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Date: 12 Jan 2007 23:08:31
Title: Chilling out in Barbados - easily done!

Current position 13:05.5N 59:36.9W
 
Day's run - nada, zip, zero, bugger all, nothing! Hooray!
 
Well I'll tell you what, if you're making landfall after three weeks at sea there are worse places than Barbados to do it! As we approached Bridgetown (in a sudden squall with torrential rain, 30kt winds and zero visibility - it didn't last long thankfully!) we called Bridgetown Signal Station on the VHF who told us to come into the commercial port and moor up. And so we did, the only yacht there and dwarfed by two enormous cruise ships. We came alongside the concrete quay with its' enormous fenders, designed for cruise ships and certainly not yachts, where fortunately there was a bloke to take our lines and help us tie up. Leaving Tracy to mind the boat, I stepped ashore for the first time in weeks and ceremoniously kissed the ground before wandering down to the arrivals building to do the paperwork. As I entered the building there was a steel band playing outside, which I'm certain was laid on entirely for our benefit and nothing to do with the throngs from the cruise ships! It felt like it anyway. There followed a thoroughly pleasant time doing the paperwork with health, customs and immigration, which was perfectly straightforward with the most difficult questions asked referring to the cricket, and England's recent drubbing by the Aussies. Figuring that I might as well confess to being a child murderer than to admit my lack of interest / knowledge in cricket I bluffed my way through and I think I got away with it. After filling up with water we cast off again to make the short trip to Carlisle Bay and anchored amongst the other 30 or so yachts here. Ah bliss!
 
We dropped the anchor right next door to Malarkey and soon after were on board their boat breaking out the bubbly and swapping tall tales of derring do, and after a fine lunch retired back to Adonde for a kip. And what a kip. I went to bed at 1630, and while Tracy got up for a few hours before going back to bed at 2200 I slept all the way through to 0630 this morning. All that sleeping doesn't half make you hungry, so after a fine breakfast of tinned goods, being a little short of fresh grub now, we're ready to face the day. Mind you, there's no need to hurry - we both still feel a bit wiped out and will no doubt take a few days to get back to some semblance of normality, but that's fine with us! We haven't yet been ashore, other than my brief foray doing the formalities, so this afternoon we'll launch the tender and do a bit of exploring around town, no doubt culminating in a fine dinner and a few cold beers. 
 
I had a chat with my old mate Simon in Trinidad this morning, welcoming us to his back yard, the Caribbean, and he may nip up and see us somewhere before we get down to Trinidad which would be great if we can make it happen. Our plans are pretty much nonexistent at the moment with the exception of having to be in Trinidad for the 10th of February for Carnival, we've booked a marina berth there for that. So from here to Trinidad our options are endless. Bequia? St Vincent? Grenada? Tobago? Who knows, and it doesn't really matter as anywhere we miss on the way there we can visit later on the way back up.
 
Right, well I'm going to leave this for now and come back to it later as the sun's out and I want to swim down to the anchor just to make sure it's in properly, and I could do with a wash too!
 
1830: It's now somewhat later than I'd planned, but here I am back after an eventful day. I went for a swim and checked the anchor, which you'll be pleased to know is fine so you can stop worrying now. On returning to the boat I had a shower on the back and was down below getting dressed when Tracy shouted for me to come up on deck again as there was a speedboat drifting by. She was quite right, there was indeed a speedboat drifting out to sea with no-one on board, so having spied that the keys were in the ignition I dived over the side and got meself a speedboat. Not being quick witted enough to set myself up offering rides around the bay for a tidy sum I took it back into the beach where it was reclaimed by a grinning grateful Bajan who hadn't tied it up properly. Good deed for the day done, I was given a lift back out to Adonde by a fellow yachtie where I had my second shower of the day. That's upped the average for showers/days over the last three weeks or so, and believe me it needed doing!
 
We then jumped into Malarkey's tender with them and set off to town, for Tracy's first steps on land. Neither of us fell over although we wobbled a bit so we can count that as a success, and off we went to the Barbados Yacht Club which is housed in a lovely old colonial building at the other end of the bay, where we had a fine lunch with the inevitable beers to see off Shaun who had been crew for Malarkey and was flying home to grey skies and work. Bless. The Yacht Club is very nice indeed, and staffed by Bajans who, in common with all the others we've now met, have to be among the most friendly people on earth - there's a genuine warmth and happiness that emanates from them that's really welcoming. Must be all that rum.
 
After all that excitement we're all tuckered out again so are having a quiet night on board to recharge ourselves for tomorrow's adventures!
 
Still no firm plans for our next destination, but we'll keep you posted. We reckon the old web diary might get a bit dull for a while (I mean how many stories of "what we had for lunch" and "Ooh, it's hot again today" can you tell before our faithful audience desert us for some other new young upstart blog?) so we're going to stop posting new despatches every day, just adding to the diary every now and then when we think there might be something to say that'll interest you, like when we move on somewhere else. Please do keep having a look though won't you!

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