We have submitted our hurricane plans to our insurer and the details of what we intend to do are under the Cruising Information section. First priority is to avoid them but if we are safer staying in a hurricane hole rather than setting sail, then we will ensure the boat is as secure as possible and get to a land based shelter. Once we get to each island going south, we will investigate suitable bays and marinas just in case and from June 1st weather watching will be a twice daily task, using the NOAA hurricane centre website and zyGrib downloads, SSB nets and VHF Ch 16.
Life in Rodney Bay is very relaxed and I have settled back into boat mode again very quickly. It is definitely hotter than earlier in the year and there is an extra hour or so of daylight each end of the day but nothing as noticeable as in the UK where everyone was remarking on how ‘the evenings are much lighter’.
Rob and I went to the shopping mall to 1 of the 2 supermarkets and stocked up on food, a much faster trip over with the new outboard. There was plenty of everything we needed, including fresh milk, butter, cheddar cheese and even a delicious blue cheese and pear spreadable cheese, which was perfect for canapés. Couldn’t get any lemons or limes so when the floating greengrocer motored past, Rob checked with him as well but he had to ‘find some’ and brought a dozen the next day.
One evening we invited another British couple from the neighbouring boat over for drinks and swopped sailing stories. They crossed the Atlantic a few weeks after us, having a dreadful trip with average wind speeds of nearly 30 knots for almost the entire 3 weeks and frequently around 40 knots. They ran under bare poles for 3 days and still made 4 knots. Often the swells were 5 metres, sometimes 7!
The cafes and restaurants are still open along the boardwalk at the marina and the cheaper prices encourage you to spend a lot of time drinking iced coffee and using the Wi-Fi. Before we leave St Lucia we plan to dinghy to a waterside restaurant in the lagoon, which has had good reports. It is easy to feel so at home here that you just end up staying longer than planned and we hope to return in December to welcome this year’s ARC if they need volunteers for the finish line. We had such a great welcome ourselves last year that we feel we should reciprocate.
We found the other camera, which Rob used to take some extra photos of the beach BBQ at Ile Fourchue and had to smile at the one where the shirt seems to be ablaze!
Finally, I ought to mention the scourge of many cruising boats, cockroaches. In Las Palmas we saw huge beasts, mostly squashed on the pavements around the marina but so far we have been very lucky. Once they start breeding on the boat, the problem can become totally miserable needing severe treatment such as a ‘roach bomb’ which needs setting off in an almost empty boat and then again 6 weeks later. Not an easy solution when you live aboard. We thought we saw 1 on Beyzano last year and quickly exterminated it but haven’t seen any others. We make sure we leave our shoes on the pontoon and keep any other shoes in a lidded plastic box. We have several traps or ‘roach houses’ as they are commonly called, scattered around the bilges and dark corners. The purchase of a tube of sticky cockroach killer which we applied to the shore lines and around the cabin door may also have helped. It is hard to tell if the deterrents work or if they just haven’t been put to the test but for now we can say we haven’t had a problem. When we haul out we will plaster the props and tie downs with the sticky gel and hope for the best! One thing to be wary of is stamping on them as they carry their eggs on their backs and you quickly spread them around if you kill them that way.