Port Royal

Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Tue 28 Mar 2006 18:07
Walliliabou,(Port Royal: for all those fans of 'Pirates of the Caribbean'), 27th March 2006. St Vincent Island.
We are moored in this strange bay, filled with film sets, all propped up with steel scaffolding.  It was great for the girls to look around the sets, complete with fake stone bridges, jetties, and olde shops, already looking a bit weather worn and rickety two years post-shoot.   This was after Chris had had a big cup of tea to help steady his pulse after more spectacular mooring hassles.
The pressure starts about a mile out from the bay, with waiting speed boats, competing for the right to charge you for handing you a mooring rope.  Previously we have ended up racing for the mooring, which we are perfectly capable of tying up to without any help whatsoever.   When we won one of these races,(surprisingly, as Sarah Grace is not a very good speed boat), the pipped boat boy said disparagingly, 'Mon, you are cheap!'.  In many bays it is compulsory to moor, as it is either two deep or there is a marine reserve, so incoming yachts are like fish in a barrel for waiting boat boys.
Despite repeated rejections, these guys trail you in in their boats, and then mill around the mooring trying to hand you the rope.  Yesterday, Chris lassoed one of them in a speedboat with our big mooring rope, whilst ostensibly trying to catch the mooring buoy.   The hapless guy managed to escape, and we eventually managed to pick up a line, not before another man in a canoe had started trying to retie the mooring knot, and we were being bombarded by advice about which ropes to use for a stern line etc. from two speedboats, hanging onto the stern. This had the effect on Chris which I have only ever seen Mimi at her worst achieve.
The floating vendors are usually more benign, but more numerous.  They arrive on floating apparatus too precarious to be described as boats.  Surfboards piled high with soggy bananas, tiny fibreglass bathtubs filled with trinkets, or canoes filled with mangoes and pawpaws all arrive with generally persistent and cheerful owners, and keep your very busy seconds after you have managed to tie up.  Hanging fruit from the rigging is meant to give the signal that you don't need any more, but this is also an invitation to fruit bats to have a go, as we have discovered....
Here is a picture of the girls asleep in the cockpit at dawn, with the Pirates of the Caribbean set in the background.
Here is a picture of me looking weatherbeaten!
Here is one of Otti looking at the pitons of St Lucia, and another one of them as we sailed past yesterday.   Incidentally, now that we are sailing south east again, the wind has swopped from north to south east......... So we had a pretty rough day of it with a forty mile passage into the wind.  Just think, I was really looking forward to coming back south on a reach or run!
Here is a picture of all the kids in St Pierre in Martinique, last week.  We all really miss Freddy, even though he has gone for only a few days.