HAPPY NEW YEAR!
31 December 2011 | Woburn, Grenada
So that was Christmas. And I actually got my Christmas wish: on the 23rd James decided to go back to Union to visit his family after all so we've been home alone for a week now. The first time for several years and wonderful!
Christmas Eve was spent tidying up the Buzzard, and de-moulding our main fridge because the compressor had decided to pack up, just when it was over-flowing with food for the festive season. Luckily we have an old back up fridge/freezer, which sort of works even though the freezer door falls off every time you open it, but at least it meant we didn't lose everything; and we did manage to get the beer fridge working so that was ok.
There were seven people for Christmas lunch, Mike and Audrey and three guys who are on their own (Jeff, Chris and Rudi). Jeff spends most of his time with us anyway so he was alright but the others were definitely suffering from the Single Sailor Syndrome ... which we've come across quite a lot and means that once they actually get among people they have a tendency to make up for all the not talking they do on their own.
Anyway, it was a good day and no-one over did it, well apart from the food. We cooked a big ham and had our last Venezuelan lomito which was still great even though it had been in the freezer for over two years. We all ate too much, but then who doesn't on Christmas Day.
Boxing Day was ... interesting. The morning was spent cleaning out the cupboard under the sinks in the galley after discovering a cockroach infestation; that was real fun. We've done really well on the cockroach front over the years but apparently they've caught up with us. I should have known they were making inroads when I tipped Toby's dog food up a few weeks ago and suddenly the 'kibbles' were running in all directions (as was I!).
In the afternoon we had a Boxing Day Boat-crawl which was an idea we'd got from our friends Stan and Cora who are now up in Bequia. There were nine boats involved and 13 people. You start on the smallest boat and everyone gets one drink on each boat, then end on the biggest (ours) where you get food and even more drink. We had a variety of rum punches and cocktails and everyone was merry by the time we got back to the Buzzard. There was also some card game involved but I can't quite remember how that worked out and I have no idea who won.
Even though Mike organised it we didn't know all the people taking part but it all worked out well and everyone had a great time and were firm friends by the end. The smallest boat was 27ft and with 13 people on board it's hard not to become acquainted. It was also good to have a look at different boats and their set-ups, just in case we ever decide to down-size.
The last few days have been fairly quiet. Apart from getting the refrigeration people in, going to buy a new compressor, picking up our pump seals, getting the drawings for the generator on the side of the engine, having a few drinks in the yacht club, oh and spending time on our own. The Christmas winds died down for a few days at the beginning of the week but they're picking up again now ready for the new year. And the hills around Woburn have suddenly sprung a whole host of yellow trees (which I'll try to find the name of) and look really pretty.
Thursday we were hoping our fridge would be up and running again. The guy came out at 8.30 am to fit the new compressor and was still here at 12, plus the thermostat apparently isn't working right so he has to come back. We had planned to take a maxi-taxi up to Gouyave to try and get the solenoid fixed on the Onan starter motor but that had to wait another day as the quick job fixing the tilt on the outboard has turned into something of an ordeal and we ran out of time.
Friday morning the fridge man was supposed to be coming back to fit the new thermostat but, after several phone calls and promises, he still didn't turn up. Mike went over to Hog Island, with a whole heap of 2 x 4s we had in the hold, to help Roger and a few others reconstruct the stage so he can start having bands again. The last one was deemed unsafe, which is hardly surprising as at high tide the musicians were standing up to their knees in sea water and electric shocks were not uncommon.
Saturday morning still no fridge-man so it looks like we'll be struggling until after the new year now, aaarrgghh!!!! It's raining and blowing but still warm enough to sit around in next to nothing clothes wise, so we're just hanging out reading and drinking coffee. Guess we won't be finishing the stage just yet, but the band isn't due until Sunday afternoon so I'm sure it'll be done by then.
We've had several phone calls from Totong in Indonesia who is enjoying being back with his family. Apparently our friends Julie and Twent are going to Indonesia to visit with him and maybe also Johan and Anton (ex crew, who returned there some time ago). I hope they have fun, it will be quite the experience either way.
We don't, as yet, have plans for tonight although I'm hoping we get to see some fireworks somewhere ... wherever you all are, we wish you a Happy New Year (or Old Year's End depending on your point of view) and hope that 2012 is good year for us all!
Lots of love ...