Sunday, March 31, 2013


It is easter and I am in Bequia so that means there is some racing going on.

I put down my morning coffee and dinghied over to where I could get a good view of the Admiralty mark which is the first one the boats hit after the start.

Confusion is one of the local boats and was a race winner when first built. The owner and builder thought that she was not quite right in terms of her hull shape so she has had her planking removed, frames reshaped and replanked. All this on the beach under a shade tree. Going well when I saw her.

The spinnaker class looked like they have been practicing since there were no blown launches or wraps that I could see which was in marked contrast to the last time I watched them here.

The Melges 24 Caraibe Marine is posted on the board in the Frangipani as leading the regatta but the website has the second race which they won as being under investigation. I believe the protest flag has been flying.

The Freedom 44 Allana looked well and made a good start unlike Beauty, the locally built cutter, who was either having control problems or was making penalty turns. Later on I saw them crossing tacks and it was a close finish.

But hey who cares the sun is shining and the beer is cold.

More details here CLICKY at the offical web site.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Tomorrow is the first race day and the boats have been getting tuned up to go racing.

For some this means removing the remnants of last years duct tape and applying a new binding to hold the split in the bamboo boom together.

For others it is getting their trapeze skills refined but for one it is the time to test out his redesigned hull.

When "Confusion" was first launched it was the fastest boat that year winning three races and bragging rights but it was slipping down against other boats. So the owner and designer decided that it was too fat at the back and thin at the front. Removing the planking, slimming the back frames and opening up the bow sections before replanking was his solution. Final rigging touches were being applied and tomorrow will see the test in the first race.

But it is not only local boats that are blowing past my cockpit.

Friday, March 22, 2013

When I started this entry it was raining in Bequia. Which is pleasing the locals no end as there has been a prolonged drought here with cisterns nearly empty. It kept me on the boat yesterday so I did some odd jobs one of which was emptying my email spam box.

It was a little disconcerting to find that instead of being bombarded with ads for viagra, appendage enlarging devices and lonely Russian girls I am getting deluged with ads for insurance to cover my burial expenses, motorised wheelchairs and something called Geritol.

But the sun was out next morning and this was in the bay. Now regular readers will know that I don't much care for cruise ships but if you have to have one then something like this is the way to go. A proper square rigger she came in last night looking like something out of a fairy tale with her lights literally sparkling and twinkling, it must be some new special effect.

Something else was in to, a big shoal of bait fish and the gulls were scarfing them down. Because the pirates of the air the frigates were circling above the gulls stayed on the water.

After the stress of the morning, you know, wheelchairs, cruise ships etc I needed a little comfort food so it was off to Mariannes Ice Cream parlor and a coconut ice under the shade tree. Which is also looking a bit stressed due to the drought.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I woke up, it was a Bequia morning
and the first thing that I heard

was a serious and very noisy argument going on one boat over from Elephants Child. It was getting physical at some points too.

If this goes on I thought perhaps I need to move for some peace and quiet. But by the time the morning cruisers net came around the argument seemed to have been settled and peace had broken out between the squabbling parties.

YUP It was those damn gulls again.

There is good news and bad news on the conservation front. The first leatherback turtle of the 2013 nesting season has been seen and the nest recorded which is good news.

The not so good news is that the Bequia whaling station built by the Japanese has been put to it's designed use and cut up a whale taken by the Bequia whalers using traditional means, well at least it was a non exploding harpoon. I used to think that they used the traditional sail/oar driven double ended boat but it turns out that they use outboard driven speedboats chasing the whale till it is exhausted then harpooning it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I don't usually make this in one passage preferring to stop off in Wallilabou and make the last 15 miles some other day. However I could here the surf booming on the coast of St Vincent and the masts were moving uneasily in Cumberland Bay so I pressed on with memories of a night in Wallilabou on Carpe Diem when an unannounced big westerly swell had entered the bay in the early hours and made it untenable. I dropped the stern line which had been tied to a tree and with Jenny at the helm on a compass heading had retrieved the anchor and 200 feet of chain by hand, initially amidst breaking waves,then escaped into the night.

But the early start paid off and the NW trades kept a sailors breeze blowing down the lee side of St Vincent so we made good time without having to motor. But I was tired and glad to get a good nights sleep tucked up in the corner of Admiralty Bay in Bequia, well away from that pernicious Northerly swell which was rocking the boats further out. Even the big sailing cruise ship was moving a little.

I had also done something unusual in Marigot and paid for a mooring inside the inner lagoon as the swell was making it's way in and the wind was westerly. I fell foul of the old illegal mooring scam and finished up too close to a gaudily painted French trimaran.

After some negotiation I finished up on an official mooring with a little more swinging room.

I had noticed this sad sight on a previous visit a cute little wooden ketch had sunk in the lagoon. However unlike this one in Rodney bay someone was working on at least salvaging something from the sunken hull or possible even trying to refloat her.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Tucked up in the North side of the anchorage and out of the big swell that is running.

60 miles is a long day singlehanded with no one to bring me vittels on passage.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bequia bound tomorrow

I am tucked up in the inner lagoon at Marigot Bay tonight with the dink omn the deck ready to leave early tomorrow for Bequia.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, won't you stay
We'll put on the day
And we'll wear it 'till the night comes [ Joni Mitchell CLOUDS 1969 ]

Well it is not Chelsea but Rodney bay and the traffic making the words are the early morning grockle boats on their way to Castries for the daily loads of cruise ship cattle and the rental jet skis coming out from their lairs ashore.

I am anchored close to the beach so I can even here the hotel workers snapping up the beach umbrellas just like flowers blooming in the sun.

It is the start of another tough day in paradise as I tackle a job I have learned not to neglect.


While doing the work I found this little rascal, I guess I need to do the rounds of every mission critical hose clamp and replace any that show signs of corrosion.

That behind me I headed into the marina to find them racing J 24s in and around the marina pontoons. Well I have to marvel at the skill of the helms on these nimble little craft but I guess there might have been a few worried skippers on mega yachts as the racers shaved their sides and played chicken with anchor chains.

Sundowner time and the jazz band is doing it's stuff onshore.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Elephants Child is at anchor off Bayview and they have a really good jazz band with a sax player who is the mutts nuts on his horn.

So for the last few nights my sundowner has had a great accompaniment.

But my wifi connection really sucks so I am going to have to wait till either things speed up or I can find something better. The above pic took 10 mins to load.