Who is ze responsible person?
Chiscos - Atlantic Cruise
Tue 10 Apr 2012 21:19
We left Sint Maarten in scorching sunshine and very little wind, perfect conditions for a gentle sail to Anguilla during which we could try out our new fishing reel and hopefully catch our first fish. All around the Leeward Islands we had come across long strings of orange seaweed, blown together by the wind into lengths stretching as far as the eye can see. The seaweed breaks as soon as the boat crosses through it, although we have had to reverse at times to rid the propeller of some of the stronger pieces, but it proved disastrous for fishing. No sooner had we put out the line than it began to collect great clumps of orange weed which were too heavy to reel in. End result .... one broken rod ..... no fish!! Now we'll have to wait for the next Chandlery visit to buy a new rod to go with the new reel!
Anguilla is a low-lying island, in contrast to its volcanic neighbours. We anchored in Road Bay, ready for the customary check in procedures. Luckily John was able to check in and out at the same time here as we were leaving the next day. Plus, the procedures were all done from one office, conveniently located on the beach next to the dinghy dock, so that made life a lot easier.
After a hot day's sailing, it was lovely to be able to jump straight into the sea for a cooling swim. We discovered that the British Olympic synchronised diving team should look no further should Tom Daley succumb to injury before the summer as we have a couple of substitutes on board Chiscos!
We had been told about Anguilla having the best sandy beaches in the Caribbean, which would take some doing, but we were inclined to agree. The sand was pure white with the texture of fine flour. Sitting in Elvis's Beach Bar in the evening after the sun had warmed the sand all day, I put my feet into the sand and it felt as though I was wearing a pair of very soft, warm socks. We met Elvis serving at the bar, and although the advert for the bar proclaimed 'it's true, the King lives!', he did appear somewhat younger, thinner and blacker than when last seen alive! He served a good house special though, a rum punch topped up with Amaretto, which the girls thought was delicious but the boys switched for beer.
On Easter Day, the local fleet of racing yachts lined up on the beach for a regatta and made a fantastic spectacle as they raced through the anchorage. Joe and Clair had taken an early morning walk along the beach and had seen the skippers arguing over which crew to take, and also loading up with sandbags. As the boats raced past they were all absolutely crammed with people, though when you saw the size of the mainsails and the tippiness of the boats, you could see that the skippers would need plenty of good crew and a lot of ballast.
John and I went ashore to skype our family and marveled at the fact that we could sit on a remote beach on a distant island yet still pick up a good wifi signal and talk to people across the globe free of charge.
Our stay in Anguilla didn't help to cement the skipper's relationship with the French. Early next morning, Joe and Clair were hailed by a lady on the adjacent French boat, who thought our two boats had swung too close together in the night. As John and I were still in bed, they said we would move as soon as everyone was awake. This was obviously not acceptable to the French as only a few minutes later the skipper of the French boat was demanding to speak to 'ze responsible person on Chiscos'. We struggled to think of someone of that description but it appeared that the skipper would have to do! After some discussion, we did move, but spent the rest of the day re-running the conversation with various responses that might have been suitable and all increasingly hilarious!