Monday, 18 April 2016

St Lucia Feb 2016

St Lucia Feb 2016

Here we are in St Lucia again, where our Caribbean adventure started three years ago!
We are in plenty of time to meet with Ruth and Michael. While we are here we will get some boat repairs done (what a surprise!)
As always we manage to meet up with friends old and new. The social whirl continues with Badgers Sett, Coho, Crazy Diamond, Mai Tai, Infini, Shian and new boats, Baloo, Grace Richard and Golden Fleece.
Sundowners on various boats, Rowena does the Ladies Cruisers lunch, and the ‘boys’ have a separate lunch at the Antillian brewing company. (Just to prove that we can organise booze up in a brewery!) This is St Lucia’s only micro-brewery and brews English style beers. It is proving very popular. They do pale ale, stout and golden wheat ale as well as seasonal ale which was passion fruit. Rowena’s favourite!

To escape the excitement of the bay we decamp to the marina for the duration of Ruth and Michaels visit. The sailmaker is our 1st port of call as we have to have a new zip fitted to our Mizzen stack pack. The rest of the fabric is still good so a new zip gives us a few more years of use.

We are also looking to improve our reefing as on our way up from St Vincent we managed to break one of the reefing slides. There is nowhere here we can buy a new one but we discover that we have some cringles in the foot of the sail that we can pass the lines through and just tie the lines round the boom. Job done and one less thing to break in the future! 

Not what we expected!

While we are here our new toilet seat lid has cracked. This is down to poor manufacturing as it is only a few months old. Talking to others it would appear we are not the only ones with this problem. It appears that Lavac’s quality is not what it was. The repair involves some resin and glass fibre cloth. We will get a new one on our return to the UK in the summer, even though nobody is admitting liability!

Ruth and Michael arrive and immediately are in holiday and party mode. We have a week of lunches and dinners aboard and ashore.

BBQ 'Jump up' style

 Of course we go to the Friday night ‘Jump up’ with a whole gang of us.

At the 'Jump up' again!

Two consequences of their visit are that we finally have the correct injector! Richard also has a ukulele so the skipper is now learning to play a few tunes! Not exactly Segovia or Bob Dylan but it is lots of fun! Hopefully we don’t annoy the neighbours too much!

Ukulele practice!

No visit is complete without a sail. As they have just one week we only have time for a trip along the coast and a night on board. Still it is a nice sail and the day ends with a BBQ on board and more ukulele playing.

The Skipper gives his instructions!

While Ruth and Michael are with us, St Lucia celebrates 37 years of independence from the UK. Independence Day is a public holiday but in the week leading up to the day everywhere is decorated with the national colours. Everyone is very patriotic.

Independence windows!

Once Ruth and Michael leave it is time to head back to Carriacou to finally get our engine repairs completed.
 On the way south we had a couple of nights in Marigot bay. It was very crowded outside the lagoon and we almost run aground trying to find a spot to anchor. Our depth gauge read 1.7m (we draw 1.6m) so Rowena suddenly puts the boat in astern! I think we were still afloat (just!) Thank goodness for forward looking sonar.

Marigot was very crowded but the snorkelling was interesting. - Juvenile French angelfish, pretty juvenile damselfish, a Chequered Puffer fish swimming (usually they just lie on the bottom) and an unusual scorpion fish. 

A good find! - But don't step on him!
We ended up moving 3 times just so we were not crowded in for our early morning departure. We will be off at first light. The plan is to head for Chateaubelair  Bay on the West coast of St Vincent to check in and then spend a few days in Cumberland Bay.

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