Tuesday, January 11, 2011


5000 + gallons of water wasted ??

Our first job in Dominica was to take on board water as we had empty tanks and Dominican water is some of the best and cheapest in the Caribbean. I have used this particular dock before and was prepared for the problems of coming in to something designed for cruise ships with the fenders up high and a couple of lines ready to throw to the security guard/water provider/dockmaster so as we could balance on a couple of the monster tires they use as fenders.

However it turned in to a total Chinese fire drill as the shore guy caught our bow line and immediately answered his mobile, becoming immersed in some vitally important conversation and ignoring our needs. Three times I drove us forward on to the essential double tire and gestured to him to take the bow line forward which he duly did then he would return to stand amidships of us and tie off the line to the monster bollard there, which of course allowed us to slip back of the tires. Gisela bravely scrambled ashore climbing up over a metre onto and across a giant tire to tie off our stern line and show him with appropriate gestures that the bow line HAD to go FORWARD of the bow to prevent us slipping off the double tire fender. Eventually he tied us off forward and we were ready to take on water.

After finishing his call he passed the hose to me but he could not turn on the water.

Eventually he phoned the Waterboard and an official arrived who decided that yes he could turn on the water but as he was here he was going to purge the lines and test for purity.

Now the system is set up to supply huge amounts of water to cruise ships and water tankers so the delivery pipe is about 6 inches across with some SERIOUS water pressure so when the official opened the big gate valve to purge the lines he sent a huge spray of water, nay a flood, nay a deluge a veritable torrent across Elephants Child instantly washing the salt spray off our decks. However he had not noticed that I had most of our hatches open and the spray went down below soaking everything.

Realizing his mistake he shut things down allowing me to close the hatches then using a different set of outlets proceeded to run off thousands of gallons and periodically checking the purity with a test strip. [ Did I mention that he put the strip in his mouth to hold it before using it.]

Still we got our water and are sitting quietly at anchor off the Big Poppas Beach Bar where we should get a wifi connection. [ Update no wifi at Big Poppas ] and reflecting on our visit to the volcano museum in St Pierre.

St Pierre

29,000+ burned to death in St Pierre 1902, why because a politician said it was safe! A thousand wise men and woman fled to safety and one convict survived badly burnt because his cell had thick walls and tiny windows.

Today 5,000 live and love here and many use bits of the buildings left over from the 1902 disaster. Even the showpiece exhibit of the theater has the indignity of a shed or chicken coop being built against it's famous walls.

We did our laundry in St Pierre and Elephants Child became a “Widow Twankie” for an hour or too as the trade winds blew our wash dry in next to no time.

We had a great sail up to Dominica covering the 55 nautical miles at an average speed in excess of 7 knots, easily our best average over that sort of distance. We even blew past some much larger yachts when conditions favored us but out in the channel between the islands their much greater waterline length soon had them powering past us.

Our popcorn and G&Ts were extra tasty that night as we enjoyed the sunset.

We have been trapped on board today with some serious rain and wind so I gave in and paid for some wifi [broke my Scottish heart it did!]

1 comment:

  1. Has Gisela decided to become a permanent member of the crew? Lucky girl!