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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Swallows and Amazons

Reading this to the kids at the moment as Mia has expressed her desire to build a little rowing boat, but then I suggested that if she was going to go through all the trouble of that then she may as well have a little sail too. So, it made me giggle when Pegasus set off with Samba and Eol for a little jaunt round the coast as it was just like an adult version of Swallows and Amazons, with us all trooping off for a BBQ. We were the only three in the bay, all anchored next to each other. You'll be pleased to know that our new Delta anchor is holding well and we haven't ended up in St Lucia yet inadvertently. I should think not too with Mark having chosen a 25kg one! It was really lovely sitting on the beach with the kids all playing well together. I even finally joined the kids for a snorkel so was delighted to see a large starfish, if not much else! BBQ on the beach - well, just off the beach in the mangroves. We were a little worried that the surrounding trees were manchineel which produce a burning rash if you stand under them when it's raining (it was!) but we were all OK, the only skin irritant being the mozzies. We haven't been bothered by mozzies for a while because it's been pretty breezy at anchor, so it was a shock to the ankles again and the DEET rapidly made an appearance. Campfire after the BBQ; the kids all loving poking it with large sticks and dodging flying embers became the order of the day. I was probably the most excited to see a little whitey brown creature in the trees with a long tail. None of us knew what it was, but I found out when I got back that it was a marsupial called a Manicou, apparently close to extinction - now there's another animal for Lochy and Mia to put in their project books!

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Sewing machine frenzy
03/13/2011, St Anne, Martinique

Lochy declares he would like to make a costume today, so we all get our creative juices flowing and have a day of rest and relaxation on the boat. I think this rather amused Pete from Samba who, when radioing us to invite us for a walk, had a response from Lochy; "thank you but we are making costumes, over." So, Lochy is now the proud owner of a sea monster costume, designed by him, stencilled by Mia and grafted by Mark on sewing machine. Then Mia had a go on the sewing machine, embroidering patterns onto squares of cotton ("you don't have to watch over me, mum, I'm not going to sew through my finger, honestly!") And then Mark completed his handy work on the spinnekar, so let's hope it flies OK after all the hard work he has put in, there's as much thread as material on it now!
We headed across to St Anne as Mark had spotted Samba and Eol kids playing on the beach, but by the time we got there, they were just leaving, much to Lochy's disappointment. Instead, they found a friendly dog on the beach and they were delighted to have him offer them his paw. Unfortunately, the dog got a bit excited and I had to intervene, when the dog mounted Lochy and then in his excitement, gave him a friendly, puppy bite. Ho hum. No damage done, apart from Lochy's pride.

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Finding Nemo
03/12/2011, St Anne, Martinique

....or rather, Nemo finding us! We finished school in the morning and then set off to Le Marin to fill up with water and for Mark to get a new anchor. A nice new shiny delta 25 kg. There'll be no dragging from now on! As we leave Le MArin and enter St Anne's again, we think it will be a good idea to drift outside the anchorage so we can change the anchor before coming into the hustle and bustle of boats. As we exchance anchor( and also make new chain markings) suddenly we see a tender zooming towards us in the shape of Richard and Elaine from Nemo who announce " you're pointing a funny way; we just thought we would check you are OK" How lovely that some one should check on us just in case we had pots wrapped around our prop!! Thankfully we were OK. However, we were really pleased that someone should be looking out for us 'couldn't let a fellow channel islander get into trouble.' I think we'll be here for a little while whilst we wait for various deliveries to be made. Another day in paradise!!!

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03/11/2011, St Anne, Martinique

After enjoying having the Samba boys for a lego-tastic afternoon (what a great reward - "quickly finish your school work so Sam and Luke can come over" - never seen Lochy write so fast!) we had the other 50% of the crew over for dinner and drinks. Mia was a little boyed out, so came with me to see Nemo, another Jersey boat for a quick 'hello' to Elaine and Richard Bell who had been told to look out for us by Luczina (sp?) The next day was declared a day off school and Mia and Lochy went happily over to Samba for a play date. Pete, Mark and I went off to the chandlers and were pleased to see Eol in the bay when we arrived. We also met Eol in Lanzarote (and before that in Gibraltar) amazed to have met another Nautitech 395, exactly the same as Pegasus. They completed their Trans-At in exactly the same time as us. So, I am now immersed in French, trying my hardest to speak. Occasionally, when I speak in French to Lochy, he informs me loudly that "YOU KNOW I DON'T SPEAK FRENCH!" Mia is making more effort and hopefully it will come now that Luke and Sam are back in French mode with Thomas and Lea (5 and 4). tomorrow Lochy has announced he will be making wizards potions, having just read the first Harry Potter book cover to cover in record time, so that should be interesting!

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Finally, boys!
03/09/2011, St Anne, Martinique

After a plethora of girls and an absolute dearth of boys on our trip, Lochy is delighted to have found some friends in the shape of Sam and Luke from Yacht Samba. We first met Samba in Lanzarote and it has been lovely to meet up again here in St Anne, Martinique. The anchorage here is huge so plenty of space, right next to a gorgeous white sandy beach and fairly close to lots of chandlers so Mark is happy too. We were so lucky that Samba were in the boat spotting mode, having been waiting for Eol to arrive from their trans-At. (More about Eol in a minute!) As we arrived at St Anne, I scanned the whole bay with my binoculars. Having declared the bay Samba free, we started of towards Marin, where we thought they would possibly be. Luckily, a couple of minutes later, a dinghy comes zipping after us with Pete and Luke in hot pursuit. Hurrah! Reunited! We dropped anchor. Pulled it up again as an American boat yelled "you're right on our anchor" (we were no where near it!) and relocated, so as not to offend anyone else. Then hopped across to say hi to Mel, Pete, Sam and Luke. It's carnival time in Martinique, which seemed to consist of men in drag, lots of red clothes and loud motor bikes. Samba are well used to the concept of carnival, having lived in France for several years, so came ready with silly string and costumes and we all had fun following the procession round town, followed by a celebratory ti punch on the beach.

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Meeting Samba
03/08/2011, St Annes, Martinique

A very pleasant sail from Guadeloupe down to Martinique, passing Isles des Saintes and Dominica without stopping as we wanted to put some miles in and hopefully meet up with the Burch family on Samba who we met in Lanzarote. The Grib files predicted constant Easterly winds of 14-16 knots. We are learning the nuances of Caribbean winds and despite having to motor some of the way, it really was a lovely sail, sunny, no swell, kids happy, clear night. Mark and I had forgotten how hard it was to do nights - I think a one off is harder than a three weeks passage, where you can get into a routine. I had to stand up to take watch so if I nodded off, my legs buckled under me and woke me up!! Perhaps my biggest sailing faux pas so far took form in the shape of the biggest riding turn in history. For landlubbers, the rope got knotted all around the winch big stylee. I was trying to get the genoa out without waking up Mark, but this only resulted in him waking up for his watch with having to rapidly sort out my cock up. I really wish I had a photo to demonstrate, but I was too busy eating humble pie to remember the camera. Arrived in Martinique to the back drop of a gorgeous sunrise only to be met by really miserable diesel operators who seemed irritated by my bad French, and all my insecurities about 'giving it a go' came flooding back. We tried to anchor in Fort de France but it was really busy and I wussed out, choosing a quieter anchorage round the corner in Schoelcher, where we got the opportunity to practise putting both anchors out til we get our new anchor. We had fun negotiating their annual dinghy regatta of 200 plus optimists, windsurfers and hobies to get inshore. Little update 24 hours on..... we are drinking ti punch with Mel and Pete from Samba - so lovely to meet up with fellow sailors. Current location: St Annes, Martinique.

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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