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Reports received after 2017-03-11 (last 1360 days).

Positions

Last report position from station Pepper

Date: 2020-11-11 18:42
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 12.06'N:063º 05.62'W
Course: 335º Speed: 0.10 knots
Received via: Trinidad SailMail - 9Z4DH-1 with Pactor3/FBB-2/10150
Date: 2020-08-19 21:08
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 12.06'N:063º 05.62'W
Course: 337º Speed: 0.20 knots
Received via: Trinidad SailMail - 9Z4DH-1 with Pactor3/FBB-2/7405
Date: 2020-08-19 20:32
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 12.06'N:063º 05.62'W
Course: 174º Speed: 0.10 knots
Received via: Trinidad SailMail - 9Z4DH-1 with Pactor3/FBB-2/7405
Date: 2019-12-26 14:26
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 17º 51.34'N:077º 46.92'W
Course: 113º Speed: 6.00 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/8185.0
Date: 2019-12-21 15:10
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 21º 14.73'N:086º 44.67'W
Course: 028º Speed: 0.10 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/8185.0
Date: 2019-12-10 23:44
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 21º 44.87'N:086º 44.79'W
Course: 358º Speed: 6.40 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/8185.0
Date: 2019-12-06 13:55
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 32.95'N:086º 36.93'W
Course: 352º Speed: 6.50 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/8185.0
Date: 2019-12-05 12:26
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 17.54'N:086º 35.84'W
Course: 085º Speed: 0.00 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-2 with Pactor3/FBB-2/8185.0
Date: 2019-11-28 21:31
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 21.33'N:086º 26.46'W
Course: 123º Speed: 0.20 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-2 with Pactor3/FBB-2/5870.0
Date: 2019-11-26 13:39
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 05.67'N:086º 53.89'W
Course: 104º Speed: 0.00 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/5870.0
Date: 2018-06-15 14:49
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 49.29'N:088º 44.97'W
Course: 249º Speed: 5.90 knots
Received via: Panama SailMail - HPPM2-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/5870.0

Position Tracking & Reporting Service for
YachtCom and SailCom customers.

Tracking The lowest number is the latest position, green dot


1 2020-11-11 18:42 Pepper
2 2019-12-26 14:26 Pepper
3 2019-12-21 15:10 Pepper
4 2019-12-10 23:44 Pepper
5 2019-12-06 13:55 Pepper
6 2019-12-05 12:26 Pepper
7 2019-11-28 21:31 Pepper
8 2019-11-26 13:39 Pepper
9 2018-06-15 14:49 Pepper

Reports



Date: 2018-06-15 14:49
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 49.29'N:088º 44.97'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Livingston, Guatemala
Title: Sand bar


Crossing the sand bar at Livingston was nerve racking. The boat in Front, Aztec Dream were dragged across with a halyard tilting them across. They draw 2.1m we draw 1.7 so we were reasonably confident. We think the other boats were dragged across too. Luckily no wind so little
bounce but we did read zero for most of the way. Just kept speed up to 4.5 knots to plough through. Waiting for Raul, customs man to check us in and the adventure of going along the river Rio Dolce begins.

Date: 2018-06-15 14:49
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 49.29'N:088º 44.97'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Livingston, Guatemala
Title: Sand bar


Crossing the sand bar at Livingston was nerve racking. The boat in Front, Aztec Dream were dragged across with a halyard tilting them across. They draw 2.1m we draw 1.7 so we were reasonably confident. We think the other boats were dragged across too. Luckily no wind so little
bounce but we did read zero for most of the way. Just kept speed up to 4.5 knots to plough through. Waiting for Raul, customs man to check us in and the adventure of going along the river Rio Dolce begins.

Date: 2018-06-14 00:16
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 30.50'N:088º 21.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 13 June


Well we've checked out of Belize. We used Placencia because the anchorage has good protection. The whole trip took 2 hours and around 48 pounds. We took the water taxi because yachts aren't allowed up the creek. Yesterday we stayed in a super brand new marina in Sapodilla
Reserve, great facilities, bar, restaurant, laundry room and wifif all around the marina. Also easily buoyed to enter with plenty of deep water. We met a lovely family Marianna, Barney and their cute 4 year old daughter Myria. They are starting out learning to sail and live in Belize city. She's
from Moldova and he is from Hungary! Fabulous mix. I hope we meet again. We sailed an average of 8 knots from Sapodilla to Placencia. As the reputation stands Belize sailing has fabulous wind on the beam and flat seas thanks to the reef which runs along the coast. It took a couple
of hours to do 17nms. Wish it was like that every sail.

Placencia is nice. Great restaurants with typical Belize menu: Cows foot soup, fry jacks and Spanish type foods. We ate in a local restaurant called Wendy's twice which was superb produce and well put together. No complaints there. We caught up with Marianna and Barney, Jane and
Jim on Adventure (they live in Guatemala and Jane went to Godolphin in Salisbury-the same school the girls went to). And our Alabama friends. We feel as though we are catching up with other sailors more as we are closer to the hurricane hole in Rio Dolce.

Tomorrow we will leave early for 47 nms to Guatemala anchorage to wait for the highest tide the next day at 0830 before entering the river Rio Dolce. To enter the river you need to cross a sand bar which is as low as 1.8m.. We draw 1.7m. The sand is forever shifting so shallows could be
less than 1.8m. This is why we have picked 15 June at 0830. It's the highest tide for the month at .70m which should give us a safe passage across. Luckily the difficult section is 200m and the locals are at hand to help; at a price of course. The general procedures are to try to free
yourself, wait for higher tide (we plan to cross at 0730 .66m high tide which would give us an extra lift should we run aground), or tilt the boat by attaching a halyard to another vessel and they pull you over lifting the keel. I'm sure we will be fine and I will record our crossing in. Booking in
will be with an agent Raul. He comes highly recommended and can arrange for 6 months without difficulties. After checking in we have a 7 nm passage along the river through a high;y steeped canyon with beautiful green tropical jungle trees either side with monkeys too. The river which
translates as Sweet Water is fresh as it runs off the hills. Although brackish waters manatees live here which we are looking forward to seeing. The river opens up into a huge lake which is where we will stay for the hurricane season. All around the lake are various ancorages and marinas,
we have chosen RAM because of its' excellent reputation and of course a lift. We'll lift Pepper out 25th June and carry out our million jobs. The labour is much more affordable and it is wise to take full advantage of this. As you can imagine our 'To do' list is growing.

Date: 2018-06-14 00:16
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 30.50'N:088º 21.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 13 June


Well we've checked out of Belize. We used Placencia because the anchorage has good protection. The whole trip took 2 hours and around 48 pounds. We took the water taxi because yachts aren't allowed up the creek. Yesterday we stayed in a super brand new marina in Sapodilla
Reserve, great facilities, bar, restaurant, laundry room and wifif all around the marina. Also easily buoyed to enter with plenty of deep water. We met a lovely family Marianna, Barney and their cute 4 year old daughter Myria. They are starting out learning to sail and live in Belize city. She's
from Moldova and he is from Hungary! Fabulous mix. I hope we meet again. We sailed an average of 8 knots from Sapodilla to Placencia. As the reputation stands Belize sailing has fabulous wind on the beam and flat seas thanks to the reef which runs along the coast. It took a couple
of hours to do 17nms. Wish it was like that every sail.

Placencia is nice. Great restaurants with typical Belize menu: Cows foot soup, fry jacks and Spanish type foods. We ate in a local restaurant called Wendy's twice which was superb produce and well put together. No complaints there. We caught up with Marianna and Barney, Jane and
Jim on Adventure (they live in Guatemala and Jane went to Godolphin in Salisbury-the same school the girls went to). And our Alabama friends. We feel as though we are catching up with other sailors more as we are closer to the hurricane hole in Rio Dolce.

Tomorrow we will leave early for 47 nms to Guatemala anchorage to wait for the highest tide the next day at 0830 before entering the river Rio Dolce. To enter the river you need to cross a sand bar which is as low as 1.8m.. We draw 1.7m. The sand is forever shifting so shallows could be
less than 1.8m. This is why we have picked 15 June at 0830. It's the highest tide for the month at .70m which should give us a safe passage across. Luckily the difficult section is 200m and the locals are at hand to help; at a price of course. The general procedures are to try to free
yourself, wait for higher tide (we plan to cross at 0730 .66m high tide which would give us an extra lift should we run aground), or tilt the boat by attaching a halyard to another vessel and they pull you over lifting the keel. I'm sure we will be fine and I will record our crossing in. Booking in
will be with an agent Raul. He comes highly recommended and can arrange for 6 months without difficulties. After checking in we have a 7 nm passage along the river through a high;y steeped canyon with beautiful green tropical jungle trees either side with monkeys too. The river which
translates as Sweet Water is fresh as it runs off the hills. Although brackish waters manatees live here which we are looking forward to seeing. The river opens up into a huge lake which is where we will stay for the hurricane season. All around the lake are various ancorages and marinas,
we have chosen RAM because of its' excellent reputation and of course a lift. We'll lift Pepper out 25th June and carry out our million jobs. The labour is much more affordable and it is wise to take full advantage of this. As you can imagine our 'To do' list is growing.

Date: 2018-06-10 18:50
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 53.17'N:088º 07.35'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 6-10 June Cozumel, Mexio to San Pedro, Belize


Arriving in San Pedro, Belize: Two night sails and one day; 30 hrs of rough rolly sailing. Running along the length of Belize is the second largest reef in the world. On the ocean side is 800m+ deep ocean, on the inside nothing much below 12m. The reef takes all the energy from the
waves so inside the reef is calm waters but there's always the wind to keep you sailing and generally an easterly wind so it's on the beam-a comfortable sail. We were checking in Belize at a town called San Pedro which has a cut in the reef so you can get access to the mainland. Going
through the cut of the reef was incredibly tight with a dog leg which made motoring from a rolly windy sea into calmer shallow waters very nerve racking. The depth guage read 0 a few times. The colour of the sea is stunning. Bright blue and gin clear. Seeing the bottom was easy. We
didn't enjoy San Pedro. It was grotty and we were conned by a taxi driver who said he said 35 dollars both ways when at the beginning he said 25 dollars! Sometimes it's just not worth arguing, But he gave us a bad first impression. Customs and immigration was straight forward. In the
centre of town upstairs form the Scotia Bank opposite the airport not as indicated in the pilot book. The port office, a shack, was a taxi ride away on a pot holed dirt track with rubbish everywhere. We didn't hang around long and headed for Caulker Caye. It's very tendy, young, colourful,
quaint, fun with lots to see and do; even managed a yoga session here. A few other yachts were anchored here, Irish and American. After a day in Caulker we headed off to St George's Cay which had a British army R&R camp 70-90s; we thought this would be interesting to see. On the
way to this Cay we needed to pass Port Stuck which is a shallow area between Hicks Cay and Montejo Cay. The pass isn't marked although a few sticks were dotted around giving no indication which side to pass. A long story short, we ran aground 'briefly'. We knew it would be a tough
section, navionics is useless in parts too, so planned to pass through mid rising tide (high tide was only 16cm), we were fairly confident with the drills. 15 minutes getting through the pass a 35 knot gusting Force 8 squall came through-great timing! Wouldn't have been fun having that along
with running aground. We enjoyed St George's, took loads of photos of the army accommodation and had a chat in the bar with the owner of the resort who had lived there since 1930s. Heard some great stories. Next stop was Colson Cay, nothing exciting here, no life but quiet and
pretty. We saw a huge dead turtle who had become trapped by a rope attached to a fish trap. Very sad to see. The weather has been frustrating. We've taken shelter today over lunch in Coco Plum Cay. Too windy to go ashore. It started off beautifully but the squalls come in big and
fast. Unfortunately we are not seeing Belize in its' best light. We're deciding wether to stay in a marina on the mainland or ride this squall out...tbc

Date: 2018-06-10 18:50
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 53.17'N:088º 07.35'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 6-10 June Cozumel, Mexio to San Pedro, Belize


Arriving in San Pedro, Belize: Two night sails and one day; 30 hrs of rough rolly sailing. Running along the length of Belize is the second largest reef in the world. On the ocean side is 800m+ deep ocean, on the inside nothing much below 12m. The reef takes all the energy from the
waves so inside the reef is calm waters but there's always the wind to keep you sailing and generally an easterly wind so it's on the beam-a comfortable sail. We were checking in Belize at a town called San Pedro which has a cut in the reef so you can get access to the mainland. Going
through the cut of the reef was incredibly tight with a dog leg which made motoring from a rolly windy sea into calmer shallow waters very nerve racking. The depth guage read 0 a few times. The colour of the sea is stunning. Bright blue and gin clear. Seeing the bottom was easy. We
didn't enjoy San Pedro. It was grotty and we were conned by a taxi driver who said he said 35 dollars both ways when at the beginning he said 25 dollars! Sometimes it's just not worth arguing, But he gave us a bad first impression. Customs and immigration was straight forward. In the
centre of town upstairs form the Scotia Bank opposite the airport not as indicated in the pilot book. The port office, a shack, was a taxi ride away on a pot holed dirt track with rubbish everywhere. We didn't hang around long and headed for Caulker Caye. It's very tendy, young, colourful,
quaint, fun with lots to see and do; even managed a yoga session here. A few other yachts were anchored here, Irish and American. After a day in Caulker we headed off to St George's Cay which had a British army R&R camp 70-90s; we thought this would be interesting to see. On the
way to this Cay we needed to pass Port Stuck which is a shallow area between Hicks Cay and Montejo Cay. The pass isn't marked although a few sticks were dotted around giving no indication which side to pass. A long story short, we ran aground 'briefly'. We knew it would be a tough
section, navionics is useless in parts too, so planned to pass through mid rising tide (high tide was only 16cm), we were fairly confident with the drills. 15 minutes getting through the pass a 35 knot gusting Force 8 squall came through-great timing! Wouldn't have been fun having that along
with running aground. We enjoyed St George's, took loads of photos of the army accommodation and had a chat in the bar with the owner of the resort who had lived there since 1930s. Heard some great stories. Next stop was Colson Cay, nothing exciting here, no life but quiet and
pretty. We saw a huge dead turtle who had become trapped by a rope attached to a fish trap. Very sad to see. The weather has been frustrating. We've taken shelter today over lunch in Coco Plum Cay. Too windy to go ashore. It started off beautifully but the squalls come in big and
fast. Unfortunately we are not seeing Belize in its' best light. We're deciding wether to stay in a marina on the mainland or ride this squall out...tbc

Date: 2018-06-10 18:50
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 53.17'N:088º 07.35'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 6-10 June Cozumel, Mexio to San Pedro, Belize


Arriving in San Pedro, Belize: Two night sails and one day; 30 hrs of rough rolly sailing. Running along the length of Belize is the second largest reef in the world. On the ocean side is 800m+ deep ocean, on the inside nothing much below 12m. The reef takes all the energy from the
waves so inside the reef is calm waters but there's always the wind to keep you sailing and generally an easterly wind so it's on the beam-a comfortable sail. We were checking in Belize at a town called San Pedro which has a cut in the reef so you can get access to the mainland. Going
through the cut of the reef was incredibly tight with a dog leg which made motoring from a rolly windy sea into calmer shallow waters very nerve racking. The depth guage read 0 a few times. The colour of the sea is stunning. Bright blue and gin clear. Seeing the bottom was easy. We
didn't enjoy San Pedro. It was grotty and we were conned by a taxi driver who said he said 35 dollars both ways when at the beginning he said 25 dollars! Sometimes it's just not worth arguing, But he gave us a bad first impression. Customs and immigration was straight forward. In the
centre of town upstairs form the Scotia Bank opposite the airport not as indicated in the pilot book. The port office, a shack, was a taxi ride away on a pot holed dirt track with rubbish everywhere. We didn't hang around long and headed for Caulker Caye. It's very tendy, young, colourful,
quaint, fun with lots to see and do; even managed a yoga session here. A few other yachts were anchored here, Irish and American. After a day in Caulker we headed off to St George's Cay which had a British army R&R camp 70-90s; we thought this would be interesting to see. On the
way to this Cay we needed to pass Port Stuck which is a shallow area between Hicks Cay and Montejo Cay. The pass isn't marked although a few sticks were dotted around giving no indication which side to pass. A long story short, we ran aground 'briefly'. We knew it would be a tough
section, navionics is useless in parts too, so planned to pass through mid rising tide (high tide was only 16cm), we were fairly confident with the drills. 15 minutes getting through the pass a 35 knot gusting Force 8 squall came through-great timing! Wouldn't have been fun having that along
with running aground. We enjoyed St George's, took loads of photos of the army accommodation and had a chat in the bar with the owner of the resort who had lived there since 1930s. Heard some great stories. Next stop was Colson Cay, nothing exciting here, no life but quiet and
pretty. We saw a huge dead turtle who had become trapped by a rope attached to a fish trap. Very sad to see. The weather has been frustrating. We've taken shelter today over lunch in Coco Plum Cay. Too windy to go ashore. It started off beautifully but the squalls come in big and
fast. Unfortunately we are not seeing Belize in its' best light. We're deciding wether to stay in a marina on the mainland or ride this squall out...tbc

Date: 2018-06-10 18:50
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 53.17'N:088º 07.35'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Belize
Title: 6-10 June Cozumel, Mexio to San Pedro, Belize


Arriving in San Pedro, Belize: Two night sails and one day; 30 hrs of rough rolly sailing. Running along the length of Belize is the second largest reef in the world. On the ocean side is 800m+ deep ocean, on the inside nothing much below 12m. The reef takes all the energy from the
waves so inside the reef is calm waters but there's always the wind to keep you sailing and generally an easterly wind so it's on the beam-a comfortable sail. We were checking in Belize at a town called San Pedro which has a cut in the reef so you can get access to the mainland. Going
through the cut of the reef was incredibly tight with a dog leg which made motoring from a rolly windy sea into calmer shallow waters very nerve racking. The depth guage read 0 a few times. The colour of the sea is stunning. Bright blue and gin clear. Seeing the bottom was easy. We
didn't enjoy San Pedro. It was grotty and we were conned by a taxi driver who said he said 35 dollars both ways when at the beginning he said 25 dollars! Sometimes it's just not worth arguing, But he gave us a bad first impression. Customs and immigration was straight forward. In the
centre of town upstairs form the Scotia Bank opposite the airport not as indicated in the pilot book. The port office, a shack, was a taxi ride away on a pot holed dirt track with rubbish everywhere. We didn't hang around long and headed for Caulker Caye. It's very tendy, young, colourful,
quaint, fun with lots to see and do; even managed a yoga session here. A few other yachts were anchored here, Irish and American. After a day in Caulker we headed off to St George's Cay which had a British army R&R camp 70-90s; we thought this would be interesting to see. On the
way to this Cay we needed to pass Port Stuck which is a shallow area between Hicks Cay and Montejo Cay. The pass isn't marked although a few sticks were dotted around giving no indication which side to pass. A long story short, we ran aground 'briefly'. We knew it would be a tough
section, navionics is useless in parts too, so planned to pass through mid rising tide (high tide was only 16cm), we were fairly confident with the drills. 15 minutes getting through the pass a 35 knot gusting Force 8 squall came through-great timing! Wouldn't have been fun having that along
with running aground. We enjoyed St George's, took loads of photos of the army accommodation and had a chat in the bar with the owner of the resort who had lived there since 1930s. Heard some great stories. Next stop was Colson Cay, nothing exciting here, no life but quiet and
pretty. We saw a huge dead turtle who had become trapped by a rope attached to a fish trap. Very sad to see. The weather has been frustrating. We've taken shelter today over lunch in Coco Plum Cay. Too windy to go ashore. It started off beautifully but the squalls come in big and
fast. Unfortunately we are not seeing Belize in its' best light. We're deciding wether to stay in a marina on the mainland or ride this squall out...tbc

Date: 2018-06-07 15:59
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 20º 31.04'N:086º 56.85'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Cozumel 3 June


We decided to check out of Cozumel. It's 150 dollars less to pay than in El Cid.
We spent the weekend in El Cid using our food and beer tokens, taking full advantage of the gym and yoga classes. No wind and very hot in the marina. We hired a car and went to visit Chichen Itza-a Mayan temple really interesting. The Mayans designed a calendar which is far more
superior than the one we use today. We did a big food shop and saw the organic health food store that I had been ordering from in Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is great it's bohemian, back packers, vegan restaurants, yoga retreats etc.

Cozumel was fun, we saw a mock demonstration of the traditional ball game pok-a-tok. two sides passing a solid rubber ball using their hips. There are hoops on the sides of the walls where you would win should you put the ball through the hoop. We saw these huge stadiums when in
Chichen Itza so it was good to see how they played in real life. It's a brutal game and they conducted human sacrifices BC.

Date: 2018-06-07 15:59
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 20º 31.04'N:086º 56.85'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Cozumel 3 June


We decided to check out of Cozumel. It's 150 dollars less to pay than in El Cid.
We spent the weekend in El Cid using our food and beer tokens, taking full advantage of the gym and yoga classes. No wind and very hot in the marina. We hired a car and went to visit Chichen Itza-a Mayan temple really interesting. The Mayans designed a calendar which is far more
superior than the one we use today. We did a big food shop and saw the organic health food store that I had been ordering from in Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is great it's bohemian, back packers, vegan restaurants, yoga retreats etc.

Cozumel was fun, we saw a mock demonstration of the traditional ball game pok-a-tok. two sides passing a solid rubber ball using their hips. There are hoops on the sides of the walls where you would win should you put the ball through the hoop. We saw these huge stadiums when in
Chichen Itza so it was good to see how they played in real life. It's a brutal game and they conducted human sacrifices BC.

Date: 2018-05-24 19:15
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May general stuff


I really enjoyed my 3 day raw food yoga retreat. I learnt a lot about both. Yoga for me isn't sitting on a mat making lots of sounds feeling spiritual. Although I appreciate its usefulness, for me, I enjoy the physical challenging aspects. However having attended this retreat I have started to
incorporate more of the mindfulness of yoga. We have been eating incredibly healthily whilst here and both have been going to yoga classes. I order all our fruit, veg, nuts etc from an organic company and have followed some interesting recipes using avocados as dressings for example
and generally lots more fruit and veg in our diet. It's good prices too. Isla Mujeres is very Bohemian many vegan restaurants, tattoo shops, artists, yoga retreats, hippy clothes shops and back packers around. It's been fun to be a part of it.

We have made a few friends here but folk are starting to leave as it's hurricane season soon. Our intent is to sail south, spend a month exploring Belize then head into the Rio Dolce which is a long fresh water river in Guatemala. There are high mountains either side in the canyon and it's at
least 5km inland. It is considered a hurricane hole. Here we hope to cross the bar at Livingston and motor inland on 15 Jun and be lifted out 25 in RAM marina. We will stay in an affordable shared accommodation whilst working on Pepper. It's a jungle in Guatemala and it gets very hot
and humid with many rain storms. Accommodation, albeit shared, with air conditioning would be such a treat after many days work doing boat jobs. We hear the labor is cheap with skilled workers. We have a few carpentry jobs which we would like doing, sanding and varnishing anti
fouling and our prop shaft needs replacing. Not too much. We intend to book a flight to Hong Kong to see Lizzy and her baby (due 15 Aug) but no plans to come back to UK at the moment. We will plan on a few jungle tours and see inland too.

Illness:
My stomach had been feeling rotten for quite some time with a huge solid stomach and not too great on the loo. Phil and I popped in to the local doctors who took blood and stool tests. I had picked up a nasty parasite and 4 bad bacteria; E Coli and Salmonella to name 2. Phil had the
bad bacteria but not parasite-greedy me. We were put on many antibiotics, I took 8 a day. The battle inside made me feel completely awful, tired, foggy mind and just generally rotten. However, we have won the war and have the all clear, but never again. I think I had been carrying that
around for quite some time at least 6 months +, We have got medication to take 4 monthly to avoid any more of these problems. We were just unlucky. We've visited many countries where hygiene is not a priority, and occasionally whilst out at sea even our hygiene standards may drop
because of the inconvenience. Our lesson learned was to listen to your body and if things aren't right-get to the docs. The wonderful thing is our results arrived the same day and it was twelve pounds! You'd never get that in UK. However...imagine a comedy sketch: Phil and I sitting in
the surgery. The doctor can't speak English. Our Spanish is limited and certainly no medical vocabulary. The nurse was useful and he could translate for us. However, he had a terrible stutter! Looking back on it now, it would have been a hilarious sight watching the four of us in that
conversation. We're not sure to this day what was said :-)

We were waiting for George to visit us in Mexico now that he has finished university and is a rocket scientist. He has RAF interviews coming up, an exciting time for him, and we need to head south because the weather systems have changed-big wind and a lot of rain. I doubt hurricanes
follow the Gregorian calendar either. We are sitting in 30mph winds watching other boats drag. As soon as this low to the west of us disappears we are off to Belize. Hopefully George will visit us when we get there.

Love to you all.

Date: 2018-05-24 19:15
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May general stuff


I really enjoyed my 3 day raw food yoga retreat. I learnt a lot about both. Yoga for me isn't sitting on a mat making lots of sounds feeling spiritual. Although I appreciate its usefulness, for me, I enjoy the physical challenging aspects. However having attended this retreat I have started to
incorporate more of the mindfulness of yoga. We have been eating incredibly healthily whilst here and both have been going to yoga classes. I order all our fruit, veg, nuts etc from an organic company and have followed some interesting recipes using avocados as dressings for example
and generally lots more fruit and veg in our diet. It's good prices too. Isla Mujeres is very Bohemian many vegan restaurants, tattoo shops, artists, yoga retreats, hippy clothes shops and back packers around. It's been fun to be a part of it.

We have made a few friends here but folk are starting to leave as it's hurricane season soon. Our intent is to sail south, spend a month exploring Belize then head into the Rio Dolce which is a long fresh water river in Guatemala. There are high mountains either side in the canyon and it's at
least 5km inland. It is considered a hurricane hole. Here we hope to cross the bar at Livingston and motor inland on 15 Jun and be lifted out 25 in RAM marina. We will stay in an affordable shared accommodation whilst working on Pepper. It's a jungle in Guatemala and it gets very hot
and humid with many rain storms. Accommodation, albeit shared, with air conditioning would be such a treat after many days work doing boat jobs. We hear the labor is cheap with skilled workers. We have a few carpentry jobs which we would like doing, sanding and varnishing anti
fouling and our prop shaft needs replacing. Not too much. We intend to book a flight to Hong Kong to see Lizzy and her baby (due 15 Aug) but no plans to come back to UK at the moment. We will plan on a few jungle tours and see inland too.

Illness:
My stomach had been feeling rotten for quite some time with a huge solid stomach and not too great on the loo. Phil and I popped in to the local doctors who took blood and stool tests. I had picked up a nasty parasite and 4 bad bacteria; E Coli and Salmonella to name 2. Phil had the
bad bacteria but not parasite-greedy me. We were put on many antibiotics, I took 8 a day. The battle inside made me feel completely awful, tired, foggy mind and just generally rotten. However, we have won the war and have the all clear, but never again. I think I had been carrying that
around for quite some time at least 6 months +, We have got medication to take 4 monthly to avoid any more of these problems. We were just unlucky. We've visited many countries where hygiene is not a priority, and occasionally whilst out at sea even our hygiene standards may drop
because of the inconvenience. Our lesson learned was to listen to your body and if things aren't right-get to the docs. The wonderful thing is our results arrived the same day and it was twelve pounds! You'd never get that in UK. However...imagine a comedy sketch: Phil and I sitting in
the surgery. The doctor can't speak English. Our Spanish is limited and certainly no medical vocabulary. The nurse was useful and he could translate for us. However, he had a terrible stutter! Looking back on it now, it would have been a hilarious sight watching the four of us in that
conversation. We're not sure to this day what was said :-)

We were waiting for George to visit us in Mexico now that he has finished university and is a rocket scientist. He has RAF interviews coming up, an exciting time for him, and we need to head south because the weather systems have changed-big wind and a lot of rain. I doubt hurricanes
follow the Gregorian calendar either. We are sitting in 30mph winds watching other boats drag. As soon as this low to the west of us disappears we are off to Belize. Hopefully George will visit us when we get there.

Love to you all.

Date: 2018-05-24 18:55
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May Sean and Vicky's visit


We are currently sitting out a rotten storm waiting for a good weather window to head south to Belize. Since our last post Sean and his girlfriend Vicky came out to visit us.
Sat 21 Apr: We collected them from Cancun airport. There were a few stressful moments when they were told they should have applied for ETSA visa for USA (they were changing flights here). You should apply 72 hours before flight. Long story short they sat in Heathrow completing their
visas and luckily they came through quick enough for them to board the plane otherwise they would not have been accepted. Lesson learned. We stayed in El Sid which is 20 mins drive from the airport. El Sid is a 5 star hotel marina all inclusive. We spent the evening showing them
around the marina and the boat (first time Vicky has been sailing). Sun 22: Did yoga, sun bathing, went to see the dolphin prison, ate lots of food and drank a lot of cocktails whilst the men played beach volleyball. A great day. Mon 23: Left El Sid for Isla Mujeres. Vicky was terribly seasick
so suggested she slept the 5 hour trip and felt a lot better for it. We saw dolphins and sea turtles, caught two tuna on one line but broke the rod reeling them in. Tue 24: Walked around the north of Isla Mujeres, ate brussel sprout tacos at skulls landing and bimbled around in the dinghy
showing Sean and Vicky the lagoon. We pumped up the paddle boards and towed them around the north side. I picked up a nasty cold sore on my lip which hurt when I smiled :-(

Wed 25: Vic and Sean joined me for yoga, we went snorkeling to the wreck on body boards. Sean and Phil scrubbed the bottom and Vic had a go going up the mast. We hired golf carts to drive around the island which was great fun. We went into an Ice Bar which was 30 degrees below
zero. They gave you bear rug coats to wear but Sean and I decided to have a quick change and went back inside wearing our swim wear taking a few photos-obviously didn't last in there too long. Even the alcoholic shots were frozen. Driving back we were greeted by a torrential rain
storm, soaked to the skin but at least it's warm so it was quite good fun driving through flooded roads and getting back to the boat. Fri 26: the kids went souvenir shopping, we had a curry on board and tried a moijito in skulls landing with prosecco and fruit-really lovely. Sat 27: Last day, we
took the ferry across to Cancun mainland and said our emotional good byes. It was fabulous having them visit us. It was incredibly hot with no wind and many mosquitos around, we think they coped quite well considering.

Date: 2018-05-24 18:55
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May Sean and Vicky's visit


We are currently sitting out a rotten storm waiting for a good weather window to head south to Belize. Since our last post Sean and his girlfriend Vicky came out to visit us.
Sat 21 Apr: We collected them from Cancun airport. There were a few stressful moments when they were told they should have applied for ETSA visa for USA (they were changing flights here). You should apply 72 hours before flight. Long story short they sat in Heathrow completing their
visas and luckily they came through quick enough for them to board the plane otherwise they would not have been accepted. Lesson learned. We stayed in El Sid which is 20 mins drive from the airport. El Sid is a 5 star hotel marina all inclusive. We spent the evening showing them
around the marina and the boat (first time Vicky has been sailing). Sun 22: Did yoga, sun bathing, went to see the dolphin prison, ate lots of food and drank a lot of cocktails whilst the men played beach volleyball. A great day. Mon 23: Left El Sid for Isla Mujeres. Vicky was terribly seasick
so suggested she slept the 5 hour trip and felt a lot better for it. We saw dolphins and sea turtles, caught two tuna on one line but broke the rod reeling them in. Tue 24: Walked around the north of Isla Mujeres, ate brussel sprout tacos at skulls landing and bimbled around in the dinghy
showing Sean and Vicky the lagoon. We pumped up the paddle boards and towed them around the north side. I picked up a nasty cold sore on my lip which hurt when I smiled :-(

Wed 25: Vic and Sean joined me for yoga, we went snorkeling to the wreck on body boards. Sean and Phil scrubbed the bottom and Vic had a go going up the mast. We hired golf carts to drive around the island which was great fun. We went into an Ice Bar which was 30 degrees below
zero. They gave you bear rug coats to wear but Sean and I decided to have a quick change and went back inside wearing our swim wear taking a few photos-obviously didn't last in there too long. Even the alcoholic shots were frozen. Driving back we were greeted by a torrential rain
storm, soaked to the skin but at least it's warm so it was quite good fun driving through flooded roads and getting back to the boat. Fri 26: the kids went souvenir shopping, we had a curry on board and tried a moijito in skulls landing with prosecco and fruit-really lovely. Sat 27: Last day, we
took the ferry across to Cancun mainland and said our emotional good byes. It was fabulous having them visit us. It was incredibly hot with no wind and many mosquitos around, we think they coped quite well considering.

Date: 2018-04-19 01:11
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr Port Aventuras


We're visiting various places so that when Sean and Vicky visit we don't waste time and can plan a great itinerary for them. We quite like it here. It's different. Lots of condos and sadly a large area of captured sea life creatures:dolphins, manatees and sea lions. Not sure why they need
another pen of dolphins. There's many restaurants and bars around here which surround the captured sea life. You can enjoy your meals watching these beautiful creatures which are better off in their own habitat. I imagine it's a real tourist thing. Playa de Carmen is only 15 mins drive
away. We had an odd sail here. 17 knots of wind but traveling at 5 knots of speed. Tide was weird (i is the gulf stream head on) and confused seas. As soon as we came into the break water the seas eased and we were surrounded by beautiful clear green water as we entered the
marina. Very pretty, I thought it looked like parts of Italy. We entered the marina with condos and little alleyways surrounding it. The locals were really friendly providing us with useful information; again lots of expats from USA. There's a nice bay with a good beach so it seems a good place
to bring our visitors.

Date: 2018-04-19 01:11
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr Port Aventuras


We're visiting various places so that when Sean and Vicky visit we don't waste time and can plan a great itinerary for them. We quite like it here. It's different. Lots of condos and sadly a large area of captured sea life creatures:dolphins, manatees and sea lions. Not sure why they need
another pen of dolphins. There's many restaurants and bars around here which surround the captured sea life. You can enjoy your meals watching these beautiful creatures which are better off in their own habitat. I imagine it's a real tourist thing. Playa de Carmen is only 15 mins drive
away. We had an odd sail here. 17 knots of wind but traveling at 5 knots of speed. Tide was weird (i is the gulf stream head on) and confused seas. As soon as we came into the break water the seas eased and we were surrounded by beautiful clear green water as we entered the
marina. Very pretty, I thought it looked like parts of Italy. We entered the marina with condos and little alleyways surrounding it. The locals were really friendly providing us with useful information; again lots of expats from USA. There's a nice bay with a good beach so it seems a good place
to bring our visitors.

Date: 2018-04-18 01:23
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Isla Mujeres 03 Apr


The sail here was fabulous. We had the parasailor up, saw loads of dolphins, a bird stopped by for a rest, we caught our first ever fish-tuna skipjack and ate cheviche for lunch. 300nms to go and we did it in 58hrs. The wind did drop off one night but overall a great sail. We arrived late
afternoon 1700 and dropped anchor for the night. The following morning we booked in. It's a scruffy little place but lively and colourful. The Mexicans are really cute: little and their Spanish accent is funny to hear. It's very singy (if that's a word). Booking in took 4 hours and we needed to
go to the hospital, bank and it was a long dragged out process. But we don't need to keep booking in and out every time we move to a different location in Mexico. I bought a fishing licence which they never asked for. You need to temporary import your boat (TIP) into Mexico when you
arrive which was also another long drawn out process of having to go to the mainland and fill out numerous amounts of paperwork. All done now. We had hoped to catch up with our friends we met in Grand Cayman, Babz and Paul but they had already set off for Florida. We had a brief
time with them in GC and I felt a little sad they weren't here. I had a good connection with Babz; I'm sure we'll catch up with them another time.

The water isn't as clear as other places but it's got a great airport in Cancun with affordable flights from UK. Sean and his girlfriend Vicky have booked a flight 21 Apr for a week-so looking forward to seeing them. Compared to GC the food and beer prices are fantastic! The Mexican food is
great. Avocados, limes mangos etc a plenty, big, delicious, local and a great price.

I found a yoga place to go A34 an hour. They had started a yoga raw food retreat to which I joined in. It meant Phil had to eat on his own for 3 days, but I learnt so much about raw food and healthy eating that Phil has joined in (occasionally) when I make our meals. There is a great sailing
community here. I think the good prices draw folk in. We've met an American couple Ginny and Stephen and S African John and his wife Jen. They're great fun. John and Jen are heading into Rio Dolce this hurricane season so we'll no doubt catch up with them again.

There's a good community here too of Canadians etc settling in Isla Mujeres. Everyone drives around in golf buggies. At first I found it a bit hustle and bustle but I've settled into the lifestyle. The souvenir shops and restaurants are super, colourful with great choices. If you like Mexican
food, you need to visit.

We've headed off to the mainland a place called El Cid, Porte Morrelos. It's the closest to the airport so we can pick up Sean and Vicky. It is a marina with excellent facilities attached to an all-inclusive hotel. A gentle intro to Pepper for Vicky we feel. We have to wear wrist bands but mot
the same colour as the hotel guests. Phil has had the odd free beer. We went on a crazy bike ride for food shopping on a tricycle. If you've never been on a tricycle: trust me it's NOT like riding a bike. You have to steer it like a car. We are both sore and our bottoms need some rest.
We've been attending the hotel's yoga and gym classes and getting in some great runs in. There's a northerly at the moment so it feels quite cold in the evening. It's 20 degrees. I wore jeans last night and a fleece to yoga at 0630. It is nice in the afternoon. The beach has been overrun
with seagrass. Apparently there's been a storm in the Gulf of Mexico which has pulled up loads of the stuff. They are removing it from the beaches and I hope it's all gone by the time Sean and Vicky arrive.

Tomorrow we are heading off to Aventuras to see that marina then onto Cozumel. We've heard the water is clear there and we feel that Sean and Vicky will enjoy the snorkeling better there. We're just recce'ing places to show them.


Date: 2018-04-18 01:23
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Isla Mujeres 03 Apr


The sail here was fabulous. We had the parasailor up, saw loads of dolphins, a bird stopped by for a rest, we caught our first ever fish-tuna skipjack and ate cheviche for lunch. 300nms to go and we did it in 58hrs. The wind did drop off one night but overall a great sail. We arrived late
afternoon 1700 and dropped anchor for the night. The following morning we booked in. It's a scruffy little place but lively and colourful. The Mexicans are really cute: little and their Spanish accent is funny to hear. It's very singy (if that's a word). Booking in took 4 hours and we needed to
go to the hospital, bank and it was a long dragged out process. But we don't need to keep booking in and out every time we move to a different location in Mexico. I bought a fishing licence which they never asked for. You need to temporary import your boat (TIP) into Mexico when you
arrive which was also another long drawn out process of having to go to the mainland and fill out numerous amounts of paperwork. All done now. We had hoped to catch up with our friends we met in Grand Cayman, Babz and Paul but they had already set off for Florida. We had a brief
time with them in GC and I felt a little sad they weren't here. I had a good connection with Babz; I'm sure we'll catch up with them another time.

The water isn't as clear as other places but it's got a great airport in Cancun with affordable flights from UK. Sean and his girlfriend Vicky have booked a flight 21 Apr for a week-so looking forward to seeing them. Compared to GC the food and beer prices are fantastic! The Mexican food is
great. Avocados, limes mangos etc a plenty, big, delicious, local and a great price.

I found a yoga place to go A34 an hour. They had started a yoga raw food retreat to which I joined in. It meant Phil had to eat on his own for 3 days, but I learnt so much about raw food and healthy eating that Phil has joined in (occasionally) when I make our meals. There is a great sailing
community here. I think the good prices draw folk in. We've met an American couple Ginny and Stephen and S African John and his wife Jen. They're great fun. John and Jen are heading into Rio Dolce this hurricane season so we'll no doubt catch up with them again.

There's a good community here too of Canadians etc settling in Isla Mujeres. Everyone drives around in golf buggies. At first I found it a bit hustle and bustle but I've settled into the lifestyle. The souvenir shops and restaurants are super, colourful with great choices. If you like Mexican
food, you need to visit.

We've headed off to the mainland a place called El Cid, Porte Morrelos. It's the closest to the airport so we can pick up Sean and Vicky. It is a marina with excellent facilities attached to an all-inclusive hotel. A gentle intro to Pepper for Vicky we feel. We have to wear wrist bands but mot
the same colour as the hotel guests. Phil has had the odd free beer. We went on a crazy bike ride for food shopping on a tricycle. If you've never been on a tricycle: trust me it's NOT like riding a bike. You have to steer it like a car. We are both sore and our bottoms need some rest.
We've been attending the hotel's yoga and gym classes and getting in some great runs in. There's a northerly at the moment so it feels quite cold in the evening. It's 20 degrees. I wore jeans last night and a fleece to yoga at 0630. It is nice in the afternoon. The beach has been overrun
with seagrass. Apparently there's been a storm in the Gulf of Mexico which has pulled up loads of the stuff. They are removing it from the beaches and I hope it's all gone by the time Sean and Vicky arrive.

Tomorrow we are heading off to Aventuras to see that marina then onto Cozumel. We've heard the water is clear there and we feel that Sean and Vicky will enjoy the snorkeling better there. We're just recce'ing places to show them.


Date: 2018-04-18 00:58
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Grand Cayman
Title: Grand Cayman 16 Feb - 01 Apr


The sail here was terribly lumpy, rolly and most unpleasant. I thought I had sea sickness and tried everything to keep stuff down. We arrived in Grand Cayman at 0730hrs which was great to arrive in daylight. Phil booked us into customs and immigration because I wasn't feeling too good
and thought that a proper English breakfast would do the trick. Booking in was easy and my English breakfast was a real treat until a couple of hours later...I wasn't expecting to see it again! It seems that I had food poising from the lobsters. I spent the next 4 days in bed with D&V. It was
awful. Phil fed himself on subway and KFC.

Anyway you don't want to hear about that stuff; lets move on to Grand Cayman. This is by far the best place we've been to! Perhaps we're comparing it to Cuba where there is nothing in the shops and you need to que to get into them. Grand Cayman has Subway, Burger King, a shop
similar to Waitrose called Kirks, KFC (and we had chicken: heard England had sold out), it has a cinema, amazing shops but best of all the clearest bluest water ever. We were on a buoy (for free) in George Town. Lots of cruise boats visited here. Beautiful gin clear water. During a full
moon you could see so much detail looking as deep as 10m. The purpose for coming here and not Jamaica was I have a friend out here and it's great to catch up with people on our journey. I met Lianne as college. We booked her dive company to take our students on an intro to
SCUBA. We stayed in touch and Lianne and her partner John moved over here 3 years ago to teach diving. Victoria would love it here. Lianne and John looked after us really well. They invited us to a work function which was a film festival with an excellent barbque. They went through
our SCUBA skills with us and took us diving to some amazing sites. We played with Sting rays in shallow water and even went SCUBA diving to see them. We went to a brunch (GC folk do enjoy their brunches). Expensive but it was A365 a head for all you can eat and drink prosecco for 3 hours. The food was top level and absolutely beautiful-well worth the treat. Sore head the next day.

For me GC was my favourite and has a piece of my heart because on 04 March at 2130 Phil, after 11 years of waiting, asked me to marry him. To which I obviously said yes. We had a wonderful few days celebrating and Phil bought a beautiful ring. This is the place to get diamonds. We
hoped to get married in GC but it was proving difficult to get all the children together. It's important to us that the 4 of them would be with us. George had exams, Sean needed time from the RN, Wiz is pregnant and we didn't want to risk her flying in from HK and the possibility of the zika
virus. Victoria was the only flexible one. It was becoming unpleasant trying to plan so soon, so we've decided to leave it for a while and hope somewhere which means a lot to us pops up.

We loved it here so much we looked at property and potential jobs (for me). The houses are beautiful. There's a wonderful ex-pat community. It is a British overseas territory. Many people are here from Scotland and Ireland. In fact the accent over here sounds Scottish. It's a little piece of
Britain in the Caribbean. Simply wonderful! Oh did I say it is really really expensive... A310 for a beer :-(
Date: 2018-04-18 00:58
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Grand Cayman
Title: Grand Cayman 16 Feb - 01 Apr


The sail here was terribly lumpy, rolly and most unpleasant. I thought I had sea sickness and tried everything to keep stuff down. We arrived in Grand Cayman at 0730hrs which was great to arrive in daylight. Phil booked us into customs and immigration because I wasn't feeling too good
and thought that a proper English breakfast would do the trick. Booking in was easy and my English breakfast was a real treat until a couple of hours later...I wasn't expecting to see it again! It seems that I had food poising from the lobsters. I spent the next 4 days in bed with D&V. It was
awful. Phil fed himself on subway and KFC.

Anyway you don't want to hear about that stuff; lets move on to Grand Cayman. This is by far the best place we've been to! Perhaps we're comparing it to Cuba where there is nothing in the shops and you need to que to get into them. Grand Cayman has Subway, Burger King, a shop
similar to Waitrose called Kirks, KFC (and we had chicken: heard England had sold out), it has a cinema, amazing shops but best of all the clearest bluest water ever. We were on a buoy (for free) in George Town. Lots of cruise boats visited here. Beautiful gin clear water. During a full
moon you could see so much detail looking as deep as 10m. The purpose for coming here and not Jamaica was I have a friend out here and it's great to catch up with people on our journey. I met Lianne as college. We booked her dive company to take our students on an intro to
SCUBA. We stayed in touch and Lianne and her partner John moved over here 3 years ago to teach diving. Victoria would love it here. Lianne and John looked after us really well. They invited us to a work function which was a film festival with an excellent barbque. They went through
our SCUBA skills with us and took us diving to some amazing sites. We played with Sting rays in shallow water and even went SCUBA diving to see them. We went to a brunch (GC folk do enjoy their brunches). Expensive but it was A365 a head for all you can eat and drink prosecco for 3 hours. The food was top level and absolutely beautiful-well worth the treat. Sore head the next day.

For me GC was my favourite and has a piece of my heart because on 04 March at 2130 Phil, after 11 years of waiting, asked me to marry him. To which I obviously said yes. We had a wonderful few days celebrating and Phil bought a beautiful ring. This is the place to get diamonds. We
hoped to get married in GC but it was proving difficult to get all the children together. It's important to us that the 4 of them would be with us. George had exams, Sean needed time from the RN, Wiz is pregnant and we didn't want to risk her flying in from HK and the possibility of the zika
virus. Victoria was the only flexible one. It was becoming unpleasant trying to plan so soon, so we've decided to leave it for a while and hope somewhere which means a lot to us pops up.

We loved it here so much we looked at property and potential jobs (for me). The houses are beautiful. There's a wonderful ex-pat community. It is a British overseas territory. Many people are here from Scotland and Ireland. In fact the accent over here sounds Scottish. It's a little piece of
Britain in the Caribbean. Simply wonderful! Oh did I say it is really really expensive... A310 for a beer :-(
Date: 2018-04-18 00:46
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cayo Largo 02 - 15 Feb
Title: Last 2 weeks in Cuba


We decided to re-visit Cayo Largo (an island off Cuba) because the last visit was cut short so we could make sure Victoria got her flight back home. It's always nice to return somewhere, the place feels familiar and people seem happy to see you back. We also wanted to come here to
watch the rugby. However we needed to go to a hotel for that. Fortunately for us it was an all-inclusive hotel and we picked up a couple of beers and a lunch for nothing. We visited the iguana island. A bit scary at first but they just wanted feeding. I thought they were going to attack
us...
We met some crazy Austrians who were on a sailing holiday. They were great fun. Russian sailor spent 40 times trying to park his boat then went out to anchor. A few months back I saw a similar boat to ours for sale in Panama. I had a look at the photos on the website and it was painted
bright green inside. There's a reason for this story because as we parked in Cayo Largo a French man Oliver shouted over to us asking if Pepper was a Feeling. To keep a long story short-it happened that Oliver's parents sailed around the world for 27 years in the same boat as Pepper and
there boat was the same one I saw being sold in Panama. Oliver looked emotional, understandably so looking around Pepper. He told us stories of his parents and it was fun comparing changes that we and his parents had made to make life on a boat more comfortable. On our last night
we were given 4 lobster tails for free. We had no wifi so I couldn't check how long to cook them for. I prepared them with garlic, lemon etc and cooked them in the oven but they were a bit raw so they went back into the oven for a bit longer...the story continues in Grand Cayman.

Date: 2018-04-18 00:46
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cayo Largo 02 - 15 Feb
Title: Last 2 weeks in Cuba


We decided to re-visit Cayo Largo (an island off Cuba) because the last visit was cut short so we could make sure Victoria got her flight back home. It's always nice to return somewhere, the place feels familiar and people seem happy to see you back. We also wanted to come here to
watch the rugby. However we needed to go to a hotel for that. Fortunately for us it was an all-inclusive hotel and we picked up a couple of beers and a lunch for nothing. We visited the iguana island. A bit scary at first but they just wanted feeding. I thought they were going to attack
us...
We met some crazy Austrians who were on a sailing holiday. They were great fun. Russian sailor spent 40 times trying to park his boat then went out to anchor. A few months back I saw a similar boat to ours for sale in Panama. I had a look at the photos on the website and it was painted
bright green inside. There's a reason for this story because as we parked in Cayo Largo a French man Oliver shouted over to us asking if Pepper was a Feeling. To keep a long story short-it happened that Oliver's parents sailed around the world for 27 years in the same boat as Pepper and
there boat was the same one I saw being sold in Panama. Oliver looked emotional, understandably so looking around Pepper. He told us stories of his parents and it was fun comparing changes that we and his parents had made to make life on a boat more comfortable. On our last night
we were given 4 lobster tails for free. We had no wifi so I couldn't check how long to cook them for. I prepared them with garlic, lemon etc and cooked them in the oven but they were a bit raw so they went back into the oven for a bit longer...the story continues in Grand Cayman.

Date: 2018-02-02 14:23
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cuba-Havana to Cienfuegas
Title: 02 Feb


We've not been on SSB for some time. Vicky has been over visiting us for 2 weeks. It's been a full on 2 weeks, 500 nms sail round from Havana to Cienfeugas. We stopped on route so Vic could do some diving: Levisa, beautiful beach, restaurant but apparently the diving wasn't that
special. We continued to Gorde de Maria: excellent wifi, beach, bar, restaurant and diving. We met a nice Brit lady Sue. Then a horrible night sail beating with huge waves where Pepper slammed her way to Isle de Jueventud (biggest island South of Cuba). Quiet little place with a real
gentleman Coast Guard. Gave him some tuperware for his coffee. The Hotel Colony, .5 nms away, was built in 1958 and hasn't changed since! Stuck in time. No tourists but great beach, swimming pool, people. We got our laundry done here and played with 3 puppies. A very interesting
place lost in time. Sad to see it wasted. We took the local bus into the town (north) where Castro served some time in prison. The plan was to get Vic a ferry ride to the mainland but because of bad winds, ferries were canceled so we needed a plan B. Vic booked a later flight giving us
another 3 days to get to the mainland. So we set off for Cayo Largo in good winds to get a flight to Havana-plan B. Arrived early hours. Very beautiful, touristy, good restaurant and excellent diving Phil and Vic saw a crocodile. We booked a flight from Cayo Largo for Vic to get to the
mainland for her connecting flight to UK. The weather for the next 3 days was bad and the probability of this Russian plane flight being canceled was high. We set sail for the mainland Cienfuegas plan C; at least we would be on the mainland to get taxi or bus to Havana for Vic's flight to
UK. This was by far the worst sailing conditions we've ever been in. Beating into wind, heavy seas, 35 knots of apparent, full moon which was helpful. Never again. We arrived at Cienfuegas at 0200, were asked to move closer to the marina at 0900 and again the following day... At least
we're on the mainland. We tried to get a refund for flight booked Cayo Largo to Havana- not possible. Staying with plan C, on the 01 Feb we got into a taxi, a 1989 Volkswagen; gearbox, breaks etc falling apart and took Vic to the airport. The driver had his lady friend with him clearly in
love. He would be in his late 60's lady in 50's. Very cute. It should be a 2.5 hour trip to Havana but 9 hours later, being gassed out by carbon monoxide we arrived back on Pepper, but Vic got her flight ok and it was sad as always to see her off.

Not sure what the plan is now. We need to check Pepper over after her awful sailing trips and to top up on fresh foods. We'll also be on the mission of finding somewhere to watch the rugby. We will visit Trinidad by road 60 kms away; it's the oldest city in the western world so that should
be interesting. Jamaica or Cayman islands but not sure in which order.

Happy birthday to Sean tomorrow 25 years old :-)

Date: 2018-01-11 16:38
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cuba-Havana
Title: 11 Jan


Wow what a fab trip here!
We slipped Cayo Blanco at 1630 waved adios to one of the three people who live there. Sea completely flat. Completely. So flat that later in the evening we saw airplane navigation lights reflecting off the water. As we set off the water at 5 m was incredibly clear. You could see the sea
bed. Ripples on the sand beneath. After 20 minutes we saw dolphins in the distance. It didn't take them long to see us and came over for some fun. Over 8 dolphins played with Pepper in the clearest of waters. They were jumping up and landing on their sides to splash us. I took some
brilliant videos of Phil on the bow with them all around him. A great farewell to Cayo Blanco. As the sun was setting Phil panicked that the alternator wasn't charging the batteries and we'd need to turn round. There was 2 knots of wind and we had 12 hours of motoring ahead. As usual I
wasn't best pleased about this news and suggested we fix it. A few huffs and puffs and all was fixed. We plodded on following the coastline of Varadero and all the hotels dotted along it. The wind picked up and we hoisted the head sail and eventually turned the engine off. We were
managing 5 knots which was better otherwise under engine (6.5 knots) we'd arrive too early following our usual routine of arriving in the dark. We took a couple of hours off for some rest. Hard to believe that the water drops from 2m to over 1000m in just a mile off shore. We had a knot of
the gulf stream against us but we had a good sail West nevertheless.

I woke around 0700 to the coastline of Havana. It looks fascinating, crumbling away but has so much history and uniqueness you can't help but fall in love with it. We saw the Russian Embassy looking grotesque but beautiful at the same time. We sailed along listening to Camila Cabello's
'Havana' song-silly not to.

Arriving in Earnest Hemmingway Marina 10nms West of Havana was a simple process. Easy to enter, people very helpful and professional. the coast guard did their look around the boat, the agriculture man came on-all very friendly polite and work really hard at their English. Sadly our
Spanish cannot compare to their English-but we're trying. We're along side 112 next to an interesting small catameran with 4 folk who look like hippies. Nice kids from America. They are heading to Mexico and we may see them in Riio Dolce (our hurricane hole).

We've just opened a beer. It's stifling hot and the infill awning is a gift from heaven. there's a little palm tree providing some shade on the bow.

Victoria arrives on the 18th next week. We are so excited to see her. We've an excellent trip planned for her with lots of sailing and diving. Places we haven't been to either. We plan to find the best places in Havana before she arrives to make sure we don't waste time in places of little
interest. Then we will head round to the south coast for the diving centres. Great times ahead!

Date: 2018-01-10 18:56
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cuba
Title: 10 Jan


Happy New Year to you!

We found a great restaurant for New Year's eve. We had a set menu which was Pate, chateau briand (best we've ever had), nougat, chocolate brownie and ice cream dessert with a bottle of red and glass of champagne for 65 dollars for both-well worth it. It was a stunning setting looking
out into the marina, again very empty. I suppose most folk will be in their all-inclusive holidays. We walked around watching various shows around to keep awake for midnight. We are normally asleep by 2200. We returned to the boat hearing the cheers from restaurants and hotels we
welcomed 2018 on Pepper. 30 seconds later-off to sleep.

We managed a couple of runs along the beach. It's very long and empty, but running on sand is always a tough one. We took the bus into Santa Marta. It's where the locals live who serve the tourists along Varadero. It's incredibly run down, broken foot paths, drains flooded etc but
lively, exciting and the people were so friendly. We had lunch in a paladar (private home with front made into a restaurant). We decided on a light mixed starter. It took some time but we were proudly presented with square pieces of processed cheese, spam and chorizo! Fortunately the
wine was good. But this is Cuba. We sat watching what is well-known in Cuba a que of people waiting to enter a food store. The communist life style is really fascinating, but you can see some difficulties the people face although they appear reasonably content. There's a well known joke
here: 2 men in a food que, one says to the other,' I'm going to kill Castro'. The following day, the 2nd man asks the man, 'how did it go killing Castro?'. the reply was, 'the que was too long'. Money here goes on education, health and the military. It's fantastic that everyone can read and
write, but the saying is: there's nothing to read and you've got to be careful what you write about...

We looked around the bat cave ( I remembered it from 15 years ago), visited an Americana shopping centre. We stayed up till late one night to watch a music 'show' only to find it was a disco-for the younger generation. We went to the well known Beatles Bar and saw live rock band- very
good. We traveled in an open bus top in the rain. We've tried fishing but no luck. We're also working really hard on our Spanish. The locals really appreciate the effort. A few people arrived in the marina; Swiss German who had circumnavigated twice and a French Canadian couple.

Weather has been cold, overcast, with a northerly strong wind. We need light winds or at least a NE to enter Havanna (our next stop). So we've spent 12 days hanging around waiting for a weather window; spending many hours in a coffee shop on the internet.

Alas, the wind has dropped and we have 2 days of calmness. So we have stopped on route to Havana in Cayao Blanco, a small island 6 miles NE of Marina Gavoita. When the wind picks up (tonight) we will head W to Havana 85nms. Cayo Blanco is pretty, quiet with a beautiful white
beach on the SW tip. We took the dinghy round to have a look. Water is beautifully clear. We are anchored close to where the tourist catermarans come in and at 1500 when they leave only 3 locals stay on the island. We have had a lovely couple of days here but still... no fish!

Date: 2017-12-29 23:45
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cuba
Title: 29 Dec


We said goodbye to America after 6 months and our great friends Kris and Kenny SY Petunia. After 6 months it was time to leave and move on to our next destination Cuba. We left Marathon at 1630 yesterday refueled and topped up water. Good job it
was still light because of all the lobster pots out. We knew it was a one night sail so didn't really go into our night routine of 4 on 4 off. More 2 on and off or whoever needed to close their eyes for half an hour. Over half a moon it was quite bright until
0300. Wind was 15 but during a squall it reached 25 knots. Sails slamming on a broad reach. We were going against the gulf stream (4 knots) so our direct route had a large curve in it. We saw land at first light and had a lovely sail into Marina Gavoita.
Lots of tourist catamerans about. We were so surprised to see such a huge marina empty. If this was UK it would be packed.
On our arrival we were met by a doctor who checked our health and medications, the coast guard who gave us our sailing permit, lots of paperwork to complete and searched the boat (whilst asking for a tip...), agriculture department came on to check
our food products and the dockmaster to check through boat details. Lots going on but they were all incredibly friendly and spoke good English. We had a couple of hours kip before exploring. Walked along the beach, met a couple of British tourists,
recce'd a few restaurants for New Year. Now back on board, we will have some super and an early night.

Tomorrow the plan is to take the bus into the town.

Date: 2017-12-20 14:04
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title:


We came up the ICW, in the pouring rain, to Fort Lauderdale and anchored in Lake Sylvia along side SY Four Seasons, Caroline and Chris. The ICW along this route is spectacular! Huge monster sized mansions side by side with super yachts parked
outside. Not just a couple of miles but hundreds of miles. The owners probably visit them twice a year. The 1% live here. I like all the Christmas decorations, obviously no expense spared here. We planned to arrive in time for the boat light parade which
we did. We sat in our dinghy in a great spot in Lake Sylvia wearing wooly hats, drinking beer, with friends watching brilliantly decorated boats with live singers and dancers on. Caroline and Chris showed us around the shops etc. The Raw Bar is the
only dinghy place at 10 dollars which can go towards beer or food in the restaurant. The Raw Bar is perfectly located for victualling. Care is needed entering Lake Sylvia. Very shallow in the centre. Hug the East side when entering then 2/3s cross
straight over to the west. We saw many boats run aground here. Phil had a parcel being delivered in Las Oslas Marina so we spent a couple of nights here. Very nice, clean and close to the beach. The beach front is very lively with a vibrant
atmosphere: designer dogs, sports cars, glamorous women, cocktail bars etc. Great to people watch. We managed a run one morning which felt fantastic. We heard a man on his mobile phone talking about how busy his morning schedule was at 0830
walking along the sea front...how the other half live.

Whilst at Las Oslas an old school friend who I knew in HK (84-86) David Jones came to visit us. He lives in Florida and has been really successful in his business, he should be very proud. He was genuinely interested in our adventure and it was fun
showing him around Pepper even though he is not a sailor. David bought us a bottle of champagne, cakes and coffee-really kind of him.

SY Four Seasons left and SY Petunia and Livingstone arrived, great to catch up with them.

We had to go into Miami to see if we could extend Pepper's cruising permit. As you know we went back to UK and Spain for a couple of months. Although we have a 10 year visa we need to leave every 6 months for 14 days to restart permits.
Pepper's runs out 31 Dec. Although we have later discovered that you can request 1 year. Anyway, no luck our options are Bahamas but our 6 months permit ran out there and it costs $300 for another or go to Cuba but Miami won't accept us back in
but other ports will! Very complicated and we tried all options so we'll stick to our original plan which is still fantastic. Christmas in Florida Keys, NY in Cuba. We've had a super time in USA and it will be sad to leave having met some super friends, felt so
welcome and secure here.

Not sure what we thought of Miami. It's stunning from the sea-a mini Manhattan, but on land it's full of skyscrapers and feels like a Sunday, and everyone is Spanish/Cuban. Glad we saw it and we did have a mojito for Cuba visit prep.

We stopped off in No Name Bay anchorage. Very peaceful apart from the odd party boat. We went for a walk around the park and along the beach with Kenny and Kris, had a Peruvian lunch. Interesting but too expensive for us. Apparently it's the 'in'
thing. Phil and I had soup and a burger. We saw manatees which are potato pretend dolphin looking creatures. So ugly they're cute.

We're heading for Marathon at the moment. It's the spring board for Cuba. Wind is slight 10 knots SE, sun shining, warm waters. We have an technician in Marathon checking our electrical systems, fit another solar panel and add another battery bank.
We're just not producing enough amps. I wonder what could go wrong next.

We're both well, happy and looking forward to our next country. Much love. xxx

Date: 2017-12-08 20:47
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 26º 47.03'N:080º 02.72'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: Palm Beach


Just passing Palm Beach. It is massive! Full of concrete high risers and tourists. Interesting.

Date: 2017-12-08 14:27
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 27º 17.47'N:080º 14.38'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 8 Dec


Wow what a super evening. Worth the detour to see our American friends on SY Petunia, Kenny and Kris. They made g&t with a pamalmouse French liqueur very very lovely with boiled shrimps which were huge and delicious. Although heads are a bit wooly this morning. Short and sweet,
great to see them and we've made arrangements to meet in the keys, probably Marathon which is the departure place for Cuba, Varadero 93 nms away. There's no wind and it's foggy so we're taking the ICW route inside again. It's a direct route, we'd have the engine on anyway with no
wind, there are things to see and we are avoiding the most narrowest section where the Gulf Stream passes. No brainer really.

Date: 2017-12-07 23:18
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 27º 28.18'N:080º 19.46'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 07 Dec


It's been rather tedious. Wind is non existent. The good news is that our wonderful American sailing friends Kris and Kenny who we met in Deltaville SY Petunia ( Kris was called that by her late mum) text us to say they were in Fort Pierce, 18nms away. As we were slogging along engine
on with no wind we thought it wise to stop over for the evening and see them, catch up on experiences and plan for future get together's. Fort Pierce is known for the SEAL's training ground and for its fishing-just off the strongest section of the gulf stream; all types of fish are available, also
manatees are in abundance here as they like the warm waters produced from the factories... We will spend the night here with our great friends then leave on good tide tomorrow morning for Fort Lauderdale. We plan on getting the parasailor out as winds are northerly and 10 knots-perfect!

Date: 2017-12-06 00:13
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 30º 39.67'N:080º 38.89'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 6 Dec


It was lovely to catch up with our Danish friends from SY Capri. They were in the boatyard up river Wondo in Charlston. We had free berth for a few days and our friends had a car so we could victual and enjoyed a couple of restaurants for a change. We left them on Monday am and
headed to Charlston city to wait for the new alternator to arrive. Then slipped City Marina in the afternoon and headed out for Florida 400 odd nms. We need to stay out of the gulf stream which is heading right for us at 4 knots! So we are hugging the coastline as best we can to stay in
shallow water. The temperature is definitely warming, the seas are becoming clearer and we are making good progress. Unfortunately the wind is coming from the south, where we are heading, so tacking is required (slow and can be uncomfortable) Our making tack is 6.5 knots but the
other around 4.. However wind with current provides you with a flat sea and we are very comfortable. Dolphins all around and a war ship had helicopters landing and taking off on an exercise. We are starting our second night and memories of the Atlantic are coming back; the all too
familiar sounds and moving around the boat. A totally different experience from the ICW.

We will meet many of our sailor friends when we arrive in Fort Lauderdale and there is a boat light parade which we are looking forward to seeing on Sat. FL is a main sailing booking in place and we hope to buy some charts for the pacific, fit the alternator, and buy our Christmas presents
which we have decided will be a bar b que. Beats cooking down below when it is hot.

Date: 2017-11-30 17:15
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 32º 46.85'N:079º 55.10'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 30 Nov


We arrived in City Marina, Charlston as we expected at 0130. We had a few problems finding a suitable spot to anchor in the dark. We are aware that there are some issues with spoiled ground. Around 0900 we went across to the marina to spend the day & night there to wait for our new
alternator to arrive. We caught up on a few jobs; varnishing the table still, sorting out the autohelm and general cleaning up. We contacted our good friend Vinnie and Carlson from SY Capri who are a few miles up Wando River. We are heading there now to spend a couple of days with
them to catch up and drink some refreshing beverages. Charlston really is a beautiful place. Great protection from bad weather. It got its name from King Charles 2nd. It's very luxurious, cosmopolitan with 6 museums, 5 nationally historic hones, 4 scenic parks, loads of churches, old
market and city hall. The Old Exchange Building and Slave Market is worth a visit to watch grass basket weavers. Very impressive work. Theaters are aplenty. The Patriot was filmed here. Fort Sumter is a water taxi ride from Patriots Point, cobble stoned streets and impressive bridges.
Dining is actually a pleasant experience some casual, French but shrimps and grits are top of the list to try. We did the tourist thing on our way north. This trip is to visit our friends and to do a few jobs before heading to Florida.

Date: 2017-11-28 21:43
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 33º 01.01'N:078º 56.73'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 28 Nov


It's been a great 24 hrs. We are about 8 hours from getting into Charlston, as usual in the middle of the night. We've been in here before so confident on finding anchor spot. Leaving Beaufort at 1400 there was no wind the sea was completely flat. You could not see where the sea
stopped and the sky started very eerie. But you could see all the dolphins with every splash. The wind picked up around 0600 15-20 which was perfect! Head and main were up and we had a good sail making excellent progress. I have never heard this down below before but when I
went off stag last night whilst in the fore peak cabin I could hear clicking, woshing, squeaking sounds all around for at least a minute. I got up spoke to Phil and he said we're surrounded by loads of dolphins. It was lovely falling asleep listening to them chatting away. The wind has
dropped off so we'll engine in these last few 47 miles. I'm making sweet and sour chicken tonight. It's definitely warming up!

Date: 2017-11-26 21:11
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 34º 42.85'N:076º 39.83'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 26 Nov


Great motor sail today from Belhaven to Beaufort 62nms in under 10hrs so good day in all. The homemade bread rolls, biscotti biscuits and raisin oatmeal biscuits are a real treat especially with the home made chutney (or boatmade). That's the great thing on the ICW, you can live a
reasonably normal life. Baking can help the boredom too. Adam's Creek was stunning. We saw dolphins and beautiful houses with beautifully kept lawns and private boat pontoons. How the other half live, but we can't complain; we're having a great time. The plan is to go outside and
head to Charlston to catch up with old sailing friends who came across the Atlantic the same time on the ARC+ SY Capri. Good to share the year's experiences and hear of their next plans. We will refuel and top up with water here before setting off tomorrow or early Tuesday. We have
plenty of food a the fridge freezer, again repaired, is doing brilliantly with its new keel cooler ( not cheap). And, it's so much warmer. Fleeces are off and shorts have been moved to the top shelves. What a difference 250nms can make to the temperature.

Date: 2017-11-25 22:55
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 35º 31.79'N:076º 37.31'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 25 Nov


Yesterday was a good day going through bridges and locks (probably our last one before the Panama Canal). It's fun calling them to request openings hearing the different voice procedure: we were 10-4'd a couple of times. Last night we anchored south of Buck Island. although not
marked as anchorage, water was deep enough. However, this morning was a bit emotional. We had a soft bump and got a little stuck pulling off our anchorage site. All was good-a little bow thrust and reverse got us off and on our way as the sun was rising. It feels cold still but it is
definitely warming up as we head south. Alligator canal seemed a little dull coming back through. Not much to see just 20 miles of trees. YOu can see the damage the boat wakes are causing though; many trees falling into the water as the soil is washed away from their roots. We looked
for bears but no luck. Tonight we are anchored in Belhaven. A popular spot as it sits in the most sparsely populated area along the ICW. Although the sun has set we can still see the marinas and beautiful houses dotted along the edge. There's a break water that we are tucked inside and
the water is completely flat; very beautiful. We've topped up with fuel. Chilli is on the stove, calling the kids. Early night as we hope to leave early first light. Northerly wind as we head south so it would be great to pull the head sail out and motor sail tomorrow.

Date: 2017-11-24 13:03
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 36º 47.68'N:076º 17.71'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Heading south
Title: 24 Nov


Happy Thanksgiving! We left Deltaville yesterday lunch. Felt a bit sad leaving having made some great friends. We have done a huge amount of jobs all listed in the log, but still more to do...it's a boat!
We decided to come inside onto the ICW yesterday having originally decided to go outside. There is no wind anywhere. It's pointless motoring around Hatterass when we can come inside and cover 70 miles less. Although we need to stop over at night-the bridges close at 1900. The sun
is shinning. Pepper is sounding and looking great, skipper and crew both healthy and happy. It is cold. 9 degrees onboard this morning. We anchored over in Norfolk last night opposite USS Wisconsin. We stopped over here on July 4th on the way up. No need to visit here with so much
to do. We do love it here. Full of navy ships and subs.

Date: 2017-07-03 15:37
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 36º 51.13'N:076º 17.87'W
Author: Hatty
Location: ICW ends
Title: Norfolk


We've had a lovely time travelling up the ICW to Norfolk. It's been incredibly relaxing, peaceful and beautiful. We've met some lovely people and their dogs on the way. Bob & Lynn on a Bavaria, Fergus, Nev and Molly on SY Two Drifters, Benjamin and Bhodi SY Satori. Now we are
members of the OCC (Offshore Crusising Club) we can contact port officers who can advise us on free berthings and local knowledge. We've contacted Gary and Greta, port officers from Norfolk, who have been fabulous. They have made us feel very welcome and provided us with good
information. They have even invited us to join them for 4th July Independence Day celebrations tomorrow. There's fireworks, picnic parties and shows along the sea front. Norfolk is a huge naval city with many great USA battleships around. The museum, which we will visit, has Battleship
Wisconsin-it is massive!
Norfolk is very modern and friendly. We had a super meal in the Freemasons Abbey Restaurant-the best we've had over here. There's a huge shopping mall which we spent 4 hours in yesterday not shopping but just cooling down on one of the sofas there.
We have new neighbours, a dutch couple Jan, Corrie and dog Ula, SY Livingston very nice people.
We have booked a haul out next week to scrub the bottom and do some serious jobs in Deltaville.

Date: 2017-06-26 15:00
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 34º 42.85'N:076º 39.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: ICW
Title: Swan Point Marina to Beaufort


We've been having a super time on the ICW. It's incredibly relaxing or perhaps we've been incredibly lucky we're not sure which but we haven't gone aground; touch wood (or some tired looking teak). Some areas have been incredibly shallow but every night we plan a route following a
flooding tide which gives us the speed and piece of mind that if we do run aground, there is water on its way in to lift us up. This has been my department: planning around tides, distance to travel and stop off points. I've been enjoying the challenge and opportunity to plan and organise.
However Phil has been fabulous on the helm steering all the way with a sterling effort of concentration (which is needed - there's some very shallow water because of so much shoaling). It would be foolish to use auto helm in the ICW-too many hazzards, bridges, shallows water etc and
without complete concentration and local knowledge the probability of mishaps are high.

Swan Point was interesting. We met a huge and I mean 'huge' 16 year old who, as far as I know, was an expert at fishing. He gave us a 3 hr lesson and sold us a second hand rod with reel (our original one is too large to fish on board- it's a beach rod, and heaven forbid, if we caught
anything I'm not sure we could land it). We met SY Satoni with Benjamin and his dog Bhodi (there was a lady on board but she didn't stay long).

Along Cape Fear River we experienced a lot of shoaling which all adds to the excitement and keeps the heart pumping. Going around R27 was interesting. Do not follow the ICW preferred line here it goes across shallow water. Do not take the short cut go round. We watched a barge
run aground here the night before.

However, Beaufort is absolutely beautiful. I had a quick dip and swim around Pepper, not sure I would have done it before the G&T but it was the first swim since Bahamas and it felt fantastic. Phil wasn't tempted. Perhaps the alligators put him off.

Date: 2017-06-26 15:00
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 34º 42.85'N:076º 39.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: ICW
Title: Beaufort


We met a great American Benjamin and his lovely dog Bhodi (who could do fab tricks). Benjamin gave me a jolly good starter kit for fishing, trolling out at sea and static. I've been very enthused with the fishing world, but I am clearly awful at it. There's so much to learn and everyone has
different ideas. I just want to catch a fish! I am ever grateful for all the gear he has given me.

Our trip up north to Goose River has been lovely. There's been a very cooling NE'rly wind however we have not been able to put the head sail up because that's the way we're heading. We're currently anchored just off the ICW in a very peaceful location, it is simply beautiful. I noticed the
holding tank with all our...well... what a holding tank holds... is now blocked and I got a little upset with the recent days' produce is now pouring out of the breather. It smells nasty but I've been assured that it can be sorted once we've emptied the tank and fitted a pump. It wasn't that bad,
I felt awful because Phil had spent so long fitting the holding tank in the first place. All's well and ends well. Chili on the menu, 3 lines out catching: bugger all.

We've heard Sean is going on his sub 10 July now. We wish him the very best of luck and to stay strong. We will be thinking of you. The thing about submarine drafts is you don't know how long they are away for. We will think of him, as we do with all the kids, every day.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Date: 2017-06-26 15:00
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 34º 42.85'N:076º 39.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: ICW
Title: Beaufort


We decided to spend two nights here on anchor (no charge). We were informed that the nearest grocery store was one mile away but whilst walking there, in the heat, we felt it was a lot longer to Piggly Wiggly (food store) than we thought. We topped up on groceries at Piggly Wiggly,
walked the miles back to town and stopped off at 'Wine and Coffee', more local, to pick up a bottle of wine. The wine shop was not as expected if you're on a budget, but it has the most stunning designed bar. The wood was from South Africa and it has a hand carved compass,
accurately facing, in the centre. All designed and built by the two men who own it. Worth a visit. We enjoyed a salmon pasta and white wine for supper and a crazy swim round the boat.

Next day we took the dinghy to an inlet and it was fantastic to be able to swim in clearer waters. Good to be on a beach again and paddle in warm waters to actually relax from the journey so far. We used our free beer token at the Dock House, thank you Frank. Had some chili nachos
then dinghied back to the Pepper. But we stopped off on route to see a UK vessel SY Ille ???? (Bavaria) but the people on bard were Bob and Lynne. They are so friendly and members of the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC). We have very recently joined the OCC and are delighted to be
accepted. As a member you fly a burgee and it's a great way of making friends with like minded views of sailing. SY Cammomile joined in on the anchorage. Not a great place if busy.

Date: 2017-06-22 11:29
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 33º 48.10'N:078º 44.82'W
Author: Hatty
Location: ICW
Title: ICW Inter Coastal Waterway


We are really loving travelling along the ICW! It is so peaceful, relaxing, so many things to look a, we are able to meet the locals on the way and learn about their culture (mostly big eaters).
We have met SY Lost and Found Frank and Jovani - two married chaps on their way to Columbia. They taught me how to Flamenco and tango dance-the rum helped.
Passing under the 65 feet bridges has been unnerving but we're 60 feet - it does look close though. There's swing bridges along the way too which have been interesting. One looks identical to the Pegasus bridge in Normandy.
We've travelled through Florida, South Carolina and are heading to North Carolina today.
It's been raining lot which is down to the storm Cindy in the Gulf. We hear UK has had great weather -yay!
xx

Date: 2017-06-20 20:03
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 33º 21.95'N:079º 17.09'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Charlston, South Carolina & Gerogetown
Title: Charlston, South Carolina 11-18 Jun Georgetown 18 - 20 Jun


Charlston is beautiful! It is like being in a film set of 'Gone with the Wind'. The prettiest of houses were built here. Colonial structures and features along every street. All have stunning, regal stairs, two of them either side, covered in decorative iron railings work their way up to huge front
doorways. All the houses had beautiful and immaculately maintained gardens with the typical porches or piazzas around them covered in furniture of swinging seats and rocking chairs. There are two main streets in Charlston Meeting and King Street: both work their way southwards with
designer shops, bars and restaurants dotted along the way. We walked for miles around the city.

We visited Boone plantation and took a history tour around the town. Pam our bus driver shocked us at first with her energetic manner and very strong southern accent. Boone House was built in 1936, so not that historic and actually rather small. The slave houses were interesting. Each
one had a theme explaining the slaves' lifestyles etc. Charlston is known as The holy city because of its large number of churches. One crossroads is called the crossroads of law. On each corner there is a type of law: a church, law of God, a federal law, county law and municipal law
building. They are well known for their shrimp and grits. Which is ok, but had it once and that's enough.

We met 3 SYs here: Isa with Matz and Marie from ARC+, SY Shamal with Georgiana and John (from Salisbury) they sponsored our OCC membership and gave us many books and dvds and a catamaran Two Drifters with Nev, Fergus and Molly their dog. it was great to see other like minded
sailors. We gate crashed a marina party with free booze and nibbles that was nice and hitched the marina bus to West Marine (chandlery) to buy parts for the holding tank.

Phil did a fabulous job of fitting the holding tank it took him 2 very long and hot days. It is getting really hot now with not much wind.

We got our first violation for not booking in as soon as we arrived - lesson learned. It would have been a $5000 fine!

We decided to use the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW; it runs all along the east edge of America from Florida to Norfolk) to head further north to Georgetown. The ICW is very beautiful, we had the tide with us and wind just off the stern so we reached over 8 knots in parts. We went through
2 swing bridges and slowly slid under a 65 foot bridge (we are 60 feet) very unnerving. We saw a couple of alligators and many dolphins. The water looked blood red - very odd. Again beautiful, huge, colonial style houses trimmed the waterway; most of them had piers jutting out into the
waterway with motor boats attached. There's a lot of money here.

We've arrived in Georgetown. Not too much here. Good to meet up with SY Two Drifters. They sailed the coastal route. It is raining heavily and there are many alligators here. Next stop will be somewhere in the ICW but we are heading to Beaufort and onto Norfolk.

Date: 2017-06-12 03:37
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 32º 46.50'N:079º 57.18'W
Author: Hatty
Location: St Augustine
Title: St Augustine and Cape Canaveral afterburners


CC:
Whilst out running here we passed a lake with a warning, 'Alligator' sign! That was a bit worrying.
We were able to touch a stone from the moon.
Visited Rustys Restaurant, the man in the office said it was rustic-rude not to. Same man who I asked if a launch was a party.
They are big on their coupons with discount over here so we've been using them a lot.
Loved the shopping in Walmart and Publix-so much choice excellent quality. Eating oranges from Florida in Florida was great!
We caught up on the clothes washing although I took 3 x 25 cents (thinking they were dollars) asking for 12 quarters for the washing machine. She did explain the whole American denominations after my idiotic moment.
We rented a car for a couple of days and picked up Skipper's Bob inter coastal waterway (ICW) guide, good selection of fresh rations and even watched Pirates of the Caribbean in the cinema.

St Augustine, the oldest town in the USA was beautiful. The Spanish were the first to settle so there were many shops, bars and restaurants with Spanish themes and a fort with many cannons, one set off every day.
Thirty knots of wind came through the river one day. I stayed on board whilst Phil picked up a local mobile. Never seen such volume in rain as we did here.
We had an ice cream, Phil chocolate, mine lime key pie (it was too sweet).
We found a great bar, very English looking, with good beer and pretzels. We visited during happy hour to use wifi. We spent a few hours here researching weather and routes etc.
We bought a hotspot rooter which allows us to use wifi whilst on board which is exciting.

Setting of to Charlston was great. Saw many dolphins. Easterly wind 10-15 knots a fine reach all the way and as per usual Pepper went quicker than expected; we arrived in the dark 12 hours earlier than planned. It was a further 8 nms into the anchorage along the ICW. The huge colonial
houses running along side the river are simply beautiful!

We've just had breakfast, then getting ready to head into the marina, via the dinghy (only 5 dollars to park it) and have a look around to do the touristy thing
xx

Date: 2017-06-10 15:21
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 29º 53.62'N:081º 18.57'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Cape Canaveral
Title: Cape Canaveral


We had a great start to the sail heading for USA with a bit of motoring towards the end. We arrived in Cape Canaveral mid day greeted by many dolphin pods. The water is horrible here, green and merky looking. We were on the look out for Manatees but did not see many. It was very
unerving seeing Phil on the bow working when a shark passed by.

The people are really friendly. We both love being in America. Everything is so clean, so organised, well sign posted, so big: cars, meals, shops, roads etc. Couldn't imagine anyone being stressed here.

I wasn't aware that this is where the shuttles are launched form so when the chap in the marina office informed us that there was a launch later on in the evening. I asked him what it was and was it a party... he did look at me oddly and Phil explained what a launch was. It was cancelled
that night because of bad weather but we were so lucky. 2 days later we visited the NASA space centre, which was fantastic, and that very evening they had a launch. It was fantastic.

It was sad to leave here, as are most of the places we leave. We got a couple of runs in and Phil sampled the local beer. We even had some oysters.

Next stop St Augustine.

Date: 2017-05-31 15:52
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 26º 18.80'N:078º 24.61'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Bahamas, Nassau
Title: 21-31 May


What a full packed 10 days.

We arrived at 0400hrs and the slip (American for moorings) appeared complicated and we didn't really gain much info from the lady in the office when we called earlier so we decided to anchor outside and wait for daylight. Nassau has an island called Paradise with two bridges connecting
them to the main land so it felt as if we were anchored in Southampton Water.

We didn't make our best entry onto our birth: tiredness, hunger, heat, hormones and a large tide running through made it all very complicated and stressful only to be told, once along side, that we needed to go to another marina to book in with customs another complicated entry. At least
we got to practise coming along side. Oh! And also the slip only reached mid ships (half way). Next to us was SY Juniper with 3 lovely young people: Chrisitine (Skipper USA), Nikki (Brit) and Kirk (China). Christine is a very interesting woman with lots of fascinating stories. She is in finance
and shark conservation and is a story teller. Nikki is a psychologist so between Christine and Nikki, having spent 6 days with Phil, I got my girly chat fix enough to make one's ears bleed. That along with a one hour chat with Amanda. We invited them on board before they set off to
Cayman Islands - a fun night.

We completed our USA visa applications which was also stressful phoning up family asking for dates of birth and marriage divorce dates etc. We booked our interview and somehow we got our days mixed up and arrived 24 hrs early! Fortunately Bahamas was having their opening of
parliament so we spent most of the day watching military parades and hundreds of folk dressed in fabulous attire of dresses, hats and even gloves-all very interesting. We felt quite honored to be part of it all.

Many tourists were about 5 cruise liners but we did visit Star bucks and Hard Rock Cafe. We even visited the grotesque, monstrous and artificial Atlantis 5 star hotel. It's a huge complex with an aquarium running through it. Very sad to see sharks, sting rays turtles etc squeezed into small
pools. We tried to cover as much as we could before security asked us about the lack of wrist bands but we had seen enough and it was full of tourists and very expensive with designer shops and casinos. We did enjoy the air conditioner though bimbling across plush carpets with our
beach kit on and yes sand on our feet oops. Real stow aways.

We did a couple of early morning runs, caught up on emails, watched tv and spent some time with Paul the owner. A rasta man incredibly kind and patient man who got on very well with Phil.

We collected our visas on Tuesday afternoon, yesterday, and slipped Central Bay Marina to head for Cape Canaveral. Miami seemed complicated and we didn't have any pilot books so we borrowed one and took photos. CC is further up the coast line. Phil is concerned about getting out
of the hurricane season before 1 July. The lat and long is 3 sail days away so I'm not overly worried. We'll do Miami on the way down.

We're almost a day in and are having to put the engine on as we head for the gulf stream to take us up the East coast of America. Sea is calm so all good, still hot. It's a short trip so we should be in late Thu.

Date: 2017-05-20 22:41
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 25º 34.75'N:076º 41.02'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Bahamas
Title: 20 May


We hope your weekend is going well. We're just rounding the northerly tip of Eleuthera, Bahamas. It's a very long thin island which we need to get around to get to New Providence, Nassau. The sun is setting and as per our tradition it looks like we will be arriving in the dark. Once we've
rounded Eleuthera there's a further 40 nms to go. We've spoken to the marina and they are expecting us. We're very glad to be arriving safely. We have not seen a single sailing yacht. Interesting how we will be received here.

Date: 2017-05-20 06:26
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 24º 26.16'N:075º 13.74'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Bahamas
Title: 20 May


We've been shifting along quite well. Wind is averaging 18 knots but a couple of days ago, in a squall, we had 28 knots. We did have three reefs in the head and main sail and our speed averaged 9 knots! We're not far from our final way point but we need to sail around a very long reef
to get into Nassau. The Bahamas have many islands, low lying with very shallow waters: less than 2 metres covering many square miles. Our expectations of Nassau will be that the marinas will house lots of power boats and have little in the way of sailing support. Nassau does sound
interesting from reading our books. The Loyalists from the American Revolution settled there and it does have a lot of history attached including slavery and piracy. Black beard was the most infamous pirate from these waters. It's hard to believe that when we arrive in Nassau (Sunday) we
will be 55nms from Miami! And only three more days sail until we are out of the hurricane zone. Hopefully we can slow down and spend some time sorting out Pepper having sped through all the islands from Grenada to BVIs we feel she needs some serious TLC. She does look after us
though.

The journey has been tedious. I think we miss the contact we had crossing the Atlantic and most of our games: name British tv programmes/popstars etc have already been covered. The shepherd's pie and curry have been great and although I've been on a diet, Phil has enjoyed his
meals. Still no sea life. We stuck a fishing rod out for 10 mins but decided it wasn't good conditions should we catch anything given we are rolling around a lot. We'll save that hobby for another day.

Have a great weekend and we'll contact you on Sunday when we arrive.xx

Date: 2017-05-17 21:33
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 21º 07.17'N:069º 56.16'W
Author: Hatty
Location:
Title: 17 May


I think it's day three. Seems very similar to day one and two. All is well so far. It's the longest passage since crossing the Atlantic but without the radio checks and presence of other sailors, which we miss. It's very overcast and has been for the last two days; at least we have respite from
the sunshine. I read in the day and play solitaire at night. Phil reads and plays Candy Crush (never really got into that). The shepherd's pie and curry meals which were prepared are going down well. We've seen a couple of tankers and cargo vessels but no sailing vessels. We've poled
out headsail and have reef in main. It's very rolly but wind is 17 knots. Last night it got up to 32 knots. Luckily we took the parasailor down before it reached 17. An interesting night. The depth is over 6000 metres but where the banks are (along our port side) the depth goes to 22 metres!
We've given the banks a wide berth. We stick to 4 hours on and off. I start at midnight. This way meals are taken together. We're enjoying not drinking any alcohol. Seems that the community we are now part of does drink a bit more than probably recommended by specialists. No sea
life apart from our departure where we saw two dolphins.

Love to all xxx

Date: 2017-05-15 12:21
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 26.50'N:064º 45.71'W
Author: Hatty
Location: White Bay, JVD, BVIs
Title: Departing for Bahamas


Having left Stinky Road Town we came to Sopper's Hole which is beautiful. Topped up with fuel and water and headed off to Sandy Cay. As you can imagine it's a very small island with sand all around it. Wish I could have owned it - have many plans in my head as we walked around it.
This was a day time stop off so after a bit of snorkelling; we saw millions of very tiny fish along the shore line; we headed round a nm away to Treat Bay but being a Friday night it was full of chartered boats, so we headed round to White Bay less than a mile. Very beautiful here. Its the
American equivalent I suppose of Ayia Napa. Many young folk pushing out muscles, very tanned with designer swim wear. We fitted in well ha ha. White Bay has a well known bar called 'Soggy Dollar'. Because of sailors swimming ashore with wet money and the cocktail 'Painkiller' was
invented here. Obviously Phil and I had a couple, took photos etc.

We walked up the mammoth hill to see Great Bay before heading back to prepare the week's food for our journey to Bahamas. Sheppard's Pie and curry. An early but rolly night. We have started to watch the old tv series 24 which keeps us entertained before getting some sleep.

This morning we are tweaking a few things before bimbling round to Great Bay to book out then 800nms to Bahamas!

I'll keep you updated as we cross.
xx

Date: 2017-05-13 14:07
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 23.14'N:064º 42.13'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Sopper's Hole, Tortola, BVIs
Title: Dolphin Experience


We arrived in Road Town, Capital of Tortola. The water was black, it stunk, we couldn't use the electric (USA) and the water to top up tasted disgusting all for $60 a night. The torrential rain didn't help either. The pontoons were tucked up in a mangrove so loads of mozzies and no wind.
Generally a rotten night's sleep. But we are here for the dolphin experience:

We arrived (after 30 mins walk) at the Dolphin centre and seeing the dolphins from the outset just brought tears to my eyes. Hearing them squeaking, jumping up and tilting their heads to the sides to see you was completely overwhelming. We had a quick bite to eat. Phil had already
decided he wouldn't go in. It was quite costly and he said he'd prefer to watch and take photos. The last time I swam with dolphins was in Cuba but they were out in the sea and approached you because they wanted to. Seeing these intelligent creatures in pens did upset me a bit. The
marine specialists gave us briefings about the dolphins themselves and how they are looked after. We were also briefed about the activities we would do. We had boyancy jackets on and entered the water (I say we, there was an American couple going in too). There were 3 dolphins in
the pool. We stroked them, gave them hugs and kisses, belly rub. They also sprayed water at us for a joke. Then we swam out into the pool and had a fin tow. The best was a push up where you lay on your front and the dolphins swim up behind you and lift you out of the water with their
noses. We had more hugs and dancing. This was the best experience. I know what you're thinking about them being couped up. I felt the same, but I still loved the experience. Phil took some great photos too.

We walked for miles to find a chandlery (in the midday heat) to get some parts Phil needed for connecting the new battery charger-no luck. Att 1600 we headed back to Pepper to slip for Sopper's Hole. We got away without paying for an extra night - just as well.

Heading west into the sunset surrounded by USBVIs and BVIs was stunning. It was late afternoon and the sea was beautifully calm with an easterly 9 knot wind with head sail up - a perfect hour. Sopper's Hole is very special. It reminded us of a bay you would see in Cornwall. Brightly
coloured houses either side of the bay with great restaurants, bars and boutiques towards the head. We really loved it here. Just the one mozzy intrusion and annoyingly Orange texting at 0200 to welcome us to Jamaica, Antigua etc - argh!

We will top up of water and fuel and head NW to Jost Van Dyke, Green and Sandy Cay. We plan on a couple of other stop over's in JVD before heading off for 4/5 days to Bahamas. I will keep updating this blogg especially on the long crossing. We'd also welcome the odd email too if
that's ok?

Date: 2017-05-11 21:03
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 25.47'N:064º 37.08'W
Author: Hatty
Location: BVIs Marina Cay
Title: BVIs Marina Cay


Marina Cay is a beautiful, tiny island surrounded by a reef. We had a couple of painkiller cocktails and listened to live music in the Happy Arrr Bar on the top of the island. We took some photos of the red letter box and looked around the Pusser's shop - American style clothers. Very pretty
and at night the lights look beautiful. We then headed early in the morning (thinking it was Wednesday full moon party) 2 nms south to Trellis Bay expecting to attend the Full moon party. Weather was raining and rather miserable so we thought they'd cancelled the main BVI event and
stayed on Pepper. The next day we walked around Trellis Bay - very expensive: 2 tomatoes, 2 onions, 4 burger rolls A37.00! Burgers were nice anyway. We realised that we were ahead of ourselves with the days and the full moon paty was the next day. We did feel silly speaking to locals
saying, 'it was a shame it didn't happen last night because of the rain'. So the next night we attended the party. Trellis Bay is well known for it's artistry, carvings and pottery shops. During the party lots of round metal features were placed around the beach and out at sea with fires lit inside
them. One statue was a huge man, again lit up. All very pretty with live music stands all along the beach. A lot of Americans enjoying themselves. We left reasonably early as things got silly - many drunk folk around. That night we experienced the biggest thunder/lightning storm ever. Not
good stuck out in a boat with a huge metal thing sticking out the top. Next morning we engined (no wind) to Norman Island where Treasure Island was themed around and swam in the pirates' caves near The Bight. This was fantastic! Amazing fish and a monster ray! We bimbled past the
well known Willy T, a schooner converted into a bar; not our thing really. Again many drunk folk jumping off. Heading north across Sir Francis Drake's Channel we arrived in the the capital of Tortola, Road Town to a stinky marina, we can't use the electric and the water is not too good. It
costs A360 a night! However this is where the Dolphin Torture Place is and we planned the experience in our trip round the BVIs. So all that to look forward to.

Hope all's well.
xxx

Date: 2017-05-08 19:55
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 27.73'N:064º 31.63'W
Author: Hatty
Location: BVIs Marina Cay
Title: 08 May


This morning we went on an epic bicycle ride along Anegeda. Phil's bike came with its own steel band, metal clanking on route, and mine was a kiddie's bike with a basket on the front with a big hole in it. Neither had gears and it felt very strange to pedal backwards to brake. Very sweaty
and aching knees we guzzled some water then slipped Anegad for Marina Cay 12 nms (very similar to Saba Rock). At least we're in a good position to pick up a good buoy for tomorrow early morning in Trellis Bay (Full Moon Party on the beach). Again many Americans on chartered yachts
and with it being overcast the sea doesn't look as blue or inviting. It is supposed to get better in the next day or two.

Date: 2017-05-08 12:59
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 43.37'N:064º 23.11'W
Author: Hatty
Location: BVIs Anageda
Title: 08 May 17


We had an excellent sail up to Anageda (12 nms). Anageda is very flat surrounded by a lot of coral and shallow water. Population: 350. It is busy in the anchorage/moorings with many chartered boats blasting music. This was expected. It's a route that the chartered boats go on.
Anageda serves the best and cheapest lobsters in the Caribbean but Phil feels that our lobster we had in Union Island has satisfied our need for anymore. I'll just look at everyone's plates as I pass by :-(

We're not overly impressed so far. It might be because it is overcast and the water is very cloudy. We'll take the dinghy ashore and look around for a couple of hours before heading south to Tortola, Marina Cay.

Date: 2017-05-06 15:32
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 30.20'N:064º 21.55'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Virgin Gorda BVIs
Title: 05 May 17


It took around 12 hours to sail from Anguilla to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. The first 6 hours were fantastic averaging around 7 knots but as usual, the wind died down and the passage became very rolly and uncomfortable. Coming round the SW tip of Virgin Gorda was interesting. We
cut through the small islands and saw the huge boulders which Virgin Gorda is well known for. We arrived at our moorings around 0730. Had breakfast then slept for a few hours. Spanish Town was as we expected of the BVI islands: $2.00 here and there for ridiculous things using dinghy
dock etc. Customs were not impressed we hadn't booked in until the afternoon when we arrived at 0730. They asked Phil twice why we didn't book in on arrival. Paperwork was tiresome although the staff were really friendly.

We walked up to The Baths for a recce (we plan on anchoring outside these the next day to look round). There are huge granite boulders dotted along a white beach with clear blue water. Fabulous and so unusual. We made our way back to Pepper and the moorings man gave us a free
bag of ice so at last a perfect sundowner with G&T AND ice! We set the alarm for 0530 (we read that you need to arrive at The Baths first light to be guaranteed a mooring because of the chartered vessels) and slipped for The Baths/Caves. They were only 30 mins away but it was very
satisfying being the first on the scene and picking up the closest mooring buoy to the shore. We had a few hours sleep before setting off as 'tourists'. We put essentials; money, shorts, tops, sun block etc in a waterproof bag (which floats) and snorkelled ashore. The water was warm,
glorious blue and clear. We snorkelled around the granite boulders taking photos and generally relaxing in the water. The walk to Devil's Bay from The Baths was stunning. Only around 30 mins but the huge boulders and cacti were so unusual to see on in the Caribbean. We entered the
famous caves (Devel's Bay to The Baths) which were can be described as an adults' play ground. Meandering through the boulders with the sea lapping around our feet, ladders to climb and rope pulls we worked our way back to The Baths all in swim wear. A great adventure and such
fun. The light that works its way through the boulders reflecting of the walls and the sea is stunning. We took many photos. We headed back to Pepper, had lunch then slipped northwards to Saba Rock/ The bitter End (next door to Richard Branson - Necker Island). A fantastic sail -
wind on the beam and a little race during the last hour (4 chartered boats). Saba Rock is beautiful with a price tag to match. We had sundowners in the bar (Pain Killers) and watched the Tarpons (2 meters long) being fed. Phil had a go too. We met a nice couple Karen and Nigel, who
happen to know SY Enavigo. They gave us some advice on areas to visit.

This morning we've done some washing, Phil connected the water to the cockpit shower. This will be fabulous once connected. Good to rinse off the salt after a swim. I plan on making the wind scoop today too.

We hope you are all well and planning your visit out here. xxx

Date: 2017-05-03 14:19
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 12.00'N:063º 05.62'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Anguilla
Title: School Reunion


After a stunning 3 hours sail from Saint Martin we arrived in Anguilla. Beautiful white beaches and the clearest waters we have seen so far. The sole purpose of us coming here was not for the touristy thing but to see an old friend of mine from boarding school. Chrissie Brooks-35 years we
last saw each other.

We arrived in Sandy Bay to book in with immigration/customs. But you have to pay 54 US $ a day for cruisers' permit if you go anywhere else on the island. It's free here in Sandy Bay. We didn't mind this too much but the permit lasts for 24 hours and the 24 hours ends at midnight! So if
you are overnighting, that will be 108 US $. Chrissie lives in the next bay, Crocus Bay in the biggest yellow house on the island. Crocus Bay is simply beautiful and Chriisie's house looks onto it and a fabulous restaurant Davida is on the sea front. We are on a budget so unfortunately we
took a taxi round to meet her and her husband Clive. The taxi ride was interesting. He wasn't really a taxi he just stopped to offer a lift. The car was a mess, the driver was a huge rasta man trying to sell his music CDs to which he was singing to loudly. He asked Phil if he liked the
music...Phil replied, 'not my favourtie'. The driver/singer then asked Phil if he wanted any ganja...Obviously we declined but the driver smoked away. A funny situation to see Phil in.

Chrissie and Clive showed us around some of their island and it really is beautiful.. Sadly we are short of time so our time together is short. Clive is driving us around today; Chrissie is working. Tonight we head off to BVIs Virgin Gorda first leaving around 1700 for an overnighter. We hope to
catch up for longer next year.
xx

Date: 2017-05-02 13:47
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 18º 04.09'N:063º 05.62'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Saint Martin
Title: 02 May


Saint Martin is different. It's French in the north and Dutch in the south with a huge lagoon in the middle. To gain access to the lagoon you need to enter through a couple of bridges with various opening hours. We decided to anchor outside the lagoon in Marigot Bay, French side; it's
cheaper and the sea looks beautiful out here. That said the weather is rotten. We've had rain and it's been mostly overcast. At least warm. We walked into the town, up to Fort Louis and took the dinghy into the lagoon to a dinghy dock and shopped in Carefour. Filled a trolley full of
French products. We liked the Lagoonies Bar-very sailor - ey. Had a super lunch and couple of beers there. Unfortunately it was labour day (holiday) yesterday and nothing was open. So Phil and I had a spa day on board. I cut my hair, did nails and feet, put face pack on and hand pack
(didn't know they existed-cheers Trish), waxed and polished. Phil fixed the shower pump for the cock pit (still associated with a 'spa' day I guess), but he did have a hair and beard cut too. So we are very clean, shiny and feel almost human again. Our friends on SY Laumare, Franc, Rose,
Maire Helene and Laurence invited us out to supper last night. Rose and the children go back to Holland today. We've known them since Union Island; we will miss them. Franc and his brother will sail their yacht back to Portugal later this week. We had a lovely night and thank you
Franc for supper.

Phil has gone ashore to book out of immigration before we head off to Anguilla. I have an old boarding school friend who lives there and I am looking forward to catching up after 35 years. The sun is shinning at last and there's a great wind. It's a couple of ours sail so it should be a good
passage.

xxx

Date: 2017-04-27 20:12
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 17º 09.36'N:061º 45.78'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Antigua
Title: Boys visit


Moserate was stunning. We sailed clockwise round heading south first where the active volcano is. As you approach you can smell and see the hot ash forcing its way out. Going round the west side is a maritime exclusion zone for which we were most grateful; the sulphur was rich and
very pongie. It was fascinating to see how the ash and lava had spread covering most of the southern island. We anchored in a very dark bleak bay up north where we saw the best sunset ever. The boys really liked it here. They liked the people and the sunset. After Monsterat we went
to Barbuda. Here is miles and miles of the whitest sand anywhere in the Caribbean. There isn't much to do here so we decided to walk into Codrington the town. Unfortunately it was slightly inland a dusty straight road in the middle of the day. Very boring, very long and very hot. We were
rescued half way by an English couple-thank goodness. Apparently no one walks into Codrington froom where we were anchored. It seemed like a good idea a the time. We ate a chicken take away on the beach and we all swam in the crystal clear blue waters. After Barbuda we
headed off to the NE coast of Antigua, Jumpy Bay on long island. Very pretty shallow bay where the boys snorkeled. We were looking forward to a sundowner shore side but were embarrassingly turned away because it was private, despite what the pilot book said.

We motored to Great Bird Island where Devil's Gate is and the boys enjoyed the best location for snorkeling. Coming to the end of the boys visit we headed back west to Jolly Bay Marina. It was hot and lots of mosquitos here but the night life was a bit more entertaining for their last night.
Trish and John had arrived but spent the first 2 nights in Jolly Bay Spa whilst we still had the boys on board. We all caught up for a drink then drove the boys to the airport-another emotional time...

Trish and John joined us in the marina and it was decided to move to an anchorage because the marina lacked wind and we needed to cool down. Carlisle Bay was crystal clear with many star fish around. John snorkeled for the first time and it was a lovely evening watching the sun set
and bobbing around in the anchorage. The next day we headed to English Harbour. It was Classic Week and we thought John would enjoy the races and looking at the boats. In English Harbour we visited Shirley Heights for a reggae dance off, saw steel band, hired a car for the day
where John and Trish got to experience flour like sand. We walked up the coast line a couple of times to watch the racing. The tot club had an open invite so luckily John and Trish got to experience that. I tried teaching John how to dance on the lawn in front of the Copper and Lumber
(all in Nelson's dock yard). I swam ashore towing Trish (she is uncomfortable in the water not knowing what is underneath). John and I did a lot of snorkeling; the best was at Hercules Pillars outside English Harbour. An amazing place to snorkel although quite rolly. Phil towed us outside to
avoid the swell which was intimidating to say the least but a spectacular view of the topography of the pillars and fish.

Trish and John enjoyed their last couple of nights in the Copper and Lumber-a beautiful hotel with excellent furnishings from Nelson's era. We visited Boom Bar, Cheeky Monkey but enjoyed eating on board or having lunch in the hot club. Our last night with John and Trish was memorable.
They treated us to an Italian (unlimited alcohol-we couldn't partake because we were heading off). A lovely meal and afterwards we said our teary good byes, they helped slip our lines and they watched us hoist the main and set off waving our last guests who had visited us out of 5 weeks
of having family and friends on board. We have had a lovely 5 weeks seeing everyone- thank you all for visiting us.

Phil and I sailed overnight to St Barts-it seems a little dull here, weather doesn't help much but we are anchored here for a couple of days for some R&R and tidy up. Snorkeling was good today we saw a lot of fish and got some exercise in. Tomorrow we head off to St Martin (French side-
it's cheaper) and will dinghy round to the Dutch for victuals and parts for the boat.

Hopefully that is all updated now. We are pressing on to get to the Bahamas for our USA visa but will visit as many islands as poss.

Missing you all.
xxx

Date: 2017-04-07 00:44
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 17º 00.32'N:061º 45.65'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Antigua
Title: Boys here!!!


Phil and I had a great week in English Harbour with Vic. She managed to get a couple of dives but no sailing. I decided to defrost the fridge with a sharp knife...phsstt! A3650 later we have a new plate fitted.
We were invited to a few Tot evenings with John, Jacquie and Chris from SY Aqua Dais, really nice people. We went out for another boogy night with SY Billio Jack and Adele. Sam and Steve popped by to visit us. They have a new boat called SY Wonder Lust-really good to see them
both. We met a nice American couple, Lisa and Rus on SY Uproar and spent a couple of sun downers with them which was lovely. We got the windlass and bow thruster fixed too.

We hired a car to pick up and drop off Vic so we were able to see a lot of the island by land. Saw some amazing houses in Jolly Harbour with the owners yachts parked next to the boat-how the other half live. Beautiful white beaches all around. We found the place where Phil stayed for a
holiday 27 years ago with Vic and Wiz.

The boys are with us now. It's so good to see them although today we are all a bit sore from too much drinking last night. We're currently anchored in Carlisle Bay, very clear waters and are setting off nice and early for Monserate.

Date: 2017-04-07 00:44
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 17º 00.32'N:061º 45.65'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Antigua
Title: Boys here!!!


Phil and I had a great week in English Harbour with Vic. She managed to get a couple of dives but no sailing. I decided to defrost the fridge with a sharp knife...phsstt! A3650 later we have a new plate fitted.
We were invited to a few Tot evenings with John, Jacquie and Chris from SY Aqua Dais, really nice people. We went out for another boogy night with SY Billio Jack and Adele. Sam and Steve popped by to visit us. They have a new boat called SY Wonder Lust-really good to see them
both. We met a nice American couple, Lisa and Rus on SY Uproar and spent a couple of sun downers with them which was lovely. We got the windlass and bow thruster fixed too.

We hired a car to pick up and drop off Vic so we were able to see a lot of the island by land. Saw some amazing houses in Jolly Harbour with the owners yachts parked next to the boat-how the other half live. Beautiful white beaches all around. We found the place where Phil stayed for a
holiday 27 years ago with Vic and Wiz.

The boys are with us now. It's so good to see them although today we are all a bit sore from too much drinking last night. We're currently anchored in Carlisle Bay, very clear waters and are setting off nice and early for Monserate.

Date: 2017-03-21 14:32
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 16º 13.31'N:061º 31.78'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Guadaloupe French offshore island
Title: 25 March - Sinking Ship!


Happy Mother's Day!

After arriving in Pointe a Pitre SW of Eastern island we met SY Enavigo, Jodie and Steve. We invited them on shore for a chili which was great. A nice evening even though there were a few passionate discussions of the RYA syllabus. After 3 1/2 bottles of red wine, I have no idea what
the outcome was.

We hired a car for two days. First day we traveled around the East island. (There are two islands with a couple of road bridges connecting them. East island is 30 million years older than the west one-totally different and fascinating because of their formations) The beaches round this
island are brilliant white with pink coral amongst the sand. Although a windward side the reefs around it take off a lot of the energy from the Atlantic so a great place to swim. We had a local lunch with chicken, rice and veg-nice but pricey - this is France I suppose. On the way back we
stopped off in Carfour, the biggest one outside France. We bought many heavy bulk items for our lovely visitors: Vic on Tue, then the boys 4th Apr then Trish my friend with her husband 14ish. However we did not have all what was needed, in my opinion, so decided to go back the next
day.

The next day was the west island but we were shocked to see that it was a holiday and all the shops, including Carfour, was shut! I'll come onto that bit later. The west island is where most yachts travel along so this gave us a good opportunity to see all the bays along the route. There
were some very nice bays but looked busy-no buoys available. We visited the botanical gardens-simply amazing! Took many photos. They had parrots, pink flamingos and hundreds of fabulous plants. We had a picnic lunch looking over the bay-trying to cut down a bit. I went into a hot
sulphur spring-apparently it's good for you. I just came out smelling of eggs although my skin felt soft-not sure how long that will last. At the end of the day we drove up to see the biggest waterfall in the Caribbean, Chutes de Carbet. We saw the waterfall sailing round and it did look pretty
awesome from there. It's in 3 stages but we could only see the 2nd one because you need 3-5 hours trek to visit the others. Very beautiful, great views, cool with amazing vegetation. Again totally different to any other island including it's neighbor, the east side.

We came up with a few plans to get to Carfour for the next day. We had it booked for 2 days only and had still not bought fresh produce-cheese, fruit, veg etc. Unfortunately the car was booked out but luckily we were able to pick up another at 1030.

I left Phil to do some jobs and actually it's less stressful shopping for food on my own. Phil hates shopping especially food shopping. There is a 100m row of yogurts-that's how big this place was. Me, I was in heaven. Eyes darting everywhere comparing prices and absorbing all the
amazing products. Strangely the Carfour prices were more expensive than local produce. Fruit and veg does not last long from here either. Surprised they import some of the fruit and veg too.

So Phil did his jobs, and I shopped for around 3 hours. On returning, very pleased with the amazing cheeses and hams I had bought, I noticed the boat looked odd... Phil started jumping about saying we're taking on water. I asked him what he meant but he was busy thinking what had
gone wrong-difficult to think and speak at the same time I assume. Long story short, Phil had washed the boat down but left the hose connected to the tap left on and turned the water off at the nozzle end. The nozzle had obviously fallen off so the water carried on: completely filling the
locker behind the bulk head to where we sleep for around 3 hours. The water, when I stood in the locker getting the water out with a bucket, was up to my neck! Probably around 3 tons of water sitting pretty. I wasn't best pleased, but I've never been one to cry over spilt milk or spilt water
in this case. The bow thruster is knackered but we've dried off the sails which were completely saturated (including the parasailor).

We were heading off for Antigua but stayed an extra night to dry off. We have time, Vic arrives on Tuesday.


Date: 2017-03-18 19:15
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 51.71'N:061º 36.02'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Guadaloupe French offshore island
Title: 19, 20 & 21 March


A lovely day! We must have been in the best bay in the Les Saintes, just round the corner from Sugar Loaf Bay. This day we were rather productive- cleaned the boat, did 3 washing cycles, went snorkelling (saw 3 massive parrot fish), took the dinghy into the town, walked up to Fort
Napoleon, Marigot Bay and Pompierre Bay, had a lovely ice cream and French wine watching the sun go down before dinghying back to Pepper.

Monday we left for Guadeloupe, a good sail up. Beautiful white beaches and again French. Marina is modern but some areas are looking a bit tired. Tried wifi but without much success but apparently the Pirate Bar has good wifi so we'll try there. We caught up with SY Enavigo, Steve
and Jodie. Saw a man plucking hair from his chin in the bar.

Today we woke up early. Phil got to a dentist who sorted his tooth ache out and cheapish too. Apparently his teeth are too close together for the floss...We've booked a hire car for a couple of days. We thought it would be quicker to see the islands by road than sailing to each place.
We need to get to Antigua by the weekend. Cleaned the boat, posted Tilley hat for repairs on the brim. Now we're off for a coffee and wifi.

Date: 2017-03-18 19:01
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 51.71'N:061º 36.03'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Guadaloupe French offshore island
Title: 18 March 17


Dominica:

The Indian River was fab! Others joined in to share the costs: French Canadian couple SY Caffe Latte, Jean & Yolene, SY Mr X, Ian and Manuela and SY Enviago, Steve & Jodie (met in UK). I took loads of photos. Very interesting - the guide was very knowledgeable. Felt a bit weird on
way back though. Top thigh felt painful and my chest was a bit sore. We had little sleep because of the loud music on the beach that night and then someone tried to sell me insurance on my phone from UK at 0500. That along with a heavy and hot run was probably why I felt a bit weird.
We arranged to meet everyone for happy hour in a bar beginning with M, blue roof. But got a bit drunk and had risotto on Mr X which was lovely. I fell on a winch with my bum so that's a bit sore two days later.

The next day we felt a bit delicate so decided to stay another night and not risk sailing without feeling 100% We did absolutely nothing! Read all day - bliss!

This morning it was gusting 30 knots in the bay. Weather forecast said it would ease as the day progressed so this morning around 1100 we set off for Guadeloupe. Sail wasn't too bad 20-28 knots on the beam. Again it's a French island. Very European. We've decided to moor in some
of the bays in the small islands south: Les Saintes and Terre de Haut, again very beautiful. Clear blue waters and very French. Then we'll head into the main land of Guadeloupe and explore there. It's very exciting that the next island is Antigua. Here is where Vic, Sean and George and my
friend Trish will be flying in to spend time with us over 5 weeks. Vic flies in first in 8 days so we'll do as much as we can here before setting off. There's a Carefour in Guadeloupe so we will need to stock up on food for the boys.

Date: 2017-03-13 18:15
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 34.92'N:061º 27.90'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Dominica
Title: 13 March


Happy birthday Ant (my brother)!

Yesterday was perfect! We went on a tour with other sailors we just met: Maz & Grelena French and John, Jackie and Chris British. We went in a minibus to the lakes, waterfalls and swam in caverns and crawled up waterfalls. Half way up there were hot sulphur springs coming out which
was so lovely a bit like being in a hot bath. We ate lunch opposite Trafalgar falls - beautiful! When we arrived back at the boat SY Enviago Jodie and Steve were anchored. ( I did my HF course with them and we have stayed in touch, so really lovely to see them again).

Today we headed up north to Portsmouth. It's a lovely big bay. Had a nightmare with the anchor setting again! It looks nice here. We hope to do the Indian River Jungle Tour and look at a huge fort.

Date: 2017-03-13 18:15
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 15º 34.92'N:061º 27.90'W
Author: Hatty
Location: Dominica
Title: 13 March


Happy birthday Ant (my brother)!

Yesterday was perfect! We went on a tour with other sailors we just met: Maz & Grelena French and John, Jackie and Chris British. We went in a minibus to the lakes, waterfalls and swam in caverns and crawled up waterfalls. Half way up there were hot sulphur springs coming out which
was so lovely a bit like being in a hot bath. We ate lunch opposite Trafalgar falls - beautiful! When we arrived back at the boat SY Enviago Jodie and Steve were anchored. ( I did my HF course with them and we have stayed in touch, so really lovely to see them again).

Today we headed up north to Portsmouth. It's a lovely big bay. Had a nightmare with the anchor setting again! It looks nice here. We hope to do the Indian River Jungle Tour and look at a huge fort.


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