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Caribbean crossing Thursday 1st March

All is well aboard Wanda. No more news about friends Dick and Ann. We are sailing down the Columbian coast towards Cartegena.Good sailing. We may put into Santa Marta as an alternative to Cartagena or we may go on to Panama.Kev

Caribbean crossing Wednesday 29th

All is well aboard Wanda. Chinook Wind a Tayana sailed by friends Dick and Ann unfortunately struck a reefnear Bonaire and was wrecked yesterday morning. Both Dick and Ann were rescued by coastguard. We were sailing with them about 30 NM behind (on a course much further out to sea) just outside VHF contact. Shocking news we just heard this on the SSB net. Kev

Caribbean crossing day 3

Good 3 days sailing 135NM yesterday. All is well aboard except our genoa which is ripped.Kev

Pip's Prickly...

I've thoroughly enjoyed myself here. Although I can take or leave things like Bingo, I have really liked a lot of the rest of what's going on. My favourite 'event' was the Mount Airey Young Readers Programme: run by Mrs Jeanne Pascal and supported by cruisers, this Saturday morning club sees up to 50 children aged 4/5 up to 18 turn up to a Community hall in St Pauls, which is up in the hills nearby. A bus picks us cruisers up and takes us there- we get a free mini tour of the south part of this incredibly lush verdant island. The hills are steep and thickly forested, studded with the bright roofs of the multi-coloured houses. Most houses are substantially built on stilts or pillars on the steep hillside, with balconies overlooking densely planted gardens, which usually support a goat, sheep, donkey or cow as well- all with their accompanying egret.
At the Young Readers programme we start with prayers and songs, then read with the children, write, draw, play Scrabble or other board games. My new friend Kimmisha and I made a book based on 'Green Eggs and Ham' and I showed her where England was in an atlas- then we talked about the queen (who still appears on the currency) and shared nursery rhymes like 'Pussycat pussycat where have you been'. Next - and a huge challenge for me!- comes reciting times tables, and older children read aloud from books like 'Danny champion of the world'.
I suspect cruisers like me keep volunteering for this scheme because it is so much fun and so rewarding- for us... what the children think of a load of white americans etc descending on them every Saturday goodness only knows! But they seem to have fun. The scheme has been going 4 years.
I have also enjoyed cooking with the local fruit and veg; spotting plants I've never seen before; dancing in the beach bars; losing in the quiz night; drinking rum punches.
We've managed to do a few boat jobs as well- mostly replacing things that we lost overboard! Kevin has made an LED anchor light, mended the dinghy again and again (half of the inflatable floor I suspect will never inflate again), and has done a sterling job at eventually sorting some internet, thanks to a new 'Wifi wand' booster aerial courtesy of our new friends Steve and Julie.
I've made a new boat hook, and inserted a canvas pipe and hose fitting into our sunshade, so if it rains (which it does rather a lot here- the island isn't lushly green for nothing)- if it rains, I can turn a little tap on the hose fitting and fill my camp shower for free. Of course since I made it it hasn't rained.
I've put a few more photos on as well. Hopefully.
Ok, back to getting the boat ready for the next leg- we might leave very soon, so expect another internet-free hiatus.

Prickly Bay
02/23/2012, Grenada

OMG it is so comfortable here in prickly Bay that days slip by. The day starts with the VHF crackling into life waking us up at 7.30 as the cruisers net starts.... cruisers often sleep with channel 68 on as a security thing if there was a problem in the night chanel 68 would spring to life.
The net puts everyone in touch so help, information etc is always available. Everything from bus times to where to source a particular boaty bit. Also whats on for the day which includes what bands are playing iin the local bars... everything from clasical to reggae.... bingo, karioke etc. its a bit of a social whirl; you make friends quick and then lose them as they move on. Never mind you will probably catch up an another anchorage sometime.
We are moving off soon though en route towards Panama. Most people we meet think we are a little crazy to move on so quickly often commenting that the Caribean takes a couple of years to cruise properly. Everyone is on their own trip and we are way behind our original cruising schedule hey ho .
We are considering either Curacao or Cartegena for our next stop but lets see which way the wind takes us.

Internet blues

We are still struggling with our internet connection. I am posting this using a local data sim in my Blackberry, which is a struggle with thje tiny keyboard, and the text is so small I can't read what I've typed. We have a new wifi booster aerial afyer our last one went swimming, but wifi is poor, and there. Is no way we can skype I'm afraid. Enjoying life here though, I'm off to participate in a 'Young Readers' event at a local school up in the hills. I learnt about this on the morning 'Net' on the vhf radio, where they announce weather, social activities like ladies dominos, bbq's etc, things for sale etc.Got to go and hear the kids read now- bye!

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