Monday, January 30, 2017

St Lucia Continued

Well I say that this post is about St Lucia but I am actually writing this whilst in London in the freezing cold - a short trip that had to be done unfortunately.....another story! The good news is that, the contractor for Seldon, Nick with alot of help from Andrew managed to get the main sail furler fixed just before we flew out. So as soon as we get back we will be heading to the Grenadines.... oh provided the 5th new fresh water pumps makes it back with us - yes this is life on boats as everyone knows fixing them in exotic locations.

We ended up spending 10 days in Marigot Bay and had a really wonderful time. The Golden Breezers arrived and we had a couple of crazy nights with them, we met Dan an aussie super yacht chef plus Maggie & Colin who were staying at the hotel, all of whom were adopted by the cruisers at the Hurricane Hole. We went diving and shared a couple of fun nights with Dan and then Maggie & Colin ended up joining us for the trip back to Rodney Bay. Marc & Kathy from White Rabbit who we met in Rodney Bay also popped in for a couple of nights. Finally, I also enjoyed the gym and a Pilates class at the hotel, whilst spending most afternoons at the pool.

We did have a couple of incidents too, reminding us that this is not all just one big holiday.... at happy hour Askooby (our dinghy) strangely drifted out into the bay, despite being tied up at our feet. Hmmmm not sure that it wasn't untied, as we heard a splash and a local guy said not to worry his 'friend', who happened to be out there in the dark paddle boarding, would pick it up. After that we locked it up even when we were right there. Then we also got driven into by a german yacht when they were trying to pick up a mooring - most of that polished out but a stainless steel fishing rod hold is very dented into the pushpit - the lady on the helm apparently didn't know the boat was in gear..... We are certainly ready to go somewhere new now!

Andrew with our lovely friends from Golden Breeze - Fabian, Philip and Anne
One of the many super yachts in Marigot Bay
Lunch by the pool

Marigot view from Askari

Me with Anne and Maggie
Another Happy Hour at the Hurricane Hole
Bringing Askooby home

Party night on Askari - a big curry and alot of wine

Yacht Drumbeat arrives in Marigot Bay 
Maggie & Colin join us
Maggie & Andrew enjoy the scenic tour along the coast of St Lucia

Coming back to Rodney Bay 
Back in Rodney Bay the parts for the furler had arrived but it still took another three days to get the paperwork right to get them out of customs.... So we spent a lovely day at Pigeon Island - sadly I forgot my camera but it was just lovely. We walked to the highest peak with stunning views of Martinique, explored the old fort and buildings, had lunch and then spent the afternoon on the beach. From the high point we spotted a boat that looked familiar - it was Oyster 545-01 Shelena which was launched a year before Askari - we had been on board her in Ipswich but never met her owners Phil & Helen. Phil was onboard as we zoomed back to Rodney Bay - next night we enjoyed a few cocktails and stories with Phil & Helen at the Landings resort. Phil also sold us a mountain of books on the US east coast for the next part of our adventure.

Landings Resort Beach

Sunset over Rodney Bay 
A lot of books to read up in the East Coast USA
Finally, Monday morning Nick arrived bright and early to work on the furler. Andrew had spent the weekend considering the parts and how to tackle the job. Unfortunately Nick hadn't been given any guidance on how to do this job so the two of them worked through it together and figured out a plan. I made the coffee and provided towels and protective matts around the area and then left them to it until I heard an almighty scream.... Nick had removed the cover from the electronic furler and had his hand under the machinery, such that as he dislodged it the full weight of it fell onto his thumb, which was then trapped inside the mast. Andrew managed to get him into the cockpit before he passed out - he looked totally white and was obviously in shock. The injury looked awful but he was lucky not to have lost his thumb. We bandaged him up and Andrew drove him to the clinic for stitches and then onto x-ray. Then he came back to work with a broken but anaesthetised thumb and fixed up the furler - what a hero!!

Nick hard at work - no feeling in his broken thumb!
Boys figuring out the next step
The hard bit was getting it back together
We still have to put on the sail and it does need more work but the furler is back together and operational - at long last!

Time for one last meal out before flying to London - so we joined Kathy and Marc from White Rabbit  for a thai feast and a few magic tricks.... I have a feeling we will see these guys again aboard an Oyster somewhere in the world, if not at their home in Canada!
Us with Kathy and the master magician Marc

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Video from Day 5 of our Atlantic Crossing

We finally managed to get good enough wifi in St Lucia to upload the first video we took on the Atlantic - day 5 was perfect conditions.....


Friday, January 13, 2017

Diving St Lucia

I have to admit to having had low expectations about diving in St Lucia, however as we couldn't sail while we wait for parts to arrive to fix the mainsail furler and it had been far too long since we had blown some bubbles we thought we would give it a go and booked a trip with Dive Fair Helen in Marigot Bay. The lovely Darien from the Marina whizzed us over to the dive boat with all our gear - it was all a bit disorganised but finally we were on our way down towards Soufriere and the Pitons.

We did two dives - firstly a nice wall dive and then the Key Hole Pinnacles which are four peaks that closely resemble the Pitons rising from the deep to within a couple of metres of the surface. The viability was great, the soft corals were lovely and the current was pretty gentle on both dives. We didn't see anything amazing but two nice dives that exceeded our expectations.

I managed to get a few shots - not my best having not used the camera for a year.....

Stone Fish

Banded Boxer Shrimp


Spotted Trunkfish


Scrawled File Fish

Nice Fan

Smooth Trunkfish
I think this is a kind of worm or nudi??
Black Moray Eel

Trigger Fish on Pretty Reef
Red Squirrel Fish

Trumpet Fish

Banded Boxer Shrimp

Monday, January 9, 2017

Saint Lucia - Jump Up & Marigot Bay

We just loved having a few days in the Marina, without the boat moving and running air-con at night. I also became a girl again with a pedi and hair appointment. The lobster man came one day and Friedl did a deal for 3 cooked lobsters, so I got the job of preparing them. We had one with salad and the other two Andrew did on the BBQ with garlic butter - wow they were so good. Happy hour at the Boardwalk became our regular and we also met so many other new friends. One of the best marinas we have ever visited.

The lobster man

Lobster dinner
 We decided to stay a week, but then it was Jump Up - a street party in Gros Islet - this we couldn't miss..... It was such a fun night, we met Jean and Aurelia who own Aldourie; the Oyster 545 that was in the yard with Askari; they joined us for the walk down to the party  - what fun for them on the last night of their time in the Caribbean.
Local Rum

Andrew, Katharina, Friedl and Helen from Milvina

Aldourie Boys

Aldourie Girls

Golden Breezers and Neil Milvina

Street Party 

At the Irie Bar - starting to unravel
 A day to get over the jump up and then we set sail the short distance to Marigot Bay.

Leaving Rodney Bay

Askari in Marigot Bay

Poolside in Marigot Bay - Hotel owns the moorings so we get to use all the facilities

Doctor Doolittle's Place

Stunning Marigot Bay
One of our neighbours in Marigot Bay
Sunset at Marigot

Katharina and Andrew at happy hour

Cruisers at happy hour at the Hurricane Hole - Marigot Bay