Leaving Antigua, W. I.

About Play Actor

Coming below, looking to port aft
The stove and sink.

Coming down the companionway ladder,the galley is to your left.  The lift out panels in the countertop are the refrigerator "doors."  The stove is gas, and the sink offers hot and cold running fresh water, or pressure saltwater at sea temperature.

Dining table in the saloon
Our queen sized berth, forward

On the port side, forward of the galley, is the dining table with an "L" shaped settee.  Looking right up the center, you see our sleeping quarters, which can be closed off with a door.  The settee at the dining table is also suitable for sleeping. The head and shower are in a compartment through the door and to the left - not shown.

Looking forward from the galley
The starboard settee

Looking forward from the galley, the dining area is to the left, and the starboard settee is to the right. That's a diesel-fired heater at the forward end of the settee.  We also have central airconditioning.  We don't need either in the Eastern Caribbean.  We rarely used airconditioning in the states, but we did sometimes use the heater on cold Fall days along the Mid-Atlantic coast.  The starboard settee is a good place to nap and read, and it's our favorite spot for sleeping under way.

Looking aft across the dining table
The navigaton station

The family car
Early morning, light air, calm sea.
Out there doing...

...what she does best

The name Play Actor originally belonged to a Baltimore schooner which sailed the east coast of North America in the late 1700's and early 1800's.  She was owned by an ancestor who had a theatre company, and he used her to transport his troupe from city to city.  His name was Dennis Ryan.  I inherited his business records, which I donated to the Maryland Historical Society many years ago.

The current Play Actor is a Baba 35 cutter, a heavy displacement, full keeled cruising boat, built by TaShing Yachts in 1979 to a design by Bob Perry.  We're the third owners, and we've owned her since 1988.  We've been cruising full-time aboard her since 2000.  She's 35 feet on deck, 42 feet overall, and displaces 24,000 pounds empty.  The last time we weighed her in cruising trim, she was about 29,000 pounds.  That's with water, fuel, food, a rowing dinghy, a rigid inflatable dinghy, and an outboard. Loaded, she draws close enough to 6 feet that we call it that, just to give ourselves a little margin for safety.

We carry 100 gallons of fresh water, which will last us 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how careful we are.  We shower with fresh water, and wash the dishes in salt water with a fresh water rinse.  We replenish our supply with rain water, which we catch on deck.  After allowing a few minutes of rainfall to rinse the decks, we plug the drains and open the tank fills.  We have rarely had to buy water in all of our years of cruising.  We've found this so satisfactory that we decided years ago not to add a watermaker to our list of things to worry about and repair.

60 gallons of diesel fuel will give us a range under power of around 600 nautical miles if we run at about 80 percent of our 7 knot hull speed.  We typically use about 60 gallons of diesel in a year.  Sailing is a much more pleasant way to travel, and it's often faster, too.  We usually motor at about 5.5 to 6 knots, and we sail between 6 and 7 knots,  given at least 10 knots of wind.

We have stored food for three months aboard with space to spare, but that was early in our cruising life.  We've since learned that people eat everywhere we go -- it's one of those things we humans all have in common, so we just eat what the locals eat and shop as often as necessary, unless we're planning to stay in the middle of nowhere for a while.  We do that occasionally; it's part of the charm of the cruising life.

These days, we have Internet service and cell phone service when we're in port, almost everywhere.  At sea, we depend on an email system that uses HF amateur radio to stay in touch with friends and family.