Thu 25 Jan 2007 17:44
I don't exist today, checked out of St vincent two days ago, but I can't clear in here in St Lucia because the immigration man has taken the day off. Fortunately there is a free internet cafe next door, so I can catch up on on mail again.
Weather has been fabulous for the last three days, and an easterly wind has hepled me to get back up to St Lucia, which is pretty well the most windward of the windward Islands. I'm getting a really lazy sailor (sailing to windward is hard work, takes time). Yesterdy I left Young Island cut, at the southern tip of St Vincent at daybreak, 6-30am, and arrived off Pigeon Island, at the Northern end of St Lucia, at 9pm. a run of about 60 miles. Really lovely sailing, to windward of St Vincent, and to leeward of St Lucia, wonderful views of Mount Soufriere: the volcano at the North end of St Vincent (it's nearly always covered in cloud), and then of the Pitons on the Southern tip of St Lucia, as the sun went down. After that it was a bit tricky, as they don't do bouys and lights much in the Carribean, and not many poeple sail after dark. Fortunately the GPS (the inscription is holding up well) saw me safely 'home'.
An article in the local sailors paper says that all the places I've been to in the last couple of weeks, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, are really dangerous, especially for lightly crewed boats because of armed robbery and worse! Mercifully have seen nothing like this, and the sailing community in the Carribean is a very odd mix of folk, within which gossip and paranoia are endemic. Anyway as I head 'up the chain' it is supossed to become safer, for what that is worth.
Back to the poeple, there are three groups; those on a short holiday, usually on chartered boats: these are a normal bsaeline group.
Secondly there are poeple like me who have got here, are still a little bemused, and not quite sure what to do next (hardly anyone on the atlantic crossing had a clear long term plan, they just wanted to arrive in one piece!
Thirdly there are long term residents who live here year round: like me they arrived from afar, usually USA or Canada. and just stayed. As you might imagine they seem a bit odd, there is a constant need to justify continued existence, even in paradise on Earth. Many are 'about' to write their first novel (even those who have been here for years), etc etc.The majority are couples, but hardly any are long term man and wife: it would seem that the partner you are prepared to walk up the aisle with as a young thing is very unlikely to remain your soulmate on a hot cramped, slighly damp boat with no main electric, and very little fresh water, in your old age: and put that way you can hardly blame them!! Everyone uses phones attached to their computers, and internet cafes ae really public listening posts to other poeples woes and those of their extended families. Overheard this morning "I don't know why that boy of ours doesn't just go out and get a job!!!": pot, kettle, black, or what?
Forgive all the philosophy, but I am still getting over my working life, and adjustment takes time: probably just as in the veterans section of a golf club, the new members wear their anxieties on their sleeves!
More news anon.