This update is sent from Rodney
Bay, St Lucia in position 14:04.51N 60:56.95W.
One of the major frustrations of
Caribbean Cruising is the constant problem in tracking down spare parts. This is
doubly difficult for a European built yacht as many spares are not available on
the English-speaking Islands. You get used to buying one part in one Island and the
next part at another .
We have had a small number of issues
recently which would simply have involved a phone call in the UK for the part to
come winging its way the same day. Here it is frustratingly
Two of our bilge pumps have been
giving trouble. One, a Johnson Viking hand pump is simply not available here and
the only option has been for new crew Willie and Grace Meikle to bring one out
with them. The automatic electric pump is a Whale Gusher 220 and whilst this is
available in theory, actually finding one is a different story. Mike and I
mended the old pump and I have fitted a bypass switch so I can override the auto
circuit and test the pump weekly.
After a great sail on Monday morning
to Point a Pitre, we said goodbye to Joy and Mike and the next day we returned
to the Saintes. A 5 am start on Wednesday was supposed to see us all the way to
Martinique but we were defeated by a 3 knot adverse current at the South end of
Dominica so we returned there for a night on Pancho's mooring. A similar start
the next day meant we could get to Frank Ågren's
excellent Volvo Penta agency at Case Pilote, Martinique. Here I replaced some
annoyingly defective parts and we sailed to Fort de France to clear in on Friday
and buy a spare Tudor Marine battery from the only suppler in these parts, Sea
Services whose Jacques and Ciarla were as helpful as usual.
We sailed straight off to Rodney Bay
and anchored before clearing customs the next day. Again the chandlery beckoned,
the time Island Water World again with a helpful proprietor, Ian Cowan - still
no Whale pump!
After Saturday and Sunday making
Éowyn shipshape again, we have decided to take a couple of rest days and go
diving on Tuesday before sailing to Marigot to pickup Willie and Grace (and our