Sailing around the World

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Mon 9 May 2011 12:59
SUNDAY   8th  MAY 2011
Looking back over the last week, we have to say things did improve and the weather held up once the rain
cleared away, but that still took a while,
Friday 29th April, ( continued ) Gawd, we really did have a bad day, early in the morning we felt it had cleared up, but it
did not, and it just got worse and worse, torrential rain, soooooo bad that it came down through the electrical panel and kept
tripping off the shower power, not to mention the leaks else where, Ohhhh, whats gone wrong with our lovely Oyster.
Saturday 30th, It was still very wet, but we were now getting " harbour fever" so decided to head north to Martinique,
so we cleared our papers and set sail in poor conditions,  we had a close starboard fetch with 22+ knots of wind and
made good time to Port De France,  well actually we dropped anchor in " Ainse du BOUT "  just across from Fort de France.
We passed Diamond rock on the way, very close to the coast, this is where the English placed 20 cannons at the summit
with a half dozen sailors to sink unsuspecting French ships passing , which they did very succesfully and despite all efforts
by the French to recapture the Rock, they failed,
meanwhile the English raised the status of the rock to that of a war ship. and christened it HMS Diamond Rock,
A long time later, the french wrecked a couple of ships full of rum onto the Rock and when the english sailors were
totally drunk , the French recaptured the island,   Well , thats the storey.
" Ainse Du BOUT" was run down, It was obvious that at one stage this place was a major tourist place,
but has lost out to other places , Even though it is a french Island, we found no good restaurants so returned to " A Lady " and had
our dinner on board, skippers hungarian sweet and sour goulash with rice,
Sunday 1 st MAY  :  The conditions were very wet again, We raised the anchor around 9.00hrs and sailed out the harbour north
towards "Prince Rupert Bay" in Dominica, a distance of 85 miles, . We had a good breeze and a great sail, and the weather
improved as we cleared Martinique,
We dropped anchor in the dark and had dinner on board and watched a DVD on the TV.
MONDAY  2nd MAY  : 
After an early swim, we left Dominica in good weather and a good breeze and headed to " Anse du Bourg" in a small beautifull
Island on the south side of Gaudeloupe arriving there around 09.30hrs , the distance was only about 40 miles, so a short trip.
We all went ashore on the rib and explored the Village which had a great relaxed feeling about it. We spent the day just pottering
about the place,and of course we had to do the usual clearing in and out together, all done electronically, this was a first for us.
The weather remained good for the day and we had dinner ashore in a beautifull waterside restaurant,
Alan, a doctor in Belfast and suffers from Spinabifida, was great at getting on and off the boat, well done Alan,
with his short crooked legs, he was well able to pull himself on and off the rib and also A Lady .......
and well able to cook as well.
Later in the day, we met   Tom  Hallway ,  a doctor from london on his boat called " Pelekan" and his friend David, a script writer
who has written for " Mid Summer murders" and the " Bill "  , Before going to the restaurant for dinner, we had a few scoops
on board " Pelikan" and had a few more with them on " A Lady" after the dinner, The were very entertaining and we
really enjoyed their company for that afternoon,
07.30 hrs  we raised anchor and waved goodbye to Les Saints, The weather " Gods " were smiling on us again and we had a great sail
north to " Little Bay" on the north west corner of " Montserrat", a distance of approx. 68 miles......... 
This Island has a live and active Valcano, It erupted violantly several times  between 1995 and 1997, many people died and the main town
of Plymouth was destroyed completly and entry there now is forbidden,
As we passed along the shore, just 2 miles off, we could see all the partially covered buildings with lava and black lava rivers which
covered the hillsides, The smell of " Sulpher" was almost overpowering.
The Island was famous for the number of Irish that lived here, they arrived here during " Cromwells" crusades in Ireland around 1632.
there were many battles between the french and the british over the years for controll of the Island, and in 1783, a treaty between
the two countries agreed that it would become a british island.
its interesting that one can detect the " Irish Accent" in the black community, and St. Patricks day is big here.
We arrived around 5pm and dropped anchor, we were too late for customs so they would not allow us ashore.
Alan cooked a spagetti Bolognese dinner and it was excellent, yum yum, this was followed by watching Robin Hood DVD
with Russell Crowe, definatly a different take on what one would expect fo0r Robin Hood.
We cleared in and out of the Island, as we expected to leave around 11.30 hrs
but first  we did a taxi tour of the Island and inspected the valcano flows from a short distance,
we visited the observatory and got a history of the whole thing from one of the scientists, facinating.
It was sad to see all the derilict hotels and residential buildings . most inside the restricted area,
12.00hrs we hauled the anchor and sailed north again towards " Port Zara" in St. Kitts, passing " Nevis" on the way......
the whole trip was just 42 miles, we tried in vain a bit of fishing, lucky fish,
We had a great sail in great weather and arrived around 5 pm, and tied up at the Marina, It all looked good, and after
a short period, we were cleared into the Island,
we had dinner in the " Fishermans Wharf" restaurant, a waterside place, and the food was great. Skipper had a lobster
and it was certainly the biggest he has ever had, The people of this Island were very friendly and helpfull and so
we had another very pleasent evening,
We did a tour of the Island with " Junie " in his taxi,
It was a very pretty Island, we visited a couple of the old Sugar Plantation houses and grounds, the grounds in particular were
magnificant, with speciman trees and flowers, this trip took 3 or 4 hours
On our return , we cleared out with a view to travel to St. Barts, but Ian lost his passport in between the boat and the Offlicence,
a short distance of perhaps 550m, Ohhhhh my Gawd, that caused all sorts of problems, the net effect was we
could not leave the Island untill we sorted something out. first the English embassy. Ian had to apply for an emergancy passport
and we spent most of the rest of the evening trying to get this sorted.
Eventually, we returned to the boat and had a roast lamb dinner, all feeling down the dumps, These things happen !
Not a great day
( to be continued )