Fw: Log 1. Rodney Bay, St Lucia. 14.04.44N 60.57.02W

David Batten
Thu 7 Jan 2016 17:05
Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2016 4:29 PM
Subject: Log 1. Rodney Bay, St Lucia. 14.04.44N 60.57.02W
It was a great family Christmas followed by frantic preparations for leaving the house for 8 months for our greatest sea adventure to date, including a last minute panic due to the unavailability of the Scopolamine patches.  After both the Skipper’s and the Skipper’s wife’s GP surgeries finally admitted their wholesalers did not have any in stock and that there was a manufacturing problem, plus a false start with Lloyds pharmacy internet who promised to deliver on receipt of a prescription and then failed, the Ship’s Boy, Venetia, found a supply and ordered them, no prescription needed, for delivery to Weston Super Mare for transport with Anthony on the 7th Jan.  Phew, we did not want to embark on our longest sea voyages without the patches which have transformed life at sea for both the Skipper and wife and, we hope, Anthony. 
Alcedo in the boat yard, travel hoist in position for the lift out and......
...afloat in the marina, ARC flags flying
With various other items also being delivered to Weston Super Mare because of the Christmas post, or lack of it, Skipper and wife flew back to St Lucia on the 29 Dec for a day’s work on the keel followed by a pre-arranged launch on New Year’s Eve.  After a very unsatisfactory allocation of a pew on C dock by the remaining marina staff, (it was noisy, the pontoon was short and most of the other World ARC boats were on E and D docks), the dissatisfaction clearly expressed by the Skipper’s Wife resulted in a move to E dock engineered by the most charming member of the dock staff.  Able to relax at last and feeling all of our 60 plus years, we celebrated the New Year with a bottle of wine and early bed.
Since then, it has been the usual task of cleaning the boat, particularly decks and cockpit, which were boat yard filthy as usual, stowing all the spares we brought out with us, shopping for immediate supplies and starting on the list of “must do” before our departure date on the 9th.  Sunday the ARC office opened, so registration and safety inspection were the order of the afternoon, with another job to add to the growing list, as our life jacket lights were passed their sell by date and needed replacing. The Ship’s Boy also arrived on Sunday evening with industrial quantities of essential supplies, mostly chocolate “Trufas”, kindly sent to her by her sister Sarah from Ibiza where you can still get them. We do take some catering issues such as proper, high cocoa content chocolate, seriously.  Monday required a visit to the dentist for the Skipper’s Wife who lost a filling the afternoon before flying out, (we can recommend Kent Glace in Rodney Bay) and now the days are all rolling into one with the Ship’s Boy setting about giving the winches their annual service, while the Skipper’s wife set to on renewing the attachments for the lifelines and checking and polishing all the stainless structures and deck fittings, while the Skipper does the things that only Skippers can do.  Much time seems to have been wasted on trying to get an internet connections to work and any form of successful communication requires a visit to the Bread Basket or Cafe Ole, which interferes with the work schedule, so we never do quite as much as we would like in a day and work gets further interrupted by the Rally social events, which do provide opportunities for meeting other Rally participants, who are otherwise working hard on their boats as we are on ours.
Ship’s Boy working hard on the winches
Jane arrived on Tuesday evening and Wednesday has been all about seminars on the Rally, repairing the hole in the stack pack made by the spare battens and getting the spray hood stitching re-done, plus the inevitable frustrations with getting an internet connection as even the restaurant Wi-Fi is flaky.  Anthony arrives today with industrial quantities of Scopolamine and all the spare parts that have been ordered since arrival such as six very expensive life jacket lights.  The girls are off to Castries market for fresh fruit and vegetables, hard to find in any quantity in Rodney Bay and the jobs list seems to get longer not shorter and time is running out, plus we still need to get our communications systems sorted, which will require more time and tussles with flaky Wi-Fi.  Skippers’ briefing is tomorrow and departure time is midday Saturday and the panic meter is firmly in the red, so there definitely won’t be another blog until we are under way!
Here’s hoping for fair winds.