December 1994 - St Vincent to Iles des Saintes

1 December 1994 Wallilabou, St Vincent to Marigot, St Lucia
We motored up the coast and then bashed and crashed for half an hour after we cleared the north coast of St Vincent. The rest of the sail was OK in 25 knot winds. We motored up the coast of St Lucia into Marigot Bay. It took us four attempts to anchor, much to the interest of the boat boys and other boats at anchor! We just kept dragging when we went astern.

Eventually it “kind of held”, so we left it at that – I hope the wind doesn’t blow hard! We met Suzie and Stan on “Corby” (UK/Aus) who know Gareth and Fi well. They embroider t-shirts for a living. Stan says the best technique for anchoring here is to drop the anchor and just let it sink into the mud!

2 December 1994 Marigot to Soufriere
The boys played on a rope swing while Glenys and I cleared in and did a bit of shopping. It threw it down so we were late leaving Marigot. We motored around to the Hummingbird at Soufriere and anchored with a NNE wind blowing us ashore. We had a persistent boat boy who wanted to tie us up to a tree ashore. We’re the only boat here - God knows how they make a living tying people up for £1.

After lunch, we walked through town and to the Diamond Baths. This is a botanical garden, attached to a large plantation, complete with its own hot mineral springs and a waterfall. We went equipped with bathing shorts, but didn’t bother because it would have cost us an extra £6 and the pools were tiny. The gardens were pleasant and we were lucky enough to see a huge 2 inch black wasp dragging a 4 inch diameter, dead spider through the undergrowth – shudder!

3 December 1994 Soufriere
School work in the morning. Craig decided that he didn’t want to read his book to me – I think that I’m pushing him too hard and he’s frightened of being seen not knowing some words. I must try not to be so domineering! Glenys and I went for a dive after lunch and then I went for a walk along the road to Anse Chastanet. We had dinner to the sound of a very loud disco at the new hotel on the beach.

4 December 1994 Soufriere to Marigot
We motored around to Anse Chastanet, where Glenys and I went for a dive. After that we motored around to Marigot and had a lazy afternoon. I read a book, the boys played on a rope swing and Glenys went for a walk around the hotels.

5 December 1994 Marigot to Rodney Bay
We motored around to Castries and anchored in the town port. Glenys and I went and got some cash and did a big shop. We then motored around to Rodney Bay and pottered around for the rest of the day.

6 December 1994 Rodney Bay
Glenys did school work while I altered the spray hood frame. After lunch, I went to check out the chandlers – very expensive.

7 December 1994 Rodney Bay
Glenys did school work while I checked out the stern gland, steering and emergency tiller. The boys are driving Glenys crazy – they won’t get off the boat and they’re under her feet all the time. I had a long session on the clarinet. I’m getting a lot better now – I can sight read about 20 songs and make a fair attempt at them.

8 December 1994 Rodney Bay
Glenys did school work with Craig while I went into town with Brett. I stopped by a music shop, bought a book on playing jazz music, and some reeds. I also arranged to take my clarinet on Monday to have it serviced and to have a half hour lesson. The guy doesn’t sell 1½ strength reeds, he starts people off on 2’s. I have to start using 2’s.

Brett bought Christmas presents for Craig, Glenys and Grandma – I couldn’t find anything for Glenys. When we got back to the boat, I cleaned the clarinet and skimmed through the jazz book. I’ve decided that I’ve got a lot to learn and I should be practicing scales.

9 December 1994 Rodney Bay
I was up at half past six writing out the 12 major scales, I then did school work with Brett while Glenys took Craig into town. I had a practice on the clarinet – I’ve decided that my embouchure is too weak, my breathing is wrong, my fingering is incorrect and my posture is wrong. All in all I’m useless and I sound awful. I think I need to start again from basics.

10 December 1994 Rodney Bay
I was up at half past six and started to repair the computer. I decided to graft a piece of ribbon cable onto the damaged display lead. This involved carefully scraping away the insulation and soldering 40 connections with the aid of a magnifying glass. It took me 5 hours but the computer works!!

We had a ”caveman” lunch of chicken legs, mashed potatoes and beans. This took place on the front deck with everyone using their fingers to eat with. We had no manners and snatched food from each other, wiped our very mucky hands on ourselves and threw food about. The boys loved it! Glenys spent the afternoon making flags for “Hedonis”. My clarinet playing is demoralising.