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Archives for January 2008

 

Are the Andes?

The andesThose of you that remember your Molesworth (you probably don't its a public scool thing). Remember me publick scool educated, ok Educated is over generous to Sedbergh, I think we can say I attended it, while the teachers were in the pubs..

However Molesworth's exam question "Are the Andes" can now be answered. Yes they are and they've got snow on them. Didn't expect to see snow on this trip. Podcast atomic rss viewers who are listening may will have to visit website for the photos. I still can't help Molesworth with the following question "In Africa".

Were just north of Cartegena (another of Sir Frances Drakes conquests), no fish again. We think it was the knot this time.

The one that got away...

We'll be in Colon in a couple of days, then through the Canal, however the World ARC will be there at the same time. So it could cause a queue. Winds been fickle, and now when were supposed to have flat water we've nearly 30 knots and waves. Jackie's not enjoying it much. I'm getting queasy writing this so I'm going to stop now.

"The Americans need a weather window, the Brits are forever looking for a weather forecast, the Fench just go sailing." Richard off the boat next door in Aruba.

Position: 12° 35' N, 71° 43' W | Posted: Wed 30th January 2008

 

Floating bloody office blocks

Ugly

Take a 1960's high rise office block. Rotate through 90 degrees. Pack it with the overpaid, over weight and unfortunately over here and you have a cruise liner.

EDIT: Ship I've found out since this a liner is something totally different.

Broadly speaking they are square. Many stories high, infected with e-coli and other bacterium. The one pictured right is actually quite pretty. Despite the risk of food poison, the price and the ugliness they've become unbelievably popular. We were in Aruba for 48 hours and we saw 8 liners.

At sea they clip along, to power that much flab along takes oomph. They're also maneuverable, to get in and out of small harbors. At night they are ablaze with lights, making the navigation lights completely inviable. They hare around, and since they're basically square and uniformly randomly lit its almost impossible to tell which way they're pointing and they come up on you awful fast. I don't like 'em - you can tell.

I count 24 balconies per deck in the section of side in that pic, with 5 decks of cabins. 2 per cabin and you've got 240 peoples worth of posh cabins in this small section. These things have thousands of people on them. Unfortunately they let them off too (the ones without food poisoning)

Position: 12° 38' N, 70° 57.5' W | Posted: Sun 27th January 2008

 

Aruba

oooh err its posh here.

The marina is owned by the 5 star hotel ($6US a beer), that means we get to use the gym, pool etc. Or in my case nick towels. The boat next door has been hear a year. They have covered everything in a towel. The must have dozens, when they spill something they just swap the towel.

The have casinos. Dark, bleepy, full of slot machines. Looks about as much fun as sticking ferrets down your trousers. But less exciting. I've spent to long being sensible to try casinos. Especially slot machines. The national lottery is not about the winning, its the dreaming of what you'd do if you won. Thats the whole point of it, and according to research the main reason people play. I too dream what I'd do if I won the lottery (guess what it involves boats). I don't believe I will, nor does anyone else. I find that you can dream about winning the lottery, since its irrational anyway, quite easily with out actually entering the lottery. Best of both worlds, I don't waste money and I get happy thoughts.

Silly Boat

The hotel has a private Island, we were going to take the boat out to it but got distracted by a happy hour. The boat actually drives into one of the hotel's receptions. You swipe your room card and get on. Tacky or what. So you can experience this without shelling out for expensive hotels or marinas I've made a video.

Sorry about the theme music, I couldn't get hold of Carmia Birna opera at short notice. So I used pilates of the Caribbean. RSS users will need to paste this http://www.oceanhippie.net/ content/vid/ArubaSillyBoat.wmv

When I say posh, the poshness only extends a few streets back from the harbour. Then its tin shacks dogs and rought streets. The difference is more noticeable, and more condemnable here. A few streets back and its very Caribbean. Not as Caribbean as Sourfier in St Lucia. Sourfier has a repo for beggars, dinghy watchers (kids who hand around and offer to watch your dinghy not go anywhere instead of school) boat boys (guy with a pre war surfboard/half sunk boat who will offer to show you in, tie your rope to a palm tree or other unnecessary service). More impressively Allen and Jackie were approached on the sports field by a bunch of locals who asked them for $18.75EC - to buy a cricket ball.

Position: 12° 31' N, 70° 22.9' W | Posted: Sun 27th January 2008 | http://www.oceanhippie.net/content/vid/ArubaSillyBoat.wmv

 

The demise of te h key

My h key is dying, from now on this website may be missing this unappreciated letter. From now on you may ave to add tem your selves. For instance erring, means herring, muc is much. I'm sure you'll all get te hang of it.

I'm in Aruba, to save money I ave networked my laptop to te oter laptop on te boat, so we can use one paid for wifi chit for bot laptops.

  Remember you must add missing letter h to the above sentence to make it work.

  Aruba is hot and had 2 cruise liners in when we arrived, thats at least 5000 people. Whew. Due to the small dinghy and the windy arbour (harbour) we are in a marina. Joy o joy. Electricity! Water! Walking ashore! You don't know what a privilege that is till you've lived without it.

  We're short of information on Panama, so we're using google earth instead. oops not a proper navigational chart. O well.

  Bonaire was good, but I've been spoiled by the Internet. So haven't been writing it up. All I've done is add some pictures.

Position: 12° 31' N, 70° 22.9' W | Posted: Fri 25th January 2008

 

Crew Wanted

Jackal the boat I'm sailing on is in need of an other Crew member. A third person to cross the pacific. If your interested. Get in touch with me and I'll put you through to Allen the skipper.

Panama to Australia, Via Galapagos F. Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia etc.

Position: 12° 90' N, 68° 16.8' W | Posted: Wed 23rd January 2008

 

Flying Fish

Arrived in Bonaire, things relatively cheap, English well spoken. Town awash with Americans of above average girth (well maybe not above average for Americans), sporting T-Shirts from every island in the Caribbean. They'll be from that cruise liner then.

Cash points work *sighs happily*, wifi doesn't *sighs resignedly*. I'm beginning to feel justly proud of PierToPier.net it worked most of the time covered a wide area. Nobody round here seems to be able to compete with us on that score.

Competition Time

Can you spot the flying fish in this photo. No? Nor can I that will be another picture to add to my list of failures in the flying fish photography stakes.

Face it readers, you can't experience all of life from the internet. There is no virtual reality version of being hit by a flying fish; to be honest I can't see the commercial appeal of that one. I've never been hit by a flying fish yet, I've had a few near misses. One bloke I met had one go up his shorts (eugh), Borje on Ornen had one land it his bed, thought the skipper was throwing sausages at him.

Green Flash

Apparently just as the sun goes down in the tropics, you get a green flash. This story is twittered inanely by yachties , especially those new to tropical sailing. I've spent close on 2 years in the tropics. Often with nowt better to do than watch the sunset. I've not seen it once. I think it total tripe. If someone says they've seen the "green flash", they're either lying or have been staring at the sun sol long their eyesights fubared. Can you see any green in this photo? No thought not.

Position: 12° 90' N, 68° 16.8' W | Posted: Sun 20th January 2008

 

Bolivars and Bog Paper

The Currency of Venezuela is the Bolivar. Its about 2000 old bolivars to the US Dollar officially or up 5000 changing cash.

That's if we had any cash, which we don't. Wish someone had said. I've got some us travellers cheques. However checking in means the agent has my passport. No changing travellers cheques then, I'd need a bank anyway and guess what that means bad exchange rate. Cash Point rip off it is then, not that any of the damn cash points work either. All I want is to buy a few beers in the Bar. Is that too much to ask? I'm prepared to be ripped off, there's nowt I can do about it I'd just like to actually get it over with.

That's old Bolivars on the 1st of January the Bolly was made smaller. They knocked the 3 zeros off the end. 10

After nearly 48 hours we finally got to change some money ripped off of course. None of the ATM's work (government is trying to restrict the flow of money in and out of the country, and believe me its working). Eventually I changed some US travellers cheques. At the "Government rate" of 2.144 new Bollies to the dollar (here after named after Hugo Chavez the "Chav"). The commission and a fee. So bugger all chavs for loads of money. Grrrr.

Position: 10° 57.2' N, 63° 49.8' W | Posted: Wed 16th January 2008

 

Hittler has only got one ball

Apparently the other is in a famous concert establishment in the British Capital. This is not the only lost testicle out there. More can be found in a small group of Venezuelan Islands approximately 2/3rds of the way from Grenada to Isla Margarita.

Los Testigos, literally "Lost Testicles" in Spanish are a small group of rocky islands with sandy beaches, population 140. Ok I lied actually Los Testigos means "The Witnesses". Nothing to do with Testicles at all. Shame really. There is apparently a shop, however its main contents are apparently fish. Fish and fishing boats are what Los Testigos are about. Not much else there apart from a history of salvaged outboard motors and a couple of goats.

Twas gorgeous though. Local boats being built on the beach. Bright painted fishing boats under the palm trees. Pelicans sitting on the boats at Anchor. No Beer. No beer! Its also home to a frigate bird colony. There are huge black frigate birds wheeling overhead constantly. Difficult to photograph though

We sailed there overnight from St Georges Grenada. Stayed there last night and are on route to Polimar, Isla Margarita. Also Venezuelan. After a few days we'll probably Island hop further west, to Los Rochas, then Bonaire or one of the other ABC's

I very much doubt Los Testigos will appear on the Google maps thing on my site, but trust me they're there. Will try and upload this from Margarita. Assuming we don't get robbed, pirated or otherwise killed to death. Incidents have been happening in Venezuela recently. Though its difficult for me to tell if they haven't always happened in Margarita. Quite possibly there were incidents on record last time I was here on Ornen in 99.


The Beach and fishing hamlet on Tesigos Grande

Position: 16° 41' S, 135° 43.6' E | Posted: Tue 15th January 2008 | http://

 

Hittler has only got one ball

Apparently the other is in a famous concert establishment in the British Capital. This is not the only lost testicle out there. More can be found in a small group of Venezuelan Islands approximately 2/3rds of the way from Grenada to Isla Margarita.

Los Testigos, literally "Lost Testicles" in Spanish are a small group of rocky islands with sandy beaches, population 140. Ok I lied actually Los Testigos means "The Witnesses". Nothing to do with Testicles at all. Shame really. There is apparently a shop, however its main contents are apparently fish. Fish and fishing boats are what Los Testigos are about. Not much else there apart from a history of salvaged outboard motors and a couple of goats.

Twas gorgeous though. Local boats being built on the beach. Bright painted fishing boats under the palm trees. Pelicans sitting on the boats at Anchor. No Beer. No beer! Its also home to a frigate bird colony. There are huge black frigate birds wheeling overhead constantly. Difficult to photograph though

We sailed there overnight from St Georges Grenada. Stayed there last night and are on route to Polimar, Isla Margarita. Also Venezuelan. After a few days we'll probably Island hop further west, to Los Rochas, then Bonaire or one of the other ABC's

I very much doubt Los Testigos will appear on the Google maps thing on my site, but trust me they're there. Will try and upload this from Margarita. Assuming we don't get robbed, pirated or otherwise killed to death. Incidents have been happening in Venezuela recently. Though its difficult for me to tell if they haven't always happened in Margarita. Quite possibly there were incidents on record last time I was here on Ornen in 99.


The Beach and fishing hamlet on Tesigos Grande

Position: 11° 22.8' N, 63° 84' W | Posted: Tue 15th January 2008 | http://

 

Barbados?

In Grenada, flew here via Barbados, on board "Jackal" a 42ft beneteau. We'll be heading off for Isla Margarita in Venezuala with in the next few days.

My Zaurus has died, so those of you who had to miserably type you Addresses into it had better send me then again. Sorry.

  • Sales Tax
  • Passenger Facility Charge
  • Airport Development Tax
  • Airport Authority Taxes
  • Airport Passenger Taxes
  • Fuel and Insurance Surcharges

Enough with the Taxes already its more than the flight!


Rodney bay Marina from the Plane.

Position: 15° 43.2' S, 135° 38.4' E | Posted: Sat 12th January 2008

 

Barbados?

In Grenada, flew here via Barbados, on board "Jackal" a 42ft beneteau. We'll be heading off for Isla Margarita in Venezuala with in the next few days.

My Zaurus has died, so those of you who had to miserably type you Addresses into it had better send me then again. Sorry.

  • Sales Tax
  • Passenger Facility Charge
  • Airport Development Tax
  • Airport Authority Taxes
  • Airport Passenger Taxes
  • Fuel and Insurance Surcharges

Enough with the Taxes already its more than the flight!


Rodney bay Marina from the Plane.

Position: 12° 26.5' N, 61° 44.9' W | Posted: Sat 12th January 2008

 

Tom messes up again

Fixed my little upload failure.

Those Video Clips should now work, hopefully...

  • Kill Your Television, a video shot of the reefs off Anse Chastenet
  • Black Pearl my Arse, I thought I'd lost this and it disappeared off the internet, so I've uploaded it here for posterity or until I get sued.

Position: 14° 45.2' N, 60° 56.9' W | Posted: Wed 9th January 2008

 

Karma part II and dental tourism

Some of you may have seen an earlier blog post entitled Karma. About how I lost a pair of sun glasses on Reduit beach, then found a new pair. Well Karma hadn't finished with me yet. The pair I found in the surf on Reduit beach, returned the Davy Jone's locker whence they came, during a rather rough dinghy landing. May be I should have tried harder to find the owner.

 

Also this morning I wern't to the Dentist, its been a while since I last went. Quite a long while. I've been meaning to for ages. But haven't been on the books of a Dentist, and there hard to find on the NHS these days. The ache that made my mind up started days before I flew out. The Dentist here in St Lucia, was nice friendly helpful, not too disapproving of of my long absence from the chair. What I can say is, even If I was on the NHS its a lot cheaper over here. If we in England are worried about people coming over and using the NHS as "Medical Tourists" then we probably get it back on the Dental side £35 for a checkup and a filling. Don't thing the NHS can beat that. Even If you could find an NHS dentist.

Position: 14° 45.2' N, 60° 56.9' W | Posted: Tue 8th January 2008

 

Kill Your Televison!

I'm sick as a parrot, snot still pouring out of every orifice. Drinking beer makes me feel worse. Sitting around with the laptop is about all I'm good for, its given me some opportunity to work on the website. No, no not the speeling, just the content

New Items

I've got some of Steve's videos, but since there in a DV codec I can\'t do out with them at present. Such is life. I can watch them, but hey I've got Mplayer - it will play anything.

Gonna see if I can upload this then see a dentist

Position: 14° 45.2' N, 60° 56.9' W | Posted: Fri 4th January 2008

 

I'm not as old as you think I am

Its New Year 2008, happy new year readers who are listening. Its my birthday the day after tomorrow. But I wont be 33, I'll still be 32. 

On the way across the Atlantic we put the clocks back 4 times - the sun just kept setting later and later*

  What with the early morning Christmas texts from the UK waking the boat up 4 hours early, my immanent birthday and the new year it set me thinking.

  You go on holiday, Gatwick misery, car park nearer Brighton than the air port, no legroom, terrorists, toothpaste banned, jokes by the Now Show etc. Eventually you fly out and change your watch and get sunburned, riped off, hungover, skint etc. Proper holiday. Get on your plane and fly back, change watch back to the time it was before. Nothing lost or gained.

  However, I kind of went west, putting my watch back and back. I might not have sailed all the way round the world, but when I flew home I went west again from Thailand. Not back east. Now I'm a bit confused.

Maybe the international date line takes care of this, I just lost my watch in Pappete (Tahiti), so have no reliable memory of exactly what happened when I crossed it, but if you assume that every day contains one sunrise and one sunset I've missed one. I only get to be 33 on the 4th.

  I'm doing my nut in here just thinking about it, since ultimately except for relativity time its self doesn't change and, trust me on this, sailing boats do not move at relativistic velocities. I will still be 33 on Thursday. However I've still seen one less day than you lot, even if some the days I did see were a bit longer than yours.

Made you think didn't I, and I didn't even get sidereal** on your ass?

Tom



  * observant readers will realize it rose later too, but I'm not to observant at that time.
** Look up the difference between a solar day and a sidereal one some time.

Position: 14° 45.8' N, 60° 57.3' W | Posted: Wed 2nd January 2008 | http://

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