10th April 2012
Its a long time since the last bolg appeared on this site, 12th December 2011, an eternity ago,
Since that time, we have done a lot of different things , travelled to a lot of different places, met lots of interesting
We spent Christmas at home in Cork, Skipper cooked the Turkey for Christmas day and celebrated his birthday
on the 27th Dec,
We decided to return to the boat via India in mid January, " A Lady " was repainted in Jolly Harbour in Antigua
and would not be ready untill late or end of January, the painting included the topsides, the varnished toe rails and antifouling,
India, Our daughter Leah, husband Johnny and young son Jamie live in Mumbai at present, we spent a few days in Mumbai,
visiting "Dharavi " slums, the gate of India, and other famous landmarks in and around Mumbai, ( formally " Bombay ")
The " Dharavi " slums is the place where the film " Slumdog millionare " was made and is a hive of activity and small industries
from making blue jeans and leather to aluminium foundries, one can pay up to $70,000 for a small one room flat
in this area. They say that there is an average of 1 toilet per 1,500 people, BUT,But, but they are all clean and healthy looking
people and the children are dressed beautifully in their school uniforms.
The streets of Mumbai are jamed with cars, trucks, motor scooters, Tuck tucks, Buses etc and yet there are little or no accidents
and even women are safe to walk the streets at night on their own, little or no crime, The only people to die in Mumbai are those
that fall off the over crowed trains or be decapitated as a result of hanging out of train windows.
Johnny & Leah arranged a tour for all of us including young Jamie,, so we flew to Jaipur and spent a night there,
then onto see the " Taj Mahal", ohhhh, this was the most facinating building we have ever seen, Built entirly
from white marble which changes colour depending on the time of day and the intensity of sunlight.
It cost 40,000,000 Rupees to build , at the time 1oz of gold was worth 5 Rupees, now 1oz of gold would cost 5,000 Rupees,
It was built by Shah Jahan ( A Mogal Ruler ) decended from Mongolia and his wife was a direct decendent of "Ganges Kahn"
The " Shah,s" wife died in birth having her 14th child so he built the Taj as a monument or tomb for her, even though
Muslems are not suppoesd to be burried in tombs, It took 21 years to build,
In the grounds of the Taj mahal, we saw lots of " Chip Monks" Racoons, Owls, and the rats were never far away.
We also visited Fatehpur Silkri , a sandstone Fort or Palace, the king here had 3 wives and 400 concubines ( girls to play with )
1 wife was a Muslim, 1 was Hindu, and the third was a christian,
He died of exhaustion at the age of 56,
We visited " Agra" after the Taj, This was and interesting place and totally conjested with heavy traffic and the pollution,
(as was everywhere ) The pollution, the rubbish and garbage everywhere was overpowering.
From there we spent a night in New Dehli before returning to Mumbai and then a direct flight to New York where we spent
a couple of nights with Aileens friend Jacinta Rafferty in Madison , Connecticut.
Skipper met Tom Delaney in his CBS News office and we had a great night out with Tom & Linda later in the day at
We then rejoined the boat in Antigua, she looked fantastic with her new paint job, a few days later we were joined by
Terry & Colette O' Sullivan and sailed to Guadolupe, Isle de Saints, Monsaraat, Nevis, St. Kitts , Barbuda and back to
English harbour in Antigua, where our guests left and returned home after 3 weeks ,,
A week later, we were joined by Bob and Margaret How , who spent nearly 3 weeks with us, We sailed to Jolly Harbour,
St Barts, St. Martins, and then onto Virgin Gorda in the BVI,s
In St Barts, Bob was swept off a quay wall onto the rocks below by a tsunamie type wave and gashed his arm open, this was
followed by Margaret cutting her leg off the steering wheel and required 13 stitches the following morning. never a dull moment.
From the BVI,s we sailed west to the U.S.V.I,s ( St John ) first and then to Red Hook in St. Thomas for " Paddys Day" That
was real funny, thousands of people dressed in green marching the streets, the bar maids in Molly Malones pub were all
decked out in green, even green bra,s and knickers...... not to mention the shamrocks plastered on every important
part of their bodies, and then the real Irish music played by muscians all the way from Philadelphia,
and guess what, we felt like " Blow INs" .................................
From Red Hook, we sailed west again to Puerto Rico, stopping at some beautifull beaches on the way, We got berthed
at the marina " Puerto Del Ray " and the following day, Bob and Margaret flew off to San Francisco on their way to a
wedding in Mexico.
Puerto Del Ray just had 1,000 berths and the weather was afull for the next 2 weeks untill Stefan , Ronan Downing,
Caroline Barron & Blanaid O,Brien arrived into Puerto Rico to Join us for the " Oyster Regatta " in Tortolla,
However we did manage to get the " Westerbeke " generator working properly again,
We spent a few days in San Juan, capitol of Puerto Rico, this was a great city , especially the old town and fort
which is steeped in " Sailing ships & Pirate" history............... Of course we had to visit the " Bacardi Rum " factory
where skipper enjoyed the MOHITO,s made with Rum and crushed mint and ice all mixed with soda.
Our son Stefan & his friends Caroline, Ronan Downing and Blanaid joined the boat on the 30th march in Puerto Rico
and we had a tough trip up wind in 25 / 30 knots back to the Virgin Islands. all be it only 40 miles....
We joined the Oyster fleet in Nanny Cay for the " Oyster regatta" last week and had a great race week, We
had a 3rd, a 4th, a 2nd and a 3rd to give us 1st place in the Saloon Class and 2nd overall in Calss 2 to " Scarlet Oyster"
a 49foot lightwave Oyster ( Racing the Lightwave against cruising boats is like racing Farraries with centurian Tanks, )
Scarlet Oyster had 4 firsts and was well sailed in any event, well done to her..
The prizes were top quality which included an inscribed solid silver plate for " A Lady" in recognition of her
circumnavigation with World ARC
Thats it for now,
Signed :- Stephen Hyde ( Skipper )