Thursday afternoon we headed into the beach as the weather had improved and met up with the others. Us girls bobbed while the boys camped out on the dinghies….
While we were there we spoke with Faye and Paul about the beach party arranged for Friday afternoon – and all systems go, except they are sweating on a beer delivery. Oh well…. fingers crossed. Had a really great afternoon – enjoyed the rainbow that came out, the panoramic views of the bay and finally the moody sunset before returning to Morphie for a quiet night on board.
Friday morning and up really early – Richard is picking up Alick (from the sail / canvas loft) off the dock at 9 am to come on board to make the pattern for our new cover – so I get a lift into town in dink to buy the fresh bread for tonight’s party and ingredients for my side dish. Decided on a chunky red onion and tomato salad with feta cheese, olives and pimentos – but without cucumbers because Dan has a serious issue with them! Richard got his jobs done and came back to collect me…. Rest of the day we were pretty lazy and headed into the beach around 3.30 ish to set up the party. When we got there – with the rest due to arrive around 4 – we are told there is no beer, the delivery didn’t come! Soooooo frustrating, as Richard had checked this morning with them and they said all was OK. So Dan and Richard ended up shifting four crates of empties, dinked over to the brewery – on the opposite side of the bay – and back with the replacements.
In the meantime people were arriving – luckily there were some supplies in the coolers already so they weren’t really aware of the potential beer disaster – and I’m collecting money (to recover the costs we had already paid up front) and organising the table for the buffet of all the side dishes that people have brought with them. Oh yes…. and then a woman (who I have never met before as she was invited by another boat) asks me if there is any plain chicken as she has dietary issues. Said no – sorry – no one told me, all chicken has been marinated overnight in Faye’s homemade BBQ sauce. But there are hot dogs. Oh no, that won’t do either as she is gluten free. And, excuse me, but what is the vegetarian option for my husband? OMG!!!! We could have catered for this if anybody had actually thought to tell us – but they didn’t – so I gave her half her money back as a goodwill gesture which unfortunately reduced the tip that I had allocated for Faye and Paul – and hoped that she could find something to eat in the buffet. It was pretty tedious to listen to her questioning everybody about their dishes as she needed to know every single ingredient…. I was pretty fed up at this point – so went bobbing in the sea for a little while! Finally – about an hour late – the BBQ pit was built and the food was underway.
Everyone was having a good time – and some cruisers brought along their instruments so we had live music. Then Faye is asking me for a dish for the hotdogs… Excuse me? Are you telling me that you haven’t got anything to put the damn stuff on when it’s cooked????? Luckily I had bought a large foil baking tray for the bread so redistributed that onto paper plates and gave her that….. and Dan kindly went back and collected a large metal bowl for the chicken from Evensong. Having a good time…. and we started eating…. and then Faye asked for a light as she couldn’t see what she was doing!!! This is starting to feel like some sort of comic sketch – I’m wondering if it could be a “candid camera” set-up or a test for the apprentice to see how I cope with stupid curve balls!?!?! Well… of course, being the girl guide that I once was, I did actually have a very large torch which I supplied to her and then, when she was finished cooking, I hung over the buffet table for the others. Phew…… finally time to relax….. As everyone started to drift away – all laden down with left-over goodies – they all said that they had a great time. Glad about that but I’m not getting roped into organising another one of these – ever…..!!!! Went onboard Evensong for the final drink of the day and then back to Morphie for the night.
Saturday morning up early – got the stuff ready in the cockpit for Winfield as he should finish Morphie today – and then headed in to go diving. Finally the sea has flattened and the wind has reduced – so we have different dive site options today. We head out to Moonhole point – where the eco stone lodges nestle into the cliff top – and do a 60 foot dive and into a cavern.
Had a great time but, again, we ended up on a lion fish hunt as they continue to try to eradicate these pests from the Caribbean. OK – I understand – but it really detracts from the dive for me. Richard even got roped into holding the spear gun with a dead one attached while Jesse dealt with another one… It was nice to do a drift dive though – so no fighting the current to get back to the boat…. Yeah!
We had our surface interval back on land as we had to pick up more divers for the afternoon shallower dive – and Ruth turned up to supply us with pasta salad – tasty…. thanks, much appreciated. Back on the boat for the afternoon and it was great, because the rest were all doing courses of some description, so it just left Richard, Dan, me and Putan (the dive leader) diving on our own again – and this time to the Moonhole reef. Great colours, diversity of fish, and some amazing families of lobsters lying around under the overhangs. It was really relaxed and we spent another hour in the water exploring. Doesn’t get much better than this!
Back to the dive shop and while we are washing our kit down with fresh water Ruth gets in the beers. What a star! Had a quick one – and then rushed back to Morphie to see Winfield. When we got there he was very very quiet which is pretty unusual for him – and appeared in a bad mood. After about an hour he just put his hands up and said that he was absolutely shattered and couldn’t physically do any more work today. Damn! He doesn’t work Sundays and we wanted to leave in the early hours of Monday so looks like that has changed…. Oh well….what can you do???? Another beautiful sunset in the anchorage as we were getting ourselves cleaned up.
Saturday night we met up with Chris and Linda from Troubadour and went out for a pizza – they are heading south shortly so it is very possible that our paths may not cross again. Had a nice evening, said sad farewells, and headed back out to the anchorage – to find we are surrounded by boats again. There is definitely something magnetic about us, I mean, why anchor in a large area when you can squeeze in near Morphie???? Grrrrrr…..
Sunday morning and into the Gingerbread for breakfast with Dan and Ruth – this was planned as it was supposed to be our last day and we would have a lot to do to get ready to go to sea. But, of course, we are not going on Monday now….. Luckily the weather window is good right through to Thursday so we are planning a very early Tuesday morning departure. As we are not leaving now – and the morning’s torrential rain had finally cleared – we ended up having another bobbing session on the beach, back on board for a quick clean up, and then into town for SuperBowl and another sunset.
I know….. Superbowl???? Don’t say a word! We are not American football fans – we don’t even understand it – but we were persuaded to go along as apparently the adverts in between quarters are worth watching. Well the food was good, the company was great and the adverts were very entertaining. The gang were amazed that we knew all the words to the songs that accompanied some of the adverts and so were we – we certainly did not expect to hear Slade (from the 70s) and singing along to “happy as you know it, clap your hands”!!! How bizarre is that???? I’m afraid the football left me a little cold, although Richard enjoyed it more than he thought he would. Ended up quite a late night…. Back on board and the wind picked up and the rain hammered down – but we slept better, thankfully. Probably helped that a lot of the boats had moved out during the day…..
This morning and Winfield arrived. While he was finishing off our woodwork we made some water and did some passage planning…. He finished and we headed into town for our final provisioning run ashore and a visit to customs and immigration to check out for tomorrow….. Well the customs were at lunch so we did the shopping and ended up having lunch out ourselves.
When we get back to Morphie we need to get ready to go to sea for the 150 mile passage north to Dominica. We are going straight past St Vincent, St Lucia and Martinique on the way – but will be dropping back south to these islands later on. Sad to leave such fun company but most people are heading north so I’m sure our paths will cross again! One of the things we want to do this season is to push the boundaries in terms of longer periods at sea. Although we have done loads of sea miles and offshore passages / races we have always been part of a crew… So it is about time we got used to single-handed sailing when the other one is sleeping – if we are serious about going through the Panama Canal into the Pacific in the future then we need to hone these skills. We are both really excited about the prospect and are looking forward to the challenge.
Bye for now