Saturday, May 21, 2016

VANISHING SAIL


It was a good Caribbean sunset.

A little different view for me as I had ventured over to the South side of the bay to the Plantation hotel.

So had almost every other cruiser in the anchorage if the dinghy jam was anything to go by.

The water taxis were busy to running a shuttle service and the car park was looking busy as was the queue for a drink at the bar.

We were all here for the local first showing of a film about boat building in the Eastern Caribbean. Traditional boat building on the beach with few tools and little in the way of sophisticated design work. Just a half model held together with pins.

This movie made by Alexis Andrews tells the story of a local Carriacou boat builder a man called Alwyn Enoe building his last boat, sailing it to Antigua and racing it. When you see how much they still had to do just five weeks before the race, it seems impossible they can make it

It was wonderful. I was entranced and think I did not move in my seat for the whole film.

What made it special was that I had met Alwyn when he and his sons were extending the stern of the boat that kick started the resurgence of interest in the class of wooden boats known as Carriacou deck sloops. They just cut off the stern, stepped the planking and extended it back about 4 feet and remade the old stern to fit. All the work being done by eye.

I had also been on the beach at Windward where Alwyn has his boatyard and yes that is the old gingerbread house seen in many shots in the film.

This was the framework built of white cedar cut from trees that Alwyn had chosen as he ranged over the island looking for the right shapes to give his last boat the strength and shape he had in his minds eye.

This was during the launch,



I missed the actual launch party but it was just as well as they are soaked in strong local rum and involve a blood sacrifice. Just a goat rather than a local virgin but I am not sure the goat sees the benefit.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

THE EMPEROR HAS NEW CLOTHES

After a few days round the South side of Bequia anchored off Petit Nevis and snorkeling my buns off I returned to Admiralty bay to meet up with Chris who looks after my bimini and dodger.

She had finally got some of the special white vinyl I wanted and made my new bimini.










This was badly overdue but I wanted made in Stamoid rather than Sumbrella.




I can stop worrying as the old one was fragile and could have been blown to shreds in a squall.



I also had my front dodger windows replaced. I had asked Chris of Bequia Canvas to do this but she had no suitable transparent material that she was comfortable using.

I had asked around and apparently something has changed and many manufacturers are having problems with general chalking and sun related streaking. Mine were only 18 months old and needed replacing.



I had arranged to have some new chaps made for Mr Dinghy. Grenadine Sails do a really good job and for a very fair price. They also did the dodger windows.



Dizzy checks out the new clothes.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

BEQUIA YOUNG ISLAND CUT and BACK TO BEAUTIFUL BEQUIA


BEQUIA

Gisela and I

enjoyed an evening promenade through the village of Hamilton


and up to the battery


overlooking the harbor



where we enjoyed our sundowner.

PAGET FARM

We went exploring Bequia by bus.

Paget Farm is the largest community in Bequia, an 18 square kilometer island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The predominantly fishing community of approximately 750 individuals of mixed African, Scottish and Carib Indian descent is located on the southwest coast near the island’s airport.

Paget Farm is intricately connected to the sea. Its local economy has been significantly impacted by the loss of the country’s seafood export rights to the European Union in 2004, which now prohibits the sale of products to their main market in Martinique.


All this exploring is thirsty work.


All the houses have splendid views.


We finished off our week in Bequia with a splendid evening out at the Fig Tree.

I had planned to leave it to Sunday before sailing over to St Vincent but the weather was looking iffy for Sunday so we pootled over on Saturday with the wind in our favor we could lay Young island Cut in a single tack.

The rain did arrive but cleared up by mid day Sunday and we took the opportunity to explore Young Island resort.

A lovely old mango tree.

A St Vncent parrot, very rare in the wild.




But Condor was coming to carry Gisela back to Germany and her neglected garden.

While I left the delights of the cut and it's bumpy rolly moorings for the peace of Bequia.

Mind you I wondered what is going on when this rumbled in. Maybe they are expecting a drugs interception. Who knows.
French Navy Maito-class large harbour tug MAITO A636. 
Launched: 6 Jan 1984 In service: 27 Feb 1984. 
228 tons light 280 tons loaded 27.6m x 8.9m x 3.5m 11 knots 
Crew: 6 total + 4 passengers 
Built for service at Muraroa. Based at Fort-de-France.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

HATES SAILING

Poor Dizzy hates sailing and usually spends his time on passage next to me.




It is not too hard to detect the mental messages sent telepathically

"ARE WE THERE YET!"

It is a pity he hates sailing because it does not get much better than our sail up to Bequia. A warm wind over our shoulder, minimal swell and 7 to 9 knots all the way. 32 miles in 4 and 1/4 hours.



It was about 5 years ago when Love Divne went onto the rocks at the Western tip of Bequia.

Who knows what the skipper was doing or not doing.



But she is settling deeper by the stern. Maybe loosened by a big Northerly swell.


Both Dizzy and Gisela are enjoying a quiet if windy day in Bequia. Dizzy at all times is on watch for dangerous dinghies and pesky seagulls.

Meanwhile the skipper who can testify to the truth of the old saying

" Cruising is just boat maintenance in exotic locations "

is pondering on the best way to achieve toilet nirvana.

He has broken BOTH manual handles in one week.

The temporary fix is holding but we are both pumping out GENTLY.

Monday, April 25, 2016

HARD CORE or harter Kern CARIBBEAN QUEEN and THE TOBAGO CAYS


harter Kern

Gisela belongs to a heart group in Germany and they call themselves “Hard Core” and the members all have nicknames. Gisela is Caribbean Queen.. So when we saw the nickname for the driver of this Caribbean minibus we just had to get a shot of Gisela by the bus.

We spotted this fine vehicle, the island version of the stretch limo.

And watched the wooden ex mailboat now called Scaramouche leave for a day on the water with it's cargo of happy tourists.

She was sailed off the mooring and no engine was involved.

After provisioning in Union Island where we saw this sign.

But this tolerance does not extend to one exotic intruder the Lionfish.

We are back in the Tobago Cays for a few days. It is hard to put in to words how beautiful this little bit of paradise is.

Dizzy has the position of official bird scarer on board Elephants Child. He takes the job seriously.

Identify the target.

Wait till it settles.

Commit to the stalk.

Get to 6 feet from target and make a 5 feet attack charge.

He is not so sure what he should do about these pesky turtles though.
We climbed the small island of Baradel and were not surprised at how dry everything looked. It must be a tough time for the iguana population as the leaves they eat can have little or no moisture.

Anyway lotus eating in paradise is over for the mean time and we are heading North to Bequia tomorrow Tuesday.