It's March - it must be Barbados again

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Wed 2 Mar 2011 18:04
The weather this month has had quite an impact on us as the rain has
continued to fall in regular deluges despite it being the dry season,
mostly as before it has fallen in the night but we have dodged a few heavy
showers. Weather systems across the US has resulted in large northerly
swells which mean our location in Shallow Draft harbour becomes untenable
and we, along with everyone else, have to anchor out in Carlisle Bay. The
last series of swells resulted in spray over the buildings around us –
thankfully at anchor it was significantly calmer, but noisier from the
onshore clubs.

However the times at anchor coincided with some visits, wouldn’t they
just! Tamsin had the fun of trying to row the rib when the engine refused
to start after a lunch at the Barbados Yacht club. This was the first time
she had rowed and, despite drifting towards the Grenadines, we did
eventually make it back to Andromeda and the careenage so Tamsin could
return to Windsurf when the engine finally gave in and agreed to start.
Tamsin is going through our collection of House DVD’s with great
enjoyment. Unfortunately Tamsin missed her afternoon off this last Sunday
as she was fixing lights to lifejackets – hopefully next Sunday we will
spend time together again – and she was greatly missed.

Also while we were at anchor, James and Lesley (Coba Libra), came to
Barbados to get US visa’s so we had the challenge of picking them up in
the surf on the beach as once again the engine refused to start. Although
slightly damp we did get them on board and spent the day and most of the
evening catching up on adventures. They are planning to spend the next two
years as paid crew on an Oyster 56 (Solana) sailing up as far as Nova
Scotia then visiting the US (New York) and then joining the World ARC next
December. They will then transit the Panama canal across to Australia. A
fantastic opportunity for them and we wish them a wonderful time. After
getting the two of them ashore the next day basically dry Susan and I then
got completely soaked on the return paddle when a wave broke into the rib
when we were on our way back to Andromeda. James and Lesley returned on a
jet ski, very cool and a good deal drier than we could probably manage,
and we headed back into Shallow Harbour to await Alice from TripleD who
was staying the night before flying on to the British Virgin Islands.
Lesley cooked a great lamb curry and we talked most of the night before
getting Alice into a taxi at around 05:30am. Lesley and James(complete
with their new visas – hurrah) headed off a bit later to a hotel for a
couple of evenings – yes Susan did get a bath – before they left to go to
St. Vincent and their new career.

Whilst James and Lesley were here we took then opportunity for a tour of
Barbados with a knowledgeable taxi driver so we managed to see both the
exclusive west coast and the more scenic east coast and we hope some of
the photos do the island justice. James managed to get the outboard engine
to operate more reliably by taking the carburettor to bits, cleaning it
and then talking nicely to it as he put it back together again – hopefully
it will be much more well behaved from now on and on his advice we will be
talking to it nicely too.

While we were at anchor and before James and Lesley arrived, Robert
Povey’s J24 racing yacht Hawkeye, was brought out to anchor in the bay to
avoid the swell and, as we know him, we were asked to keep an eye on
Hawkeye during the night. We naturally agreed and were then asked if we
needed anything. Andrew, in a throw away line, said some ice would be
nice as the fridge is still not functioning – 20 minutes later a rib
appeared with a bag of ice, 6 Banks beers, some Coke, some Sprite and a
small bottle of rum! Amazing and very generous and the ice was very

In Shallow Draft we are tied up just behind the 5 large catamarans of the
Tiami group. They take folks out on a variety of tours to see turtles,
swim off the beach and snorkel over wrecks. One day we may take the
plunge! Last Friday the CEO, Dennis, invited us over to their regular
evening music session where 5 amateur musicians invite friends over and
spend a few hours going through an extensive set with breaks for drinks
and food. The set we have heard quite a few times so are very familiar
with the music played. It’s largely instrumental covers of songs from the
60’s and 70’s including the Shadows and others of that ilk. Dennis is the
drummer. The food was very very nice and we had a nice evening chatting
with the band and their friends.

And so to the mast.................despite being told it was being made
last week it turns out it wasn’t. The manufacturers, Z-Spars, had a
problem with the design and tried to contact the riggers who were all at
the Miami Boat Show for 5 days so it wasn’t until last Thursday that a
conference call was held and an agreement made for a major design change.
The mast should be being constructed this week. The issue was that a
single spreader mast was no longer strong enough with revised mast designs
and technology so we will have to have a double spreader rig. The issues
revolved around the width of the spreaders, narrower with a ketch rig, and
the way masts are now being made. We had a very oval mast shape whereas
advances in mast design now and current manufacturing capabilities favour
a design which is much flatter on the aft side where the boom and sail
track attach. It now looks as though the mast should be here in a couple
of weeks but we are being very relaxed about dates now and not getting
excited until we know the exact dates.........more in due course!