the cats had their second vaccination and the boat got some engine
parts. A good reason to rent a car again (to pick up the parts) and
drive around a bit more.
Unfortunately one of the desired parts, a new silent block for one of
the engine supports, appeared
not to be the right type and the correct part had to be re-ordered in Europe.
So obligatory we had to eat baguettes and French cheeses for an other
five days. But... after five days of waiting for nothing we still had to
leave without the part, as it got stuck in Paris and after that it
became entangled in the Carnival festivities. To make our misery
complete Montserrat had a little cough so our decks were covered with
vulcano ashes for days. Stubborn stuff. And everywhere
(inside as well) grey cat's paw prints, sóóóó sweet.
the sail to Bequia is a comfortable broad reach, but we experienced
strong winds from the southeast. The only other yacht under sail was Velsheda.
As we had to sail close to windward with the high aspect jib, we made a
short illegal stop on
St.Lucia. Rodney Bay (where the ARC finishes) is a normally comfortable
bay but now the anchored boats were lifted five feet by waves crashing
on the beach with a thunderous roaring. JW was completely fed up with it
all so we sailed on to Vigie opposite of Castries, St. Lucia's capital
and best kept secret, as no one anchors here. Vigie
is a pretty little harbour hidden behind the cruiseship terminal.
Unfortunately the anchor would not hold but Julian the ferryman directed
us to one of his moorings (2 beers) and next he raced us into town as on
Sundays the supermarket is open until 1300
hours. Rhum, icecubes and new beer (also for Julian).
From Castries we sailed to Soufrière Bay; a unique spot directly
St.Lucia's two most striking mountains. This area is a protected nature
reservation and a couple of years ago nobody was allowed without
permission. This has changed now, and there are even
moorings (and subsequently boatboys rushing towards you to be of
Good reason for a stop-over because Soufrière is a nice little town.
Around the church you see some pretty classical Carribbean wooden
and it is busy on the streets (and on the pavements).
Soufrière is not rich. A pity,
as all exploitable nature (waterfalls and the Pitons, nota bene THE
image of St.Lucia: name of the local beer brand and also logo in the
national flag) is here and not in Castries, where the tourist's money
The rickety homes on the quay are quite worn out, the occupants laze around
and most yachties going in for a stroll turn around immediately. A pity,
because they miss a lot.
We met Max (Mad Max), artist and handyman. For the kids he constructed a
from an old truck-shaft and concrete iron and the seats are wooden dolphins;
and of course we bought a piece of woodcarving from him. It is interesting
that Max could not tell how old it was exactly. These people calculate with
the hurricanes: the piece is from after Lenny and before Omar. With some
bitterness he said: “You are at 1 and then a hurricane brings you back to
zero. I built my house twice and now I'm waiting for the next hurricane so I
can start all over again.” These people live on a A1-location, with a
splendid view but with no splendid future. If they look behind they see
their laboriously built homes which may be blown away in one breeze.
Obviously we had a drink in the little shop down the road and we
met the whole neighbourhood.
Waiting for the engine support we had lots of time so we decided to
visit St.Vincent once more. Three years ago we were there in Wallilabou Bay.
IIn the bay nothing has changed, well, part of the jetty came down and
there are more boatboys than ever.
But the fishermen still use rowing boats. What
has changed indeed, is the
Wallilabou waterfall. On 10 minutes walking distance from the bay,
hidden in the forest... It is now called Wallilabou Heritage Park, with
EC money they cut most of the trees so you can see it now from the road,
constructed paths and a restaurant. A pity for us. The price of
development is that there are less and less unpoilt spots, but the
positive effect is that with this they can earn more money from the cruiseship tourists.
Which helps the island.
In Wallilabou we found old and
new friends and with a huge bag of grapefruits and bananas we left for
Bequia. There we would pick up the engine support but after a week the thing
was still on Martinique. So we left to Tobago, hoping that it would be
FedExed to Bago’s Beach Bar.
And yes, a fes days later than expected but finally we held the part in our
hands. Quickly mounted, well quickly... more than a half day's work but at
least the thing fitted. Good opportunity to check the oil in the saildrive
again and bingo: there was again water in it. The sail home to Surinam had
to be postponed again.
In the vicinity of Tobago are two Volvo Penta-dealers: one on Trinidad and
one on Grenada. On Trinidad you are more or less a playball of the gods, as
appointments are not always kept and with the Volvo Penta-dealer we already
had one bad experience. On Grenada people are more serious and businesslike
and furthermore it is a better startpoint for the return trip to Surinam. So
we went back to Grenada.
Not much fun, especially
not for the cats as at was blazing hot on the hard and they were bored to
death. At night the mosquitoes (type: dengue, to be recognized by their
striped legs) in our ears and we slept like mummies wrapped in a sheet in
the cockpit. And when the sun came up we started running after the suppliers again,
because if you arrange with them to work in the morning, they'll hopefully
be there in the afternoon, a couple of minutes is an hour and the day is
gone before you know it. Ordered parts are always the wrong type, and also
now with a new propellor shaft. But next week we'll be afloat again and sail
directly to Surinam. Six or seven days of sailing against the wind
and the current.
In the meantime both Rita (in lane 1) and Roberta (lane 2) have qualified
for the Carib Cats swimming team in the
junior's section, specialized in night diving. Fortunately they know how to
save themselves. Of course there is a lot of miserable shivering to it, in Roberta’s
case probably to catch an extra snack because her main interest is food.