All By Herself & Summary Of Our Fourth Caribbean Season

With a heavy heart we are leaving Beyzano tomorrow.  Getting her ready took a few days but leaving her in the water means a lot less work than usual.  Working in the cooler, drier climate doesn’t zap the energy levels as badly as being in Trinidad, so we completed lots of tasks and were able to work throughout the day.  We don’t even need air-con!

Neat And Tidy For 3 Months

During the last 3 days we got all the salt off the hull using neat white vinegar.  Usually we dilute it but the salt was so thick and encrusted this time that we had to leave the vinegar to soak in before rinsing with fresh water.  Then we used a wash and wax mixture to bring up the shine and Beyzy looked lovely again.  At least she won’t be getting splashed for 3 months.  We also topped up the diesel tank we drew from when we did our last passage, cleaned the boat inside and out, put down some cockroach traps, despite not having had an infestation out here and defrosted the fridge and freezer.  Lots of other little jobs not worth mentioning also got done and as usual, a long list was the best way to run the project.  Can’t afford to forget anything!

We took the outboard off the dinghy, changed the oil and spark plugs and then hoisted it into a big plastic bucket full of fresh water.  The intake for the water was just under the surface, so we ran the outboard for a few minutes to flush it all through and then unplugged the fuel connector to use up the last bits of fuel to drain it completely.  It goes all lumpy and sticky if you leave it in the outboard.

The Car Ready For A Bottom Scrub

Next the dinghy got hauled out of the water and turned over on the pontoon to clean the hull.  Fortunately the marina is very quiet, so nobody was inconvenienced.  We have put dehumidifier crystals out around the boat, as we used to do in Trini but they shouldn’t be as necessary here.  We have flushed the heads (toilets) with fresh water, switched off the gas and turned the stopcocks off throughout the boat.  The water leaking from the generator seems to have been the cause of the water accumulating in the bilges, as this week we didn’t get any more and that is a nice position to be in as we leave the boat.

It hasn’t been just work though.  ‘Suzie Too’ organised a gathering on the beach at Santa Barbara Plantation Resort on Sunday, with 3 fellow OCC Rally boats and Mike and Jean from ‘Tomorrow’s Dawn’ attending.  We had a pleasant, relaxing afternoon just swimming and chatting.  We will be berthed in the rather swanky Santa Barbara Marina at Christmas before the start of the Rally and might just book a night or 2 in the hotel as a treat.

The taxi ride from the marina to the airport will cost us 60 US$ but on our return we will book a hire car for the week, as we will need to provision, get gas and visit the chandleries.  If you hire the car for a week, they will pick us up from the airport and that saves 60 dollars to begin with.

Clean ‘Car’ Back On Davits – Note The Short Pontoon

We are travelling economy this time, as Rob didn’t have any air miles left with KLM and from Amsterdam we will travel BA to Gatwick.  The entire journey will take just under 24 hours, a very long day.  With just 1 bag each, it isn’t too bad going to the UK but it will be very restrictive coming back to the boat as we usually end up with lots of British foods and bulky boat parts.

Our British ensign (flag) was a disgrace, being torn and nearly see-through but I’ve washed and packed it as a souvenir for our friend Steve, who has sailed several hundred miles under it this year and in 2013.  We have another very tatty ensign from our Atlantic crossing already stored in his loft.

I had time to check back through our logbook and record some statistics on our 4th Season in the Caribbean.  We logged 2390 nautical miles during 57 passages, put 209 hours on the engine and spent 8 months sailing, which included:

155 nights at anchor

64 nights on a mooring ball

12 nights at sea

12 nights in Puerto Del Rey marina

Mooring balls are compulsory in many bays now, hence the high figure above.  In parts of Guadeloupe, the British Virgin Islands, almost all of St John’s (US Virgin Islands) and all of Nevis and Bonaire, you have no option.

Feeling sad about leaving the boat is fortunately balanced by the hope that the forecasts for the UK weather are correct.  It is supposed to be blazing hot there this week and the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis championships have begun!  On top of that, we move into our new house on the 8th and will have months to explore our new hometown, paint the house and spend many unrushed days with family and friends.

As we won’t be sailing at all, I will only post a couple of times from the UK.  Thanks to all our sailing friends who have made this season such a happy one.  Have a good summer everyone!

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