For anyone watching Oh! for the past few years, 2019 was a big year. Another Trans-Atlantic crossing and I had the pleasure of cruising with so many amazing guests that joined Oh!. Several of those guests are now moving ahead with plans to go cruising! Others have discovered the magic of cruising in the tropics and have already booked to return for more. With all the improvements and upgrades that have been made to Oh!, 2020 should be even better. I am really looking forward welcoming more people aboard and sharing this amazing lifestyle.
Today is the last day of 2019 and it has been a typical day that included tackling a suddenly pressing job on the to do list, as well as some well earned R and R. With the cold temperatures in November, one of the jobs that didn’t get done was the servicing of the Mercury 9.9 hp outboard for the inflatable dingy. I had thought I would do it in St. Martin once Oh! got settled in the tropics. After all, why deal with freezing fingers and chattering teeth when you can have a warm outdoor setting like this to complete the tune up?
Unfortunately, the tune up was rushed to the top of the to do list when the smaller Yamaha 2.5hp got swamped. I suspect “Tadpole”, the Walker Bay rowing dingy that had the Yamaha on it, was flipped when it swamped with sea water. The most likely cause was wake from passing jet skis and personal water craft. They love to buzz the cruising boats at anchor and they create big wake. Anyway, Tadpole got swamped and the Yamaha ended up with its prop in the air and the engine in the water…ugh not a nice sight. Hopefully, I was able to clean it up enough to save it, but it still will not start. So the Yamaha is at the infirmary in the local Yamaha shop.
Since my preference is to anchor in small quiet bays, sometimes the dingy distances can be long. I don’t have hours to row the longer distances…so the necessity of getting the Mercury running became a priority. Over the past 2 days I tore apart the carburetor and cleaned out yet more sand and stuff from the inside. It was probably leftover beach sand that I had not been able to clean out of the air intake housing due to its many chambers. The housing got filled with sand way back in 2017. A wave threw us keel over bench seats onto a Barbuda beach as we were attempting to make a landing. A nasty series of rolls in the surf followed that I really can’t recommend. The Mercury took a beating from those rolls with sand packed all the way into the pistons. Apparently a “dingy playing in the surf” is a very frequent scene on Barbuda beaches.
Anyway… after a lot of carb cleaner and compressed air, the Mercury now purrs like a kitten snuggled in your arms fresh from licking milk off its whiskers. With that job completed and now having the ability to use the inflatable to get around, Oh! could leave crowded Marigot Bay to relax and enjoy the New Years holiday at the more secluded and quieter “Happy Beach”.
All that remained to be done was a short test run for the Mercury to drop off garbage and at the same time go to the Patisserie to get a couple of loaves of “Pain Sportif”; a fabulous bread filled with walnuts, whole grains, raisins and more. It makes the best peanut butter and toast, or cinnamon and butter toast you will ever have the joy of devouring. That’s why I needed two loves for just a 2 day trip. That bread really puts a grin on your face, especially if you are wearing a palm leaf hat!
So….for New Years, Oh! will spent two days at Happy Beach swinging on the hook while I get a bunch of the to do stuff sorted and also enjoy the warm water and beautiful setting. It is a relatively exposed anchorage so we can only stay as long as the weather is settled. The forecast calls for calm conditions for at least two days, so it should be a wonderful change from the noise and hustle of Marigot Bay. Plus, with the portable cellular wireless router now working off the Digicel cellular network, Oh! even has a great internet connection anywhere near the French islands. Wahoo! Check out Happy Beach below, this little bay is a piece of tropical paradise.
The only thing left to do today was make a wish for everyone that 2020 is a year where you enjoy good health, accomplish your goals, and experience happiness in all you do. Cheers from Oh! and may 2020 be a Happy New Year for all.