Category Archives: St. Maartin

Never go to the mall without Sunglasses

Took the girls over to the mall here in St. Martin the other day…   Parking in underground’ish, so we naturally left our sunglasses in the car…

The mall is all Glass..  you can see the ocean from every store… what a cool place!!!    And my buddy RUSTY is famous there..
They love him so much, many people were wearing his name on their hats and shirts…   should have brought some autographs!!
Hike this week was only 3 hours long.. we took the short one to make it back to watch the Daytona 500..  (which was rain delayed 7 hours!).. Go Jr!!!
(Side Note:  1 yr ago we watched the Daytona 500 from our hotel room in Barbados while looking at Island Dancer in the harbour for the very first time!)
Some great views along the coastal hike…  it ended at a french fry truck that sold cold beer…  now thats a HIKE!
(Girls decided just hiking the cliffs wasn’t enough exercise, so picked up some rocks to carry along the way.. later painted them for artwork on the boat… more BALLAST!!!
The cruisers love the Pink Tug…  They organized a party Monday, which was Jessi’s going away and Robins Birthday!
Jessi didn’t get to partake in the party, as her flight left just as it was starting… but we had some fun with her the last few hours on the island!
(Airplane beach, and the staple TACO MACHO)
Mom was all tears, so it was good to have a big party to go to…
We made it a pot luck type deal, using the BBQ with our own food and buying beers and drinks from Carl on the tug..  great night with 52 people!!!
They made a Rum Cake for Robin and brought a crapload of candles…  so many nice people down here!, and from every corner of the earth!
(Allie made $50 making bracelets on people!)
Jessi made it back to the snow of University of Maine..   We all miss her too much..  When will she be back??
Its going to be hard to leave St. Martin…the longer you are here, the more you LOVE it  (We are starting to call it home!)…..  but the time has come…
Looks like Thursday will be ‘pull the anchor day’ and set the sails for a trade wind ride back towards the BVI’s…
Some friends are in Anguilla, so we may make a pit stop there!  But we also have some friends on Day Dream Believer that are leaving this weekend, so may head straight there (BVI)..  won’t know until it happens!
Have a Great Day!
Timbo

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Max Prop = Max Issue?

Well well well… I’ve been chasing the starboard engine issue (low rpm) for a few weeks now..

FOUND IT..   threw on the scuba tank this afternoon and went downstairs to have a better look…
The pitch of the blades is supposed to be 23 degrees..  The motor that won’t rev up is at 45?
2 Degrees of change of the pitch, changes engine RPM by 15% (according to the manual).. so even a small change has a huge affect.
I put a video on KOZYBOAT of these props when we hauled the boat back in June or July.. (I’ll repost below)
They are very cool… when they work…
The manufacturer is in Washington state..  I sent him some pics and video, and he also confirmed we found the problem.
The blades actually swing from forward to reverse position depending which gear the boat is in.. when sailing they go to neutral, which helps with speed.
Again.. when they work..   Internally they have gears, to position the blades..  The problem child still rotates back and forth, but doesn’t stop at it’s correct pitch (angle).
This makes the motor work VERY hard..  and he’s not HAPPY..

So a couple options..  pull it apart underwater.. which can be done.. ..  if we are lucky, the main hub doesn’t have to come off, and just replace the broken pins that are suspected.
OR…
Under Allie’s bunk, are the two original fixed props…   That would require a haul out (in BVI’s?) to change, but would guarantee the issue is gone and we can take our time rebuilding the props properly (Sending back to Washington), or selling on EBAY 🙂
So.. still up in the air on this one.. need a coin to flip !
Glad to find the problem!!!
Have a GREAT DAY
TIMBO!!!!

 

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Here’s the video from last year when we hauled her:   http://youtu.be/UoNVYZQjhu4

Calling Tokyo .. Calling Tokyo

First Up… Robins Back… Literally.. She is much better and on the mend.. Will be a few weeks minimum, but certainly better news than last week.
The MRI showed no previous issues, only a new one.. herniated disc.. caused by a sideways motion, which we all know was pulling in a line off a mooring ball.
Doctor Opinion #1: Nothing we can do but operate. – Sea Ya… I literally walked out.
Doctor Opinion #2: Looks fairly minor, need to see you to recommend some stretches – Sounds awesome.. But he is located in Canada… (FTP’d the MRI, and sent email pics.. love technology)
Doctor Opinion #3: This is the guy that runs the Scan place – Operate? No..No..No… If you can get some physio you will be fine in no time,,, this is a minor issue
Doctor Diesel: (He’s my favourite doctor as I work with him on the boat): SCREW THAT SOB.. YOU NO NEED OPERATION! I BREAK ALL BONES IN MY BODY AND I HAVE NO OPERATION…. I SHOW YOU HOW TO RECOVER YOURSELF… ha… Most colourful person there is.. don’t mess with Dr Diesel.. He’s got a ton of very cool stories, from flying military jets (blowing up a motor and ejecting, breaking many bones).. captured in enemy territory.. etc etc..
Parachute testing 20-30 times a day.. sometimes in thunderstorms…. some designs didn’t work… (Breaking many bones)…
I have no doubt He can bend a 1/4 bolt in half just by looking at it and willing it to break.. he’s bad ass #1 on the island… (And he’s on Timbo’s side!)

Side Band Radio – Also known as the HAM radio… Its used to communicate long distances when at sea.. even send emails… very cool.. I’ve got 2 on board… neither work.. Damn
Well that was until Brendan tripped over the antenna and it came off in his hand.. The connection was bad all along.. so he actually fixed it…
A pair of wire cutters, some clean strands to attach to the back stay of the mast and we turned on the radio…
Every morning there is a long distance net where cruisers call in their location… It’s called the Coconut Telegram.
We dialled it up yesterday and heard a net operator taking calls.
Not sure if the radio would work….. Timbo keyed the mic…
“Island Dancer… Island Dancer..”
Net operator: Island Dancer.. Go ahead…

(WHAT? this thing works? WOW)

We told them our location and plans.. very cool…
Our friends on PLANE TO SEA, are in Bequia (more than 300 Nautical Miles south) immediately called us up.. saying the radio sounded great!
There were people on from Florida to South America.. and we can chit chat to them at any time.. how cooool is that???

Boat Work:
Finishing the last repairs.. 3 machines shops later I have the bracket welded.. Pulled the job 2 times.. We’d be here until Christmas otherwise..
Found a very good shop that did an excellent job.. Fitted a new aluminum billet, welded to the aluminum case, table ground the surfaces.. Drilled out the alternator, made new sliding bushings (much like a brake caliper) and changed the design of the clamp..
It’s 200% better than the original poor design (which lasted 25 years)..
A lot of wrenching lately getting it all back together, but she’s back and ready to go!
A weather window is approaching next week.. we are planning to hit an island our two near here, before heading back to the BVI’s to meet up with more friends!

I had to shorten a bolt the other day.. I can do it onboard, but its a bit of a pain.. I walked into Ace Hardware.. a brand new store here… thats a combo of Canadian tire, Home depot, and Macy’s..
The guys warned me not to let the girls go up stairs to the “Girl” area or your credit card may be in serious pain..
Very great store, with employees working every other isle…
I asked about cutting 1/2″ of a hardened steel bolt in my hand.. They said “No Problem Mon”…
As he pulled out the bolt cutters, I had to stop him… no, that will shorten it, but not what I need.. something like a grinder, or hack saw..
“No Problem Mon”… over to the hack saw isle.. Picks a new one off the shelf… Hands me a new blade off another shelf..
Timbo: Would you have a vice
“No Problem Mon”.. over to the vice isle.. pulls one off the shelf.. “Have at IT Mon”…
Timbo cut the bolt in minutes.. (using two more blades) and we were on our way..
Not sure the health and safety department in Canada would allow this.. customers were walking by as I hacking away in the middle of the store.. it was pretty funny!
But I was sure no one was hurt… 🙂

A lot of sports on these days eh??? We watched the Daytona races (BORING!! but nice fire Jimmy)..
Then the 2 hockey games.. (More Canadians here than Americans.. the Bar EXPLODED when we won!)
Looks like Sunday will be busy.. We have a 4 km hike on the northern shore with a bunch of cruisers.. then the Daytona 500!!!
(Apparently there is a hockey game on that day too!)
Monday Brings Robins Birthday….. The cruisers are planning a BBQ on the Pink Tug, so a natural party is growing for that day!

Have a Great Weekend!
Timbo!

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Life in France

We’re really settling into the life of France in St. Martin..

Our friends and family have left us..  basically bailing out and leaving us here.. geeeze guys…  NICE   ha!!!  How can we ever cope!!!! ????  Miss you ALL!!!
A little routine has begun…  modified slightly over the last few weeks…
POOL DAYS…. Robin’s back LOVES swimming…   and because our RESORT (we are anchored near) has a couple pools.. we go everyday…
Mornings are for grocery shopping, errands, boat work, and today was an MRI for Robin…
The afternoons consist of plenty of pool time and relaxing..  this is all prescribed..  I normally would be chopping and stacking wood or something of course… 🙂
The gas station is a bit of a meeting place now..  the local mail man arrives about the same as we do to the pool.  Since dehydration is terrible here, I walk over to the gas station for ice cream and beverages….
The mail man shows up and buys a beer…  as do I..   He speaks only French, and I only English but we communicate without issue.
Does this make Timbo=Norm    FrenchMailMan= Clif?
Kinda funny!
Had an awesome time last night organizing my first mass Party in St. Martin..
Each morning there is a Net.. (they call it)…  a radio type show on the VHF channel 10.
I announced a 5pm meeting for all interested cruisers on the pink tug boat…  5pm came and went.. no one…damn….   I used to be so good at organizing party’s!!!
Then one dingy showed up on the horizon…
Then 2…then 5…then 10….   It was so cool…
My friend Carl that owns the Pink Tug, is a awesome guy, but a bit serious..  in fact I’ve never seen him smile…
Jessi and Allie were hired for the night to hand out peanuts, set up the seat cushions and generally just help out……
The boat filled up quickly and I glanced over to Carl…  He knew all the people showed up because of TIMBO…
And for the first time I saw his Smile from across the room…
Its kinda like planting a seed…  The cruisers are now planning a bbq on the boat in the near future…   funny how word of mouth can travel so quickly…
It was a great night…  meeting many new friends… some of which I have read about in cruising books before..  very cool…  one girl has been on the cover of cruising world..  the only magazine I buy… (or used too!)
Tomorrow brings results of Robins MRI…   finger’s crossed
Have a Great Day
Timbo!

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SleepOver On A TugBoat

Well what a WEEKEND!!!   Couple INTERESTING stories to say the least….
First off.. Robins back is SLIGHTLY better.. which is good..  we had an appointment with the physiotherapist and the doctor..  So…  Lets start with that….
1)  To get to the doctor, we dingy across the bay and leave the boat at a dock.. locked up…    Pulling up to the dock there is a HUGE barge, setting pilings….
Timbo meanders around the barge and docks the dingy where we always do..  Work stops on the barge and the workers come over to talk to Timbo..
You can’t park there..  We are moving the barge later today and we will sink your boat..     Hummmmm  ok…???  So where can I park…
There is a huge lift where a HUGE powerboat normally sits..  The boat has been moved out while the piling work is complete..
Timbo is instructed to drive through the empty lift and park on a dock there..
When complete,  Timbo gets approval of 2 thumbs up form the working crew..   Cool…
2) Over to the physio… then the doctor..   They don;t know exactly what is going on in Robins back, so rather than guess…  We are scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday on the French side of the island.
Cool….
3)  Beach day!   Swimming, hot sand…  great times..  Dinner out with Brendan and Tracy…  all is GREAT!!!
Cool…
4) Back to the dingy dock…   Hummm…  The power boat is back in it’s lift..   And the dingy is MOVED back to the normal docking spot.
Did I tell you I bought the BIGGEST chain and Lock in the world..  How the Hell did they move it???
Looking in the dingy the gas tank is gone…
NOT COOL….
Hummmm….   Walking over to the pink tug (See previous posts)..  I talk to my friend Carl…
Timbo: Hey Carl…
Carl: Hi Timbo
Timbo: Hey…  My dingy is moved…
Carl:  OMG Timbo…  your not a popular person here today…  The owner of the power boat is not too happy.. why the hell did you park your dingy in his LIFT???
Well…   Island Time for working on Pilings is certainly quicker than anything else on island!!!   They finished the job and the boats were moved back..
When the stories were exchanged, everyone was happy that it was just a misunderstanding..  They couldn’t understand why anyone would park their damn boat there…
ok…   lets get the tank and be on our way…
The Gas tank was locked up in a business and the only keys were on the other side of the island and not available until 8am the next morning.. and apparently for only for a 10-15 minutes..
R you kidding me?  We have no way to our boat?  Where will we stay?
So…  after running through some ideas…  Carl jumped up and said
Timbo.. your staying here on the boat..  I’ve got plenty of room
Robin, Allie and Jessi went back to Brendan and Tracy’s hotel room… while Timbo got a bunk captains room off the wheel house of a 110 year old Tub boat..
I can’t explain how nice this guy is to take me in…  He had nothing to do with the dingy, just owns a tug boat bar next door to it..
We stayed up exchanging stories well into the night until the last customer left..  Tours of the engine room were really cool..
I had the best nights sleep, really neat experience!!
The next morning the owner of the power boat showed up and apologized for the misunderstand..  and said he was really upset at the time.  He actually placed his lock on the dingy to make sure no one else took it..  So I guess that was nice..   ha     I still have no idea how he cut that chain!
Ended up being a really neat experience.. I’ve organized all the cruisers to go to the pink tug Monday night to put some business into Carl’s hands..
Should be FUN!
SATURDAY:  Brendan and Tracy left today…  Sad to see them go… they will be missed greatly!!!  Had a nice send off for them!
SUNDAY:
The cruisers here all go for a hike on Sundays…   We spent the entire day hiking through mountains.. A bus was hired to take up to the top of the highest mountain..and the plan was we would hike down…
The incorrect trail was selected.. so we ended up hiking down, then back up, then back down the correct trail..  I think we will be sleeping well tonight!
Have a Great Day
Timbo!!!

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Buyin Socks and Building a House

You won’t see too many picks of Robin this week.. She threw her back out in a bad way.. thankfully we have friends here on the island who have picked us up and brought her to a physiotherapist…
He is hopeful she will be better in a week……. Sure hope so!!! No fun when you are in that much pain….

In other news… Jessi has new Bamboo Socks.. strange place to buy socks… I haven’t worn any in 6 months.. can’t imagine sales are too high!!! ha
Also.. Brendan and Tracy have rented a place at the Hilton…. OMG… did we take advantage of THAT…. Hot tubs!!! Hot Showers!!! and even watched 10 minutes of REAL LIVE TV???

House building here on the island is interesting.. I had to stop to check out a new house going up.. He welded two SEACan storage containers together..
Cut out some windows.. and has been ‘nailing’ wood to the sides for 6 weeks now.. (Looks like another 12 weeks to go if you ask me) 🙂
Fun Guy… showed me all around.. very proud of his work, and why not.. pretty cheap house and it’s hurricane proof… (Or maybe not.. hummm)

This was funny.. we went in search of a remote sandy beach.. out of the lagoon, into the wide open ocean.. we spot a sandy beach without a sole (located beside a resort)… perfect…
After an hour of swimming, and sun tanning, I see a sign facing the opposite direction from us.. Likely says private property so I wasn’t too quick to walk over and read it… NOPE….. (see pics)

Our friend SnowWhite was FIRED… you got it FIRED from his job at the French Pizza place.. Well thank god for him there’s 10 more on the street..
We ran into him (at his new place) so went in to say hello and have a small lunch…
Jessi, Allie, and I sat down in a couch type setting…. They were fairly busy.. with not enough staff..
Relaxing with a book, the three of us waited patiently to order some drinks.. 10 minutes goes by… The book is getting good..
15 minutes goes by… Staff acknowledge us 3 times now… be there ‘soon’
at 20 minutes I ask Jessi if she wants to go somewhere else…
No Dad.. This place is great.. we have our own couch in a shady place on a hot day.. laying back reading a good book, and people watching (some people didn’t like the fish soup.. as it lacked fish.. I think that would have been just FINE… picky people )… 🙂
In complete relaxation, SnowWhite comes over.. Hey Timbo.. would you like a beer?
Startled, as I forgot we were actually at a restaurant.. “Sure SnowWhite.. thanks”

Not many times back in Canada were we totally comfortable and relaxed waiting 30 minutes to be served even a drink… but thats the way it is down here “Sometimes”…
Ended up being an awesome snack, and we were on our way within the hour..
Timbo took the girls shopping for clothes.. into an art gallery.. few specalty shops, the beach (story above!).. Then to the french supermarket for dinner preparations.
Totally awesome day.. Lets Hope Robin feels better soon and can get into the action..

Have a Great Day
Timbo!!!

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Why own 2 Boats?

We’ve been watching this thing sail around the bay the last couple weeks.. always off in the distance.. and we were sure there was some kinda motor on it.. but centre mounted???
It certainly appeared to be an outboard.. mounted in the Middle of the boat… facing backwards???? WTH???
How would you do that? Theories were discussed at length… including building a ‘live well’ type hole in the centre of the boat, allowing you to hang an outboard in the middle, with the prop in the water.. but not sinking the boat…. calculations on hoop stress of the hull strength were showing it an issue… perhaps they were using composite materials of greater strength…????

NOPE…..

Well.. back to gas station for a $1.00 beer… mystery solved…

(He cut one boat in half, and duct taped it to the other…)

Have a GREAT DAY
Timbo

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All Inclusive Island Dancer Resort

Whats new this week… well……
Jessi has managed to escape the northern Maine climate for some fun and sun in the south on Island Dancer! Whoooo Hooo!!!!

She is the only tanned person at university!!! ha!
We also had some visitors from Winnipeg… Friends of Brendans that he has not seen in 25 years.. Seems a lot of people have flocked to the south this year… Why is that??? Hummm?Island dancer is anchored just off a resort.. We pay $1.00 per day for internet through the long range antenna, which includes:
Free unlimited ICE
Free use of their Beach, Chairs, Two fresh water pools, volleyball court..
Free garbage disposal
Unlimited showers by the pool.
Access to a french bakery
Access to the gas station that sells Wine for $3.00 and Beer for $1.00… They even have a patio… and I think they even sell gas!
Access to REAL washrooms, with unlimited water… what a concept!!!
When I signed up for the internet they didn’t mention all these amenities … We’re also not sure they told the security guard, who has been chasing Brendan for a week now.. he’s a SNEAKY dude.. they need to bring in backup to catch em!
(He bought a tackie Tourist Shirt just to evade em)…  so for so Good!
Mr. Parker leaves today.. so off to the beach… I mean the airport… what a place!
SEA YA Guy Parker awesome FUN…  Next time we share a beer will be at the Dock, Bridgeview in Sarnia!!!
(We Best wait a bit before heading north eh!)Have a GREAT DAY
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SUP MUILTI-COUNTRY CHALLENGE

Sitting on Island dancer you can see Holland in the distance..   We are currently in France….
Timbo heard a snicker from one of the crew when he suggested a paddle board ride to Holland didn’t look too hard…..
LAUNCH THE BOARDS!!!   As Timbo and Allie setoff to the great Horizon..  Challenge..  board the Pink Tugboat in Holland and secure a margarita.
I think this was the most fun I’ve ever had on the boards..  We stopped at a small island half way across to investigate a ‘friendly’ dog barking on the second deck of an abandoned boat..
(We later found out his owner lives on the boat.. hummmm)
Continuing on our way, the whitecaps begun..   that indicates approximately 15 knots of wind..  Timbo and Allie dig in, making good progress to the Pink Tug…
For a couple months in San Juan we paddled across a large lagoon daily, so this ‘challenge’ by the weak crew was a bit of joke.. especially knowing the tug was open for business!..ha!
Soon enough we board the tug and find the owner very interested in our journey….  we explained the French have no idea how to make margaritas (a ploy to get in with the Dutch!)… it worked wonderful.
Many sea stories were shared between us, in an enjoyable hour about the pink panther tug…The owner is now a kozyboat fan!

Mr Parker has MASTERED the SUP Boards…  He can drink a beer and sit on the board without falling off!!   ha… actually he is doing really well even standing momentarily!!!

Boat Projects:

Good News:
Hurray!!! We have a starboard engine again.   New turbo installed and commissioned..  Transmission was disassembled and found reverse clutch was dust..  back together and installed!!

Bad? News:   Strolling across the deck of Island dancer.. a strange vibration..  then smoke alarms go off… WTH?   quickly entering the engine room, Timbo finds the generator is not happy..
Water pump pulley bearing let go..  coolant now in the bilge..  engine wants to be shutdown NOW…   ok ok…   Pulled off the pump and ordering a new one from the states (Need a Canadian Tire here)..  6660 hours on the motor..
If only it lasted 6 more hours we would have more of a story!

Crew Addition soon:
JESSI is in route Friday for Island Dancer…

Weather:   Hot… really Hot..   Sunny… really Sunny

Have a Great Day!
Timbo

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Timbo’s Birthday

Had an awesome Birthday this week! Waking up to Island Dancer decorated with red solo cups! Allie was up much of the night decorating!!
Timbo opened up a very cool present.. an official ISLAND DANCER Shirt!!! wow.. we ‘look’ professional now!!!

Tough man stickers were applied to the crew… Allie is head tattoo artist on board if anyone is interested…

Thought long and hard for a plan for the day when we came up with “No plan, just go”…
We started off in a small lagoon surrounded by a golf course.. our sources indicated a small dock would be available to tie up the dingy… Hummm.. need new sources!!!
We had an up-close look of the driving range.. Are we dressed in clown suites or something.. a few balls almost landed in the dingy!!!

Up on plane, we pulled into the next harbour and locked up the dingy for the day with our 400 lb chain and fort knox lock..
Today we were smart enough to bring an extra key, ‘WHEN’ the key is lost one day, we certainly will have an interesting story getting the floating car home!

Crew was grumbling of starvation, so two choices.. into an expensive restaurant, or… Grocery store..
Hot meatloaf, rice and beans was a hit… taking over a patio at a closed restaurant made a spectacular $4 meal !!! Good start to the day!

Walking out onto the road, to figure out a ride to town, a local bus pulled up… Great timing!! $1.50 each and we landed in Simpsons bay..
Meandering the beach, we found several interesting establishments to insure the thirst of the crew maintained in-check.

Back to the main road, looking for ride further up the coast of the island… 10 seconds into the wait a taxi pulls up… no thanks.. they charge $10 a head..
35 seconds into the wait a bus pulls up… $2.00 to get us up the coast, across the mountain, and into the next beach town.

Round of licence plates later, we found ourselves being directed by Allie to the local Gelato stand…
Swimming in the ocean was a hit…and a nice refreshment from the hot hot sun…

After a fun beach day, tackie shirts were bought to insure we are camouflaged in tourist attire..
Bus wait was 15 seconds… and pointed towards “Curry in a Hurry” for dinner

Fabulous dinner… and before long we were back on Island Dancer for movie night!!!

Another great day…. hope your’s was as well!

Timbo

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