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Date: 11 Feb 2011 00:52:00
Title: Heading South again

17:14.943N 62:39.605W White House Bay, St Kitts, Thursday night

We're back in White House Bay where we swam with the Humpback a while ago. It's been a long day but it was good to get going again.

We had an early start which was a struggle for us all as we had a pretty late night, what with getting back from Gustavia and all the jollifications. We were underway at 0800 and on our way round to Gustavia again. Kali got hold of the Commercial Port guys only to be told that their fuel dock is too shallow for Saxon Blue. Another example of the Caribbean genius for missing out on commercial opportunities. There are about 200 yachts anchored around the town and none of them can fuel up at the new facility that they've just built. I think it's deliberate. The thing out here is to have a job, not to do a job. I'm sure the fuel guy is very happy to have his job and he doesn't have troublesome mariners constantly demanding diesel from him.

Anyway, Kali went in to clear out of Customs (another non-job for the boys) and we finally got going at about 1000. Initially, we were in the lee of St Barths but we soon got clear and the wind picked up to around 20 knots. The swell wasn't as bad as we'd feared, though, and we were sailing along merrily. We should have been using our genoa but, with the broken halyard block up the mast, I didn't want to risk damaging anything so we just used the main and the jib. That probably cost us the best part of a knot of boat speed but we enjoyed our sail anyway. As we crossed over to the passage between Statia and St Kitts, we could see St Barths disappearing behind us with St Martin off to the West of it. To the South West of us, we could see Saba with its blanket of clouds. After a short time, Statia came into view and then St Kitts so there was plenty to look at.

We didn't see much wildlife although the brilliant blue flying fish were entertaining. As we dropped into the lee of St Kitts, the swell flattened off but the wind changed to dead ahead and was kicking up a nasty chop which slowed us down. We passed the incredible fortifications of Brimstone Hill again. It still blows my mind to think of 1000 British troops stationed there just to provide a deterrent to Johnny Foreigner. It must have worked, though, because Britannia was unchallenged for a hundred years in the Caribbean. Soon, we could see White House Bay in the distance although it seemed to take an age to arrive. At one point I questioned whether we actually going forward atall.

We anchored near a couple of other boats then realised that the wind was making us yaw around too close to them so we picked the anchor up again and had a another go with much better results. Kali jumped straight in for a swim, closely followed by Andrea and I. The two of us swam from Saxon Blue over to the wreck site and explored there for a while. I was pleased that I was able to dive down much more easily than the last time we were here so I must be getting better. Then we swam back to the boat and jumped out for a hot shower as we were both getting chilly. It's amazing the improvement in Andrea's swimming. She's now happy jumping off the back of the boat and swimming around out of her depth for quite some distance. She'd never have even contemplated that a month ago.

As we headed back to Saxon Blue, I saw a Nordhavn moored up and joked with Andrea that it must be Kali's friend Todd. It actually is him. Then two other yachts arrived and they're our neighbours from the bay on St Barths from two nights ago. I think we're being followed!

We're about to watch an episode of Battlestar and then it'll be an early night as we're going to do some more miles tomorrow and hopefully end up in Montserrat - a new island for us so that will be very exciting.

Harvey

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