Snow Leopard
Wed 9 Dec 2009 21:04

Claire & Rob continue:


The sail up to Saint Lucia was to be the longest and lumpiest yet. Rob and I fared well with our tasks and sea legs. Unfortunately, we proved once more to be unlucky crew as a previously damaged part of the jib track broke. It was decided that we would anchor off Pigeon Island (Saint Lucia) for a night and then try and enter the Marina to undergo some much needed repairs. Rising early the next day, Rob and I had an early morning walk up to Rodney Bay Fort.


We breakfasted watching some additional boats cross the Atlantic ARC finish line, before following their route to the Rodney Bay Marina. After some excellent negotiation by James, we secured a berth and James and Lucy set to repairing the boat, whilst we set off with shopping bags. The Marina was busy, but we luckily always managed to find a small seat in one of the bars. We had an enjoyable first evening in one of the restaurants with some friends of James and Lucy’s. The following evening, James had decided it would be fun to try and crash the Atlantic ARC welcome party on the beach. He informed us that the previous year the food and drink were free and there was a fabulous steel band. Unfortunately, James and Lucy only had their 2008 passes, but were sure this would work. James found a last minute spare pass for Rob, leaving me being fobbed off as ‘the silly one who forgot’ on the door. It was worth it. Free beer, rum punch food and music on the beach. You can’t go wrong…


Except yesterday (Thursday) I did feel wrong. I am not sure whether it was the sun, the party or a combination of the two, but I was too poorly all day to comment on what was apparently the ‘best sail’ of the trip so far. So Rob continues the narrative in Claire’s absence:-


We started by attempting to get fuel for the boat. We still had half a tank but the refuelling facilities in the harbour in St Lucia were some of the best we would be near for a while so we took the opportunity to top up. We did not count on the Fuel station having had a power cut the night before and the pumps not working. We joined a queue of other boats and waited for the electrician who had supposedly been called. After an hour or so with no-one any the wiser as to the whereabouts of the electrician it was decided that we would set sail without refuelling. We left St Lucia and headed north again. We managed to get into some good wind and ended up having a good sail even hitting 17 knots at one point which was exciting. I then saw what I thought was a whale breaching the surface. I wasn’t sure and thought it might have just been all the staring at the sea and possibly just wishful thinking but then it did so again. It was quite a small whale with a straightish head and James informed us that it was a pilot whale. I’m not sure what it was doing but it was breaching at regular intervals along a long straight path. About half an hour later Lucy saw something in the water and it turned out to be some dolphins. We only saw them briefly and they didn’t stick around to follow the boat as I was hoping. We set anchor in St Pierre in Martinique which is near the top of the island. Claire still wasn’t feeling too well so James, Lucy and I went ashore for a quick walk around and a couple of beers. It was a very strange feeling as Martinique is a French Island and it was just like landing in France in some ways. There was the little boulangerie and the shuttered buildings.