Falmouth Harbour, Antigua 17:00.87N
Out here we wonder how long Gordon Brown will
continue to believe that he is the only person who can save the UK and
the World. They say that power corrupts, but this one seems to have
just gone loopy. Now we understand he is taking over the distribution of salt
for the roads! Lets hope that he is being generous to the poor people
Back at sea level the Christmas Winds never
materialised this year and are still relatively light and we motored much of the
way from Bequia to St Lucia. After a night in the delightful natural
harbour of Marigot we anchored off what used to be Pigeon Island before it was
joined to the mainland by a causeway which has created the enormous and
sheltered Rodney Bay.
Pigeon Island in flames.
Just after our anchor went down Pigeon Island
erupted into flame probably from a carelessly discarded cigarette. We
called the marina to alert the fire brigade and to our surprise they arrived in
double quick time and very soon had the blaze under control. We moved
into the marina to do few jobs. The mate had been badgering the skipper to
clean out the water tanks which have been producing rather rusty water.
Needless to say the skipper had been procrastinating as he was rather disturbed
about what he might find after 14 years. In the event the job was easy and now
we have crystal clear water again.
Then it was party time. On Thursday
evening we flew down to Trinidad for Natasha Kelshall's wedding to Paul
Pantin. We were staying with our good friends Don and Cathryn (Natasha's
parents) and all day Friday and Saturday morning got involved
with the preparations.
Chris helped with the flower arranging and
accomplished a long standing desire to do some flower arranging with a limitless
supply of tropical flowers. The results of hers and Cathryn's sister
Kieran's efforts were spectacular. John enjoyed running errands in Don's
luxurious car, something of a contrast to the old jalopy he generously lends us
when we are in Trinidad.
John's contact with the Trinidad weather guru,
Eric, produced a forecast of clear skies after early rain and that is just what
we had. We were tasked with feeding Don and getting him on time and sober
to where he was collecting Natasha who looked really stunning. We think we
probably had the most difficult task of the day!
We chauffeured Cathryn to the church and then Don
and Cathryn back to the reception. At 1500 the church was packed with the
300 guests, the bride was almost on time and the vows were made with tears and
breaking voices on both sides. It was all very emotional and later during
the speeches there were more tears. Then the partying started in earnest
and the dancing continued until 0200 on Sunday morning accompanied by masses of
wonderful food and lubricated liberally with alcohol in many
There were six really lovely bridesmaids
dressed in contrasting colours and some equally gorgeous guests contorted in
some weird and wonderful dance manoeuvres.
We let off a mass of sky lanterns, miniature hot
air balloons which glow in the night sky which will be known to Glastonbury
revellers. Don had the idea of harnessing them to the bride and groom but
in the event we did pretty well to get them all aloft without entangling
themselves in the trees. We crawled into bed at 0300 but were up again
for a poolside lunch party known as a pong or pound party where the
previous days activities are mulled over with more libations.
Monday morning we were up at 0415 to catch our
morning flight back to St Lucia after a memorable and superb weekend, but
unsurprisingly failed in our resolve to leave the marina that day!!
We finally sailed on Tuesday morning in wonderful
conditions to Martinique and a sort of chance meeting with Moonsong which
resulted in a beautifully bbq'd leg of lamb accompanied by vegetables de
L'Oriole. We continued in company to Dominica where Oriole's bbq provided
beef fillet for the Moonsongs amid much merriment.
From there we had a brief stopover in Guadeloupe
and on Saturday sailed up to Falmouth Harbour, Antigua in fantastic forty miles
visibilty with the smoking volvcano on Montserrat appearing to be very
close to port. We were welcomed by Andrew who took our lines and tied us
alongside Sea Shuttle and helped us wash off a month of salt accumulation.
We are masquerading as Sea Shuttle's tender and hope that the dockmaster will
turn a blind eye to this little pimple which has appeared among the
superyachts. The varnishing team arrive tomorrow morning so we should be
looking pretty smart for our first guests who arrive next week.