The Passage to Antigua for a rest!
09 June 2017 | Ffryes Bay, Antigua
As the 80NMs from Gustavia, St Bart's to Ffryes Bay, Antigua was expected to take 12 hours and the skipper wanted to make landfall in daylight, the alarm was set for 04:30, in order to cast off the lines by 05:00. This we managed to achieve, with first light helping us get the deck work done with some sense of order. The garbage truck crew were working adjacent to the pier and they all looked a bit startled when Trilogy exited sideways, once all lines were off.
By 05:30 we were at the harbour entrance, having navigated a long series of marker buoys defining the channel. The skipper was happy with the good getaway! Once in clear water we raised the main to the first reef and motor sailed to the first waypoint at the end of St Bart's. From there we settled into the 15-20 knot stiff easterly breeze, hard into the wind on a port tack. The skipper did the first watch, followed by Steven and Ros on a three hour rotation throughout the day. We had expected from the grib file reports that the wind would abate around midday but although it eased for a short period it soon freshened and then increased to over 20 knots. We had anticipated the wind to back to the north, but this never happened, as it was an east or ENE wind most of the way. A rain squall missed Trilogy by about 50 metres, followed by a brief spell of no wind and then the wind hit hard, gusting over 20 knots. The skipper had anticipated the squall would descend on Trilogy and had changed the sails by putting up the staysail, along with a number two reef in the main. To complicate the decision making, there was also rev limiting happening with the engine, This meant we started sailing effectively, with minimum input from the engine, in order to take the load off the engine and surprisingly we were still able to not only maintain the rhum line but improve our speed. What's more, we actually achieved our goal of dropping an anchor in Ffryes Bay, Antigua right on sunset, and what a sunset welcome it was! We were all done in by the trip and so it was a tired threesome that got straight into GNTs, Chilli Con Carne and to bed for a well earned rest.
Ffryes Bay is a beautiful long bay that we visited last year. We have fond memories of chatting with Dennis, the owner of the restaurant on the beach and so we were keen to see if we could catch up with Dennis to say hello. After a late breakfast, we plunged Into the deep blue and swam the couple of hundred metres ashore in search of Dennis. We walked the beach, remembering the driftwood from last year that now lay quite submerged by the sand, and coming across some locals coolin' and limin' in the water. We wandered in to the restaurant and asked after Dennis, who appeared later in his chef's gear, explaining that he was busy because he was expecting 60 guests for lunch. Courteous as ever, he wished us well with our cruising and disappeared back to his galley. Back on board, we sailed a few bays around to Jolly Harbour, to register our presence in Antiguan waters with Customs. The officials were in triplicate in the office and the boys were pleased with the helpfulness of staff.
We sailed back out of the harbour to drop an anchor at Hawksbill Bay, another nearby beach we have fond memories of from last year....but it is a nudist beach! It looks odd because there are a series of two blue chairs spaced at intervals about a hundred metres apart along the length of the beach. Does this mean that nudists like their privacy?? Garth and Ros swam across to the nearby reef and then along the shoreline before realising that Steven was signalling them back to Trilogy. Steven had been checking the rocky bombies below the surface and felt Trilogy would be in close proximity on the swing, factoring wind and tide changes. The skipper agreed and Trilogy was repositioned further out from the shore. The rest of the evening was gloriously peaceful.
And so, another season of cruising concludes. We sailed Trilogy into Jolly Harbour Marina for the week of preparations to get her ready to be lifted from the water for the hurricane season. This is always a busy week....payback you might view it as... because Trilogy has given us so much pleasure yet again, but that is only because she needs to have all her multiple systems regularly attended. Additionally, every locker is cleaned out, all the sails washed and folded, all the lines washed, the decks scrubbed and down below cleaned thoroughly.
Thank you to all who have sailed on Trilogy over the 2016-2017 season, especially to those who have worked hard to keep the generator purring and the toilets flushing! We've eaten well, drank too well and had the time of our lives experiencing the best of what is both above and below the waterline. Until next season, thank you Trilogy!
Anse de Columbier and Gustavia, St Bart's
07 June 2017 | Gustavia, St Bart's
As lovely as Ile Fourchue had been, after lunch we headed out of the bay and motored across the short passage to Anse de Columbier, St Barts. This is another rather beautiful secluded bay, on the northern end of the island, only accessible by water or by a 20 minute hike down a steep craggy hill. It is a well protected anchorage and plenty of yachts seek out the moorings for an overnight stay.
With the humidity rising we wasted no time in slipping into the refreshing water (albeit 28 degrees C!) and swam our various ways ashore, followed by a walk along the golden sand to the southern end where there was a stairway to the original Rockefellas house. When we got there we struck up a conversation with a Belgian woman and her daughter, whose New Zealand partner had set off bare foot up to the Rockefella property, through the barb wire fence. This couple were living the dream on 'Serenity', sailing from the Med to the Caribbean and next February will go through the Panama Canal to cross the Pacific to New Zealand. The woman had never sailed prior to departing and is coping positively with all that the oceans can throw at her! Bravo, I say!
The sky was swirling with mounting rain squalls and we fully expected the rain to arrive throughout the evening. With the humidity high, we run the generator each evening to cool below decks sufficiently so that it is possible to cook a meal without a lather of sweat and hopefully sleep through the night, although we turn the system off about 30 minutes after retiring....the skipper gets that job!
Next morning, after a refreshing swim, we set sail for Gustavia, the port for St Barthélemy, fondly known as St Barts. When we contacted the port authority regarding clearing customs, the guy decided that we should come along side. This was a lovely surprise as the harbour is filled with all manner of craft and picking up any mooring is quite tricky. The skipper had thought he'd try for a mooring but when the offer came he was easily persuaded, although he knew from last year that there was quite a bit of swell around to bounce any boat. When we got our instructions to come alongside in front of a fishing boat called 'Islamar', we had expected assistance, but that was not the case. Being such an experienced crew(!), we had to handle this on our own, with the wind blowing across the beam off shore. With everything ready, the skipper gave the dock and go a final boost and Trilogy slipped into position, needing only someone to tie off on the stern line. Between adjusting all the fenders to the correct height at the last minute and jumping ashore to secure the lines, we achieved our goal and Trilogy settled into her prime position, right in the centre of town.
Being Sunday, the town was dead quiet and we were both hungry and thirsty. We headed up to the nearby boulangerie and thankfully we had half an hour before it closed at 13:00. In that time we consumed delicious baguettes filled with ham and cheese and followed up with delicatable pastries to die for. We were still unclear why so few people were around and decided to head around the small harbour to a bar where we thought maybe they could organise a taxi for us, for an afternoon tour of sorts. We struggled on through the heat to reach the bar but were told that taxis would only come occasionally being Sunday and that we needed to go back from where we had come to go to the taxi rank and wait! There was no alternative but to make our way back. When we got there, we found another bar open and after a cold drink, we hopped in a taxi for a drive across the island. Amandine was our very attractive driver and she was a delight. She stopped at the top of the hill for us to see the airport. St Bart's airport is the third smallest international airport in the world and pilots need special licences to land on the very short runway, by flying over a steep hill and descending sharply down the other side to hit the start of the runway! We continued on, passing many beautiful beaches, shopping precincts and bars and then into residential areas. The roads are all narrow but of good quality and wind in and out, up and down and certainly around the contours of this very hilly island. Our destination was a new resort 'Barthélemy' which Amandine thought we could chill out at for a while and then she would come back for us.
The resort had all the hallmarks of a 5 star resort, with all the beautiful people sunning themselves and drinking cocktails served to their plush beach lounges under brightly coloured umbrellas. The clientele were there to be seen but the bikinis were hard to see, as less is considered too much! We dropped a star from the rating because the beach was pretty ordinary by Caribbean standards. We dropped another star because our drinks took far to long to be served! Amandine reappeared and we continued on our way, completing a big circuit of the island, which is only 8 sq miles.
St Bart's has got it all really and is experiencing unprecedented popularity as a chic destination for the rich and famous and the 'in crowd'. It is the party island of the Caribbean but still manages to exude charm through its natural beauty and French architecture.
We decided to stay another day at St Bart's and to our delight we were able to stay tied up alongside at the wharf, which is reserved for the super yachts in the high season. We saw a photo that had 5 super yachts parked right where we were positioned and we bet they had to pay more than the €25 per night we had paid. We hired a car after another visit to the boulangerie and went off on a roadie to revisit many of the spots we had glimpsed with Almandine. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, even though the young island scooter drivers seemed to have a death wish. We lunched at 'Nikki's Beach', an international chain of up market beach front dining destinations, whiling away several hours by occupying a table as we drank, swam and ate in a very relaxed fashion. The waitress told us that yesterday had been very busy....so that explains why Gustavia had been so quiet! We checked out several of the beaches and look-out points and slowly fell in love with this wild yet sophisticated jewel of the Caribbean. Our favourite beach turned out to be Shell Beach, within walking distance of Gustavia. Just as the sun was setting we arrived to the solid beat of a beach party, that fortunately was just packing up. We headed for the beach bar for an Aperol cocktail to watch the sunset and into the small bay sailed three yachts racing each other, the finish line being metres from the shoreline. We were beautifully entertained as these three skippers manoeuvred their craft skilfully inside the bay, ducking and weaving around each other, almost like a dance. The far less entertaining spectacle was underway at the table next to us where an extremely passionate couple couldn't wait to get a degree of privacy. It was so bad, we decided to leave!
Back in our beautiful air conditioned comfort on board Trilogy, we started to think ahead for our 80NM passage the next day. We prepared a meal for eating on arrival and squared away everything that could move. We had a delicious French evening meal at Le Repaire just down the road and then headed back to Trilogy for sleep before the early start.
Baie Blanche to Ile Fourchue
04 June 2017 | Ile Fourchue
There was a fair bit of rain overnight and the skipper was up closing all the hatches...a good skipper will do that! By the time we awakened, the sky was clear and we were all keen for a swim as the humidity was on the rise. Our usual pattern is to have coffee and brekki before our swim but this morning we reversed this, primarily because we anticipated the day trippers would descend on the moorings and it is much more pleasant snorkelling the bay without the hoardes. We all did our own thing in the water and shared stories of our finds on return to Trilogy. The turtles were the highlight, especially the hawksbill turtles that are an endangered species. Some full size and some youngsters, it is simply beautiful to watch them potter around the grassy bed and then surface briefly to get their next lungful for a dive. There were some big fish around but they were not a problem. The small fish just went about their daily business of stirring up the seabed in search of a feed.
Once coffee and breakfast were consumed, it was back in the water for another swim, such was our pleasure! By now the day trippers were arriving by the boatload, and the focus for them were the turtles. We focused on moving on, with an anticipated beam reach to St Barts. When the boat was squared away, the main was hoisted and we then let go the mooring lines and sailed away out of the bay. It wasn't long before we were on course and Trilogy was humming along, relishing the wind across her beam. We all had a turn at helming and Steve took the speed record at 10 knots, but the skipper reckons he was not holding the course, of course!
There were a couple of catamarans already on moorings in Ile Fourchue but there was plenty of other moorings to choose from in this good sized bay and the skipper went for the one at the head of the bay, still in quite deep water. This bay feels remote and wild, with tall craggy peaks, steep hills, rocky headlands and green grassy patches surrounding the water. For a long time the island was left to the goats, who ate to the point of starvation and causing huge eroded gullies. The few surviving goats were removed and now the vegetation is starting to emerge once again. At the end of the bay is a rocky beach and a dense crop of trees.
After a late lunch, we didn't waste any time getting into the water for a snorkel around the rocks. There were several turtles feeding on the sea grass and a lovely stretch of coral outcrops and fish along the rocky shore, with some new varieties for us to enjoy. No sooner had we got out of the water than two motor launches packed with school children and a lot of gear arrived in the bay and headed to the beach. With great excitement, all the gear was offloaded on shore and then carted in behind the crop of trees. The kids couldn't wait to get in the water and before long they were snorkelling all over the bay, some of them well out of the bay and the adult supervision seemed invisible. Other kids were piling on paddle boards and having the time of their lives. As night fell the torches came out, the kids perched on rocks waving their torches for hours. We pulled out our powerful spot light and gave them a bit back too! During the night there was a good shower of rain, so no doubt that caused some havoc for the campers. The chatter hardly ceased through the night so there must have been some very tired kids. At first light they were out on the water again, even clambering up rocky peaks to bomb down into the water...again adult supervision seemed absent. As a group they were all taken out to a dive spot at the entrance to the bay and spent some time in the water, before the boys were towed back on the paddle boards. What an adventure these kids aged about 12-13 years old were having! Just good old fashioned self made fun, with no internet access causing distraction.
Meanwhile we did some more snorkelling first up and after a ham and eggs cooked breakfast, we too went out to the dive spot, once the kids had returned, of course. The wave action was a bit rough but there were some nice schools of fish to be seen. We loved the raw naturalness of this bay, which is within a marine park.
Marigot to Ames Marcel and Baie Blanche Tintamarre
02 June 2017 | A second Marcel
Casting off the lines at Marine Fort St Louis was a little more complex than usual, as many of the lines had been doubled to cope with the high wind. Additionally, we were alongside, meaning the starboard side was tied off from bow to stern, with springs in between. There was a medium size motor cruiser at both the bow and the stern, each with no more than 1-2 metres clearance. The skipper talked through his preferred order of releasing lines with the crew and the last line to be released was the stern line. While we were in that process, two young adolescents came along the pier and offered to throw lines off for us. The skipper agreed, but there was a problem with miscommunication and the lines were released in the wrong order by the two lads, who probably spoke a lot more French than English! Thankfully Trilogy has a secret weapon for these tight situations...the dock-and-go system. It is possible to move Trilogy sideways out of a tight space and this moment called for exactly that at full speed. It is also possible to spin Trilogy on her own length, another neat trick! We had gathered a small crowd of startled yachties during the manoeuvres and even got applause, as not many yachts have this system installed. Steve had not yet seen Trilogy's extraordinary capability and he was left gobsmacked when the skipper demonstrated his command of the tricky exit.
Out into 15 knots of SE breeze, we motored just 4 miles to Anse Marcel, a favourite bay from last year's cruise. This small deep bay has two resorts either end of a beautiful beach and turquoise water on sea grass bottom. We picked up a mooring and settled in for the remainder of the day. At one end of the bay is a narrow entrance to a small marina, which is surrounded by steep hillsides and therefore makes a perfect hurricane hole. Trilogy's 2.1 metre draft makes her ineligible for such shallow passages. After a delicious French baguette filled with chicken and avocado for lunch on board, we swam ashore for a wander and a relax. The beach was full of bikini clad bodies soaking up the sun. At one end of the beach we got more than we bargained for! Two women in the briefest of gear were flaunting it all to do their own photo shoot! It was definitely a performance and the one strutting her stuff for the camera was purportedly an actress by trade. A passing American couple told us this 'look at me' behaviour had gone on for the last 3 days. Oh well, we got our entertainment and they clearly could not have cared who was watching! We stopped by at one resort for a gin and tonic and then wandered down to the other resort for a swim in their pool. It is a big, well maintained pool and again their was lots to keep us amused by the poolside scene. Last year there were two very large resident iguanas sitting poolside, but they seemed to have disappeared and this year two younger iguanas were present. We walked through the beautiful gardens of the resort in the direction of the marina and watched various day tripper craft returning from excursions.
Back to Trilogy we relaxed and prepared an evening meal of Boeuf Bourguignon, a tasty dish we all thoroughly enjoyed, washed down with a Bordeaux red. Internet connectivity was strong, so we all enjoyed catching up on our correspondence. We had a bit of a rolly night as the wind had shifted overnight, but we slept well. In the morning we had another swim ashore before departing.
Next stop was a 4NM motor into the strong 15-20 knots wind to Baie Blanche Tintamarre. This is another beautiful bay, with all the same credentials of the perfect beach in the Caribbean. This small island has a wild beauty about it, low in profile and rocky at both ends of the beach. We lunched on board before swimming ashore to check out this lovely spot. A few day tripper loads of snorkellers pulled up beside us and all descended into the clear water to observe the turtles we'd noticed popping up around us. Eventually the boats stopped arriving, leaving only two yachts in the bay for an overnight stay. It always feels good when the 'madding crowd' departs and tranquillity descends for the evening. Dinner was fresh salmon, rice and veggies with a lemon juice salsa and a glass or two of Trapiche white from Argentina...perfect!
Marigot- a mighty storm, patisseries and Sunset Beach
01 June 2017 | Marigot, St Martin
The storm raged all night long and well into the next morning. A tropical storm like we have never experienced. Rain, wind, lightening and thunder took turns at centre stage and sometimes they were all on centre stage together! Just when it appeared things were abating a little, the drama would pick up again. The boys had washed the salt off the decks as soon as we had docked, but for what purpose now? Trilogy had the best wash down she's ever been given by Mother Nature. The tender had collected a veritable swimming pool of rain and at first opportunity the drain was released, for fear the lines holding it on the davits would snap.
We were snug below and very thankful we were in a marina, sleeping fitfully as Trilogy bounced a lot when hit by blasts of wind that the instruments measured at 40+ knots at their peak in the early morning. During the night the skipper had placed a second stern line to ensure Trilogy's safety. Slowly, slowly, the wind eased and the rain subsided. There were a couple of minor leaks from two hatches, otherwise below decks was dry. The skipper used silicone to grease the seals and that fixed that problem. The sky remained very overcast for the rest of the day, the humidity rose sharply and apart from the occasional shower, the weather moved away from us. It should be noted that this storm cell was not predicted by any of the weather models!
Once the weather was settled enough for us to walk along the pontoons remaining upright, we headed for Sarafina's, a coffee and patisserie shop that offers tasty morsels and good Wifi. At this point the skipper was not prepared to leave Trilogy unattended, so we brought back a treat for him and some delicious French baguette 'sandwiches' for lunch. After lunch the grocery shopping was done at 'Super U' supermarché, a very large store filled with imported French produce, meats, cheese and all other goods....what a treat to have quality French food to select from instead of American product. Sadly there is very little locally grown produce in the supermarkets of the Caribbean. The wine selection was large which was also all from France, so need I say more! The supermarket was packed with customers as it was a public holiday in Marigot and by the time I had negotiated the French speaking crowd I was ready to escape in a taxi to the marina. Fortunately Steven was patiently waiting for me to appear and took over lugging the stores back through the marina to Trilogy.
Dinner had to be French we figured and so we headed over to Simpson Bay, maybe a kilometre of walking to Le Galion, where we were warmly greeted. It was a pleasant evening after all the rain and we felt like we were truly in France in this quaint restaurant on the waterfront. Our suave hosts were attentive and humorous and the meal were truly delicious....we even succumbed to dessert!
Next day we decided to stay another night, especially as Stephen has not previously been to St Martin, which has lots to offer the traveller. After some debate, it was agreed that Sunset Beach was a must do. We firstly had another breakfast at Sarafina and tracked down a few grocery items still required. We took a taxi to Sunset Beach, which was absolutely swarming with cruise ship beach goers. Sunset Beach is famous for being located at the end of the Princess Juliana International Airport main runway. When a big aircraft is landing or taking off, the spectacle of having the plane right overhead is a definite draw card for thrill seekers. Take off is the most dangerous as the strength of the exhaust wind can flatten a body and sand blast it to smithereens. The perimeter fence has large warning signs but still they are ignored. We experienced several planes landing, the last being the biggest, an A330, and it was a lot of fun getting the video proof!
We then caught a taxi to Phillipsberg in the Dutch held side of the island, which was also packed with cruise ship guests, as two ships were in the port. We wandered the colourful market stalls set up along the side streets and waterfront, settled on having an ice cream, checked out a few of the fine art stores and up market boutiques and then headed back to Marigot, with a lively female taxi driver who drove like she ruled the road. The traffic was building up in every direction as the workers were heading home and she did not like waiting in traffic queues!
The evening meal was another treat, but of the Morrocan kind this time. Tucked away off a busy street is a restaurant that transports you to Marrakech, where the owner hails from. The decor is a labour of love by the family: the husband has replicated many art forms including replicating a highly patterned ceiling with intricate paintwork, tables with finely detailed marquetry, archways that span a pool with a fountain trickling gently in the background, not to mention richly patterned cushions and an array of ornaments that evoke the cultural forms of Morroco. The wife is an accomplished artist and on the walls hang many caricatures of famous people (Julia Roberts, Neilson Mandela, Marilyn Monro, Bob Marley etc) all with fez hats perched on their heads. The son was our waiter and the meal of shared tagines, couscous and accompaniments followed by fresh mint tea poured Morrocan style from a great height, was simply superb.
Next day dawned and we would be sailing today, as the weather had definitely settled. One more delicious omelette breakfast at Sarafina's and a top up on Wifi usage and we were back on board to cast off the lines.
Passage to The Antilles and Baie de Cupecoy
29 May 2017 | Marigot, St Martin
The skipper had been vigilantly watching for a weather window for our passage SE from Virgin Gorda to St Martin. This turns out to be the longest stretch of open sea in the Caribbean waters between islands, in the order of 100NMs. The day dawned with clear skies and we slipped the mooring at 05:45 at first light, allowing visual vigilance as we made our way into deeper waters. The main was hoisted with one reef and then once Trilogy cleared the end of the island, the course was set for the crossing. The wind strength was initially 12-15 knots but climbed to 15-18 knots ENE before easing in mid afternoon, which allowed us to stay on the same port tack the whole 15 hour passage.
After the initial settling period, we went to 3 hour watches, Garth and Steven constantly consulting on the conditions. The only glitch was a problem with the ship's log and it stopped working which mucked up the true wind readings, because speed through the water was not being measured. Once this was thought through, we improvised with some dental floss tied to the cap shrouds, to give at least a rough wind direction. Ingenuity is the essence of sailing!
The day passed quickly, with a balance between sleeping, eating, reading...oh and watch keeping! As we were sailing east, the sun became very hot in the cockpit by mid afternoon and we needed to drink copious amounts of water to remain hydrated throughout the day. As the land became visible, so did more birds, otherwise very little else was noted. There was one large flock of birds a couple of hundred metres off the port side that were in a feeding frenzy for quite some time in late afternoon. Dinner was at sunset, which was spectacular off the stern. It was perfect timing because as the sun dropped rapidly towards the horizon we were all watching and saw a very distinct 4 second flash of green light rays, just as the sun disappeared. It caused us all to cheer! We had about 10 NMs to go, working our way ever closer to the lights of St Martin. At 21:05 we dropped anchor in Cupecoy Baie, a bay we knew had a mostly sandy bottom and a beautiful beach. After doing a rough tidy of the cockpit, we had a celebratory drink and headed off to bed.
Unfortunately we had not tucked in close enough to the beach and had a rolly night, flip flopping side to side. Fairly early next morning, the skipper got the anchor lifted and we repositioned Trilogy out of the swell which was coming around the point. Otherwise we had a slow morning, with Steven swimming ashore to check out the hotels on the beach to see if we could have a breakfast, with coffee and croissant at the top of the desired list. Steven has the gift of the gab, and after a while he swam back to Trilogy, reporting not only that breakfast was possible but the various people he had talked to on the beach. We joined him by swimming ashore in the beautiful water and then headed up a set of stairs surrounded by lush tropical manicured vegetation to a lovely hotel terrace with views out over the bay, with Trilogy as a centre piece!
We were at the end of the buffet breakfast period which made for some difficulties regarding staff behaviour. Although we had been welcomed, the staff were not interested in us lingering for a second longer than necessary. The minute a plate was finished it was removed from the table, coffee was poured constantly to finish the pot, so it could be swiped away, and the buffet doors closed post haste. You can't help but think that this was French rudeness! Anyway, the food was lovely and we did get an almond croissant!
When back on board, we prepared to motor sail back along the coast to Marigot, the capital of French St Martin. We entered Baie de Marigot and made UHF Channel 16 with Marina Fort St Louis, an unusual octagonal shaped marina with curved sea walls creating protection. We were invited to enter and would be met at the entrance by staff in a tender. We edged our way into the rather shallow marina and were directed to tie up alongside. By now the wind had picked up considerably to 15 knots from the SE and the skipper skilfully got the dock and go system to nudge the stern in close enough to secure a line. Once that was on, the bow line and spring were secured and we doubled up on lines, as necessary...for the sky was starting to threaten. No sooner had we tied off than a deluge of rain swept over the top of us, but as usual the sky cleared again. We set about doing all the usual tasks when in the marina, once the Capitainerie formalities were complete and water and power were connected.
Dinner time came quickly and we showered in readiness for a pleasant evening ashore. Before long we were walking the streets of Marigot, planning to eat in an area known as Simpson Bay, where a string of nice restaurants coexist. In no time we were greeted by a fast talking native of Montenegro, named Milan, who claimed he'd been to 47 countries, including Australia, mentioning Darwin and Tennant Creek as places that he had been to. He was highly persuasive and promised us very good food if we ate at his establishment....listing creole, grill and curry versions of a range of dishes, including very fresh fish, caught that very day by his father in law. We looked at each other and decided his formidable behaviour was beyond resisting. He ordered his staff to prepare our table, and meanwhile we connected with three women who were the only other guests, who seemed satisfied with their meals. We had one of Milan's 'special' rum punches (delicious but definitely packed a punch!), followed by quite a tasty main course. However, our host continued to command the situation, by producing a large bongo drum, which he locked between his knees. He cranked up the volume of the recorded music and beat his hands expertly across the stretched skin. He later let us know he had been a professional musician in Miami. He was like grease lightening, disappearing mid playing at times, coming back to play again, flirting with locals he had spotted and also tried to hoodwink others to eat at his place. All the time there was intermittent yelling going from the kitchen and a number of 'extras' wandering in and out of the kitchen. Oh well, we certainly had a memorable night!
Heading back to Trilogy, we could see a lot of lightening out to sea and by the time we got back on board, there were drops of rain, which meant a dash to get some washing in before the lightening and thunder enveloped us and that happened with gusto!