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Date: 14 Jul 2007 14:34:16
Title: Pirates !

Hello Friends                                "13:14.8N 61:16.3W"
 
(Friday)
 
We had a slightly ambitious 58 mile run down here from Rodney Bay yesterday and just got in with enough time to check in at Customs. We're already half way down the west side of St Vincent since the NW corner is the residence of the local "herb growers" and is a bit lawless, apparently.
 
St Vincent - or at least this bit - is entirely undeveloped and not spolit at all. You are greeted by boat helpers in rowing boats who help you moor and take a stern line ashore round a tree. They row as they couldn't begin to afford an outboard engine. As soon as you are securely moored (even before...) you are beseiged by other locals trying to sell crafts or fruits & veg. or anything you may need. 
 
George was particularly impressed with 'Julian' who provided lots of mangoes and avocadoes etc. and only wanted a tin of beans and a packet of pasta in return, literally to help feed the children.
 
Anyway - you're wondering why this blog is entitled Pirates? We're in Wallilabou, St Vincent, which was the set for quite a bit of the first Pirates movie and some of the second. Maybe the eagle-eyed filmgoer will recognise some of the set?
 
 
This bit is just by the dock which was built by the movie people but is unfortunately half smashed already following a storm last year.
 
Our helper Nigel took us for a walk this morning up to a local waterfall. The falls themselves were not particularly impressive, but on the way, every tree is discussed and the fruit or cooking process considered, so walking anywhere is interesting. Nigel pointed out an uncle who was hoeing his plot with some difficulty as he was on crutches (bad knees apparently). He had a donkey to get to and from his home but for a man who was moderately disabled he was doing a great job and had prepared this charcoal mound which would be covered by banana leaves and sand and left to smoulder for 5 to 7 days to make charcoal.
 
 
We passed by a couple of nutmeg trees, with plenty of nutmeg just dropped to the ground. George, being a nutmeg fanatic, had a field day and we collected handfuls: presumably enough to last years. We also saw the local ladies doing the washing in the river, though we thought a pic would be rather intrusive so you'll just have to imagine that.
 
Following a long sail the previous day, we persuaded Nigel to let us have the afternoon off and we've agreed to visit his village tomorrow and inspect a boat he is building for himself.
 
Here we are in afternoon light in front of the filmset.
 
 
(Saturday morning)
 
Nigel nowhere to be seen this morning - only helper is Julian who says that all the others went to a party last night and are drunk. This may be true but could just as easily be a strategem to corner the market!
 
We'll be off to a slightly less rolly anchorage so that we can have a look at the autopilot which packed up on the way from St Lucia. Our guess is mechanical failure at the moment, probably a sheered bolt or maybe just worked loose. Anyway, more contorsions in the bottom of the lockers to find out.
 
Best Wishes
 
George & Michael
 

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