Ships Log – 1st to 31st March 2009

Sunday 1st March
We set off at 7am and for the first time did not have the motor running. We were averaging about 6 knots. Halfway through the passage the kicker block broke so there was nothng to hold the boom down which made the main sail flap. We rigged up a rope and pulley on the end of the boom to drag it down and tighten the mainsail and kept up our speed of 6knots under sail. By 2pm we were in Rodney Bay in St Lucia. This bay was also the end of the ARC crossing and Geoff was reliving the experience as we sailed into the Harbour.

Monday 2nd March
This was a full on clean up day. After clearing customs we headed back to the boat and spent the morning cleaning Anam Cara, laundry and generally tiding up before Christine arrives. By the afternoon we felt we could reward ourselves with a KFC, something Geoff had been craving ever since leaving Antigua. We found a good supermarket as well and restocked the boat with food. We rounded off the evening with anther episode of Sharpes Rifles on DVD.

Tuesday 3rd March
A very relaxed morning as we flipped a few more pages of our novels and gently prepared a lasagne for Christine’s return. We went ashore just after lunch and sorted out stuff such as bank accounts, and bought a new block to replace the one that broke on the kicker. Then we waited for Christine to arrive at Scuttlebutts Bar and Grill anmd flipped a few more pages of our novels. After a wewlcome back drink we headed back to Anam Cara. We had dinner on the boat as the sun went down and Christine headed to bed early while Geoff and I managed to get through another episode of Sharpe’s Rifles.

Wednesday 4th March
Christine found the scales on the boat whihc had mysteriously disappeared while she was away. We all dutifully hopped and hopped off fairly quickly in the hope that the 2kg we all put on would somehow vanish. That little activity prompted us all to swim, and we resolved yet again to start swimming every morning. After breakfast we went ashorte again to try and sort out bank accounts and try to get internet access. A very relaxed day doing a bit of ironing on the boat – yes you can tell Christine is back onboard. Lasagne for dinner and a quiet evening ahead. Another day toughing it out as crew for Anam Cara.

Today sees the end of Dave’s logs – thanks for keeping us updated Dave. We’ll miss the wit and irony which we have grown to love. Welcome back Christine!

3/3 – 4/3 Having arrived in sunny St.Lucia, and had to pay 50 pounds for a taxi to the bay, I was pleased to see two smiling faces and a large glass of wine waiting for me in Scuttlebucks, the local marina bar.

We had our drinks and went back to Anam Cara, it felt good to be back, although I did enjoy my time in England with Mum and everyone else, sorry for those I did not get too, I just run out of time.

Up early again, and took another morning swim, the fitness regime has started, Geoff and I swam four times round the boat, doesn’t sound a lot, but we were both shattered, Dave prepared breakfast, we then took dinghy over to Pigeon Island, but Dave swam there, which was very impressive, we guess it was about a mile, he said his arms were wobbly. We then had chocolate cake, carrot cake, and water, ready for our hike to the top. It is another National Park, which I have to say is very impressive, they have the old buildings which were built around 1780’s and up the top they have the cannon’s etc., which my brother in law says, our British Navy helped to put them back up there in 1960’s It was a fantastic walk, bit scary at times, because we were very near the edge, but very interesting. Photo’s to follow. Coming down was worst, because we did not use the official path, so it was very slippery, still we all made it safe and sound. We made our way back to the boat, and Geoff is now cooking dinner, Chicken Anam Cara, so we are not sure what we are getting, but I am sure it will be good. Really pleased Dave is with us, because it is encouraging Geoff to do more!!!

Chart plotter sort of works, but we keep losing the boat, so it needs a bit of fine tuning, which we will do later. We will not be going far the rest of the day, we just need to relax and enjoy. It is good to be back.
Latest pictures here

Up normal time, went for our daily swim, then onto the internet, in fact today was a chill out day. I cooked the dinner, pork chops, roast potatoes, and vegetables, it was good even if I say so. The luxury of a shower, because we were going out, plus we wanted to finish the tanks ready for top ups tomorrow. We all got dressed, and headed for the streets of Gros Ilet after a few rum punches, and wines on the patio (Cockpit). The streets were full of locals, selling there food, there was everything, from Jerk Chicken, to fish, beef burgers, rice, noodles, chips, anything you wanted. Dave and I had the fish, whilst Geoff had chicken. We met Daniel who was working for Oxfam, he was enjoying his trip, trying to educate the locals, to change from Bananas to anything the local hotels buy in from other countries, and be more self sufficient, he had also written a book on the waterways, coves, waterfalls of Britain. The music was very good, and the people were lovely, a good evening was spent.

Restless night, the seas were rough, and the street party went on till 4.0am, so this morning I am feeling very jaded. We were up early to get fuel and water , Geoff was the only one who wanted breakfast, that’s not a surprise is it. Dave and I both are suffering. We managed to get fuel at the dock, but had to go to marina for water, so we did not actually leave Rodney Bay till 12.30pm. Gosh the wind is behind us, what is happening, up with the main, then the jib, before long off with the engine, amazing, we actually did a sail, with everything working in our favour. We only had 8 miles to go, but we sailed all the way. The chart plotter is working, and it is lovely to have it back, thankyou Paul, we are very grateful. We arrived at Marigot Bay, how pretty is it here, so quiet, expensive but good, we were given a few miniature spirits, which I passed straight over to the boys, I shall stick to water tonight. Dave is cooking Chinese today, it is my time to chill out….. After Dave delicious Chinese, we cleared up, then went exploring the Hotel, wow, it is lovely. We walked all around, and found two pools, so we picked the best and plunged in, fantastic, we swam for about half an hour, it is dark now, so we had the pool to ourselves. We could not find any proper showers, so we used the pool one, which was cold, I didn’t care, I soaped up, and really enjoyed a long shower, with lots and lots of water. The boys did the same, shame it was cold, still at least we did not pay for the water!!!! Back on the boat, we enjoyed a lovely cuppa, even though it was Saturday, no alcohol passed our lips. Told you we were bad last night. Dave said that during the meal, I became more chirpy, so I was gradually returning to normality.

Good night sleep was taken by all, it was so quiet and peaceful, we were up at 8am, straight to the pool, Dave did 40 lengths, Geoff and I did 10, we reckon the pool was about 40 metres long, so not bad, we then came back and had a cooked breakfast, that was not so good, but it is Sunday, we then wondered around the little village, found a beautiful globe made of all different minerals, there was opals, mother of pearl, jade etc., the price was 5250$ so we will not be buying that, we then had coffee and cake, yes I know we are on diets!!! Then in the boat and we left the bay. We set sail straight away, with just the jib out, and managed to do in between 4 – 6 knots, very pleasant. We are now in Soufriere, and plan to stay for a few days, we are anchored with a stern line to shore, the line is wrapped around a palm tree, and we are mixed up with the fishing boats, so should be interesting. Geoff is cooking tonight, so we have corned beef hash with garlic bread, smells good. Dave went ashore and has just bumped into Daniel from Oxfam, so he is coming over later. I hope it will not be too boozy!!!!! Daniel wanted to go snorkeling, so Dave went with him, on their way back they stopped to have a rum punch, Geoff was tired so went to bed early, Dave and I talked for awhile, then we went to bed too. I slept on deck till about 2am, then went down below, up again at 4.00am the dinghy was hitting the side, so not a good night’s sleep.

Up normal time, Dave went into town, to see what was going on as regards trips, and to have a look around, I was hanging out the washing, when I realized we were too close to the boat next door, I quickly called Geoff and engine on, and we adjusted the anchor, just in time. The boat we are next too, is every so posh with their own crew, and three times bigger than us, they were putting out fenders, whilst we were adjusting. We then decided to put second anchor down, not sure if it was a good idea, because it was hard work, we struggled getting it out of locker, then to find the right ropes etc., still we got there in the end, all good practice, everything seems to be ok now. By the time we had done all this, Dave was back, and we decided to go snorkeling. We headed out of the bay, to the protected area, we all went in, but nothing much is happening. I think now they are protecting it, things will start to grow back, but it is very dead at present in places, such a shame. Dave decided to swim all the way back, which was a long way, we got back in dinghy, which was hard enough, then met him about half way, I got out again, and started swimming around, when I noticed in this big crack in the hillside was a bay cave, there were thousands of them all twittering away, I showed Dave, then we swam back ashore, and Geoff took the dinghy back to the boat, and swam out to meet us. We came back had some lunch, then went to town, could not use internet, so just went for a walk. My turn to cook dinner, so we had fish, potatoes in their jackets, with vegetables. Played crib with Geoff, in bed early as we are up at 5am to climb the Pitons. Really excited about that.

Up at 5.00am, had a cuppa tea, and my porridge, Dave had cereals, then disturb Geoff to take us over in boat, then Dave and guide went one way, and I went into a taxi with Andre, have to say I was a bit nervous in the beginning, but we had a lovely trip to the Park, where you start the climb up. I paid my 80 usd, which is roughly 25 pounds for the guide, then off we went. I think I had the gazelle of the pack, she was so fast, I had a job to keep up with her on the flat, let alone when we started the climb. It was harder work than I thought, and my poor old knees were struggling, but although I did not climb all the 2690ft, I guess I did ¾ of it, which is not bad for an old, in some places, it was straight up, then you would find yourself going down again, to get even higher. We were walking for 1hour 40 mins up, have a look at the pictures you will see the steep rocks we were climbing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. We then had a ride through the rain forest, looking at grapefruit , oranges, and lemon trees, coffee and cocoa trees. Very interesting. I swam back to the boat because I could not get Geoff’s attention, then had a cup of tea with an Iberprofen.

Dave’s view of the day……When Christine disappeared off in the taxi with three black men I was left with my guide called Marlon. No taxi for me, no sir, we walk, all the way to the Petit Piton. We walked along the Soufriere bay prior to popping up to Petit Piton. It was more than pop! Most the climb involved hanging onto dubious roots, flaky rocks and frayed in situ ropes. Were it not for my prior rock ape impressions on various cliffs around UK I think I would have stalled at the first rope ladder. Having set off at 6 we popped out on the summit at ten past eight and the views were fantastic. You could see St Lucia end to end and the sea horizon merged with the sky, which I like to attribute to the 750m height above sea level. After a few photo’s of the Grand Piton, and a fleeting thought of Christine panting up the next door piton, we were back down in 90 minutes, sweaty, smelly and with jelly legs. I followed Marlon’s BO to the Petit Piton waterfall, and we plunged into a wonderful luke warm plunge pool. The waterfall was warm from the thermal springs higher up and tapped out a wonderful massage on my back. Feeling refreshed from the waterfall we wandered down to Marlon’s friends house and had a couple of beers; well we had been up since 6! Now fully refreshed we hitched a lift with a local trucker to the Sulphur Springs, which were packed with cruise ship tourists. Lots of glooping mud, rooten eggs smell and stories of guides falling through the top skim – hence tourists are know longer allowed very close. A quick look around, and as we were leaving we bumped into a couple from Chelmsford (Peter and Linda) who had hired a car, so we got a lift to the Diamond Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens. Suddenly Marlon had three hangers on, hanging on to his every word. Again the volumes of cruise ships tourists spoiled the location, but the waterfalls were good and the colourful plants thrummed to the beat of numerous hummingbirds. Some of the little thrummers even posed for us. After that Peter and Linda were kind enough to drop us off by the boat for a cup of tea and then an internet expedition ashore. Later that afternoon Daniel, the Oxfam man, waved from the shore and it was impossible to resist a quick paddle below the Petit Piton. Then back to boat for rum punches. Another tough day as crew on the Anam Cara!!

Christine meanwhile joined Dave at the internet, then Geoff and I went for a snorkel, actually found fish this time. Then back to the boat, for our Nanny (David) to cook dinner for us, fresh Dorado, with sweet corn, and a delicate mushroom sauce which had a few bits of garlic in (A bulb) it was all excellent. I have resigned as cook, so it is up to Geoff and Dave now. I am official lazy bum!!!!

In to bed early as we are up again at 6am. Bloody Dave when is he going home, I am exhausted!!!!

Up again early this time 6am alarm call, we had an early breakfast, then away. We met Marlon on the beach, and walked to the coach station, Marlon apparently went to try and get us the best price for the rainforest. We agreed on 40 Ecd for all of us, we expressed that this would take us all the way, everyone agreed. Well we got in, and then had a white knuckle ride, it was like being on a roller coaster, we went round blind corners, and the speed was horrendous. When we arrived, we were told we had a two mile hike, Dave immediately refused, the guy said it would be a further 150 ECD to take us any further, so we agreed to differ, and he took us back to the bus depot. Another scary drive, we were glad to get out. By this time it was 8am, so we decided to dismiss the guide, and take ourselves to the waterfalls that Dave had been yesterday. We hiked up another hill, for another hour, up- hill or the way, I am sure Dave loves giving us pain!!!! We found the therapeutic pool, and went in, the water was coming straight down from the hills, and it was warm, we soaked our bones, and let the water pummel our bodies, we all felt refreshed when we finally got out. We changed our clothes, and started walking down the hill again, we had already spotted the café, so we stopped, but it was an effort for them to serve us with anything other than tea or coffee, so we settled for that. Down the hill further and into the town, we had to find where we could get fuel and water, then we found a butchers, then we found a bakery. Remembering we have been up since 6am, we decided another coffee, tea , and this time a cake, cinnamon, lovely. Back to the boat, I did some washing and ironing, whilst Dave went to the internet, he failed to talk to Jane, so we all went back later. We had an extra large lasagna and salad, then a very quiet night, before retiring early. No early morning tomorrow.

An unbelievable start to the day, Dave made us tea in bed, it was lovely to be woken by the sound of the kettle boiling, we should have known it could not last…… We had a lovely lazy breakfast, then all hands to domestic duties, Geoff was janitor, Dave was hoovering, tidying saloon, and sorting food out. Mine was washing up breakfast dishes, washing, and hanging out previous loads. Then the bomb shell hit, the marine ranger told us we had to leave our anchorage, even though we had paid for seven nights, and only stayed four. We pleaded with him, but he said the fishermen wanted to fish!!!!. Later we discovered that new people were anchoring where we were, it was just another way of getting more money. We took the first anchor up, Dave swam ashore to let go of the ropes, which was tied to a palm tree, refusing help from any local, because it would have cost us, he then started to swim back, but Geoff was shouting at me to go forward, as he was getting the second anchor up, so poor Dave changed from breast stroke to fast crawl, Geoff then said go in reverse, which I refused because I did not want a mangled Dave!!! Dave aboard, we then went to a buoy, which cost us more money for the locals. We looked around and did not like the location, we were on the poverty shoreline, if we sneezed they would have wanted money, I noticed a rope had gone under our rudder, which again we were asked if we needed help, Dave whispered some expletives, and offered to go under, although he asked sheepishly if the engine could stay off. (Where is his sense of adventure gone), We had decided we did not want to stay here, so as soon as Dave had freed us, and got on board yet again, we went to get fuel and water. Another task, we were not expecting to be so hard. All the locals got in before us, and when we eventually got in, they said we could not have any water!! By then tempers were simmering, and Geoff was arguing with a guy on the dock, I explained to the guy we were having a really bad day, and if he got us the water we would go as quickly as possible. I then set of to the Customs, and hey guess what the man had gone to lunch, I walked around the shops and picked up some chicken, and some cakes, I reckoned we needed some sugar intake. When I got back to Customs the man was back and he checked me out, I then had to go to Immigration, guess what! He had gone to lunch, be back in 1hr, I trailed back to the boat, and picked my lap top up, and went to send emails, then went to Immigration, then back to the boat again. Dave had also gone, so when he returned we let ropes go, and we were free from Soufriere, we made a cup of tea and had our buns. Everything back to normal we had a sail to Vieux Fort, we were not planning to come here, but just needed to get away from Soufriere, it was such a shame, because we loved the first few days there, but the boat boys were becoming hard work. We are in a nice little bay, near the airport, and we will explore tomorrow, so far so good, no boat boys, and no-one asking for money, let’s hope tomorrow is the same.

Woke up really early, and had lovely breakfast, no intimidation from the boat boys, everything was peaceful. Geoff and I finished doing our domestics, then we went to town. What a difference, we landed our dinghy in the fishing port, with lots of colourful boats, we walked slowly through the fish market, looked at everything that was for sell. Some really lovely guys, no pressure to buy, they told us the price, which we thought was fair, and we said we would be back later. We walked up to the main street, I saw a hairdressers so went to ask how much. 20 Ecd which is about a fiver, so I left the boys having beers, and decided to go for it. Not the best cut that I have had, but at least it feels better, we continued wondering, and found a local restaurant, so Dave and I had local food, which was Creole ribs, or chicken with rice, and some lovely sauce. Geoff went to KFC, we paid about 4 pounds each for ours, which was good, Geoff paid a lot more. Internet next, then the supermarket, then to the street ladies, we bought grapefruits, oranges, lemons, salad stuff, what a difference from the last place, lovely cheerful people, with no hassle, we will definitely come back here. On way back we bought some Mahi Mahi, which was 6 pounds for 3lbs of fish. Excellent. Back to the boat, unpack the food, then straight over for a snorkel. We saw two large star fish today, and various other kinds, of various colours and sizes. I cooked the fish, and we had salad with it, as we had had a big lunch, then Dave cooked pancakes, a very good day. Early to bed as we are up early tomorrow.

Up at 6am, I woke Dave, and we slipped anchor shortly after, up with the jib and we were away, sailing all the way, we hit the high spots of 7.3knots, the wind was behind us for a while then changed to broad reach. Lovely days sail. We arrived at 1pm, in Wallilaboy Bay, which is where they filmed ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, the locals have taken it to heart, and are out for every last penny, some of them are ok, but they definitely have some you would not trust. We have looked around, booked into the Grenadines, at a cost of 155 ECD (45 pounds) nothing is cheap here. Had a couple of drinks, Dave went for a walk about, but said there was nothing here, so we will leave first thing in the morning. Geoff is cooking tonight, we have the rest of the fish, then an early night will be taken, I am shattered. We all get very stressed when the boat boys start, because they do not know when enough is enough, but I guess it is there way of life.

Up quite early because we were on a very roly mooring, none of us were comfortable with the bay, so we decided to make an early start. We had breakfast, cleared up, then Dave swam to shore, and collected the ropes, then we lifted the anchor, and away, out into the bay, then to find no wind. So we had the engine on all the time, and arrived at Kingston. We looked at the bay, the seas were very rough, and no other yachts in site, we decided to keep going, and really pleased we did, we are now anchored in Young Island, it is a lovely place. As soon as we were settled Geoff and I went for a swim, Dave got lunch. We had poor man’s pizza, nothing wrong with that, it was warm rolls, tomatoes, cheese, and the left over from ribs. Excellant. Dave and I went for a look around and ended up at another Island called Duvernette, naturally Dave wanted to climb it, so lots and lots of steps later we reached the top. Stunning view, but no camera, I then came down on my bottom. We left there and went for a snorkel, which was lovely, it was like being in a well stocked fish tank. Brilliant. Back to the boat for home-made biscuits, and a cuppa, then later we had carbonara, a lovely day was had by all.

Happy birthday Jane, Dave had set his alarm for 3am to wish her good wishes, now that is ‘love’, bless him he is really missing her, he then got up at 7.00am and went on another of his walks, up a volcano this time. Meanwhile we had a lazy breakfast, and then went snorkelling again, it was fantastic, the fish just let us swim with them, we are starting to see more now we are coming south. Back on board we had lunch, Dave rejoined us and we went to town. When we parked the dinghy a taxi guy tried to sell us a trip, but we decided to catch the bus, well if I say it was crowded that is an understatement, it was a mini bus, and there must have been over 20 people on board, we were all jammed in like sardines, and it was another white knuckle ride, still instead of 40 Ecd we paid 4 Ecd, so we were quite pleased once we got out. we had arrived in Kingston, an industrial town very old and shabby, but in 30 minutes we had managed to get the essentials, we then went to two supermarkets, having stocked up we decided to get a taxi back, Dave agreed a price, so both ways was cheaper than the first quote. We are getting the hang of it now. Back on board we unloaded all the goodies, which we have purchased to save us buying in places like Mustique, which we are guessing will be expensive. We then went ashore and had dinner out, it was really good, it cost about 100 pounds for the three of us, but we had plenty of drink and 3 courses, which were excellant.

What a beautiful place, Paradise Hotel one side, which had taken over Young Island, and St.Vincent the other side, with ideal snorkelling, and very friendly people, it seems when there is work for the locals, us yachties get an easier time, we certainly have not had any hassle here, and would recommend it. We let go of the buoy, and headed south to Bequia, only the jib up, and managed 7 knots, averaged about 6knots, so no need for more sail. I made some bread on route, which was a success, best yet. We bought some local flour, and it seemed to be lighter than the packets. On arrival we had the customary boat buoy, which helped us find a buoy, another lovely place. Dave swam ashore and looked around, whilst I did lunch as I am on mother watch today. We have changed things around a bit, so we each take a turn in domestics for a day. After lunch we all went ashore, and walked the town, very pretty, and in parts very poor. Later we had traditional roast dinner, with all the trimmings.

Dave and I swam ashore, whilst Geoff got breakfast etc., I was very excited because I spotted a Gurnard, he was really big. We had our breakfast, and then went to the local Fort, which of course was up another hill. Spectacular views from the top, so it was, well worth the walk. We came back down, and straight into the Gingerbread coffee shop, for tea and Cinnamon buns, at least we had had a walk. Back to the dinghy, where Geoff did a spectacular roll off the dinghy, with the shopping in his hand, sunk to the bottom, fully dressed, but he was ok. Back for lunch on board, then Dave and I walked to Friendship Bay, up and down hill for about 2 miles. We then went for a snorkel, in eighteen inches of water, it was very difficult, my boobs kept getting in the way of the coral, but we did spot a lobster. We then decided to try another part, and that was just breath-taking, we went on the edge of the coral reef, it dropped sometimes to about 4 – 5 meters, we spotted parrot fish, Sergeant Major fish, Angel fish, and others we just can’t name. Definitely coming back here again. Home for dinner, then we played scrabble, although Dave beat us, we are getting better.

Up early as we had decided to move on, we are now leaving Bequia, and if the wind is kind we are going to Union Island, after breakfast we set sail, we were plodding on quite nicely, and had decided to go the full way, when I spotted a dolphin, I shouted to everyone to look, and there on our port beam, we had about thirty of them, swimming with us, in the middle to my surprise and horror, we spotted a whale, I have to say my initial reaction was fear, I changed course, but soon they had all left us, whale and all. Glad everyone saw it, as no one would have believed me! It was a fantastic sight, and one I shall remember in my rocking chair!!! Later we saw a turtle, just chugging along by the side of us. We eventually pulled into Chatham Bay, where we anchored safely, Dave was on mother-watch so we did not have many teas and coffees on trip as he was feeling decidedly sea sick, he went on the helm, and was soon feeling better. Dave went off snorkelling, and we just chilled on boat. That evening we had a roti, made by Dave, which is the traditional dish out here, they were lovely, we also had some bread fruit, which Geoff had bought the previous day. Not sure I like the texture of that. The wind was gusty in the bay, so I went to bed with a sleeping tablet, slept like a tot.

We were all up early, and it was my time for mother watch, I suggested that the boat needed a good clean down, so Dave did the underneath, Geoff did the deck, and I did the interior, looks good, although there was a few moans. I made two loaves of bread, then we had warm bread for lunch, turned out ok. In the afternoon we went for a look around, we went to the shore to see what was about, a few buildings have been started, but not finished, we had a snorkel, on the south side, then went to the north side. No comparison, the north was absolutely brilliant, we saw hound fish, conger eel, turtle, squirrel fish, blue tangs, angel fish, tuna, etc, it was amazing, best snorkel yet. Swam back to the boat, we had tuna salad for dinner, a few games of dominoes, then Dave and I played scrabble. Another roly night, must move tomorrow. Phone rang at 4.30am, poor Jane has a sick Dodger, he has had another stroke.

Oh boy what a night, rock n rolling all night, the winds were high, and we were swinging, so much so the secondry chain was twisted on the main anchor chain. We had some breakfast, then Dave spent sometime sorting the anchor out, before we could get away. We motored round to Clifton Bay, Union Island. which we were not sure about as the pilot book said not a very good spot, we decided to look in, and so glad we did, it was lovely, we bartered with the boat boy, and he found us a nice buoy close to the shore. After lunch we went into town, got some provisions, then had a couple of rum punches whilst using the internet at the local bar. We decided to eat out tonight, so back on board, the boys had a shave, whilst I changed into my new dress, bought for me for Mother’s day, fits a treat, so thank you Anna and Andrew. We went into the Anchorage Yacht Club, and waited for service, we then were told the chef had done a runner, but food would be out shortly. We were about to go, when appetizer’s came out, shortly followed by starters, Geoff had Lobster, I had Snapper, and Dave had Chicken. A good evening was had by all.

Good nights sleep was had by all, we were supposed to be leaving early, but somehow, could not stir ourselves. I was up at 7am, and made the tea, Dave did the breakfast, then we were away, navigating is interesting, and there are reefs everywhere, but eventually we arrived at Tobago Cays, and wow, the seas are turquoise, and clear, we picked up a mooring, and sorted ourselves out. Dave and I went snorkelling, another marathon, he said just swim ashore, we ended up circumnavigating, Jamesby Island, he even climbed to the top, whilst I rested, before we swam back to the boat. We spoke to numerous boat boys, and I have ordered Normzie’s t/shirt, then the park ranger came for our money, and told us where we could swim with the turtles. Apparently they have built a safety area for the turtles, so you can swim with them, but no dinghy’s are allowed in that area. After lunch we did just that, it was amazing, the turtles were grazing on the sea-bed, then they would swim up for air, right next to us, it was fantastic, we also saw some stingrays, palometo, and many many more. Back to the boat for showers, and dinner, Dave is cooking tonight, a game of something later, and an early night ready for more adventures tomorrow.

Up early, Geoff made the tea at 7am, what is happening here!!!! Mind you, we did go to bed quite early. I am on Mother Watch, so I got the breakfast, cleaned up etc., Dave went for a snorkel, and Geoff fixed the sea-water shower back up, as we are in the back of beyond, with no hope of fresh water, we thought we could at least have long showers, then rinse quickly with a little bit of fresh water. We also have no generator, it packed up last week, taking with it, mine and Dave’s computer, we are not sure what else, hopefully not everything that is electrical has blown, and apparently the generator had a surge of volts. We are managing quite well with just the boats engine, and the wind generator, so we are leaving it till next season. I decided to make some more bread, and try my hand at the Muffin recipe Jill had, they did not turn out too bad considering I have no means of weighing out the flour etc., For lunch I did bacon sandwiches, with warm bread, so that finished one loaf off.

After lunch we went snorkelling, we went over to one of the islands, bought two t/shirts, as the man never turned up with them this morning, then went back to see the turtles. Did not see so many today, but I think that was because there were more people there, we have loads swimming past our boat all the time. I tried another spot, and saw two big stingrays, so I quickly turned and made my escape, only to see three huge turtles feeding on the sea-bed, apart from a gurnard, did not see anything else. This place is just so idyllic, peaceful, friendly, and just oh so pretty, with water lapping over the reefs, with white sand and turquoise seas, absolutely fabulous. We have lasagne for dinner, and then we will probably play scrabble.

Up at 7am, made the tea, then we had a quick breakfast, started the engine and away, we were going to Petit Tabac today, just the other side of Horseshoe Reef, but to get there you have to go right around the outsides of the reef, then across. We arrived quite quickly, then anchored, had a cuppa, then into the dinghy to do some exploring. The island is very small, and we decided to go outside of the reef, so we could snorkel in deeper waters, we saw lots of fish all darting in different directions, fascinating. We then walked around the Island, which was ok for Geoff, he was the only one with shoes on, still it was ok, once we were away from the coral, and back on sand. Had lunch on board, then set of back to another part of the Cays, just as pretty, we could anchor here, so we did. Dave and I swam ashore, and Geoff bought the dinghy over, Dave even swam back, but after wallowing in the water, and watching all the people around, we came back on board. Geoff made a cuppa, and we had muffins and tea, then we settled down to some serious reading. It will be an early night tonight, I am shattered. This is the most beautiful place I have been too, and hopefully now they have made it into a national park, the coral and the fish will be protected.

Well I am sorry to be leaving the Cays, but I have a feeling we will be back, I just hope they can keep all the big cruise ships out, and change the way they have the dinghy park for the turtles, otherwise there will be nothing to see in time. We have now moved to Mayreau, to a bay call Salt Whistle, not sure why, but I am sure there is a reason. We went ashore, and followed the road up, and up and up, Geoff left us half way, saying he was going to the bar. Dave and I continued up, and it was fascinating, we came to a cemetery, where the oldest inhabitant was 113 years, and the average age we thought was about 90, so it must be a healthy place to live. We got to the top, where the church and the school were, it was sports day, and they were playing cricket, it was lovely to see. I was amazed at how many children were there, considering, there was only 200 inhabitants, I guess they have no tv. The view from the top is fabulous, you could see all over Tobago Cays, Union Island, Grenada, Canouan, glad I made the effort. We made our way down and headed for the bar, there was a five star hotel, hidden in the palm trees, it was very tastefully done. We had some lunch, then I swam back to the boat, and the others followed later. We had a game of dominoes, then early to bed. Just as well, because it was a horrible night, the seas were rolling, and the wind was blowing, Geoff was up at 6.30am making the tea.

We had a terrible nights sleep in Mayreau so we were up early and away, we were heading for Canounan, which is away from Tobago Cays, it was so sad to leave the Islands behind, because they were beautiful. We had a slow motor towards Canounan, took a buoy, then had to move because it was the wrong one. We decided to go into town to get some provisions, which we did, we were a bit disappointed with the town, it was so shabby, they are apparently going to make it good for the rich and famous, at present, it was very sad, although lots of building work going on. We got the shopping, piled back into the dinghy, hit the sea, and a huge wave, filled the dinghy, we were all soaking wet, as well as the food, and sadly my camera. We had to go back on the beach drain the boat down, and start again, this time, we elected that Geoff go on his own, Dave would hold the boat, and I would watch from the shore, sounded a good plan to me. Dave managed to get Geoff going, and we then had to head for a pontoon, which was at the back of some houses, we went into someones garden, and through to a Hotel, and hoped onto the dinghy quickly. Dave swam back to the boat. We dried ourselves off, had some dinner, and went to bed early. To say we had a bad night the day before, was an understatement, compared to this night, we spent the night, wallawing in huge waves, and wondering if the buoy would hold us, which of course it did.

Another early morning, I was determined to leave here, but the forecast was 20 – 30 knots of wind, and 13 foot waves, but I would have been staying in the local hotel if we had stayed. Dave let the buoy of and we quickly set sail, all on the nose of course, but I was glad to be away from there. Another boat when leaving his buoy, had all his sails up, and collided into the boat in front of him, the winds were very very strong. The sail was to be to Mustique but one look at the wind we decided on Becquia, it was quite exhilerating, we had the staysail, and part of the jib up, we were doing nearly 7 knots, and it was close haul, so not bad. The last two hours were bad, we had 30 knots of wind on the nose, as we were trying to get into the bay, we made it eventually, and decided to leave everything and run ashore, because we knew where we could get chocolate cake and teas, we then went for a couple of beers, and then back to the boat for dinner, and catch up on sleep time.

What an excellent nights sleep, it was fabulous, we all slept so well, no one could believe their luck. We were back to having tea at 8am, almost civilised!!

We had breakfast, and we all wanted to do nothing in particular, Geoff went to look at a Catamaran, it only cost 1 million, so we will not be buying that. Dave and I did some washing, and domestic duties. We then decided to change buoys, so we could get the internet on the boat, I very quickly wished we had not. Although this harbour is very sheltered, it is still blowing hard, we left our buoy, and went further in, which is normally easy, but we have shallows in this bay, as well as a lot of wind, we got a buoy, but sadly Dave dropped it, I then went to turn, and got our rudder caught in someone’s anchor, their boat rushed towards us. (here we go again!!!) fenders out, we were trapped, fortunately people from other boats came to help us, we had an ‘Oyster’ behind us (1 million pounds) and other boats all around with the wind not helping. Dave to the rescue, he worked out a plan, which we all followed, he was in the water, trying to free the anchor, which fortunately he did, another guy was on the ‘Oyster’ so our insurance company was safe, and we were free again, we hailed a boat boy, who then helped us get on a different buoy. Oh what fun we have!!!! We then had a cuppa. Dave and I went ashore to sort the internet out, I ended up getting our money back because the system was so slow, and we ended up at the gingerbread place, paid for their internet, and of course had to have another cake. Sent all our emails, caught the log up to date, then back to the boat, we fiddled around with the dinghy because we had a fuel leak, we cleaned that out, so now we are waiting for our dinner, Dave is chef today, and we are having one of his curries, so that will be good.

Good night sleep, then Geoff rushed ashore to collect gas bottle by 9am, then the boat boys sold us some banana bread, and ordinary, saves me cooking today. Then we had breakfast, a lot of stodge!!!! still it was good. Dave and I walked to Friendship Bay, Geoff said he could not be bothered with the hills, and a taxi was 40$. We went snorkelling, sadly it was not as good as last time, I think the weather has frightened all the fish away, but the coral reef itself was amazing. Glad we did it because we were still full up, when we got back at 2pm, so no lunch today. We had a cuppa at gingerbread, but resisted all their lovely cakes. We did our internet jobs, then back to the boat, Dave cooked dinner, which was good, seeing as though it was my turn. Started watching Ocean’s 11, the original one, I got so bored I went to bed, and david now understands why they remade it.!!

Today we did not seem to want to get up, I made tea, and we decided to move the boat, geoff was still in bed, mind you he soon stirred with the engine going. Dave let go of the bouy and we left Bequia, a pretty little place, with a fantastic cake shop, everyone seemed friendly, but time to move on. Out of the bay, and heading for St.Vincent, guess what, on the nose again, which is quite remarkable really, we had the jib out, and the staysail, but soon just the staysail, not make any progress. Then the rains came, and oh boy did it rain, Dave and I got soaked to the skin, we only had 8 miles to go fortunately, at one point, we could not see anything, the mist was too thick. Then we had sunshine, and then we had more rain. We finally got here, hooked up to a bouy, then went to inspect the inside of a five star hotel. We arrived at the jetty, to be met by the security guard, he escorted us to the bar, and told us we were not allowed to walk around the grounds, or around the island. The place was lovely, but no atmosphere. Back to boat for lunch, could not afford it there, then we went exploring, we found a sunsail marina, which is very hard to get too, then walked into town, well if you can call it that, there was nothing there except a few little places on the side of the road. Back to the dinghy, back to the boat, waiting for dinner, prepared by Geoff.

We are off too Kingston Town, St.Vincent today, to book out of the Grenadines, hopefully they will give us 48 hours to do so, as we have one little call to make on route to St.Lucia, which we will be doing tomorrow. Although we had several offers of a taxi 40$, we decided to get the bus for 4$, last time we did it we were scared witless, this time it was quite gentile, we booked out first, then onto immigration, booked out with them, and then we walked around the town. It is a very industrial place, with fish and vegetable markets, which were superb, we bought some fresh fish (Mari Mari) which looks brilliant about £5 it cost us, for three of the biggest steaks, he cut it straight from the fish, fantastic. We found a place for lunch, we had huge helpings, and that cost £12 for the three of us, so it was bargain day today. We did he supermarket, then onto the bus again, but not before it poured with rain again, we managed to hide in the bus shelter. Dave ran off in another direction, because we did not have any butter, and could not find a shop which sold it, eventually he came back sucessful. Back on the bus, and home, we had a cuppa, then we all went for a swim, Dave and I did another snorkel, which was very good again. We all got nipped by jelly fish, but no real damage to any of us. Back on board, showers, then tea, and I suspect an early night, we are pretty tired. It wears you out all this exercise!!!!

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