The cruising community is sociable and sailors love to talk, mostly about boats. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is always well meant and negative stories about the exploits or misfortunes of other sailors are only repeated as a learning experience! We have learnt a lot from listening to these lessons.
Avoiding theft and accidents are our main concerns and current information on numerous break-ins at Port Elizabeth on Bequia may change our plans. Another interesting tale was regarding an ARC boat, with the owner aboard but having paid a professional skipper and crew to run the boat. Sadly, the crew pushed the boat far too hard, flying home from St Lucia leaving the owner with 100,000 GBP worth of damage, including a split carbon fibre mast, set of torn sails and broken poles.
We also heard the story behind the anchored ship in the bay. Apparently it was sailed from France by a woman and man with a dog. On arriving here, another man turned up (could have been a boyfriend or husband of the woman) and one of the men died. The other ended up in jail here, the woman fled but the dog was left on the ship and has been for over a year. The government decided to fund the dog’s food and someone to visit each day. The jailed man is due out soon, so hopefully the dog will soon get off his floating prison too.
At the dinghy dock we met a man pumping up his dinghy. It had been stolen, the outboard removed and the rubber slashed 12 times in an effort to sink it. He had tried to repair it but it wasn’t going well.
On Thursday night we hosted Nemo and Badger’s Sett for a BBQ, using both our Cobb and Magma grills. Chicken cooks beautifully in the Cobb, staying moist and Rob did a brilliant job. Shame he’s got the cleaning job next!
I had a wonderful couple of hours at the spa, a relaxing back massage, facial and manicure on New Year’s Eve. The treatments are far cheaper than in the UK and the lady who owns it originally came from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK and trains local people here to internationally recognized level, having introduced the relevant certification. I rarely wear make-up these days, so it was nice to be pampered for a while 🙂 Also had about 4 inches chopped off my hair, which seems to grow quickly in the sunshine!
The weather has finally calmed down and several boats left to go north this morning. We will go tomorrow, as our friends on Blue Moon returned from the UK yesterday and we wanted to catch up with them before we moved on and head for Martinique. A northerly swell is expected tomorrow making St Pierre, at the NW tip of the island will be untenable, so we will go into Marin or Fort de France, the capital. Wine, beer and cheese stock up planned. Before that, we need to do the washing, fill the outboard fuel can, clear out and stow breakables away on the boat. Just as we were getting so settled too! Only problem could be that the anchor is so well dug in after all the strong gusts, that we can’t get it out again.
Nemo left at dawn today and we had a lovely evening last night at the Jambe de Bois, yet again, to say farewell. They have been wonderful company for the last few weeks and we will listen out for them on the ‘Coconut Telegraph’, the SSB net people use to give their location and plans, in the hope that we can meet up again soon.