To give Jennifer’s shoulder some time to heal, we took it easy for the week after her collar bone break. We got a few boat projects done, and made sure Jennifer got lots of “medicinal” rum to speed her recovery. Kathy and John Youngblood of Mystic Moon tell us this is called limin’, something the Caribbeans have down to an art form.

Trip highlights from February 10th through 15th. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


There’s a fair bit of surge in the marina and even the extra anti-chafe we’d put on our lines was wearing through against the fixed concrete pier. Here James is adding more anti-chafe to protect our lines.
The Tempest Two

As we were finishing lunch at the Port St. Charles yacht club, superyacht Sliptream sounded their horn and around their bow came The Tempest Two. James Whittle and Tom Caulfield had left the Canary Islands on December 18th and were just now making landfall after a 55-day, 3,000nm row across the Atlantic Ocean in a 7-meter boat. This is the second time we’ve made a major crossing in Dirona while someone was doing the same in a small rowboat. During our first ocean-crossing, from San Francisco to Hawaii, Bainbridge Island math teacher Rory Wilson was rowing and kiting solo across in his custom-built kayak Kros. These rowers’ achievements make crossing in an air-conditioned power boat look pretty boring. And in many ways, crossing an ocean in a power boat is becoming uneventful.

Our Prostock Marine inflatable fenders are doing a great job of keeping Dirona off the concrete wall with the surge at Port St. Charles. To stabilize the boat a bit more, we’ve also strung two 75-foot lines from the port side to bollards on shore. We ended up with these 75ft lines almost by accident and have found them super-useful. We’d bought a 600-foot reel of line and used 450 feet for our spare anchr rode. We cut the remaining 150ft in half and the rigging deparment at the downtown Seattle West Marine did a great job of making two 75ft mooring lines out of them, with full anti-chafe. It’s interesting how popular Prostock Marine is becoming. From watching the docks, its becoming the standard for superyachts. You can see why they are winning–they don’t leak and can take an absolutely enormous amount of load without failing.

The impressive tender garage on superyacht Slipstream.

A police officer and two heavily armed soldiers passed through the marina today.
Mai Tai

Jennifer having some “medicinal” rum with a Mai Tai before dinner at the Port St. Charles yacht club.
Inverter cooling

Our Mastervolt 120V inverter has always gone into thermal shut down when the lazarette is hot. It’s particularly vulnerable to early cut out when it’s more than 80F outside and the sun is shining directly on the stern. It’s more noticeable underway when we have more 120V load. Technically the Mastervolt specification is that the system can produce 3.6kw at 104F (30A@120V) and the lazarette is rarely over 100F but, like many specs used to sell product, it appears to be optimistic. The early cut out can be annoying both because it’s unpredictable when it will happen and because the system goes down for more than a minute when it does shutdown. James decided to dig in and ensure that all four internal cooling fans are operating correctly and the system is clean and flowing air freely. All was found to be as it should be so there really was nothing to “fix”. He decided to hot rod the system on the observation that the manufacturer needs to design systems that operate in wet environments and needs to compromise between good air flow and possible water damage in marine applications. Ours is not in a location where above inverter water is a possibility so he opened up two 4″ vent holes in the top. The two holes alone will produce a far better cooling but we also installed two 55CFM fans so that we can get better cooling in the normal case without fans and truly exceptional cooling when they are. We tested the system for more than 5 min at over 30A and its rock solid with the fans on.

The inverter back in place on the lazarette wall, with the new fans visible on top.
AC condensate leak

Air conditioning condensate drains can be a real pain. Water flows poorly through small pipes without a steady vertical drop. Unfortunately, condensate drains are almost always smaller diameter than ideal and routing in a boat simply can’t always find nice steady declines. Consequently, once every year or so we’ll see an overflowing HVAC unit. On the salon unit, we replaced the 3/8″ condensate line with a carefully placed 5/8″ line and it’s never been a problem since. The pilothouse continues to get us once every 12 to 18 months. When it leaks, it’s down into the ceiling over the MSR bed so we are fairly motivated to avoid this one :-). Today we worked on the horizontal flow from the PH HVAC to the section that heads down the master stateroom wall. We eliminated any “up” sections or sags in this first half of the hose run and now have good flow. However, I suspect we’ll see this problem again. We will lkely have to do a phase two and go after the long horizontal run under the entire length of the MSR berth.
My Tracks

We use Google My Tracks to generate the turquoise personal tracks on our web site. Google has recently announced that they will end support for the app (My Tracks no longer available after April 30, 2016). There is an amazing variety of alternative solutions out there, but it’s amazing how many are poorly executed upon, don’t allow exporting tracks, have tracks with large GPS errors not filtered out, or simply just have too many other features we really don’t want. Jennifer got tired of me complaining about still not having found an alternative that I liked better than My Tracks so she got the open source to Google MyTracks and built MvDirona My Tracks. It’s GREAT.

We went for a walk around the Port St. Charles resort to test the My Tracks app. This is the port dredger, moored just inside the resort canals. They keep the swing basin off the marina dredged right up to the rocks so the big superyachts have maximum maneuvering room.
Lobster Pot

Jennifer having another medicinal Mai Tai before an exceptional meal surf side at the Lobster Pot restaurant in Speightstown.
On Dirona

Doug Harlow just sent us this picture we just love, taken while he was out to interview us at Port St. Charles.
Almond Beach Resort

The Almond Beach Resort doesn’t currently look quite as good as their marketing picture above. Its showing signs of wear and age but is close enough to where we are moored to attract us in. We asked for a table near the pool but when the staff “discovered” we were not staying in the resort he was upset and loudly insisted he would “call security” if we didn’t leave immediately. George Bush used to warn frequently of the dangers of what sounded like the “tourist threat”—this must have been it :-). Jennifer can look pretty dangerous in a dress and high heels. It’s amazing how poorly a bad hiring decision can represent a business. This is particularly true in resorts and restaurants where small differences in customer experience can be the difference between a very successful business and the slow decline to failure. We instead had an excellent meal at Juma’s along the water.

We continued into Speightstown to Juma’s where we had an excellent meal at an awesome balcony-edge table overlooking the surf.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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2 comments on “Limin’
  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    “He decided to hot rod the system”

    Forgive me for the 90s pop culture reference, but I instantly got the image of a Tim “the tool man” Taylor sized leaf blower fan.

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