Its been a busy time on
We picked up another 2 solar panels (total of 650 watts now) so that we can be pretty much engine free while at anchor; we repaired our starboard alternator (again) and watermaker (again), bought ourselves a liferaft, just in case our unsinkable boat isn’t; got our shortwave (SSB) radio fixed so that we can now talk as well as listen, installed an automatic identification system (AIS) so that we can see who those ships are at night and which way they’re going, installed a Crew Overboard alarm system (Raymarine Lifetag), shipped in a sewing machine and material for Cathy to make covers for our cockpit cushions, and we finally succumbed and bought ourselves a TV/DVD unit. Not to mention the 6 cases (or was it 7?) of wine, case of rum and oh, some food too. We were thinking that this was going to be our last stop where we could buy many things we couldn’t get “down island” or if available, only at piratical prices. While in
So after a couple of weeks emptying our bank account while watching Idyll Island sink lower and lower on her lines, the weather finally settled down to where we could head east. It wasn’t like we planned to go to Sint Maarten, the only place with more services and shopping than
The new raised maple ceiling in the galley. A bit of an ordeal to get it in, but Derek now doesn't have to do his Quasimodo impersonation to work in the galley.
We finally got out of St. Maarten, with poor old
The Montserrat International Airport. Also ex. Buried in ash.
On the way to
Between Martinique and
Caught a nice Wahoo along the way. Put up a decent fight, but succumbed quickly to the overproof rum once we had him on the gaff!
It was great to finally be sailing with the wind on our beam, it seems like we have been bashing to windward for most of the last 6 months. The boat goes faster, quieter and more smoothly - just like in the brochures. We checked into Bequia, a very sleepy little town, with not much in the way of anything. Many of the restaurants and bars were closed (including our old hang-out from 13 years ago, the Green Boley). Normal end-of-the-season slow down, exacerbated by the impact of the ailing global economy. We quickly headed for the Tobago Cays, just a few hours south.
We dropped anchor in 7’ of crystal clear water with nothing but a reef between ourselves and Africa (and we had a layer of
Tristan, jumping for joy at being back in the Tobago Cays!
Laughing gulls having a good time. They are amazing flyers, though in their eagerness to grab food out of the air before anyone else gets it, they sometimes crash into each other.
After a great time in what Tristan describes as his favourite place in the whole world, the weather forecast suggested it was time to leave the Tobago Cays and get ourselves to
We celebrated Canada Day quietly sipping cold beers, swimming, listening to Tristan play the guitar, then a bottle of champagne on board and a great Chinese meal at Choo Light, a short walk down the road in the tropical evening. We wrapped it up with a couple of episodes of Trailer Park Boys. What could be more Canadian, eh?!
On July 3rd we were up at 0400 to get Tristan on his plane. He finally had an uneventful trip back to
For a change, we don’t have any critical boat projects to do, so we are free to move on whenever the weather looks right. For the past several days we have had a series of tropical waves moving through, bringing winds to 40 knots (over 70 kph) and torrential, though short-lived, downpours. At the same time its 32d Celsius and the hatches have to be closed. Funny, but nobody back home ever sounds very sympathetic… Next week the weather is supposed to settle down and we’ll likely be on our way to