The hurricane season is not over but it looks like there are no major threats form here on out. Famous last words. Major hurricane Lenny on November 19, 1999, Hurricane Debbie October 22, 2000, and Hurricane Thomas on October 30, 2010 proves that hurricanes could affect the Eastern Caribbean late in the season. But not usually. In any case we are preparing to commence voyage #12 as soon as we depart Rodney Bay Marina in a few days.
At the beginning of October, we left the marina and anchored out until we hauled Kalunamoo for its annual bottom cleaning and painting. Rickey and crew do a good job of hauling us out and put us right next to Meander. Meander is our friend Wayne’s cruising boat that has been on the hard for over a year and a half. Maybe we’ll see him next year! During the 3 days on the hard, Maureen wanted to be a little more comfortable than living aboard. We have lived aboard on the hard in the past and it is not the most comfortable way to live. In Trinidad, on the hard, we have air conditioning, stairs to get on and off the boat and good showers and restrooms are available. We don’t have those creature comforts here. So, we were off to Bay Gardens Marina Haven Hotel!
OK, it wasn’t a “resort” but it was a short walk from the boatyard, had a pool, small restaurant and air conditioning. Actually, it was just fine for the time we would be there. I only used the pool once as a “tropical wave” came through with showers and squalls for a day and I had to spend time on the boat doing “boat yard” work. Of course, the rooms had air-conditioning. Why they have air-conditioning AND a refrigerator in the room is beyond me. Whatever you want cold, just leave it next to the wide screen TV. I’m sure you could even make ice cubes there too. After setting the thermostat up to 24 C (75 F) it was more bearable but turning it off for a few hours also helped. The blankets provided for the bed were not enough but, all in all, we did enjoy the change. The staff was very friendly, and even took our temperature daily! Maybe some of their previous guests froze to death.
But the work in the boat yard was done, and Pirate did another great job scrapping, preparing and painting the bottom. I should mention something about the boat workers names.
These independent contractors have real names but they go by their “corporate persona”. “Pirate”, with one large gold earring, does bottom painting. Does a great job at a fair price. We used “Prudent” to install our reefer compressor. “Pride” was our carpenter who did the teak repair on the stern. Aldi and Josiane (I think that was their real names) did out toe rail varnishing. “Elvis” was asked to provide a quote on some port-glass replacements but never came back. I really don’t think I stepped on his Blue Swade Shoes, but who knows.
We are now back in the Marina for a few days to finalize boat preparations for voyage 12. When we leave the marina, we will be at anchor or sail down to Marigot Resort for a few days. Maureen has some dental work to complete here in Rodney Bay before we can leave St. Lucia in the first week of November. The jump to Antigua will take about 32 hours where we plan to meet-up with cruisers we know coming down from the States on the Salty Dawg Rally. After that we hope the restrictions and requirements of traveling between islands become less cumbersome or expensive and a more mobile season develops. It will be good to be able to sail around more.
As I wrote in the last blog, at time it feels like we are sitting in the bleacher seats watching life’s games. Yes, being retired, maybe that is all that is expected, especially while a pandemic encircles the world.
The cruisers, we have shared this summer season with are making plans, as we are, to move on. We will probably cross paths with some of them again, others are off to destinations far and wide. In that way, it was much like the cruisers we meet in Trinidad. Political discussions with cruisers here or via electronic means on many subjects occupied some of our time (we are never far from 24/7 news). But this blog will refrain from overt political discussions, other than opinions germane to our venue (or air conditioning) and save those for the Essay pages of this web site. In any event, a new cast of players await.