andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sat 30 Apr 2011 16:45
Our Easter weekend was made with two very memorable days out and we are
truly grateful to Willie and Josh for the experiences.
Willie, who is the managing director of the boatyard here in Shallow
Draught, asked us if we would like to go for a sail with him on Good
Friday. He wanted to go up the coast to Port St. Charles to see how his
son Michael was getting with raising a boat that had sunk in 55 feet of
water; Michael runs the marine and diving side of operations over here.
Willie’s yacht, Mona Marie, a Tayana 56, is really well set up and very
nicely finished – he had her built in Taiwan to his exacting
specifications and it is a delight to sail.
So Good Friday morning saw us sailing up the west coast of Barbados under
genoa only (as we were about to leave Willie noticed a tear in his
mainsail which will need a swift repair as he is off to the Grenadines
later this week) and made a very reasonable 6-7knots for the 20 or so
miles trip. The sun was shining, we had the odd drizzle, but by the time
we reached the salvage site the sun was well and truly out and the sky
and sea were wonderful shades of blue. Michael and his team had already
tried to raise the boat but it had twisted and returned to the bottom. 55
feet is a tricky depth as air introduced to inflatable bags quickly
expands as it reaches shallower water so controlling the ascent is very,
very challenging. The second attempt saw the boat, a 40 foot charter game
fishing boat, raised to the surface upside down. It’s very difficult to
see from the photos but you may get some idea. The next phase saw the
boat towed into shallower water and put back down on the bottom and
turned over. The following day the boat was raised again, a lot easier in
20 feet of water, pumps were installed and pumping furiously, the boat
was towed down the coast to Shallow Draught by Michael’s World War 2
vintage barge/landing craft. We don’t have pictures of the tow until they
reached Shallow Draught as we had to go and do some shopping for the bank
holidays and, more importantly, we don’t have a fully sea worthy boat
The rescued boat had been in the boat yard for some time and had recently
returned to a mooring off Port St. Charles. The guy looking after the boat
had noticed water in the bilges and had assumed it was from the recent
deluges of rain, and boy have we had a few of those – a damp dry season is
the current turn of phrase to explain the “unseasonal” weather. Yeah!
Having pumped the water out he returned the following day to see no sign
of the boat, nor the mooring buoy! The insurance company asked Michael to
raise the boat and return it to Shallow Draught for a survey – what will
happen next is not known just yet but we will endeavour to keep you
informed. Hi Time is now looking somewhat sadder than on her departure. It
was a very challenging lift for Michael and the team and all credit to
them for a successful outcome.
As Michael was resting the boat in shallower water we returned to Shallow
Draught with Willie and had a lovely 8 knot sail down the coast in a fresh
South Westerly – Mona Marie has a very sea kindly motion and we had a
lovely day. The following day, Saturday, we helped Willie get the main off
the yacht so it could be repaired after the Easter break. Later, Michael
brought Hi Time into Shallow Draught and the photos show the arrival, lift
and extent of the damage after 6 days under water.
On Easter Sunday we were just gearing ourselves up for the weekly clothes
washing and boat cleaning when Josh, from Tiami Cruises, asked if we would
like to join him on Excellence Too for a trip up the coast. Washing lost.
10am we left Shallow Draught and chatted with Josh as he took the
catamaran up the West coast. On the way we saw two very large Hawksbill
turtles swimming by – another first for us as they are only occasionally
seen close to the shore. We anchored just north of Hole Town (close by Sir
Cliff Richard’s house – there’s that connection again) where we swam with
Greenback Turtles. The turtles were all around us and the other guests and
very used to swimming and dealing with snorkelers. We used the underwater
camera again and we have a few pictures of these very engaging creatures.
After some 30-40 minutes we turned south and headed for a wreck off Hole
Town to swim with the fish. There are hundreds of them, many varieties,
colours and species – very magical. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough
memory in the camera to do justice to the fish so will need to try again
(shame that!). After 45 minutes of snorkelling it was lunch time – flying
fish (very nice),barbequed chicken, rice and salad – and we then were off
to anchor close to the Sands, a very exclusive and expensive resort
complex where penthouses will set you back some $9million and rooms $2000
plus a night and it is always fully booked during the season (what do you
reckon – your feet can’t ever touch the ground for that amount). There is
another complex quite close by where the penthouse is for sale –they are
asking £30m and the other 6 apartments are some $30m each – the difference
between pounds and dollars is deliberate. However they don’t control the
beaches as every beach in Barbados is open to the public so the rich and
famous have to rub shoulders with us ocean transients! The water was very,
very warm and clear and Susan was actually trying to find cooler patches
to swim in and all the time the sun shone – way to go!
By the way the other under water photos previously posted were taken in
Carlisle Bay. Andrew had been for a refresher dive and Susan went
snorkelling so when we bought the camera we knew where to go to find the
wreck and fish. But we still need a bit of practise with the camera – very
tricky looking through the view finder with our masks on, as you can
The return to Shallow Draught saw us go past the Coast Guard base where a
tiny catamaran sat, (possibly less than half the size of Andromeda)
without a mast. It turns out it was dismasted somewhere off Barbados
(heard that before?) and the crew were picked up by a passing freighter.
The catamaran was recovered by local fishermen and brought to the Coast
Guard base for the owner to recover and presumably sort out salvage – the
crew were French we understand, a nation who have truly mastered the art
of catamarans and tri-maran’s – or should that be Cat-A-Meringue and
Tri-Meringue? Such a long time ago now...........
We had a great day and were really grateful to Josh and Tiami Cruises for
letting us go out with them; we really enjoyed the experience and Josh and
the crew were fantastic.
Easter Monday saw us doing the washing and cleaning the boat – well we
couldn’t put it off for another week really - and it is so nice to see
Andromeda gleaming in the sun - and hand washing the clothes does get rid
of all the grime from the boat cleaning.
Next month one of the Tiami cats is to be taken out of the water in
Carlisle Bay for annual maintenance and Josh is going to let us know when
so we can see how it’s done. The travel lift in Shallow Draught can’t
handle the catamarans so it will be sailed round to the bay then dragged
out by a special trailer – sounds like a tricky operation and we are keen
to see how it’s done. We’ll let you know!
On a sadder note we heard today that Glenroy, one of the marine engineers
based out of Shallow Draught and a character to boot, is in hospital. He
was hit in the side by a wheel that had broken off a racing car and is
likely to be unable to walk for some 9 months. He will be sadly missed
around the yard as he is a larger than life character and one who loves to
rib us about our impending naturalisation as Bayans- our thoughts are with
his fiancé and family.
And now we wait for Clint............
More in due course
Andrew and Susan
S/V Andromeda of Plymouth