St Lucia, Rodney Bay, Sunday 22/12/2013

David Batten
Tue 24 Dec 2013 00:10
We were hoping to be off to pastures new today, but we are still waiting for the self tailing metal top for one of the big winches.  It apparently needs an agent to get it through customs at Castries and he was too busy on Friday to sort it.  This will be the second one for this winch in a year, so we are not happy with Lewmar.

Thursday.  Good beach party with some interesting interpretations on the fancy dress aspects and some quite inebriated sailors.  The same band as the one for the Marina parties, with dancing on the beach, good fried fish, although they had run out of rice before we got to the front of the queue and lots of rum and beer, but not free this time!  Plus some entertainers with very mobile bodies doing things with a plank balanced on what looked like a piece of drainpipe, a chair and limbo dancing under a pole in flames.  One of them breathed out flames after filling his mouth with what smelled like kerosine, a very impressive act but he is unlikely to make old bones.

Friday.  Spent the morning doing jobs on the boat and shopping for basics like milk, bread and water and in the afternoon, Aspen came in, so had a beer/rum with Marie and Steve and heard about their crossing.  It took longer than it took them to cross the Pacific and the seas were much less friendly, they had problems generating so could not run the fridge and they were very pleased to be in.  We were lucky with our relatively quick crossing and creature comforts.

Friday evening we went to Gros Islet for another excellent fish fry on the beach.  It was cheaper this time, just as good but it rained, a lot, so we had to take shelter in one of the bars and buy some beer.  Shame!

Saturday.  The last day of the ARC program and we think we should do a bit of Christmas shopping, off to Rodney Bay Village on the local bus.  We find a shop with a fab local assistant who is determined to find some small bikinis in amongst the double D and extra large and some time later, we emerge with packages for him and her, including some more very decent shorts for the Skipper.  We then track down some very expensive Polaroid sun glasses which we have been told are a must for reef spotting and then go to the hardware shop for some cooking implements for the barbecue and some powerful orange oil cleaner to try and get rid of the smell that has lingered in the guest loo since we changed the pump in Las Palmas and it is driving round the Skipper's wife round the bend.

Pm and it is off to the ARC prize giving ceremony, with complete transport chaos because there are not enough buses.  David behaves exactly as he would out hunting and we are on one in no time, so are well placed for a free rum punch or 3 before the ceremony starts and we meet up with Koala's crew, Adrian and Julia, who we met at the beach party and who did the crossing with only the two of them.  The prize giving is a 2 part ceremony, with the bogey prizes in the first half and the serious prizes in the second half after more rum and some seriously good nibbles.  It is quite hard to stay for the second half as no one really cared who won what by then.  We got a bogey prize for coming tenth in our class on corrected time which we couldn't care less about, but didn't win a prize for Sarah's lovely wall painting of a kingfisher, which we did care about.  Also, all the two handed boats should have got something, as the conditions were so difficult and they all did so well.  However, we all clapped and cheered the actual winners and then made our way back to the buses.  Even more chaos as the bus drivers wanted tickets for the return journey and most people didn't have them as we were given only one per person in the ARC pack.  As we had 5 people registered, we did have them, so had no problems getting onto a bus with a driver who was adamant he wanted tickets.   ARC now officially over.

Sunday.  The marina has an atmosphere of the party being over and as it is Sunday, there is not much happening anyway.  We do more washing and nearly get the boat ready for proper cruising.  Still haven't sorted the winch or the water filter or finished polishing the metalwork.  We do go for a swim from the beach between the marina and Pigeon Island and meet up with other ARC crews to discuss Christmas.  It looks like a picnic on Pigeon Island or go to Marigot Bay.  Can we decide?  The Caribbean lifestyle is getting to us!

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