17th January 2010
After a busy 10 days or so of jobs and warranty
work being done on the boat we were ready to leave the "Red Light District" of
Antigua. We had been supposed to be at home but due to a smattering of snow in
England the whole country came to a standstill and our flights to Gatwick were
cancelled. This led us to defer our visit home till the end of the month and of
course get some vital work completed on the boat.
We had only previously carried out a temporary
repair on our mainsail furling gear and as it happens I feel that this new
repair with a modified part is also a temporary job. Irksome.
Anyway being in Antigua at first when the Antigua
charter boat show was on in December and now returning in January when
the heavyweights are gathering for the Antigua Superyacht cup commencing on the
27th we have been surrounded by yachts which are simply mind boggling in size
complexity and of course cost. MirabellaV (who has a lift (crows nest type
arrangement) on the outside of the mast - not the inside as I previously
said), Ganesha, Barracuda, Ethereal, Ghost etc etc were all our near
neighbours. They not only like to hang out in the red light district - they are
the red light district! You see all these yachts show an all round red
light at the top of the mast instead of the white which us poor
people show. This is so low flighing aircraft don't hit their masts
apparently. Seriously - MirabellaV is almost 300 feet high! So they have created
a red light district in the anchorage in Falmouth Harbour. I counted 28 the
other night - it seems all the fashion, but cant be found in any rule of the
road that I can see.
After Craigs girlfriend was delayed by cancelled
Gatwick flights (another dusting of snow) by two days till Friday evening we
decided to defer our departure from Antigua till Saturday morning, 16th January,
works having been completed by close of play Friday. So off we set, and at
1000 outside the harbour we hoisted sail and took off on a beam reach. We flew
down past Montserat which was billowing smoke and ash and apparently lava too.
It was very dramatic, but off course one cant help but link this tectonic
activity to the tragic earthquake in Haiti.
Our plans had to be changed and we were now going
straight to St Vincent, about 250 miles - so an over night and a bit. This gave
us a chance to get the fishing gear out and we were rewarded with a Barracuda
and Tunny. We have now caught quite a range of fish but nothing big yet. Dont
worry, you will hear all about it when we do catch that elusive game
All through the night we were receiving
"Securitee" broadcasts on the VHF about a capsized 11m white hulled yacht
which twelve hours earlier had been reported 12 miles East of our course line
and we were due to "intercept" at about 5am. This meant an extra vigilant
lookout on Radar and visual but we never did see (or hit) anything, thankfully.
There was no report of the circumstances of this event but we certainly hope
there were no casualties.
The sail down was exilerating and we were regularly
doing 10 knots. It was however frustrating due to the previous weeks altered
timetable to be sailing by Martinique and St Lucia which we will now do on our
return from this cruise of the Grenadines before setting off for Venezuela at
the beginning of February. I was compensated a little by a beautiful sunrise
just to the north of St Lucia's famous "pitons".
There has been the first bit of ill health
aboard, and Trish is suffering badly from prolonged
coughing and subsequent choking fits due to a bad chest infection. We
have all suffered a bit from this which we think was delivered by Rhiann when
she arrived in December with a cold. This has left Trish a bit under the
weather but she has now been to the doctor and got some antibiotics so we
hope this will clear up in the next few
Friends, Grant and Jan arrive tomorrow so off
around the Grenadines for a bit of a whirlwind cruise.