Guess what, I have internet on the boat ! and as long as I do it early before it slows down I can do a catch up.
Just so everyone knows, the weather in the Caribbean has been very strange this year, the Xmas winds arrived as normal middle of December but from the North East instead of East, and they have been blowing very strong ever since, the dry season didn't happen and still hasn't happened. This has caused very big swells to keep building bigger and bigger, and this combined with winds over 20 knts from the north east has made it difficult to travel north from the south. Getting to St Lucia last time was a pain, but managed it in a small 2 day window.That was to pick up my new sails from Jerry Bethal in February.
Catch up insert
Xmas 2017- Susie goes missing-I go to Union Island- New year 2018
I did make it to Carriacou for Xmas eve against wind and sea, 26 hr journey, and was invited for a champagne breakfast aboard 'Spirited Lady' Susie's boat on Xmas morning at 0830 hrs. I tootled over in my dingy at 0815 hrs with my unopened pressy and card from Lynne and Ken (sister & brother in law in UK), and armed with a bottle of wine. There was to be a first footing type celebration called a serenading afterwards were a group of cruisers and locals travel all over the island visiting many many places and peoples houses were food and drink are offered by locals, singing, dancing, drinking which goes on all day etc. etc.
Arriving at Susie's boat it was deserted, her dingy wasn't there, also no sign of her or her 2 dogs and the cat, they normally bark meow when they hear my outboard motor. So thinking she was ashore walking the dogs I went looking for her, its a long beach and I couldn't see her dingy on any of the small piers. I then waited for a bit watching her boat from the beach for her to return, nowt. So after 30 mins or so I got a bit concerned. It was now after 0900 hrs ! I Then did a search in my dingy the whole beach looking for hers as it might be pulled up the sand, no sign of it anywhere ! I then thought she might have carried on her Xmas eve party on someone else's boat. So I went all around the boats at anchor looking for her dingy. this took a good 30 minutes, time now was 1000 hrs ! and couldn't find it at all, having not found her dingy anywhere I was now getting very worried ! I then thought I would do one more search of the beach, if I couldn't find it I would call a 'May Day' emergency call on the VHF. for a missing person and dingy, she might have drifted out to sea ! I started at the boat yard end and spotted her dingy pulled out and at the entrance to the yard, I hadn't seen it the first time cause looking for it tied up. She had a friend staying in a cottage so I then assumed she hadn't made it back to her boat and had stayed there for the night, whew! As it was now obvious there was no breakfast going to happen it being 1015 I went back to my boat, opened my pressy and card and had a couple of slurps of wine to cheer myself up. I have to insert here every time I leave the boat I turn off the VHF radio to save battery power.
Having had my private Xmas morning party in the cockpit alone, I went down below at approx 1115hrs and switched the radio on to call Susie up as she must be back on board by now...No reply... called again.. the boat next to her answered and the Lady told me she had already gone ashore on the 'Serenading' around the island ! they had forgotten me ! The Lady then told me what had happened, Susie woke up about 1000 hrs and found her dingy gone ! she tried calling me but I was still looking for it, then someone told her it had been found drifting by a local fisherman and he had taken it to the boat yard and pulled it out. The Lady said she was such a lucky woman not to have lost it completely, by the time she got it back she was already late for the serenading and in the rush did call me but I was at that time in my cockpit no radio having a couple of drinky poo's. They then left and left me behind. So I stayed on the boat all day alone on Xmas Day.
Here ends Part one