Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday 18th March

Rodney Bay
St. Lucia

14 04.435 N
60 56.997 W

Hi Ray Lopez, glad to hear you are reading my drivel! You are right about the flounder, it is much easier to spot if you click on the photo as this enlarges it - the flounder becomes obvious then! Say Hi to the dock from us and keep reading - it makes me feel good.

Lorie and I took the new dink into the dock first thing in the morning, Lorie drove it as I am pretty bad at steering the dink – it has a mind of its own I’m sure! We were going to return the hire car and then do a little grocery shopping before we left La Marin. We arrived at the hire car place to find that they were open but the door was locked and there was no sign of the lady that runs it. We waited and waited finally just about an hour later she appeared with several people in tow from a boat. Apparently she had gone to pick them up as they wanted a hire car but she hadn’t left a note or anything to say where she had gone or how long she would be. Smoke was almost coming out of my ears by the time she checked our car back in and returned my deposit. Lorie had taken off to find the bakery whilst I returned the car and we met up as soon as I had finished with the paperwork. We decided to give the grocery shopping a miss as we were now running very late and we knew the guys wanted to leave so we just returned to the dinghy dock, collected the dinghy and made our way back to our boats. Soon after we were hauling in anchors (ours was a little difficult as a boat had anchored over top of us and we had to maneuver around it to pull in our anchor) and motoring out of the harbour. Once we had cleared the harbour entrance we turned into wind and hoisted our main sail (reefed) then turning back to course unfurled the jib (also reefed), cut the motor and began sailing towards St. Lucia, about 23miles away. We had the wind mainly on our beam and raced along doing an average of 6.5 knots, we saw 8.3 knots of speed at one point – our maximum hull speed, this of course delighted Gerry. A couple of sail boats went down our windward side and “dirty aired” us but we still managed to arrive at St. Lucia within minutes of them – not that we were racing of course! Despite having a full jib and a reefed main Gypsy Palace came in behind us, it generated much discussion as to why we seem to be able to out sail them every time – I think it must be to do with all the shoes Lorie has on her boat! But it’s good to see that an older boat like ours is competitive (if you were racing of course!) Once we dropped the sails and began motoring Gypsy Palace took the lead and guided us into the harbour, stopping first at the fuel dock to replenish our diesel tank. Then it was time to drop the anchor in the small bay right inside the harbour, rather than in the bay on the outside. The bay doesn’t seem to get much of a tidal flow so we decided that we wouldn’t make any water here. Friends of Dale and Lorie had anchored in the outer bay and after a call on the radio we all dinked over to their catamaran for cocktail hour, stories and lies. The hour ended up being two – as it always seems to and then we decided to go into a nearby bar for a light dinner. The bar had the Sky sports channel running on the TV so Gerry was immediately glued to the TV. The world cricket series is currently being played in St Lucia so there was much talk about the cricket surrounding us, especially in the light of the sacking of the England Captain. Dale and Lorie are not sure about the cricket rules (try explaining them from scratch), so we tried to enlighten them, our cause wasn’t helped by a couple of the Barmy Army fans who were dressed in female clothing and acting like prats! Anyway as we were all pretty tired from the transit we soon returned to our boats and comfort of bed.



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