Sun 6 Feb 2011 14:02
We, g&a, arrived thursday night at the boat in rodney bay, had a warm beer and called it a day.
Friday, G did a rigorous cleaning exercise on the inside, and by going through all the food in all cupboards, she discovered that in the Caribbean, nothing seems to be able to be kept outside a fridge. Bread was kind of obvious, but our bread-flour, canned milk and mayonaise and lots of other stuff went into the bin.
A in the meantime collected the sails and risked another "disc herniation" surgery by singlehandedly mounting both the jib (easy) and the main sail (crisis level difficult).
We ended the day with a drinking session on board with 2 locals from the marina and had sushi in the new, over the top luxurious mall closeby.
It was a windy and rainy night, so we were busy openening and closing hatches all night while trying to sleep. Then, at around 5am, we both woke up from a sound. A went out to check and there he was, a burglar! In our ship! Wtf?! A started to tell the burglar to leave while at the same time he noticed the burglar was a she, well dressed and sitting at our table sending a text message? We were confused but made sure the she-maybe-not-a-burglar left the boat in seconds, while she kept saying "sorry, sorry, I am supposed to meet someone"... Well, not on our boat ;)
The next morning we finished being in st lucia by doing some shopping, and then checking out of the marina and clear customs. We started the engine, dropped the lines and on we went. That is, very slowly. Too slowly... Panic overwhelmed A. The engine was running but the propellor did not seem to move us. Then it became clear to us, the folding propellor did not fold out! Meanwhile the wind took control of our boat, sideways as we had no speed. Luckily the thrusters worked and we could prevent bumping into other boats on leeward. We swithed gear between forward and reverse and rev'd up to maximum power. No good, still no speed. We had about 100meters before we would run aground. We called for help on channel 16, and Sparkle, the laundry man, came by as he anyway appeared from around a corner. We moved at about 1knot towards the rocky shore and shouted to Sparkle our propellor did not work. He shouted " o o" and moved towards the otherside if the ship to start pushing us back. But just as he was about to do so, the engine started to rev up, almost 2000 rpm, in reverse, and yes, the boat stopped and then went backwards, very slowly. Dark fumes came from the exhaust and the whole boat was shaking heavily. Once at a safe point, we changed gear to forward, and tried to rev up, but it would not do more than 1000 rpm at max throttle. Then, after a minute of stress, the rpm meter stated 1600 and the boat started to move forward, shaking, smoking. We thanked Sparkle and felt good enough to go to open water, out of the marina we went with 2 knots. We started to leave (according a friend who has never been there) "the most beatiful island in the world".
Reef 1 in and onto Martinique, ne5, lots of current westward and a choppy sea. Martinique here we come!