was clearly time to move on: the boat had begun to develop the signs of one of
our Mad Max Live
aboard vessels: festooned with
drying laundry, deck cluttered with stuff not put away, swimming cossies drying
on the rail, tools and crockery left on work surfaces…..2 hours’ worth of
tidying up to make her ready for sailing!
Memorable “Mad Max” Trimaran – Owned by “The Pirate” who really stripped
order to avoid becoming one of these shambolic floating hovels, we picked up our
anchor and moved northwards today. Since it was a bit late to head directly for
Barbuda, we concluded that we would overnight off Long Island (not that one!)
which would also give us a bit of east before we headed North West to Barbuda,
and hopefully get a decent sail.
Always Pays to Have a Clean Bottom!
have been delighted at just how much extra boat speed we now have, with a clean
hull, and polished propeller. At least a knot and a half makes a huge difference
on passage, and she feels so much crisper on the helm. We are kicking ourselves
for not lifting her out at Rodney Bay over Christmas, which is where much of the
damage was done in their warm and soupy marina basin…..lessons learned.
is also clear that out European anti-fouling is not up to the job out here, and
there is a recommended brand – Seahawk 44 – that is supposed to work better.
Interestingly, it is marked in bold letters – NOT LICENCED FOR USE IN THE USA –
so it must have something really nasty in it! The other disturbing thing is that
the stuff we usually use (International Micron Extra) costs an absolute fortune
in the chandleries here – c £250 for a one and a half litre tin (4 times the UK
price), and we use about 7 litres for a double hull coating, before taking the
boot top into account.
scrubbed the hull, we have found another unexpected benefit in that out fridge
and our freezer are both working much more effectively. They both have
underwater cooling, and the crustaceans had covered them completely with shells
and weed. Freed of this blanket, we have had to turn the setting down to stop
the milk and beer freezing!
have spoken before about the Pelicans and Frigate Birds that swoop and glide
majestically around the bays. We have also begun to see quite a few Terns, and
to hear them with their high-pitched squeaks (too early in the morning!). The Parrots and Humming Bird have also
had a mention or two, but we have not touched on some other interesting land
and cafés usually have a covered terrace or deck to allow you to sit out in the
shade, and also to confuse the smokers – is it allowed under cover or not?(the
French always think so). The smart birds have identified these areas (and
sometimes the inside spaces as well) as a prime source of food, and a few
varieties are really forward. They are as persistent as the seagulls outside the
fish and chip shop in Conway, but rather more becoming!
the sparrows, there are two species worth mentioning here: the Sucrier and the
Red Gorge. The former is an habitué of the cane fields and loves sugar and sweet
things (no surprise there, then), and the Red Gorge is like a black Robin with a
crimson chest, and equally brave. They are bold as brass when they think that
they can steal or beg something juicy. This can be a bit disconcerting when you
are about to dig into your lunch and something lands on your table!
out the car window at Mont Pele on Martinique, a Red Gorge alighted on my hand
as a perch, presumably used to being fed by those leaving the cafe – I fear he
was taken aback at my reaction! We have become so used to the antics of these
birds, we have stopped taking pictures of them, but the one below tickled us
when lunching on Guadeloupe, fortunately it was not our ice