Paul Huntley
Sat 28 Mar 2009 12:49

17:03N 61:53W       27th March 2009


Hi to all you blog watchers out there and especially to Chris Cook, who had open heart surgery last Tuesday. Dave tells me you are recovering well and on the mend, keep up the good work and I have booked the breakfast at Wessons when I return. Thanks for keeping me updated Dave. As you can see we are in Antigua, the hub of the Caribbean, Jolly harbour is in the south west of this beautiful island. We sailed up from the Iles de Saintes to Deshaies on the North West coast to clear customs out in preparation for the passage to Antigua. Deshaise pronounce (deyhey) is an uninspiring little seaside town, being French, it has had a big injection of E.U. money into the infrastructure back in the 1980,s with the building of a small marina, tennis and basket ball courts and a waterfront promenade, and gardens that were once tended, now it has all fallen into disrepair seen so often in the Caribbean. I think they are trying to build these colonial out posts in the likeness of the home country and it is just not appreciated buy the indigenous population who have their own culture and style. We have seen many examples of true Caribbean Islands such as Union Island or Bequia that have developed at their own pace and in their own way. The influence of past colonial powers will always be there but they are now developing their own identity, which does not have the order or design of the European cultures it reflects the colourful laid back style of the Afro Caribbean.

We departed from Deshaise early for the fifty mile passage to Jolly Harbour, Ula with John and Jackie decided to head for English or Falmouth harbour in Antigua but with the wind in the north east they could lay a better course to Jolly Harbour and we were reunited with a generous invite for rhum punches in Ula's cockpit. We had the inevitable list of repairs, the fridge had decided to stop working again and the generator was overheating and shutting down. Sending the crew off to explore the beautiful beaches I had the space to lift the ceilings (floors) of Libertad and explore the miles of unlabeled wiring to trace the fault on the fridge, after three hours and several corroded terminals, me and my trusty test meter had the fridge working again. We celebrated with cold beers once again!

The generator was stripped and we discovered the water pump had a build up of calcium restricting the water flow and a damaged impellor so with the pump cleaned and a new impellor, oil and fuel filters replaced she is ready to charge our batteries and run our water maker for the return trip to the U.K.

Whilst in the mood the main engine, Mr Volvo, had done a lot of hours since her last oil change in St Lucia. Not  to be left out, a full service had to be done with a new impellor and oil and fuel filters and another 10 lts of new oil flowing through her veins, she will, I hope continue in her good service. Guy, (our mechanic) will be please to hear that he hasn’t a list of service work to do when he arrives on the 24th April.

Today is Saturday 28th March and we are expecting Corrie and Emily this afternoon. Emily has been working hard in her final year at University and deserves a good break, Corrie has also been doing sterling work holding the fort back home dealing with all the business matters that have arisen, so we are busy cleaning to ensure they have a smart boat when they arrive.

We intend to stay at Jolly harbour until Monday when we will sail for Nevis and St Kits for a few days before returning on Thursday to Antigua to get Tim on his flight home, I will miss his company and contribution to the boat, he has spent more time on Libertad than anyone else and has truly earned the rank of First Mate. I think his experiences have been valuable and I hope he will he will reflect in the years to come his time aboard Libertad.

Once again Chris, our thoughts are with you, Pat Hanna and Emily. Think of all those bike rides to come!

Fondest  regards Paul.