Biding our time in Barbados

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Fri 28 Jan 2011 15:03
So it’s been over a month since we arrived in Barbados without the main
mast and we are slowly becoming accustomed to the way and the pace of life
here. We finally have approval to place orders for a new rig and sails,
though we are still weeks away from getting things finally sorted.
Deposits are currently somewhere in the international money transfer
system known as banking where you pay for every’s likely we will be here until March. We have
decided to leave Andromeda in Trinidad for the hurricane season, all being
well, and then cruise the islands next season before deciding whether to
continue west or elsewhere in 2012.

We have been asked by the insurance company to contribute 20% of cost of
the replacement rig and 30% towards the sails. This is due to a clause in
leisure sailing insurance contracts called betterment. This refers to the
fact that by replacing “old and broken” kit with new we are actually
increasing the potential value of the boat – so our funds for the trip and
going to be a little depleted. One of those things, given this way of
life. However we remain optimistic that the generator part will be here
shortly so we can get it running again, and the fridge is also being
looked at, but it’s not guaranteed that we will get it repaired until we
get to one of the more yacht friendly islands. Until then we have to get
ice on a regular basis to keep food cool so it lasts more than a day. We
have sourced a replacement tender for the very leaky Quicksilver, way
beyond repair even on a quiet day, and this should be with us next week,
and we have started re-varnishing the floors and companion-way doors, so
we are being fairly busy. However things do move very slowly and we remind
ourselves on a regular basis that we are not on holiday. Every other day
or so we cycle a couple of kilometres to the yacht club so we can check
e-mail and have a hot shower – there is only a cold one in the boatyard.
We have been exploring on the bikes, after a puncture, and have discovered
a number of supermarkets and other interesting shops. Most of the shops in
downtown Bridgetown are geared towards tax free sales for the cruise ship
passengers – lots of gold, diamonds, emeralds and clothing – not a whole
lot we can make us of at this time. The cruise ships arrive every other
day – colossal great things and the harbour often has two or three in at a
time. We have started to recognise them so regularly do they appear,
including the new Queen Mary 2.

We have seen a fair bit of the west coast of the as we were taken round by
Rodney, source of the tender, and Clint, the rigger, on a couple of
occasions. The east coast remains to be explored once we have a plan in
place. The buses, like buses most places, are either stopped or hurtling
along the roads at very high speed. Every time they stop you wonder
whether you will get whiplash to the neck so unexpectedly do they stop at
times. However they are cheap to use, unlike the taxi’s which can be
pretty pricey. So it’s mainly walking, cycling or buses for us to get
around and get the necessities.

It’s supposed to be the start of the dry season here but its’ been raining
on a regular basis for days now and there’s no immediate end in sight.
Naturally all the locals say its most unusual, however the sea is quite
pleasant and a great place to cool off when the sun does come out. We will
take some photos and post them soon.

Since we started writing the above a few things have happened. The Money
for the mast and the rib made its labyrinthine way through the system and
ended up where it was supposed to so now work has started on the mast in
Miami and hopefully things will now speed up a bit. Our generator part
was shipped to Barbados very quickly but then stopped in the FED EX office
until we enquired about it. We took a bus to another part of the island to
sort it out and on arrival found out that we needed a copy of the invoice.
Fortunately the FED EX office was located next to a shopping mall and we
found an internet cafe and were able to print off the invoice there and
head back to the office. A big of a wait later we were asked to pay duty
on the parcel which had already cost an arm and a leg but we pointed out
that it said on the documentation Yacht in Transit and that as far as we
were aware we didn’t have to pay the tax. After another longish wait
(fortunately they had very comfortable armchairs and air con) this was
confirmed and we handed over10 dollars for our parcel. The part (which to
our surprised was a reconditioned part and not new – the price we had to
pay for it should have meant it was gold plated ) has now been fitted and
we were delighted to hear the generator start up and run properly and even
create some for the fridge ......well no news on
that yet.

Will post some more photos soon including two of Andrew, before and after
the hairiness – I have my toy boy back again.

More in due course

Susan and Andrew
s/v Andromeda of Plymouth