Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Last Major Voyage of the Nautivan

One of the few items I retained from my wonderfull 20 year marriage was the trusty 1995 Mercury Villager Van.  This van had seen two kids grow up in the back seat.  it was their mobile kitchen while transporting them to their sports games.  They had many a meal in it. It was also their major transportation to all their activities and the commuter vehicle to and from work.  It is now 15 years old and has almost 400,000 km on the odometer.  The only reason i got it was because noone else wanted it.  So this year i decided to drive it from British Columbia to Florida where the boat is stored.  It will transport all the items i have made and bought for outfitting the boat this year. So i loaded down the nautivan and, with a great deal of trepidation, embarked on my journey to the great state of Florida.

I stopped off in Whiterock to visit a crew member for the upcoming year and pick up some of her heavier bags.  Definitely not travelling light this year.  Then off to Seattle to visit with Anita and Dave who sailed with me last year and Anita will join me again this year for the Cuba trip.  The first leg of the journey was through Washington,  Oregon, and into Idaho where i visited with a friend in a little town called Glenn's Ferry.  It was an important crossing place on the Snake River for the Oregon Trail.  Now Idaho is quite interesting.  It is covered with flat land and dried out grass,  sage brush, and tumble weeds.  It is a huge farming area with large hay farms,  cattle ranches, lots of horses,  obviously the famous potato farms and sugar beets and the odd winery.  Irrigation has made this area very productive.  I had a fun visit with Helena in Idaho.  She is a passionate Horse lover and has 3 of her own and boards others.  I did get to go on a trail ride with her on one of her nicely mannered horses.  It was the first time on a horse for me in 50 years.  Yippee Kio  Kiyeeh.  Now i walk bow legged.  But the horse has been replaced in Idaho and Utah by horse power and ATV's.  Its the land of the pickup truck and the ATV.  And these aren't compact pickups.

The off to Utah where i picked up Jen,  my crew from Whiterock, at the Salt Lake City airport.  Then off to Bryce Canyon in south Utah. Before you arrive at Bryce canyon you pass through Red Canyon where all the cliffs and rocks are a bright red colour.

Very spectacular for us west coasters where everything is green.  You look up at all these red bluffs as you pass through and it is really nice.

  A bit farther on is Bryce Canyon.   Now to see Bryce Canyon you are on a plateau at close to 9000 ft.  Then you look down into a huge canyon  and all the cliffs are bright red and very wind carved.  It is unlike anything i had ever seen.  Very spectacular.  But it is at a high elevation and any hiking is strenuous for us sealevel dwellers.  But I did go for a nice walk down into the canyon. 

Next major stop was the beginning of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Again you are up at 12,000 ft and looking down into it.  Nice during the day but cold at night.  But it is real fantastic.  And no matter what they say,  the Americans couldn't have built it without a lot of cheap Mexican labour.  Thank goodness for all those illegal imigrants.

The next major state i passed through was the great state of Texas.  The land of hugh ranches and cattle feed lots.  Low rolling hill and plains very sparsly inhabited but good for cattle grazing.  And the odd oil well out in the middle of nowhere. Passed through El Paso but Rosa is a lot older now and Marty Robbins doesnt sing at her cantina anymore so we didnt stop.  On to San Antonio.  Besides the Spurs and one foxy Desparate Housewife,  San Antonio is famous for its river walk and also a little mission church called the Alamo.  The San Antonio River passes right through the middle of the city of San Antonio.

And the city has built up all around it.  The street level is about a story above the river level.  You wouldn't hardly know the river was there when you look at it from street level.  But the river is lined by nice walkways and lots of lovely big trees and lots of plants.  It is a small park and oasis in the middle of the city.  And the city revolves around it.  Its a major hub of activity with river cruises going on all the time and restaurants and shops lining the river front.

it is absolutely delightful and a fabulous place for a long walk or a leisurly strole.
 And the Alamo is a very interesting piece of history.  yes Davey Crocket and Jim Bowie were there.  But the Alamo and San Antonio were were actually in Mexican territory  invaded and taken over by a bunch of immigrants from the US and some expat europeans who were dissatisfied with the conditions imposed on the colony by the mexican government and Santa Anna.  They sent off to Washinton for help and reinforcements but Washinton had other things on their mind and didnt send any.  So these poor 200 strong rebels defended against Santa Anna and his 2000 plus strong army.  They fought hard and to the last man and put up such a good fight that even though Santa Anna captured the Alamo back he gave up on Texas and went back to Mexico and Texas became an independant territory and eventually joined the States.  And the Alamo is now a symbol of fighting for freedom worldwide.  I tip my coon skin hat to them all.

From San Antonio we went down to Corpus Christie and had my first swim in the gulf.  And there were only around 15 oil wells visible from shore.  Then off and through Galveston.  Some fabulous old houses and buildings in Galveston.  But Corpus Christie and Galveston are home to multitudinous oil refineries.  I think there are more refineries in those two cities than in Canada.
Ariving in Texas we were greated by Mitch Miller singing The Yellow Rose of Texas on the radio.  The waffles in the hotel were in the shape of Texas.  Yes some pickups have stear horns on the front, and its huge and flat.  Ya just gotta luve the place.

Off to Louisiana.  Just as we crossed the boarder we were greated by a real good thunder and lightning storm.  it rained so hard i was afraid to drive over 40 on the freeway and afraid to drive slower.  It was a horrendous rainfall.  but it cleared enough so I had a nice drive up the backroads to Natchez on the Missippi.  Very nice farms,  older houses and the odd plantation.  A great side trip.
Next was New Orleans.  Just had time for the French Quarter and that was wonderful.  great food with wonderful gumbo soup.  jumbalaya, catfish poboys and crawdads.  And the music was terrific.  There are so many bands playing there every night.  There is something for every taste.  And the street musisions are different and interesting as well.  loved New Orleans. 

From New Orleans I took the coastal route and saw some nice scenery.  Got down to the gulf coast area.  You could still see some of the damage done by hurricane Katrina.  Some places just didnt get repaired.  This area is a combination of affluence and poor areas,  but it is still nice.  But Florida is close and beconing so it was a quick trip through the smaller backroads to St Augustine where my boat was stored.  It was a nice drive and the Nautivan ran very reliably and well.  Averaged 11 liters/ 100 km and didnt burn a quart of oil for the whole trip

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dancing With The Dolphins

Dancing With the Dolphins

Most of my blog is just a humorous look at the interesting people that I get to sail with and whose company I really enjoy. But every once and a while I do run into something very interesting and unique to me. And one of these occurences happened on January 22, 2010 when i was anchored inside the reefs on the Provinciales at the Turks and Caicos Islands. We were in about 8 ft of water on a nice sandy bottom in front of a gorgeous long sandy beach called Grace Bay that is wall to wall resorts. And they are beautiful resorts. But we were the only cruising boat there. And early in the morning a solitary dolphin swam up to our boat and slowly swam around us.

the 2 dolphins playing around the boat

We started taking pictures and when it seemed like it would stay a while we jumped into the water to swim with it. And it seemed to like the company as it just slowly circled the boat. We swam with it for about half and hour and then it slowly drifted away from us. The next thing we noticed was the dolphin playing in the wake of a dive boat that passed by us. But the dolphin dropped the dive boat and came back to our boat and was joined by a smaller dolphin that was quite lively and fast.

Derek swiming with the dolphin

They cavorted around the boat for a while longer and then the smaller dolphin left but the larger one stayed. And he just relaxed around the boat for the whole morning. After a nice long walk and swim on the beach we came back to the boat and he was still there, probably enjoying the shade. Another good swim with him and it was time for us to move.

Just slowly lazing around the boat

 We were only going a few miles up the beach, just for a change of scenery and the dolphin followed along with us. Once we got to the new anchorage that was in front of the Club Med we got another swim and snorkel with the dolphin. And he attracted lots of attention from the passing tourist boats. Eventually he swam off to other adventures and left us alone but very happy. There is just something about a dolphin that soothes your soul and makes you feel very comfortable. This was the closest and longest swimming encounter I have had with wild dolphins and it was wonderfull. It makes for a good day and lovely company.

This has been a good year for seeing dolphins.  We were joined by a pod of about  9 dolphis off San Juan , Puerto Rico that stayed and played for about 20 minutes.  Another small pod came on the way to Grand Turk,  and 2 dolphins came to greet us when we were arriving in the Provinciales after crossing the Caicos Bank.

The younger dolphin on a quick swim underneath me

Friday, December 11, 2009

In Praise of Older Women (and what happens to the sweet young ones as they get older)
The Bond Girls,  Then and Now

One always finds the young nubile women attractive but a person has to wonder what becomes of these attractive young ladies as they age and change and what our perception of them will be as we also grow older and hopefully more mature. We all know that most women are very attractive in their early years but like everything we all grow older and some not as well as others. Women are a lot like wine, some just get better with age and some just get bitter and turn to vinegar. Not like us males who just grow fatter and our brains shrink so we become grumpier and more set in our ways.  But most women are sort of like cars, they all look good when they are new and shiny on the show room floor, but what happens to them after 25 or more years of hard running, not always kept in the garage, had a couple of kids grow up in the back seat and had numerous different drivers that didn't always look after them. Well that's what really separates the classics from the just ordinary ones that were meant to be traded in every 5 years and have a short usable lifespan. We all know and admire the 30 to 36 Fords, the 55 and 57 chevys, the early Camaros, Chargers and Mustangs, any BMW, the first Toyota Tercell and the Datsun (now Nissan) 510 and 240Z, the MG's and TR3&4's. But anyone can turn into a classic. Look at the Nash Metropolitan from the 50's and 60's. Nothing was more useless when they were introduced but they are a cute adorible little classic now. So ladies never give up hope,  anyone can become a classic, all it takes is a bit of maintenance and to look after yourself.  But what of all the others. The ones that were only loved for a short period of time? I had the recent fortune to have run into some of these women who were considered very attractive when they were young and in their prime but now have aged and are entering the golden years of their life. Some have done well and some have had some hard knocks in their life and dealt with it in different ways. Here are some of their stories.

Who is the man most of us of the male sex admire and wish we could emulate? Who is our hero and the dashing lady killer that all of us wish we were? It's none other than James Bond, that handsome rogue and smooth talking lady killer. The man who can have any woman he wants and then leaves them behind for the next conquest. The man who has the lifestyle of a chipmunk, he eats, roots and leaves. What male wouldnt want to be him or be like him. But what happens to the ladies he loves and leaves.

Honey Rider

We all remember Honey Rider, the lovely young lady from the Bahamas that James met on Crabbe Key when he was hunting Dr. No. She was the first of the known Bond girls. She set the standard for all the others. Who can forget that fabulous picture of her coming out of the surf with that gorgeous body just clad in that skimpy (at the time) bikini. What an attractive woman she was.

Honey Rider

We all know her story, lost her parents when she was young and forced to fend for herself from and early age. She was young, innocent and abused by the first man in her life. He took advantage of her and her situation and treated her horribly so she dispatched him from this earth by capturing a scorpion and setting it on him and he was stung to death. Then along came Bond and Dr No. The nefarious Dr. No tried to do her in and James protected her just so he could have his way with her. But did James protect poor Quarell, his buddy and guide to the island of Dr. No? Not a chance . He let poor Quarrell take all the heat and be toasted. But there was not even a soot stain on that lovely little bikini on Honey. Nothing was going to happen to her untill James had his way with her and was then finished with her, which he did. But what happened after that. He just abandoned her, just one of his conquests. But what about her? What became of Honey Rider?

                                                         Honey Rider ( now Janet X ) at 59

Well she is alive and kicking and still in the Bahamas and living on a small key all by herself, with just her pet dolphin for company. She has changed her name and now goes by the name Janet Xterminator , Lionfish Hunter.

the former Honey Rider in her Lionfish skin bikinni after a sucessfull hunt
and she cleans and eats what she catches

She is a confirmed environmentalist and lives a very simple life. Growing all her own food and recycling all her left over products. She is a fine example of what a person can be and how gentle and unobtrusive a person can be and still live on this planet. She has dedicated herself to extinguishing as many lionfish as she can from the Bahamian waters. We all know that Lionfish are an invasive species and threatening to devastate her beloved reefs and waters of the Bahamas, the only home she has ever known. So she while she still collects shells she is also hellping to eradicate the lionfish population. The lionfish is an invasive species to the atlantic tropical waters and is the alpha male of the coral reefs. no predaters and eats all the nubile young of all other species, sort of like James Bond. Is there a connection here?

Janet Xterminator, Lionfish Hunter ( the former Honey Rider)

But life wasn't always easy for poor Honey and life did take its toll early on. It seem that James was just like all the men in poor young Honey Riders life. Just wanted her for their own use and cast her aside when they were done. That doesnt' do a young innocent woman much good for her self esteem and also her outlook towards the male world. To her all men were users and she was fed up with being used. And she was also pregnant by James. She had a male child that she had to look after. She tried living in Nassau and Georgetown and raising her son James jr and hoping that her James would come back and look after her and help with his responsibilities, but never a word. And young Jimmy was a fine lad. Strong, athletic, virile, just like his dad. But any males who came into Honey's life just wanted one thing and with only a small skimpy bikini standing between them and what they wanted, she did get abused and used more often than she should have. And how did she deal with this? The only way she knew how. Eventually the scorpion population got a bit low and the authorities started to get suspicious, so she became a recluse and moved to Abandoned Key and lived by herself and raised her son and only came in contact with the outside world when the odd cruiser dropped anchor on her island and came ashore and found her. And did James ever offer support for his son? Not a chance. Out of sight, out of mind. Never look back. The world revolves around him.

Now Jimmy grew up to be a fine man. She raised him as best she could with her limited means but eventually he got tired of living the lonely solitary life on Abandoned Key and left to explore the greater world. He abandoned his mother just like every other male had and left her devastated and alone. He eventually joined the British army and is an SAS soldier in Afganistan. And poor Janet lives alone on Abandoned Key and lives a simple life that anyone would be proud of. She has grown a lot older and wiser and is now in her 60's but you still can't hide those gorgeous looks and that gorgeous body.

                                              Janet X and her trained attack dolphin

Janets trained attack boar trying to attack me

But pity the poor sailor that visits Abandoned Key and runs into Janet Xterminator, the Lionfish hunter. Because as well as trying to keep down the Lionfish population, she also collects the spines and poison from the lionfish and does use it for her own purposes. And she does have a dark side to her. She never forgot how she was treated by the male population. There has been many a poor sailor drop his hook for the last time at Abandoned Key. Many have taken their last dinghy ride ashore or swim there. Because Abandoned Key is small and off the beaten track and doesn't show up on most charts. There is no value to the place and no reason to visit. But it is an integral part of the Bermuda Triangle and we all know what happens in the Bermuda Triange. A lot of ships and people just go missing there and are never accounted for. And lovely, sweet Janet has a lot to do with that. She can take her revenge on the male population with seeming complete immunity from there and she does. So James, you turned a lovely innocent young lady into a deadly maneater just so you could have another conquest and stroke your male ego. Just an alpha male doing his thing. And now poor innocent sailors are paying the ultimate price for your selfish ways.

Pussy Galore

I had the good fortune to run into Pussy Galore who was with James Bond in his Goldfinger adventure. You remember Pussy, the lovely pilot who led Auric Goldfingers flying squad. A dedicated pilot and an absolute babe. Then along came James and seduced her and turned her against her boss and his scheme to corner the gold market. Auric wasnt so bad, just ahead of his time. The modern day bankers and supposed investment managers and junk bond dealers are way worse and there is no "Double O" fellow bumping them off. How we as a society have changed. Well what do you think became of lovely Pussy. One great roll in the hay and she was turned. But in the aftermath she was deemed a security risk and permanently stripped of her pilots license. No more flying for her. And what is a nice girl like her to do when left alone with her sole means of support taken from her?

                                                          Pussy Galore
Well with a name like Pussy she had to change it and totally reinvent herself. She is now Ann Otherlife and has done quite well but it has been a long and hard haul for her. First she went back to school and reeducated herself. Being very athletic and good at all sports she tended towards education and became a physical education teacher. While at university she excelled at basketball, swimming, volleyball. and soon no one remembered Pussy and her previous life was totally forgotten. But there were still after effects that she couldn't shake. She was drawn to charming, shallow men who like their martinis shaken, not stirred. But eventually she married one who liked his martinis often and wasn't particular how they were made. She had two lovely children with him but eventually the constant string of drinking got to her and she gave him the boot and raised her children on her own.

                                     Krazy Lady Ann ( the former Pussy Galore) at  56

Another attempt at a relationship also failed because he too was attatched to his drinks and also had a wandering eye. A pattern with her partners was setting in so she decided to become herself instead of some alpha males appendage. Her judgment of the male species was suspect so she withdrew her affections and withdrew into herself for a while. So Ann learned how to be completely self sufficient and finally came to peace with herself. Always the athelete she branched out into all sports and now is very well rounded. She threw herself into teaching and coaching all types of school sports and developing the young women of the next generation to become complete persons unto themselves and not to fall victim to the manipulations of members of the male species. She gave back unselfishly, unlike you James the Taker. A real person.

                                                Life is Good   Live slow,  sail fast.  It doesnt get any better than this

I ran into Ann when she was following her new passion, Sailing. She has a nice small sailboat that she single hands around the northern east coast of the US where she lives. A nice light 28 ft Roger Martin design with a retractable bow sprit, a large assymetrical chute and a very comfortable interior, aptly named The Krazy Lady. If you are ever passed by someone going upwind at 7 knots and hanging out on a trapeeze or left for dead by a small red hull doing 15 knots downwind and the single handed skipper screaming and hoooting with glee, it would be Ann. She is finally living the good life, live slow, sail fast. Like a good wine, she has got better with age. Sailing is now one of her many passions. Not you James. So she has done very well for herself, in spite of her mistaken and poor judgement in having a fling with Mr Gone With the Wind Bond.


Then there was Solitaire, the Tarot reading lady from Live and Let Die. She was young, gorgeous, and still a virgin. She had a good thing going with Mr Big in Jamaica. She could predict the future for him. He looked after her, treated her like the important , intelligent, and classy lady she was. All she had to do was remain a virgin and use her psychic powers to help Mr. Big with his future plans, whatever they were. Then along comes James and upsets the apple cart. He charms her, seduces her, robs her of all her powers, and takes away her financial support in one fell swoop. No more powers and ability to see the future and no more Mr. Big. The woman was devastated. One great big Orgasm and nothing else. Everything gone. She was used and abused and abandoned. So what happened to her?
                                                    Solitaire before James Bond

Well hindsight is everything and we all have it. Solitaire, whose real name was Jennifer Junque, finally realised that she had traded in a good gig with Mr Big for one pathetic little orgasm with James, Mr. Little, Bond. She should have at least waited and finally surrendered to Mr Big and enjoyed a long and happy sex life. She realised she had made the wrong choice, Mr. Big or Mr. small and puny. Stamina and staying power or a quick roll in the hay. You should have read your own Tarot cards Solitaire. And she regrets her mistake.

                                                    Jennifer ( the former Solitaire)  at 60

But all that was no longer available to her. And on top of that she had twins from her one night of minor bliss. She had 2 girls, which she named Jane and Joan and gave them the last name of Junque - Bond. But life was not easy for Jennifer in the aftermath of our wonderfull Mr. Bond. No visits, no contact, no how are you doing, and definitely no support. Never heard from him again. So she moved to South Africa where she could start a new life and did the best she could do in raising her two daughters and finding a life for herself. She modeled swimsuits and bikinis for a while but couldn't stand the constant ogling of the male population. After all she never lost her class, just her virginity. She had origionally thought that wonderfull body was going to be For Your Eyes Only James.

                                 Jenny on one of her exotic vacations   looking good

So she went back to school and retrained herself. She programmed computers for a while 'cause she was always smart. She did find a man for a short period of time but he was domminating and abusive so it didnt last too long. Mostly she was a single mother. And a good one, Not selfish but devoted to her two daughters. And thats the most important and difficult job in the world.  Raising good children that will be a credit and benefit for the next generation.  And she did well.   But all this has an affect on a youg lady. She became quiet and shy, lost a lot of her self confidence, and became a bit withdrawn and almost anti social. She wasn't good in crowds and tended to stick to herself and her family. It's hard to believe that someone as attractive and smart as she was could lose all her self confidence so easily. But it happens. But while James had taken away her identity and life he still couldn't destroy the classy person who was hidden deep inside. She quit trusting men but still did a fabulous job of raising her daughters. They both went to university and one became a lawyer who specialises in divorce and making all those dead beat dads and hubbys pay their rightfull child and wife support. And the other became an architect and builder and helps a lot of these women build new homes and lives for themselves after their divorce. But I wonder if that is all they really do. They both tend to dissappear for long stretches of time often during the year and I have a suspicion that they track down a lot of the unfaithful men and give them some of their own justice. Thank goodness Jennifer never told them who their real father was.

                                              Jenny getting ready to go diving

And when Jennifer finally had some time to herself she started to look out for just her own self. Always the smart one and with some of her pscychic powers slowly coming back. She invested wisely in the stock market, Krugerands. and of all things junk bonds. And she made a killing. So life has turned around for her. She lives in a beautiful house in a gated community in South Africa, has a chauffer that is appropriately named Mr. Big, a house boy and butler, cook named Mr. Goodnight, and a personal trainer and bodyguard that looks after a lot of her other needs named Mr. Stamina, and a personal mechanic for her fleet of BMW's named Mr. Often. Life for her is finally good. She has all she could possibly want and she deserves it. She spends her time sailing and diving in exotic locations around the world and with hiking, mountain climbing and anything active. Her looks have changed as well. Her hair is now naturally bleached a dirty blond from all her exotic vacations in the sun. Whoever said money can't buy happiness either doesn't have it or doesn't know how to spend properly or doesn't know Jennifer. She is still gorgeous, classy and active. She has left behind a string of broken hearts. Living proof that you can Live and let Live and you don't Only Live Twice. You should have stuck with that one James. She is everything a man could possibly want. But she is no longer available for a pathetic little man like you. She has moved on and up. What a loser you are James.

                                      yes she really does go down     Jenny at 15 feet

I ran into Solitaire again when i was in Cuba doing some cruising and diving.  She is still pursuing her passion which is diving in all sorts of exotic locations.  And she is a great diver and loves to take photographs.  We were dive buddies on a few dives and there is no better dive buddy than her.  She is concientious, competent, attentive to others and is in good shape and  just looks so good you always know where she is and keep a good eye out for her.  She is now 65 and a grandmother, but you would never know it to look at her.   She looks better and classier than ever.
                                              Solitaire (Jenny) at 65 heading out on a dive

I think she has branched out from tarot card reading to some voodoo spells as she seems to have reversed the aging process and looks absolutely fabulous.  She still lives in South Africa  but spends a lot of time in Europe with her children and while there she indulges in her other other favourite passtime,  which is collecting boyfriends.  She seems to have lovers in all locations though and devotes a lot of time to pursuing her own pleasures.

                                                          65 never looked so good

She leaves a lot of broken hearts in her wake,  but any lover is a lucky one and can count his blessings and take away great memories.  Its just like big game fishing,  sometimes the ones that get away are the best and most memorable.  Her interests are many and varied and she is very well read.  She isn't just a one interest one trick pony like her first lover, James.  She has aged to perfection,  not just aged.  I think that her mind and how she lives her life is what keeps her young and healthy and attractive and vibrant.  And what a lovely mind it is.

I ran into her when i got to Maria la Gorda and we did a few dives together .  The wall diving and coral formations there are fabulous.  But when she put on her skin tight wet suit i almost lost my breath.  Diving with her can be very difficult as she keeps you breathing very hard and you seem to get rapture of the depths very easily. 


When  I got to Cabo Frances she was  also diving there as well so we buddied up again.  There the wall is very deep , and she does like to go down deep,  and the fish life is bigger and better.  And her attractiveness isn't just noticed by  the male population.  A lovely large brown moray eel took a very amourous attraction to her and kept coming in for a snuggle and a kiss.
                                               even moray's have good taste

 I mistook it for aggression at first and i made sure she was between me and the eel,  but she gave it a couple of soft love taps and it went on its way happily and content.  She has a way with eels,  especially large thick brown ones. 

She seemed to have forgiven me for having worked with James and helped him with his career and conquests.  I guess there is no place on that gorgeous body she can hold a grudge with out it showing.  She slummed it and came over to my boat for a nice lobster dinner,  the only way i could attract her there.  Lobster and a nice Soth African wine are one of her favourites. Then she was off to Cayo Largo for some more diving and a few weeks on the beach in an all inclusive.  She does travel first class and she has the class to go with it.

Holly Goodnight

Another of the ladies I had the good fortune of meeting was Holly Goodnight from James adventures in Hong Kong when he was after The Man with the Golden Gun. She was the good looking skinny blonde that ran around in a skimpy bikini all the time. And what a babe, you don't get any better looking than her. But she very young and wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Very easily influenced and not a lot of self confidence or assertiveness. She did work for the secret service in a small capacity and James used his position of authority and his charm to remove that fabulously fitting bikini from her gorgeous body and to have his way with her. He was thinking short term, like 10 minutes, like he always does while I think she was Into long term. She was an easily lead young girl and easily impressed, which he likes.

But he was gone real quick and left her wondering what happened. And it didn't help her career, sleeping with that casanova. She had to quit the secret service and moved to the colonies (Canada) where she still resides. She changed her name to Leslie Ismore. Well Leslie didn't have that great an experience with men after that. She thought sex was just a quicky and mainly for the man's benefit. Wasn't every man like James? So she gravitated to a bunch of unsatisfactory relationships and eventually married a man who was very similar to James, self centered, quick and dominating, and put her down and didn't give her much credit for anything.

                                             Les Ismore at 61

But they did have two kids, 2 nice boys, and she was a good mom. really concentrated on her kids. and she had a good career for a while and worked hard. She was always a hard worker. But her sex life wasn't very good, nothing in it for her. Always for the other person. And her hubby didn't help much. Sound like someone else we know? And he started to drink too much. So she gave him the boot and went on to raise the kids herself. This she did for a while but when you are as good looking as she is you eventually attract male admirers. But her ability to judge wasn't great and she settled for an Argentinian soccer player who didn't do much else, except dance. And can she dance to latin music. Wrap that lovely body of hers up in a slinky dress and just watch it move and you will eat your heart out. Skimpy bikini or long sleek dress, which looks better on her? They both look great. So her life revolved around kids, work, and dancing. but this didn't last too long even though Juan was good with the kids. He just didn't have enough on the ball and eventually returned to Argentina, without Les.

                                  Les Ismore enjoying herself and in her element

On her own again she devoted herself to her family but eventually hooked up with another man, but he wasn't much better. Didn't help much with the kids or the finances so when the two boys grew older and moved out she ditched No. Three and set out for a different life, one for herself. She moved to a small town and went into business for herself and concentrated on helping herself develop into the wonderfull person she knew she could be. She read a lot of interesting self help books, did yoga, and meditated. And kept in great shape as she always did look after herself physically. And she became very strong emotionally and very self sufficient. But unfortunately her business didn't do well so she folded it and now works at all sorts of odd jobs like gardening, cleaning, B & B management just to make ends meet. but she is a very proud person and now a complete person. And she is living a very simple yet satisfying life. She doesnt need an alpha male to make her happy anymore. And she did it all without you James. But deep inside I think she is still in love wth you and would love to be with you again, but not on your terms.

You want me to gybe this?

So Les Ismore is doing just fine. I ran into her when I was sailing up in Desolation Sound in the Pacific Northwest. She loves the water, sailing, and kayaking and just anything to do with the outdoors. And she is still as gorgeous as she always was, but the inner person is the part of her that really shines now. But she is still looking for that hard to find commodity, a kind , sensitiive, smart, athletic and humble, considerate male. We wish you luck but even so, well done Les.

Tiffany Minx

We all remember Tiffany Minx, that gorgeous little bikini stuffer from Diamonds are Forever. Not always smart but when you look that good , who needs brains. Always running around in that real small bikini and looking real gooood.

Tiffany Minx looking like only she can

When James asked her to hide the tape with the secret codes the bad guys were looking for she put it down the back of her bikini bottoms. Like it didnt show? James used her in more than one way. And then just cast her aside as quick as you can change channels with a remote and with just as much feeling. But she learned from this and in a big way. She learned to look out for herself. And she did learn that Diamonds are Forever, but husbands aren't. So she went through a lot of husbands on her way to collecting a nice parcel of diamonds. And collect she did. Didn't always have to marry them, engagement rings can be pretty good. But we all know what happens when we get older and Tiffany has.

Tiffany Cougar now

So what happens to a sexy little Minx as they get older and smarter? They turn into a Cougar obviously. So Tiffany is no longer Tiffany Minx but is now Anita Cougar and what a cougar she is. She has left behind a string of younger men. Just uses them and discards them as she sees fit. Just like she was. And she learned from the best. No regrets and no attatchments, she just looks after herself. love em and leave em Anita. I ran into Anita at Paradise Island in the Bahamas a couple of years ago. We got together and played some craps, roulette and bacharat together. Got along fabulously and I knew I was going to get lucky but she wasn't available that night, had prearanged plans, so we arranged for the next night. But when I got back to my room I discovered my wallet was missing and all my credit cards had been maxed out. And Anita was no where to be found. She is good James. Better than you now.

But all wild and free animals, even the predators can be tamed. And it took a nice guy from the islands to do it. Now this man came with credentials. Had grown up watching Circus Boy on TV. Spent many a day skipping school and sneaking off to the Shrine Circus. So he could recognize a Cougar that was tameable and could figure out how to tame it. No Seigfried and Roy, he wasnt going to allow any Cougar to turn on him. So with patience, kindness, lots of attention, and a good sense of humour, he set about the arduous task of taming the former Tiffany Minx and curing her of her ways of using men and discarding them as she saw fit. And he did a good job.

Tiffany and Dave the Cougar Tamer

Tiffany has never looked happier and is no longer the predator and cougar she once was. She is very happy and has a good life. But like any good cat, she didnt alow herself to be declawed. So when you are in her company, beware, because she hasnt let her old ways go completely and she can still charm anyone around her, so hang on to your heart and your wallet and watch out for those claws.


Who could forget Octopussy and her lovely bunch of eight female cutthroats and their Blue Ringed Octopus cult that hung around in India and hired themselve out to all sorts of neferious people. Cute but deadly, just like the blue ringed octopus. All females and no males allowed. And whats wrong with that.  Even gorgeous, nice smelling, sensuous female assasins are cute and loveable.  Unlike the male variety,  they just smell, drink, belch, pass wind and watch TV.  So her cult  didn't trust males.   A bunch of man haters.


Now you have to understand where Octopussy came from to see how she would get to this place in her life.  She was raised in the Pacific Northwestern U.S. by a family who was  a member of one of those funny religious cults that are supposedly mainstream and are dominated by males and some of them even want more than one wife.  When she got old enough to think for herself, and if there is one thing Octopussy does its think for herself, she realised this wasnt going to suit her at all so she ditched this cult real quick.  But it made her very leary of men for a while.  All these things take a toll on a young person and affects how they deal with life,  even as an adult. But she liked the idea of being in control and so she got the idea of a female dominated cult with herself as the brains.  And not only was Octopussy very attractive , but she was also smart and cunning and manipulative as well.  So with her brains, it was quite successfull.  She had all sorts of work.  There are lots of bad guys out there that were happy to employ her and her lovely ladies.

Then along comes James,  slow walking James, smooth talking James and pretty soon the gig is up.  He infiltrates the cult,  seducess one of the lovely young ladies in Octopussy's entorage , and gets her to turn on Octopussy.  Next thing you know he is sweet talking and boinking Octopussy herself and there goes the cult in ruins.  And same with the bussiness.  What bad guy or Russian spy or Megalomaniac that wants to take over the world would trust Octopussy now? Not even Pinky or the Brain were interested.  It was obvious that she could be swayed by a charming, shallow, self centered male.  I think shallow and self centered is impressed by the same in the opposite sex. So what is a lovely young lady to do when she is used to the good life and  being waited on by a bunch of good looking lovely ladies and is supposedly immune to the charms of the male population?  You have to get as far away from your previous life as possible and pull your world back together.

So Octopussy went back to the States very quietly and layed low for a while.  Went back to university, changed her name to Maureen (No Mo) Males and completed her degree. But the States was getting too hot for her as her past was generating interest from the authorities,  so she had to find someplace to go where she would be accepted and could blend in, but still speak the language , at least tollerably.  So where can a lovely young, smart, athletic female hang out and not be noticed?  That silly country thats full of snow, eskimoes , igloos and Nanaimo bars.  Where they can only say EH and and drink beer and watch hockey games.  Thats right, Canada.  They take and accept anyone there. And they do speak a form of simplified english.
                                           Octopussy (now Moe Males) relaxing on Eleuthra

 So Mo moved to a little known small town in B.C. and settled into a quiet life as a school teacher.  But no matter how thick she wore her glasses and how high she piled her hair , she was still a babe.  And Babes get noticed,  this time by the only thing better than a double O secret agent, Thats right, Canadian royalty, a proffesional hockey player.  So to blend in and not be noticed, because hockey players wives are just eye candy, and to get special treatment and diplomatic immunity, she became a hockey players wife.  Spent all her time jaunting around the country , living the good life,  hanging out with other hockey spouses.  Skiing, exotic vacations, expensive hotels , and lots of parties.  Life was good and what she thought she deserved.  But people get quite used to this superficial, privilleged life,  and Mo was no exception.  She became quite vain and self centered. But hockey players have demands and soon she had 2 kids and spent a lot of her time looking after them. And she always takes her responsibilities well and was a good , devoted mom. While she seemed selfish and self centered on the outside,  burried deep inside, Mo had a nice selfless, kind side, but only when it came to her immediate family and circle of friends. But when you lead and get used to the priviledged life, this side gets burried deeper and deeper.  Life does not always let you be what you really are and want to be.  You have to protect yourself and your inner core. But hockey players lead  very insulated and spoiled lives and soon Mr Pro was taking slap shots at more than the hockey pucks and Mo said no moe.  She packed her 2 kids and left and went back to the small town that she liked. 
                                       Octopussy in her 60's,  in paradise but not smiling

So life became a lot more of a struggle for her.  A single mom raising 2 kids on her own and teaching full time in a small town.  And she was back to her original premise of not trusting males.  Devoted herself to her kids but still managed to find time for herself.  But she kept up her passion, skiing, and became a fabulous skier.  Always the great athelete, she channeled all her energy to her kids, sports and anything active.  And no matter what you just cant hide an attractive , athletic body.  So there were lots of suiters.  But Mo was picky, she had high standards, not necessarily smart ones, but not many could measure up to the two previous  males in her life.  So she made some short term but not necessarily wise choices.  But she raised her kids well.  One became an extreme skier and champion wakeboarder, and the other was just a real smart organised lovely young lady.  But when they got older and went out on their own, Mo found she had time for herself.  So Mo ventured back into the dating game when she met a real charming and successful local bussiness man who was also a good energetic individual who could match her passion for life. The fact that he was a part owner of the local ski hill was not overlooked. Moe is swayed by power , priviledge and money. He was quite well off, which was important to Mo, and they did a lot of travelling and she got back into the good life where she thought she belonged.   It went well for a while but he tended to have a holic type  personality with whatever he did and pretty soon he seemed to prefer the shape of a short stubby beer bottle to the fine hourglss figure of a classy lady.  And he also developed the seven year itch and she wasnt going to put up with that so she sent him and what was left of his wardrobe packing as well.
                                                          Moe (Octopussy) looking good as she always does

 And Mo reined in her feelings and devoted herself to her work and family.  Always the controller of what is around her,  she still kept her familly close.  And she became more self centered and opinionated.  She tended to see the world in a simplified form and from only her perspective.  To her the world was  black and white. She was either hot or cold on everything around her.  That works when you are young and idealistic but as you get older and wiser you realise there are a lot of different shades of grey in the world as well.  She found it difficult to trust anyone with her feelings and emotions.  What would you expect when every male in her life had used her, treated her as an appendage and something to satisfy their egos, and let her down. Sort of like she does with other people.   Just saw her as a gorgeous babe,  and never took the time to unlock the real person underneath that still had a chance to emerge.    God us males are shallow.  But so are some women.  So now she takes care of herself and is a completely independant woman.  And when the need arises, there are no shortage of younger lovers she can draw on. And she does prefer younger people.  She has a hard time relating to those her own age.  Still fighting the aging process instead of embracing and enjoying it.  But when you fight it you actually hurry it along.  Her emotional developement has stopped.  Her outlook on life has narrowed and she is not open to other points of view but her own. And she looks at life from a very negative point of view.  Always whining.  And that is when the brain ages.  And she is still very narcistic. Thats what happens when you rely on your looks and dont develope your emotional side.  And it comes back to haunt you as you grow older. But one thing Moe enjoys are wines, and she is a great conisour of wines, mainly red.  And knows all the good inexpensive brands.  And her favourite whine.?  "The waters too cold in the carribean,  Is it always this cold down here?,  i dont feel like swimming,  Its to hot for hiking."  When you look at everything from a negative perspective you sure learn how to whine.    Life is passing you by Mo. 

                                 Moe,  at her best and  happy with her wine
 So what does the future have in store for the former glamour lady named Octopussy?  Well she still does have a future.  When you are a woman and good looking thats all you need for any short term commitments. And Moe is short term. And she will buldoze herself through life and leave the collateral carnage in her wake with narry a thought.  And even though she has passed the golden age of 60 she is still looks like solid gold , but then so does iron pyrites. And she is still developing her potential, because she still has lots left.  But unfortunately it wont be realized,  because it takes time and work to develope.   But she is still adventurous and a risk taker but more as a spectator than a participant .   Even so, she has a very interesting life and an even more interesting future ahead of her, no matter what form it takes.  Because Mo is always moving ahead and not looking behind, because she never makes mistakes.  Her view to life?  Bring it on, the Mo the better.  So Go Mo Go and good luck because you will need it. We do hope it all turns out well for you.  Lets hope that you run into the person who can unlock that lovely vulnerable side of you that you have buried deep in side and surrounded by that hard exterior shell.  Everyone deserves to reach their full potential, no matter how late in life.

Ima B Easy

Now I bet you dont even remember who Ima B Easy was do you? Well let me jog your memory a bit. She was a nobody. Didnt rate at all. No billing, no nothing. Just an extra with no value to the supposedly important people. James didnt even bother with her name. She was that attractive , young, simple girl giving him a massage when he was recovering in the medical solarium after one of his adventures. He had spotted a possible Specter agent that was also there incognito. So in the middle of a massage he just charmed her as only he can, grabbed her, and seduced her. And while he was doing this he stole her key to the rooms so he could investigate the Specter agent. Not a thought about poor little Ima. She was just collateral damage.

Now let me tell you a bit about her. She was a poor girl from a very poor family just trying to work her way through university. All by herself. But she was innocent and easily lead, just how he likes them. But he left behind a mess at the solarium and poor Ima took a lot of the flak. The Owners of the solarium, who wernt nice people to start off with, found out it was her key that he used to create the havock and by by job. And in a small out of the way town when you get fired from a job its hard to find another one. And that was the end of her university hopes. No job, no money, no go. So she found herself out on the streets with no prospects. And on top of that she was pregnant. James , why dont you get a vasectomy or at least use protection? No no, that would affect your manlyness and machoism. So she had to think and act fast. She had been seeing this older friend so she heated up that relationship and quickly married him and convinced him that he was the future father. And to make it more probable she had another child quickly. Now her hubby was a tugboat captain and spent a lot of time out of town working. And when he came back home he wasnt very interested in the kids or her, just liked to hunt and fish and poor Ima basically raised the kids without much help except he did provide financially. So Ima was the good dutifull wife and raised the kids and concentrated on being a good mother. But when the kids got to be in their early teens she had had enough of being married to someone who didnt pay any attention to her. So she packed up the 2 kids and left. But she was just a housewife with no skills and she needed a bit of excitement in her life. So she gravitated to a man who was a lot more interesting and hoped for the best. But she picked a ski patroler and ski bum. But at least he paid attention to her for a while. But she got smarter and learned from her past mistakes. They moved to a small town with a ski hill where her new hubby worked. So she trained as a secretary and also became a ski patroler. But that wasnt enough so she also became a real estate agent. And started investing wisely in realestate with any spare money she had. But ski bums have short attention spans and after 10 or more years he started having a wandering eye, so she left him. But the kids were older and out of the house by then so she was free to do what she wanted. So she found a younger man who was all promises but never lived up to them. They moved to a big city and settled into a decent life. And she retrained again and got a better job that was more satisfying. And kept up her realestate properties. But hubby 3 was a work aholic and again she was left to her own resources. So after staying far too long she ditched No. 3 and moved back to the small town she liked so much and had her houses in.

Ima ( Beverlee)  not so Easy anymore
Looking good and happy  in her mid 60's.  well done Beverlee

 So Ima is now older, wiser, and now goes by her middle name which was Beverlee. And she kept one of her married last names because she is now a lot smarter and not Easy any more. She is now financially stable and totally independant and she has done it all herself. So she spends the good summer weather at home and then heads south to warmer climates in the tropics in the winter months. Finally the good life is hers. And how do I know this? Well I met Ima when I had to go to the solarium right after James had left it in such a mess. And i saw how she took the brunt of the blame. So I helped her a bit finantially and we have kept in touch since. She is just a real nice genuine person, unlike someone we all know.

I have also run into the lovely Tiffany Minx from Diamands are Forever and that most unforgettable Octopussy from the adventure of the same name.  Their stories will follow shortly.

An you might wonder how I know all these things about James and the secret service? Well since a lot of time has passed I can now reveal it. We all hear about 007 , license to kill. Double O Seven, Mr. James Bond. The Man. What about the others? Double Oh 8 was that cossack fellow who defected in the Golden Eye adventure, but there were others who you don't hear much about. And then there was me, 0013 John Smith but they call me ED. Thats right , unlucky 13, doomed from the start. The expendable one. Always cleaning up after James or doing all his dirty work. Never got any good assignments. While James was boinking Octopussy and her fabulous bodyguards, I was guarding a nasty cheating diplomat and his obnoxious wife and pesky spoiled kids. It wasn't fair. I had a promising career, did well in school and training but never got the chance because of James. When the man eating sharks didn't bother James when he was diving on the airplane in Thunderball do you think he was just lucky or scared them away? Not a chance. They went after me. But did he come and help, no way. Went about his work and left me to fend for myself. I just wore the wrong kind of swimsuit. Lost a couple of toes in that one and got 40 stitches. And all the times those bad guys were shooting at James and missing? Bad guys aren't incompetent. They were hitting. I was wounded in Goldfinger, got a spear in my side in Thunderball, Got run off the road in Casino Royal, and got a knife in my shoulder in On Her Majesty Secret Service, just to mention a few. But who gets all the credit and glory? None other than James Mr Showoff Bond.

And as for that bag M. James was always her favourite. James this and James that. She always played favourites. I think she had a thing for James. And for Double Oh Thirteen, nothing. A big Fat Zippo. Wouldn't give me anything good. To her I wasnt Double Oh, just a big ZERO. And as for Q, he wasn't that smart. Just a bumbling inventor really. James got all the gadgets that worked. Who do you think he tested them on . Yeah thats right, little old me. And most of them didn't work the first time. When he got them right James got them. All at my expense. And I have the scars and wounds to show for it. And Moneypenny only had eyes for him. Wouldn't give me the time of day. Even had to book my own flights and hotels and always in ecomomy and flea bag low end hotels. And she would never pick up my hat when it missed the rack. She even made me stand in the waiting room, no sitting on her desk. And I really liked her while you just toyed with her.

And who was sent in to clean up after your messes and destruction? Me. And who took the brunt of the revenge from the other side? Me. After you stole the cypher machine and the Russian babe in from Russia with Love, I was sent over to help unruffel some feathers and to smooth over diplomatic liasons. And they arrested me and through me in one of their god awfull prisons for 3 months. And who was there to torture me but that horney little sadist, Rosa Kleb. And she was pissed at you and took it out on me. Brutal torture and then all lovey and seducing me. Classic psychological destruction. She was very horney and forced me to service her every day while screaming your name. It was brutal and humilliating. And when she was finished with me they turned me over to Jaws and a lot of those big burly Russian guys whose carreer you cut short with dehabilitating injuries. And they were brutal. I now need an enema everytime Ineed to have a bowel movement. And ED isnt my name, it stands for ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION and thats what 3 months of being used by Rosa Kleb will do to you. The humilliation was unfathomable and I have been scarred for life. While Auric Goldfinger had you tied on that bench and was planning on cutting you in half with that laser, Rosa had me tied on a bed and was nibbling her way up my inner thighs. Made that laser look good.

When I was cruising the Bahamas I happened to anchor at Abandoned Key and ran into Honey Rider.   She was lovely and we chatted for a while but when I mentioned you she beat me half to death with her lionfish club. I have scars all down my back. I was half paralized and the pain was incredible. She was going to use my scrotem for a pin cushion for all her spare lionfish spines. But when I dropped the shells I had been collecting,  it distracted her and I managed to drag myself to my dingy and back to my boat. It took me weeks to recover.
And I ran into Solitaire on a diving trip to dive with the sharks. She was real nice, stole my heart. When we met for dinner she showed me that her psychic powers are slowly returning and read my tarot cards. Predicted I would meet some very interesting men who would show me a time that I woudn't soon forget . Then her bodyguards dragged me outside and beat the crap out of me. She sends you her regards, from South Africa with Love.

And now that we are retired and you are cruising around the caribbean on your mega yacht with a crew of Victoria Secret deck girls and have a kitchen staff of ex Hooters girls, I am stuck on my crappy little catamaran cause thats all I can afford. Im homeless. And your dingy is a 36 ft Donzi with 3- 275 hp outboards while mine is an old inflatable with old mans disease like me. It gets soft as soon as the sun goes down. And all I have is an old 4 hp British seagull outboard, one of Q's crappy inventions that didnt work. It was my golden handshake present from the secret service. Another of M's parting shots. I hate you James. Its not fair. It should have been me. I wish I was you. But I still hate you

The Aging Process and the Male Population

Now it is obvious from how these lovely ladies have aged and spent their later years in life that women can age very well. Most of these ladies are just as attractive now as when they were at their supposed prime in their late 20's and early 30's. And most of them are much wiser and more mature and better rounded people. With the exception of one , they have all gotton better with age. Thank God there are older mature women in this world. But what has happened to the male population as they grow older. We all know the male brain shrinks quicker than the female brain, thats why most males become grumpy old men. And most males become more opinionated and narrow in our outlook as we grow older. We become less flexible in both our body and our mind. And unfortunately our perspective on life tends to narrow and we tend to view life just from our own eyes. But not our hero James. Mr. Perfect and Mr. Charming and Suave has grown even better as he has aged. That is obvious by these enclosed before and after photos. Well done James. We still love you.

                                                Solitaire you were very lucky without him


My favourite pictures.  Janet you are a good sport , a great sense of humour and a lot of fun.  and the inspiration for this silly blog

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nauticat at the Heinekin Regatta, March 2009

Nauticat competed in the Heineken Regatta in St Martin again this year. We entered in the Cruising Multihull division which had a total of 10 entries, but only 7 showed for the start of the first race. The competition was a very well sailed and prepared Nautitech 43 cat who won last year by a large margin, a Lagoon 55 who had raced the other two previous years, 2 Lagoon 410’s from the charter fleet, and an extended seawind 1000 that had hull extensions making it 36 ft long. It was very well equipped and outfitted for cruising and racing, and lastly, a very quick, nice open Geminga 28 that had entered last year.

                                              Nauticat at the Heineken Regatta 2009

I had a good crew this year, Mike Nusbaum again from Victoria. Paul Nicholson from Victoria, Maureen Fenner from Rossland sailing in her first sailboat race, and Nigel Martin and Heather Brazier, also RVYC members and from Victoria. I sometimes race with them back home on their very well sailed Olson 911, Magic Bullet.

                                            2009 crew,  Paul , Maureen Mike, David, Nigel,  Heather

The winds for the first race were not as expected. The prevailing easterly winds shifted to NNE and blew quite strong. The first course was supposed to be a windward leeward course of 11 miles along the south coast of St Martin. It turned out to be a close reach upwind that all the multihulls could point on one tack and a reach to broad reach on the other leg. The winds were strong, steadily over 25 kn and mostly around 30 with gusts to 35 kn. We started with a reef in the main but just after the start the reef line broke so we had to sail with a full main for the race. After getting a good start and then recovering from the broken reef line we found ourselves in 5th place with the larger Lagoon 55 moving fast with its long waterline. We did some good sailing and trimming to keep the other boats close. It was a very fast race and we hit speeds of 13.5 knots without surfing or wave assistance. It took us 66 minutes to cover the 11 miles, a very fast race. Close to the finish line we got hit by a strong gust entering Philipsburg Bay and the main tore right down a panel. Consequently we limped into the finish line under headsail alone but still finished 3rd across the line. We were close to the 2 boats ahead of us but lost too much time with our problems to catch them on corrected time. The little Geminga cat was also caught in the gust and did some damage and didn’t show up for the next day racing.

                                          The largest boat in the regatta,  beautiful isnt it

The lagoon 55 had a good rating and we actually owed him time, about 6 minutes a mile. And he is the fastest boat in the division. Not fair to the rest of us but that’s the way racing goes.
It was a tough windy day for all the boats. Only 2 of the 5 gunboats managed to finish their race and there was major carnage in the bareboat fleet with a lot of damage and boats not finishing. A few boat had collisions and one boat was holed and almost sank. Lots of damaged sails. The winds and seas were bad enough that the charter companies required all their boats to have a reef in the main the next day and from then on. Having finished early we were the first boat into the sail loft and they repaired my main by 5:00 that night so I was ready to go again in the morning

                                          One of the Gunboats from the racing division

Day 2 had the same wind conditions as the previous day. The course this time was changed from the original plan to sail to Marigot as the seas were too big to have the fleet anchor in Marigot Bay so we sailed around the western tip of St Martin and to a mark off of Anguilla. It was a short windward leg with a close reach along the south coast of St Martin and then a beat up to the mark off Anguilla. The seas were big and short and steep with winds between 25 and 35 Kn. Very tough sailing. Lots of water over the boat. Some hatches were left unlocked so some people had very wet bunks but everything got dried out when we got back. Got a bit buried at the start and had to play catch up. Did a good job on the windward leg but did a poor job of picking the last lay line to the mark and had to throw in an extra 2 tacks. That was the difference between 3rd and 4th place. We finished in 4th. A good race and we didn’t do any damage. Sailed with a reefed main and a reef in the headsail for the upwind legs and unfurled the headsail for the downwind. Finished 2 minutes behind the 3rd place boat. The seawind 1000 Cover Shot beat us for 3rd place. they did fly their screacher again even though the division rules dont allow screachers and spinakers.

                                Nauticat in the lee of St Martin before the wind blew up to 35k

Day 3 started with lighter winds but still from the NE. But they were gusty going from 10 kn to 28 kn at the start. We started with full sails and had a good start and were close to the leaders at the windward mark but got rolled by the lagoon 55 and ended up trailing the fleet. Cover Shot got the best start and were first to the windward mark. The reach to Plum Point was a drag race with the longer boats going faster. Cover Shot flew a screecher which wasn’t allowed in our division and managed to stay up with the leaders. The beat to the windward mark was in big seas and 23 to 28 kn of wind. We hung in with our full sails and gained back a couple of boats and had a good rounding at the windward mark. It was a good windward leg for us. On the downwind run Cover Shot flew a spinaker, again not allowed under the rules, but it allowed them to stay with the leaders. They finished in 2nd place and we finished in 4th. But the 2 leaders protested Cover Shot for using illegal sails and won the protest. Cover Shot was accessed a penalty and we ended up in 3rd place for the regatta. It was a fun regatta with good heavy wind sailing, the toughest I’ve been in for racing and we sailed well. We had very good crew work this year.

                                          Paul and the Nozone crew shirts

1st place in the division went to the Lagoon 55 , Dreamcatcher and they sailed well. it’s a fast boat and likes the heavy weather. 2nd place went to the Nautitech 43 Polo and he always sails well. He is very hard to beat. We got 3rd place again this year.

          Nigel, Heather, Mike, Maureen

On the 3rd day all the bareboat divisions raced the same course as the multihulls and it’s the first chance we had to compare their times around the course with our own. I would have finished at the bottom of bareboat 1, the fastest of the bareboats and comprised mainly of Beneteau and Jeuneau 51 ft boats. All the bareboat fleet comprising mainly of Beneteau 473’s were faster around the course than we were but we were very close in time to the slowest of them. Bareboat 4 consisting of beneteau and jeauneau 43’s were also faster but we would have beat the slowest of them on elapsed time. We did catch up to the slowest bareboat fleet that had the new Jeauneau 393’s in it and pass most of them even though they are a nice performance cruiser/racer boat. But a few of the faster ones beat us around the course. I love my multihull.

The last of the Ratz

The last of the Ratz
Dinarah and Isabella Ratzova in St Martin