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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
Mark gets busy
03/24/2011, Anse Mitan, Martinique

We left the rolly anchorage of Fort de France, having stocked up on school exercise books and embroidery thread for Mia's friendship bracelets. We had been warned by the lady in the sewing shop to put our wallets away and fasten our bags confirming what had already felt; that Fort de France was more like a city, with the usual lurking characters. This was confirmed further more by Pete telling us that he had chased some 'yoofs' out of dinghy who were trying to start the engine, whilst we were shopping. Filled up with diesal, water and changed our leaving-Martinique-date from 11th March to next Wednesday and then headed across the bay to Anse Mitan. Mark has also bought insulation panels to completely re-do the fridge in an attempt to conserve our energy. Although he has fixed the solar panels and they are now charging the batteries, the fridge is a constant drain. So today I think school will be brief and conducted in a cafe as we evacuate Pegasus in preparation for some furious fridge attacking. I'm glad we've distributed the wahoo to Samba and another yacht, Rocking Horse, as it won't last without a fridge..........the big question is will I last without a fridge?!

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Mark to the rescue

So, Mel, Clem and I head off for a walk, leaving the men in charge of the kids. Just what I needed! A lovely walk up and over the headland to Grande Anse, only slightly hampered by Clem breaking her flipflop. At least this gave us the opportunity to shop once we were in the village and then have a quick 'refreshment' break before heading back to do a headcount of all the children! How refreshing it was not to have Lochy moaning because he has sand in his crocs (you'd think he'd have got used to it by now, but if it was a psychological experiment, it would disprove the theory that if you give 'em more of what they have a phobia about, they'll get over it. They don't; they just whinge more.)
A quiet time had by Mark whilst I was away? Well, not quite! First, he watched his newly washed shorts fly over his head into the sea and sink very quickly! Secondly, he had to get his fenders at the ready as a Canadian boat dragged their anchor whilst they were ashore and nearly banged into us. Luckily, they didn't. However, as they continued to drag anchor and head backwards towards St Lucia, Mark then had the moral dilemma as to what to do. Does one watch as another boat drifts off, shrugging one's shoulders and saying "pity those Canadians didn't have a 25kg delta?" Or does one pursue said yacht in dinghy, board it, notice it has a second anchor, drop it (first checking that it is attached at the other end) Those who know Mark will know that he wouldn't have gone for the first option and he now has a bottle of wine as thanks. Obviously, he first had to explain to the crew, as they rapidly approached the yacht that he wasn't the reason the boat wasn't in its original position! THIRDLY (as if that's not enough excitement for the day!) when Mark got back to Pegasus, a jet skier fell off his wake-producing, noise-polluting excuse of a fun activity (BAH HUMBUG!) Mark didn't think he needed to help, until the rescuer in a dinghy, whilst dragging the offending vessel back to the party boat, fell out of the dinghy and couldn't get back in as it was still in forward drive mode. Once again, Mark comes to the rescue! I think he was quite pleased to see me, as it was just too exciting when I was away!
We had a lovely evening on Eol, except for the fact that I came away with table envy (theirs is cut in half which makes the inside of their saloon twice as big,) cushion envy (theirs are not ripped) and de-clutter envy (but then, those who know me well know I will never get tidy, no matter how hard I try!)

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Three little ducks
03/19/2011, Petit Anse D'Arlet, Martinique

Following an e mail from Samba, we relocated them and headed North t ojoin them again. I felt very proud as I sailed her round, putting genoa out and then back in again, finding a spot to anchor and then calling Mark out from where we was cooking dinner so he could drop the anchor! Just as I was taking in the sail, we had a radio call from Mel to say they had spotted us and then Eol as well. So, despite being in 2 different locations overnight, the two Nautitechs came swimming back to mother duck. Loads of excellent snorkelling here. The water is so clear, we could actually see starfish on the bottom of the seabed as we went to shore in the dinghy. A sorty out day on Saturday, putting winter woollies away and locating the replacement bottles of factor 50. Pete from Samba attempted to find our photos that have mysteriously disappeared whilst being transferred from camera to computer. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to save them and so we have no photos from the moment Alan left us. How significant! I am especially disappointed that we don't have photos of the manicou or the BBQ :-(
Just so you don't think I am painting a pretty picture all the time, I'll admit that this weekend I have had cabin fever BIG TIME!! So, today, Mel, Clem and I are heading off for a walk whilst the boys take charge of the kids as it turns out Mel is feeling the same way! I am sure that I will come back to the boat with a renewed energy to clean up the tip that has occurred as a result of us reorganising. AAAAGHH!!

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Finding Trois Rivieres
03/17/2011, Trois Rivieres adjacent!

A lovely day on the beach today. Just did an hour of school, so we could join Samba and Eol back on Anse Meunier. Lochy enjoyed kayaking with the other lads, Mia loving snorkelling. We enjoyed watching the fishermen hauling in their nets, having asked Eol to move out of their way. Pete and Mel were hoping that the men might trawl in their flipper that was lost off the back of Eol yesterday, but no luck! We did, however see some huge puffer fish that had blown themselves up in indignation at being caught and then rejected by the fishermen. Eol headed off to Marin for a stock up, whilst Samba headed off to Trois Riviere soon after. As we hadn't decided where we were going yet, we agreed on radio that we may join them later, but I had promised Lochy a walk around the mangroves and salt lake. We didn't see many birds but were really amused by the crabs with one HUGE claw and one tiny one and I got a couple of good photos with my zoom lens. Once we decided to go and join Samba, we couldn't actually find Trois Riviere anywhere on our paper, electronic charts OR pilot guide. So we headed NW for an hour, testing Mark's stitching on the spinny on the way, and then headed for the only masts we could see in the general vicinity. It's not Trois Riviere, but it's very nice, especially as a very nice man shouted at us "zere eez a very big rock just under you!!" and then proceeded to get into his speedboat in his speedos to inform us of the underwater rocks and where we COULD anchor. Maybe we will catch up with Samba tomorrow!

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