Back in the water and the drama continues....

Tue 6 Mar 2018 22:53
14.04.43N 60.57.01W
Monday 25th we finally managed to get the bow thruster blades cleared from customs and onto the boat in time to make our time slot to go back in the water.

Yes in addition to having to replace our propeller, when changing the anodes we noticed the bow thruster blade had a piece missing so had to order new ones from the UK (thanks to Nicolle Associates for all their help with this and the propeller). We also had the raymarine dealer check the cockpit handset which had stopped working and guess what - we needed a new one of them as well! The end caps from the genoa car (which parted company from the track under full sail as we came into Grenada), were ordered by the local dealer but they weren’t sent so they are now being posted direct to Rodney Bay, but Martin has done a temporary fix with some epoxy and a borrowed dremel to fashion similar looking part.

So here is Tikka looking all lovely and shiny as she was hoisted back into the water.

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We had a peaceful night in the bay but the generator stopped working so we had to run the engine to charge the batteries. Raymarine came out Tuesday morning to fit the new handset and update the software, so by the afternoon we were all good to go and finally headed out of the bay....

Well we made it to just out of the bay and put on the autohelm... nothing happened, so headed back in and contacted the dealer -hoping it was a software glitch. They came out Wednesday morning, wasn’t a software problem so they checked the hydraulics, and then dismantled the whole unit and took it back to the workshop. That evening we went to bingo at Prickly Bay Marina but didn’t win anything (thought our luck must change at some time).

Thursday 1st March (by this point we’ve been in Grenada just over 3 weeks), and we get the news that the autohelm unit needs to be sent to the States to be fixed and serviced. We arrange with the dealer for it to be sent to the States but returned to Antigua - so we can finally leave Grenada although it does mean we will have to hand steer all the way there. Got an early night - exhausted with all this drama (and still having to run engine to charge batteries - generator will be looked at when we get to Rodney Bay by the lovely Egbert who fixed our water maker).

Friday we left early and sailed round to Moliniere point where there is an underwater sculpture park. We picked up a mooring buoy in the bay next door and jumped in the dinghy (complete with new dinghy ladder so we can get back on board easily) with our snorkel gear. We had the place to ourselves with the exception of an American couple (it was about 8.30 in the morning. We swam around for a bit but couldn’t see any sculptures and the water was murky, finally with help from the Americans we found the sculptures - much smaller than expected...

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At that point several large day boats turned up, along with a dinghy safari and there was soon over a hundred people in the water so we hightailed it back to Tikka and got on our way to Union Island. Had all the sails out and took turns helming - bright and sunny day and it was great being back on the water.

We spent the night at Clifton Bay and settled in with some comfort food as the heavens opened. The next morning we had an early morning walk up to the airport to clear customs and immigration (our passports are getting full), picked up a freshly baked baguette and some ice and headed back to Tikka to to sail up to Bequia.

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It was another lovely sunny day and we made good time and arrived at Bequia early afternoon with a small detour to look at Moonhole on the south of Bequia - an abandoned ‘retreat’ of caves built into the rocks.

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The early arrival meant we had time for a swim in the bay (plus a quick anchor check before taking dinghy ashore to do the customs thing again. We stopped for a few beers along the way and ended up at Jacks bar at sunset with a G&T and a rum punch (and ended up buying a t-shirt each) - bliss.

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We knew the next day would be a long haul up to Rodney Bay - the last time we did it was in high winds (gusting at 30+ knots and big waves), this time it was overcast and cloudy but hardly any wind so we were going to be motoring most of the day. Easy to steer because of the lack of wind and extremely calm seas and we made good progress up towards St Lucia. On the way we saw great stretches of sargassum seaweed which floats on the surface of the sea and turns it brown. This becomes a problem when it reaches the beaches as it washes up and then needs to be removed because as well as looking unsightly it starts to smell, but at sea no smell just great big patches of orangy brown against the blue of the ocean.

Just below St Lucia, Martin shouted ‘whales’ and off to the side of us was not one Mobutu two large whales - we could see and hear them breathing through their blow holes. We turned and followed them slowly for a while until they dived back down under the surface - another first ticked off the list.

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As we continued up the coast of St Lucia the weather closed in and St Lucia literally disappeared before our eyes - cloaked in mist and rain. Had to rely on the instruments to have any idea of the direction we were heading. Thankfully the torrential rain didn’t last long and we were rewarded with a great rainbow

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Eventually arrived in Rodney Bay after 12 hours, anchored in the bay in the dark and headed straight to bed. The bay was also full of sargassum weed (as was the beach at the sandals resort)

We are now in the marina and will hopefully have a working generator soon (but we are at least on shore power now).

If you want to contact us use email or Facebook, or text Loz’s number as Martin is still without his phone as the replacement sim never made it here so are waiting for sim #2.