Christmas & New Year

Sun 17 Jan 2010 19:21
For all those who are regular blog readers, please accept my apology for such tardiness. We have been accused of getting into Caribbean time....which may be a little too close to the truth!
So, when we last updated you, Dom and Caroline had left us and we were on our tod for the first time in 2 months. The exciting thing about all this is that we could take everything out of their lockers and leave them on the floor. Oh, and ignore the washing up for a few days....amazing, having had to be very tidy for the last 2 months, you would have thought that something may have rubbed off on the tidiness front...not a bit of it, and within seconds the boat looked like a bomb had hit it!
We spent a couple of days stocking up in Bequia, and waited for our friend Dimitris, who we had met in Gran Canaria and who has become a good friend. He was coming down from St Lucia with his family.  After catching up with him, we agreed to meet in Tobago Keys for Christmas and we headed off for a 20 mile sail down there.
On Christmas eve we purchased a couple of red snapper off the local fishermen, and headed over to Dimitris' rather more comfortable boat, for a barbecue. Aside from the company and the fish, the most exciting part of the night was eating on a boat with a table. If anyone wants to ask us around to supper when we return, you may find us rather less civilised than when we left!
Christmas day was without doubt rather more different for us than all of you in the UK.....for starters, it was too hot to even put on a tee shirt, and for seconds, we had a rather more impressive Christmas tree than any of you back home. As you can see, it consisted of a branch of driftwood picked up from the local beach, decorated with some tinsel that was bought in the Canaries, all held up by, a resplendent loo roll!
After a swim and some snorkeling, we up hooked and headed around to Salt Whistle bay, which is the same bay that we went to with Dom and Caroline:
Christmas dinner consisted of lots of rum punch followed by a full on 5 course meal at the only restaurant on the beach. This is attached to a very exclusive resort, which amazingly was totally empty for Christmas. In fact, we were the only people at the whole restaurant! The food was fantastic, culminating in 1/2 a lobster you can see by the impressively cheesy photo below!!
The plan following Christmas was to start to head north, and so back to Bequia, then up to Marigot Bay in St Lucia, which is a very pretty little bay. I got myself rather severely into the dog house by dropping the dinghy keys in the drink just as I was unlocking it to head thinks that a little rum punch may have been to blame. Baaaadddd Miles!  In fact, we were clearly such good rum punch customers that they offered to drop us back to our boat in their launch!
The next morning consisted of a swim over to the boat next door and after a bit of pleading they lent me their dinghy. Luckily the keys were directly below the dinghy jetty!
On the 28th, we headed over to Rodney bay where we anchored up in the bay. Rather than having a relaxed day as planned, we made a discovery. The boat had started to get a bit of an eau de sulphur smell, that had been getting progressively stronger over the last few days. I suspected that it may have been coming from the watermaker that was not working, and so after a bit of digging, we decided that it was not that. We took all the floorboards up,but nothing. Finally we looked into the locker that had the water tanks in...and euuuuggggghhhh, the smell was terrible and had me gagging straight away. We suspect that it may have been water from the shower tray and that we had gone off sailing without having drained it, with the result that the water had flowed back into the water tank locker and over the course of time had become rather toxic! Anyway, lots of very strong bleach later and it seems to be sorted, and has not returned!
Seeing as it was my birthday, Jennifer took me out to a lovely restaurant on the beach, which was a very cool end to the day.
It was about this time that we started to conck. Whilst we had done lots of sleeping post Atlantic, we were still on the go whilst Dom and Caroline were out, and as we came off the busy timetable of the last few months, we both suddenly felt very tired. So, we headed up to Marin in Martinique, checked ourselves into the marina and slept - lots! The advantage was that we were also able to get some stuff mended (the stack pack was looking rather ragged), and have a big sort out and tidy up.
We ended up spending nearly 5 days in Marin, including New Year. Given that it is a major yachting capital, we had hoped for a large party, and so started out having beers on the boat with just us (see the photo below of the New Years eve sunset). Either there was a party and no one was telling us (have we become feral already?!), or, as I persuaded myself, there just was not a party. So after a pizza, in the main yachty hang out, where there were very few yachties, we headed to bed and were sound asleep well before midnight!

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