Been an interesting time of late, with a charter cat catching our anchor chain as it motored past in broad daylight. Then the ARC Finish Line mooring dragged with Ko-Ko attached, needing the marina to sort out more weight for the ground tackle and a new strop. Rob broke an infected tooth whilst out for a meal next, the tooth which has been causing him some pain. I let him have a week’s course of anti-biotics from the ship’s medical bag a fortnight ago, just to stop him wanting sympathy and this worked for a while but a crusty pie forced the issue in the end!

Calmer Day on Finish Line Duty

We were very lucky not to sustain any damage when the charter boat ran into our chain. Just back on board and inside sorting out the evening meal, we suddenly felt the boat move violently and thought a motorboat had just gone by too fast and hit us with a huge wash. We rushed outside, ready to berate them and as we did the boat lurched sideways and forwards and we saw a huge catamaran inches from our bow, attached to our anchor chain. I yelled at them ‘What are you doing!!!, followed by ‘Stop’!! They were French, apparently unable to understand us but I thought my tone would have given it away, just a tad. I then recalled some non-syllabus school French to explain my thoughts ☺

Tranquil Rodney Bay Anchorage at Sunrise

They had sustained damage to their bow but we had none by some miracle. Our rather sharp steel bow roller scratched their gelcoat but we inspected our bow and couldn’t see anything wrong, even after snorkelling under the boat the next morning. Our neighbouring cruisers were wonderful, witnessing the whole episode and Rick on Island Time came over to hold onto their boat whilst we finally got their boat papers and passport information. They were reluctant and just a group of youngsters out for a party, so the whole thing probably spoilt their evening. As they left us they nearly hit another boat and the owner had to fend them off with a boathook. If we see any damage when we next haul out, we will discuss it further with the charter firm in Martinique. It could have been a disaster ☹

Accidents happen to all of us, gusts of wind catch us unawares but to needlessly motor at speed within inches of another boat’s bow is just reckless and stupid. We emailed the charter company to suggest they check the keels of the boat before it next goes out, in case our chain caused it damage and they replied in a friendly manner.

The next little incident involved Ko-Ko, another ARC Finish Line boat just after they picked up the mooring from us on Wednesday. We had been out in 33 knots of wind but the mooring held us. Ko-Ko is considerably bigger than Beyzano and weighs twice as much and in no time they were dragging out of the bay and had to anchor instead. The marina fixed it the next day and the problem hasn’t recurred thankfully. We were on line duty yesterday and the weather was much kinder, except for some rolling in the light winds. Not only were there 3 of us on board but we only had a third of the number of arrivals we had the first time, so not as manic either.

Then next issue was that the toothache Rob has been experiencing developed into a broken tooth, needing the removal of the entire tooth as it had ‘had it’. However, the surprise was the cost of treatment here. 53 GBP for the hour long appointment, anti-biotics for the infection and the painkillers. The dentist was trained in Bristol! Our UK dentist did recommend we discontinued the monthly dental plan we had had for years and he was right. It would have covered emergencies worldwide but if the cost is this low in the Caribbean, it is far cheaper to pay locally when necessary than continue the monthly payments.

Geoff & Ann from 'Nyda'

A much nicer event was meeting up with Jack again, at the ARC Cocktail Party on Wednesday, a lovely surprise. Jack was with us for a month in January, sailing from St Lucia to the British Virgin Islands and had sailed over again on Lancelot II. He is doing the ARC again next year, so we hope to see him again then. Another great evening was in the Jambe de Bois, on Pigeon Island, where a large group of us gathered to say goodbye to Fi and Don as they have done the unthinkable and sold their boat! Hopefully it won’t be too long until they have found the next one and are back here.

Another Evening at the Jambe de Bois!

Peter is with us until January and it is good to have some extra crew to assist with berthing in the marina and emptying the rum bottle! He brought 3 toga outfits for the costume party next week, much better than any old sheet we would have tied together. Geoff and Ann on Nyda return home on Sunday but it has been good to catch up with them again too. You certainly make long term friends on the ARC.

The wind has dropped considerably meaning the fleet are slowing down as they approach St Lucia. We may still get to welcome in Peregrine, depending on their progress over the next couple of days and talked to Rafiki, another 473, this morning. They came in just after our watch but we stayed anchored near the line to see them. Some boats now have an ETA of after Christmas, which is a shame. As the line closes on Friday at 0800 local time, I wonder if they will still get their rum punches and steel band on arrival – guess not.

Beyzano is now decorated for Christmas again, with even more solar powered blue lights all around the decks. She isn’t hard to find when we get back at night in the dinghy! Rob has suffered my enthusiasm for Christmas for many years and knows that once he hears Mariah Carey on the CD singing ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and I am dancing around the boat whilst putting out the candles and ornaments, then Christmas has started ☺

We have met some lovely couples recently, people we would really like to spend more time with in the future. Fortunately they are here long term, not returning home very often so we will be able to meet up again. Christmas Day has been booked at the rather exclusive Landings Resort just opposite where we are anchored. Brunch at the beautiful beach restaurant, with a swim afterwards in the pool or sea will be the way we spend Christmas this year!

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