploring drone flying spots

exploring drone flying spots

A fast approaching squall!

A fast approaching squall!

Pano of Marina du Marin with Enzo's drone- we're on the small pontoon in the foreground

Pano of Marina du Marin with Enzo's drone- we're on the small pontoon in the foreground

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kiteboarding in St. Lucia

Enzo put his drone to work and caught some awesome shots of us kiteboarding in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. He was a bit nervous piloting in 20+ knots of wind but he maneuvered it like a pro! 

YouTube muted the music...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxMJ_bGMzx-tYURUWk1CVnByZXM/view

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success!

Yes, they made it across the Atlantic! whoo hooooo! Andreas and crew landed in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia around midnight on January 28th. The wind was howling and arriving into a dark and unknown marina was a bit shaky but they did it. Timing was spot on since I arrived with the kids and the rest of the family Saturday afternoon in southern St. Lucia. We all drove up on Monday to take out the boat have lunch on the beach. Andreas came back to the resort with us where we are fully enjoying some vacation time. Lots of wind for awesome kiting and lots of activities for the rest of the family. Couldn't be happier to be back together again.


 Andreas' post:

After around 3200 nautical miles, 12 shooting stars, countless squalls, heavy rain, calms seas and winds of over 40 kts, hundreds of dolfins, 1 shark, 1 tuna and 5 mahi mahi' I have safely docked our sailing catamaran SHIFT in St Lucia. It was a heck of a trip and and experience that will stay for a lifetime. Now I can't wait to reunite with my love Sophie Moscoso Morel and Enzo and Anais as well as Sophie's family who are on the island too!

hammocks are bliss 

hammocks are bliss 

a new dinghy captain

a new dinghy captain

having a broken finger isn't the best for swimming but at least there are plastic bags...

having a broken finger isn't the best for swimming but at least there are plastic bags...

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caribbean bound

Once everything was checked off and completed on the list, Andreas and the crew waited for a good weather window to leave Gran Canaria. Winds weren't the usual trade winds for this time of year so there were a lot of boats waiting. They decided that Sunday January 8 was a good day to head south towards Cape Verde Islands where, if needed, they could refuel. 

They made good headway and by January 14 decided to stay north of the islands and not make a stop. The batteries have given them lower readings and so they are saving as much power as they can and recharging daily by running the engines. They've had 8-15 knots of wind and are mostly using the Geneker and Spinnaker. 

They finally caught a tuna which I'm sure they were happy about. Dolphins swam with them right at sunset for about half an hour just a few days ago.

Enzo, Anais and I are enjoying staying with my parents and catching up with friends. We are keeping a close eye on weather to text daily reports to the shift crew via the delorme inreach. It's a pretty cool satellite device and lets us track them every 4 hours. The Jimmy Cornell Caribbean group of 14 boats left on January 10, 2 days after Shift. They seem to be taking the same, more southerly route. The winds will be a bit stronger and consistent this upcoming week so hoping they'll be able to move along at a better speed.

January 14, 2017

January 14, 2017

January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017

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arrival in Canary Islands

The crew and Shift made it safely to Las Palmas on January 1 at about 4am - perfect timing to ring in the new year. Although after 6 days out at sea they ran out of energy to participate in the local festivities. We were relieved that the passage went well and to get the details of the trip.

The first 3 days were calm and the water as glassy as a lake. They said one day there were so many dolphins they lost count. Andreas could even hear them on his night watch jumping and splashing around the boat. The following 2 days were much different as the wind and swell picked up. They had gusts of up to 42 knots and waves cresting and splashing over the flybridge... probably was a good thing to not have the kids on board. They made it through and arrived in the packed marina with no where to dock except in front of the gas station. 

They've got a few days to repair and get things back in order. The weather isn't looking favorable to start the Atlantic crossing so hopefully something will open up and they can get going.

track Shift's position

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and they're off!

Andreas has left to the Canary Islands with Peter, Anne, Maureen and Ray. They left La Linea, Spain this morning at 7:30. There was about 15 knots of winds in the Bay of Gibraltar. The trip should take about 5 days - navigating day and night.

with Pete and Anne when we were in Cartagena

with Pete and Anne when we were in Cartagena

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in preparation for a voyage

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in preparation for a voyage

From the very beginning our goal was to sail in warm waters. Its time to get there. The med has been rewarding and more than we hoped for however, in December, in the southern most part of Spain, we are cold. And when you're on a boat, you might as well enjoy being in the water that you're on. When your shopping list includes buying a portable heater, something's wrong.

So we're planning for the next leg of the trip which is to get over to the Caribbean. Not a simple task. There's quite a lot involved with that and we have been working at it daily. Fortunately we are in a convenient and fun little town to get most of that done. Shift was hauled out, for the 2nd time, to get the bottom repainted, the anti-fouling, as well as a number of other things that you take advantage of when you take a boat out. Engine work primarily. We spent 5 days up on the dry in a boat yard and got a lot done. 

An important item on this list has been to find the right, experienced crew to sail with Andreas and cross the Atlantic. I [sophie] will be flying with Enzo and Anais back to LA and then to the Caribbean to meet Andreas in St. Lucia. I would've loved to cross with him but having Anais that far from land for 3-4 weeks is a risk we can't take. Enzo decided he wasn't quite up for that much time wifi-free... oh well, perhaps another time! We posted a few ads on crew finder and crew seeker and were astonished by the amount of people interested in crossing. Andreas sifted through lots of very experienced people and before he could start deciding, a couple we met here in Cartagena let us know that they would be interested in crossing and so would their friends. Things fell into place and before we knew it we had 4 very compatible and experienced crew signed up! We couldn't have been happier and more relieved to have this part figured out. So in the next few days Pete, Anne, Ray and Maureen visited Shift, details were ironed out and a plan was penciled in. Pete has been involved in helping out in the preparation and making sure we have everything we need for the crossing. He's pretty awesome!

Luck had it that two catamarans over was another identical Lagoon 440 of the exact same year! We've gotten to know Cecile, Jean Pierre and their 2 adorable sons as well as the ins and outs of their experience with the catamaran - which has been an invaluable source for us. They've been privately chartering their catamaran during the summer months very successfully - visit coconutsailing.com for a peek at what they do!

In the mean time, Anais' health has been like a dream- and we're enjoying her happy soul every single day. Somewhere in the universe someone heard our plea for her to get better. It may be that it was a calling from the ocean... in any case, we're grateful and extremely happy. Enzo continues to thrive and learn everyday. His mind grows and its pretty awesome to experience his daily thirst and curiosity. Our family is growing closer even though some days we drive each other nuts! Being on a boat can do that :-)

We're heading back to Gibraltar in the next week or so and will be spending xmas in Madrid with the family. Andreas will head back to Gibraltar on December 27th to meet up with the crew and prepare to leave for the Canary Islands as soon as a good weather window opens up. That should take about 4-5 days. Enzo, Anais and I will be on a flight to LA on December 28th where we'll spend 4 weeks and then head off to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. 

scrubbed, cleaned and refinished teak - it looks amazing now!

scrubbed, cleaned and refinished teak - it looks amazing now!

Geneker tested - check! huge advantage when heading downwind

Geneker tested - check! huge advantage when heading downwind

We finally got our dinghy back - completely fixed and ready to take us anywhere.

We finally got our dinghy back - completely fixed and ready to take us anywhere.

Anais is on a french fry kick - she DEVOURS them any chance she gets! Even Enzo gives her his fries :-) And yes, she ate that whole plate of fries.

Anais is on a french fry kick - she DEVOURS them any chance she gets! Even Enzo gives her his fries :-) And yes, she ate that whole plate of fries.

a productive day getting spares and parts replaced

a productive day getting spares and parts replaced

the boys having fun with magnifying glasses

the boys having fun with magnifying glasses

in the boatyard; simply incredible that we're held up by these wooden posts!

in the boatyard; simply incredible that we're held up by these wooden posts!

the props get some antifouling as well

the props get some antifouling as well

andreas takes advantage of the rain to clean the hulls

andreas takes advantage of the rain to clean the hulls

here are some serious motorcycle dudes - ready for Enzo to come out and play with them!

here are some serious motorcycle dudes - ready for Enzo to come out and play with them!

this boat measures up to her name

this boat measures up to her name

rainy day, boatyard special concoction 

rainy day, boatyard special concoction 

5 people x 22 day Atlantic crossing = A TON of food. 3 cart loads for this run. All the fresh food will be bought and stored a day before leaving in Gibraltar and then again in the Canary Islands. Good thing they delivered!

5 people x 22 day Atlantic crossing = A TON of food. 3 cart loads for this run. All the fresh food will be bought and stored a day before leaving in Gibraltar and then again in the Canary Islands. Good thing they delivered!

now that we've got it, we need to find room to store it!

now that we've got it, we need to find room to store it!

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a visit from sophie's parents

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a visit from sophie's parents

Before we ever started on this grand adventure, we were informed and educated about not being able to commit to any timeframe WHATSOEVER. This is absolutely the truth. We know it now firsthand. This wouldn't be such a problem if we didn't happen to have people coming to visit from far away. For Matt and Jess' visit I'd say we had beginner's luck. Our plans to make it to Ibiza were pretty spot on. For my parent's visit, different story. Its not to say we didn't have a terrific time on the boat, its just that we never made it to the Balearic Islands... They are troopers and were game for any place we'd take them :-) and that's why they are amazing people to travel with!

They flew to Madrid and then took the train to Alicante, loaded with a few, no, a lot! of necessary items for us, and met us aboard Shift. We leisurely sailed the next day to Mar Menor with perfect conditions and stayed in Tomas Maestro Harbor. Summer weather has gone so temperatures are on the chillier side. Since we had to have our dinghy refitted for new tubes, the original 1 week timeframe turned to 2 or 3 and going to the Balearic Islands without it wasn't feasible.

So, the plan was to keep going to Cartagena but by the time we passed the point and headed directly into the wind and swell for a few hours, we turned around and went back to Tomas Maestre. That was the swelliest and roughest water we'd sailed so far and it was no fun. My mom deserves all the medals in the world for how brave she was - her grip on the table and look in her eyes showed she was not in a happy place! But she never complained or let us know how terrified she really was. I have no idea why! Anais on the other hand was loving the rodeo - she got a full ocean shower from the hatch above [which should've been tightly closed] and laughed and laughed. She was made for this stuff! The return was successful and we celebrated in a great restaurant that night. Nature won and we are reminded to respect it. The forecast for the next few days was much more favorable and it was well worth waiting. The passage the 2nd time around was a breeze and I've never seen my parents so relieved!

Our first time through Cartagena was much too quick so we were excited to go back and see more of it. Its a city rich in history and culture and we soaked it all in. Because the weather forecast was unfavorable going north, we opted to rent a car and visit Valencia for the last days my parents were with us. None of us had been and it was only a 3 hour drive from Cartagena. It was the first time we'd leave Shift and sleep on land since september.

We booked a great apartment in the city and drove via the coastline to Valencia. Our lunch stop in Carpe was mediocre and we got drenched in the rain. Exactly what we were avoiding while on the boat. Glad to have rented the car. Its been a change to be in the city and we've enjoyed it. The old part of town was perfect to meander and wander around. Andreas' mom drove from Madrid to meet us as well.
Valencia is a great town near the ocean with a converted old river path that meanders through the city with perfect bike trails and awesome museums. There were bikes to rent next door to the apartment so we were able to enjoy riding to the ultra modern science museum. For our last day we drove out to the Albufera national park where rice is cultivated and is a bird paradise. And we were finally able to have a traditional Valenciana paella - yum, yum, yum!

 

calm waters near Cartagena

calm waters near Cartagena

We're off to get some groceries!

We're off to get some groceries!

Museum visits in Cartagena

Museum visits in Cartagena

SV!

SV!

A is for Anais

A is for Anais

E is for Enzo

E is for Enzo

M is for Marielle

M is for Marielle

V is definitely for relaxing

V is definitely for relaxing

N is for snoozing

N is for snoozing

Oceanic Archeological museum in Cartagena - beautiful!

Oceanic Archeological museum in Cartagena - beautiful!

Sometimes statues are just for sitting on a bit

Sometimes statues are just for sitting on a bit

random jelly art

random jelly art

Roman theatre recently discovered in Cartagena - It had buildings built on top of it. No wonder they had no clue it was there!

Roman theatre recently discovered in Cartagena - It had buildings built on top of it. No wonder they had no clue it was there!

Cutest Cafe ever - Soldadito de Plombo. Enzo declares it was his favorite shake EVER! No surprise there. My mom wishes she picked that one too

Cutest Cafe ever - Soldadito de Plombo. Enzo declares it was his favorite shake EVER! No surprise there. My mom wishes she picked that one too

There's even art in the water

There's even art in the water

dried art in the botanical gardens - Valencia

dried art in the botanical gardens - Valencia

Expo at the botanical gardens

Expo at the botanical gardens

maman :-)

maman :-)

top of the cathedral - Valencia

top of the cathedral - Valencia

now we go down the 207 steps.

now we go down the 207 steps.

nice ride through the city. Policeman with style on horseback

nice ride through the city. Policeman with style on horseback

Albufera National Park - just outside of Valencia

Albufera National Park - just outside of Valencia

Albufera National Park

Albufera National Park

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a closer look

We've been discovering so many new places that we entirely forgot to give a tour of the boat- or at least the inside of the boat. There are many nooks and crannies still being discovered but here are the basic features and our living spaces that some of you might enjoy getting to know. 

coming on board shift - docking in Europe has been backing in so we have a passarelle from the dock onto the boat. We had lots of family on board :-)

coming on board shift - docking in Europe has been backing in so we have a passarelle from the dock onto the boat. We had lots of family on board :-)

moscoso family ladies!

moscoso family ladies!

the skipper's cabin may contain lots of boys

the skipper's cabin may contain lots of boys

galley with stove, gas burners, 3 sinks, microwave, fridge, freezer and yup, running water! 

galley with stove, gas burners, 3 sinks, microwave, fridge, freezer and yup, running water! 

opposite of the galley is the main dining/lounging area with a dandy nav station on the starboard side

opposite of the galley is the main dining/lounging area with a dandy nav station on the starboard side

down 3 steps on the port side hull are 2 bedrooms and 2 heads [bathrooms] with a hallway full of storage in between. You can see Enzo's room ahead

down 3 steps on the port side hull are 2 bedrooms and 2 heads [bathrooms] with a hallway full of storage in between. You can see Enzo's room ahead

Enzo's storage area

Enzo's storage area

the guest room and sometimes Enzo's room

the guest room and sometimes Enzo's room

2 heads on the right

2 heads on the right

3 steps down on starboard side and you'll find the master suite. There's either a couch or double bunk on the left side. That's where Anais sleeps. In the cupboard on the right we even have a baby washing machine!

3 steps down on starboard side and you'll find the master suite. There's either a couch or double bunk on the left side. That's where Anais sleeps. In the cupboard on the right we even have a baby washing machine!

very nice to have this!

very nice to have this!

master bed

master bed

master bathroom

master bathroom

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Ibiza - in depth

We’ve just wrapped up a week on Ibiza and Formentera islands and are heading back to Spain, the mainland.

Jessica and Matt met us at San Antoni harbor on Ibiza Island where we stayed a couple of nights and then sailed on to explore other parts of the Island. This is the island, and particularly this town, famous for Cafe del Mar and all the clubbing and raves. Not that we actually witnessed it first hand, but you get a pretty good idea by the tourists and the amount of bars and clubs all around. The harbor was mostly of upscale boats one of which was entirely painted in copper and impressive to see, especially at sunset! 

celebrating Matt and Jessica's arrival on shift!

celebrating Matt and Jessica's arrival on shift!

We had recommendations of beautiful calas one of which we anchored for the night - Tarida. You could picture what the high season would be, packed to the brim with tourists from all parts. Fortunately for us the low season meant cooler temperatures, although who can complain about 78ish degrees, but especially, less crowds. Once our anchor secured, we took the zodiac to the quaint beach and found ourselves a charming chiringuito for a late lunch. We enjoyed our sunset from the beach with a good game of frisbee - thanks to Matt always having one tucked in his backpack.

sailing

sailing

ahh, the perfect chiringuito at cala Tarida

ahh, the perfect chiringuito at cala Tarida

what's not to like? And that's our catamaran way over there!

what's not to like? And that's our catamaran way over there!

The next morning we headed over to a few more calas and then crossed down to the smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera to dock at the little port of Sabina. Good wind, perfect temperature and an adapting crew made for another blissful day. After checking out the tiny town we crossed the street to eat probably one of the tastiest seafood paellas - yum! 

Since there are a number of lighthouses on Formentera we rented a little car to visit them. Rain was coming but we lucked out and stayed dry. We appreciated the sparse construction and natural beauty of this island and had a sense that they wanted to preserve this.

That afternoon we anchored at probably our favorite calas - Saona. The water was so clear you could see exactly where the anchor was. Perfect snorkeling, although the temperature of the water wasn’t warm enough to stay hours and not even close to warm enough for Anais. 

We sailed back to Ibiza and headed towards rain, rougher waters and many ferries. Ibiza harbor is another picturesque place to discover. Definitely high end. We docked between 2 enormous yachts that you could barely tell we were there. The old part of town was fun to discover and the old fortress atop the hill had beautiful views of the town and ocean.  The rain hit us and made for a rather colder few days. Jessica and Matt caught their plane to Madrid friday night and we were sad to see them go. They were excellent crew and we had a fantastic time with them!

lighthouses are the best

lighthouses are the best

Formentera finds

Formentera finds

beautiful Cala Saona 

beautiful Cala Saona 

happy days

happy days

cala Saona

cala Saona

Illetes, Formentera

Illetes, Formentera

magical

magical

mom, sit down

mom, sit down

did I mention the paella!

did I mention the paella!

ibiza town

ibiza town

just a tad hangry...

just a tad hangry...

officially, shift

officially, shift

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Ibiza!

We made it safely to Ibiza island on saturday October 14th to find our lovely friends Matt and Jessica! Super happy to be here and hoping to have lots of fun exploring the islands and coves which this island is famous for.

More to come!

The long passages are effecting Enzo's drinking habits :-)

The long passages are effecting Enzo's drinking habits :-)

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maiden voyage

Today was a pretty awesome accomplishment for us. We left the port of Gibraltar to head to Estepona with a good weather window. Having winds head-on we planned to motor the entire way however with a steady 15 knots of wind, we hoisted up the sails and successfully headed upwind making it to Estepona with plenty of daylight to safely dock at the marina. Our first solo passage and we were thrilled!

One side of the sail bag lines, the lazy jacks, broke which wasn’t a big surprise. The lines were fried and need to be replaced anyway. We knew there was a well known and reputable sail maker in Estepona whom we contacted that very afternoon. Our luck had it that it was a slower week and he had some time to dedicate to us. Otherwise, we would have been looking at a few weeks of wait. Some had told us it could be December before getting a new sail made.

The genoa came down fairly easily and just needed a few repairs and a good cleaning. The sail bag was a bit trickier and required Enzo to go up the mast, again :-), to undo the lazy jack lines. We managed to get it all down but more importantly, we need to remember how to put it all back together!

Next was the main sail. This was where we were going to learn a lot. Antonio, the sailmaker dedicated quite a bit of time explaining and guiding us through the process. To make it even more challenging, the wind picked up and was blowing 20-25 knots in the marina and was only getting stronger. The main came down and was carried by 4 people down to the sailshop right in the marina. Everything was carefully looked over and repaired where needed. Surprisingly, the sails were in much better condition than we originally thought and besides the repairs, they badly needed a good cleaning which we managed on the docks.

In the next couple of days the winds died down and we successfully hoisted everything back on. We got Dani to come on a saturday to help us with the main and put the new lazy jack lines back up. For that, Enzo went back up to the mast - climb number 3! He’s not only fearless but now, an official master. 

Anais is still doing well and adapting like an expert. Her sea legs are better than any of ours and the rocking of the ocean usually puts her right to sleep for a couple of hours in the morning. Her favorite part of the boat are the electric winches that instantly make her giggle - they are loud!

We decided to leave sunday for our next port of call heading east. Javier, a seasoned crew from Gibraltar came on board with us so we could learn more from him and sail with more confidence. The weather conditions were smooth although we’d be heading upwind and definitely motoring most of the way. But at least our sails were in order and ready to use when we need them next.

Its almost been a week of going East along this beautiful coast and while at sea I get too queasy to write much. Once we hit the marina there’s a lot to do in terms of stocking up on food, cleaning up and getting the boat ready for the night and the next day. Wifi is archaic IF we get it so getting things done online has become a task of hours rather than minutes. Guess that’s a sign to disconnect! 

This morning we are leaving one of the sweetest marinas/towns we've been to so far. Bittersweet as we'd love to spend more time here... However we need to move along to get to Santa Pola and then the Balearics - we've got a few people to see! Our boat is the biggest in the marina and the only spot to dock us is right at the gas station where we've been getting all the attention from the locals.

doing some therapy on shift

doing some therapy on shift

our master navigator getting us on course

our master navigator getting us on course

got the jib off

got the jib off

Estepona - a fishing port 

Estepona - a fishing port 

and there goes the main - 4 guys to carry it!

and there goes the main - 4 guys to carry it!

help from Dani to get everything back on

help from Dani to get everything back on

lines and more lines

lines and more lines

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fearless

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fearless

At some point a visit up to the mast is in order. Well, that happened a couple of days ago and it was performed fearlessly by Enzo. Our necks were pretty sore from watching him from below and we were impressed how easily he went up, fixed a few things and shot some awesome GoPro shots. These images are spectacular! Mast height is about 21 m - that's 7 stories high!

rigging up 2 safety lines with help from Scott

rigging up 2 safety lines with help from Scott

half way up - taking down a stuck line

half way up - taking down a stuck line

the ultimate selfie

the ultimate selfie

After a successful climb to the mast, a good lube on the pulleys, we went for a sailing lesson with John. We had some more docking and safety reviewing and then brought the catamaran back in. It wasn't until we had all the lines safely pulled in and everything in place that we noticed something was pulling the boat too close to the dock. Turns out the slime line was stuck in the prop - not good. Andreas put a mask on to see how bad it was and Enzo plunked the GoPro in the water to take some footage and assess the damage. Luckily Andreas was able to dive under and get the rope untied. Good lesson learned; when docking, check for lines!

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Learning curves

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Learning curves

As we probably should've expected, our 1 week scheduled stay in Gibraltar has extended to more... There's been much more to do on the boat to feel ready enough to move on. Besides the cleaning and organizing, we've had to deal with a deflating tender and various other important safety details. Not to mention being able to take the boat out and feel comfortable motoring, sailing and most importantly, docking! Here in the Med, the spaces are rather slim and you back in with not much room on each side of your neighbors. No finger pontoons here. Fenders are really important. The slime lines on the bow of the boat are also different here. These lines are connected to the bottom of the harbor and you connect to them by pulling them out of the water and attaching them to your boat bow- which you can imagine is where they get their name.

Andreas spent a day fixing the ginormous hole in the dingy/tender and for the first time, it's holding air. We may have to find another replacement sometime soon as this one is not going to  hold up too well. We found an awesome sailing instructor to help us take the boat out and practice! John has been around the world a number of times on his sailboat and has taken us out a few times now and we feel like we can do this! We've learned to dock and fuel and next is getting the sails up to make sure we can do everything on our own.

The people we've met on other boats and around town have been great. That's the positive thing about sticking around longer. We've shared some fascinating stories and adventures and have been around lots of english folks. Their accent is wearing off on us! In Gibraltar they speak this 'Llanito' slang which is, to us, hilarious. Its spanglish but with British and Andalucian accents and it includes a whole list of spanishized words. So you get conversations that are really vibrant and fortunately we can understand them. You just don't ever know which language to speak to people because they mix both up constantly.

We also finally made it up the Rock to go see the view and the monkeys. There's a cable car to the top and as soon as you get off you are greeted by the Barbary Macaques who are very curious, professional pick pocketers and are slyer than you think! Being aware of this is important as we saw quite a few people get their backpacks opened and anything edible ripped out. There were chips, cookies and even a bottle of fanta flying everywhere! When Enzo got hungry and opened the backpack to get a granola bar out, just the sound of the wrapper attracted about 4 monkeys' attention and they narrowed in on us. Enzo immediately put the bar away and waited until we were down below again. Aside from the monkeys, the view is spectacular and you have a 360 degree view and Morocco is so close you could reach out and touch it.

Final official British papers are complete! Thanks to John for his diligent patience (and yes, that's a trident he's holding - the British have their own way of getting you to sign papers!)

Final official British papers are complete! Thanks to John for his diligent patience (and yes, that's a trident he's holding - the British have their own way of getting you to sign papers!)

we're official!

we're official!

The other John helping us practice at the helm

The other John helping us practice at the helm

Anais enjoying her morning outing

Anais enjoying her morning outing

the monkey life

the monkey life

school's in session

school's in session

discovering new hatches and secrets spots

discovering new hatches and secrets spots

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