13 February 2007, Tuesday
This anchorage is amazing, the boat does not rock, it does not move. This is because the wind is so strong and so constant from the same direction. There are hundreds of boats here and room for more, but why it is so popular I have yet to find out. There are no mosquitos, if they were able to fly against this wind they would be like the flying aces of WW2 and would have marks on their bodies to count the number of bites they had made. While on the subject of medal deserving creatures, I found my boat in the dark, without resorting to the flashlight. Return journeys always seem faster than the outward leg and I was doing really well. Not only did I find the boat, I also found the sand/mudbank between the marina and the boat. I turned the engine off and not so much rowed, more punted with the oars off the bank. The mud that was previously under a very shallow layer of water with a twig stuck in it was now above the water, but not visible in the dark until you were really looking for it, or on it. Do I get a prize for finding this.
I also have to report that yesterday I finished the marmite, it was a very small jar and I never thought I would really finish it, but yesterday I was scraping the jar to get enough for my small packet of crackers. I had not eaten yesterday and when I got back I was very hungry, but too tired to do anything about it. I went to bed at 8 and had to get up at 9 to find something to eat. I am on my last packet of cereal, Weetabix, is there a more boring cereal, but it was quick to prepare.
My provisioning was good, since leaving the Canaries Mid November I have hardly bought anything; only eggs and lemons. I did buy some flour, but that was because I lost the resolve to use the wholemeal for anything other than half and half bread and wanted more white. Oh, and I bought chocolate when I found some, I hope my luggage allowance will be enough to stock up when I am back in the UK.
I have had a tidy up on the boat, which looked quite devastated when I left it yesterday, but it did not take long to get back in order. I love my boat, I am pleased with my little dinghy for what it is and I am persevering with my outboard, some things take longer to love.
Jim came over and later I went in to the marina. Had a look at the shops in the immediate area, including the supermarket. Came back and had something sensible to eat.
14 February 2007, Wednesday
I got up early and set of at 6 for the marina as Jim wanted to come out onto the anchorage. I did not realise he is not a morning person and needed tea and a cigarette before functioning. If the wind had come up in that time I would not have been pleased. We got out of the marina ok and anchored, his boat boat is very different from mine, but we managed. We then had to go back in for my dinghy. We had a coffee, French coffee is too strong for me. In the end I went back to the bar and asked for more milk. I was told that my husband should have ordered an American coffee and that would not have been as strong, such bad treatment of me on Valentines day – I let it pass. Then I had to send Jim up for sugar, the guy behind the bar was completely confused now. I dont take sugar in tea or chocolate, but I do in coffee. On the way back to the anchorage we went to another supermarket I needed some more eggs and I bought some potatoes.
I did the washing and made a yorkshire pudding and some cheese straws to use up the 2 old eggs and the 2 that had not survived the dinghy trip. I am fed up with getting totally drenched in the dinghy in this chop. I was going to make a cover for the dinghy, but needed a rest and a read. Manyana.
The wind died just as it got dark and my batteries are running down. Every time there was a bit of charge I took it for the inverter. If it is calm early tomorrow I would like to move, a bit further forward from the boat behind at least, but maybe nearer the mangroves to reduce the distance the chop has to build up.
15 February 2007, Thursday
7.00 not much wind and so I moved the boat. I am only a hundred yards further forward, but am not sitting on anyone. Jim says the cat next to him has moved and there is a space there, but I would need to see it first and be sure that there are no mosquitos as it is much nearer to the shore.
Arranged to go to the other shopping area with Jim in his dinghy. It is next to the boatyard but quite a walk using the roads; they have dug a channel through the mangroves which is quite different. Then we went back to the marina to check the e-mail. Eric was meant to be coming back, but I think he has gone further up. John was meant to be arriving in a few days, but had just arrived. We went into the bar on the way back and John was there. The afternoon wore on and Kathy and Daniel from La Gomera joined us. John was taking his laptop back to the boat before dark, so we towed Jims dinghy back to his boat and then dropped me off. I expect the evening to be long and involve pizza and large quantities of beer and I will leave them to a boys night. I will join them all again tomorrow.
16 February 2007, Friday
Probably just the bar and the boys. Kathy and Daniel joined us for a while before going off for their dinner at a restaurant that they had to make a reservation for. We ate in the bar and some Italians from a charter boat joined us and paid nearly half the bill for 9 people; we thought they were nice people, even before we found this out. I was rowing back, but John pushed me from his dinghy and we took some time finding the boat.
17 February 2007, Saturday
Kathy and Daniel and John and Duncan came for morning coffee; Jim does not do mornings. Then we adjourned to the bar for the internet, I held out until nearly 4pm, but succumbed.
Max and partner from Interlude, French Canadians from Gomera met me in the bar and I found out the other French boat is still in Cape Verdes; they had gone to Senegal to deliver the medical supplies first.
Just to prove what a small world this is: Duncan is here looking after a boat in an anchorage about 2.5 miles down the channel and was at the end of the table talking to his mum on Skype and she said that my boat was here somewhere. Duncan was able to report that I was sitting a few feet from him. Gaynor, Duncan’s mum, had been reading my blog when I came across and e-mailed me at Christmas when I got in to say well done. I have never met or spoken to her, but here I am sitting next to her son.
I am very pleased to report that Duncan is a very good looking and well behaved young man and a credit to his mum. There are a lot of mums out there that would not want to know what their offspring are up to let loose in the Caribbean.
I left about 7 when the boys went for some food. There was no wind so I rowed; I nearly got to the channel marker. I tried to start the engine, but it would not go – this is because I had worked for so long with a permanent cable tie and a piece of rope I keep forgetting I have now got the proper kill cord that you have to actually put on. So I rowed some more and actually came upon the unlit isolated obstruction buoy. I nearly gave up and headed back to the marina, because Duncan could have towed me out there with the very powerful outboard on his dinghy and got me home in minutes, but I am a bit stubborn and I knew I was diagonally behind this buoy somewhere, so I rowed some more and eventually found the boat at 8.45.
18 February 2007, Sunday
Did the washing and then popped over to Grover for tea and the threepenny tour of the boat. Then up to the bar to send this. Daniel and Kathy are on the pontoon for a couple of days for maintenance work, so I will pop in and say hi. I was going to head off, but John is going down to St Lucia Thursday or Friday and I might wait and go in company, there is no rush. The anchorage is good and the natives (yachties) are friendly.