Part III–Into The Pacific 2007


Scotland Bay, Trinidad

Entr’acte is floating again and under weigh. Finally! What a whirlwind were these last nine months. The original plan was to leave Entr’acte on the hard in Trinidad to wait out the hurricane season while we went back home to spend a leisurely four months traveling to see family and friends both in Arizona and NY. But as my first sailing teacher once advised me, “never cleat your sheet. You might have to tack in a hurry!” And boy did we ever!

Entr’acte was placed on the hard at Powerboats Boat Yard in Trinidad and was happily receiving some real TLC. Our most recent bottom job was a real disaster. The only anti-fouling paint we could find just prior to our crossing was absolutely horrible. We began fouling almost immediately after launching and were scrubbing within a month. We were horrified at the growth on the hull when we arrived in Barbados. This Jotuns paint had to go. We were given a very attractive price by one of the local contractors to remove ALL of the old bottom paint right down to the bare hull, apply two coats of epoxy barrier coat and two coats of our favorite anti-fouling, Trinidad 75 Red. The combination of the bad paint and the great price made the decision very easy. As our luck would have it we happened to hire Brian Higgins, the best fiberglass man in all of the West Indies.

Brian Higgins. Best
Glass man in the Caribbean.

Because of this, we decided to go “all the way” and have Brian Regelcoat the entire hull. Unbelievably, Entr’acte is now THIRTY YEARS OLD and had accumulated many battle scars from all over the world! She deserved this! We made the arrangements with Brian and headed off to Arizona.

New gel-coat after
thirty years.

The day before we arrived in Sun City West, Ellen’s mother broken her arm. And worse, the airline lost two of our bags which contained our dodger, rudder cheeks and stove parts that were all to serve as the patterns for the new versions we wanted to make or repair. They were irreplaceable! So, we jumped right into being caregivers while at the same time trying to recover those two bags which we know were on the plane in Houston. After three weeks of constant phone calls to the airline, the bags arrived intact and complete with undamaged airline sticker with bar code and flight number as well as our own tags which plainly stated our names, addresses AND PHONE NUMBER. Go figure!

Next it was Ed’s turn to be the invalid when he decided to have a hernia repaired in anticipation of the long Pacific passages. Interspersed with all this were visits to various Doctors and Dentists for check ups and other physical maintenance as well as endless inoculations for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis B and a years worth of Malaria pills.

Dave supplies a year’s
supply of ant-malaria tablets.

Now that we had our bags that contained all of the patterns, we could begin work on the boat projects. Ellen set to work on a new dodger, sun tops and sail bags while Ed hit the wood and metal shops to ma-chine a set of rudder bushings, new rudder cheeks and various other odds and ends . Our days were full and things were moving along smoothly with the exception of the house back in NY.

Milling a new set of
rudder cheeks.

The finishing touches

After much soul searching we reluctantly decided that although we did not want to, it was time to sell our house in NY. It became evident that it was not at all wise or practical to try to maintain a 200 year old house in a cold climate while you are out of touch trying to cross oceans. Once our minds were made up there was no turning back. We would have to move fast if we wanted to be back in Trinidad by fall. Al-though no one anywhere in the country was buying houses, we put our house on the market. We changed our return ticket back to Trinidad from October to December and shifted into hi gear and from that moment on, we broke ALL the rules.

In six weeks we looked at over 60 houses in Arizona, bought one, drove to NY (buying a 25 ft car hauler along he way), cleaned up and prepaired the house for sale, miraculously found a buyer, moved out, filling the trailer to overflowing, pulled the trailer back across the country, moved into and set up the new house just in time to throw a Halloween party for our new neighbors. We now had six weeks to prepare in earnest to return to Trinidad and life on board Entr’acte. Now, are we crazy or what?!?

Not Spain, Just the
Halloween party

 Selling our home was perhaps the saddest moment in our lives but we knew that it was necessary if we wanted the Voyage of Entr’acte to continue in a care-free manner. The new house is only one mile from Ellen’s mom and is a tremendous little place. It is actually a huge garage with a small house attached and unlike our NY house it is only 9 years old and has very low maintenance requirements. It is a perfect house to NOT live in while we are off cruising. Our belongings are all in one place and we no longer have to be bi-coastal. It was very difficult to say goodbye to our home of so many years and the NY music scene but any time you have to make those big life changes it isn’t easy! All the memories come flooding back and you want to hold on to them. Rudy and Pearl along with their son and dog Lola now own “The Zacko House” in the Pomona Country Club and we have become very good friends. We have already “booked “our house” to rent when we go back East for a visit. Coincidently, Rudy’s wife Pearl is from Trinidad. We sense our guardian angel at work here.

Rudy, the new owner of
“The Zacko House!”

Everything we own packed
high and tight!

On our way West the trailer was overloaded by five thousand pounds! God Bless Cummins Diesel Power! The trip was uneventful until we were on I 17 with many six percent grades and run offs for over loaded trucks. It seemed we might need one as our brakes began to heat up while we whisked our way down the last mountain and slid into Phoenix on October 19th to greeting of pizza and beer with Ellen’s sister Jo and husband Dave.

Would you believe that Sam and Sevelin, the first neighbors we met, had lived for thirty years in Spring Valley only two miles from us in Pomona. We know so many of the same people. It is a small world!

Our checked luggage to Trinidad was three duffel bags, two large suitcases and one foot locker (all pur-chased at the Goodwill store), plus our carry on and computer bags. We had changed, and paid for, our return reservation so many times that the Airline moved us up to First Class and it made all the difference in the world, especially with the baggage allowance. Just where was all this going to go on a 27 ft boat. Thank heaven that Trinidad Customs makes allowances for “Yacht In Transit” and that Power Boats has small apartments for rent while you complete your boat work. Without good old Apartment No 1 we would have gone insane!

For the next four weeks it was “Work until you drop!” Ellen was like Cinderella, locked in her air conditioned apartment tied to her sewing machine and Ed spent his days in the engine room changing motor mounts, aligning engines, installing a new water maker, new fridge and countless other items that we either built new or repaired while at home. To have had Brian do the bottom was truly a blessing.

Regular inspections aloft
insure security at sea.

Mounting the rudder
Note the new cheeks.

She looks better than the day 
she was first launched.

We worked every day until 6 O’clock and then retired to NO 1 to share a meal or drinks with other cruisers and just laugh about how relaxing is this cruising life style.

Danielle and Greg make
“Real ” French Fries in No.1

Did we miss Christmas, NO, not at all! The Trinidad radio and TV stations played Christmas music non stop from December 1 until January 6. We have had enough Christmas music to last 100 lifetimes. We must have heard 50 different versions of every Christmas song ever written, and ALL of them to the ac-companiment of the Steel Pan.

Santa makes a stop in a Trinidad. Steel pan, a real art form.

It was MARVELOUS and was certainly not ALL work. We managed to find plenty of time for friends both new and old as well as take a few trips inland.

Blue Taninger These are Serious “Birders” A real 8″ Tarantula- -he was BIG
This year’s Carnival costumes.

Jessie James, Sharon and Julia.
Guides Extraordinare.

Charlene and Simone, of
Powerboats Boatyard.

Rasta Mike meets Rasta Man
Tony Penn, best
varnish man in town.

Irena and Alissando “The Italians”
launch their dream
September Song.

Entr’acte was finally launched on January 9th and she truly looks better than the day she was first launched thirty years ago. We are now anchored in Carriacou, Grenada, after our second shake down cruise and are waiting for the next weather window to depart for the Tobago Cay sand the Grenadines. After that, we will hopefully turn Westward for Curaçao, the islands of San Blas and the Panama Canal. Once we get there and receive a transit time, we will let you know so you can watch the adventure live on web cam.

Check out : www. Live Cameras –

When will we get there? Who knows? Who cares!

Our new permanent address in Arizona (when we are there) is

13550 West Via Tercero Drive ,

Sun City West, Arizona, 85375

Phone 623 374 3056

The mailing address remains :

 2312 Maplewood Drive Culpeper, VA 22701.

Please keep in touch. Lots and lots of good wishes to you from

Ellen and Ed