St Lucia on mooring buoy 14:04.31N 060:57.14W

Sue & Alan
Tue 11 Feb 2014 22:42
Couple of good evenings ashore with Sandra & Ray before they departed for their UK home yesterday afternoon. Now it' Sue & me doing our thing again. Had a quiet evening on-board yesterday to give us time to have a think about what we want to do between now & Antigua. We finally found the local cruisers net this morning on C68 at 0830 and introduced ourselves, when invited to do so. Their forecast here for today was not so good and it proved correct, unfortunately!
This morning it was opportune to take a proper look at our sodden/troublesome washboard - the one that jammed us in the saloon on our run-in towards Barbados! This has been a problem ever since we took delivery of Ticketeeboo 4½ years years ago. I recall, one of my first 'warranty' jobs in Turkiye was to fit a completely new washboard. It was then I first discovered the unreliable nature of the beast and since then we have been exceptionally careful with the monster. Perhaps so careful we had become complacent with it? Now we have to do something because first thing this morning gravity made the monster bite like a guillotine and that's not nice and could have cost one of us dearly. Fortunately when the washboard hit it's stops it was just a loud 'bang' and an unhappy Sue! I have now been able to salvage enough of the parts to make a temporary repair. Much better than the original too! With our new configuration our sliding washboard is almost neutrally biased. To open, it needs jus
t 6kg lifting force and to close it needs just 1kg resisting force. Before recently buggered it had two counter-springs and would 'smash' against the upper stops (if allowed to) and more recently, when the springs failed and jammed, it needed major effort to lift open, risk dropping like a guillotine to smash itself apart! The repair took most of our morning. To celebrate we had fish-finger & spiced beans for lunch, plus a beer or two whilst it pissed down!
At three, rain abated, it was 'lets go visit Kenny at Rodney Bay Sails and see the score with our jibsl. He was pleasant today! He's done the job and responded very favourably when I thanked him. He wanted to show me all the work he's done and said "Your sail is like new and just needed re-stitching where the original stitching was UV damaged". Very reasonable price too. Also, provided we can get our genoa to him in the morning he thinks he can re-sew what's needed, like-for-like. Our repaired jibsl is now hoisted and ready for next sail. Getting our genoa to him is an entirely different matter. It's massive and it's friggin heavy. We can only get it down safely if the wind is gonna be kind to us. Even then it's a sod and a half to flake & bag on our deck. It will also be a sod to take ashore in our RIB, and to get from RIB to his sail-loft. Hence, we'll see what the weather is like in the morning. Fingers crossed eh!!!
Been reading-up on what's-what for SIM dongle internet access so Sue & I visited the local Digicell office/shop this afternoon. I had just explained what "Cooking with gas" means to the dolly and I was about to buy us a pay-as-yeah-goes internet SIM when I said to the dolly "I will be able to use this throughout the Caribbean?" Her answer was "Yes, but you have to pay extra on other islands." After more detailed investigative pre-buying it was 'stuff that for bad a game of cards'! No point in buying a SIM which only works in St Lucia when we ain't staying here longer than we have to! Also, their SIM don't allow skype chatting anyway so we can make do with what we have for now. My old 'Kindle' rules OK?
We have also now found two local 'massive' supermarkets. In Caribbean these places are like busses. There's hardly anything we want in most supermarkets then we find 2 x brillo supermarkets opposite each other. Good planning eh? We're gonna have a good shop tomorrow, weather permitting! We were gonna go again today except became weigh-layed with jibsl (priorities must) on a sailing yacht!
Making a further point about our weather today. Admittedly it's been more raining than not raining and it's been overcast almost all of the say. Fortunately the temperature has not fallen below 28ºC so it remains quite pleasant for me......... in me shorts, regardless. Unfortunately no swimming here because the water in the lagoon where we are is 'orrible. Even the fish are doing their best to try and get out. We see this as they consistently keep jumping high out of the water, landing with a plop & splash with sporadic regularity - bit like shooting stars at night!
Another day in paradise tomorrow!
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 08/02/2014 18:30 UT our position was 14°04.92'N 060°57.59'W