Our Last Post

February 12th, 2015

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On the 30th of January the title of Scorpio was transferred to new owners. After 23 years of messing about in a yacht all over the world including a circumnavigation and visits to about 100 countries it was time for Malla and me to move ashore and head for new challenges.

We know that the new owners will take good care of Scorpio and we hope that they will enjoy the cruising life as much as we have done. Thanks also to all of you web surfers, who have followed our adventurs on the www.

Fair winds and calm anchorages.

Does the new owner look happier than the old?

Ready to Splash

October 31st, 2014

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After 10 busy days we are finally ready to launch Scorpio, again. This is the 22nd time in 23 years, and the event has taken place in 20 different locations. During the first 20 years we did all the work ourselves, but nowadays we hire contractors to do most of the dirty work (cleaning, sanding, painting).

I may be a bit biased, but looking at the photos below, I think Scorpio looks as this could be a virgin splash 😉

We were scheduled for launch today, October 31, but decided to postpone a few days. There are very few spots at the docks of this “marina”, and as we are not quite ready to move on yet, we will stay on the hard a little longer for final preparations for setting sail. Interestingly, looking back at previous posts of this blog, I discovered that last year Scorpio was launched on this very day.

Back Aboard

October 29th, 2014

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Hi again folks. We are finally back aboard Scorpio after an absence of 6 months.

Scorpio appears to have taken our leave well. We didn’t find any mildew, rodents or roaches on board.

We just found this grasshopper measuring the decks. Maybe he’s been acting janitor?

Scorpio has been stored ashore at Green Cove Springs Marina, at St John’s River, just south of Jacksonville, Florida.

We will soon start updating our blog and www.scorpiosail.com again on a regular basis.

No Crocs, Frogs or Flippers

November 24th, 2013

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Looking at photos from the early 1990s, when we first visited the West Indies, I detect a clear change in the way people dress. Particularly when you look at the footwear! Below is a photo of our family and our very good friends, the Lindqvists, in Philipsburg Sint Maarten. Everybody wears proper sailor’s shoes. No cheap plastic crocs, frogs or flippers in those days (remember, you can click on the image to see a larger version).

I’m Fuckin’ Retired!

November 17th, 2013

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I could certainly not imagine, 21 years ago, when we arrived in the West Indies the first time, that I would meet retirement in these islands.

I’m not one who normally advertises his birthday, but as we are presently crusing down Memory Lane (see report here) more than two decades since our cruising lifestyle started, I am experiencing some emotional moments. As 63 years is the age when one can retire in Finland, I guess I am now officially retired. Although I prefer to use the expression ‘senior citizen’ instead – it sounds a lot more distinguished.

Actually, I wasn’t at first quite sure what it is I’m retiring from, having been a sail bum for twenty plus years. But then I realised that, now that we have decided to swallow the hook and sell the yacht, I am actually retiring from cruising.

I realize that things could be worse; some people wont go cruising until they get retired. At the age of 42 I decided to live the cruising life because I had no guarantees I would ever reach retirement age.

However, until the boat is sold I guess I will continue the life as a soon retiring sail bum.

Do not have too much fun – not on my steps

November 9th, 2013

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Some proprietors are obsessed with signs. I have commented about signs a couple of times before in this blog, but recently in Chaguaramas I found one of the worst examples. At the docks of a boatyard called Powerboats there is a small building, convenience store, where most walls are covered with restrictive signs.

I couldn’t understand the reason for all these signs, but I guess every proprietor has the right to decide what people are allowed to do on his premises. Or maybe this one just happens to have a sign-maker son in law. Neverteless, although I know the meaning of fishing, sitting, loitering, parking and so on, I wasn’t sure what liming is. And, as I didn’t want to break the rules I went in and asked what I should refrain from doing.

The girl at the check out explained that it means “having fun”. I found this surprising as I had been given the impression that Tribagonians loved to have fun. Yes, she said, but the sign says that you can not have too much fun here!

Return to Prickly Bay, Grenada

November 9th, 2013

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Our first visit to Prickly Bay was in the early 1990’s. It was one of our favourite Caribbean anchorages and we returned there on several occasions during our time in the Windward Islands. After almost a decade we briefly returned at the end of the year 2000 on our way from Europe to the US east coast. There had been very little change during those years. It was still one of the prettiest spots in the West Indies, with usually less than a dozen yachts at anchor and a cozy little restaurant.

Today, 13 years later, the small, informal, charming marina, with fresh green lawns, dotted with palms and almond trees is gone and instead of the dozen yachts of yesterday there are probably a hundred now at anchor, with an additional two hundred on the hard. However, there is a now a modern marina, with better docks, a good dinghy dock and probably a much more efficient shipyard and better services for yachts over all.

Unfortunately, I much preferred the old days. I fear what more changes I will discover when we move further north through the islands.

Splash – Finally

November 9th, 2013

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On October 31, after several postponements of our bookings with the travelift, Scorpio is finally back in the water, ready for yet an other sailing season: 2013-2014. We had to cancel our launch several time because contractors didn’t show up to start or finish their jobs and then when we were finally ready the lift was scheduled for a yearly over haul.

But now Scorpio is back in the water. We hope to be ready to leave Trinidad on Monday, November 4, and sail to Grenada.

The Bar of Destruction

October 21st, 2013

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We are now on Island Time (IT) and therefore most of my days are spent waiting contractors who will not show up. I should be used to this after practicing during 20 years in numerous countries. However, it takes some time to adjust having just spent 6 months working 10 hours a day, 7 days a week on our house project back home. We had planned to launch the yacht next Thursday, 3 days from now, but I’m pretty sure this schedule is too ambitious. Fortunately we are not in a hurry; our next appointment is on November 27, when we need to be in Martinique, where our son Jens and grandson Rasmus are expected to join us for a couple of weeks.

Today Island Time became slower than usual because it happens to be an Election Day in Trinidad & Tobago. Not only did time slow down, also the menu is restricted. There is a ban on the sale of alcohol all over the place, in stores as well as in restaurants. I have no problems staying a day or without my regular lunch beer, but, starting to ponder about the ban I find it quite strange that legislators in some locations still, in the 21st century, find it necessary to ban alcohol during elections. As if the outcome of the election would be any different without a ban.

We have come across this ban a few times, the last I can remember was in Thailand and once it happened in Charleston, South Carolina, during the Presidential elections in 2004.

This ban is a clear anachronism of the law, at least in the USA, where the ban on alcohol sales during polling hours was a response to a well-established tradition in some areas, buying votes with liquor. Back then, in the 19th century, it wasn’t unusual for saloons, often the largest buildings in town, to double as polling places. Corrupt politicians did whatever they could to make voters happy. This “tradition” is probably long gone by now, but apparently two states still have the ban in place. One of them is indeed South Carolina and the other one is, surprisingly or not, Kentucky, where alcohol is a big business. In Kentucky, however, there is some logic applied as the ban is lifted at 6pm when the polls close. In South Carolina the ban stays on the whole day.

The bar of destruction
Cartoon from 1874 by Thomas Nast
Source: harpweek.com

I have no idea why the Trinbagonians need an alcohol ban during elections, but the ban apparently concerns everybody. I received no sympathy at the restaurant when I tried to convince them that they could sell me a beer because as a foreigner, I am not allowed to vote anyway.

Maybe booze for ballots is still considered a risk in T&T.

Back Aboard

October 18th, 2013

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The trip from Finland to Chaguaramas in Trinidad was not our worst transfer, but uncomfortable enough. We had to change airports in London, from Heathrow to Gatwick and carry all our luggage as well, on and off the bus. That bustrip alone took 2 hours. Then we had to stay at a hotel over night and catch the plane to Port of Spain next morning. The departure of the plane was delayed by two hours because of some technical problems.

This time we had booked a hotel room at Peake’s Yacht Services, the yard where Scorpio has spent the past 6 months. Traditionally we have always lived aboard the yacht, even in the yards all over the world, but this year we decided we had earned the luxury of some service for ourselves during the first week while we were preparing Scorpio for launch. We did the same last spring after haul-out, during the last days before we flew to Finland. Obviously this is an indication of us getting older and the end of our cruising life getting closer. The only time we have been living ashore before was in Thailand during our major renovations of Scorpio, when we stayed at a hotel for a total of about 8 months.

So, although the heading is “Back Aboard”, we are living in a hotel room about 100 metres from the yacht. But mentally we are already on board. And the terrace outside our room is only 5 metres from the Caribbean Sea.

We hope to splash the yacht and move aboard again within a week.

The photos above are from Peake’s web site.