Tag Archives: The Crew

Hurricane Irma (photo from Marine Weather Center's post)

HURRICANE IRMA – 2017

First, thank you, to everyone, for reaching out to see how Pilots’ Discretion, and her crew, fared as Hurricane Irma tracked through the Caribbean. In preparation for the storm and in accordance with our hurricane plan, we spider tied Pilots’ Discretion, with doubled lines, in a double slip, on a floating dock, alone with no other boats, in St. Lucia. Irma was set to track north of St. Lucia, however, to be on the safe side, we left the boat in St. Lucia and flew to Florida to stay out of harms way!

As predicted, Hurricane Irma passed north of St. Lucia. We were incredibly grateful to learn that our pre-hurricane preparations were sufficient, and that St. Lucia was spared from the ferocity of the storm. The island received some rain and wind from the outer bands of the storm, but on the whole, the island and our boat, weathered the storm and are fine.

Having flown to Florida, we then holed up with family in Spring Hill, just north of Tampa, on the west coast of Florida. Having just gone through the hurricane preparations drill in St. Lucia our crew was ready and able to  assist with preparations for the “high impact” potential hit headed for our relatives in Spring Hill.

We listened to reports, and observed, painfully, the pictures of the devastation from the direct hits on Barbuda, St. Barthélemy (St. Bart), St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have travelled to all of these islands in previous cruising seasons, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the storm.

Paraquita Bay, British Virgin Islands (Before and After)

Nanny Cay Marina, British Virgin Islands, post hurricane Irma, 2017

Isleta Marina, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, post hurricane Irma, Sept. 2017

Foxy’s before (2016) and after (2017)

Forecasted Track for Hurricane Irma, Sept. 7, 2017

Forecasted Track for Hurricane Irma originally had her skirting up the east coast of Florida, Sept. 7, 2017

In Florida, the original forecasts had the storm tracking up the east coast. Slowly, the storm edged west with the later predictions indicating she would run up the middle of the Florida peninsula. Finally, within the last day prior to Florida landfall, the forecast consensus had Irma tracking up the west coast of Florida. We weathered the storm just north of Tampa. The eye passed just to our east during the middle of the night. We were extremely fortunate that a slight variation in the actual track of the storm placed us on the weak side of the circulation at the same time the storm was beginning to fall apart. We had a few hours of heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds mostly in the 40 knot range. Like most, we lost power and had a few downed trees to deal with but for the most part we came through the storm wiser for the experience but without taking any direct hits. We are all very aware of the potential devastation that just barely sidestepped us.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all those affected by the storm. Florida, the islands, and those living and cruising in Florida and the Caribbean islands, are a resilient bunch. Communities have already banded together to address immediate needs and start the lengthy rebuilding process. Click here for additional photos, and to see several prominent business owners (including the infamous Soggy Dollar, Foxy’s, Corsairs, Willie T’s) who have already vowed to rebuild!

Patton, Loblolly Beach, Anegada, BVI

Happy 15th Birthday Patton! (by Randy)

imageYesterday was a pretty important day aboard the Pilots’ Discretion. Patton, our intrepid, world traveling Cocker Spaniel turned fifteen (15) years old. Way back when we initially left the comfort zone of our home marina in Tarpon Springs, Florida (2 and 1/2 years ago) we had some concerns with how well our then 12 year old buddy would adapt to a life at sea. Our concerns were completely unfounded. Patton is the first one up every morning and the last one to turn in each night after surveying the boat to assure himself that the entire crew is accounted for.Patton Kindle

Patton crew

Patton crew

He loves excursions in the dinghy and he has his favorite spot picked out under the Captain’s helm chair for long passages.

Patton driving the dinghy in the BVIs

Patton driving the dinghy in the BVIs

Randy & Patton in front of Tthe Indians, B.V.I.

Randy & Patton in front of the Indians, B.V.I.

The story would not be complete without acknowledging there have been some concessions made due to the decision to cruise with Patton. We do not patronize places along the way that are not dog friendly. We have on rare occasions had more difficulty clearing immigration as a result of declaring Patton as part of our crew but all in all, he has been a very positive addition to our crew and we would not consider having it any other way.

Cable Car, Loma Isabel de Torres, Dominican Reupblic

Cable Car, Loma Isabel de Torres, Dominican Republic

 

For those of you following our blog who are not dog people, I am sure you just scratch your head when you see me acting like a very proud papa when talking about Patton. To the dog people following us, I know that I need to say no more.

Happy birthday Patton, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion loves you❤️

Patton enjoying the sunset from The Bight, Norman Island, B.V.I.

Patton enjoying the sunset from The Bight, Norman Island, B.V.I.

 

MountCinnamon BeachClub, Grenada

Our Neighborhood is Disbanding

Bus Load of Cruisers from Port Louis Marina

Bus Load of Cruisers from Port Louis Marina

As we have reported to you before, our entire family has enjoyed this amazing trip of a lifetime in ways that we could have never imagined prior to our departure. The friends we have made and the sense of community that we have experienced with our fellow cruisers is something that I do not think any of us fully anticipated. As this is being written during the third week of November, 2015, we are still tied to the dock at the Port Louis Marina in St. Georges, Grenada. The Pilot’s Discretion is ready for departure and once we have addressed a few minor issues, that required a last minute trip back to Florida, it will be time for us to cast off.

It appears that we will be some of the last members of our floating neighborhood to get underway. Each day for the past two weeks or so has been a new opportunity to say farewell to another fellow cruising family as our Grenadian flotilla has gradually begun to scatter to the four points of the compass.

S/V Slo Down Departing Port Louis Marina, Grenada

S/V Slow Down Departing Port Louis Marina, Grenada

Some of our friends are headed west, through the Panama Canal, others are headed south towards South America, while still others are headed north to continue exploring the islands of the Caribbean.

Regardless of the next destination, all of our new cruising friends agree that leaving Grenada has felt a bit like it did when we all left our respective homes at the beginning of our individual adventures. We have been in Grenada for 5 months and as a result have had the opportunity to get to know Grenada as our home away from home.

Our Favorite Beach

We have our favorite beach – Grand Anse, where we spent many a Sunday afternoon at Coconut Beach Restaurant. Toes in the sand, listening to live music, watching the cruise ships come in and out of port, all while enjoying local cuisine and fabulous sunsets … what’s not to love!

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Our Favorite Resort

We have our favorite resort, Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club (at the south end of Grand Anse Beach in St. Georges), where guests of ours visiting us in Grenada were pampered with turquoise Caribbean waters, lush tropical gardens, exquisite cuisine and magnificent scenery. Cruisers can enjoy fine dining in the resort restaurants and obtain day passes to enjoy all of the resort amenities. It is truly a hidden Caribbean gem!

Balcony Suite

Balcony Suite

Our Favorite Taxi Driver

We even have our favorite taxi driver, Martin “Cat Eyes” Lawrence (a.k.a. ‘Yellow Man’). Cat Eyes is well known throughout the island and easy to spot given his signature yellow highlighted A/C taxi and matching attire. He is available for island tours, airport delivery & pickup, shopping and running all around the island. He is often stationed at the taxi stand at Port Louis Marina, however, he can also be reached at (473) 440-8032 or (473) 414-7742.

What ever expectations each of us had for Grenada before we arrived here, they have all been surpassed. We will always have fond memories of our time on this Caribbean jewel but as Tennessee Williams wrote “There is a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.” It is now time for us to move on.

PD crew cuts

It is official, we are aboard!

The end game or the first day is in sight, depending on your point of view. We finished up moving out of our home yesterday. Today, we will go over and clean up the house and make final preparations so that our new tenant can move in this weekend. Yesterday was Theresa’s birthday and we celebrated it in grand style at the marina restaurant (Davidson’s Dockside). We all are finishing up our vaccinations regimen, Patton included. The Captain issued his first standing order that all male crew members aboard Pilots’ Discretion shall have appropriate high and tight haircuts before putting to sea. Our very capable deck hand, Ryan pointed out to the Captain that it was the Captain that was in need of a proper grooming. That leads us to here; in the video below you will see that all hands pitch in when there is a task that needs accomplished. Ryan served as the ship’s barber and now the Captain is groomed to the ship’s standards. Next week we will haul the Pilots’ Discretion to have a fresh coat of bottom paint applied. After that, our Caribbean adventure will begin with the first favorable weather window. We can’t wait and we hope you will come along with us via this blog. Standby, the adventure begins now!