As we are still being subjected to the windy weather and resulting big seas, most of us are staying put!
This has its advantages and issues. We dived on our anchor chain and hull this week, spending a good hour brushing off a light growth of weed, a few barnacles and a forest off the prop. Our chain had loads of growth and nearly a barnacle on each link, so I went up ahead of Rob, brushing each link with a wire brush, whilst he used a screwdriver (note NOT my best kitchen knife!!) pushing it through each link. Being anchored in the same place since November 22 certainly gives the marine creatures time to settle in too. We also ended up with lots of little shrimp like things in all the crevices of our dive gear and this took several washes to get them out. When they dried and stuck to the Velcro it smelt like a fish farm. Afterwards I suddenly remembered Vision, who has dreadlocks, telling me he had to cut all his hair off once due to little shrimps getting stuck in it :-(. So far I can’t smell anything!
The great advantage of staying around a while is the social life. It is so easy to meet people on the shopping trips and at the numerous social events. Being here so long we have got to know some great people and had dinner on Beyzano for 9 of us one Saturday, with guests from Shamal, Ile Jeudi, Nanook and Misty. I spent all day cooking a few curry dishes and a banoffee pie and it turned out to be one of the best evenings we have had onboard, with a lot of laughter and a good mix of personalities. We all made it past cruisers midnight too! Our friends, Howard and Wendy had a tough trip from Trinidad on Blue Moon but it has been lovely to catch up with them again and our paths should cross a few more times this season. Life here is as busy as ever, with pizza night, another dinghy concert, dominoes, shopping, the jazz evening in town and massage class. If we get 1 night on the boat in a week we are lucky. Rob put a call out on the cruisers net for help with dancing and 8 of us have been gathering to learn the waltz and swing. Great fun! Karen on Misty is showing us the moves and we can’t thank her enough. Rob reciprocated by fixing an issue with her dinghy.
The jazz was even better this month with several new performers and a little girl, the daughter of the trumpet player, getting up to dance and being encouraged to play the drums. She couldn’t have been more than 18 months old.
Tonight we are visiting Taffys for fish and chips with Robyn and Barry from Smart Move and yes, the restaurant owners are welsh and have 2 big welsh flags outside their bar in Woburn, Clarkes Court Bay. Early one morning we heard shouts of ‘Swansea’ and I went out to see a yacht motoring close by with the skipper telling me he was from Mumbles. Rob just dryly said ‘see what trouble your welsh connections get us into’ but Beyzano is registered as being from Swansea, I can’t help that :-). Tomorrow we are on Ile Jeudi for a meal, dominoes all afternoon Sunday followed by a practice dance session and another on Monday. Our friends, Dennis and Paula fly in from the UK on Wednesday so we had better stop gallivanting and get their cabin ready soon. A big food shop and cooking session on Tuesday will take another day out but later today I expect a delivery of meat, all vacuum packed and frozen, from Whisper Cove Marian’s butcher. I also found frozen smoked bacon from the UK at the IGA supermarket!
Now for politics. We tend not to get involved but often the islanders themselves love to tell you about the goings on, especially the taxi drivers. Nothing changes! We can’t verify any of this but in Curaçao we were told that there is a big movement to send the ‘Dutch’ home and the party which last got in, campaigned on the promise to do that. In fact they are calling for them to go home or be killed!! We were also told that many Dutch don’t see much use to having the ABC islands and would gladly sell them on eBay! As all the islands have been invaded many times, I wonder who thinks they are the rightful inhabitants and certainly there are barely any traces left of the earliest settlers, the Caribs, as they were either slaughtered or jumped to their deaths at places such as ‘Carib’s Leap’. In Trinidad and St Lucia the drivers complained that the roads, including important ones to the airport, are only fixed just before election time, so if a storm damages the road just after an election, they have a long wait. Other issues centre on crime. Usually a perpetrator is well known to the victim, even caught on camera as in 1 case but the local police don’t do much to help and in Trinidad they allege that certain big families run the country and you don’t mess with them. Social problems were hilighted in poetry read at the jazz night. The girls told of rape, incest and the hard life of a mother and a young man spoke of the poor attitude of men towards women and their equally dim view of men, swearing he was different. It was very powerful poetry, spoken from the heart.