Ships Log – 1st to 31st January 2010

Woke surprisingly early bearing in mind it was after 0230 hrs, had a leisurely breakfast and relaxed. We had been warned that everything was going to b e closed today, so just stayed on Board.
Jeff was fixed into getting the new outboard we acquired for Annie’s Girl licked into shape. The main trouble it hadn’t been used for a year and when we emptied the fuel tank, well it came out like mud! This was followed with a strip down and clean out of the Carburettor, fuel lines and a new Plug and wham bam, we were away! It is a 2 hp Yamaha perfect for the second gingy and of course, any crew we may have freedom!
I on the other hand re-visited a job I started last spring. I overhauled the “workings” of the head in the master cabin Heads. Though it worked satisfactorily the pump was always hard to work up and down, but worse than that, if you got up in the night you couldn’t flush because it also made a terrible noise.
I also repaired the duckboard from the same bathroom but this time the floor board.
Paul came over and joined us for lunch we had during the afternoon.
James Bond rounded the day up for us and tomorrow we need to find a supermarket.

Saturday 2nd January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W
Half day closing around here so got up sharply as we thought we needed to go over to Budgets for some more bits but decided we didn’t; however, we did need to go food shopping so after breakfast, just as we were leaving, Charles (another single handed cruiser, 80!) came over. He was going to hire a car for the day and wondered if we wanted to go in with him. Yes was the answer and Tuesday was going to be the day and Charles would organise.
Back to shopping, Jeff and I dinged over to Budgets where we can get the bus then 5 minutes on the bus and we were at a big American style supermarket, shopping Mall with the usual KFC next door. We had a good stock up as we know we will have limited supplies once we get around the Tobago Quays. Jeff came straight back to the boat and I went on into St Georges. I know a bar there with air conditioning, free Wi Fi, well not so free as you have to drink, or eat or both; still it is the best connection around. Cleared all my e mails including firing off a nasty letter to Raymond and Power Boats, not that it will do any good, but I got it off my chest
Back to the boat, Jeff cooked Eggs, Beans, Frankfurters and tomatoes, very nice it was this was rounded off with another DVD, this time “Arthur” the round table one not the Dudley More one set in New York!
Sunday tomorrow and again no e mails or Wi Fi to be had around Prickly bay.

Sunday 3rd January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W
No net today, no internet today, just a day of leisure, the only thing I had to do was make and cook a Lasagne. Cereal for breakfast was the order of the day then Jeff went off for a couple of hours fishing. My task for the day was to clean up the cockpit table; following the storage it got black and after cleaning the black off, needs some TLC, that day has arrived today.
We bought the necessary to make and cook a large Lasagne and as we have gas, I am going to do some roast potatoes! All this was prepared during the morning and parked ‘till we wanted to eat, at 1800 hrs.
Back onto the cockpit table, scraping, sanding, sanding and scraping, the teak is really looking good now, worth the effort. I am not too sure what to do with it now; I think I will just oil it and see how that lasts.
Back to dinner, put everything in the oven but no gas, would believe it, especially as we had already taken some dirt out from between gas bottle and regulator. Firstly we disconnected the bottle from the pipe, yes gas flowed freely, we then disconnected the pipe from the “outlet” side of the regulator, and gas flowed through. We then emptied the lazaretto and found the solenoid controlled cut off tap, disconnected and checked that it was open and clear. We then disconnected the pipe from the gas cooker, put the foot pump on it and blew through with that, some interesting liquid came out but nothing solid. We now re-connected all the pipes except the one onto the cooker and he presto, we have gas at the cooker, re-connected the cooker and as they say, “we are cooking on gas”; in went the lasagne and spuds and we waited, yes we waited and waited and waited some more. Eventually we sat down to eat at around 2000 hrs. Obviously the gas isn’t giving out the right heat to get the temperature up as the lasagne though cooked, was not as cooked as I would have liked, and the roast were not quite roasted as they should have been, a little soggy to say the least; however, all the potatoes and a good size of Lasagne went, it couldn’t have be that bad!
The “Sentinel” with Michael Douglas was the DVD of the evening

Monday 4th January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W.
Up early and off to meet the Chart Plotter Guru, not too sure what time he is coming and whether I need to dingy him across. I was at his works at 0800 waiting, he arrived a 0830 to apologise most profusely that he was unable to come today as he still hadn’t finished the job he had been on most of last week! Oh dear another day wasted and worse I was part of a party who had booked a car to tour the island tomorrow, oh dear, but the chart plotter is more important.
Back to the boat and had some breakfast then did some housekeeping, Jeff still fiddling with the new second-hand engine for Annie’s girl’s old dingy. It starts perfectly, 1st pull and runs for about 7 minutes perfectly then just cuts out for no apparent reason. After Five minutes or so, the same again! Odd really, the Fuel tank has been cleaned out, the fuel filter cleaned, and the Carburettor cleaned, including the float chamber and jets , we also fitted new spark plug; What else? Oh yes the petrol we are using is new batch mixed as needed. Maybe she is getting hot due to a broken water impeller, the screw holding the housing is not going anywhere will soak in WD 40 and see what’s happening. Again we seem to be stuck where we don’t want to be. If we don’t get things done tomorrow, we are off on Wednesday.
We invited Paul over to dinner tonight so I am hoping the oven does its job, we are finishing off the lasagne I made Sunday.
Did a bit more to the cockpit table, really looking good but will have to use it tonight and one of us is bound to spill some beer or something on it, the alternative, eating inside is out of the question, far too hot!
Time to put the oven on now, keep your fingers crossed. Match lit, oven lit, food in, closed the door, still alight, wonderful; ten minutes later, oven out! The above procedure was gone through again, and yes, ten minutes later out she went. Tomorrow we need some strong maintenance, it is looking as if the electronic solenoid is playing up; third time lucky I tell myself; I went through the same procedure BUT with one small difference, after it lit I turned the control switch down a bit and ten minutes later, it was still working, we had cracked t!
Paul arrived with a bag of beers to start and I served up Lasagne with fresh salad, red wine was available. For desert I had made a jelly and we cut up some fresh fruit and put it inside, it was rather nice and very refreshing, this was washed down with Coffee and Brandy and a very interesting history lesson from a South African about South Africa and fighting the British in the Boer War Jeff fell asleep but blamed the beer, maybe it was Paul and the Boer War. Jeff is from Cornwall and very, very Cornish and proud of it, he has the view that everything important in the world started in Cornwall including King Arthur and Camelot was in Cornwall!
Off to bed after a good evening.

Tuesday 5th January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W.

I was woken early by Jeff who was off for the day in the car with Paul and Charles; I missed out because I have to see the Chart Plotter Guru. He was trying to make early tea but the gas was playing up yet again. Out came all the gear from the lazarett, out came the gas solenoid, the power was OK but the magnet didn’t seem to pull the plunger back far enough to let gas through. We doused it with WD 40; after all we didn’t have anything to lose as we needed a new solenoid anyway. It seemed to work and when we reassembled it, behold a good throughput of gas was flowing.
I quickly got on the eggs, toast and tea as time was getting short for Jeff, he had to dingy to shore and be waiting at 0900o hrs, it was now 0830 hrs! He made it and I had the clearing up to do, no problem, we didn’t want to hold the rest back and the hired car.
The Guru appeared about 0915, apologised for being late, asked me to switch the chart plotter on then pronounced it had to go back to the factory as it was a software fault in the booting up procedure. Apparently most people who have one of these Raymarine “E” series 89 models are having trouble; It appears that Raymarine rushed out this model to try and beat their main competitors who also had an all singing all dancing chart plotter coming out. This race caused the Raymarine model to be out in the market before it was actually ready, so have been told!
Anyway as I had paid for callout I asked him to check the wind generator, he measured the output, virtually nil, new brushes are needed, try Budget they ar5e the agents. OK Thanks I said, how about big generators do you repair these I asked, yes he said, with the exception of Fischer Pandá. That about made my day!
I went to Budget, the Aerogen agents to see if they had any brushes for the wind generator. Agents, Ha! They couldn’t even come up with a part number; I suggested they look in the paper work that comes with these things as they have part numbers listed against the actual part. This he did then re checked, Budget are up and down the Caribbean and he checked them all, no Brushes so will get onto Aerogen via the net and have a set posted to Portsmouth and Christine can bring them out.
Went to Internet, Christine arrived in Spain today alright, a little warmer and op snow! Though she was concerned as it was snowing in Bournemouth and she was frightened the flight may be cancelled, after all it was Ryanair! But no, they don’t let snow stop them, so they do have a good point!
Then it was happy hour at the bar, today is the first time I have made use of it, I have not been around for happy hour before, so had an agreeable few bottles of beer then I was joined by the rest of the gang so stopped for dinner; Spare ribs, very nice.
Back to the boat and to bed as we have things to do and I would like to leave if possible.

Wednesday 6th January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W.
Up this morning with the intention of leaving after some final shopping at the local store whilst we still have a car! Make the boat ready for sea! Do e mails! Clearing out of immigration and Customs! Collecting our gas bottle! Weighing anchor! Re-fill water Tanks and ah yes, take on board some petrol for the dingy engines, in fact I don’t think we will be away after all!
First things first, stow everything away ready for the off and off to the supermarket for last minute things, bearing in mind if we anchor in the actual quays, there is nothing available. Back from shopping and goods put away then over to do last minute e mails and sort out a set of brushes for my wind generator via the internet. I have been to several Aerogen agents none of which stock spare brushes would you believe. To add injury to insult, due to the snow I couldn’t get onto Aerogen as their office was empty, what an excuse, the sun was shining where I was, what is snow and ice, other than what you put in your drink. Anyway eventually I had to accept defeat and ask Christine to organise and bring out with here. Back now to Customs and Immigration to get my clearance papers collect the gas bottle and head to the boat, only to be weigh laid at the bar for a quick beer!
Back to the boat, weighed anchor and moved over to the fuel dock, to be told upon arrival it was closed! A small argument occurred as I had enquired earlier what time they close and was told 1700 hrs I arrived at 1645 hrs anyway eventually we filled with water and took on petrol. Diesel was un-available, waiting for a delivery! Good job I didn’t need diesel!
I had hoped to stop the night on the fuel dock but we were told to move or pay, guess what we did, yes that’s right, moved! But; not before we went to the bar as happy hour was on and we had a couple of beers waiting for us.
So, there we were enjoying a beer when Jeff asked me if I had collected the gas, yes said I I remember collecting and paying, what I don’t remember is where I put it! As I said earlier, I was way laid for a beer so it must be here at the bar I said, Nothing been handed in here said the barman, Oh bother (my grand children may be reading this!) said I maybe it is on the dingy dock. Jeff ran over and yes there it was where I put it, I think I am having too much sun!
Back to the boat, dropped the anchor, had a meal and settled down for the night, early start tomorrow as we will head to Clifton on Union Island. Should be OK for a daylight start and finish so long as the passage from the top of Grenada to Union has a decent wind. Local forecasts suggest we will have a mixed bag of winds and currents. Oh well we have to go anyway, night night.

Thursday 7th January 2010
Current Position, Prickly Bay, Grenada
11⁰ 59,91N 061⁰ 45, 64W.
Alarm went off at 0530, straight up, kettle on, wind deflectors down, anchor up and 0600 hrs we were moving from our mooring in prickly bay.
Into the channel and I put it onto autopilot (George) whilst I sorted the sheets ready to set sail; what’s happening? We were heading straight for a channel marker so I quickly leant over the consul and pressed PLUS 10 degrees, twice, nothing happened! Onto the helm, into standby mode and turned away. Funny I thought, it was fine when we sailed up from Trinidad. Ah yes, we have been messing with the gas pipes in the lazarett and below is the wiring to George. Probably a big foot has dislodged a wire or something. We turned round, back to where we were, dropped the anchor and emptied the starboard lazarett, couldn’t see anything wrong, all wires seemed to be connected so decided to go without George, after all it is good practice for our helming skills!
Up anchor and away for the second time around 0800 hrs, into the channel still no George, oh well we are on our way. Headed west until we cleared the southern end of the island then made a course fairy well out to collect as much wind as we could bearing in mind we were in the lee of an island with fairly high volcanoes, anyway Genoa and main all flying and a good broad reach sail around 5-7 knots, no engine until we passed the top of Grenada then we had a blast of good winds from the east, up went the speed 7 ½ – 8. We were very pleased with ourselves. Jeff took the helm for his stint, no problems, whilst I had a nap on deck. I then went down to cook lunch; a “veggie” pasta, very agreeable and went down well. Looking at the log for the trip, we actually touched 10 knots at one stage, albeit a very short moment of time!
Once we had passed Grenada heading for, but missing Diamond rock and the rocky out crop, the sisters, we drifted further westwards than we would have wished for and as we turned north east, so we hit the wind head on. As we were passing Carriacou, our bolt hole if we needed one for the night, we just hung there. We tried a couple of tacks but all we did was go backwards, mind you we weren’t helped by a small “tramp” tanker trying to run us over! I wanted to anchor in day light, as we know from experience there are many reefs just below the water and the entrance to Clifton anchorage needs to be gone through with care, even though they are better than most with keeping their channel markers alight at night. So with 10/15 knot wind on the nose, sails all in and engine on, yes we motored the last 15 miles but more importantly, got there in daylight, we were moored on a buoy by 1730 hrs.
Fried/grilled chicken drum sticks with salad for dinner then I was shattered and was in bed before 2000hrs!
Jeff kept the British end up by watching a DVD though I wonder how much he actually saw!

Friday 8th January 2010
Current Position, Anchorage Bay, Clifton
012⁰ 35,69 N 061⁰ 24, 88 W.
A very leisurely morning followed by 2 eggs, 1 ½ sausages and toast for breakfast washed down with fresh coffee, followed by an hour of chat and debate, I think we are both tired. Right this won’t do I have to go to shore and over to the airport to clear customs and immigration to be legal. Jeff went off to find an internet cafe
Apart from clearing in etc, I found the Yamaha agents and asked if he could help with my new second hand outboard. We do not have the “tool” technology on board to remove the bottom of the stem to replace the rubber impellor for drawing up sea water to cool the engine. Bring it along he said, this we did and he said he will have it ready for 1000 hrs tomorrow!
Mooched about Clifton whilst Jeff went for a swim and then a hike, it is a quaint place but much busier than when we were last here in May. Start of the season I suppose, anyway I like it and a couple of pictures will be posted as well.
Met up with Jeff again in the bar where the internet is free, well apart from expensive drinks! And he did his internet time!
The plan for tomorrow is to collect the outboard then make our way across to the actual quays, drop the anchor between Petit Bateau and Petit Rameau for one night where we will relax, swim, relax, swim with the turtles, relax and swim, yes, you’ve got the message, we are not going to rush around!! We will then move up to Mayreau and drop the anchor Salt Whistle Bay. After this we will be in Bequia, up to St Vincent then on to St Lucia for the 16th ready for Jeff’s Lady to arrive on the 17th January and Christine on the 20th January.
A few Pina Colada’s, back to the boat, dinner and a DVD followed by Bed.

Saturday 9th January 2010
Current Position, Anchorage Bay, Clifton
012⁰ 35, 69 N 061⁰ 24, 88 W.
Awaken by heavy rain early this morning, had to rush around closing down all hatches etc. We went back to bed but didn’t sleep too well so up and cleared up from last night’s dinner. I have to say that is not usual, we clear as we go but it was midnight when we finished dinner and DVD! We had a bowl of cereal and another cup of coffee when suddenly we were being shouted at to clear off the buoy as we had no right to be there. They would not listen to any explanation we had, the fact we had paid someone else was not their problem and as we were still arguing, one of them jumped into their dingy and came over to cut us adrift! I must say it didn’t take me long to start the engine and be off! Oh well we rode out last night’s storm on it.
We poodled around the bay and this timed dropped the anchor, good fix first time, good one Jeff as there was not too much room.; I think everybody had come in from the quays for shelter: Then the sun comes out and hopefully that is the rain over for this year!
Not an hour had gone by when we heard people shouting as we realised we were dragging our anchor. Oh dear not so good Jeff. We tried again but by now the wind had really taken over and it had changed direction, so we were forced to take up a buoy. The weather will not allow us to go out to the Quays, poor old Jeff he is certainly looking forward to seeing the Quays. Currently we have two warps fixed onto the buoy and we have our anchor dropped as well, that’s how windy it is! However, because we are just behind the reef, the sea is relatively calm.
Anyway, feeling nice and secure, we ventured to shore. Firstly we had to collect the dingy engine and yes it was a broken impeller so it should now keep going. The fellow who repaired it asked if it was for sale, naturally I asked how much it was worth as he was a Yamaha agents and distributers. The answer was, if I sold it immediately I would make a profit of about 2 ½ times what I paid for it, can’t be bad! Armed with the dingy engine Jeff went to the boat to fit it, then sea test it: A good investment I believe!
I think lunch with the locals is called for today; well locals lunch anyway, marinated fish salad and very nice but with Europeans! Oh well the thought was there. Jeff on the other hand took the healthy option and went for a walk to Ashton and came back along the sea shore, swimming and snorkelling as he went. We both met up again later in the afternoon when we both did e mails and Skype etc. I also took the time to look at various weather forecasts and wind speeds over the next few days. And tomorrow, Sunday is the best day to go out onto the Quays; we have a weather window of opportunity so hope to take it.
Back to the boat, in the dark, and no anchor light to guide us in with, never mind we found Anam Cara, just where we left her! I cooked my version of a Chilli Con Carne, perhaps a little too much Chilli and not enough Carne! In other words a little on the hot side! DVD for the night was Huckleberry Finn, long time no see and very enjoyable it was too though Jeff missed the end!
Shower and bed ready for tomorrow we are on the Quays all being well.

Sunday 10th January 2010
Current Position, Anchorage Bay, Clifton
012⁰ 35, 69 N 061⁰ 24, 88 W
Up around 0800 hrs as we are off to the quays this morning, just need to go ashore after breakfast to check on the weather to be on the safe side as though where we are is nice and quiet, we can still see over the coral reef to where the sea is breaking.
Toast today with coffee and then Jeff said if we are not stopping on the quays overnight and by the time we leave as well as the time we set aside to get across to Salt whistle bay, we won’t have much time on the Quays. So why not just get across to Salt Whistle and that way we will be back on schedule, I had no objection, not having the chart plotter and having been there twice before I know how much weaving in and out one needs to do, I was not unhappy to leave them for another day.
So, a gentle run over to Salt Whistle bay where Jeff launched the second dingy and was away to explore the place. I cleared up after out lunch and straight into the water for a swim followed by a salt water bath, yes I still have the salt water soap, and a swill down in fresh water. Clean again! Then over to the beach for a bit of exercise and view the surf on the other side of the island followed by a beer.
Met up with Jeff on the boat when he told me he had explored the island and snorkelled but was not too impress with what he saw though he did like the bay we were anchored in.
Steak & kidney pie for dinner with a pathetic attempt to do roast potatoes, either there is something strange with the oven or the calorific value the gas supplied around here does not supply the heat it does in Europe. I read somewhere one may have to alter the regulator when changing from Propane to Butane or the other way. I am never sure which is which! Anyway the spuds were cooked but not roasted still they all went! Jelly with fresh fruit in it followed and a DVD completed the evening.
Tomorrow we are off to Bequia, not far away so a leisure start in the morning.

Monday 11th January 2010
Current Position, Salt Whistle Bay
012⁰ 38, 83 N 061⁰ 23, 49 W.
Up at a respectable time, with toast for breakfast. I cleared up whilst Jeff went to shore for one last photo for the bay, (which will be posted on the web site) before we left.
We sailed due North out of Salt Whistle entrance then took a 30⁰ heading for Bequia. Wind around 10 to 12 knots coming in on our Starboard quarter so it was a fairly tight sail, holding the course and not allowing for the current to drift us westwards. Still, for the first several hours we kept right on the rhumb line, no deviation so when we arrived on the southern tip off Bequia, we had little or no correction to make, great. We only used the Genoa and was making around 5 knots most of the way. We only needed to bring the engine in when rounding West Cay and Big Cay before entering Admiralty Bay and heading up to Port Elizabeth, where we set the anchor. We refused several boat boys’ offer of buoys as we were happy to anchor.
Drinks and nibbles for dinner it was that sort of day, we didn’t define any meals, just picked or grazed all day and played Dominoes. Jeff was champ last night in no uncertain way, straight, quick wins leaving me with excessive points in t hand, well done Jeff; just remember Jeff, every dog has his day! The DVD a “Lion in winter” about Henry 2 and his succession. Why I was interested and bought it several years was because there is a battle scene in it and that was filmed on “Marloes sand”, Pembrokeshire. The interest to me and my family was that for several years on the trot our family holiday was in our caravan, in a field, on the cliff, above “Marloes Sand”
So to bed after checking the anchor etc. All looked OK but we had some worry especially as by now we were caught by the tide going out and our keel was resting on the bottom: Nothing we could do so went to bed keeping a weatherly eye on the anchor.

Tuesday 12th January 2010
Current Position, Port Elizabeth, Bequia
13⁰ 00, 45 N 061⁰ 14, 39 W.
What a bad night, firstly the sea kept going out; I wondered if it had a mind to drain the bay dry! The bad thing about being stuck to the bottom is we didn’t swing as the rest of the vessels did; still we had plenty of room so this was no real concern. Then the tide eventually turned around 0100 hrs and the winds also got up and eventually we were 100% afloat, good; well actually not as good as we then started to waltz down the bay. We were out in the cockpit around 0400, engine on all ready to do something but as the gusting began to ease and after all we were fortunate we did have extra space, we glided between two catamarans gracefully but no immediate danger, decided not to move ‘till first light unless anything extraordinary happened! I stayed on Deck and sent Jeff back to bed but be ready if I called for help. Anyway Dawn arrived and we hadn’t moved any further so decided to wait a little longer and then find a boat boy and get onto a buoy, this we did at around 0800 hrs
Jeff had a cooked breakfast after all the goings on, I had had a couple of rounds of toast at about 0500 hrs and as I had promised myself to indulge in the Gingerbread shop for a coffee and a piece of their wonderful cake, I declined the cooked breakfast. Whilst indulging in Coffee and cake I was talking to another cruiser and he had recorded the wind speeds last night in excess of 30 knots! I am glad I have a buoy tonight in case we have a repeat of last night!
After a catch up snooze following breakfast, I went ashore, firstly to the gingerbread shop, quickly followed by another visit to the Bank. This Bank “visit” is happening all too often, I wish I could cut it out! Met up with Jeff for a coffee at Lunch time then he went off again snorkelling and hiking whilst took a bus across the island and back. Very nice but I have to laugh, about every 50 to 100 yards there is a speed bump, ha I say, the roads are so bad you can’t get up to 20 MPH. I also bought a Hot Spot card to have Wi Fi out on the boat, but it didn’t work so have to take it back to re-claim my money.
Met up with Jeff again on the boat for a cup of tea and then he was off snorkelling to yet another beech. The energy that man has!
I said I would take him out for some dinner tonight as a thank you for all the help he has given me over the past few weeks or so
The buoy looks firm and holding so will sleep better tonight though the wind was also getting up.

Wednesday 13th January 2010
Current Position, Port Elizabeth, Bequia
13⁰ 00, 45 N 061⁰ 14, 39 W.
Our main decision was this morning was, where do we book out from; here before we go, or do we go to Wallilabou and book out. You see Jeff wants to hike up the Volcano in the North of St Vincent but the best place to do that from is at Chateaubelair, unfortunately there are no customs or immigration there. The other main issue is we need to be in Fort Vieux, St Lucia by the 15th and I don’t want to get there after dark and though it isn’t that far from St Vincent the passage will be directly on the nose with heavy currents trying to push you off course. Reading about this passage, it is one of the hardest to do in this neighbourhood! Hence the dilemma so went to customs and asked how long after booking out we had before we had to go. Same day was the answer so decision made, we would go to Wallilabou, and Jeff would have to take a bus or taxi or run to the mountain from Wallilabou. I could book out tomorrow afternoon and we would be away at first light the following day. Decision made but would there be any internet there, probably not, so we both shot off to clear up any outstanding e mails and in my case bring the log up to date. On our last visit we were taken by the “Gingerbread” shop/café but I have o say this morning I found a place of equal stature. This very petit café squeezed between the bank and I know not what, baked fresh baguettes, croissants, pan o choclat and much more, so sorry gingerbread place you have been relegated to second, well for bread I didn’t try any cakes so maybe first equal!
Back n Anam Cara, everything stowed, dingy sorted, lines off mooring ball and we were away by 1130hrs, ½ hour after we wanted but no sweat, only 15 miles to go. Out into the bay and rounded the corner and picked up the trade winds 20 knots on our starboard beam, Genoa out, engine off, 7 ½ knots, that will do us nicely so settled down to this short island hop.
Once across the open water and into the lee of St Vincent, all speed dropped. Out came the main as well but insufficient wind though we were still going a respectable 4 ½ to 5 knots but it slowly reduced as we came nearer the centre of the Island. Still we arrived to be greeted by the usual boat boys. We radioed ahead to the hotel to see if they had any buoys available and to check that the boat boys we had pestering us were genuine, they were so we followed them in, tied to a buoy and then sent a stern line out to attach to the old pier. We were here and secured by 1430 hrs.
The last time we were here was with David (my son in law) and Christine and we did not have a very happy memory of the place. It was here they filmed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and we all agreed that the locals now saw themselves as pirates! However, I must say this visit so far has been quite agreeable, I think just sticking to the first boat boys that turned up and having checked on them, made them behave! Of course it still cost us 20 EC$ for their help and I must say it was a 20 EC$ well spent. The actual moorings are also only 20 EC$ a night and they are refundable if you eat in the anchorage restaurant, may be tomorrow. Everywhere else buoys have been 50 EC$, and 40EC$ if I was very lucky!
Had a late lunch of Cheese and Baguette, Jeff went off snorkelling, then swimming then rowing probably did some running for good measure. Tomorrow he is off to the volcano; I hope to walk to the nearest water fall about a mile away!
I will be checking out tomorrow afternoon when the office is open, and that is between 1600 hrs and 1800 hrs!
Dinner tonight a la Jeff, a mixture of various tins, eggs, and potatoes washed down with a couple of beers, very nice then bed, Jeff has a hard day tomorrow.

Thursday 14th January 2010
Current Position, Off the Anchorage Hotel, Wallilabou Bay, St Vincent
13⁰ 14, 82 N 061⁰ 16, 31 W.
Long night, quite a lot of rain, up and down like a fiddlers elbow closing/opening the hatches; too hot when closed, too wet when opened, the trials and tribulations of sailing here, in the Caribbean!
Jeff got his stuff ready but didn’t rush off as it was raining here but more importantly over the volcano, I took the opportunity to re-fit the bottom step of the swimming ladder. The three brass screws had broken due to age. It is now firmly bolted down to match the top one, (which went last year) so both now good for another 20 years!
Over to the restaurant to try and get internet, managed it long enough to have a worthwhile conversation with Christine and a part conversation with my accountant and that is bad as all tax forms have to be in by end of January!
In the pilot book and the hand out maps they give you it shows a waterfall of “particular interest” and well worth visiting, a couple of miles from here, so after internet decided to walk and see them. It was a hard couple of miles +up and down short steep hills, sweltering heat and when I got there I was amazed, I think I have seen bigger ones in peoples gardens! If that was not enough, there was a big sign telling the world this “facility” is being funded from EEC funds! Anyway the exercise was good and the trip back seemed easier, it was more downhill!
I now needed to kill time until Customs and Immigration were open to book out of St Vincent, so went back to the boat, and had a swim and a dry off lying on the coach roof just taking in the sun. Having decided to fill with water here, I then took a nice shower, dressed and back to shore by which time customs were open.
After customs, walking towards the Anchorage restaurant where the Wi Fi is, I was accosted by a party of 6 Americans and was asked to join them for a beer; we always seemed to moor up near each other! This was nice and they then they asked if I would care to join their table for dinner at 1900 hrs. At this point Jeff joined, said hello and good bye and reminded me we had to move the boat to get water on board.
We had to slacken off the two bow lines fastened onto a buoy, I then winched the stern rope, pulling Anam Cara ever nearer the dilapidated dock where there was a tap and hose. I dare not try and drive Anam Cara to this dock as it would have caused so much damage so took the cautious way and pulled her nearer until the hoses (2 joined together) reached. We had to attach ours to theirs to make them long enough then wait until the water was switched on. Jeff sat in the dingy where the two hoses joined and ensured they didn’t come apart or sink, yes we were about 10 meter away from the dock at this time but we had too much respect for Anam Cara, certainly didn’t want a hole punched the hull by a bit of twisted metal.
By the time we had watered and brought Anam Cara back onto the buoy, the Americans had already gone past, still when I did get there I wasn’t that far behind them and we had a great evening. Jeff decided to stay on board and when I returned, he was fishing!
Early start tomorrow, so have brought the big dingy back onto the davits, ready for the off. Jeff will need the second dingy to go over to the old jetty and undo the stern line. We will then tow that one as its engine is already mounted on its block on the stern.
Off to bed

Friday 15th January 2010
Current Position, Off the Anchorage Hotel, Wallilabou Bay, St Vincent
13⁰ 14, 82 N 061⁰ 16, 31 W.
Weighed anchor at 0600 hrs after Jeff released the stern line from the old quay, more importantly, managed to get this done and away before any boat boys realised what was happening! Out of the bay and headed due north to pass by St Vincent. No Wind so hugged the coast line all the way until we reached the north end of the island. Knowing we were going to have a difficult time once we were in clear water, I tried to get some mileage in as quickly as possible so used the engine to its maximum performance and with her clean bottom were doing around 6 ½ to 7 knots.
Bang, Wallop, we hit 22 knots of trade wind as we rounded the top of St Vincent, gusting to about 30, but worse once we had cleared St Vincent, the trade’s had settled and were coming in from a north easterly direction, just the way we were heading. We also had a 2 knot current against us and that just left the tide that wanted us to go west! I knew this was going to be a passage from hell and it was only 35 a mile passage. We debated as to whether we should change direction and head up due north towards the west coast then creep back along the south coast but looking at the yachts going due north, there wasn’t a lot of difference and the thought of tacking wasn’t an option as I wanted to be there in the light. So we plodded on against all the elements at a steady 2 ½ to 3 b½ knots.
Jeff tried some fishing to pass away the time, with no George; we took it in turns to helm, not much more we could do as she was like a bucking bronco. The bows were going well under and the spray was reaching us in the cockpit and at times passing clear over us! Thank goodness the sun was out and warm, imagine if it was raining as well!
Anyway, good old dependable Anam Cara, we arrived safe and sound and by 1500 hrs and anchored up, we then sat down for some lunch, salad and sardines. By now we were ready to go to book in, unfortunately they close at 1600 so decided not to bother, just relax and get over the sail. Unless we do something silly, we don’t need to do another bad passage like this one.
We had a DVD followed by Dominies, my turn to have the upper hand and get my own back for the drumming he gave me the other night, revenge is sweet! Followed by bed and the sleep of the just.

Saturday 16th January 2010
Current Position, Vieux Fort, St Lucia
13⁰ 43, 36 N 060⁰ 57, 42 W.
We had a restful night and woke up to clear skies and the boat was where she should be. The anchor had obviously held, we did put a second anchor out to our starboard side as our swing did get a little close to another boat but with this out it held us back a bit gave us both peace of mind.
I had bought a new control switch for the dingy engine, the old one was corroded and therefore kept letting the engine cut out, Jeff replaced that this morning, new switch and a service in Grenada, she should be good now for many run around the bay!
Right, off to town and to sign in though being Saturday the local customs and immigration offices will be closed so will have to go to the international airport, it was a 50 minute walk as we couldn’t get any sense from the bus drivers as to which bus went via the airport and the Taxi drivers wanted a fistful of dollars, hence the walk. Before we left for the route march, we located the internet cafes that were open as Jeff had to make a Skype call to Elizabeth (his girlfriend) as she is visiting the boat and Jeff needed to know the flight details. It couldn’t be left much longer as she flies in tomorrow afternoon!
Leaving the airport we found the bus and got on, back to Vieux Fort, a spot of lunch at a KFC followed by a Quick visit to the local supermarket by Jeff whilst I cleared up my e mails and sent the previous logs and photos across ready for loading to our web site.
Back on the boat, stored the food and Jeff was off fishing whilst I did some housekeeping.
Fruit and Jelly for dinner accompanied with Ritz crackers and Mozzarella cheese whilst watching, a DVD. A comedy for a change!
Off to bed, big day tomorrow for Jeff, Elizabeth arrives, is he excited???????????

Sunday 17th January 2010
Current Position, Vieux Fort, St Lucia
13⁰ 43, 36 N 060⁰ 57, 42 W.
Today is the day for Jeff; Elizabeth, his girlfriend arrives at the local international airport around 1645 hrs so he will be off around 1600 hrs that should give him plenty of time to get there by bus; asking him what their plans were for the evening, he thinks she will be worn out. Apparently, the only flights available, well at affordable prices were: San Francisco to New York, then change, New York to St Lucia, one hell of a journey!
This morning consisted firstly of me getting out of the forepeak cabin and clean it out, accomplished before 0900 hrs. Jeff then took over redid the whole cabin again, keen or what! Anyway I was moved into the main cabin, bed made so I cooked” brunch”, too late for breakfast and too early of lunch , one day we may get back into regular meals. Cleared up then back into jobs.
Having run the engine all the way from St Vincent, the fuel gauge suggested we were down to quarter of a tank of fuel, so we started to empty the cans into the fuel tank. We had 11 cans filled each with a little over 5 gallons each, totalling at most 65 gallons. Our tank holds 100 gallons so ¼ full suggested we need 75 gallons, so everything we had could go in: 7 cans later and it was overflowing. Now do we have a faulty gauge or do we have a smaller tank than we thought. I will have to keep an eye on it; I don’t believe the tank is smaller than specified by the boat builder so suggests our gauge is wrong but, on the good side!
Cleaning up once we had finished messing about with the diesel was next, then Jeff had to go, I on the other hand had to get the needle and cotton out and stitch up the spray hood, for some time the stitching was looking a little loose but by now it had completely come apart and the stainless steel framed pole wouldn’t be held, so I had a go;. Now it is not up to seamstress standard but it worked and the pole is fixed and we can have the spray hood up again.
Jeff duly arrived with Elizabeth and she is very nice; so we all sat down and had a couple of cups of tea, followed by some pasta, glass of wine and fruit jelly. We were all tired and went to bed, what we thought was about 2100 hrs turned out to be more like 2400 hrs!
The weather was also a bit uneasy today and this evening; several times we had odd squally showers accompanied with heavy winds but as soon as the cloud had passed over, back to a quiet, balmy night. It had played a bit of havoc with duvet, sheets, towels etc hanging out to air and dry; in, out, in out, so we wondered if anything would happen during the night: we all go to bed with hatches open but not always wake up in time when it rains! We were happy with the anchor setting, I checked our GPS position to when we first arrived, and we were spot on, no deviation, so that was good, looked around the decks all was well and downstairs we were secure, so bed it was

Monday 18th January 2010
Current Position, Vieux Fort, St Lucia
13⁰ 43, 36 N 060⁰ 57, 42 W.
Geoff, Geoff, Geoff, wake up, the snubber has broken, it was Jeff from the forward cabin as I looked at my watch, 0400 hrs, that figures I thought, just the sort of time something will go wrong! Are you sure I asked, yes he had checked. Since losing the chain hook we have improvised with a snap shackle, this held OK but the warp cut in half, the improvised part of the shackle turned out to have a sharp bit to it and it gradually cut through the warp. A new shackle, no rough bits and we were back in business. Kettle had boiled by now so had a cuppa with a biscuit. I checked our position and yes we were still anchored in exactly the same position. That’s the beauty of the forepeak cabin I told Jeff, you are the first line of defence as you hear everything in there first!
Back to bed and the next time I looked at my watch it was 0845 hr; ah well, the improvised snubber worked OK.
Our new arrival slept well I am told, that’s good and she was hungry, good, so were we and Jeff elected to make Pancakes for breakfast, to welcome our American cousin and to make her feel at home! They were very good pancakes too.
Jeff & Elizabeth then got ready to go out and once gone, I intended to go to town and get onto the internet for a few things but in the mean time decided to do a few jobs. Firstly I brought up the second anchor I had put out to our side. The reason I put it out was there was another boat not too far away and it prevented me swinging closer to him; he has now gone and besides it didn’t really do anything anyway, a sort of “piece of mind” gesture.
I re-tied all the empty fuel cans along the sides; “Teak” oiled the cockpit table, and other jobs; the upshot of it all was I was too late to get to the internet. This is now a “must do” task for tomorrow. I also finished off the previous nights pasta for lunch at about 1600 hrs, so will not want dinner later.
The others came back a little after dark just as I had settled down in the cockpit to a nice Gin and Tonic: I then listened to their account of their day’s activities, they seemed to have a good day, and at least the sun was out all day for everybody.
I didn’t want to eat and was tired any way so went to bed and left them to their meal in piece; I was out like a log until I was woken up by rain coming into through the hatch! With the hatch partially closed, back to bed. Sometime later, the rain came down again but this time even harder so I was forced to close the hatch right down.

Tuesday 19th January 2010
Current Position, Vieux Fort, St Lucia
13⁰ 43, 36 N 060⁰ 57, 42 W.
Woke up to the patter of rain looked at the clock, tea time. Got up, put the kettle on and Jeff appeared. What are your plans for today I asked? Not sure was the answer other than tell Elizabeth was tired and suffering from the 4 hour time difference. This was also on top of the time differences she had experienced in the weeks before coming out. She crossed from San Francisco to Nova Scotia and back several times, hence being tired but still wanting to do things.
After clearing breakfast the weather was still very bad, more rain than dry periods so we had a cup of coffee and Jeff played with his new toy, a small lap top computer, he must have bees so taken with mine he organised Elizabeth to bring one out with her. Good I can have mine back again!!!!!!!!
And so it came to lunch time, Jeff cooked one of his quick special’s which was very nice, and by this time the sun was out so off they went. I cleared up then set about the decking in the en-suite, it had broken again. Taking it apart it was comforting to know that the side I repaired last time was still intact, it was the other side. Oh well I should have done a complete job last time! I can’t glue it tonight as it needs to dry out, so first job in the morning I think. Needless to say I didn’t make the internet BUT tomorrow I will: Tomorrow is Christine’s arrival day, it has been a long time since early part of November when I came out here and left Christine in the UK so much has happened in that time as well. Any way I am excited! I will leave early, clear internet and be at the airport for when she lands at 1520 hrs.
Jeff and Elizabeth arrived back about 1900 hrs by which time I had eaten a snack supper so watched them get something to eat and drink after which we had quite evening and watched a DVD followed by bed.
A but windy during the night but up only once due to rain, things must be improving, weather wise!

Wednesday 20th January 2010
Current Position, Vieux Fort, St Lucia
13⁰ 43, 36 N 060⁰ 57, 42 W.
Today is the day, up early only to find Jeff & Elizabeth already having their breakfast, quite a shock as I hadn’t heard them they were so quite. They were off to Soufriere, they want to climb one of the Pitons and follow that by snorkelling in the bay. Yesterday they had done some reconnoitring in the area hence their early rising
I on the other hand had several things I wanted to; firstly I re-glued the duck board from the after shower room, the bit I did last time was still holding, great, let’s hope this side also holds, somehow I am not too sure
Started preparing the meal, Christine will not want to eat late so will (try) and get her some fresh fish from the market when I collect her, gently fry it in garlic butter then poach it in my own version of a Creole sauce served on a bed of rice, well that’s the plan!
I decided to go to the airport via the internet to send the latest batch of logs so jumped into the dingy and found to my horror the petrol pipe severed just where it connects with the outboard motor. Back on board for some tools. Back into the dingy, cut off the offending bit and trimmed the fuel pipe, pushed it back on and held it firm with 2 cable clips, back on board to put tools away and clean up (again!),back into the dingy and off to Vieux Fort. I met the un-official dingy boy who tied up for me whilst I hot footed it to the top of town. Had I got away as planned I would have had more than enough time but no, again I was running late??????? Still i made the local internet Café, and then caught a bus up to the airport only to find Christine’s BA flight running about ½ an hour late!
Anyway she arrived safely and it was good to see her, it has been a long time! I had already organised a taxi so we loaded up and straight down to the fish market where I had left the dingy. I bought some “King Fish” for dinner then back to the boat moored in outside the harbour.
Had a cup of tea and just getting sorted when Jeff & Elizabeth arrived back, rather earlier than I had expected, still never mind there was sufficient fish or everyone so I cooked my Creole creation for everybody, everything was eaten so it couldn’t have been that bad. We sat up in the cockpit for dinner and stayed there over coffee and had a long chat together.
Come 2100hrs, Christine was really out of it, tired and jet lagged so off to bed we went with her moaning about the rocking and rolling, I said it would gently send her off to sleep, I don’ think she believed me! Tomorrow we leave for Marigot bay, I am taking her out to dinner at the “Rain Forest” as a belated birthday treat.

21 January 2010
Up bright and early, with mutterings from Geoff, she’s back!!! I did make the tea, but because I was on British time still it was only 6am! Oh well lovely day, and we had spent the night at anchor (my favourite pastime) rocking and rolling, with me checking our positions every hour or so, and Geoff saying we have been here five days now, and have not moved an inch, welcome back to sailing.

Jeff and Elizabeth, helped with the dinghy’s, we cleared decks, and the two boys pulled the anchor up, and we were away, once we had got everything settled, we had breakfast of toast and marmalade, with another cuppa. Even at 8am the sun was hot, I had my bathers on, but covered up after an hour, did not want to get sore on my first day. We had a lovely sail up to Marigot Bay, we have been there so many times, but it is one of my favourite places, it is so picturesque. When we arrived I took my hand splint off to find I had this lovely zebra effect instead of black and white, I was red and white up my arm, looks lovely.

We spent the day just lazing really I was determined not to start work until tomorrow, we had fresh baguettes, from the bakery, with cheese, and tomatoes, then we went swimming at the 5 star hotel across the way, with a rum punch and pine colada, decadents!! Back to the boat for showers, posh frocks, ready to go out.

We had sherry before we left, then into the dinghy to go to the Rain Forest Restaurant, we have been there once before with David, this was my treat from Geoff, my birthday, Xmas, and welcome home dinner, fantastic place, it does not look much, but the food is fantastic. I had chicken wrap, does not sound much, but it was lovely, followed by sorbet, followed by the best Angus fillet of beef, I have tasted in a long while, then to be really naughty I had rum soaked in banana. Good ambiance, good food, good wine, and excellent company, nice to be back.

Whilst having our meal, Jeff came over to say the boat was very close to next doors, and had actually touched with our davits, we told him to secure more fenders, and we would sort when we got back. The guy behind, had tightened his ropes instead of loosening them, so we asked him to slacken them again, which he did, and off to bed we went, having had a lovely day.

22 January 2010
After a long and restful sleep, we got up, Geoff and Jeff went over to get some more fresh bread, Geoff had to check on the buoy, several people came up and asked us to pay, but they kept saying we were on a Moorings Buoy, it was not the Marina’s Buoy, so Geoff went into the office to check, they said no, so we decided not to pay anyone, unless our favourite boat boy was around, he did not turn up, so we had a free night. We left Marigot, with more fond memories, and sailed up to Rodney Bay, guess what straight on the nose, that makes a change then.

Into the Marina, Geoff parked her excellently as usual, no fuss, reversed straight in, secured the ropes, sorted the dinghy’s, then I went straight up to see John from Regis, to see if we could get this chart plotter sorted, after several attempts as it was lunch time, we met him, I told him the story, and he said, they were really busy, but he would see what he could do, probably Monday or Tuesday, so we decided we would stay here until Wednesday morning. Ice creams on the way back to the boat, then I started the washing and clearing of our cabin, just a few washes, the washing machine, is working, but it is very temperamental. Geoff took the staysail down, as it was jamming, and not winding properly, so we have to look at that. We then dived under our bed to see where we could pack my cases, and clear the bunk room of some of the rubbish; we packed loads of stuff away. Jeff and Elizabeth had gone off together, so to do internet, as they want to go to Dominica for a few days. We had corned beef today, bit of a come down, after last night, but very tasty. In the evening, Geoff Elizabeth, and I played dominoes, half way through the game, Jeff said the toilet is blocked; the boys then spent the rest of the evening, trying to free it. No chance! Meanwhile I beat Elizabeth at dominoes.

Saturday 23 January 2010
Up early as it is a working day, we had porridge for breakfast, which was good to be back to some routine. I was determined to finish the washing, which was not the easiest of tasks as the electric kept going off, I think I did about five loads, that sounds a lot but it is a baby machine. Onto the ironing, I cleared everything away, washed the whole of our cabin down, as it had mildew everywhere, put the curtains up, cleared Geoff’s rubbish away, which was funny listening to him huff and puff (nothing changes), cleaned the windows, hovered, and wow, it looks like home again. One cabin down two to go, plus the lounge! Have to get it looking nice for Jane when she arrives on the 5th February, I think.

Lunch time I prepared a tuna bake, for the four of us, which we ate about 2pm in the end, we had all been so busy, we had forgotten the time.

Meanwhile, still on his knees, Geoff was still trying to clear the toilet, we tried water, everything, we finally decided that we had to remove the pipe, but could find no way of getting to it, I did not want a big hole in the back of the loo, in the end we went through the bathroom cabinet, it was a gamble which worked, at this point Jeff had returned so he helped as well, there was various noises to be heard then a eureka, they had got the old pipe out and fitted the new one, very quickly things came together after that, so about 9pm, after the boys had taken showers we had salad and cold meats, which Elizabeth had prepared, we also consumed three bottles of wine, so we were in full swing now, so Jeff went and made us all pancakes. The day finished on a high, which was good?

Sunday 24 January 2010 – Rodney Bay Marina – St.Lucia
I am still on English time, so body clock still in 6am mode to get up, we did manage to stay in bed longer, by me writing logs, and making teas. We could hear Jeff and Elizabeth up, so we finally appeared about 7.30, I made porridge for everyone, accept Geoff, he had his cereals, and we discussed how Jeff was going to get off the boat here, and meet us at Dominica, they are going off to camp in the Rain Forest in Dominica, not sure I could put up with the bugs and the mosquitoes.
After two brilliant days with the washing machine, I decided I would get Jeff’s bedding done early, no such luck, the washing machine was on a go slow again, and in fact it just would not start. Every time we switched it on, it blew the power, so I gave up in the end, and hand washed some things, and we will await tomorrow to see what happens.
After Jeff and Elizabeth left, I set too to clean the forward cabin, ready for my mate Jane, we emptied the lockers under the bed to find all the bedding, stored away some more rubbish, and had a general tidy up.
Meanwhile Geoff was emptying the rear lazarette, as when the guy came yesterday to replace our chart plotter; he also looked to see why ‘George’ was not working. I reminded Geoff that we had two, and maybe they should check the over one, which they did, and the switch was in wrong position, so he is back working again, but the engineer said our steering needed a bit of adjustment, which Geoff is now doing. Having greased everything, we decided to leave that to soak, and do our shopping.
As the time was getting on, we decided to visit the KFC, before shopping, which we did, saves me cooking, and makes a change, not as nice as normal, but the chicken was good. On to the shopping, we have bought a week’s worth, so we are now sorted until we get to Guadeloupe.
The rest of the day we did nothing, we played crib, I got thrashed, had a light supper and a bottle of wine, I took a shower and went to bed early, the mosquitoes, have been busy tonight.

26 January 2010 St.Lucia – Martinique
Up early, as we wanted to check out early with Customs, and Marina, and go to the chandlery. We had a quick breakfast then I went to pay for the Marina, well Geoff went to Customs, as usual, we are on Caribbean time, I managed to do everything quite quickly, but the Immigration officer did not arrive till nearly 8.30 am, instead of 8.00am, so by that time, we had to wait in the queue. Onto the chandlers and picked up the bits, then at last we could get away. I popped into the Regis guy to thank them for all their help, as we now have the chart plotter, and automatic steering (George) back working.
We let go, and out into Rodney Bay, and follow the coast. Thirty five miles to run, 20 knots of wind, and today it is raining!!, off and on, oh well, can’t have it good all the time. We managed to get 9 knots out of Anam Cara at times; she is certainly going better with her nice clean bottom.
We arrived at Martinique about 4pm, we both could not be bothered to go ashore, we have been here before, and decided it was too much hassle to get the dinghy out, we found a good spot for anchoring, and everything worked out well, the anchor held, just as the heavens opened again.
We had spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, which was lovely, a glass of wine, and a game of cards, which I won, then I just fell into my bunk, absolutely shattered.
Not a good night as we were both up and down all night, we could not have windows open as it was still raining, so a bit hot and sticky.

27 January 2010 Martinique – Dominica
Up at 5am, Geoff made tea, then decided to check the oil, started the engine, up anchor and away, pitch black, only the channel buoys to guide us, soon we were chugging up the coast line, with just the jib up, much to Geoff’s disgust!. The forecast was for 25 – 30 knots of wind, big waves, and sunshine. We were going well 7 – 9 knots, when suddenly no wind, everything went. Back to the engine, and then Geoff said he had forgotten to get oil, and the engine was low, so we decided to pull into the top of Martinique where we could get oil.
We arrived about 8am, tried three times to get the anchor to hold, with winds gusting 30 knots, and very deep water, it was a problem, so in the end, Geoff lowered the dinghy, got into it, whilst I circled around waiting for him to come back. When he arrived back we had to connect dinghy to boat, which was quite funny, but we managed it, up with dinghy, and we were away, by 10ish.
I steered a course whilst Geoff cleared everything up, dinghy hauled up again on the davits, by the time we left the bay, we were sailing again, with no need for the engine, but still we did not know that at the time.
We sailed up the coast of Martinique, and as we approached the tip of the island, the winds picked up, still with only half a jib, we were averaging 7 knots, so it was a lovely quick sale, but comfortable too. The winds were a constant 25 – 30 knots; it is strange because in the Solent you just do not go out in those winds. The boat felt very good, and it was very comfortable, Geoff was his normal good self, and went down below to get the teas, and cereals etc., we were going to eat our meal at anchor.
It is brilliant with the chart plotter and George working, makes life very easy, we managed to keep above the rum line, by swooping it up (Doug’s words) and we arrived at Dominica tired and shattered, and on a buoy by 4pm, so although it has been a very interesting day, the stopping for the oil, did not hinder us too much, we thought we might arrive in the dark.
When we arrived at the anchorage, the boat buoy came to meet us, and help us with the buoy, he has also convinced us to go on a trip tomorrow with him, so we will get to see a bit more of Dominica. Geoff cooked our dinner, it was left over spaghetti, salad, and for pudding we had a mango, very nice it was too.
We played one game of crib, Geoff spoilt his Gin and Tonic down his trousers, so we decided to go to bed, it was only 8pm, but we were shattered, it has been a very long day.

28 January 2010 Dominica
Awake quite early although we didn’t get up till 7.30am, what a wonderful night’s sleep, we both had a good night, and it did not rain in the night to disturb us. We had a leisurely breakfast, and then packed our bags ready for the boat boy to pick us up at 9am.
We were transported ashore, then into a cab, with another three people who were French, and also on a boat.
First stop the bank, otherwise we will not be able to pay anyone, then out onto Dominica’s roads, well I have to say, they need some attention, the roads were up and down hill, with only one lane available, the other side of the road had disappeared, they are working to repair them, but I would imagine it would take forever to repair. At one point it was like coming down a helter skelter, Geoff asked how often he had to replace his tyres, because the surfaces were really bad.
First stop, a waterfall with a difference, you had to get into this freezing pool, then swim between two very close rocks, almost dark, where it then opened up to another small lake, then another swim, where it became really hard, as you were battling against the falls itself. We all made it, although I needed some help, as it was very strong current pushing us back. Brilliant, we glided back with the help of the falls. Fascinating.
Back into the Taxi, where we went on to our next stop, the scenery is breath taking, so green and lush, with lovely different coloured trees, and bushes. Our second stop was to order lunch, before we went up to the next waterfalls.
Trafalgar Falls, not the largest, but certainly worth a visit, we climbed over rocks, and swam in some of the pools at the bottom, some of our group went up to the top, but neither Geoff or I could make that, it was hard enough struggling over the rocks we did do, we just sat and let the waterfall rush over us, it was great, and very refreshing. We did have to walk up and down loads of steps to get to this point, so we had had our exercise for the day.
For lunch we all had different, I had Tuna, with a variety of vegetables, sweet potatoes, three other veg that I had never heard of, one of them was mauve, with rice, and salad, very tasty. Geoff had goat, which was like stewed lamb, very tasty, I wish I had had that, next time I will be braver.
Our last call was at the sulphur baths, Geoff went in, but I walked up to another waterfall, so pretty, the scenery is amazing. Geoff enjoyed his wallow in the bath, and said it has cured his knees, he still seemed to be struggling up the steps, and maybe it will work later! Forever the skeptic me!!
Back through the National Park, where we saw a tree had fallen on top of a bus, in the hurricane, fortunately no one had been hurt, but the bus was only two weeks old, and had been donated to the school by the Government, sadly never to be used again.

29 January 2010 North of Dominica
Up about 8ish, had a good relaxing breakfast, grapefruit, and porridge, then we set sail. Geoff let go off the buoy, whilst I was on the helm. It was raining quite hard, which was going to be fun, but at least it is not cold. We headed out of the bay, close to the cruise ship which was tied up in the docks. As we got closer so did the police, so I waved to them, and headed out a bit more, we just wanted to be nosey. We had a trip up on the engine all the way, it was only fifteen miles but it was on the nose and not much wind either. Still it was good, we both sat on the side and pondered what to do with the boat, she is lovely, and we are both enjoying her, so we will see….
We arrived in Portsmouth Dominica, and were met by the boat buoys, there was one rowing a boat, which looked really hard up, then there was another who actually helped us with smart boat and engine, we bought Grapefruits and oranges of one, and tomatoes, and more grapefruits off the other. We probably paid more than we needed to, but sometimes when people smile at you, and are helpful, you don’t mind; besides I felt sorry for the guy in the rowing boat.
We had lunch, then Geoff went to pick up the other Jeff, they both went over to Customs and Immigration, for some weird reason Jeff had to pay 50 ECD to join the boat, and we only had to pay 15 ECD to sign in and out. (Roughly 4 dollars to £1)
I did some washing, and cleaning up, and it started raining again, still I managed to get it dry. Did some more, and I was not so lucky. When Geoff came back he was soaking wet, as they had got caught in the rain. Set up a washing line in our en-suite, so we have knickers everywhere, still it is finishing drying so don’t care what it looks like.
We had aperitifs, then cheese and biscuits, followed by Jeff’s wonderful pancakes.
Later we played dominoes, which Geoff wiped the board with us, early to bed as no one could keep their eyes open.

30 January 2010 Dominica – Les Saints Guadeloupe
Oh boy what a night, I think they had a rave up on the beach, the music did not stop all night, I tried sleeping in the saloon, then wondered around some, and eventually went back to bed. At 5.45am the alarm went off, so we were up, slipped from the buoy and heading out at 6am, what a team.
We set the chart plotter, and for a while I steered to save on battery, we got the jib out half way again, and we were off, we reached 9 knots without even trying. It is going to be lively sail, the waves are high, and it is gusting 35 knots of wind. Jeff reckoned the waves were 2metres, the swell was coming in from the starboard, and wind was approx 60 degrees off bow, so we were rocking and rolling.
At one point I decided to put my life jacket on, as I was the only one on deck, it was pouring with rain, and the waves were soaking everyone, so they went down below, to do logs, and make teas.
Having looked at our log, we had reached a high of 11.1 knots, I now hold the record for being on the helm, Geoff says it is thanks to ‘George’ really, and our average speed was 7.36, until we took the sail down, so well done Anam Cara, I have to say although the winds gusted up to 35 knots, I guess averaged out at 22 knots, I was not worried at all, she is such a steady reliable girl!!
We crossed over to Les Saints very quickly, the whole trip only took four hours, and that was trying to sort out where to anchor, it is very busy here, so we are squeezed in at the end, in a lovely spot.
We left the boat and tried to book in, but Customs is closed for the week-end, so we will have to miss that out, we had ten minutes in the internet, managed to catch up with everyone, but could not send the logs, so will do that from Antigua. We walked up the pretty street, and went to the supermarket to buy some provisions to last until we get to Antigua, then we will do a proper shop. We missed the bread shop, they had sold out, so we either have to go back at 16.00pm or go without.
We did not go back, we had a lovely swim, and checked the anchor, the first time, I have been swimming since I arrived in the sea, did the pool at Marigot, the water was lovely and I spent quite a lot of time in, I even had a go at cleaning the weed of the side of the boat.
Geoff cooked tea, we had chicken a’la Geoff, it was lovely, and white sauce with garlic, sweet corn, peppers and mushrooms, very nice is was too.
We had a game of crib, but I was so tired, I went to bed, these early morning are getting to me!

31 January 2010 – Les Saints – Guadeloupe
Up at 6am again, it is like being back at work uck!!
We slipped away quietly, having retrieved the second anchor chain, which somehow came off the rope, for some strange reason, we need the extra chain to secure us, still it works.
Out of the bay, and into the rough seas straight away, very hairy, glad we secured the dinghy on the davits, we were all over the place, still it soon sorted itself, we managed to get a small jib up again, and before long we were doing 8 knots, the seas were very choppy, and for a while it was not pleasant, but we got there, soon we rounded the Island of Guadeloupe, and the seas calmed, and we were sailing at 7 knots, brilliant time.
We did 33.6 miles at an average of 6.4 knots, before we messed around with anchoring it was 6.9 knots, so not bad for a bath tub, especially with half a jib.
After anchoring, Jeff and I went snorkeling, not many fish, but it was good to be back in the water and looking for fish again, Geoff did not come in; he did come over and pick me up after a while with the dinghy.
I had a shower, then we went into town, where it was completely dead, the only place that was open was a bar, so we stopped and had a couple of drinks, then I went for a walk around the fishing boats, took some photos, back in the dinghy and back on the boat.
We had dinner of Carbonara, which was lovely, and I am so shattered, I went to bed, tomorrow, we are up at 2am and heading at last for Antigua.

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