It's Christmas time!

Chelone's travels.....
John and Susie Blair.
Mon 30 Dec 2013 21:44
Hello again, thought I'd post an update here to keep you up to speed on our

We arrived in Jolly Harbour after a long slog with our new friends Bruce and
Connie at the end of Chelone's tow rope having towed them half way from
Montserrat (around ten miles).

Later that morning we checked in with Customs. We'd brought 'Gitanos'
alongside Chelone in the early hours outside the harbour then berthed both
boats on the Customs pontoon so we were right there ready. Bruce and
Connie were very grateful and extremely pleased to be in Antigua as opposed
to Montserrat.
So I'm wondering why their engine quit yesterday on the passage over and
was keen to take a look. It turned out that they were so low on fuel the engine
must've drawn some air whilst the 30 gallons in the single 175 gallon tank
sloshed around in the heavy sea conditions, the filters were ok as once bled
the engine started immediately.

Ross and I were treated to a lovely meal in a Greek restaurant followed by a
sumptuous selection of delicious deserts at a different eatery.
The following day, friends Bill and Colleen (s/y Dolce Vita) made contact  
via the Coconut Telegraph (SSB radio net). They were in Deep Bay Antigua and
planning on re-locating to Falmouth Harbour soon so I agreed to do the same.
Before going, Ross and I topped up the fuel and water and while doing so
another acquaintance showed up for a chat and told me that another mutual
friend was just over the way on his boat also so it seems there's a bit more
life here now than when we left in October!
Having decided to re-locate to Falmouth we slipped our lines and headed out
for the three hour passage and ended up a mile or so behind Bill. When we
visited Falmouth about ten weeks ago it was deserted, well not any more! the
docks are now full of superyachts and the anchorage bustling with cruisers
in readiness for the seasonal festivities.

We anchored and Bill and Colleen came over for a chat and catch up. Ross
joined me (as a guest) for a 'Tot' amongst friends at the Tot Club gathered
in 'Life' Bar and we ate dinner in the 'Mad Mongoose' Bar just next
door.....Steak and Ale pie, the very best anywhere on the planet, simply
delicious. And talking of Ross...I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big
'Thank You' to him for all his hard work on Chelone not to mention the great
company! Let's hope he gets a fun job out here in the Windies...he'd be a
great asset to anyone whether aboard a sailing boat or a Superyacht! Go Ross!!

Other than that we've finished off the varnishing and spring cleaning
Chelone ready for Susie's arrival a week today! I did some voluntary work
in Antigua's capital St.John through the Tot Club, along with other members
we spent the day installing smoke alarms in a Children's Home, part of an
ongoing project funded by RFA 'Wave Knight' who visited recently. Her Chief
Engineer performed an electrical survey with resulting defect/recommendation
list which made interesting reading, 'no means of isolating incoming mains
electricity', 'Earth and Common /Neutral circuits the wrong way around' and
'fuses by-passed' to name but a few.

Fellow Tot Club member and friend Peter has accepted Ross' offer of work on
his boat in return for accommodation so that's a great result, I hope he'll
manage to find work and be around for the Antigua Classics in April....great fun.

Finally, we had closure to a funny story that started some weeks back while
beachcombing in Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. I found a Tilley
hat washed up amongst the flotsam & jetsam and later Skyped the owner as
he'd written his number inside it. I left an ansaphone message saying I'd
found the hat and gave my email addy but having heard nowt back several
weeks later we'd forgotten all about it until I received an email from it's
owner Doug Zirker. He'd been away on an extended vacation and informed us
that the hat blew off his head nearly two years ago while sailing offshore
in the Virgins and certainly didn't expect to ever see it again. I mailed it
back to him and delighted, he sent back a picture.
So 'Happy Christmas' from the West Indies and looking forward
to seeing in the NewYear with Susie in Nelson's Dockyard where
there's a huge Firework Party planned for midnight....roll on 2014!
Happy New Year!
Bye for now,  JB & R