Dine and Dash!

Graham Shaw
Mon 16 Mar 2009 14:40
12:52.8N 61:11.5W

Well, what's happenend in the last week? Quite a lot...on Wednesday last week Ellen and Elodie flew out from Paris to Martinique, leaving their menfolk to fend for themselves (not always easy for the male of the french species). Martinique was too far for us to go and pick them up, so they spent the night there and then took a flight down to St.Vincent. So on Thursday Lorraine, Lucas and I sailed up to Young Island Cut to collect them. From there we sailed back to Admiralty Bay in Bequia in time for a late lunch. The trip back was a lot more pleasant than the trip there - 25 to 30 knots of wind is a lot better from behind than from ahead! It is nice to see the girls - Lucas was excited to see Ellen again! They are worried they have a long way to go to catch up with our tans!

Anyone who read the last blog may recall Lorraine mentioning the fun and games we had anchoring. This included about a nano-second's lapse in parental concentration, during which time the smallest member of the crew threw a rope over the side (for the technically minded, it was the mainsheet traveller line on the port side). Obviously it went round the port propellor and stalled the engine. After eventually getting ourselves anchored I went over the side with mask and snorkel and unwound it. It wasn't tightly wrapped, so I didn't think too much more about it. Hmmm...

When we went to pick up Ellen and Elodie we motored ahead to pick up the anchored, then motorsailed up to St.Vincent, then motored ahead onto a mooring buoy, stopped, then motored ahead off the mooring buoy, sailed back to Bequia and motored into the anchorage. Notice this was all AHEAD...it was only when trying to anchor again that we realised the port engine was stuck in ahead. Not very helpful for anchoring in a stiff breeze. Anyway, we got the anchor set, and then investigated the problem. Turns out to be a sacrificial rollpin inside the gearbox, which shears to prevent transmission damage in the event of a small child putting a rope round the propellor. Unfortunately not having a workshop manual for the gearbox, I was reluctant to take it apart, so we enlisted the help of Tyrone Caesar, the Bequia mechanic. It took him a little while to dismantle and diagnose and fix the problem (the correct size rollpin was a little tricky to procure). Anyway, EC$300 later we were fully operational again. Children can be expensive things to keep at times!

The following night we went ashore for a drink, and then on to another bar for something to eat. They had actually finished serving and were busy turning the place into a nightclub, but we managed to convince them to rustle us up some burgers and chips. Several waiters served us, and there seemed to be general confusion. The table was cleared away and the music came on. After listening to the band for a while, we decided it was getting a bit noisy and a bit crowded for us (and it was past Lucas' bedtime), so we went back to the boat. Some while later we were having a conversation along the lines of "Thanks very much, whoever paid for dinner, it was very nice...", "Yes, thanks very much...", "Well I didn't pay, did you?","No I didn't pay, did you?"....and so on. The place was all closed up the following morning when we left Bequia, so we seem to have unwittingly dined and dashed! I really don't think they would have noticed.

Leaving Beqiua we headed southeast (with 30-35 knots of wind just forward of the beam - quite lively), and a couple of hours later we arrived at Britannia Bay in Mustique. This island is the playground of the rich and famous - who'd have thought that Bryan Adams and Mick Jagger were next-door neighbours? It really is beautiful here...the place is very neat and tidy. The grass is kept mowed everywhere as opposed to everything growing wild, but for us the biggest diffeernce is that there is no litter. All the other islands so far are lovely in different ways, but one thing which unifies them all is rubbish - almost everywhere you go (Tobago Cays being an exception) there is rubbish scattered along the side of the roads and along the top of the beaches. It really spoils them, so it is lovely to be in Mustique. Lorraine is going diving this morning, and then later is going horse riding. This is the first place we've been that has horses, and it's obviously something she's been missing since we left France, so I'm sure she's going to enjoy it.

We'll report on that later, but for now the plan is to head up to St.Vincent in a day or two, and from there a longish trip up to St.Lucia (where there may be more horses, apparently).

Regards to all,


P.S. Thanks to the reader who suggested that in the last blog's photos Lucas and I looked like Morecombe and Wise walking along the beach...!

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