29 September 2011

Busy Doing Nothing in Grenada: 21/09/11 – 29/09/11

We now have nearly two weeks until our up-island charter back to the BVIs.  After an extra night and most of the next day at Phare Bleu, during which time I manage to get the laundry done, we motor round the corner to Clarkes Court Bay where we plan to stay until just before the charter.

One evening I make the mistake of offering Mike some biscuits after his dinner and when going to get them, I slip off one of the stairs and fall down the lot.  My language is abysmal.  I hit everything on the way down – my hip, my bum, the tops of my arms and somehow, the tops of the toes on my left foot.  (Given that I land on my bum, I have no idea how this happened!)  After telling Mike that nothing is broken I continue to swear and curse – it hurts like hell – and inform him that he can get his own sodding biscuits in future!

He also gets me the ice pack from the freezer and I sit for the rest of the evening on one bum cheek with the pack pressed against the other.  My skin is frozen after an hour or so and we have no way of telling whether the red mark is my burgeoning bruise or frost bite.

Getting into bed is interesting.  For the last few weeks my left knee has been painful if I kneel on it, even if I kneel on something soft, so I have taken to scooting up the bed on my right side.  Now with my injured bum cheek, I have no way of painlessly getting up and into bed.  For one moment I consider sleeping standing up but eventually settle for slithering snakelike up the bed on my belly before turning over, swearing as my bum scrapes across the sheet.

The days continue to pass in a haze of doing nothing in particular.  Having joined in on the Grenada Cruisers’ Net, we find out all sorts of things like the buses for shopping trips, joining in on the Saturday trip to the supermarket and the Tuesday trip which basically takes the cruisers wherever they want to go – supermarket, bank, hardware shops and chandleries.  I sit lopsided in the bus as the lack of suspension and a hard ride jolt painfully on my bottom.  I feel every bump in the road – and there are plenty!

While in one of the chandleries, I get talking to a nice woman who is looking to buy a catamaran and although Jeannius is not for sale (unless you get me on a bad day in the middle of the ocean where I would sell her for a bloody good price) I invite her and her husband to come and have a look at an example of a well used Privilege 435.

Of course, this necessitates giving the boat a bit of a once over, something I wasn’t going to bother doing until just before our charter guests arrive, although I have to say I just skim the surfaces and make sure that the boat is just above the dysentery line!

Julie, her husband Greg and their friend John, arrive in the late afternoon.  After showing them around the boat we sit in the cockpit until it is dark sharing some beer and wine.  Basically we have a thoroughly and very unexpected pleasant afternoon in the company of lovely people.

We also get the bus into town to meet up with Jutta and Jochem.  Getting the local bus is quite an event for me as I don’t do buses under normal circumstances but not wanting to waste money ($2.5 EC as against $45 EC each way) I take the plunge and amazingly get to the Port Louis Marina via Island Water World without mishap.  We have a lovely lunch with them before going back to see Chessie now that she has nearly finished with her ‘Extreme Makeover’.

P1090399 Photo:  Lunch with Jutta and Jochem

P1090400 P1090401 Photos:  Chessie looking pretty after her facelift

Each morning I ask Mike for an update on the colour of my bruise.  Bruising is something I do not normally do - my capillaries must be as tough as old boots – so having something the size of a saucer develop and change each day is a source of constant excitement and I want to see each day’s progress.  However, this is something I cannot do by myself.  I am unable to see it in the mirror over the bathroom sink even if I stand on the toilet seat, which of course would be to invite further injury if the boat lurches - you have to hold on to the ceiling by putting your hand through the hatch and the one in our bathroom has a tendency to fall down.  Of course, I have now given away the fact that I’ve actually tried to do this, to no avail I might add – wrong angle.  The solution?  Mike takes a picture of it so I can get a good look then delete the image immediately!  This is what can pass for entertainment on a boat when one is bored!

20 September 2011

Back to Grenada: 18/09/11 – 20/09/11

Today we start the journey back to Grenada via the Tobago Cays so that Allison and John can visit Petit Tabac which we had to miss out the last time we were here because of the vicious squall.  On the way, John puts the fishing rod out but all we manage to catch is clumps of the weed that has come down from the north of the Caribbean.  As we approach the islands, he takes the line in but unfortunately it blows up in the wind and gets wrapped around our wind generator.  We normally the fishing rod out on the other side of the boat but forgot to move the rod holder over as we have been using it as the holder for our ensign.  Duh!  John manages to pull the line in without losing the lure and they leave the tangled mess to deal with later.

P1090369 Photo:  It’s Sunday – it must be Petit Tabac!

When we arrive there are no other boats which is good as there’s not much swinging room inside the reef.  We put the anchor down but soon after we feel it starting to drag, so up it comes, round we circle and down it goes again.  Mike is unhappy about the holding as almost immediately we are settled, we can see squalls developing on the horizon.

P1090351 Photo:  A squall ahead of us

Not wanting to leave the boat alone with a developing weather system, he takes Allison and John to the beach and comes straight back.  If the anchor drags we have about 30 feet at most in all directions before we hit either beach or reef!

P1090349 Photo:  Reefs behind and to our port side

I notice a very strange fish swimming around.  At first I think it is dead but on closer inspection I can see that its tail is slowly swishing around.  However, it looks like it is swimming on its side – if it’s the right way up it is really peculiar.  I think it looks like a rabbit!

P1090352 Photo:  A strange creature indeed

Allison and John also keep an eye on the weather, and after a once round the island they wave for Mike to pick them up.  Zoom, zoom and he’s off again.

P1090374 Photo:  Mike’s water taxi at your service

They had only been on the island for about half an hour but while there Allison was bitten to death by mosquitoes.  Last time we were there with the Roses we were on the beach for ages and not one of us got even one bite.  Today, Allison watches in horror as about 30 bites start to raise themselves into nasty bumps – you can even see the puncture holes in some of them.  How glad am I that I stayed on the boat?

Although the squalls seem to be bypassing us we don’t hang around but head over to Union Island to check out of the Grenadines.  This time, it’s legal for Allison and John to go ashore with Mike, so while he visits immigration, they visit the shark pool at the Anchorage Yacht Club in Clifton.

In the afternoon we anchor just off Petit St Vincent but don’t bother going ashore as it look as though the resort is in the middle of building works along the shore.  We notice a couple of speedboats full of young locals arrive from neighbouring islands and are prevented from going further up the beach by the resort’s security staff who stand and glare at them until they eventually give up and leave.

P1090377 Photo:  Retrieving the yards of line wrapped around the wind generator

P1090379 Photo:  John demonstrating what a hard life it is

P1090380 Photo:  Ohh, tea – don’t mind if I do!

P1090385 Photo:  Our last sunset in the Grenadines

The next morning, Monday, we set sail for the last stretch to Grenada.  We arrive back at the lovely Phare Bleu Marina and Mike once again checks us all in, glad that this is the last time he will have to go through all that paperwork for a few weeks.  We all go up to the pool in the afternoon as it’s so hot, although getting into the pool is like stepping into a warm bath!

P1090389 P1090393 Photos:  Proof that I do sometimes get in the water … and sometimes even swim!

P1090395 Photo:  Allison, John and Mike – lazing!

We order loads more cheese bread for Mike and I and go back to the boat to get ready for the evening.  Rock comes to pick us up and takes us once again to the Little Dipper at Woburn where finally Allison gets her lobster although not quite the monster she would have liked!

P1090397 Photo:  Dinner at The Little Dipper

The next morning is spent packing and swapping photographs which loosely translated means I give John all of mine and he swears he will send me his.

I finish packing the empty holdall that they brought over to me and John is sure the weight is OK.  However, every time I pass it as it sits innocently on the bed, I manage to shove ‘just another tiny thing’ in and hope he doesn’t notice!

In the afternoon Allison and I go up to the pool for an hour.  Given that she has a plane to catch we are very well behaved and order tea rather than alcohol.  We are chatting away when I spot Chrissy, Graham’s wife from the World ARC yacht, Eowyn, strolling in.  They are both out here for two weeks working on the boat and are staying in one of the cottages here at Phare Bleu.  What a small world.

Back on the boat the Purvis’s put the finishing touches to their packing (John obviously not noticing the extra items as he shoves in another one of my blankets to take home – little treasure) and we walk them up to the entrance where Rock is waiting to take them to the airport.

It’s sad to say goodbye and I note that these are the last friends to visit us on this part of our life adventure.  We’re both quiet as we head out to eat at the Poolside Restaurant but the thought of 2 for 1 pizza cheers us.  Chrissy and Graham join us for dinner and I have one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten, no doubt helped by the fact that when I say to put lots of extra garlic on it, they really go to town – it is totally smothered – I’ll stink for days!  Yummy!!  Poor Mike!

17 September 2011

Groundhog Days with Allison and John: 14/09/11 – 17/09/11

Having checked out yesterday we can make an early getaway and at 6.30 am, Mike and John pull the anchor up and we head off towards Union Island.  Allison and I wait steadfastly in our beds until tea arrives (me – Allison gives up on that one) or the risk of sea sickness from staying below drives us upstairs (that’s Allison).

Not wanting to be sick, Allison goes for all the precautions – drugs, wristbands and lying down in the cockpit with either her eyes firmly shut or open but fixed on the horizon.  Something works because despite her concerns she holds on to her breakfast and once we are in the lee of Carriacou and the waves calm down a bit, she risks getting up and walking around.

P1090235 Photo:  Allison and John – posing at the helm

As Union Island appears close, I prepare some lunch.  The cheese bread (actually they are huge rolls) come out with some rather delectable roast beef.  In Clifton, the boat boys entreat us to pick up their moorings but we are going for the quick in and out so throw the anchor down instead.

P1090239 Photo:  “Are we nearly there yet?”

For once Mike makes it to Customs and Immigration during hours that do not count as overtime so the charges are less than last time although not as significantly less as we would have hoped.  As soon as he returns John pulls the anchor up (he’s the anchor wench for the next week) and we head over to Mayreau for the evening, where Allison forlornly watches for one of the boat boys to approach us, salivating at the thought of huge lobsters cooked on the beach for us.  Unfortunately none come.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll get lucky in the Tobago Cays …?

Now I don’t know what it is about this boat and the UK TV series, Gavin and Stacy, but most people we have had aboard have not watched it, so major indoctrination has begun.  It all started with Johanne and Steve a couple of years ago.  They had seen a couple of episodes but not got into it.  So we watched all three series on board (hence the frequent use of the word ‘Skiplah’ just to irritate Mike).  Then we got the crew of Crazy Horse into it on the World Arc, then Heather and Joe, Ann and Terry and now Allison and John.  Basically Mike and I have watched the whole lot three times in the last couple of months, and still roll around laughing each time.  Welsh girl meets Essex boy – classic.  Anyway, no guessing what we do for the evening’s entertainment!

We are up early and round to the Tobago Cays the next morning.  There are only a couple of boats there and we anchor in our usual spot by the turtle sanctuary in front of the reef at Baradel Island.  Allison and John take our snorkelling gear and go off in search of turtles but return much sooner than expected.  It is a bit overcast so visibility is not good and this is made worse by the water being churned up and full of silt.  Still, they both see at least one turtle, but again we are disappointed by the lack of lobster being offered.  We have lunch and are lazing around on the boat when Mike suddenly shouts to close all the hatches as he can see really nasty clouds approaching rapidly towards the reef.

Within minutes we are hit by a ferocious squall.  The reef offers protection from the waves but not from the wind which quickly picks up to over 40 knots.  The holding is not good here at the best of times and Jeannius, despite being held by a hefty anchor and a lot of chain, starts to drag.  There is only one other boat left by now so we are not in any danger of hitting anything but there seems to be no let up in the weather and Mike decides to cut our losses, get the anchor up and go for the relative shelter of Saline Bay, Mayreau.

The rain comes down so hard that it is like needles hitting your skin.  Mike gets soaked at the helm and John gets soaked at the windlass.  I think I have got away with a soaking but when we motor around the corner the wind gets under the large starboard side cockpit cushions and threatens to rip them off so I end up having to sit on them to hold them down.  Allison turns out to be the only one who doesn’t get soaked after all!  I hold the cushions down until we are in the lee of Mayreau but although we are protected from the wind, the rain continues on and off.  Even if we had found someone to provide us with lobster, I think the arrangement would have been off!

P1090251 Photo:  Ominous skies – the setting sun is a ball of fire behind the blackness

The next morning we leave for Mustique.  As we are preparing to leave, one of the ‘lobster lads’ turns up and offers it tonight.  Allison is torn between her desire for lobster and her desire to see Mustique.  The lure of Mustique wins and we depart.

It’s a decent enough run up to Mustique and we are able to sail for most of it.  Typically as we arrive into Britannia Bay the heavens open and another tropical downpour begins.  Also, typically, we arrive 5 minutes before the anchorage staff break for lunch but they have gone anyway (well, they don’t answer the radio) and because Mike doesn’t want the hassle we had last time (when Terry had to leap into the water to help us tie to the buoy) he gets John to set the anchor.  Eventually it stops raining and Mike gets the dinghy down and goes to inspect the mooring buoys, finding one which has a line attached to it that we can hook as we normally do.  The anchor comes up and we move, managing to tie up again before the heavens open once more.  And that’s the pattern for the rest of the afternoon and evening, torrential rain on and off with brilliant sunshine in between.

P1090278 P1090283 Photos:  Cuddles under the setting sun

P1090270 Photo:  The aforementioned setting sun

There’s no way we are leaving the boat so it’s more Gavin and Stacy after dinner.

Saturday dawns a little brighter.  Allison, John and I go to explore the shoreline of Britannia Bay, something I meant to do last time.  We come across a huge digger moving sand from the beach into lorries as they are transporting it to another part of the island to make a better beach there.

P1090295 Photo:  Getting the beaches ready for the season

The lorries drive up and down the same bit of road, making huge ruts in the sand covered concrete.  Out of the corner of my eye I suddenly spot a tiny tortoise trundling along in one of the tyre tracks, a sure target for road kill the next time a lorry approaches.  I pick him up and settle him back way into the bushes, hoping that he doesn’t turn around and head back as soon as I walk on.  He is so cute!!

P1090297 Photo:  My rescued baby tortoise

Once past the diggers and lorries, we have the whole shoreline to ourselves.  In the distance we can see more squalls passing by but luckily none pass overhead.

P1090303 P1090308 P1090309 P1090313 P1090317 Photos:  Beaches, squalls and photographic opportunities for posing

We walk the length of Britannia Bay then turn the corner to Lagoon Bay and walk the length of that too.  When we can go no further we head inland a bit and attempt to walk around the lagoon itself but the vegetation presses in from all sides and in the oppressive heat the walk is not a pleasant one so after a couple of hundred yards we turn back and walk along the beach once more, this time looking for beach treasures.  I find some dead fan coral in the water for Allison and then the most interesting conch shell I have ever seen.  Instead of the normal pink and white interior, this one is mottled silver, black and grey, rather like a ‘goth’ conch.  If space and weight in our luggage were not an issue, I would have taken these.  Instead, Allison is the happy recipient although she continues to hunt for more.

P1090329 Photo:  Looking for just the right conch is like looking for a needle in a haystack

P1090330 Photo:  With one clutched in her hot little hand, Allison searches for yet another conch

We go to the supermarket to get a few provisions, passing the ice cream parlour on our way.  Even this is shut for the season now and I just fancy one.  Never mind.  We walk into the fishing area to scour the huge wall of conch shells but don’t find one better than the one we already have.  Even the girl in the supermarket was taken with the conch so we must have found something special in that one.

I call Mike to come and get us in the dinghy and when he replies he sounds in a filthy mood.  I watch him get into the dinghy but before he comes over to the dinghy dock he heads over to the large supplies ship that is docked in the bay and I can see him having an animated conversation (and not getting anywhere) with some of the guys there.  When he comes for us he explains.  They are painting the boat and must have spilt some of the bright orange paint into the water.  It floated like a slick until it found our boat and secured itself to the transom, the dinghy and its floating painter.  He has spent the last hour trying to get it off.  He is not amused.

Allison and John decide not to do an island tour and we spend the afternoon on board.  As the sun starts to go down and while the weather holds out we go over to Basil’s for a drink.  Last time we went I had a ghastly cocktail and unfortunately this time is no different.  My pina colada is quite revolting.  Methinks Basil’s is trading on its reputation!  Still the sunset is nice from there.

P1090331 P1090336 P1090338 P1090343 Photos:  Nice sunset, shame about the cocktails

We manage to get back on board just before the heavens open once more and give Jeannius yet another wash down.  Well, it is that time of year!

13 September 2011

A Small Taste of Grenada: 12/09/11 – 13/09/11

I hear voices in the morning far earlier than I would have expected – John’s internal clock is out – but as Mike is already up and using the good internet that we have here in Phare Bleu, I know he can look after breakfast, and I snuggle back down, cool and cosy in the air conditioning and wait for my tea to be delivered, which of course, it is.

We discover the mini market’s fantastic cheese bread – actually it’s swirls of hot bread wrapped around cheese and herbs then topped with more of the same – and order 12 to be baked for us for tomorrow and have a wander around the small marina.

A few years ago, the marina owners bought and refurbished a Swedish lighthouse ship, the Vastra Banken, bringing her from Sweden to the Caribbean to use as their office, toilet block and restaurant.  Unfortunately for us, the restaurant is closed until some time in October but we use the rest of its facilities which are immaculately clean.  

P1090194 Photo:  Jeannius by the side of the Vastra Banken

The lounge on this boat is where the previous owner used to store his two cars (he used it as a houseboat) and the huge garage-like doors are left open to let the air through.  The room is like a museum, with the ship’s history explained on large suspended charts and artefacts stored in lit under-floor exhibition boxes.  It really is rather splendid (not a word I use very often) and different.  There’s also a good book swap and DVD library and the lounge has huge leather sofas to flop around on.

P1090198 Photo:  Allison and the Vastra Banken

After some lunch (and after ordering 12 more beautiful cheese breads for tomorrow) we are ready for our half day island day tour of Grenada with Rock.

The weather is somewhat cloudy but we head on up for a long drive around the south and east of the island to Grenville, the second largest town, getting a very detailed history of Grenada from Rock, and Rock LOVES his history.  You get the feeling that when he’s finished he’ll give you a test on what you’ve remembered.  We all listen attentively, well apart from Allison who feels that because she is sitting next to him he won’t notice is she closes her eyes as he keeps a watch in his rearview mirror.

We stop near the crater lake of Grand Etang (the name showing some of Grenada’s French heritage) and visit the Forest Centre.  There are no monkeys in evidence as there were when we visited with the World ARC.

P1090201 Photo:  A couple of likely lads

P1090213 Photo:  Grand Etang

There are trails all through the forest and we take what we hope will be an easy one – we are all wearing flip flops.  The rain forest suffered huge damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and is still recovering but it echoes with strange animal and bird noises.  We have been told that there are no dangerous critters on the island but those noises do make you feel a little nervous!

P1090204 Photo:  Walking through a rain forest trail

P1090205 Photo:  Huge bamboos and ferns border the trail

We decline to take any tours of rum distilleries, chocolate factories or shopping malls so Rock takes us to Annandale Falls where the members of the ‘Grenada Jumpers’ Association’ wait in the pool at the bottom of the falls for tourists to pay them to jump in from a great height.  Naturally, we don’t disappoint and because both Mike and John are able to palm money over to them so surreptitiously, neither of them notice that the other one has done it so the jumpers get two ‘donations’.  Still, the jump is a long one into a relatively small rock pool so I think they earn it.  They stand at the top, yelling down to catch our attention to make sure that we have our cameras at the ready, then leap out into the air.

P1090216 Photo:  Annandale Falls

P1090216b Photo:  The leap of faith

The huge splash at the end marks the end of the performance and after handshakes all round, we leave the falls where it is now absolutely pelting down with rain. 

The rain continues all the way back to St Georges and we abandon all hope of getting a good view from Fort George.  Instead we entertain ourselves watching cars with bald tyres slipping backwards as they fail to get a grip on the near vertical roads behind the Carenage.

Rock takes us to the supermarket at the end of our tour and we provision pretty much for the whole of the visit.  Luckily by the time we get back to Phare Bleu the rain has eased and we are able to get the stuff aboard.

Deciding to go along to the Pool Bar for happy hour is a bit of a mistake though.  Not only do we misinterpret their reductions on drinks (to our disadvantage of course, although the boys are happy with their bucket of beer) but when we leave, it is a real tropical downpour which shows no signs of abating.  It’s a good job we decide not to wait it out as it lasts all evening.  By the time we are back on board we are all completely soaked through.  My thin white linen shirt leaves nothing to the imagination and I look like a contestant for a wet t-shirt competition.

During the evening it rains so hard that the cover for the storm drain just outside the restaurant floats away leaving what looks like a puddle to the unsuspecting but is in fact 6 feet deep.  It’s a good job Kevin, the marina manager, came down to warn us about it.

The next morning it is much brighter although still cloudy.  After the howling storm last night, Allison looks worriedly out to sea – is it calm?  From inside the reef it looks it so we decide to leave.  Mike checks us out of Grenada at the Customs and Immigration office at the marina, the process much simpler than having to go into St Georges or stopping at Carriacou.  We pick up our cheese bread wondering how long we can keep from eating it as it is still hot and eventually leave the marina in the early afternoon. 

Of course, once outside the reef, and heading into the wind, the motor round to the west of the island is rough and uncomfortable, not what was ordered for our guests.  Still as we turn the corner at the end of the runway, the sea becomes much calmer and by teatime the water is like the proverbial millpond.  We anchor in our usual spot outside of St Georges and stay on board for the night.

P1090226 Photo:  The anchorage bathed in gold from the setting sun

John and I begin our week-long competition of who can get the best picture of the sunset.  Of course, with the amount of practise I have had over the last couple of years, it really is no contest although the following is not one of the best, just the best of the night.

P1090231 Photo:  Sunset and storm clouds

11 September 2011

Limin’: 3/09/11 – 11/09/11

Ann, Terry and Alice leave at 5 am for their flight back home.  It’s sad to see them go but nice to have the boat back to ourselves again.  We wave them goodbye then retreat back to the air conditioning of the boat and attempt to go back to sleep.

We stay there for the rest of the day, sleeping and luxuriating in the cool.  No jobs get done.  It is bliss.

The next day I get the laundry done at the self service laundry in the marina.  The sheets need a bloody good hot wash but everything just has a cold one as the machines don’t function properly.  On top of that there are no tumble driers and I have to hang everything up on the sides of the boat and from hangers in the cockpit.  It looks like a Chinese laundry.

The next day, before heading back to St George’s, we take the boat round to the marina at Phare Bleu to have a look.  It’s lovely and we will probably come here next week to pick up Allison and John.

P1090142 Photo:  Phare Bleu Marina

P1090144 Photo:  The tip of Calivgny Island

We move the boat out of the marina and park it by the resort-in-progress at Calivgny Island, moving it again once we realise that the internet coverage doesn’t quite reach there.

The next few days pass in a haze of doing nothing really.  We move back round to the anchorage outside of St Georges.  It is hot, exceedingly humid with the occasional torrential downpour – business as usual for this time of year really.  We call in on Jutta and Jochem on our way to Food Land.  Poor Jutta.  She still has the boat in a mess as the carpenter moves from room to room making woodwork adjustments as he goes, never quite finishing one job before he goes on to the next but always giving her warnings that he will finish the previous one tomorrow so she is never able to put things away.  I arrange to go back the next day to help her to clear up as he should be finished.

P1090154 Photo:  Sunset strikes

P1090152 Photo:  The lights of St Georges

The next day, I return as promised.  As we wipe and wash away the wood shavings and dust, I don’t think I have ever sweat so much in my life.  It is disgusting.  After a couple of hours we have both had enough and Mike comes to pick me up. 

P1090168 Photo:  Making the most of the flat sea – all soon changes

We see them the next day for dinner at The Beach House, a lovely restaurant set on the beach near the airport. 

P1090174 Photo:  Out to dinner with Jutta and Jochem

We share a few bottles of wine then make the mistake of stopping for a caiparinha at the bar back at Port Louis Marina.  Already over the top for my tolerance, that last little drink is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak.

The next day I can barely lift my head off the pillow.  I feel so sick and to make matters worse, the anchorage becomes really rolly as a swell comes in with a passing weather system.  Mike goes off to help set up Jutta’s new computer and I lie in bed like a pathetic lump.  By the end of the day with no let up in my condition, I conclude that the hangover has gone and I am actually seasick – at anchor!  That’s a first.

It is in this rolling sea that a boat arrives with its occupants wanting to purchase my beloved washing machine, one of the many things that we have decided to sell rather than keep in storage while we are back in Europe.  I am heartbroken to see it go but as I manage to sell it for what I paid for it new, it lessens the blow!

By midday the next day, Mike and I are both sick of the rolling anchorage and decide to move back to Clarkes Court Bay to get out of it.  As we leave, we notice that half the other boats have done the same.  It’s a bit of a rough ride around the south side of the island but once inside the reef again it all calms down.

P1090178 Photo:  Purple skies – hopefully not purple rain!

And there we stay, doing nothing until Sunday lunchtime when it’s time to move the boat around to Phare Bleu Marina to wait for Allison and John arriving from the UK to join us.  We have arranged for Rock, the taxi driver, to pick them up and while we wait for them, we watch yet another beautiful sunset develop, partially hidden by the hills which surround us.

P1090182 Photo:  The sun setting between the mainland and Calivgny Island

Mike is in the shower and I have just gone outside to wait for them when I see them both walking down the pontoon towards the boat.  It’s great to see them, and wonderful to see that they have heeded my pleas to travel light so that they can take some stuff home for me.  In fact, they have done really well and brought an empty holdall inside their one piece of check-in luggage so that they can take LOADS home for me – little treasures!

After a beer on board they are ready to go out to eat.  We eat at the poolside restaurant at the marina and I eat a piece of the most tender tuna I have ever had – simply delicious.

P1090189 Photo:  Mike and I with Allison and John

We don’t make it a late night.  By the time we turn in, it’s almost 3 am for them (although only 10 pm for us – way past our bedtime!).  There’s another 10 days to catch up!