Jan 2009, Sandy Lane Bay, Barbados.
and I arrived back in Barbados on 5 Jan, after a chilly start to the day in
Gatwick - it was snowing! The
flight (Virgin Atlantic) went smoothly and we watch 3 films each. Getting a bus from the airport proved a
little difficult, they were either going the wrond way or they were full. We resorted to a taxi in the end, $40
bds (£14), ouch.
the boat was still there, bobbing on it's mooring, and the surf looked
manageable. Kenrick and Rawle were
both there to help us wash the dinghy and prepare to head out to the boat with
all our gear. The boat wasn't too
smelly and even the batteries showed some life even though I'd left them
switched on for 2.5 weeks. We were
soon installed and relaxing, in preparation for another week in Barbados. It was good to be back, but the heat is
not easy to cope with, if one doesn't have the luxury of air-con and a plentiful
supply of water. Here are some of
Paula's early thoughts:
are having a fab time here - the days do have a habit of slipping away...its so
hot everything takes much longer. Phil was pleased that the boat was still there
when we got back to the Barbados yacht club. However, getting to it using the
dinghy from the beach is a dodgy business. There is a big rolling swell and surf
breaking on to the beach so transferring my 23kilo + 6 kilo hand baggage was not
easy. Luckily the swell is smaller in the evenings, so it wasn't too bad, but by
the time we left the club - two rum punches in - it took a bit of negotiating.
Phil is looking for somewhere to have the outboard serviced having overturned
the dinghy when they first arrived (glad I wasn't here for that one!)
a turtle swim past the boat yesterday, then a mongoose in the grounds of the
Hilton when we came ashore in the evening. Much other beautiful flora and
She was obviously in resonable mood at that stage. Cruising in a hot climate, with the boat
on a mooring 150m offshore and everything more expensive than at home, is not
conducive to domestic harmony and joie de vivre. The Royal Barbados Yacht Club is a
wonderful place and the staff were very welcoming and helpful to us, but I
became really cheesed off with getting a wet bum everytime we came ashore. However, we survived. Our days before Rob arrived were spent
having another look at Bridgetown, shopping for food and drink (supermarkets are
pretty poor), trying to find a berth alongside somewhere, trying to find a
launderette to wash bedding left over from 2008 and visiting Bathsheba on the
East coast. we were told the Yacht
Club had a buoy in the Bay with a water supply - Paula and I successfully tied
up to this, at High Tide, depth reading 0.0m, and filled our tanks. Much relief from Paula, she could now
have a shower on the boat. We
revisited St Lawrence Gap for happy hour - Paula took to the Rum Punches
immediately, and found an inexpensive Chinese restaurant for an evening meal
(bargain). We have taken to using the White minibuses (usual fare of $1.50
(50p)) which are quite a cultural experience.
Night Happy hour at the BYC was not too happy for Paula, as after a couple of
Rum punches and some food, she felt rather ill and parted company with most of
it. Must have been sun-stroke as
we'd only had a couple of drinks.
Getting back to the boat was a bit of a blur - Paula actually did the
rowing - but we got there successfully and slept well. The next day was fairly restful (I
think) as we prepared for Rob's arrival in the evening. On the way to the airport we walked to
the local supermarkets and eventually found one that had a few items that we
fancied and could afford. It was
too far to be convenient though.
All this made us rather late for the airport as the bus entered the
rush-houir traffic. Fortunately
Rob's flight was late. All went
well from there, a near empty bus back to the YC, a beer and a rum punch and
then out to the boat in two trips - without getting too wet.
Barbados - it's closed! We planned
to take the afternoon bus tour from Bridgetown and thought it was wise to dinghy
to the Careenage to give the outboard a run and then it would avoid having to
tackle the surf when we returned. This went as planned, but the normal bustle of
Broad Street was non-existent, amazing, everyone must go to Church. Rob faced a totally different view of
Bridgetown than it's usual noise and traffic. We found a bar ($2 for beer) and a
Chefette for lunch, and then made our way back to town for the Tour. Long story short, if I can: it was fairly good value, and quite a
good way of seeing some different areas of the Island, but the places we stopped
were dull. The thing that made it
was the bajan passengers on our bus.
They were mainly elderly \women with packed lunches and assorted bags,
out for the afternoon tour after going to Church. This was a weekly event for them - the
banter was quite a hoot, although we could only understand every third word, and
when they weren't gassing, they were sleeping or eating - you don't get a figure
like that just by breathing!
We arrived back at 7pm (dark). Fortunately our dinghy was still tied up
in the middle of Bridgetown.
Unfortunately, it wouldn't start
So the best plan was for me to row back (about a mile), with
mobile phone, and Paula and Rob to walk. All went OK until I came in too close
to the shore and was sploshed by a couple of big ones – another mobile
dies! Anyway we survived and slept
Now we had to get away from Barbados: the plan was to clear out of customs etc
at Port St.Charles at the north of the island, get fuel and water and then head
for Tobago. After shopping for food
we ‘relaxed’ with a few beers and rums on the boat and crashed out. At 01.00h there was a big thud and Paula
(less rum than us) was up like a flash to see what it was. A very rude awakening! We had broken free from the mooring and
were tangled up with the mooring of another boat – our two chains had caught
around the other mooring buoy. If
we had missed this we would have either been on the nearby breakwater/reef or
off towards Venezuela – a chance in a million. What if this had happened on Christmas
day, where would the boat have gone?
We fendered well, tied everything we
could and sat next to the other boat until morning. It obviously took some time to get the
Yacht Club staff to extricate us from this mess, but eventually they did, all in
fairly good humour, but I’m sure they would have preferred a more peaceful start
to the day. I had settled my bill at the YC and suggested they contacted me if
there was and damage to pay for. After being released, we headed up the
Port St. Charles, loaded water and fuel, cleared out and came back south to
anchor in a quiet Bay. Long story
short again – enjoyed some good snorkelling at Sandy Lane Bay and set off the
next day. 25 to 30 knots of wind I
felt was a bit lively for our new recruits so we aborted. More snorkelling for two days until the
wind decreased – fantastic display of fish over nearby reef and wreck. Now time was getting short. Friday 16 Jan we set off for Tobago –
near perfect winds, sea still a bit lumpy, but this is as good as it gets. A very comfortable passage, although Rob
and Paula probably would describe it differently.
Next blog from
This is where the rum comes from. Lotte Haas. Rob in control and
navigating (I think).