David Charity
Fri 11 Mar 2011 21:33
13:00.223N 061:14.597
Dear All
We have now been in the Caribbean for almost 3 weeks and it is amazing how quickly the days are passing.
Our stay in St Lucia was much longer than we expected resolving a problem with our steering which with sea trials to confirm all was well again took almost 2 weeks to resolve.A "light" feeling had developed within the  steering which indicated that something within the overall system was not quite right and under heavy weather conditions could potentially become ineffective.Through a process of elimination we found that  2 plates each side of the gears in the mechanical mechanism of the steering had become worn and hydraulic oil was passing by them ! To resolve this problem the plates needed to be very finely machined but to find precision engineers in this part of the world is not easy.Fortunately Duncan who we met in December and from England and who had been caretaking our boat for us  confirmed as an ex toolmaker he could re-face these plates by hand and 2 days later it was mission accomplished !
We are now on our way again after cruising down the west coast of St Lucia including an anchorage under the Pitons .We then sailed to St Vincent and then down to Bequia where we are now.The St Vincent coastline was spectacular the countryside quite dramatic and to see the areas where people were living where the only access to there homes would be by foot or donkey was amazing.Our intention is to stay in Bequia for one more day before  heading south to Carriacou and possibly on to Grenada before we turn north again via the Grenadine Islands with the plan to return to St Lucia early April.
Hoping everyone back home is fit and well.
With best wishes to all