The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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BOAT = Bring Out Another $Thousand

29th May, 2017

Current Location: Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Current Position: 14 4.32 N 060 57.52 W Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 214 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

In Barbuda our windlass gave up on us. Well, actually, it was a combination of two things: our anchor chain was rusty and wearing out. It was on our list to be replaced on our next visit to Martinique. And then the gypsy wheel has gradually worn down. The gypsy wheel is the wheel that grips the chain to pull it up. The combination of the two, a worn chain and a worn gypsy was too much, and so the chain would keep slipping.

We did end-for-end the chain, so that we were operating on a less used stretch of it, and that did work better, but even so it wasn’t great. In addition to that, the metal tab, by which the windlass is bolted to the floor, also broke off, making it even less usable. So, in Barbuda we used our secondary anchor.

Thus our next stop from Barbuda was Martinique again. Here we managed to find a second-hand windlass that had a case in good condition. We switched over the motor, as we knew our existing one was good, installed a brand new gyspy wheel and clutches, and bought 50m of new chain.

New gypsy wheel on secondhand windlass with new chain

And so we were good to go – and $1000 poorer. Could have been worse; a brand new windlass is $1700 by itself never mind the chain! 

Can we Fish? You Bet!

Following some new fishing tips from cruisers in Antgua – thanks Jadge! –  we bought some wire leader for our fishing lures. Maybe this time we would stop loosing lures all the time.

And so it was – the sail from Barbuda to Martinique provided us with a fish! And not just any fish – this wahoo, with very sharp teeth that did NOT cut through the wire leader, was 23 lbs (10.5kg) AFTER removal of head and guts! Even now we are still eating it 🙂 My guess is that all those lures that we have lost in the past have fallen prey to a fish such as this – or even bigger. 

Our biggest catch yet

10.5 Kg of meat

It was caught on an 8-inch soft squid with two #10/0 hooks. That is big hooks! It was on a #11 wire leader. We had dubbed this lure ‘The Killer’.

The Killer

And yet, still we lost a lure. In St Lucia we had bought a 4 inch stainless spoon lure that we have nicknamed ‘The Catcher’. It rapidly paid for itself in Spanish Mackerel but, alas, despite the #9 wire leader, it too vanished. What is nice about the Catcher is that it seems to shrug off all the sargasum weed that is all over the sea. So while the other lures, such as the Killer, need to be constantly cleaned of weed, the Catcher stays remarkably free of it. 

The Catcher

More discussions with fishermen revealed the astounding fact that Wahoo and Barracuda can even cut through the wire leaders! I guess the #9 was just too light, so we bought another Catcher, and installed it on a #12 wire leader. We were worried about visibility, but soon enough we had another Spanish Mackerel on board, so I guess the visibility is not so bad after all. In fact, just yesterday we caught another fish, but even as we were bringing it aboard it was itself attacked by something bigger – perhaps Wahoo or Barracuda – and so we ended up with just 2/3 of a fish. Oh well, that and the previous one were donated to the local beachside grill, as we are still working our way through the Wahoo.

And so, after 5 years of trying to figure out this fishing business, having dragged some stupid lure halfway across the Atlantic in 2011 (until it disappeared) and losing countless other lures along the way, maybe we have finally got there! Finally I have a sense that I vaguely know what I am doing and what lures to put out. And, finally, we have more fish than we can eat, and we can give them away to friends and neighbours. In fact, those two fish we just gave away were, according to the owner of the grill, worth a couple of hundred dollars!!!!!

Almost Time to Leave Paradise 🙁

We are now back in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. It really is nice here. People are friendly, the weather is fantastic (with some occasional rain), the sea is warm, and the sailing is just perfect.

Life Part 2 anchored in Rodney Bay

Ceu tending to a wild pineapple

Juniors in Lasers being towed back home at sunset after an afternoon of training

We took some day trips down to Marigot Bay and also to Anse La Raye for their traditional Fish Friday. But now time is running out. We are due to fly back to Canada on Wednesday. We will drop off bags, renew Ceu’s driving licence, and re-establish our medical coverage. And then we fly to Portugal for a month, where Allisen and family will join us for a couple of weeks while we visit with Ceu’s mom who is in a convalescent home recovering from multiple broken ribs from a fall. We, that is what happens when you fall off the terracing while doing some farming at the age of 82!

Life Part 2 will remain in St Lucia, being looked after by Simon Handley, an experienced skipper and charter boat manager. 

We might return for a month or so in November, or else maybe not until after Christmas – after all, we do have some skiing to fit in. And my mum wants to see the polar bears in Churchill in October.

It is a shame to have to leave here, as it really is VERY pleasant. But we have things to do and family to see in Canada.

We shall be back, as the Terminator said.

Racy Photos from Martinique

15th May, 2017

Current Location: Cocoa Point, BarbudaCurrent Position: 17 32.95 N 061 46.18 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 32 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereAlthough we spent quite a bit of time in Martinique we didn’t write much about it, only a few photos of the Carnival and (more...)

Sailing the Most Beautiful Yachts in the World

25th Apr, 2017

Current Location: Falmouth Harbour, AntiguaCurrent Position: 17 1.14 N 061 46.36 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 183 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereShe is 78 years old but, as befits her name, still as hot and sexy as a prom queen. Helped, no doubt, by the (more...)

Beautiful Saint Lucia

11th Apr, 2017

Current Location: Rodney Bay, St LuciaCurrent Position: 14 4.34 N 060 57.53 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 36 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereEnjoying Saint Lucia We are delighted with beautiful sunsets every evening from our anchorage in Rodney Bay. Noel enjoying a nice swim (more...)

Still in Martinique

6th Mar, 2017

Current Location: Case Pilote, MartiniqueCurrent Position: 14 38.48 N 061 8.41 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 114 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereWell, here we are still sitting in Martinique! Ceu has been to Canada and back to see the grandchildren. Now my sister, Mitzi, and (more...)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

31st Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 13 20.24 N 059 42.9 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 6 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereJust left Barbados for a quick over night reach to Martinique. Will do full update when we get decent internet (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

28th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 13 15.93 N 059 38.81 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 19 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereArrived in Barbados . Drinking wine. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

27th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 13 23.09 N 059 20.34 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 292 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereLand ahoy…I see land !!! Arrival is near! Caught 2 more fish and had our first squall all at the same time. Lots of excitement. Looking forward to rum punch! (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

25th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 13 44.87 N 054 20.76 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 82 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereNot much wind, have slowed down. New ETA Sat. Maybe. Who knows? Nice weather though . (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

25th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 13 50.09 N 052 56.16 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 211 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereIt is late at night, and the stars are shining brightly. So beautiful! Wind finally picked up, so doing 7 Kts again. 400 miles to go. ETA Fri eve, we hope. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

23rd Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 6.18 N 049 19.12 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 137 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereyummy…some nice hot chocolate. Burgers on BBQ. Bouillabaise, fresh bread. Gourmet dining at Heavenly Delights. One yacht in sight. Wish you were here. 🙂 (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

22nd Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 17.51 N 046 58.75 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 150 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereNot much wind, have slowed down. Now playing a domino game, mexican train. Ceu knitting scarves and dreaming of visiting grandkids in Canada soon. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

21st Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 28.25 N 044 24.46 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 133 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereAuto pilo failed. Didn’t want to hand steer for 900 miles, so we heaved to for two hours while we installed the spare. Weather still good but winds lighter. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

20th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 34.78 N 042 7.42 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 131 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereHalf way to destination..yey! All is going well. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

19th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 40.61 N 039 52.08 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 176 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereCaught 4 fish today, all at the same time but 2 got away. Good size mahi mahi. Total chaos. Blood eveywhere. Ceu serving up sashimi now. Taking orders now. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

18th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 45.97 N 036 50.39 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 141 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereBigger waves today, up to 2 m, good surfing. Winds the same force 4 to 5 ENE. Spinnaker up again. Speed 8 Kts. Fresh bread. Caught barracuda. Too small. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

17th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 49.45 N 034 24.72 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 144 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereSpinnaker up. Blue sky. Caught tasty mahi mahi yesterday. Smooth sea. Not another boat or ship in sight. Saw dolphins. All is good. (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

16th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 50.85 N 031 55.51 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 159 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereSlower today, big discussion about sail plan. Cloudy. Four fish got away with the lures, grrrr. Everyone is just chilling. Playing games. SEND MORE WIND 🙂 (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

15th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 49.48 N 029 10.62 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 155 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereSecond day out. A bit tired today, as it is a bit of an adjustment getting used to the sleep schedule with the night watches. In a few days we will all be fine (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

14th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 14 46.62 N 026 30.2 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 106 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereFresh bread just out of the oven, melted butter dripping…yummy. Sailing fast – 8 knots, one reef, bright sun. No fish yet. Life is tough 😉 (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

And We’re Off!

13th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Furna, Brava Island, Cape Verde IslandsCurrent Position: 14 53.27 N 024 40.75 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 68 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereWe left Praia very early, like 3:30 am, on Thursday to sail to Brava. The winds started as very light, as (more...)

No, We Are Not Quite On Our Passage Yet

11th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde IslandsCurrent Position: 14 54.83 N 023 30.23 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 117 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereThe message we sent yesterday was sent by our inReach satellite SMS device as we wanted to test it out. As you (more...)

Mid-Ocean Live Update

10th Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mid-OceanCurrent Position: 16 24.72 N 024 47.19 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 31 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereCaught some fish today – sushi for supper anyone? on our way from Mindelo to Santiago (Sent by InReach satellite connection)

Happy 2017! Just arrived in Mindelo

3rd Jan, 2017

Current Location: Mindelo, San Vicente, Cape Verdes IslandsCurrent Position: 16 53.14 N 024 59.52 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 39 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereOur new year started with some serious hiking and awesome sailing. In Sao Nicolau we did a 15 km hike which (more...)

In Tarrafal

30th Dec, 2016

Current Location: Tarrafal de Sao Nicolau, Cape VerdeCurrent Position: 16 35.04 N 024 23.34 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 82 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereHad a fairly slow sail across from Boa Vista to Sao Nicolau and now having a great time here. Quite different scenery. Very mountainous. Had a nice tour around the island in a taxi. Now just chilling out by our private beach. Ben and Jess leave tomorrow, and then we have a week before Roger arrives and we are ready to set sail for Barbados.

Just Arrived in Sal, Cape Verde Islands

11th Dec, 2016

Current Location: Palmeira, Sal, Cape Verdes IslandsCurrent Position: 16 45.3 N 022 58.8 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 420 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereHad a fast trade-wind sail. Blue skies, not to much  in the way of waves, but lots of speed. Did the whole trip in 66 hours – 6.8 kt average, door to door (well, anchor to anchor). We are now in Sal, and will be here for a week, as Ben arrives next Monday. Already got internet sorted out, so that is good. But I think we are anchored around a rock, so I guess I need to dive down and have a look at what is happening there. The party this evening is on the neighbouring Dutch boat, who arrived about half an hour after us. Sounds good to me 🙂

On Our Way to Cape Verde Islands!

8th Dec, 2016

In the end we decided it was too much of a rush to visit the Casamance area of Senegal. So, instead, we are sailing straight to Cape Verde islands tomorrow. We are aiming for Sal, the upper right island, where my son Ben will be joining us in a week or so to stay for Christmas. As per usual, we will update you all once we arrive there AND get internet sorted out. Though we may also send a brief message at some point by our Satellite text message gadget. The trip should take us 3 days.

Tips for Sailing The Gambia River

24th Nov, 2016

Current Location: Banjul, GambiaCurrent Position: 13 23.67 N 016 37.41 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 97 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereCruising The Gambia presents a few challenges to the sailor that are a bit different from most other destinations. My hope is that these few (more...)

Of Hippos and Chimpanzees – Cruising the Gambia River

23rd Nov, 2016

Current Location: Baboon Island, Gambia RiverCurrent Position: 13 36.28 N 014 58.65 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 94 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereBanjul is a delightful contrast to Dakar. It might be the capital of this tiny country with its 1.8 million inhabitants, but it (more...)

Cruising Dakar and Senegal – Do We Have Stories to Tell!

18th Nov, 2016

Current Location: Banjul, GambiaCurrent Position: 13 26.37 N 016 34.87 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 91 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereIt was one small splash for a man – and a barely perceptible splash for Mankind. Ben Hooper waded into the water off the beach (more...)

Canaries to Senegal – and a Personal Best

12th Nov, 2016

Current Location: Dakar, SenegalCurrent Position: 14 43.1 N 017 25.66 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 4 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereThis crossing of 842 miles was like our Lisbon to Morocco crossing – but more so. We set off with very light winds which, unfortunately (more...)

Good Morning from Senegal

12th Nov, 2016

Current Location: SenegalCurrent Position: 14 40.22 N 017 23.09 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 805 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereGood Morning all Welcome to Senegal! We are so excited to post and tell everyone we had a great trip to the city of Dakar. Took (more...)

Leaving Tomorrow for Senegal

5th Nov, 2016

Current Location: San Sebastian, La Gomera, Canary IslandsCurrent Position: 28 4.35 N 017 7.67 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 0 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereThe internet Nightmare continues. We use 3G on the phone, with a portable wifi hostspot to the laptop. Works sometimes, for (more...)

Cruising The Canary Islands

4th Nov, 2016

Current Location: La Gomera, Canary Islands, SpainCurrent Position: 28 4.2 N 017 7.62 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 47 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereSorry about the delay but, beter late than never, here is our retrospective account of our time in the Canary Islands. Lanzarote (more...)

Arrived in Tenerife!

28th Oct, 2016

Current Location: Radazul, TenerifeCurrent Position: 28 24.04 N 016 19.39 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 135 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereOnce again we had everything. First a fresh breeze that had us romping along at 7kts. Then, as soon as it was dark, the wind (more...)

Leaving Lanzarote for Tenerife

27th Oct, 2016

Current Location: Marina Rubicon, LanzaroteCurrent Position: 28 51.38 N 013 48.91 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 16 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereThe wind has been acting up the last few days. For three days we had big waves coming from the north, and strong winds (more...)

Highlights of Morocco

19th Oct, 2016

Current Location: Marrakesh, MoroccoCurrent Position: 31 37.77 N 007 58.87 W Click to view map.Wow..it has been a busy 3 weeks.. Since we left Lisbon on the 25th of September, we have done 2 long crossings, visited Morroco and one of the Cannary islands. We enjoyed morroco very much. People were just so warm and (more...)

A 500 Mile Beat?!

14th Oct, 2016

Current Location: Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary IslandsCurrent Position: 28 57.7 N 013 32.38 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 459 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereA 500 Mile Beat!? Well, that was definitely not what signed up for. We left Rabat with a forecast that gave us favourable (more...)

Leaving for Canaries Tomorrow

9th Oct, 2016

After a whirlwind tour of Morocco, which we have really enjoyed, we are now ready to leave. We will put together the photos and blog in due course, but right now the forecast says go tomorrow – or wait another week. So, once again, it ends up with a bit of a rapid departure. We would have preferred to stay another day or two, but that’s how the wind goes. The trip will be about 470 miles, and should have some nice fast downwind stretches again. So we hope to arrive sometime on Thursday, assuming an average speed between 6 and 7 knots. We are aiming for Arrecife, on Lanzarote. Once we are there we will sort all that internet stuff again, and then will be back in touch. In the meantime, we will be off the grid for a few days. Have fun in the meantime!

180 Miles in 24 hours

28th Sep, 2016

Current Location: Rabat, MoroccoCurrent Position: 34 1.8 N 006 49.35 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 298 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereWow, what a sail! With about 20 kts (true) of wind behind us, we set off from Lisbon with an average speed of 7.7kts. Far (more...)

On Our Way to Morocco

25th Sep, 2016

There is a gale about to blow easterly from the Gibraltar strait. That would make for an unpleasant crossing. And after that the winds are rather confused, for at least the coming week. So, we could sail down to the Algarve and wait for a week. Or we could go now. If we go now, we should be in Morocco before the blow sets in, and that gains us an extra week in Morocco. So that is what we are doing. Right at this moment we are exiting the Tejo River, and soon we will be flying downwind with an estimated journey time of 2 days and 11 hours to cover 315 miles or so.  Of course that is all a guess. But in any case we hope to be in Rabat, Morocco sometime on Tuesday, at which point we will try and connect up with email etc. So, until then, have fun!  

Ready to Take off – and a New Destination?

23rd Sep, 2016

Current Location: Seixal, PortugalCurrent Position: 38 38.64 N 009 6.47 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 15 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereWe are now back in Seixal, Portugal, having had a month in Canada to welcome Allisen’s new baby boy, Behnam – grandson number 3! It (more...)

Where to Anchor in Lisbon

18th Sep, 2016

Current Location: Cascais, PortugalCurrent Position: 38 41.83 N 009 24.98 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 0 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereHaving spent a fair bit of time around Lisbon, I thought it would be useful to put up a summary of the area for other (more...)

Just Arrived in Lisbon

6th Jul, 2016

Current Location: Cascais, PortugalCurrent Position: 38 41.82 N 009 24.86 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 102 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereAs forecast, the wind was light and from the south. This meant that we had to motor almmost the whole way from Cabo Sao Vincente, but that is better than having to beat into fresh northerlies, which is the normal Portuguese Trade Wind state of affairs. So, without much fanfare, and with a few large Atlantic Mackerel, but no Tuna, caught, we arrived at Cascais at about 16:00 hrs and anchored behind the seawall off the beach, alongside about 5 other yachts.

On our way to Lisbon

5th Jul, 2016

It looks like we have some calm favourable winds over today and tomorrow, so we have decided that we are going to set off for Lisbon right now.  If all goes to plan, we should be there around 3pm tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise it will be a matter of waiting for another weather window, as the normal winds at this time of year are from the North, which makes sailing North somewhat of a challenge.

27 Fish and 36 Kite Surfers.

29th Jun, 2016

Current Location: Alvor, PortugalCurrent Position: 37 7.4 N 008 37.23 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 4 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereOn Sunday we moved out of the marina to anchor in Portmao harbour. The next day we were minding our own business when we spotted (more...)

Our Uganda Safari – Lions, Hippos and Giraffes

22nd Jun, 2016

Current Location: Kampala, UgandaCurrent Position: 00 20.86 N 032 34.95 E Click to view map.Here we are at the end of June, and we are only just back on board Life Part 2. So what on Earth have we been doing for the past 9 months? After Dad’s death in September cut short our plans (more...)

Thanks for Your Messages

8th Oct, 2015

Thank you all for your kind comments and condolences on my Dad’s passing away. We had a funeral service for him in Ottawa, attended by my Mum’s relatives and many long-standing friends of both. The body was then cremated, and tonight we fly to the UK with the ashes. We will have another memorial celebration (more...)

BIG Change of Plans!

23rd Sep, 2015

Well, we launched the boat today and were getting all ready to sail to Madeira. But then I got a phone call that my Dad had died. He had been in hospital, but this was quite unexpected and sudden. I understand that yesterday he was laughing and joking, so if you have to go, this is the way to do it. He will be missed. Fortunately we were not already at sea. So we have decided to park the boat here in Portimao marina and fly to Canada on Saturday to join my Mum in Ottawa. After that plans are undecided, but there is a good chance that we will just leave the boat here for 6 months and return in April to resume sailing. It delays our Atlantic crossing by a year, but plans are made to be changed.

Setting Sail for Madeira

23rd Sep, 2015

Current Location: Portimao, PortugalCurrent Position: 37 8.2 N 008 31.7 W Click to view map. Distance sailed since last post: 0 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track hereAll the work is done. This afternoon the big crane will put us back into the water. Then, on Friday (all things permitting) we will (more...)