Week ending 21 October 2007 – Eventful
Week ending 21 October 2007 – Eventful
I will tell this in a sensible order from what I know now.
The music venue right behind me did not finish until 4.25 on Sunday morning and so I missed the net. Evidently there was a rider to the weather that TTSA should look out for 40-50 knot gusts according to the weather guy on the SSB at 6.30 am. Nothing happened Sunday and nothing was said on this morning’s net.
I went ashore to take the dog to the vet for her next shot and just as we got to the dock it rained very hard and we thought nothing more of it until I was told by someone who had a handheld radio that my boat was dragging and Jimmy took me back to the boat.
A 36 knot gust came through and my boat took off. The bottom here is a bit wobbly, everybody drags sometime, there are lumps in the mud and if you are too near the edge of a hill you just pull out. I had not put out all my chain when I re-anchored, only 5 to 6 times the depth because it was getting crowded and I did not want to take up too much room. Now I shall always try to put out all the chain, just in case.
Mary Ann was alone on their boat and did not have a dinghy with a motor and got on the VHF and gave a commentary on what was happening in an effort to get some help for my boat and the others that were in trouble. My anchor did not catch anywhere and If Knot Y Knot ended up on the rocks by the mangroves. Slow Dancing went and pulled it off with their dinghy and when I got back to the boat Richard was in the dinghy, Beth was steering and Tom from Jean Marie was at the anchor, which had been hauled up. There were other dinghies helping other boats and it was hectic. It took a couple of attempts to anchor and hold with all the chain out, but I was static. I could have done with some tranquilisers. The support of so many boats on the radio to see if I was ok was wonderful. Jane on Cheetah 2 sent Dick over with a piece of cake and a neighbour came with his diving gear and checked the hull. The keel and the rudder were fine and I had only lost 3 square centimetres of antifoul off the bottom of the keel. I was very lucky. No barnacles either.
Mary Ann came over for a cup of tea and I shared the cake, when another gust came through, but everyone was ok.
As the conditions at TTSA and in the other bay were worrying we abandoned the visit to the vet today.
A catamaran also dragged and caught another boat and they both came down on Cheetah 2, causing damage to all three boats. A 64 foot catamaran dragged into the moorings on the other side, there were other bits to this story, for personal telling only. It was rather messy, but luckily no serious damage seems to have been done.
I stayed on the boat for the rest of the day instead of going to the meeting about the Orinoco. I did go in to fill up some water bottles, Ricki now wants to come every time I get in a dinghy, anybody’s dinghy, but there was no room for her and the bottles.
This morning we did get to the vet. Ricki got in the car ok and sat on the back seat on her own on the way back. I got her a rabies shot as well. She is looking very well.
I decided to keep Ricki on the boat to train her to be comfortable and not wait for me to take her ashore because there will be many times when she would not be allowed ashore or conditions prevent this. Some people agree with this and others think I am being cruel and they would take their dogs ashore everywhere. Some islands shoot dogs that are illegally landed, presumably they avoid these islands..
I went to Immigration to get a visa extension, which they are not automatically granting at present, unless you are on the hard having work done. I got an appointment for an interview at the end of the month, so I have gained a week that way. Bruce was out of time before he went for his extension and they gave him until the end of the week because his alternator is in for repair. We spend money all the time we are here, but they just give us 3 months. All we have to do is sail to Grenada, check in, check out and come back and the 3 months starts again, hopefully. Hurricane season is officially 6 months long, if they keep this up then more people will head for Venezuala and Guyana in future.
I stayed on the boat with the dog, she is holding out. I cannot give in and take her ashore or I have to start again and that would be cruel.
I was putting the awning back up but Ricki decided to take herself downstairs, so she can manage the companionway steps then.
That night she got on the berth with me a couple of times, that must be the handy stepstool provided, which actually was for me. I decided to discourage this and put a pillow across the doorway.
I would have gone to Trincity but stayed in with the dog. It was very hot and even with the awning up Ricki decided to go indoors; there was a breeze on deck, but it was too hot. She was ready to jump down the hatch onto the bed to get in, so I let her go in.
In the afternoon we were warned of a squall coming through. I got the awning down and was ready to turn the engine on if necessary. Most people this time got back to their boats to be prepared. The squall looked impressive, very black clouds rolling in, there was thunder and lightning, but the wind did not get up too strong and there was not too much rain.
The squall took over half an hour and this was just the time when Ricki decided she was desperate and she put herself in the dinghy. Now was not the time for me to take her to shore. By the time the squall had passed I had lost my chance and she decided to continue to hold out.
It was not just the holding out, which would be unfair on her, but it was also the leaving her alone whenever I left the boat, because she was not welcome most places and the fact that I had to be able to fly out sometime. I was only supposed to be a foster home until she had all her shots and see how it went.
I took her ashore and Mike came round to discuss it.
We took all three dogs for a walk and everyone got on well, Ricki got up the step to Mike’s boat and then I went back to mine. Mike left and went back to the bay and Ricki did not kick up a fuss.
I came in to the shore and Mike came back later in the car to take Bruce to get his repaired alternator and he said Ricki was settled ok. I am rather heartbroken, but know it is best for the dog in the long run. I will let her settle, but I have visitation rights.
I was able to come ashore and spend all morning on the internet, sorting my boat insurance and downloading the new software for my e-mail compression programme.
I now had my freedom and things to do, but did not feel like it. I had a read and then a nap. I have arranged to go to the T & T Jazz & Pan Festival opening night.
The gig was good, but I found it extremely difficult to stay awake. There were 4 sets of musicians. The first set was by a traditional pan band with 4 types of pan set ups and 3 types of drums, they were good. Then there was a band of someone and the 12 Tribes of Israel, so you would expect at least 13 people on stage. There were not 13 of them, they were not pan, they were not jazz and they were not that good. The third set was very good a mix with sax and trumpet, electric piano, drums, congas and bass guitar. There was one song that was made famous by someone so big that they didn’t have to tell us who or what it was. Instead they took off their jackets to reveal what looked like football T shirts. We were no wiser, it must be a Trini thing. The last set was a little late starting and Jesse confirmed that we had to leave at 11. When Jesse found out that the band was Traffic we were allowed to stay a bit longer, he liked Traffic. The lead singer definitely had some confidence and could make it big. We were home just before midnight. First day without Ricki, I still feel sad.
Yvonne, a boat I met when leaving the Algarve for Madeira, and then in the Canaries and Cape Verdes and Barbados, has arrived.
I have water in the engine bilge when I run the engine and so I undid and refitted the shaft seal. I need to get into some clean water so that I can check the cutlass bearing. I decided to fix up the 12v pump in the engine bilge so that I can drain the water easily while motoring. I managed to get the old split pins out and tighten up the backstay that was too loose.
I tried to get the diesel filler cap off, but just succeeded in rounding off the fitting in that and the edge of a brand new winch handle. I can run the fuel from the other tank and it will refill this tank, but I will have to find a proper solution. These few jobs needed access to 6 lockers in all areas of the boat and it took a while to tidy up.
I do not have room for the TV/DVD that I took on, I am going to have to dump that and other stuff that I do not have room for. The digital radio is also good but is too greedy on batteries. The problem is that my things are 220v and here most people have US 110v, so the opportunity to rehome is not great.
Today is the final of the Rugby and we are going to watch it on the big screen in one of the bars. A lot of Brits are being rounded up, otherwise we will be outnumbered by the South Africans here. We was robbed! It would have all been different if the English try had been allowed.
Now it is another BBQ.
Today should just have been dominoes and nothing to report, but life is not that uneventful here. There was another function last night at the venue behind me. Again it went on till 4.30 this morning and it was not even good music. Jean Marie had up anchored at 10pm last night and gone off to 5 Islands and came back to reclaim his spot early this morning – clever man, but I do not like moving in the dark, I have to just suffer the noise.
After the churchgoers had left their boats we had a serious squall. The storm was right over the boat the thunder and lightning was decidedly worrying. Mike turned the radio on to check I was ok, but we then switched off until it was over. I thought I smelt smoke after one strike, but I am still floating, so it was not me.
Now it is over we can go to dominoes.