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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
The sewing machine pays for itself in a day
Catherine
04/15/2011, Prickly Bay, Grenada

Actually, the sewing machine had already paid for itself when Mark fixed the spinneker. Anything to do with sailing seems to be expensive when it comes to repairs. My cushion project has been put on hold with a more urgent project - Lochy's Harry Potter robe. So, after a morning of school, we spent all day designing, cutting, sewing (Lochy's pretty good with straight lines on the machine!) adjusting, making a matching cape and decorating with a wand pocket! Then it was Mia's turn to make her skirt - we found a pattern on the internet and so she measured, cut, hemmed, stitched, waistbanded all by herself and is now the very proud owner of a homemade - complete with wonky lines - twirly skirt which she loves. In the times when the sewing machine wasn't being used by the kids, I made a canvas patch to repair the bimini (and repaired it) all the time gaining experience for my daunting cushion project.
And whilst the kids got on with their projects, Mark and I gave one engine its 200 hour service and re-anchored 3 times, trying to find a less swelly part of the bay and not hit other boats in the meantime. As you do.

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04/17/2011 | annabel, Simon, Sam and Sophie
we so enjoyed meeting you last night at De big fish! Your adventure is enviable and we look forward to following you.

Hello Mia, it is sophie here I loved being your friend last night.Also I loved danncing with you last night.Good luck with your journey , i will miss you so much and i will keep in touch. love Sophie xxxx

Love from us all.....The Williams family (Grenada)
04/17/2011 | annabel, Simon, Sam and Sophie
we so enjoyed meeting you last night at De big fish! Your adventure is enviable and we look forward to following you.

Hello Mia, it is sophie here I loved being your friend last night.Also I loved danncing with you last night.Good luck with your journey , i will miss you so much and i will keep in touch. love Sophie xxxx

Love from us all.....The Williams family (Grenada)
what a difference a day makes
Catherine
04/14/2011, Prickly Bay, Grenada

After a beautiful sail down to Carriacou in the glorious sunshine, we lifted the anchor in the pouring rain, having waited an hour to see if the rain would pass. It didn't, so at 7.30am we left Carriacou with forecasts of rain but light winds. We were quite surprised then that it was gusting 30 knots and the swell and current was huge behind us. The good news was that we cut our journey time by a half, with our COG 12 knots at time. Our oilies also got a nice fresh water rinse, not having seen the light of day since the Atlantic.
Whilst dropping anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada, Steve Manning from Jersey popped over to say hello and we enjoyed an evening with him and Giselle. The next day, we all headed into St George for a wee look around. I found a good bookshop with some Caribbean Curriculum books, so we're all stocked up again for school. We also went mad in a material shop, buying zips for my new project, black material for Lochy's Harry Potter robe and some material for Mia to make a skirt.
We had a lovely meal at de Big Fish, run by Rikki, also from Jersey, and his partner Kim. Whilst enquiring about new rudders, Rikki knows a man who knows a man who knows a man so watch this space!!

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Another day another island
Catherine
04/10/2011, St Vincent and the Grenadines

I love St V and the G's - if anyone wants to charter for a couple of weeks, this is surely the best place ever to do it - every island is just a short hop away and every island is so beautiful. We had promised the kids that they could snorkel one more time before we left Tobago Cays but it was rainy, so only Mia wanted to go. We pulled up anchor at 11am, just after I had been completely swizelled by a vendor who sold me a baguette and a banana loaf for forty EC (a tenner) before I had realised the exchange rate and had a chance to use my bartering skills from India. Just a short hop to Union Island - enjoyed a meal with Copihue in the evening at the yacht club - Lochy was excited to see nurse sharks there until he realised that they were in an enclosure and not in the wild; then he wanted to set them free! Got absolutely soaked on the way home - that's the problem with open top transport! Next day, Mark and the kids checked out whilst I tidied the boat (laundry - it's a hard life!) and now we are in Carriacou after a really lovely sail for a couple of hours. Haven't checked in as we are leaving really early tomorrow morning for Grenada and so haven't been ashore. Then hey ho hey ho, it's buying rudders we go..........

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Eat your heart out David Attenborough
Catherine
04/09/2011, Tobago Cays

We started the day with a wander around our very own desert island and I had my zoom lens on the camera so got some really great photos of the iguanas. There must have been 20 or so. I'm not sure who was more excited; me or Lochy! Then the kids jumped straight back in the water for some swimming with turtles. Unfortunately the underwater camera is not behaving itself and so we didn't get any good photos. Later, Copihue came by and took us by dinghy to the outer reef. It's sad to see that most of the coral is dead, having been hit by the last hurricane, but the fish were beautiful and we were all really excited to see a large stingray; no nurse sharks though. Picnic lunch on another deserted island with Copihue; the kids having a great time playing in the surf and boogy boarding. Mia played in the water until her ear hurt; not surprising given that she spends more time in the water than out these days. The evening was spent with me learning my new skills for the week - using the sewing machine. Having bought some material for the cushions in Bequia, I have started by making the seat for the helm. Cursing Mark the whole time for designing a seat with a curved edge, I nevertheless managed to fashion a cushion that actually looks pretty good, pleats and all! I shall be offered to helm to Union Island tomorrow, Now I have a nice comfy seat on which to park my derriere!

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Swimming with turtles
Catherine
04/08/2011, Tobago Cays

We left Bequia a day later than anticipated, simply because the kids were having a great time with Bella and so why not stay another day?! At about 9.30am we left for Tobago Cays - a horseshoe shaped reef in turquoise water - simply beautiful. We are anchored in about 2 metres of water just West of the island that has a turtle sanctuary buoyed off where you can snorkel but not anchor. Even before we had anchored we had seen three turtles and so the kids had their swimmers on before the engines were turned off and they checked that the anchor had dug in, before heading off to the buoyed area. All four of us snorkelled for about an hour before I inevitably got cold - well, the water is 31 degrees, 7 degrees off a hot tub's temperature! I took a little wander on the uninhabited island and was delighted to see both tortoises and iguanas. Lochy was desperate to see some after Samba saw a load in Martinique after we left. So, I quickly got the kids and Mark out of the water and we were mesmerised by the 7 or 8 iguanas we saw, all about a metre or so long. Unfortunately we didn't have the camera with us so we will go back tomorrow in the dinghy with an empty memory chip at the ready. On the way back to the boat, we swam with some turtles and saw a stingray - just a baby one. Mia and Lochy were excited to see Oscar on Copihue when we arrived and we joined them on the beach, and after on their boat, for drinks. Simply a beautiful beautiful wooden 60 foot one design ketch with teak throughout - a far far cry from our plastic fantastic. The owners have spent 10 careful years refitting her exactly for their sailing trip and the detail is just wonderful. So, tomorrow will be a David Attenborough kind of day, both on land and in the sea. Can't wait!!

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