Some of you who have never been to the West Indies might not be able to keep up with all the places we've visited, geographically, so here's a map showing where we've been and to where we are heading. Sorry my poorly made arrows but I'm sure you get the point. In the past two years, we have island hopped between where it says Anguilla in the North East and Grenada down South. Sint Maarten/St Martin is next to Anguilla, St Barts just below to the East. Then you have Antigua at NE, followed by Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with Mustique, Canouan and all that. And far South of the island chain where the blue arrow points, is Grenada where we are in this very moment.
When we crossed the Atlantic ocean from Europe in early 2010, we arrived in Barbados which you can see slightly North East of where we are right now. We have sailed up and down these West Indian islands for close to two years as you might know, but this is the first time that we actually are this far South. You can see Venezuela below us, as well as Trinidad & Tobago. Both which aren't on our itinerary at the moment. From Grenada where we are located right now, it is a 380 n miles (thee days) sail to the ABC islands. First one is Bonaire where we're planning on stopping for a few days and maybe also Curacao and/or Aruba before we shall move on towards Colombia further West, which is another 400 miles away. Cartagena lays where the green arrow ends and that's where we're planning on spending a couple months and continue with boat preparations before it's time to take on the long Pacific Ocean crossing towards French Polynesia on the other side of this globe. We're hoping to transiting through the Panama Canal sometime in April or so. Before that we're planning on visiting the San Blas islands and also see some of Panama itself.
These are some of the things we'd like to have done before we can leave towards South Pacific, some will be done here in Grenada, and some will have to wait till we get to Colombia. We have around four months in total so should be able to finalize in time. Maybe! Otherwise we'll need to bring the work with us to the other side.
- Haul out. Paint new anti fouling. Check thru-hulls and the regular routine check of the bottom.
- Extra laminating of certain areas of the hull while on the hard.
- Get an autopilot, not yet sure which brand to go for. We have the Sailomat as another steering aid.
- Change location of the main water tank.
- Replace most of the running rigging.
Repair windlass. Only working one way at the moment.
- Either repair the mainsail once more or get a new one.
- Service existing winches and get two new ones.
- Three additional coats of varnish on cabin side and cockpit.
- Get and install a water heater. Yep we take showers in cold water these days.
- Maybe install a couple more solar panels but not sure where to put them?
- Installation of a cutter stay. We currently have two forestays only.
- Rewire satellite Internet.
- Replace four housebank batteries.
- Replace some of the teak margin board in the cockpit.
- Get and install a proper kicker attachment fitting.
- Install a radar for additional safety.
- Install the Katadyn water maker that we had aboard Caos, still not in use on Duende.
- Get a scuba air compressor and probably also new bottles as the ones we have are very small (5 l).
- Get a surfboard for Taru.
- Order and install a dodger.
- Cockpit cushions and maybe also new upholstery for the inside of the boat.
- Build a smart storage compartment underneath our berth in the fore cabin.
- Get a real good underwater housing for the Canon 5 D Mark II.
- Organize the three hard drives with around 40.000 images taken in the Caribbean in the past two years. More than 60% must be deleted and one hard drive with the best should be sent back home for storage.
- One more cleaning of the stuff onboard, would've love to get rid of approximately 300 kilos somehow, to better distribute the weight inside... good luck with that!
- Stock up on propane gas, resin, fiberglass, wine, lots of fishing line and Reese's peanut butter cups as that might be hard to get a hold on in remote Pacific islands..
- Upload more images of the boat refit that Alex have dealt with in the past 12 months, to the blog.
- Also, I have yet to catch up on emails we've received in the last few months, please forgive me if I missed replying to any of you. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day unfortunately.
This list will be filled up with more stuff I'm sure....