Time to catch up!
After my children left on 29th December Libby and I were joined the next
day (30th December) by her 2 sisters Carolyn and Melly and 2 nephews Leo
and Harry. Off to Pigeon Island that night, then the Pitons at Soufrieres
followed by Wallilabou on St Vincent.
Then we visited Bequia (see photos attached), and Mustique which was
definitely the highlight of our trip. We were entertained royally by the
de Blocq van Kuffelers enfamille, showing us their fantastic rented
mansion, followed by a wonderful lunch on the beach (see other picture
attached). What a spot Mustique is - but only if you have residents to
show you around - which the van Kuffelers did most generously.
On the next day to the Tobago Cays which are gorgeous - swimming with
turtles & stingray and anchoring in the most wonderful turqouise water
protected by a coral reef (sadly with 30 other boats).
Following morning disaster struck, firstly with a engine fire (caused by
starter motor switch sticking and burning out the starter motor) , then
running on to a 7ft deep rock in the entrance when the skipper was not
concentrating on navigation. When the lifting keel (which drew about 9ft
at the time) fell off the rock, it pulled the Spectra lifting rope out of
its sheath at the bottom end and broke the nylon stopper so it was just
hanging below the hull on the swivel pin (or so we discovered later when
we got to Bequia).
Skipper was abandoned by crew there (who took the ferry to St Vincent and
then flew to St Lucia for their return to the UK). My insurance company
then helped me a lot by finding a spare starter motor from a charter boat
in St Vincent - guy came over and fitted it next day. Meanwhile I got a
diver to reattach the keel rope using a bowline and managed to lift the
keel back up. Next day I set off singlehanded at 6.30am to sail the 75
miles to Rodney Bay which I did successfully in daylight in 10 hours
(managing to dock in the marina with the bowthruster working 1 way only).
Next crew of my 2 nephews plus spouses arrived the next day