St Lucia Part 2 (23rd December – 28th December)
It was up early this morning for Repair Day, off to the electrical shop and boat yard, to do the final bits for the repairs, and back to the boat to bring it up to the dock. It was 11am when we got lifted out, and we had until 1pm to change the transducer and have our survey completed…..plenty of time we though. How wrong we were, on removing the old broken transducer, some of the fibreglass to the hull came loose, this could have been rectified, but as we went to slide the new transducer into the hole, it was too big. I rushed back to the electrician to tell him the problem, and he said that was the only size they did, even though he assured me it would fit. His assurance had been the only reason I had booked the lift for today lunch time, as they take the boat out the water and leave me in the crane until they finish there break, then put it back into the water when their afternoon shift starts again. On arriving back to the boat yard, I found the manager and explained the problem, he was amazing, he found me and engineer to drill a new whole and redo the fiberglass, and someone to fit the new transducer. He also found a space to put the boat overnight, and assured me all the work would be completed by the morning so we could be out of here before Christmas day. We were ecstatic, the surveyor arrived to do his thing, and said the hull was in excellent condition, and Chris and I even had time to squeeze on a fresh coat of anti fouling for the hull. By the time the sun rose on Christmas eve, al jobs were done, and the boat was lifted in the water with beaming smiles on our faces…………Happy Christmas…..or so we thought, once in the water, I plugged in the new transducer, and nothing, no depth, just the same flashing zeros on our instrument…..F**K! Back to Rodney Bay anchorage it is. There is nothing we can do until the 28th when the electrician opened after christmas, so we were going to enjoy the next 3 days worry free. We did spend our Christmas eve in the perfect way tho, off to the local Chinese restaurant to indulge in one of the things i am missing the most.
Christmas Day – 25th December……. 🙂
During all the work in the yard, the girls had completed a massive shop for Christmas, and besides all the problems we woke up Christmas morning with a smile ear to ear. We spent the morning in bed, unwrapping our stockings and cards, and treating little scrambles to his presents……he was jumping for joy with new chew toys. I don’t think anyone here had experienced a Christmas where the sun comes up at 6am, its 25 degrees by 9am, and you spend the day in shorts and swimming in the sea…..lets be honest it was the best Christmas I had ever had. So we got everything together and called a water taxi to come and collect the 5 of us and take us to the beach, 6 litres of rum punch, a bbq, bag of coals, a pre ovened bbq and marmite rack of ribs, peri peri pulled pork, jerk chicken legs….all waiting for a bbq finish, coleslaw, mango salsa, vegetable rice……Merry Christmas. When on the beach we found somewhere to set up, unfortunately realising that we had forgotten Scrumpy’s permit, so I swam back to the boat for the first of four times for the day, it was only 300m but not what I wanted when I could smell the bbqs on the beach. Once back, we fired up the bbq and settled in for the day. By the early afternoon we were full of bbq and alcohol, not to mention the sand from when I dropped half my meat on the beach. As the sun started to set Chris and Kerry decided to head back to the boat with all the gear and leave Holly and I to party into the night for Christmas. They flagged down Dexter, loaded his water taxi with everything, themselves and Scrumpy and untied from shore….It was about 5 minutes later that Holly and I noticed them bobbing around 200m of the beach failing to get the engine started. The current was slowly taking them out to sea, soon to be past our boat and off to Venezuela……I left my stuff with Holly and dived in to swim out (For the second time) to the boat/Dexter, by the time I arrived they had just drifted past our boat and Chris had jumped in to try to throw Dexter a line, but by the time he was there, the water taxi was to far away. I Unlocked the dingy and and motored after Dexter, Kerry and Tippy, I threw them a line and somehow with a 2HP engine, managed to tow them back to the Tudor Rose and to safety…..Lets be honest , I only went to the effort as little Scrambles was onboard crying. From here I was about to tow Dexter to the Marina until his friend showed up with a much better dingy and towed him in, so I lent him my favourite rope and off they went. Not so much as a thank you. So after the 3rd swim of the day back to Holly, I had unfortunately sobered up slightly after the evenings crisis. We would soon change that by sitting in a hotel bar drinking Pina Coladas until we were even merrier than expected. From there it was off to the beach to drink a bottle of rum we had been carrying for the day…..where low and behold, we bump into a much more cheerful Dexter who asked us to join him. We spent the next 2 hours sharing the rum and stories, and finding out of all the locals that Dexter was some kind of big deal and the Godfather of Rodney bay (In a gangster kind of way)….Lucky we saved him then! At the end of the night there was one last swim (4th of the day) to do to go and get the dingy to get back to pick up Holly, and of to bed to finish the best Christmas day Ive ever had.
The next morning a hungover bunch shuffled there way ashore for a full english hangover curing breakfast, well it wasn’t the same as a greasy spoon cafe, but its better than nothing. On getting back to the boat we decided to move over to the north side of the anchorage to Pigeon Island for a change of scenery whilst we waited for the repairs. We anchored up outside the Sandles resort, about 300m from the dingy pontoon and settled in for an afternoon in the sea and relaxing. Well we did until yet another rescue was required…..A man and his wife were paddle boarding, and the mans oar had snapped, the current was now strong and they were both being pulled out to sea, both having a huge screaming match with each other, ignoring all shouts from us to see if they needed help.. Into the dingy and off to get him, as I got to him he was just grabbing onto a nice at least £1,000,000 yacht, the owner jumped up shouting down touch my boat to the warn out man…..His response can’t be repeated on here, but has made us laugh most days since. Annoyingly the evening was dominated by a large local music festival on the beach, not the nice kind but a loud, lashing lights, dance music kind, that went on into the early hours.
Pigeon Island is a Nature reserve and has two large peaks where the British Navy had posts back in the pirates of the caribbean days. It was a nice day to get out in the country, rather than being stuck in the marina, and after climbing both peaks, and staring out over the Caribbean Sea to Martinique one side, and the huge Rodney Bay anchorage the other side, we felt shattered. At the bottom we made our way around the old military barracks before settling in on the beach for an afternoon of snorkelling and swimming. Once back on the boat we move back across the bay to be near to the marina for the mornings repairs, and settled in for a film night onboard.
Up early for yet another repair day, we had been here for 2 weeks now and just wanted to get moving around the island. I went to the electirician at 9am to explain that, the depth did not work, and I believed it to be my instrument not working, and that he had made a mistake costing me £500…..not one shit was given by him, and he couldn’t even offer me any help due to them being to busy. After insisting, due to his mistake, I went back to the boat and pulled it into the marina for one of his engineers to come and have a look, and to his surprise, it turned out to be the instrument (That they had opportunely tested for me) that was broken, and not the transducer. So we bit the bullet and purchased a new instrument at an extortionate price, but this did mean we could finally head out and get on with our travels. After temporarily fixing the wind sensor with some replacement batteries and giving the boat a good clean, it was too late to move on out, so we spent the night in the marina, getting very drunk, playing cards, and eating one hell of a pizza/chips combination.