Our first Christmas in the sunny Caribbean

Fri 7 Jan 2011 14:57
After checking into Bridgetown, Barbados we made our way to Carlisle Bay, where we were all desperate for a swim to cool down.  So with Nimue safely anchored in 3 metres of clear blue water it wasn’t long before we were swimming around her.  As is usual with Atlantic crossings, Nimue had grown numerous goose barnacles, which were dangling from her hull and will need to be scraped off in due course. 


Carlisle Bay Anchorage


We wandered what all the fuss was about when we were joined in the anchorage by a very luxurious super yacht.  Its name was Eclipse, which turned out to belong to Roman Abramovich.  It had only been launched on 9 Dec. 2010, was 550ft long and cost in the region of £400m.  Security was OTT, having an on board missile detection system and a bullet proof master suite!! It even had its own submarine!


                                             Passing Roman’s mega yacht in the clearing in dock


                      Just look at all those lights in the distance – Eclipse anchored in the bay

Despite worries about flights landing in the UK due to the bad weather, Nigel landed back in the UK on Christmas Eve without any hassle. We made preparations for Christmas Day and took the dinghy into Bridgetown to do a spot of shopping.  Big mistake, as it was like shopping in the UK on Christmas Eve, except it was too hot, but still too crowded!  Christmas Day was a fairly quiet affair and spent in the company of the crew on ‘Alf a Bet’ (Lance the Welshman - skipper, Andy the Australian and Thomas the Dutchman) and I had prepared food for a BBQ on board their catamaran.



One guess where the boat name came from?


Andy and Lance on Alf a Bet


Along with all the anchored yachts, we had all received a ‘message in a bottle’ inviting us to the Barbados Cruising Club for a number of events over the Christmas period, including a Turkey dinner on Christmas Eve and rum punches with the Mike, the Commodore on Boxing Day.  Mike put himself out to make us welcome and even invited us on his own yacht for a drink as we were passing by one day in our dinghy.


Nigel & Michael at the Barbados Cruising Club

Within a day of Nigel leaving, we were kept on our toes by a large swell which appeared in the anchorage after an Atlantic storm.  This made it virtually impossible to land the dinghy safely on the beach, so the only way ashore was to take the dinghy through the careenage into the centre of Bridgetown.    We had taken to using the same taxi driver, Ryan for driving us around to re-fill cooking gas bottles and purchase a new generator battery (at twice the UK price!).

We prepared to set off for Bequia for New Year to meet up with some friends also arriving by yacht.