Thursday, November 7, 2013

Farewell Ma & Pa, Dinghy Concert Rainbows & Starry Night Music

Dinghy Concert at Phar Bleu
Mum and Dads visit came to an end with an easy and relaxed day sail on Wandering Star, moving her from Prickly Bay to Clarks Court Bay, showing them Mount Hartman and Hog Island on the way and finishing with a BBQ on board that night. We have had a lovely couple of weeks with them and it was a wonderful last day together.
Dinghy Concert rainbow
Since then, which is only a couple of days we have had fun on Hog Island beach watching Stan and Cora (musicians) play under a starry sky last Tuesday night and another fantastic dinghy concert over at Phar Bleu Bay where, despite the heavens opening up and giving us a thoroughly good soaking, we enjoyed the concert to the back drop of a rainbow. 
Fun Times at the Dinghy Concert
Now we are firmly in the month of November and the end of hurricane season is drawing upon us. Most boats will be thinking ahead to the new sailing season having had their time of maintenance and haul out during the summer months.  Not us.  We have always approached hauling out a little differently.  Namely because we (meaning Sim) like to haul for longer on Alianna and do our own work which most yards prefer us to do during the quieter sailing season and because it is always cooler in the winter months. The same applies to Wandering Star.  We have not yet spent any time with her in a boat yard and so there is much of the boat that is still unknown to us.  Because of a few suspect areas below the waterline (ie areas of rust) and because these areas happen to be under fuel and water tanks, we have a mammoth of a job waiting for us.   Furniture has to be cut out and removed as well as tanks.  I can barely think about it without my forehead furrowing, my eyes crossing over and having the over whelming need to sit down.  Trying to find a yard to meet our criteria has been tough.  Carriacou has been a favourite with its small and laid back yard.  But they lack the supplies we might need for a long and extended haul out.  Trinidad was firm on the cards for many months.  Despite being a little less competitive price wise these days they still have the biggest marine haulout facilities in the Caribbean.  But with their (too) laid back attitude and horror stories of bad grounding in the yards (read- people being electrocuted) we have been put off.  Spice Island Marine in Grenada won’t let you live aboard and accommodation close by is very expensive and Grenada Marine is a little too isolated and we have no idea about welders.  Having researched most other yards in the east Caribbean, along with our first hand knowledge of both St Lucia and Antigua, our plan du jour is currently St Maarten.  They have plenty of yards to choose from, skilled labour and easy access to supplies.  Plus there are some lovely beaches when you just want to chill out for the day and escape. 

So, we are waiting for our final solar panel to arrive, hopefully this weekend.  We have a few little loose ends to tie up like re-seal a window – tick, secure radar, fill gas bottle and work out how to stow the kayak.  One last shop, and water top and hey presto we will be ready to go…..

Sun sets while we listen to Amy Winehouse covers at the dinghy concert
Mum and Dad 

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