There’s Wonderful News

There’s Wonderful News


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Pepper and I say “hello” from The Clampetts!

We just received the most wonderful news! Pepper’s safe to sail the 7 seas once again! AND the bill is completely, shockingly, manageable! David at Indigo Yachts really took care of us on this one. He did a top notch job repairing Pepper’s damage at a fraction of the cost that will allow us to happily continue on our journey. It’s a glorious, thank you Jesus, happy dance kind of day!

Once the boat yard guys hauled Pepper out, the bill was part that scared us the most about being on the hard because we never expected something like this to happen. Who does? There’s this thing that people always say about sailing and it couldn’t hold more truth than it does to us right now. They say to always, “expect the unexpected.” Living a life filled with uncertainty is a big part of this voyage and it takes some getting used to. That, my friends, is completely opposite of the way I used to be, as a former fundraiser/event planner, but I admit, it’s been good for me. I’ve learned to relax…a lot. Trent would put a heavy emphasis on that last little phrase.

Based on my first experience in Basseterre I had a rather negative attitude towards St. Kitts but now I’m whistling a different tune. Since we’ve been living at St. Kitts Marine Works almost two weeks we think we’ve got this place all figured out. Safety isn’t a concern out here in New Guinea like it can be at night in Basseterre. However, we still have to jump on a bus to go to the big city because they have everything we need, such as groceries, hardware and an excellent farmer’s market. The watermelon here is unreal. I always wish I could carry more back to the boat but Trent won’t let me fill up my backpack with nothing but melons. The round trip ride to town for us both is only 12 EC (Easter Caribbean Dollars) or $4.50 USD. We always pay with the local currency so as not to appear as a tourist. There’s no local marine store on the island but David is kindly allowing us to order parts through Indigo Yachts. It takes a week for the order to arrive by ship from St. Marten but we have plenty of time and they let us do all our own boat work here. Some yards don’t allow it.

The only downside of being way out in the country is that we really are completely isolated. The only thing in New Guinea is St. Kitts Marine Works and a few houses. Not only that but Trent and I are the only liveaboards amongst a hundred other boats so we have to make our own entertainment. Upon receiving such wonderful news about Pepper, it was of course raining (it’s always raining here), we opted to go for a celebratory walk up through the forest to Brimstone Hill. While on an exploratory hike down the main road one day I discovered a trail head for Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Sweet! Atop the summit is an old fort but leading up to the main gate is a tranquil walk through the forest. It’s $10 USDs to walk to the summit once you get up there but we can still get some spectacular views from outside the gate. More than anything though the hike serves as our quick daily get away from the boat yard.

On this particular day though we had a close encounter with around 50 cheeky green velvet monkeys. Trent and I silently observed them crossing our path on the ground and then swinging up to the branches around us. When a monkey observes us they make it so obvious by the way they bob their heads from side to side. It’s as if they want us to know that they notice, we notice them, if that makes sense. I love watching the wild monkeys but am so relieved they’re not tame and begging for food. Fortunately, the monkeys around the boatyard are quite elusive. I’d be tough to keep track of our tools and paint brushes if we had to worry about a monkey running off with it. I just can’t imagine monkeys swinging around on Pepper. It’s amusing enough to wake up and have a herd of resident landscaping goats laying under the boat.

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Here’s our new view in St. Kitts as seen from the cockpit of Pepper.

We’ll be in St. Kitts at least until September because I booked a flight home for a couple weeks in August. From now on, I’m only going to buy plane tickets once we reach the island from which I’ll be flying out of. Anxious to go home, I bought one from Grenada and now it doesn’t look like I can get a refund on that ticket, even though I bought the insurance policy. That’s just another lesson learned on boating and uncertainties. You just can’t have a schedule out here or you’ll be disappointed. I am really looking forward to my trip home though. I haven’t seen the fam since before we left Alabama last October. Trent’s going to stay behind and tinker with the boat since we blew so much money this month. Anyways, we have lots to be thankful for and Trent and I can’t wait to get to sailing Pepper again.

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I’m repairing the d-rings, with 5200, that tether the dinghy chaps to little Salt. We do have such incredible views of the mountains on St. Kitts.

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I scraped and cleaned the blades while Trent took it apart, greased and adjusted the pitch on the propeller. He hopes to get another knot of speed out of Pepper when we have to motor. Fingers crossed!

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Trent is such a hard worker. 🙂
I posted this because I want to explain the case of Carib beer. This is the best way to buy it. When you need more you have to return the plastic case with all your empties because it all gets recycled. When I say recycle I don’t mean melting down the glass to remake bottles, nope. The bottles are cleaned and reused, just like that. It’s strange to be drinking a worn out bottle of fresh beer. This picture would be so much better if only a monkey was on Trent’s shoulder and a goat peeking around the rudder.

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Our life on the hard in St. Kitts. At least there’s nice views!

16 Comments

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  1. oli johannsson

    Hi Monica,
    Just talked to David. Thanks for forwarding his contact information. Have a safe trip and hope to see you in November. We are flying down there on the 7th and should be there on the 8th. We will probably rent a car for a few days so if you need anything let us know. Cheers, Oli.

  2. Oli Johannsson

    Hi Monica, That’s great. Thank you so much. If they ask what kind of welding needs to be done it’s the one side of the solar panel brackets. I really appreciate you guys doing this for us and hope we can somehow return the favor. Cheers.

    • Monica

      Hello again. Sorry for the delay, no internet here! I talked to David at Indigo yachts and he said to give him a call again. I told him where Eva is located, ect. Tom, who is also looking for a welder hasn’t had any luck in finding one either. No such luck, darn it. Trent and I are heading home this week for the rest of the season. We may be back in November but not quite sure yet. Maybe we’ll see you down the road. Hope so! Try David’s cell number this afternoon at +18696622865. He always answers his cell. Take care and good luck with Eva.

  3. oli johannsson

    Hi Monica. Eva is right there on the dry in the St. Kitts Marine Works. Just on the other side of the large shed that’s open on both sides. She is in the middle row about 50-100 yards from the large shed. Sorry I said marina by mistake. Thank you so much for mentioning Eva to David. Do you know if they do aluminum welding? Are you still there at the St. Kitts Marine Works?

    • Monica

      Good evening, Ok tomorrow we’ll go check on her for ya because yes, we’re still here. I’m not sure what all they can do but I know someone else who is looking for an aluminum welder so I’ll follow up with Tom too. That’s pretty specialized. Keep ya posted!

  4. Oli Johannsson

    Hi Monica and Trent. Great to see you have your boat fixed. As it turns out we have a boat not too far from you in the marina. It’s the catamaran “Eva”. What a coincidence. We have been looking for someone to fix a small crack at the bottom of one of our keels. I have been calling Indigo Yachts several times and left them a message. They have not gotten back with me. They were probably busy fixing Pepper LOL. I have heard good things about them. Is there a chance you can talk to them about taking a look at “Eva”? We are heading back down there in November and we sailing in the Virgin Islands this winter. Good luck with everything and hope to see you on the water.

    • Monica

      Hey there, Yes we are hoping to see David the owner at Indigo on Thursday. I will absolutely mention Eva to him. They just had a two day holiday here this Monday and Tuesday. Everyone has been off work and playing around. David pushed our meeting a couple of times already so hopefully we can talk to him late this week. I will keep you posted. Let me make sure I understand you correctly. What’s the name of the marina where Eva is located, please? David really did do a great job and the price was just right, let me tell ya!

  5. Flo & David Vannoy

    Oh yes…. we are so glad everything fixed. Those pictures really say how lucky you caught that in time. Now on to living your dream !!! Safe travels.

  6. Philip Hawkins

    I am so excited everything got fixed and you guys got taken care of. Love the updates. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you 🙂

  7. S/V YaRiKa

    YaRiKa giving a shout out. Glad the repairs are going well. Just had Last Tango anchored behind us for a few days. Got to catch up with them. Hanging out in St Thomas until probably November. Filling the kitty is painful but necessary. It is HOT here. Most evenings we start the generator around 9pm and make water and blast the A/C for a couple of hours. It chills the boat down and we can sleep until about 2 am when we wake in a pool of sweat. Then we open the boat up and it is usually cool enough to go back to sleep. Work is stupidly busy, and the young men on this island are horrible shots. Both of my gunshot wounds that I have seen have been to lower extremities and not life threatening. Had one almost die from a stab wound to the chest, though. Hope to catch up with you guys down island one day.

  8. Bernie Loth

    I love your stories and you quest for great adventure. Please keep it up. Please keep writing and posting pictures of your great adventure. You are loved by many, you know you are missed, but enjoy yourself. Be happy, be relaxed, be safe. Love you🌹

  9. Benjamin Moore (paint man)

    Great picture of Monica on Pepper on the hard with goats all around and mountains in the background! Talk about a picture that tells a story without saying a word! Far from sinking the adventure this has now become a major feature of it! Remarkable i’m sure, how these trials test and change you right? Trent looks tired but happy! One day I’m gonna catch up with you guys again, till then keep sailing and posting thanks!

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