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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
something amiss
04/07/2011, Bequia

We shall look back on Bequia and say to each other, "Bequia. Wasn't that the place we discovered we only had one rudder?"
You might think that it is rather careless to lose ones rudder. The reason we realised it was missing is because, as we were coming down from St Lucia I said to Mark that we should check the rudders as the steering hasn't felt very good for a little while. Pegasus was still steering but she felt not so responsive. ANd we also thought our auto-pilot had started to play up. I can pinpoint the exact time we lost our rudder in retrospect. And I'm abit embarrassed to admit that it was about five days away from Antigua, crossing the Atlantic. It had been very windy and I wrote in my blog that the autopilot was playing up. No wonder, poor bugger was working overtime trying to keep us in a straight line!
Both Mark and I have been under the boat, cleaning the fur off the bottom and whilst I had asked Mark what that tube was under the hull that I hadn't noticed before, neither of us had noticed the lack of a 4 foot high 2 foot wide rudder. Oh well, at least we have another one :-)
We only noticed half an hour before going out to dinner with Isabella and her parents from Esprit de Mer so we haven't decided what we are going to do yet. Pegasus obviously sails without the other rudder (we've only had one for 2 months!) but we need one before going through Panama, so somewhere along the line, Mia is going to have to whip one up out of lego.
Aside from the rudder discovery, the kids have had a great time with Isabella again (of the snorkelling across to our boat fame) for the last two days. Esprit de Mer treated us to a lovely meal at the Gingerbread restaurant - thank you very much!! And Mia has taken her swimming badge for Brownies - I have the video evidence!!

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Beautiful, Beautiful Bequia
04/05/2011, Bequia

We are loving Bequia. The beaches are beautiful, the people are beautiful and friendly, the island is just lovely. Yesterday we took a taxi round the island - it was an open backed taxi so we had the wind blowing in our hair and the smell of jasmine and frangipani all around us. First stop was the turtle sanctuary - the kids were enthralled by the tiny little babies, and then the larger ones which are nearly ready for release. Mia decided she wanted to give some of her charity money she had made selling her cards to the turtle sanctuary. It seems, however, that whilst the sanctuary are successfully rearing turtles and releasing them back into the sea, poachers are still killing them and they are still for sale in the fish markets. I don't think it's illegal to kill a turtle for its meat here, but it is illegal to make jewellery from their shells - there's still plenty for sale in the market stalls though. We'd like to think that the sanctuary is helping in some small way to ensure that the babies have some chance of survival.
We're off school for the week - we were all getting a bit tired of it and I then realised that we were due a holiday so where better than here? Even better then that we have bumped into Isabella on Esprit de Mer, who we met first in Antigua all those weeks back! They've had a great day together today with more play dates planned for tomorrow. Bit of a boring blog today, but there's not much to report- I'll try to be more inspired/inspiring next blog, I promise!

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04/15/2011 | John Butterfield
Hi Guys, I'm so pleased I found the contact details. I am in Yorkshire trying to get the work moving on the cottage. What is the best way to have a longer email contact? Great to know you are all well and having a brilliant time. Lots of love, John
One more night in St Lucia!
04/03/2011, Soufriere

We headed South to Anse Cochon fairly early yesterday morning so that we could get a quick snorkel in as it was supposed to be good in that bay. It was clearly good by all the commercial diving boats and tourist boats that were zooming in and out of the bay, making us feel a bit vulnerable when in the water. However, I suppose they know what they are doing. Lochy and Mia were really excited to see loads of reef fish and coral so it was worth it. It's difficult to avoid the boat boys as you come in to a mooring spot in St Lucia as they are actually holding on to the ropes and waiting for you. Whilst I don't begrudge giving them some EC for their help, I did wonder where they were at 6am this morning when we tried to leave our Soufriere mooring buoy and the ropes were in a complete knot. Copihue, Mia and Lochy's Finnish friend's boat was leaving for Bequia at that time and we thought that it would be a good incentive to put some miles behind us and travel with them. As they easily slipped their mooring and headed South past the Pitons, Mark resorted to jumping in the water and actually cutting our mooring lines with a knife, when all else had failed. So, we are currently sailing down the West coast of St Vincent, but going to give it a miss, heading for Bequia instead. Copihue, a 60 foot ketch, is miles ahead and out of sight!
I'm not sure what I thought of St Lucia. In Soufriere, the Finnish boat had a guard posted to their boat as recommended by their restaurant, because thefts occur when people go ashore. Whilst we stayed on the boat the night, I didn't really sleep a wink whilst my imagine ran riot. At least that meant we were up at 6am!! Not sad to be on the move again.

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on the move again
04/02/2011, St Lucia

Can't believe we have nearly been here a week - the kids have had a great time swimming in the marina pool for hours at a time; Mia has mastered diving now and Lochy has nearly mastered diving, but tends to go for the full somersault version. Can't believe how their confidence has grown over the past month.
Mark has nearly finished the insulation, so we have a lovely insulated box next to the sink which will keep frozen things frozen for longer, with the intention of making it a freezer in the future - not a priority; it has gone on the can wait til NZ list! And the proper fridge is well insulated and working well now, thanks to Mark's hard work - we can now charge our batteries at between 5 and 9 amps and have had up to 10 amps if it's both sunny and windy! It's been very windy recently so there has been no need to put the engine on just to charge the batteries.
We've decided to head South today, take in a little bay that is good for snorkelling and then wave to the Pitons as we pass on to St Vincent, but watch this space; knowing us, we will probably still be here tomorrow!!

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Rain rain rain
03/30/2011, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

I was supposed to take the kids exploring yesterday so Mark could get on with the fridge, but it was pouring all day, so not only did we have to stay on the boat all day, but we had to keep the windows closed too - muggy city. We must have jumped in the sea about four times just to cool off. Kids managed to get some school work done with ear defenders on!! Today, we made sure we were off the boat all day so Mark could get on with the insulation. Kids have been swimming pretty much all day in the pool in the marina with a new Finnish friend. Lochy and he got on like a house on fire and Lochy only pulled a strop when some English speaking kids turned up and tried to impose verbal rules to the games! Hopefully, Mark will show up in the next couple of hours to take us home! Mia is enjoying her history project - her family tree. I thought she could just do her Grnadparents/cousins etc, but no, she's on a mission. SO, anyone who can help, please get in touch!!

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Lazy Day
03/28/2011, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

A delightfully lazy day, and a happy one too as Lochy slept for a full 14 hours and had his roast chicken dinner from the night before, followed by weetabix! We did some school (on a Sunday, I know!) but that means we can have Monday off. We couldn't really officially go ashore as customs isn't open, so that gave us the perfect excuse to stay on the boat; dodging the insulation that Mark has out whilst he repairs the fridge. He has discovered that the thermostat had a dodgy connection and now he has cleaned it up, the fridge does go off and on, so maybe we won't need something new after all, but we are still adding another layer of insulation and making the fridge a top opener to save on the juice.
Kids enjoyed painting, drawing, reading and snorkelling. I caught up on the laundry! For some reason, our lovely Duogen wind/tow generator has started to make a noise whereas previously it was really quiet, so that's Mark's next project - a skipper's work is never done!
We enjoyed a visit from the boat boys selling all sorts of fruit. Unfortunately, we had already stocked up on some fruit before we left Martinique, so we just chose some wax apples to try - which the kids loved - alledgedly!

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