St Lucia

JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 11 Feb 2007 22:41

It has been (another) quiet week in Rodney Bay.


A correspondent has written to complain that there was not much evidence of derring-do in our arrival blog which suggests to him that perhaps there was not much derring to do.  He is quite right.  I have always believed that the most successful cruises are those where absolutely nothing happens and the crossing was close to ideal in that respect.  After eighteen days we were probably more tired than we realized at the time and feeling a little anti-climactic.


Exotic bouquet






One hour before arrival here we opened an e-mail from daughter Sarah to say that she would be with us in 48 hours.  We were gob-smacked and thought it a wonderful gesture.  Half an hour after we tied up there was tap on the cabin top and a chap handed over a magnificent bunch of exotic flowers and bottle of bubbly from son Glyn and family.  We were already tired; we became somewhat emotional. 











Awaiting Pina Coladas






We had a great time with Sarah for a week and she took us round the island in her hire car to visit the sulphur springs, the botanical gardens and the rain forest, even luring us on to the beach for swims.  It was a

real holiday after the crossing. 









Then we started to find quite a few maintenance items that needed doing just as the adrenaline rush was wearing off and we were settling into our comfort zone.  Among other things we have re-fixed the oil reservoir for the bow thruster - it must have been knocked off in heavy seas - and cleared up the escaped oil from the locker.  The main engine heat exchanger has had a crack welded up and its internal pipes cleared.  The inner forestay has been replaced.  The gas system has had to be changed because the regulator failed after a few days here and they do not do Camping Gaz in St Lucia.  (If the failure had been a few days out of La Gomera the crossing would have had a very different feel to it).  I have replaced a broken bilge pump but before I could see what to do I had to bail out gallons of water because the guy who took the heat exchanger off left the sea-cock partly open.  Mags has replaced the lifebuoy which caused her grief on day 2 and I have installed a new microwave which we bought on the very day we left La Gomera.  We are very pleased about this because the old one was good for nothing but use as a bread bin and Faraday cage in the case of thunder storms.  We have been searching Comet, Currys, the internet and caravan shops for over two years to find one small enough to fit.


We had been concentrating on the Atlantic crossing so much in recent months that we rather lost the medium term plot.  Since we have been here we have had a good deal of advice including plenty from fellow sailors who think we should stay at least another season in the Caribbean.  We have decided, on balance, to carry on as intended and make for Panama in May.  We aim to leave here shortly and head for Antigua then cruise slowly down the Leeward and Windward Islands arriving, perhaps, in Trinidad by the end of March.  From there we go west along the Venezuelan coast to the Dutch "A, B, C," islands with the intention of arriving at the canal at the end of April.  Apparently the trade winds are very strong in the SW Caribbean until they start to die down at the end of the winter season in April.  Mags is investigating the possibility of visiting her nephew in Cali via the Columbian port of Cartegena


We had intended to be away from here before now but there is plenty to delay us and not much incentive to make adventurous efforts.  On Friday morning we entertained a young engineer with whom I used to do some business and his family who are holidaying on the island.  Then a member of our radio course of a year ago turned up and we had a beer with him followed by a few more with our neighbour, a Swiss-German engineer/psycho-therapist.  Yes, really!  It was a heavy day.


Since we have access to wi-fi hot spots I have been reading some other MailASail blogs.  It is a humbling experience for us dilettante amateurs.  These other sailors educate their children in mid-ocean, crack on more sail, climb masts to disentangle wrap-arounds, blow out spinnakers, penetrate deeply into tropical rain forests and altogether behave like real cruising folk.  Impressive stuff.


Just Mags