St Lucia then off to Antigua

Dick and Irene Craig
Thu 22 Dec 2011 14:32

On Tuesday, we only had to welcome four boats to St Lucia, quite a difference compared with seventeen boats which completed the ARC rally on Sunday when we last manned the finish line. It was a much shorter cover period as well, starting from 10am as usual but finishing when the fourth boat had crossed the line soon after 9pm.

We hot footed it back to the marina to find that Kings Legend, not an ARC boat, had tucked itself away into our berth. Not a major problem as we moved further along the pontoon to an empty berth. A minor problem was, we had left our electrical socket connected to the supply, ready for our return and Kings Legend was utilizing it. Fortunately, we had read the meter before departing for the finish line that morning so we don’t expect to have to supply free electricity to the usurping boat.

We joined the Marina manager’s party, which was in full swing with lots of live music, lots of food, lots of booze and lots of people partying and having a ball. By the time we arrived, John and Jenny were still having fun but David and Susan had already left to return to their boat at Marigot Bay. I knew that they were planning to move on the following morning so we will probably catch up with them again in Antigua.

Next morning we arranged for electricity to be made available at our berth, collecting our socket which was still in use by Kings Legend.

Dick is really pleased with the solar panels which have replaced the flexible ones initially fitted to the boat. Barden UK are to be congratulated on their after sales service and we would not hesitate to recommend them, they deserve to do well with their caring customer service policy.

The Lopo light which we purchased for the WARC has stopped working so Dick has had to reinstate our original mooring light. For navigation purposes, at night, we have reverted to the lights on the bow, as initially installed by Lagoon.

Although I didn’t intend to stockpile any provisions for this season, we have still managed to purchase a lot more meat, fish, cheese and canned food than are required for our immediate needs. Fortunately, I don’t have much stored under the floorboards now, managing to keep the bulk in the lockers in the salon and galley. The space made available in the starboard hull has been filled with alcohol but under the floor in the port hull, I have managed to move a lot of ropes and twine etc., not needed on a regular basis, thus freeing up space in lockers outside for things that are used on a day to day basis.

We went to the ARC prize giving where everyone had a wonderful end of rally celebration. The owner of each boat that manned the finish line was presented with a bottle of rum; a lovely gesture on the part of World Cruising Club.

We shared a car with John and Jenny over a period of two days, exploring the island, visiting many places of interest. We stopped for coffee around 3pm on Sunday and a crowd of around thirteen people arrived for a meal. They were representatives of Wave, a local radio station I believe and had been up since 6.30 that morning, delivering Christmas hampers to the needy. Well done girls and guys!

Monday morning Dick checked us out of Rodney Bay and after refueling, we set sail for Antigua. The passage started well and we were sailing comfortably at 8.5knots but after that we either lost the wind when behind an island or had a lot of wind when not, sailing or motor sailing on a close reach. Neither of us managed to sleep as the trip was so uncomfortable and very noisy, as we crashed from one wave after another, ending up just four miles off Montserrat. It was at this time, off a lee shore that I started to worry about the consequences should we have difficulties. Eventually, still 25miles from English Harbour, we took in the sails and switched on both engines and continued to slam through the waves.

We dropped the anchor around 8pm in Falmouth Harbour, ate supper and went to bed exhausted. What a journey!

Next morning we motored round to English Harbour anchoring no more than 50 metres away from Pearl, the boat on which my daughter and grand daughter are currently living.

They waved to us as we passed them and a little later came to visit us. This was a perfect opportunity to show Mia one of the toys which Naomi, Dick’s son’s wife, had sent to her.

Needless to say, she was overjoyed.

Life will never be the same. Mia climbs onto the coffee table and up to the sofa, reaching for the bears which have been on the boat almost since delivery. Constantly on the go, with fingers and mouth wiped clean on the cushions or the sofa, she is a delight.