A New Home

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It’s taken a long, long time but on Monday we finally signed a contract to buy a house in Ibiza.  It is an 400 year old finca near San Augustin.  There is a main house, annex, casita and a cisterna.  Some of the property needs to be legalised and we also have to put in a pool but it has gorgeous gardens with orange and lemon trees, grapes, fig trees and lots of flowers.  It will be quite a project to re-arrange the use of the interior rooms and re-orientate the feel of the main house and annex but lots of fun.  Move in date is hopefully 16th June.

END OF AN ERA

It was a fast sail down to St Lucia where we stopped for a night.  Our overnight passage down to Ile de Ronde, in between Carriacou and Grenada, was even speedier and caused concern that we would arrive before daylight.  The weather was calm enough to spend a couple of nights anchored in this beautiful spot enjoying the peace, clear water and good snorkelling.  It was then a short sail down to St George’s and on, the next day, to Clarkes Court Bay on the south coast where we began preparing the boat in earnest for the sale.  Twenty four hours at Clarkes Court Bay Marina enabled us to offload our copious personal belongings and transfer them into a rental house which we have until we leave the beginning of June.  it’s been quite a challenge to get everything packed up and into a Geest container which is heading off to Portsmouth on 2nd June.

Irony now has a new owner and is tucked up safely in Spice Island Marine for hurricane season.  We have been living on her almost 11 years since July 2002.  She has kept us safe and been the catalyst for a decade of amazing adventures.  On to a new chapter for us and for her.

Nic’s new exploits start almost immediately…he is joining Pegasus to sail back across the Atlantic to Cowes.

From Facebook:

Liesbet Collaert, Maria Law, Emily Morgan and 14 others like this.

Jill Watson Congratulations and best of luck for the next adventures. Loads of love xxx
  • 1 June at 22:32 via mobile · Like
Ian Ross-Smith Thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us Michele and Nick – sometimes I feel as though I’ve been there with you. How you guys have lived is an absolute inspiration to those trapped by convention and feel unable to live their dreams – much love Ian
  • 1 June at 22:58 via mobile · Like · 1
Pixi Bowen Wonderful news for you Michele - looking forward to hearing your news re houses in Spain!!!
  • 2 June at 04:01 · Like
Scott Cook Congrats on the sale and for everything you did on her. We will fondly remember our time aboard and the incredible evenings we shared with the two of you in the islands.
  • 2 June at 04:30 via mobile · Like
Joy Carey Happy:? Sad? On to the next adventure.
  • 2 June at 05:37 · Like
Breanna Brown Best wishes for your next journey! Xxx
  • 2 June at 07:25 via mobile · Like
Jack McFadzean Hope you enjoy being landlubbers as much as we have. We sometimes think of Scot Free but then say new pastures. We have or more accurately are about to buy a house by the sea near Dunoon. Keys on Friday 7th!! More on that to follow.
  • 2 June at 11:28 · Like · 1
Anna C. Sim Thank you so much for letting me live vicariously through Irony’s adventures traveling the world. Especially, joining her in Tunisia, Ibiza, St. Lucia (twice), Puerto Rico and the awesome fast sailing to Trinidad through the Tobago’s. I will miss her and am so looking forward to the next chapter of Nic and Michele.
  • 2 June at 13:36 · Like

Angela Raymonde-Cutler Looking forward to seeing more of you and Nicholas. Have missed you. Now for a new chapter. How exciting

  • 2 June at 17:12 via mobile · Like
Christine Nguyen CONGRATULATIONS! It’s always great news to hear that someone’s boat got sold!! Good luck on your new adventures!
  • 2 June at 22:35 · Like
Margaret Colquhoun Turning the page.. You’ll be successful in any adventure to follow! It was a pleasure to cross paths in Grenada 2010.
  • 2 June at 22:56 · Like
 Adrian Goldsmith to you both ,good luck ,adrian
  • 3 June at 13:46 · Like

 Tricia Geary Congratulations on the sale. Sadness on the end of a wonderful era, but an exciting new future awaits. Pete and I hope to see you here in SW France if you do settle in Europe.

  • 5 June at 00:01 · Like

MOVING ON

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A few days anchored behind the reefs at Green Isle was the perfect place for Nic to ease his aching muscles from his stint on High Tension‘s winches during Race Week.  On weighing the anchor in Falmouth, I realised we had picked up a large black plastic cable of some kind.  For a heart-stopping moment I watched as it pulled the anchor into Irony‘s bow.  Thankfully it had a loose end and released us before causing any damage.  With the imminent completion of our sale, we are trying to avoid any mishaps!

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From Green Isle we sailed overnight to Petite Terre on the advice of Lost Horizon – 2 small islands, rimmed by reefs and glimmering with palm-fringed, white sand beaches.  The approach over a shallow bar necessitates calm weather but the anchorage, in swimming-pool clear waters, is not to be missed.  Uninhabited, apart from a lighthouse, it can be busy during the day with catamarans from Guadaloupe.  On arrival we picked up one of the 35 ton mooring balls only to be asked to move off it shortly after by one of the commercial boats. It seems they each have their specific mooring but none of them are marked “reserved”.  After a series of very French confrontations punctuated by a lot of gesticulations, the park boat moved a smaller catamaran to free up another 35 ton buoy for us.  Dramas over, we spend 2 lovely nights there.  Sadly the coral is pretty dead but there are still quite a few fish to see.  We had an enormous barracuda greet us as we snorkelled back to Irony after a swim.  There are some lovely walks along the beaches or up around the lighthouse where dozens of iguanas can be seen precariously perched in the bushes.IMG_1454

Saturday morning we reluctantly departed and sailed 3 hours down to Marie Gallant, another new stop for us.  It is usually too far upwind to visit.  On our way, we spotted what we thought was large dead turtle but on closer inspection we realised it was actually 2 turtles very much alive and mating!  We had a delicious lunch on shore and then set off just before sunset for Martinique arriving in Le Marin on Sunday afternoon.  From here we are heading back down to Grenada to meet up with Irony’s new owner.

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From Facebook:
Tina Cutler, Nicolas Mesdag and 2 others like this.
Angela Raymonde-Cutler Loved looking at your blog Mitch. Lets try and Skype tomorrow. Barracuda sounds a bit frightening! Hope you are both ok. Love 

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14 May at 19:29 · Like
Michele Cutler Sailing down to St Lucia this evening and then leaving mid morning from there to do another overnight down to Grenada. Will look out for you on Skype tomorrow morning – about 3pm your time. Hugs, xxxxxxx
14 May at 19:37 via  · Like · 1
 Angela Raymonde-Cutler Ok Sweets, look forward to a catch up xxxx
14 May at 19:41 · Like

Sally Courtney in Mustique on Saturday 25th will you still be around? xx

15 May at 08:47 · Like

ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK

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After a short visit to London with a weekend in Ibiza sandwiched into the middle of it, I am back on Irony.  Nic sailed from St Martin to Antigua on Thursday night to meet me and is now racing on High Tension again for Race Week.  The weather is glorious and the parties are non stop!

HAUL OUT AND SURVEY

Irony in the travel lift at Bobby's MegaYard in Simpson Bay Lagoon

Irony in the travel lift at Bobby’s MegaYard in Simpson Bay Lagoon

From Facebook:
Tina Cutler, Paul Young, Nicolas Mesdag and 6 others like this.
Scott Cook Fingers crossed – we know what this means.
13 April at 01:03 · Like
Liesbet Collaert Good luck! 
14 April at 03:46 · Like
Paul Young Great picture For the sailing unaware, is this for maintenance? A service in car terms?
14 April at 07:20 via mobile · Like

IN ST MARTIN

St Eustatius proved ever elusive due to uncooperative weather; instead we stopped in Montserrat and Nevis on our way up to St Martin.  We now have a potential buyer for Irony who is meeting us here on 10th April for a haul out and survey at Bobby’s MegaYard.  If all goes well we will deliver the boat down to Grenada for the end of June.

From Facebook:

Katja MeynOle-Kristian PettersenKonrad Meyn and 4 others like this.
Carmen Scheureck Push thumbs for the sale!

3 April at 21:39 · Like
Angela Raymonde-Cutler Great video Mitch xxx
3 April at 21:51 via mobile · Like
Anna C. Sim So beautiful with the music, brought tears to my eyes – so thankful to have the time to experience Irony and the power sailing through the ocean with you and Nic…xxxooo
4 April at 18:48 · Like
Anne Downer so you are still at sea!
5 April at 14:38 · Like
Michele Cutler Hopefully we have a buyer for Irony…survey here in St Martin next Wednesday. Fingers crossed!
5 April at 15:14 · Like
Ian Ross-Smith Stunningly, stunningly beautiful – felt I was there with you.
What’s next if you sell Irony?
6 April at 10:07 via mobile · Like
Michele Cutler House in Ibiza?
6 April at 14:22 · Like
Ian Ross-Smith Yes good plan. Let’s get the band back together

HEADING NORTH AGAIN

Our peaceful anchorage at Hog Island in Clarkes Court Bay was suddenly interrupted one morning by a fast new Coastguard boat powering in at full speed. They were apparently working on a tip off of a drugs deal going down. We have heard from locals that Hog Island is preferred venue for this in Grenada. Unsuccessful, they headed out of the bay and moments later we watched another boat arrive and some figures appear from the undergrowth with a collection of rather large bags which were quickly loaded onboard. The boat disappeared and, not long afterwards, the Coastguard boat returned; the term “missed the boat” sprung to mind! The coastguard kept returning throughout the day and dispatched people off to search the island. They did find some bags (smaller than those that were made off with earlier) which were duly loaded and removed.
Other than this unexpected entertainment, our week in Grenada was quiet. The planned haul out in Trinidad was cancelled and we have agreed with our potential buyer to deliver the boat up to Freeport in the Bahamas to do the survey the week of 15th April.
DSCN2664Next stop was Chatham Bay on Union Island where we spent a few days enjoying the beautiful surroundings. A long four hour walk one afternoon along a fairly overgrown track reminded me never to go hiking in anything but long trousers! The Caribbean really does produce plant life with the most amazing variety of thorns and spikes.
Our passage up to St Lucia started well and we made good time until we were half way up the coast of St Vincent where the wind changed and put us 40 to 50 degrees off course. We didn’t arrive into Rodney Bay until after 3am the next morning. Happily we discovered the next day that we were just in time to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a beach BBQ on Saturday which was great fun.
We are now in Martinique after a fast sail up on Monday at 8 knots. From here we will sail up to St Martin with a stop in St Eustatia if the weather permits.

ROYALTY AND A ROLLING STONE…IT MUST BE MUSTIQUE

A fast sail took us over to rolly Britannia Bay on Mustique only to find that the island was on a major lock-down because Prince William is visiting. Understandably after recent events, they seemed to be particularly paranoid about cameras! We were there for the end of the Mustique Blues Festival and enjoyed a couple nights of great music in Basil’s Bar. No sign of the royals there but Ron Wood joined the line up on the last night. The island doesn’t have the picturesque charm of pretty Bequia but did have a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere despite the high profile visitors. It was just unfortunate we were unable to walk around anywhere except Britannia Bay and the local village. Nic had to be escorted by one of the security chiefs to the airport to check us out of the Grenadines. Thursday we sailed down to Grenada. We are back here for a week before meeting up with our potential buyer for Irony in Trinidad for a survey and haul out the week of 18th February. St George’s feels like a bustling metropolis after Bequia and Mustique. We did a bit of provisioning yesterday. There was no butter to be found in the whole of the Grenadines over the last few days and no one seemed to know when they might get some. Margarine is revolting!

BLUES IN BEQUIA

After a lovely Christmas and New Year with friends on Pegasus and Lost Horizon, we got down to some work on Irony and painted the decks.  They are now looking white and sparkling.  We spent some time exploring the island on foot which was fabulous as it is so picturesque

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Last week we had a fantastic fast sail down to the Tobago Cays Marine Park and spent a week off Horseshoe Reef.  We raised the keel and anchored in white sand within close reach of the reef.  It is such a stunning spot – crystal clear turquoise water in every direction, lots of colourful fish to snorkel amongst and, of course, swimming with dozens of turtles.  We raised the keel and found a great location close to a coral head teaming with colourful fish.

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We returned to Bequia for the Music Festival having bought tickets for a blues night at De Reef.  A host of artists from the Mustique Blues Festival came over to perform and were fantastic.   The next day we walked over to Friendship Bay for a Jazz ‘n’ Blues Jam on the beach.   Great to hear something other than the ubiquitous soca music played throughout the islands.

It was our intention to sail over to Mustique on Sunday to see a bit more of their festival but we came up against some bureaucracy which has kept us here.  Our allocated month has run out and we needed to extend our stay in the Grenadines.  In going to sort it out with customs and immigration, we discovered that they insist on keeping our passports for 3 days to “process the paperwork”.   We are still at a loss to know what they are going to do but have to remain here until it’s done.  Off to Mustique for the weekend now.  Luckily their festival continues until 6th February.

 

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