St Lucia - 11 December

Sun 11 Dec 2005 16:39
We are now enjoying beautiful blue skies and sun, with a cooling breeze - the weather couldn't be better.  After a few awful hangovers we are starting to get ourselves and the boat sorted out.  This has included cleaning out the fridge, which was a very smelly job and required strong stomachs!
Rodney Bay is fantastic - lots of places to eat and drink, good shops, a market, good facilities close by and lots of people offering their services, from boat repairs/beautification, to laundry and selling of fruit.  More boats are arriving all the time, and it is brilliant when a boat we know comes in.
Alice and Pip have had their hair braided.  They have also really enjoyed spending their pent-up pocket money in the gift shops and have done their Christmas shopping.
Maddelena braiding Alice's hair
The finished style
Pip - no ragamuffin look now!
Rodney Bay
In the above picture there is a man playing Glen Miller on the foredeck of the catermeran, on his euphonium, as they leave the marina
Our Pontoon
We have heard lots of salty tales from the crossing, including those boats that decided to try to pass tropical storm Delta to the north - at the early part of the crossing this was actually moving SE, contrary to all normal weather patterns.  We had expected Delta to turn north at some time, which it eventually did, and for at least one of these boats on the northern route, they then experienced 65 knot headwinds for 3 days, so were forced south in the end, in any event.
One skipper let a rope off incorrectly and had three fingers pulled through a block, which skinned them down to the tendons.  He was eventually put on a passing ship, from where he was helicoptered to Cape Verde Islands.  On another boat a crew member broke his arm in a sail change and they had to detour to Cape Verde Islands also.  The limbless ex-service men had trouble with the joints on their artificial limbs, which got salted up and they ran out of lubricant. 
Shortly after we arrived here Alice asked us how we planned to get the boat back home.  We told her the options - sailing her back with all or some of us on board, or having her shipped back.  I then asked Alice and Pip whether they would like to do another crossing, to bring the boat back.  Without hesitation they both said they wanted to sail her back.  They really enjoyed the trip, although they had moments of frustration and were much more physical with each other than usual - they have never thumped, pinched and kicked each other like they did on the crossing.  Happily this has now stopped.  The amazing thing, though, is that they never asked "Are we nearly there yet", plus they never said "we are bored" and when we sent them down below for a tricky spinnaker drop, they went up into the forepeak to watch the foredeck action!