What a wonderful night’s sleep, I did not mind waking early; (6.30am) as I felt so relaxed. I made everyone tea, as we were all awake, and then went back to bed; I felt we all deserved to be spoilt.
We got up about 8am, had some breakfast, then decided what we were going to do, my job was to continue the big clean, and take some more photos. I started with the kitchen, cleared the fridge, took some photos, and within minutes, the place was in a mess again. We have tools everywhere.
Geoff is replacing the pump under the shower, replacing with a new one, and then scrubbed everywhere, took the wood floors out, and made some adjustments, and then washed the en-suite out completely, we are now spic and span in that room.
Meanwhile Jeff was fixing the wind generator, we had to borrow a ladder, which he went up, to strip the machine down, neither of them knew what they were doing, but replaced the brushes, and bingo the generator works again, so that is a relief, well done Jeff.
The engineer came to test our starter motor in the generator that would not work, so we have now ordered a new one, typical as we did not want to spend any more money.
We sent our dinghy back to where we bought it from, as it leaks, so they are mending that, and something else, at least that will be done under warranty.
We stopped for lunch, which was tuna rolls, but other than that we kept going all day.
After lunch I moved onto the forward cabin, oiled all the wood in there, cleaned the sink, and took more photos.
All in all a very good day, a very productive day, and the list must be getting shorter now.
3 February 2010 Catamaran Marina Falmouth Harbour Antigua
We were both awake early listening to the mosquitoes, singing, and trying to zap us, and we in turn trying to zap them, great fun at 5am, that is the down side of being in a marina.
Geoff made the tea, and we sat talking with the occasional snore in the middle for a while, then up and had grapefruit, porridge and toast, very good.
Jobs today, well mine were to deal with Matilda, was she going to play ball with me; I had about four loads of washing. I tried the door, and yes it opened, so I got the washing out that had been trapped inside for two days, as she had refused to open up, hung that on the line, and put number one wash in, everything worked perfectly, here goes try another one, mixed colored’s and mainly the boys washing, well everything started well, but four hours later, on a 20 degree wash it just would not finish. I walked away and left it, had already started to hand wash the towels, otherwise I would never catch up, after lunch I looked again, still working, and about 3pm it finished. Having got rather frustrated with it, I thought I might as well do another wash, because it would be ready in the morning, well 50 minutes later, she finished! What a character, she is definitely a woman!!
Meanwhile the boys were doing lots of jobs, Jeff climbed the mast as the deck light was not working, we tried to get a replacement bulb, surprise none in stock, they untwisted all the ropes from the top, the riggers certainly left it in a mess.
Geoff and I put the staysail back on, whilst Jeff started re-fitting the window on the lazarerette, so that it does not fall out, every time you look at it.
I cooked roast chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli, and carrots, lovely, just like being at home.
After dinner we played dominoes, and Geoff is still the champion, with Jeff coming second, and me last, oh well can’t be good at everything.
Decided to have a shower and go to bed……..
4 February 2010 Catamaran Marina Antigua
Geoff was up and out before breakfast, he was on a mission to get the light for the mast, and some pipe work for the water pumps.
I got up and tidied up ready for the return, and Jeff did some emails.
We all had porridge today and the normal grapefruits, they were lovely, and fresh from the trees you can taste the difference.
On with the jobs then, it was raining on and off all day, so Jeff did some repairs to the head linings in the heads, and it looks good, he also started the starboard lazarette window in the stern, although rain stopped play.
Geoff went back to the chandlery in Falmouth a long dinghy ride away, to return the parts that did not fit; it was a bit of a waste of a day really.
The generator man came in tried the started motor, that still did not work, so we now have to have a new motor, 1900 EC, which is roughly £450, hope Geoff manages to get the guy to pay in Trinidad, they have agreed to.
Matilda was given the day off today, thought it might encourage her to work tomorrow.
I washed behind the cooker; Jeff helped to take it off for me, cleaned the floor, and did the normal household chores.
Geoff cooked dinner, which was pasta in garlic sauce with a lot of vegetables, very nice and healthy.
We played dominoes again, and again Geoff was the master, but Jeff nearly beat him.
Off to bed, as we have been plagued with Mozzies, we are closing all windows, except the two with nets, I am taking a sleeping tablet, and I will tell you tomorrow if it worked…….
5th February 2010 Catamaran Marina Antigua
Geoff was up with a lark this morning; he went to St.John’s for his blood test, so no breakfast for him.
Jeff and I had the normal, porridge and grapefruit.
I started up Matilda, and she worked first time, went through all her cycles, and out the other end. Did the second load, and we run out of water, so I quickly swapped over tanks, but because I had messed her cycle up, she refused to budge. I switched her off, and left her. An hour later she opened her door, so I took the washing out, and did a spin empty, to clear the machine of water, it worked fine, so I settled for that, and gave her the rest of the day off.
It was a lovely day today, so Jeff tackled the lazarette, it is a long and fiddly job, but if it stops it leaking, it will be worthwhile. We have been through most of them now, just the forward one to do, and then they are all done. David (AH) went round putting this awful sticky tape on them, so as well as still leaking, they looked hideous. I scraped all the excess tape of one of them yesterday, looks like new again.
I decided to clean the stainless steel yesterday, so out with the cleaner, it will take several times, although it does not look bad now, we just have to polish the deck now.
Geoff came back from the clinic, with good news, his blood count is still 0.004, so we don’t have to rush back to Spain at the moment, he had his three month injection in his stomach, and his cholesterol is good too. He managed to do some jobs in town, like scan the survey, they wanted so much money to fax it, so we went that route, but we found out then they had missed two pages off, so we still have to fax two pages.
It is Friday today, so we had a glass of sherry, followed by a bottle of wine, to celebrate Geoff’s results.
After dinner we played dominoes, it is getting very competitive now, Jeff one 3, Geoff one 2, and off course I won 1, but the games were a lot closer.
Off to bed later than usual, due to dominoes. Windows shut, goodnight mozzies, catch us if you can……
6th February 2010 Catamaran Marina Antigua
Busy day we have to finish tidying the boat before Jane arrives, striped our bed because we are moving today so last time with washing machine for a few days, until the generator hopefully fixes our generator!!
Went to fill Matilda, she would not open, I told her it was her last day for a few days, did not matter, whatever I did she refused to open the doors, I left her for an hour or two, but still no luck, so I hand washed everything.
I made Jane’s bed up, and hovered everywhere, Anam Cara looks good.
Geoff and Jeff scrubbed the decks, they hosed down with fresh water, filled the water tanks, and we were off, round to Falmouth Harbour to anchor.
Geoff and I had our usual arguments about anchoring near buoys, so we put the hook down, settled nicely for few days we are going to be here.
3pm, we had better go and see if we can find Jane, I had text her but with no response. We did some shopping, had a beer, then Jane text to say immigration were struggling with two flights, and she would be at least another two hours. So we went back to the boat unpacked the food, and waited.
We went back to the dinghy dock, waited a bit more, but soon she came with fag in hand with the taxi driver, wanting to scrounge another fag, we stopped for another beer, then into the dinghy for dinner.
When we arrived back a huge boat (70’) had gone on the buoy in front giving me a bit of a headache, when we swung, the skipper came over, and said we were a bit close, but he would be looking out periodically. So told you so Geoff! will he listen next time, I doubt it.
Geoff cooked a spaghetti carbonara, but it was spoilt by the bacon being very salty, but we all ate it.
Jeff went off to bed, which left the three of us to play dominoes, where Jane wiped the board with us.
We all went to bed early, Jane was struggling with the time difference, and we were just tired.
7th February 2010 Falmouth Harbour Antigua
Jane was up quite early, so I went up on deck whilst she had her fags, we had an early morning cuppa, and put the worlds to right, it is lovely having her here.
We decided to go to the beach today, Pigeon Park, into the dinghy and over we went, we left early as the weather was a bit grey, straight into the sea for a swim, it was lovely. As it was Sunday, the families were there, it was lovely, all the little children running in and out of the water.
We settled with our towels for a bit of a sunbathe, we were minding our own business, when suddenly the big wave, came over us, made us wet, and all our stuff, we laughed, and sat on one of the picnic tables, hung the towels up, and decided to have another swim. Nearby was a guy bbq different stuff, so we had a piece of chicken each for lunch and a beer. Another swim, and then we went back to boat.
I had had enough of the sun, as I felt quite sore, so a cuppa in the shade was called for.
We took showers, and then had a glass of wine, into the dinghy, as we were off to Shirley Heights, for those who have been will know what it is like. Even though I have been many many times, it is still brilliant.
We watched the sunset, but more important we could see Montserrat, blowing her top very clearly, the Volcano is bubbling again, and against the red sky it looked fantastic.
The steel band was playing, and the atmosphere was brilliant, at 7.30pm after a fantastic finale, a Reggie band took over. Geoff and I had a rock and roll, we watched the black men in action, a truly fun night.
Back to the boat, Jane and I had had too much drink, but we managed to beat the two boys at dominoes. He he!!
8 February 2010 Falmouth Harbour on anchor
Decided that a swim before breakfast was the thing to do, so with Geoff and Jane, we swam round the boat three times, not much I know but you have to start somewhere. It was lovely, and refreshing.
Took breakfast as usual, porridge for some, cereals and toast for the rest, we did not rush.
We decided to explore English Harbour today, so we took the dinghy over to Falmouth Dinghy Park, and walked to Nelson’s Dockyard, after quickly doing emails.
Very warm today, also there is a cruise ship in, so it was packed, not the ideal time to go wandering, still it was nice to be back on our favourite stomping ground.
We perused all the big boats, and Jane found the one her nurse’s son was on, we stopped and enquired if Tom was around, he said I am that fellow, he was lovely, and he told us a lot about how to get jobs on the boats etc., and where they were going.
We watched several big boats come and go, and took the usual Carib in the bar, I was a good girl I had water, and we looked in a couple of really expensive shops, and decided to find a local place for lunch, Caribbean style.
We headed back towards Falmouth and found this shack, where all the locals were eating, so we went in. We had chicken rote’s which were chicken with potatoes, with a slight curry flavor, wrapped in a warm tortilla, very nice it was too. Jeff had stewed fish with rice, but it was very boney and not much fish.
Back to the boat, where a cuppa was needed, Jane and I then went in for a swim, to cool down, we hosed off, which in turn showered Geoff, and woke him up, we thought it was funny, he then joined us for a swim.
We are having our life raft checked ready for the crossing, and Geoff wanted to see inside it, so when Seagull Inflatable’s called us, we went over the Catamaran Marina, to get some shopping, and to check it out.
We sat in the bar watching the comings and goings, it was lovely, did our emails again, Geoff spoke to Mark and Jane, sadly Dodger died on Saturday, (Jane’s dog) Jane had had him for fifteen years, so she was very upset.
Back to the boat for dinner, whilst we were waiting, I thrashed Jane at Dominoes, after dinner, we all went to bed, we were all shattered.
9 February 2010 Falmouth Harbour at Anchor
Up early for the daily swim, three times, round the boat, then out, this time it was easier, so if we keep it up, we should get fitter, as little as it is, it is better than doing nothing.
Geoff made breakfast of omelets, and toast, I just had the toast, could not face cooked breakfast, still we did not rush it was good.
Jeff went off to the internet, looking for a job, but not much around, apparently you have to have qualifications, to get on these lovely big boats round here, and they normally recruit from Las Palmas etc.
I did some washing by hand, Geoff tried to raise the generator man, but the starter motor is still in customs, so that will not be done this morning, so we decided to go to the beach.
The beach is lovely over there, with lots of trees for shade, play area for children, and the sea is safely marked with a swimming area. Mind you someone was murdered on it last week!!!
Back from the beach we had lunch and Geoff and Jane had a siesta, I did some odds and sods.
Afternoon cuppa, followed by Jane and me getting into the dinghy, and scrubbing one side of the boat, trying to remove the oil stains. Most of them came off, but still some persistent ones. We had a laugh, as the dinghy was a wobbly when the big waves came. Still Anam Cara looks better.
Meanwhile Geoff had to empty one of the lazarette as he had dropped an empty can, and it had gone into the steering mechanism, so we had to do it before we moved off. So he cleared that, and threw some more stuff away, which is always a good thing.
Showers were taken, and we dressed for dinner, as we were going to the restaurant, over the way, in the Catamaran Marina. We knew the guy who fished everyday supplied them with fish, so we decided to try it. We started off with Rum punches, then the Italian owner/chef, came and spoke to us, telling us what he recommended. Geoff and I had the snapper fillet, Jane had grilled Wahoo, it was fantastic, we had our cooked delicately in garlic and herbs. We had a lovely evening, back in the dinghy, quick game of dominoes, then to bed.
10th February 2010 Falmouth Harbour at anchor.
Up early and Geoff and I swam round the boat four times, we are getting better, it is very refreshing, and it does us good too.
Quick breakfast, and then Geoff went to pick up the generator engineer, hopefully with the starter motor, which cost £500, and things will be ok, and we will have the generator working again.
Jane and I decided not to go to the beach thinking the man would not be long, that was a big mistake, he was all day, and still we have no generator, very expensive, and very sad.
I did some washing as we had the bed upside down, clean sheets and towels.
I polished the chrome, and washed all the deck down, she looks lovely now, Jeff washed down the other side of the hull that I had not done, so more jobs completed.
We had a text from David to say he had arrived, so we just wait now, for him to get through immigration, and arrive here. At 4.30pm he arrived at the dinghy dock, and Geoff picked him up. Unloaded all his gear, and lots of ours, and we all went over for a swim.
It was lovely to be on the beach, and swim; we stayed and watched the sun going down, then back to the boat, for drinks.
Whilst the boys were having cocktails, Jane and I cooked Spaghetti Bolognese; we finished our drinks whilst dinner was cooking, and then enjoyed our meal.
We carried on talking for ages, it was good to all be back together again, and putting the worlds to right.
Then to bed, Dave was still on English time, and we were very depressed not having a generator.
The only blight of the day was Matilda (washing machine) she would not go, I guess doing three loads yesterday was enough for her, I was nice to her, I kicked her, and neither made any difference, so I switched her off and walked away. B….. Thing.
I made spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, and now I am in bed, 21.30. I am shattered.
Thursday 11th February 2010 Falmouth Harbour – Jolly Harbour
Everyone was up early; Geoff refused to move, until 7.30am, we then swam around the boat five times!
Jeff went and picked up Fleming, who finished off the generator for us.
Jane and I spent some time packing everything up, as we were moving today, we stored the dinghy away, washing line down, thought I had done a good job, until Geoff came back and removed some fenders, and a rope I used to scrub the hull with. Tut! Tut! I will have to improve otherwise I might be sacked.
Meanwhile Geoff had been to pick up the life-raft, as we had put it in for servicing, and checking, before they leave to bring the boat back to the Mediterranean, another £400.
Everyone on board, Geoff and Jeff stored the life-raft, Dave and I did the dinghy, then we were away, it is only 10.45am now.
Out of Falmouth for probably the last time, then a slow chug onto Jolly Harbour, no wind, no waves, just sunshine all the way. We did put the jib up, but didn’t do a lot.
We were two miles away from Jolly, when Geoff suggested that we had a swim before we went into the harbour, anchor down, then off we went, it was fantastic, Jane and I prepared lunch, which we ate, and then pottered into Jolly Harbour.
At Jane’s request we went stern to, the jetty, so that she can walk on and off, in an inebriated state tomorrow night.
We walked round Jolly Harbour did some emails, and then went to supermarket, the best for most of the islands. So we are going to do some shopping ready for the trip back, just to make it easier nearer the time.
We then went and had a couple of rum punches, before I went back on board to prepare dinner, everyone else did showers, when I looked round, I realized I was a bag of groceries missing, yes we had left them behind at the bar.
Dinner tonight was tuna and mushroom bake, thanks to Jane and Dave, bringing lots of Swartz sauces with them, it was lovely.
We talked and laughed for a while, and then we all went to bed.
12th February 2010 Jane’s 60th birthday Jolly Harbour.
Up by 8 am and Geoff was offering everyone a glass of champagne to celebrate Jane’s 60th, not sure I will last the day at this rate! We toasted Jane, and then had breakfast, Geoff, Jeff, and Jane had omelets, and I had my normal porridge.
After jobs were done, we went down to the beach, it was beautiful, the white sand, and the turquoise sea, very picture postcard, we had lovely swims, and sunbathed. By 1pm we had had enough, so back to the boat for lunch, pate, cheese, and fresh bread, very good.
Later we went down to the internet, caught up with a few friends on skype, then off for a rum punch, in one of the little bars, stayed for a while, then back to the boat to get ready for tonight.
Everyone had their glad rag’s on, we had cocktails here before leaving. They had a live band on the jetty, who sounded quite good; it was a good atmosphere anyway.
We went to our restaurant, found our seats, and looked at the menu’s, food was smelling good, the restaurant was full, so good job we had booked. Geoff and I had sirloin steak, Jane had rib eye, Jeff had pork and Dave had a kebab, with a mixture of all meats.
The food was fantastic, very tasty, and cooked to perfection, so a good evening was had by all. Later they bought out a Birthday Cake we sang Happy Birthday, had a few more drinks, then went home to bed. Good day.
13th February 2010 Jolly Harbour
Everyone was lazy this morning; I think we had too much to drink yesterday. We took a couple of cups of tea, to help with the dehydration and then we had breakfast.
After a couple of loads of washing, Matilda has eventually opened her doors, she refused to budge yesterday, but I caught up today.
We strolled down to the beach, to find the seas really rough, and rally, Jane and I ventured in, with Dave watching over us, not sure if he would have rescued us, if we needed it, but he decided he did not want to join us. We loved it, the waves were strong, but it was good fun.
Dave decided to walk to the swimming pool; meanwhile Geoff had joined us, having been to the chandlers.
Jane was fidgety, so we walked back to the Marina, took a shower to get rid of all the sand, and then had lunch. We then went into the swimming pool in the complex and did eight lengths.
The boys were back, having already done there lengths, they had a late lunch, and went shopping. Geoff wanted food for the trip back across the Atlantic, so he stocked up from the supermarket here it is very good.
Geoff Jane and David, went had a drink, I am not going to drink today, I feel enough is enough. I stayed behind and cooked dinner. Roast chicken with all the trimmings.
I had an early night, due to feeling rough, I don’t think anyone was late to bed.
14th February 2010 Five years on!!
Geoff and I have been together five years today, very easy to remember as it is Valentine’s Day, blimey what a lot we have crammed into those years.
We had our normal breakfast then as we were leaving today, had several chores to do, went up to the internet, posted the logs, paid the fees, Geoff and Dave went to Customs, to book Dave on the boat, and for us to leave, easier than doing it in Barbuda.
Matilda was still working well, managed to do two more loads of washing, so we are completely up to date, even managed to get it all dry before we left.
Jeff went to supermarket, for last minute shopping, he came back absolutely loaded.
The boys were discussing how far is the horizon? Well Jeff came back with the answer after three days, we were all impressed, and until we found out he had Google’s it. 1.17 times the square root of the eye above the water level. See we are not just having fun, we are learning as well. It does work.
We left Jolly Harbour Marina, just in time to meet a regatta coming in, so that was interesting, we were going fast then slow, avoiding all the yachts, looked good though.
We had a slow potter, on jib only, not much wind, and a very short journey, so it was good. The sea is turquoise and looks so lovely.
We arrived in Deep Bay about 3pm, we anchored, but were not happy, so we moved it again, in places the bay is very shallow, and we just seemed to pick that spot. Jeff and David were in control of the anchor, and I was on the helm, Geoff was preparing our lunch, we were starving.
We ate Frankfurters, onions, in a roll, with celery and tomatoes, very nice. Whilst eating, we noticed a kayak floating around, Jeff being a keen kayak man; in fact he is an instructor in the sport, dived in to rescue it. We tied it to the boat, for someone to see it.
We were discussing whether we were going swimming or not, when suddenly we heard these guys, screaming and shouting, they had spotted the kayak, so David and I jumped into the kayak, Jeff was in the dinghy, and he rowed us to this Catamaran. We had a friendly banter about the fact the knots were not good, but they did not give us salvage rights. David and I swam back to the boat, it was quite a long way, but we made it, Jeff was standing by in case.
Back on the boat, Jane suddenly produced five wine glasses, I think she was hinting, but as Geoff had just gone for a swim, she had to wait, when he returned we had cocktails, I had the normal white wine, whilst everyone else had a variety of things.
Geoff had cooked lasagna, which was lovely, he dished up, and we had all settled down, when the old Galleon came in, playing Reggie music, with lots of people on board, we told Jane we had especially booked it for her last night. It was lovely sitting out in the warm, listening to the music, and drinking with my mates.
Eventually the Galleon left, we thought it was going to wipe us out at one stage, it came so close, but obviously he has done it many times before.
A lovely night and we all went to bed. About 1am I had to get up, we were rocking and rolling quite a lot, that I felt queasy, so I slept on deck.
15th February 2010 Deep Bay Antigua
Jane leaves today, so we all had breakfast together, and then after she had packed her bags, and we had done the washing of the sheets etc., we headed for the beach. We did our normal swim before breakfast, six times round the boat today.
Beautiful day, sunshine all the way, it is good that Jane leaves from here, as it is where Geoff and she arrived in March 2006. We had trouble getting them through the Hotel, so we hope we do not have the same problems today.
We landed on the beach, David took the rubbish, and to see if they had a jetty we could land later for Jane’s cases, no such luck. David walked to the top of the hill with the fortress on the top, we had done it on a previous occasion, and Jane was not in the mood for healthy stuff, she just wanted to laze on the beach.
We were watching a man chase a baby ring, with the sit in bit, as it was blowing away, when the wife came and asked us to rescue it. Geoff and I did our Baywatch stuff, but it was not like on TV, I jumped into the water to avoid the dinghy getting on the rocks, and got scratched to bits by the coral. I caught the ring, and then tried to swim out, but the waves just kept pushing me on. The engine cut out, so Geoff had to use the oars, he was worried about me, cos I was struggling, eventually I got out of the coral, and in free water, Geoff got the engine going, and he towed me away from rocks. I then attempted a most unladylike jump into the dinghy, which I managed with Geoff’s help. We went back to the boat, as we were running out of fuel by this time, we filled up, and then back to the beach, where we were greeted by the little girl who had lost her ring. The funny thing was I could not believe she could use it, because it was the suitable for toddler’s type, and she was six years old. The Mum followed shortly with four rum punches, so that was worthwhile.
After a while we went back to the boat, Dave and I swam back, it was about quarter of a mile, while Geoff and Jane circled as a safety boat. Geoff has hurt his shoulder again, so is taking it a bit easy.
Had lunch on board, which was chicken in a lovely white sauce, with rice, very tasty. We had a bottle of wine, just to say goodbye to Fag ash lil. I have been blaming her all week, for our cabin having ash in, but apparently it is because of Monserat erupting, we are very close to it. Also it is the reason the seas are very unsettled at present, apparently.
After dinner, Jane showered, and we changed, and all ashore to wave farewell, plus of course she had to have her last rum punch.
We went into the Hotel, and headed straight to the bar this time, and they were certainly more friendly this time, maybe because we were going to spend money there, apparently there are only eight rooms being used, which is awful for a five star luxury resort, probably with at least 100 rooms if not more.
The taxi arrived, and we said our goodbyes, I will miss her, she is my bestest mate, and always there for me, we all had a lovely time, we just need to dry out from the inside now, for a few days!!
Back to the boat, where we put the dinghy away, as we are off to Barbuda first thing in the morning. Jeff cooked us pancakes for tea, as it is Shrove Tuesday tomorrow, they were lovely as usual, and then an early night was taken.
16th February 2010 Barbuda
Up at 6am, and we upped anchor, and left Deep Bay Antigua, will we be back, who knows, but we have all thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
Quickly out of the bay, and on course for Barbuda, not sure what sort of trip we are in for, as it is close to the wind, but once we were settled it was quite good, we had jib only and we were doing 7 – 8 knots, quite comfortably. We had some breakfast of toast and marmalade, and lots of cups of teas, which was very welcome.
The trip was good, 29 miles, average 6.5 knots, and we were at anchor by 10.35am, so not bad.
I made another cuppa, and then we all went for a swim, Geoff and I swam round the boat six times, Jeff swam to shore, and did some running, then, swam back, and Dave just pottered around.
We had the left over’s of lasagna for lunch with salad, very tasty, then Dave suggested we went for a walk and swam back, so that is what we did. Geoff volunteered to cook dinner, so Jeff took us over in the dinghy, and came back to the boat.
David and I walked all along the shore, it is a fabulous place, luxury hotel, with the only way on is by light private aircraft, unless you come by yacht, which not many people do, due to the coral reefs. It is just as magical as it was four years ago, so really pleased Geoff insisted on returning here. We passed the hotel, actually it is more like luxury flats, on the beach, and we watched a man flying his kite, not just any kite, David reckoned it was up 1000 ft, it was very spectacular. We walked to the point, where we went for a snorkel, it was clearer than the last few days, but still not as good as last time.
We meandered back along the beach, called Geoff on the radio, to come and pick some stuff up for us, and then we began to swim back, probably only about 200 yards this time, but I must be getting fitter, and hopefully losing some weight.
We took showers, I did some Sudoku, first for a while, whilst relaxing and waiting for dinner, Jeff came back having rowed from one end of the Island to the other, he had been snorkeling, seen a stingray, and smaller fish.
Dinner tonight was corned beef hash, washed down by a very nice red wine, followed by cheese and biscuits.
Then dominoes, Geoff gave David a quick game to show how to play, I made the coffees and Jeff washed up, then down to business. It was a brilliant game, very close, I partnered Jeff, and David was with Geoff, out of five games, they won, by 3 – 2, but we had a lot of fun.
Off to bed, not sure if it will be a good night, as it is very uptsy downsy!.
17th February 2010 Barbuda
Barbuda, Barbuda, what a fabulous place, we were up quite early, after a bad roly poly night, I slept in the lounge, which seemed a bit better.
Tea in bed as usual, then we were up and off, Geoff and I, swimming to the shore, with Dave going up and down in the rowing boat, we walked for about two miles, then swam back, meanwhile Jeff swam and ran along the beach for five miles, now we were ready for breakfast. I will get the old bugger fit yet!
A lazy breakfast was taken, then we did some jobs, we wanted to test the man overboard, so Jeff jumped in, and we threw the Dan buoy over with the horseshoe, it all worked well, so that was good. Geoff has travelled for over two months; we thought it would be a good idea to test things out.
After breakfast we went in the dinghy, we had planned to go to Codington, which is the main town, just to remind us what it was like. We dropped David off with the dinghy at the end of the deserted hotel, which is individual chalets on the beach, apparently an old lady owns them, and does not want to part with them, so they are left empty, which is a shame, because the Island could do with more trade. We walked for about two miles, and then managed to find a road, which we started walking down, we got to a little tiny place, where we stopped for a drink, and then we were told it was about seven miles to town. With a broken shoe, we decided to take a taxi into town, the guy ordered us two lobsters for lunch, and we stopped on route to get some money. We arrived at this little tiny restaurant, and had a fabulous lunch, washed down with rum punch, Geoff had a beer. Back into the taxi and into the supermarket, pick up some more supplies, and then back to the beach. I was glad we got a lift.
We then had to walk to find the dinghy and David again, David had enjoyed his day in paradise on his own, and he had swum, rested, and thoroughly enjoyed himself. We all agree that we love this place, so much so that we are staying another day. With all the shopping and stuff, we decided not to beach the dinghy, as it is really rough on the shore line, so we loaded the dinghy, and David and I swam back yet again. It is official now, I am exhausted.
As we had lunch out, Geoff helped David do omelets, for dinner, we are just having cheese and biscuits with a glass of red wine.
18th February 2010 Barbuda
David birthday today, so he decided what he wanted, and we worked round him.
We had a swim ashore and a fabulous walk along the beach, so a 200 yard swims, plus a couple of miles walk, then another swim back to the boat.
We had a lovely breakfast, with Dave opening his cards, and us getting one from Jane, thanks mate it was lovely. Geoff cooked David an omelets, and I had boiled eggs, it made a change.
We all went our separate ways, David wanted to walk the length of the beach, probably about five miles, apparently he swam, and read his book. We took the dinghy up one end of the beach to do some snorkeling; we set up camp, with our umbrella to shade us, and towels. Jeff rowed further than we went, but we met up to discuss where was the best snorkeling to be had. It doesn’t matter that we did not see much it was just fantastic.
We are on a beach next to this exclusive hotel, where Princess Diana had been, at £900 per night, the only way in is by private jet, and we were next door, sharing the same beach, as the local gypsy’s bet they love us. The guards tried to remove Jeff, but he said the beach was a public place, but he was using their chairs!!
Back on the boat, we all met up, and had sundowners, and watched the sunset, we had eaten fresh coconut, that Jeff had picked off the tree, had a wonderful day, in our favourite place, this is paradise.
We put the worlds to right over several drinks, helping David celebrate his birthday; the trouble is we have to be up early in the morning as we are off to St.Barts.
19th/ 20th February 2010 Barbuda – St. Maartins
It’s time to get up, shouts the alarm, I have a headache, and it is only 6am, so straight up, dressed, cleaned my teeth, then help move off. David and Jeff were doing anchor, and we made a speedy exit. Goodbye Barbuda, hopefully we will see you again, Geoff said he would take me to the hotel in 20 years time.
We maneuvered around the reef’s very slowly, and out into the open, we had only been going for a very short time, when the alarm for overheating went off, so I turned the engine off whilst David put the jib sheet up, just so we could keep away from the reefs, and out of the bay. Geoff and Jeff, spent sometime in the engine room, the tried pumping water through, just in case there was a blockage, Geoff cleaned the inlet, meanwhile we were drifting out of the bay, and facing St.Barts, at about 2 knots, uck no wind but very calm seas.
After a while the boys came up with the bad news, apparently something wrong with the cam shaft, which they could not fix, so what should we do, no engine, no wind, lost at sea…….. After a lot of discussion, we decided to go to St.Maartins, because the wind would not allow us to go back to Antigua without a struggle, we knew that St.Maartins would have plenty of mechanics, so that is what we decided.
We calculated that it would take us about 12 hours, as we were confident the wind would get up, 12.00, 1pm, still no wind, we were just drifting.
We decided to get the mainsail out, which was hassle as usual, but it made no differences to the speed, in fact it blocked the jib off, and we were going slower. So we put it away, and just kept going under jib only, I think we averaged 3 knots. We put everyone on shifts, I had already done the first five hours as they were trying to sort the engine out, so I was off two hours, and then back on again, so that we did the hours at night we wanted. Geoff and I did ours together, as I don’t like sailing much at night.
About 1pm, Jeff spotted dolphins, they came and played with the boat, there was four or five, and they gave us a quick display that made a very long day a bit more exciting.
After lunch which Geoff cooked, we had the left over mince, with mashed potatoes, in a beef stroganoff sauce, it was lovely, and we all ate it up. I had gone down below for a sleep, just settling in nicely when Jeff shouted out he had spotted a whale, we all ran up, and sure enough, he circled the boat several times, coming up for air, bit scary, but lovely to watch.
Back to sleep, as our arrival now will be about midday tomorrow, unless the winds pick up, so it is going to be a long night.
Jeff Geoff and David discussed the engine, and if anything could be done temporarily, not sure how but they rigged one of our pumps to the engine, and a hose pipe, and pumped water into it from another pump, well it worked after a fashion but needed a bit of fine tuning. Eventually they got it to work without hundreds of gallons of water going into the bilges, which was better news; I thought we might sink if they kept it going too long. We now have an engine, that in an emergency, we can use, in the night, but obviously cannot run it all the time.
Well done the boys, you have to admire them, they plotted and schemed and came up with something.
Back to the duties, we watched the sunset go down, whilst eating pancakes, which were delicious, we then started our shifts, through the night. I was on 4 – 6pm, and then I changed with someone to do 10 pm – 2am, so Geoff and I could do it together. Nothing happened, except we went off course a bit. With no engine, we had no instruments, so it was back to the old fashioned navigation, which was good really, and no one complained about that, although it is amazing how you miss the chart plotter.
David came on at 2am, and he changed course a bit, so we started to wallow, it was awful, I was sick for the rest of the night, so did not do anything else, I felt terrible.
By dawn we were well on our way, about 10 miles to go, with more wind, and eventually we got in at 9.45am, we were all shattered, we started the engine up, we all did our various tasks, and it worked, the anchor was down, and we had safely arrived.
I went straight down and put the kettle on, everyone had done so well; the bay is busy, so we placed ourselves very well to avoid getting in anyone’s way, just in case the engine failed. We sat down, and had a cup of tea, my first for a few hours, I still feel groggy.
Geoff and Dave went off to Customs, whilst Jeff and I tidied up the boat, I changed the sheets, and general tidy up, the place looked like a bomb had hit, wasn’t long before everything was good.
We went over to the harbour to meet the boys, and we all took lunch together, it was good to chill out. It was a shame, after four wonderful days in Barbuda that had to happen.
Back to the boat, to find us nearly hitting the boat in front, they wanted us to move, but after some discussion, they said they would, we explained about our engine problems, so that was kind of them.
We all fell asleep, and I was awoken by Geoff to say it was time to pick Andrew up, he is joining us for a few days, it is a shame, as he wanted to see the Avi’s, which of course now will not happen for a little while.
We went over to the Soggy Dollar Bar, and within minutes he arrived, I was so pleased to see him, as it has been a while, we had a drink, and went back to the boat, he wanted us to go clubbing, but we said one night on the town was enough, I wanted my bed. We had bread and cheese, and a drink, then all of us went to bed, having completed an uncomfortable 40 hours.
21st February 2010 Simpson Bay, St.Maartins
Sunday and we took it easy, up about 9.30am, it had been raining so could see no reason to hurry. Geoff and I swam round the boat eight times, and the others just wallowed. I did some breakfast, having been shopping for fresh milk yesterday, so we had cereals, and porridge.
We lazed around, then went across in the dinghy to look at the possible marina’s, the one we are going to, is the cheapest in the area, not very nice as far as the water is concerned, there will be no swimming round the boat in the morning, but it is ideal for getting the engine mended, as there is a Volvo dealer close by.
We went to the Soggy Dollar Bar, to pick up Andrew, as he had gone to the gym, and we decided to have a pizza, which was lovely, very tasty, had a couple of beers, then Andrew and I decided we would swim back to the boat, bit of a rash statement, as I did not realize it was so far. Still in we got, Geoff and David, followed up in the dinghy, but we were almost back before they arrived. When we got on board, Geoff looked up how far it was and it was over 500 yards, no wonder I was tired, but really chuffed that I had done it. Andrew had held back for me, so he was just fine.
After a cuppa, I prepared dinner, roast chicken with all the trimmings, it was lovely, and everyone ate it all up, which was good, glad I wasn’t washing up.
Andrew went off to bed early, think he is struggling being with the ‘oldies’, he tested us on countries and capitals, which was fun, then we played dominoes, and we lost again, but this time very marginally, 2-1 to Geoff and David.
Then off to bed, we were all yawning, I don’t think we are back to normal yet.
22nd February 2010 Lagoon Marina St.Maartins
Geoff and David were up dressed and out, before I had got up this morning, they want to go to the Marina office, and Volvo to sort things out, which is just as well as we took the last space. When they came back they had spoken to the guy in Volvo, and he can sort things, at a cost of course.
With everyone back onboard, we had our normal breakfast, we then got ready for the off again, hopefully the engine will not let us down.
St.Maartins has a canal, with a bridge that opens every two hours, so we all go in together, Geoff checked our bodged system to see water was flowing, and then we switched off again, until nearer the time.
At 11.25am we started engines, lifted the anchor, and prepared to move off, so far so good, through the bridge, and down the channel, we were going to the top of the lagoon, where it is very shallow, we watched several boats go aground, but we stuck to where the guys had told us to go, we were fine, we did go aground near our berth, but that was because we did not go wide enough, but we got there. We had to raft out on another boat, they did not want us to be there, so it was very awkward, they had all the netting around the boat, so no one could jump on, and the lady just held the rope, poor David got hurt, trying to stop our boat hitting the one in front, but in the end we got there, someone pushed us on, and eventually we got tied on and sorted.
Geoff and David went off to the Volvo guy where he inspected the bits, and the bad news is we need a new cam shaft, another fortune, and again we think they messed up in Trinidad, by not putting a gasket and O ring, when they changed the impellor. The good news is the parts should be here by Thursday, so hopefully we can move by Saturday, fingers crossed.
We have electric, which means we can charge computers and phones, and of course the fridge will now work, so we are now back to normal. I did some washing, although we are taking the towels to the laundry, as Matilda does not like heavy things. Back to normality, it is lovely, and at least our new batteries, stood the test of time.
Everyone wanted a drink, and we have this little bar at the end of the jetty, which we tried out, the people there are friendly and a brilliant atmosphere, so we stayed for happy hour.
The guy next door (South African) came up to us, asking who Andrew was, and he did not want just anyone going over on his boat, apparently he had been rude to Andrew when he was crossing over, it is quite funny and sad, we are both paying the same money, it is normal when there are lots of boats in to do this, yet he is an angry old f…, he will not like it when the engineers start crossing over.
We went back to the boat, had some dinner, put the worlds to right again, and then had quite an early night, must be all the fresh air.
23rd February 2010 Lagoon Marina St.Maartins
Today we are hiring a car, and going round the Island, we need to do a few things, and we want to look at portable generators to help us out for a while.
Andrew went off to the internet to do some work, I sorted some washing out, Geoff did some emails, then Andrew and I went to look for a hire car, which we found in the form of a jeep wrangler, which was fun except when we had to climb in and out of it.
We left the marina, and went towards the French side, Andrew took us to a beach, which was so like Barbuda, except it was crowded with sun beds, and people, but it was good for people watching. We all went in for a swim, David went for a long walk round the bay, after Geoff and he had had coffee, and bought me an ice-cream. Andrew and I just lazed on the beach it was lovely except every two minutes his phone would ring!!
We moved on to Grand Case, lovely little place, with lots of bbq places, we had chicken and ribs, which were brilliant, washed down with Lilt (grapefruit drink) Geoff and David had beers. We meandered around, paddled on the beach, then went back to the car, to go to Marigot, the French capital; we walked to the marina, then around the posh shops, and then went to the DIY place to look at generators. The guy who knew all about them would not be in until tomorrow, so Geoff said he would go back then, as we would still have the car.
Back to the boat for a cuppa, and rest, then we all showered, ready for looking at the night life.
We went round by the airport, out onto the peninsula, where they are building all the luxury flats, does not look like the recession has hit out here. Back into town, lots of lights, and shops, but not many people around, we decided to have an Italian, and went into Soprano’s which was lovely. I had sea-food with spaghetti, Geoff had prawns stuffed with crab, David had pizza, and Andrew had some sort of chicken. The food was excellent, washed down with white wine. We left there and headed back home, David wanted to buy Andrew a drink, so we ended up at Lady ‘C’, which is basically a boat on the water, we had a drink, then went to get another, when they announced happy hour, well instead of one drink we got two, so the evening livened up, with the place suddenly getting full, and a DJ playing excellent music. We managed to stay till 11.30pm, which is a record; we had a great time, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Back to bed, not sure how we drove home, but Andrew did, we were not drunk, just merry.
24th February 2010 Lagoon Bay
Andrew was up early (5am) and sitting on our deck, doing his emails, we were up quite early, as Geoff and David were using the car to collect the generator, and to go and see how the Volvo people were doing getting our parts.
I started doing some washing and cleaning, and clearing a path for the engineer.
Geoff and David came back, and we loaded the dinghy with the generator, we are rafting up, so it is easier just to put it in the dinghy, and lift it up, then to climb over their boat. Having got it installed, Geoff and Jeff went off shopping as we are low of most things.
Andrew and I went for a swim in the bay, we took the dinghy, and went out of the Lagoon, the waves were very high on the way out, and I am so glad we moved in, as the boats were all rocking and rolling, one of them had come away from its anchor, and was lying on its side, whilst people were trying to tow it out to deeper water. We got soaked just coming out of the channel, but we put the dinghy on a buoy and had a lovely swim and sunbathe, we then headed back as Andrew has his flight to catch today.
We loaded the dinghy up with the shopping to avoid walking over next door’s boat, and loaded it on at the stern; we formed a chain, and soon had it down below. Everything away, Andrew and I said our farewells, I am so pleased he came out, we don’t get much time together, it’s a shame he did not get a sail, but next time maybe.
We took a lovely lunch with fresh bread and cheese, and then continued with odd jobs, later Geoff and I picked up the gas, and we both bought new shoes from the marina.
Later the rain came, and oh boy did it come, we got soaked just trying to get everything in, Geoff and I started dinner, we had red snapper, salad and chips, it was lovely.
Whilst clearing up, Jeff went over next doors boat to take the fish bones away, so no smell, well the South African guy went mad, how dare we go over his boat, he is a definite loony, I pointed out to him that we had tried not to disturb him too much, as we had used the dinghy etc., as much as possible, I don’t think he understands the concept of rafting. I tried to find on Mum’s iPod ‘Rule Britannia’ but couldn’t so we had some Royal Marine Music instead! We are going to suggest he goes on the outside, as we are not bothered if he walks on our boat, and see what he says.
The evening finished with Jeff and I winning our first doubles game of dominoes, and at least we won in style, not just by a few points.
25th February 2010 Lagoon Marina
Geoff and David up early, off to see the Volvo dealer, is the engineer coming today or not, what is happening to the part that will definitely be in on Thursday?
All they got told was the mechanic would be there after lunch, oh well wait and see again…
We all had breakfast, then Geoff went up the internet, I did some washing, although Matilda behaved in the beginning, she was leaking everywhere, and after the third wash she refused to open, still I managed to get everything out on the line, and ironed, so that was good news.
I went up and joined Geoff and did some emailing, catching up with the log, and sending some pictures, so hopefully everyone enjoys them.
Back to the boat to have some lunch, then David and I went to the beach for a swim, I fell asleep, hope I did not snore too loud. We stayed till after 5pm, and then I came back and prepared dinner, chicken with mash potatoes and carrots, very nice, very British.
Apparently the engineer had been, started some stripping down, but did not have any tools with him, so could not finish the job! Not that the parts are here yet anyway.
Jeff and David washed up, and we played dominoes later, we actually beat them, by 3 – 2, it was a tight run until the last game, now we only have to win one more, and we will be level with them, so roll on tomorrow.
Off to bed, so that we are fit and well for another day, it is going to be a sticky night.
26th February 2010 Lagoon Bay
Today is Jeff’s birthday, so after David and Geoff had been to see what happened to the engineer last night, we had omelets, I had boiled eggs.
Apparently next door, (the South African’s) had had words with Gregg last night, and told him he had no right to be on their boat, so even after Geoff had made peace with them yesterday, and explained that we would be having engineers on board, they are still giving us grief. We were not amused. Anyway Geoff escorted them across the boat, and they were soon at work, to find we do not need a cam shaft, just a new plate, which was a saving of about 1000$, which is extremely good news, also it will not take long to fit the part, so there will be a saving on labour to. The bad news is we have to wait for the part, which could be another week.
After breakfast Geoff went to the internet, to try and get instruction of our new generator, we have them but they are in French, but after a couple of hours still no luck, so tomorrow we will go back to the shop in Marigot.
After lunch David, Geoff and I went to the beach for some time, we swam quite a way out to one of the buoys, then just lazed on the sun beds that we had acquired, it is a hard life.
Back to the boat David cooked dinner, mince, potatoes, carrots and broccoli, it was lovely, we bought some chocolate chip muffins, as a birthday cake and we had a few drinks, then Jeff and I realized that they were trying to get us tipsy, so they could win at dominoes, as neither of us drink much, they failed miserably. We beat them 2 -1 but won convincingly, now we are all square.
Next door had visitors, who were really loud, and rude, but we did not say anything, we just kept stiff upper lips.
27th February 2010 Lagoon Marina
Still here, and no progress, except David has at last got his ticket, costing 3$ to get one sheet of paper printed!, sadly he will not get to the Bvi’s, that is the second time he has tried and failed, he will just have to do the return trip, which leaves from up there.
After breakfast Geoff and David took the spinnaker to be looked at, and they collected the generator cover, very smart.
We then took to the dinghy, threatens rain, so I took my raincoat, we were short of petrol so we headed for the local petrol station, as the marina’s are completely out of fuel. Just as we arrived the heaven’s opened, so we found a nice little French café, and had coffee/tea and cakes, very nice it was too.
When the rain had eased we made our way up the Lagoon to Marigot (Capital of France) we are actually staying in the Dutch side. The difference is remarkable for such a small Island, France has all the posh boutiques with designer clothes, and the tiny marina, with restaurants all the way round, we wanted to anchor this end, but sadly the engine would not allow us to. With a bit of careful navigation by David and his tourist map, we arrived at the right place; we were all soaked, as it had rained a bit more on the way. It took us about 20 minutes, which shows how big the Lagoon is.
We walked through the streets, up to the store where we had bought the generator, Geoff spoke to the guy who had sold it to him, the problem was the instructions were all in French, and Geoff wanted to check that he understood it, which he had; still he was able to practice his French again. We purchased a couple more useful things; it is a good B&Q.
Back to the Marina, where we stopped for lunch, Geoff had mussels, and David and I had pizza, and we wished we had shared one, they were huge, we washed it down with a bottle of muscadet, it was lovely watching the world go round whilst enjoying good fun and company.
We looked round the Marina, then back to the boat, where we decided to try a different beach, we found the canal to go out the French side, and as soon as we approached the open seas, we found it rather rough, so we decided to go back to our normal beach, still it was good to explore the other side of the island.
Back to our local beach, straight in the water, Geoff and I swam about 500 yards to a buoy and back, which was good, David must have done the same, but he went a different way, so we felt we had done our exercise for the day.
Quick trip into the supermarket, top up on the gin and tonics, and buy some meat for dinner, then back to the boat, I had a quick shower, and then prepared dinner, sweet and sour chicken with rice.
After dinner, back to the dominoes, it is getting like a vendetta, with us all bantering each other, good fun. Jeff and I won the first game, David and Geoff the second, it was all down to the last, it was a really close match, down to the last game, where either of us could have won, sadly they did, still there is always tomorrow…..
Depressed and tired, I went to bed… he he!!
Sunday 28th February 2010 Lagoon Marina St.Maartins
Bit of a lazy start, although we always seem to be up quite early, had the normal breakfast, then off to the internet to make calls. The bar where we go is closed, so we sat on tables, settled in nicely when the table collapsed Geoff was on, and he went tumbling to the ground, with his ear phones still plugged to the computer, fortunately the computer did not follow. I managed to make one call before the electricity went off, so that was the end of that.
Back to the boat, to get the new portable generator installed, I was working away with Matilda, although she leaked water everywhere, she worked well, and we managed to complete three loads of washing. Every time I looked out, they were busy doing something to this machine, so I stayed away, using the time to tidy up.
Coffee time, more discussions about the generator, then it was lift off, let us see what will happen. They managed to start it, and David and Geoff were testing all the electrical equipment it would take, the electric kettle was the biggest test, which was no problem, and off course we do use the electric pan a lot, it seems very capable, if a little noisy.
We took lunch, not sure what David is up to, he has taken the small dinghy, and is rowing, and sunbathing in it, so we started without him. Eventually he turned up smiling, and saying he had enjoyed himself.
Back to the internet, and we managed to make several calls, although Geoff’s machine would not work properly, so he used mine.
Then we went off to the beach, Geoff and I swam our normal 500 yards, and David also did a lot of swimming today. Jeff had gone off in the other dinghy somewhere, walking, swimming and rowing. We sunbathed then went to the supermarket, and back to the boat.
I cooked roast chicken, with all the trimmings, it was lovely especially the roast potatoes, they were lovely and crispy.
Then down to the dominoes, we won 2 – 1, so now we are ahead for the first time, I think!! The mozzies are biting tonight, there is no wind, and very hot.