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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of April 2017: Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in the Cayman Islands * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.

02 October 2017

Mexico - The Yucatan Peninsula - Eastern Side

Hello Again


Arriving into Mexico

SHAMAL at anchor Isla Mujeres
Our second visit to George Town – Grand Cayman Island – is over.  We have re-provisioned, made new friends with other yachties, all of whom seem to be heading for the Rio Dulce, Guatemala for the hurricane season, had swims and given the hulls yet another clean as a red/brown slim is growing.  We have now had our copper coat hull paint on for nine years with the odd touch up, so we really  can’t complain, and lastly, downloaded another weather report. The 1st of June is officially the beginning of hurricane season in this part of the world, so we will now be monitoring the internet for them.


26 May 2017

Return To Cuba

Hello Again

Alec bailing out tender after rain

Well our last few days in Grand Cayman saw the start of the rainy season.  Oh help summer must be on its way.  We experienced an overcast day followed by a day of constant heavy rain with thunderstorms. Yes that lightening was flashing about everywhere.  Then it was back to overcast days again.  We did a big stock up of stores that will hopefully see us through our time in Cuba, and  beyond.  There were those last Skype chats with the kids as we will once again be out of contact with them for a while.  We will keep in contact with our shore manager – son Murray – with the “iridium go” satellite system, plus get our weather through it. Actually my NZ Vodafone phone works in Cuba, so that will be my back-up.


Refuelled and ready to leave
Our three stowaways
Friday 21st April and we ride our bikes down to Customs in George Town from Mitchells Creek where we are anchored, and complete the ‘clear our’ procedures. One is given 24 hours to leave.  They have not returned our Hawaiian Sling to us as one has to be seen sailing out when it is handed over.  It is forbidden to use any form of spear gun here hence we had to hand it over when we arrived.  We then ride around to a cafĂ© for coffee.  While there it starts to pour with really heavy rain, and we are stuck there for about two and a half hours.  The following morning the sun is out, and we motor down to the Barcadere Marina where we pick up our duty free diesel and wait for the customs officer to arrive with our sling.  He turns up right on the dot of 10.00 a.m. just like he said he would.  Then we are on our way.  It still takes us an hour to motor out across North Sound and through the reef before we can set sails for Cayo Largo.  Then the wind dies – we have no more than 5-7kts.  Help this is going to be a slow trip, and yes it is.  We motor sail nearly the whole way 140nm!!!!!  We have three swallows join us in the evening and they stay with us for the rest of the trip. 

20 April 2017

Cuba To The Cayman Islands

Farewell Cuba - Cayo Largo

Welcome Back

 Thursday 9th March was our last morning in Cayo Largo Cuba.  We had to move SHAMAL from our anchorage and take her into the marina to complete checkout procedures.   I go to raise the anchor with the foot control button, but nothing happens, it has stopped working !!  Thank goodness Alec is able to do it from the helm.  Another job to add to the work sheet !!!   First we had to go ashore and hand in paperwork to the Guarda Frontera.  Then it was back to SHAMAL to wait for the visit from more officials along with an over exuberant sniffer dog.  On our hike back down the dock we run into a New Zealand couple, from the Marlborough Sounds, who are crew on an American boat.  They have just arrived back in Cuba after a visit to Grand Cayman Island.  Their intention was to continue on down to Panama, but having not visited as much of Cuba as they would have liked to, they have returned.  We still have a little of the local currency left so head to the restaurant for a coffee to be told sorry, the machine does not work.  We settle for a cold lemon drink.