Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bequia to St. Lucia, Still in the Windward Islands

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Took one hour to cut all that off!

Surfing all day, up and down the roller waves, we hit 9+ knots, arriving in St. Lucia a couple hours ahead of schedule!  Fishing was bust for me - I only managed to wrap a zillion miles of line around the lure -- humm, what is wrong?  The lure just bounced all day, up and down skipping along like a kid in grade school.  I decided to let it be and hoped that the skipping action would attract a fish that would EAT my hook on the other rod.  No such luck!  I’ll be hours cutting off the line wrapped around the lure and trying to figure it all out...NOT my thing. 

We SAW A WHALE!  It looked liked a 25 foot log in the water, except that water was coming out of one end - his blow hole.  We altered direction to get closer and it dove out of sight.  Just as he did, I saw what might have been a humpback or a large dorsal fin...Don’t know what I saw, but it was exciting!!  I checked our photos - no whale....only waves.

Finally Fun @ Rodney Bay Marina

Tucked in and tied up at Rodney Bay Marina, we are awaiting the arrival of the 4 batteries we ordered.  Ours have been dying slowly every day, forcing us to run the generator for hours twice a day to keep them charged.

More than one night, after running the generator for hours, shutting it off at 11 PM, we’ve awakened to the sound of BEEP BEEP BEEP before 4 AM - Battery Low alarm.  Ugh, another trip out of the bed to turn the generator on.  Lordie, the price of a full night’s sleep! (ah, about $3,000 - HATE boat parts!)   Andy says it would be just a matter of a short time before the batteries died, stranding us somewhere along the small island chain. 

Welcoming an ARC boat's arrival at the dock
Party Central at Rodney Bay!  The ARC Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is arriving here officially on the 10th, but many are already here and a few more come in each day to much fanfare, steel drums and rum drinks.   The ARC is the largest annual transatlantic rally comprised mostly of European yachts that have made their way to the Canary Islands.  From there, on November 20, they set off for this marina in Rodney Bay, 2,700 miles away.  The Marina let us in, with the expectation that we’ll only stay a couple of days, as approximately 200 boats are expected.

Wandering the docks, we are in awe of the huge, beautiful sailboats.  Those in ‘the know’ about sailboats have pointed out to us some of the features, such as titanium masts, etc. that cost a million dollars.  Phew!  We’ve chatted with some, meeting Poles (yes, Andy spoke to them in Polish); Italians, Spanish, Brits, French, German so far.  These folks have taken a minimum of 14 days to get here from the Canary from where ever they came from before that!

Friday, December 9, 2011
Batteries are in and engine filters changed, removing diesel fuel sludge.  Sitting for five months in Grenada did have an impact on us and the filters were gooey.  We’ve seen nothing of St. Lucia as Egbert, who did the battery installation, was on island time.  He reminds me of those contractors who come to your house to fix something, disappear for hours or days, always promising to ‘be right back’ while they go do the same thing to numerous other customers, trying to keep everyone happy. I’m not happy.  We sat here hours at a time, waiting for his ‘be right back’ that never happened.  We wasted so much time.  WHY can’t folks say, “I’ll be back at 4” or some such thing.
Part of the battery bank of four

Between him and this beautiful IGY Marina that has low water pressure and wifi that is not working, I’m Type A frustrated big time.  The Marina says these issues are caused by so many people being at the marina, straining all the services.  Let me see if I understand this correctly......IGY built this marina with all the slips.  Now that the slips are 60% full, their infrastructure can’t handle it...Hum, the message to me is don’t come to this marina unless you know they are nearly empty of boats...
Tourists having fun in Rodney Bay
We’re off to Martinique after a quick stop for fuel at duty free prices...Duty free certainly doesn’t mean FREE, but we understand it would be better to top off here rather than Martinique, as it is in the Euro, further upping what we’d really pay.

Gulp, going rate is $5.45 deal here either.
The ARC Finish Line Boat in Rodney Bay

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