It's a tough life...

Paul Huntley
Sun 22 Mar 2009 14:09
Hi all,
We are currently on our way to Les Saintes - a group of smaller islands off the south of Guadeloupe. Libertad is steadily taking us north to be in Antigua by next weekend for our extra crew members to join.
I think Dad's last update was before our mammoth hiking experience on Dominica, so i'll start from there...
After arriving in Rousseau on Thursday we thought we would take some time out from sailing and spend the following day seeing a bit of the island - our Rough Guide book had recommended several waterfalls that all seemed fairly close together on a small map and described as involving 'gentle walking' so we were all up bright and early on Friday morning to start the adventure. After a hair-raising 40 minute near-death bus ride up to Laudat - a village high up in the rainforest, we all rather enthusiastically set off up the hill in search of the recommended sightseeing hot spots.To cut a long story short, 3 hours later we were still heading up the same hill and the old man was struggling.... In the end we abandoned Dad at the bottom of a 45 minute round hike to a freshwater lake  - nestled between volcano craters. It was really quite eerie up there and with the boys teasing me about being scared of snakes, by throwing sticks at me and shouting 'SNAKE!' as we were trekking through thick rainforest -  I had had quite enough! The blisters started to kick in, the temperature was around the 30'C mark and our short enjoyable walk was no longer as such! We walked back into Laudat and then down towards Middleham Falls - a 200ft waterfall deep in the Dominican rainforest. Another 90 minutes later we finally arrived and Tim and Ewan went for a refreshing dip in the freeeeezing water - I was content to sit on the side and get soaked by all the spray. It was definately worth the trek but we are all still suffering with aches and pains 2 days later - shows what a fit bunch of crew Dad has recruited for his boat! Once back in Rousseau it was decided that since England won the cricket a celebratory KFC was in order - Tim and Ewan went off to purchase said KFC and Dad headed back to Libertad to pick up Doris (the dinghy) to go and collect the boys to save them walking all the way back. However, Doris had other ideas and it wasn't her day - something to do with filters in fuel tanks falling off....Dad ended up having to be towed back as the engine conked out after 5 minutes! After a calm assessment of the situation by Dad (NOT!) it was decided that Doris was no quick fix - and Dad headed out with the oars to row to shore and pick up our dinner, oh and the boys.... So not the best end to a tiring day!
All was well again the next day, with a piece of string tied around the loose part Doris was fighting fit once again. We watched a huge cruise ship dock just north of our mooring over breakfast and then set off for Portsmouth, a short 3 hour jaunt up to the northern end of Dominica. The day then consisted of swimming, cleaning, washing and throwing frisbees and tennis balls to burn off some energy - we managed to secure a small section of beach and some of the locals joined in too. Back to the boat for a quick wash and change and then back out to dinner - We all had fish and then a few beers in an ajoinining bar.
As I said, Libertad is now on her way north to Les Saintes and then Guadeloupe tomorrow. I spotted some whales this morning whilst sunbathing on the bow which was pretty cool. The boys are still attempting to fish now and again but without much success - although I am reassured that they will land something thiiiiiiiiii........iiiss big before long and their masculinity will be duly reinstated.
Right, must away, bread to make before lunch.
It's a tough life but someone has got to do it!!
Lots of love, Sarah.