completed first leg
20 December 2018 | Rodney Bay, St. lucia
The cruising community is an amazing group of people. Everyone I have met sailing are exceptionally wonderful and giving people. We have to be because we know that we will need someone else’s help at one time or another. We have all come from different walks of life and ended up on the sea for one reason or another. Myself coming from landlocked North Dakota, I am often asked how I developed my love for sailing and now the sea. I really do not know. Maybe it is just the pure adventure of it all, the unknown that faces us on a daily basis or the constant challenges that we have to accept and solve. It could also be the warm sun, the rainbows, white sand beaches, different cultures, women in bikinis, or men in speedos. Mmm definitely not the last two. Well maybe a bikini on occasion.
My friend arrived by dingy in the morning. I asked him to look at my propeller shaft problem. I explained what my plan was to get it fixed and he agreed with my thinking. He asked if I wanted help and I quickly answered “yes.”
A short time later we had it fixed the way it should have been done in the boatyard before we left. That evening we shared a wonderful dinner together and met another couple sailing north.
The next morning we are off to a new country and the chore of checking in thru immigration and customs. Customs goes just fine but no one is in the immigration office and no one seems to know where he is. Island time. We walk a mile to the airport so we can get checked into the country and we are now legal visitors. We explore the small harbor side village, have a delicious lunch and head back to the boat. Destination, the Tobago cays. A natural park and turtle sanctuary. The wind is blowing and the water is churning like the wash cycle on your laundry machine. Oh well, we are safely attached to a mooring ball, the water is a beautiful turquoise color, so we can just relax and enjoy where we are.
The next day is much calmer and we have sea turtles feeding on the seagrass next to the boat.
“Have you ever swam with sea turtles,” I ask Carol?
“Then lets go.”
We get our snorkel gear on and we jump off the boat. Soon we are right above two sea turtles gently munching on the grass below us.
When we get back to the boat Carol says” That was beautiful. They are so graceful. They just seem to glide suspended int the water. The was totally amazing.”
After that I go up front to check on my shackle connecting the anchor to the chain. The survey had a recommendation to replace it and sure enough it was starting to spread apart and could let go at anytime. I get my spare shackle, hammer, punch, and spare cotter pin and I head to the front of the boat to start working on it.
“I’ll be upon in a minute to help,” my first mate says.
I check to make sure the rope is securely attached and I start banging away to get the pin out. Carole walks up and asked “ need any help?’
“No, just knocking out this pin,” as I take one last swing and the pin falls out. Unfortunately the anchor fell out too, overboard into the clear water. I stare stupidly at the anchor down in the sand below.
“I can’t believe I just did that. I checked to make sure the rope was attached but it was attached to the shackle and not the anchor. “
I am dumbfounded .
Carol says “It is always good to have a second pair of eyes when doing a project. I was getting ready to say something as you took that last swing.”
“I am sure glad it happened here in eight feet of clear water. I can just dive down and tie a rope on it and bring it back up.”
So I did it and all is good in the world again. A lobster dinner on the beach that evening completes our stay and we head off the next morning. We have a beautiful sail with no problems. The weather is good so the next day we complete our 53 mile trip to St. Lucia. This is where Mile High Dream will stay over Christmas while we both head back to the mainland. It wouldn’t be a good shakedown cruise without a few adventures. My first mate flies back to Canada a few days later having enjoyed the trip and all of it’s problems.
I will be doing boat projects until I fly out the next weekend.