All that is

Tue 6 May 2014 17:24
6th May, 2014
Prickly Bay Anchorage, Grenada. 11:53.3N 61:45.5W
No new best friends, so at my age I have to do with a new favourite author: in this case James Salter, whose latest novel title I have just lifted for this piece. Leaving aside the question of truth, reality, existance, and fiction, I immediately took to Salter's economical style of writing, was enthusiastic about his protagonist's post WW2 predicament, jealous of his sexual prowess and success, and finally dissapointed to find no answers to the meaning of life. But with a title like that what could I expect? Suspecting a degree of autobiography here, I discovered another book, 'Burning the Days', that purports to be just that. Fact or fiction, all the edges blurred. I have downloaded this, but it must wait for May's author of the month, Jim Crace, to have his say.
Should I not be sailing hard on the wind for Bermuda? I left Trinidad, after nearly two weeks fitting out, and thinking/hoping most of my problems were solved, on May 3rd. My mast is now fully restored to spec, after last year's mishap, and some new Trinidadian chainplate supports have been welded up to more evenly distribute the forces from the rigging through the deck. My paid best friend, Ian Taxi, even came good in the end with my old Australian gas bottles, both now filled with Trinidad's finest natural gas. Stainless steel fabrication is incredibly cheap here, but does not compensate for the cost of antifouling, which is about three times the cost of the same stuff in the UK, Economics is going to remain a mystery to me! I cast off in the late afternoon, as I needed to catch the favourable current up the channel that leads north from the Chaguaramus boatyards to the open ocean. As expected we hit an acceleration zone off the end of Trinidad, it was very rough for a couple of hours, and I was glad that I had remembered my Stugeron! Rather rusty with my sailing technique, and very slow progress north overnight as the vane and sails were out of sync. Sorted out in the morning, and laid Prickly Bay, on the South West tip of Grenada, perfectly. A game getting anchored due to rusty technique, and it has transpired a rusty windlass motor. As a result I am the outermost boat, it is rolly, and deep. I have miles of chain and warp out, and no assistance to retrieve all the gear when I want to leave. The electric motor has rusted and siezed, the result of a leaking gasket. I needed the instruction manual, in my bunkside bookcase. Alas, all soaked in seawater: a new leak in the deck shelf which I have at least been able to identify on the inside, and patch. 'They' are stripping the motor down as I write (it needs a proper workshop and tools) but I am not optimistic that it can be repaired. However a new motor will take maybe two weeks to arrive, and I don't really want to spend that long here. Yesterday I explored pretty much everything in this SW corner of the Island, pleasant enough, and the Medical School, of which I was once part of the overseas faculty, is only two miles round the corner.The most modern building on the island by a long chalk.I can manage without the windlass, but it is difficult in a confined anchorage, as you need to be on the foredeck pulling up the chain and anchor inch by inch, and at the stern steering and controlling ther boat, at the same time!
A pleasant cafe and cold showers ashore, and half price pizza yesterday (and every monday) was very good. The nice waitress explained it all: on Sundays they do buy one get one free. 'What good is that for poor lonely me', I wailed? 'Man you is all just skin an bone: you order two of dem pizzas'. The dinghy dock is about a mile: reminds me of our stay in Fanny Bay in Darwin. You wash the salt water out in the shower ashore, and by the time you are back in the boat you are soaked with seawater again
More when things have moved on a bit.