Farewell Barbados

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 31 May 2011 18:17
This is a very emotional moment for us as this should be our last post
from Barbados, after over 5 months we are almost ready to go and we will
be quite sad to leave here having grown very fond of our spot in Shallow
Draught and the lovely people we have met but we need to get moving or
else we shall grow roots.

As with this entire episode of our travels things haven’t gone exactly
smoothly since our last post but hey we are used to it now. Work
progressed very well on the mast and we have been surprised just how many
holes have had to be drilled in it but have been assured it is still
strong and healthy. When you have a mast that has come with your boat you
really have no idea of just how much gear is installed on it, and trying
to remember everything when it has to be shipped in is really hard.
Fortunately we have Clint on our side who knew exactly what we needed and
questioned us regularly to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything.

Whilst waiting for the boom to arrive there was still plenty to do
culminating on Thursday afternoon with the magnificent moment when our
spare genoa was fed on to the new foils and hoisted up for the first time,
suddenly we had a sail aloft again, billowing in the wind and if not for
our very good spring lines we would have been sitting in the cockpit of
Irish Mist – the catamaran moored in front of us. This moment so
distracted us that for the first time all week we weren’t looking at the
time and wondering if we were going to see the boom etc., and as you can
guess this was precisely (3.45pm) when it turned up having at last found a
guard to escort it the total of 200 yards to us here in Shallow Draught -
the truck with our shipment on had been sat waiting for two days in the

So Friday saw ferverent activity all day and by 4 o’clock we had the boom
cut to size and installed (thank goodness Clint had stuck to his guns and
insisted that the guys in Miami were wrong about the length we needed –
the one they wanted to send was over 2 feet shorter than the one we now
have. Booms come in lengths of multiples of 2 feet so Clint had ordered a
16ft one and we had to cut off just over 1ft 9ins. Thank you Clint, we
really need all the sail area we can get on our main. As well as
installing the boom Clint made numerous trips up the Mast installing the
brand new wind instrument (another item somehow missed off the first
shipment by the guys in Miami) and running the cable via the mousing line
( fun was also had re running the spinnaker halyard that hadn’t had been
untied and was pulled back through – there was Clint up the top of the
mast shouting down to Andrew standing on the winches at the bottom of the
mast peering through a small aperture trying to grab the mousing line with
a piece of bent wire – and it worked).

In the meantime Susan was busy going to and fro with arrangements for the
small party we had organised to say thank you to all the lovely folk we
have met here. Clint’s wife Laura had very kindly arranged with one of
her contacts to have some Banks beer, coke and most importantly RUM to be
delivered directly to Andromeda and saved us numerous trips to the
supermarkets dragging the trolley. Josh our lovely friend from the Tiami
cats supplied us with 3 huge bags of ice to fill the ice chests Clint had
bought down and by 4 o’clock we were just about ready to start with the
beer very nicely chilled. We had a lovely evening with our friends many
of whom came aboard Andromeda for the first time (boy had Susan been
working overtime trying against huge odds (those who know her well will
appreciate this) to get most of the paraphernalia that had migrated over
5months, back into the proper locker – a real feat). Anyway Andromeda was
looking beautifully tidy (except for the wiring hanging from the saloon
ceiling ready to be connected) and was dutifully admired by all. We love
you so much Andromeda and you do us proud.

By 8.30 everyone had gone, we tidied up the residue and fell exhausted
into our bunks – what a day – but we were so looking forward to

Saturday morning saw us get the spare main on the boom with the sliders
changed and we were almost ready for the test sail. In the meantime we
saw Ribbit, a local yacht, returning to its berth across in the careenage,
so Susan hot footed round to meet it. The lovely people on board had
returned from St. Lucia, where they had picked up the package that had
been waiting for us there. Once back on Andromeda a lovely few minutes was
spent investigating the contents and these were as follows:- 1 new battery
for Susan’s big laptop (the old one had been recalled) , 1 bottle of St.
Lucia rum (our prize for being on the SSB net), 2 tubes of sunscreen, a
packet of lemsip and to our surprise some Christmas presents. These were
from Phil and Ruth and so we had a little bit of Christmas, Susan had some
great socks and a lovely lush bath ball (just need to find a bath now) and
Andrew, 3 different miniature gin bottles and we also had a lovely tea
towel with nautical toasts on it. Thank you Phil and Ruth, we eventually
got them after their very circuitous route around the Caribbean to us.

By now the wind indicator had been wired in and was working so when
Franklyn, then Cedric, Severin, Oceane and Zoe joined us we cast off and
headed out towards Carlisle Bay. Once out of the harbour the sails went
up and the engine was turned off and we were sailing once again. However
Clint was now about to get into his element and we tacked and tacked again
as he tightened the turnbuckles and constantly checked the mast to make
sure it was straight and the amount of bend was just right. He even scaled
the mast to the first spreaders to check the turnbuckles up there without
a bosun’s chair or a safety line – just went up the mast like the pro he
is ( but Susan is convinced he is a bit mad too). Finally he was happy and
Andromeda was trundling along at 6.5 – 7 knots and the toe rail wasn’t in
the water but we were certainly sailing faster than we had for a long,
long time. Both Severin and Franklyn took the helm for a while and they
both had very broad grins on their faces but none broader than ours. We
returned to Shallow Draught after spinning a few circles to calibrate the
new wind vane very happy and elated that Andromeda had sailed so well and
that Clint was happy with the rig setup. Clint then left us for a party at
his mother’s house and Franklyn went off to watch the football while
Cedric, Severine, Oceane and Zoe stayed and chatted for most of the
afternoon. Even Willie came down for a chat and to see how we were doing
and when we thought we may be off. Hhhmmmm.

Sunday saw us undertake a massive cleaning exercise to get rid of all the
swarf and dust that had been trailed around Andromeda while the rig was
being built and she looks lovely once again.

Today (Monday) saw work on the spinnaker pole and lazy jacks completed
with Clint making yet more trips up the mast. Tomorrow we should have the
final rig check, electronics check,and some provisioning and we are
tentatively planning to leave and check out with Customs and Immigration
sometime in the afternoon, weather permitting. It will be a bitter-sweet
moment for us - glad to be on our way but sad to say farewell to wonderful
people. We will be looking to try and sail back to Barbados at some stage
during the next season to see everyone again and catch up with good

So now we say Farewell to this lovely island, thank you and thanks to all
the lovely folk we have met here and very special thanks to Clint who has
done such a magnificent job on our new mast and become our friend in the
process. We didin’t plan to come here but we are very glad that we did and
we certainly intend to return next season. We will be raising a glass or
two to you when we get to our next destination and hope it won’t be too
long before we catch up again.

Photos will follow once we get to Trinidad.

more in due course,

Susan and Andrew
S/V Andromeda of Plymouth