Tuesday, December 12, 2017


After a great sail up in the flattest water I have ever seen on an interisland passage I am sitting in Bequia and will take advantage of the best wind and sea that I can get in the next 10 days to leave tomorrow for St Lucia.

So no morning lie in for Dizzy.

He is going to be really pissed tomorrow two long sails on consecutive days.

Mr Grumpy for sure.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Well I was up at the 'peep o'dawn' and on my way North with no wind at all.

Eventually a small breeze filled in but it was dead on the nose, so I pick a sheltered bay and will try again tomorrow.

As I passed Hillsborough I picked up on a rescue working out of Tyrel bay. A Russian couple who have no engine had sailed up from Granada to Tyrell Bay were also suffering from lack of wind and were drifting back to Grenada. A tow was soon organised by Suzy of Spirited Lady of Foy.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bequia bound on Monday

The dinghy is on the deck the outboard on the rail and the new GPS is programmed for Bequia.

It will be a long day about 70 miles before I get the anchor down.

Friday, December 8, 2017


My father bought the garage business at 10 High Street Kinross in the mid 50s and operated as Kirklands Garage Kinross Ltd.

Eight of us lived in the house attached to the garage for many years until we bought the next door house and moved there. I lived in the garage house for 4 years after I got married. I ran the business for a while as a Mazda dealership with a busy workshop, separate body repair shop and vehicle recovery operation.

I built my stock cars there and raced under the banner Kirklands Garage.

Happy days with Ian Finnie as a dedicated mechanic and racing at Cowdenbeath and Armadale with trips South for the big meetings at Ipswich and Wimbledon.

Lately the business has been operated by my sister big Liz and her husband Donald. But all things must end. Enjoy your retirement.


These guys were seen operating off the North end of St Vincent. They may have been after pilot whales, a type of dolphin. In the islands the meat of the pilot whale is known as black fish.

The SVG islands are also entitled to take some great whales as it is part of their heritage but they are supposed to use traditional hand harpoons and work from a boat driven by oars.


Just had a sharp reminder of the dangers posed to liveaboards, specifically dinghy operations. A French sailor who crossed the Atlantic with his wife in 2015 and had been anchored in Prickly Bay lost his life when he hit an unlit post at night, at speed, in his dinghy. Despite a rapid response by fellow cruisers and coastguard he did not make it. That post claimed another victim a couple of years back.


The pelican population in Carriacou is down to one or two birds but I enjoyed a ring side seat this morning to some pelican fishing. A school of bait fish was being harrased from below by some predators and were jumping all around Elephants Child. A sole Pelican was making repeated dives in pursuit of breakfast.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A day late and we are paddling

The forecasts had a strong wave blowing through early on Monday with an inch of rain. However Monday passed in tranquility and without rain.

Tuesday the forecast was back to normal but to be sure I checked the weather radar and all was clear.

Did some work on my windlass wiring and went for lunch at the Slipway. It suddenly started looking threatening and BLAMMO the heavens opened.

4 hours later and it is still raining hard.

Friday, December 1, 2017


I was sitting watching paint dry on the last part of Elephants Child's bottom, the centerboard. I get to work in slings to cleanout the centerboard case and the board itself which then gets the last of the liquid gold as I call the bottom paint.

While I was sitting I thought back to my first visit, Edwyn was the yard manager and travel lift operator and the expert at keeping the ancient worn out machinery running. I was especially frightened by the tires which were showing canvas both on the tread and sidewalls. When I asked about this Edwyn reassured me that new tires were coming on the ferry and would be fitted before they lifted me. The 'new' tires were worn out aircraft tires. Still that went with the yard office in a rusted out shipping container with holes in the floor, the shower with no light, no shower head and no lock and the toilet which was unuseable. Oh yes and the goat poo, herd of goats and flock of chickens that roamed the yard at night.

The goats have gone we have one chicken, a tiled shower block with the obligatory key and best of all Edwyn is the master of a brand new travel lift with the state of the art remote operating kit.

Elephants Child got a new prop a Campbell Sailor which is supposed to reduce drag. Not that I was particularly worried about drag but I was worried about the large pink patches and nibbled edges which indicated some degree of dezincification.

As we went back in I was glad to see a pelican diving on the reef. Only one where before there had been dozens but maybe they are coming back from whatever drove them away.

All boatyars have a zombie a boat that will never be set back in the water but someone somewhere keeps the dream alive and pays the yard storage fee every month.
Tiggy, a pretty wooden boat with traditional lines belongs to a Polish single hander who also has a black and white cat.

It was good to be back in the water and enjoying a good sunset along with my well earned G&T.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean

One of the ways the time in the boatyard is made bearable is lunch in the Slipway Restaurant, the home of the best burger in the Caribbean.

But you have to be aware of the opportunistic pirate grackles. Turn your back for a second and they will have plundered your plate and made off with the booty.