Disappearing fast at the moment. May is always a bad month with the boat insurance renewal due, boatyard deposits to pay for, paint to order and work to organise for haul out.
Our insurance is fully comprehensive and goes up annually. We paid 2580 GBP this month to cover us visiting Guyana and being ashore in Trinidad during hurricane season. Our excess in a Named Windstorm is 7000 GBP. There are ways to reduce the premium, such as taking a much higher excess, or storing the boat for 6 months in a welded cradle but we like to stay sailing instead. It is a lot of money though and no wonder many boats are uninsured.
We had a couple of new breakages to sort out whilst in St Lucia and paid to be in the marina to facilitate repairs. It costs 20 GBP per day not including electricity and water to stay in the marina but it makes life a lot easier.
Our power supply of 240v when running the generator stopped working a few days ago and when we plugged into the mains in the marina, it still didn’t work. Rob guessed it could be the battery charger, a costly bit of kit to replace but that all seemed OK. We had to get Vincent from Regis Electronics in and fortunately it was the element in the hot water tank and we already had a new spare for that. The labour charge was only 17 GBP for the half hour he took to find the problem.
Then we switched the freezer back on and it wouldn’t run. We had it re-gassed last August but this time it was the regulator box. Being in the marina, the water is warmer and the keel cooling doesn’t work as well, so we had to have more gas put in and run the fan to cool it too but it is working again so the food shop is on for tomorrow morning. Prudent fixed it and warned us not to switch the freezer off and straight back on again, as we need to leave it at least 10 minutes, so thats a new one to us.
Despite Rob’s recently dislocated arm, I winched him up to the top of the mast so he could replace our rather dim mooring light for a brighter one. Being anchored so often, it is essential we are seen by other boats who may have to enter the bays at night.
We had the laundry done by Sparkle but that is still 9 GBP per load and in Martinique they wanted 15 Euros a load. Perhaps it would have been more cost effective to have installed a small washing machine years ago, as many use just a little water and there is always plenty of sunshine and breeze to dry it all. Some cruisers have twin tubs, others small barrels they hand churn but a big plastic box is used too.
Sadly, we have been following the news on Cheeki Rafiki, a boat which did the ARC with us in 2011 and one we have seen around the Caribbean since. We last saw her in Antigua last month and she left on the same day as other friends on Nyda. Fortunately, Nyda were going to the Azores before the UK and are safe and sound but we have been very sad to learn that the 4 sailors on Cheeki Rafiki have not been found.
Co-incidentally, we had our liferaft serviced for around 650 GBP whilst here. They inflated the raft, replaced the flares, medical kit, torch batteries and gas inflation bottle and the next service will be due in 2016. We saw it serviced in 2009 and it was something you want to see works but then hope you never have to see again.
We have met a few friends this week. Vision, Marie on Mai Tai, Monica and Phil on Miss Molly and Adam on Nomad. An impromptu pizza night at Elena’s was great fun and the Happy Hours at all the marina bars are still brilliant value. A G&T and a rum sour cocktail for 3.55 GBP.
Beyzano is clean, we are fully provisioned again and have full water tanks. Tomorrow we clear out of St Lucia, exit the cut through which we arrived in the Caribbean on December 10 2011, anchor in the bay and will leave at 0200 on Sunday to sail to Bequia. Hoping the northern tip of St Vincent is not too rough this time. Leaving St Lucia is a sad occasion for us as we have visited so often. It was here, in 2006 that we first saw a group of liveaboard boats anchored near Pigeon Island and thought, this would be an amazing life. So it turned out to be 🙂