Fri 1 Feb 2008 01:08
11.20N 60.33W
Charlotteville again!! We like it ..really .. but that's not why we are here .. When we tried to leave the country from Scarborough, the immigration man (the very same one that did the papers in Charlotteville, so that we could go down to Chaguramas and exit from there) , would have none of it ... either go back to C or onto Chag but no can do from Scarborough.... We suspect it was getting close to 4pm (home time) so he did not want to spend the time on the extra paperwork!!! Still ... not an issue to us so we decided we would rather sail back here... which we did today (thursday 31 jan 08).....29 miles ...beating the whole way and winds 12 to 16 knots initially from the north and slowly swinging to ENE ... guess what  .. the direct route NE!!!  and everything from heavy rain squalls to brilliant sun and at one stage wind shifts of 20 degrees and back again ... kept us on our toes ... lots of tacking.. I helmed the whole way (I couldn't miss the challenge!) tacked up through rocky passages .. plenty of room but meant a few short tacks .. all told 5 and a half hours from anchor up to anchor down .. quite respectable timing.
So what happened in-between now and last sunday?   ..Well  you could say we were honing our cruising and lifestyle skills... To put all into context .. remember
temperature ... 28 to 32 deg c  just occasionally a bit more either side .. then we suddenly feel too hot or too cold... effect of this though .. forget about clothing .. except to suit the occasion ... so shorts and tee are the norm .. if you get a bit too hot  .. quite simple ... just dive off the stern .. quick swim .. then let the sun and wind dry you off ...  If a bit cold  .. just get out of the wind .. the sun will do the rest!!
And then to showers .... well we are always short of water as the watermaker has gone on strike again ... and I can`t be bothered to do anything about it! So how to shower with minimum use of fresh water..... simple .. dive into sea ,quick swim.. back onto stern ... low volume of cold (which is now hot water because of the sun  heating up the pipes) rinse , soap, rinse again as before ... dry off in the sun .. job done.(Annabel's note: actually you can shampoo your hair in the sea, then do the rinse and conditioning in fresh water...Yorkshireman? huh!)
Then must not forget each time we go ashore .. take empty water bottles (either 1 litre or 5 litre depending) ...Restaurant times always the 5 litre ... and it always works ... when you are just about to pay the bill ... can you just fill these please first (2 bottles of 5 litres).
And we bought a big.. well 3 foot by 2 foot plastic container (with lid!) but only 6 inch deep... The idea ... when we catch that first fish ... somewhere to put it until we get into a sheltered bay so we can gut it etc ... .Anyway makes a perfect water collector, just left on deck ... The other day (and night )we got a full 2 inch in it ... enough for a shower (splash type) each! whoa!!!
So where do the days go .. well one went on reading ... yes ALL day .. Annabel found a second hand book stall ... after half an hour I found 1 book to her 4 ... So next day .. got through the whole book  .. I think we did eat sometime!!!
Then we had a day of admin ...internet cafe ... printing of stuff ... then having to find somewhere for me to fax back signed documents .. well had to go all the way into Scarborough ... That was the day it rained ... Thank heaven for my lightweight bike anorak!! ... Oh yes and filled our water bottles in the beach facility(= public toilets) in Scarborough.
But the biggest thing is time ... Very hard to imagine this but just think ... to us time is NOT important ... If we spend a day on admin ...  if we walk to the supermarket not taxi .. so what ... if we find a very relaxing bay (like Store Bay) a week can pass and all we have done is swim, snorkel, shop and a few bits and bobs ... but been occupied all the time (surprising how long it takes just to get organised , get into the dinghy, land it without soaking everything.. find a tree or something to chain it too ..get off the beach.. get sand out of shoes and get going... And on the way back a reverse of the process!!
Can be summed up with the following conversation with our next door neighbour in store bay (i.e. anchored nearest to us) ...  Him to us So how long are you staying in the Caribbean ..  our reply     this and maybe next season ...  Him AHHH we are just here for the next 8 days!  Timescale ... it changes everything
If we are not impressed with somewhere .. quite simple we just move on ... if we like it we hang around ... if we want a change of scenery .. we up anchor and try another bay (or another island).   If we want to explore ... bike, walk, car hire .. depends on the mood the terrain and of course the local traffic.
So that's how a few days suddenly become a week!! unbelievably relaxed Syd