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Our new friends Dave and Jenny came sailing with us because they wanted the Real cruising experience. Well, they got that yesterday… a true representation of what our life on the water is very often like.

After spending a reasonably quiet night on a mooring ball at Sandy Island, we cast off our lines with plans to head to shore at Hillsborough, Carriacou to see the town, and hopefully acquire a new phone SIM card. The distance to travel from Sandy Island to Hillsborough is only a mile or so, and we covered it without incident. Unfortunately, when Rebecca went to test the windlass as we were making our final approach to the anchorage, the motor stuck in the On position. As luck would have it, she had loosened the clutch so it was not moving the chain, but it still wasn’t good. After realizing what was going on, I quickly dropped below and switched off the breaker to stop the motor from running.

Street party in Hillsborough

Because it was so close, with the windlass acting up, we motored back to the mooring field and picked up the same ball that we had just cast off. We then set to work to troubleshoot the problem. As it turns out, it was all my fault. I had just installed fans in the V-berth so that our guests would be comfortable. In my haste to get the job done for them, I tapped into the closest source of electricity to the cabin, an unused windlass remote control circuit. Unfortunately, the way that I did it had the fans preventing the windlass control solenoid from opening once it was closed. Happily, it didn’t take us too long to sort out the issue and fix it. The incident was a good representation of how things can go wrong on a boat though, and how you need to be prepared to make on-the-water repairs on your own.

Greased pole competition. It didn’t end well for this guy!

Once fixed, we cast off once again and made our way back to Hillsborough. What we didn’t realize was that there was a huge street party going on there in celebration of Emancipation Day. The normally sleepy little town was full of smiling faces, loud music, dancing and activities, and of course, we took it all in. We were also fortunate in that our charter friends on the catamaran Knot Anchored arrived to the anchorage at the same time that we did so we were able to share the fun with them too. Just as the previously described bit of drama was representative of what our time on the water is often like, so was this unplanned positive experience. It ended up being a great day with plenty of good memories for us all!

Our friends’ boat Knot Anchored in the foreground


  1. What?? You mean cruising isn’t all boat drinks & butterflys!?!? Maybe we should forget the plans to buy a boat and just go cruising with you?!?!

  2. Hmmm, note to self: when making any additions, corrections or modifications to electrical system perform system check to be sure no mishaps, failures or goof ups happen.
    -REPAIR 101

  3. With multi tasking 1001 things, I’m sure one thing can get missed no matter how trivial. More fun, less suck! 🙂

  4. Rita & Ralph. Sy Calypso. Kemah tx - Reply

    He mike and Rebecca,we are friends from Deneen &Greg ( Mantus). Sailing on an IP35 named Calypso. Deneen told us to look out for you and say hello and give you a hug. We are coming Thursday to Tyrrel Bay, sailing down from St.Lucia.from there to Port luois marina.
    So I will look out for you as told,maybe you can do the same so I can give you the hug from Deneen. Do I need to lok for the Amel ? Hope to meet you soon. Safe sailing from Calypso

  5. Stuff happens. You’ve learned your lessons well. Your guests will benefit from the experience. Sail on!

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