Crash bang wallop, what a picture!

In Leverick we found a really nice anchoring spot at the back of the mooring field which will keep us away from all the madness and mayhem of the weekend ahead!!!  We got ourselves settled and then went ashore and immediately bumped into Chris and Tracy – who we have been talking to on-line for a long time….. So was great to catch up with them plus Monica and Nick who run the resort. We met quite a lot of new people too, although we knew many of them virtually by their TTOL presence. Really fun afternoon had by all.

Chris and Tracy

We headed back to Morphie for a shower and dinner and then went back out. The Jumbies were performing and we hadn’t seen them for a very long time – so enjoyed the show, which was quite different, particularly the Michael Jackson one-glove dancing jumbie!!!!  Had a great evening, including a little dancing, and headed back onboard. The anchorage was really quiet and was so flat calm it actually felt like we were in a marina! Lovely….

Michael Jackson Jumbie Jumbies Jumbies 2 Jumbies 3

Saturday we had a lazy day on board – did a few jobs – and headed back into the marina for a few drinks around 5 ish. We chatted with loads of people including an older American couple who had sailed the Pacific on a 30 foot yacht in the 80s. They had fascinating tales and some really useful advice for us for the future. We left them to eat their dinner in peace and headed back to the bar and caught up with the rest of the gang again. We had a great fun evening.

Sunday and it’s the Poker Run day. We went ashore around 10 – the little helicopter who was going to film the event had already landed in his very tight spot – and some boats had started arriving too…….

Budgie lands Boats start arriving Boats start arriving 2 Boats start arriving 3

And then the people starting arriving too…… Not sure on the maximum numbers that should be on that ferry, but looks like it may be exceeded!

People start arriving People start arriving 2

And then even more boats and people – it is organised chaos!  We got our Poker Run tee-shirts – and thought one of the predominant sponsor’s names was a little unfortunate to say the least. Check out one of our shoulders in the selfie!

Poker Run selfie

We wandered around admiring the boats….

Poker Run 1 Poker Run 2 Poker Run 3 Poker Run 4 Poker Run 5 Poker Run 6 Poker Run 7 Poker Run 8 Poker Run 9

We talked to the gang who were all volunteering selling Poker hands, tee-shirts, giving away beer to the registered boats… and noticed a couple of people in lemur costumes hitting each other with their tails… Didn’t realise that one of them was actually Richard Branson dressed up – poking fun at the furore that has surrounded his decision to install lemurs on Mosquito Island!   [Photo borrowed from Facebook – thanks Bruce!]

Richard Branson the lemur

Found a good spot on top of the fuel dock to people watch…. And then suddenly they are off, followed closely by the helicopter…. And the water was boiling…..

And they are off! And they are off 2 And they are off 3 Budgie off filming

We headed off to the bar – saying hi to Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the way – and then the clouds rolled in for a quick cooling shower.

Mickey was there too Minnie as well

Then we realised that a VISAR rib (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue) was towing back a large power boat…. OMG it has a huge hole in the side…and people are clearly injured…. Then the next one comes in and the whole front of the boat has been smashed off – we were surprised it was still able to float. The police congregate, the crowds watch, the VISAR volunteers are truly professional tending to everybody, some injured people go off in an ambulance and others are taken on the two VISAR ribs…. We retreated to a safe distance hoping that everyone was OK.  Speaking to Nick later – who knew both crews as the event’s patron – he confirmed that Top Gun lost its steering and had veered off into the side of Red Zone. Sadly – according to the latest local news reports – four people remain hospitalised with two in a serious condition. Terrible news – our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Ouch ! Ouch !!

Later on in the day we had a pizza lunch and caught up with some of the gang who were taking a breather before the boats came back in.

Taking a break

Don't forget the sun tan lotion!

So we went back to Morphie for a break and returned later – suitably cleaned up – for the post Poker Run party. There was a DJ – the top prize of $8,000 was awarded – there were girls quirking on the catwalk across the pool, there were people enjoying the pool, there was a model show… and then the sun went down for the night as local guy Elvis started strutting his stuff with his band. It was absolutely rammed with people everywhere and boats were rafted into places you would not believe….

Rafts everywhere 1 Rafts everywhere 2Goodnight sun

Party time 1 Party time 2

Later on we joined the gang at a table…and had more laughs…and eventually returned to Morphie at about 10 pm. We did ask Nick about the injured people during the evening but he said everyone was fine – clearly he was trying not to put a damper on the day for us, if the local news reports are to be believed (although I did note they were ‘unconfirmed’).  You could tell he was pretty shaken up by it all….

Overall it was a great day and we thoroughly enjoyed it, although obviously saddened by the accident – so glad we stayed around.  Nick, Monica and the volunteering gang did a fantastic job and worked really hard.  Safety was very much highlighted throughout the day, including disqualification for anyone speeding through the mooring fields – and big kudos to them all for bringing together a great event!   In fact, apart from the mooring balls very close to the entrance to the marina / fuel dock where they would have been impacted by all the arrivals and departures, I would say the anchorage was pretty much business as usual.  We were sorry that Arndt didn’t make it across from Saba Rock….

Monday morning we were up at a reasonable time and got ready to pick up anchor and go alongside the fuel dock.  Full of boats filling up … and the minute a little boat took off another one snuck in.  Was getting a bit fed up and radioed the fuel dock to ask if they had a queuing system.  Er no was the answer….  We picked up a mooring ball for a while as some of the huge power boats were refuelled – not a 10 minute job! – and then slipped again as a large sport fisher boat moved out ready to go into the vacated space. And guess what – a very large power catamaran just barged in, taking advantage of his manoeuvring superiority with his twin engines…… and then the wives got off with their handbags and went shopping.   Grrrr…….  Pretty fed up by now – we had been waiting over an hour – and we need to get going.   So we decided to just leave after making some loud comments as we went past the power cat which just vented our frustration at the waste of time….   Bye gang….. so sorry we did not get the chance to say goodbye properly.  As we left Virgin Gorda we admired the construction of Richard Branson’s new resort on Mosquito Island…  Looks like it is going to be pretty nice!

New Branson development on Mosquito island

Had a lovely downwind sail – under genoa alone – to Tortola…. passing the familiar sights of the Baths, Round Rock, Ginger Island, Cooper Island and Peter Island on the way. And of course altering course any time another boat looked like getting close – even if we were the stand on vessel….

Slow downwind run to Tortola

About a mile off of Nanny Cay we radioed in for our slip assignment. They answered on Channel 16 and asked us to switch to 68. And of course we couldn’t hear them on 68. So we tried 16 again…and switched again…to no avail. Thinking maybe it was our RAM mike playing up I went below and did it from the VHF itself. Same thing…. So tried our handheld…. Same thing….. Grrrr…. So I stooged while Richard got us ready for both port or starboard slip and we headed towards the small entrance…. and then I finally made contact on channel 16 followed by 69. Funny how that works eh??? Every time…… Got our slip assignment and ended up alongside some Puerto Rican speed boats from the Poker Run.

We got ourselves organised and I checked us in. Not the greatest welcome to be honest – think she was fed up with the radio antics which were our fault of course!!!!  She was also very unhappy that all the measurements on my boat papers are in metres when she wants them in feet.  And although we have been here before we weren’t on the system which means more work for her.  At this stage I found it quite difficult to keep the smile plastered on!   Oh yes, do we get a discounted rate because we have come in for work to be done?  (Which was suggested by the rigging company itself).  No came the sharp retort. I left at this point…

Nanny Cay marina 1 Nanny Cay marina 2

Back on board and I strip beds and sort laundry…. and take myself off to find the self-service machines.  Richard was getting stuck into replacing the copper earthing strip in the bilges, which had deteriorated badly.  Laundry done and when I get back Richard is still down various holes….. so we clean up and have a quiet night on board with a chicken curry.

This morning – Tuesday – and we were up early waiting for the riggers. They arrived, dropped the genoa, and went up the mast using the genoa halyard.

Riggers 1 Riggers 2

They fixed the problem we had identified and inspected all our rigging. No problems found other than a couple of maintenance pointers – all of which, in their opinion, will comfortably wait until we haul out in Curacao.  Overall they thought she was in good order. Hurrah!  Well done Morphie!  So good news all round.

Richard has just gone off to Budget Marine to buy some more things armed with a credit card so that could be dangerous….. and I’m here blogging while I have an internet connection, although a bit flaky as it fades in and out.  We have a guy coming over to look at our outboard again too soon.   Richard has spent more time on this than anything – it just gets stuck and the revs race – so I get slammed into the dock – or it dies and won’t idle.  Hopefully we’ll get this fixed once and for all!

We are planning to stay here tonight and head out tomorrow for Norman Island – with fingers crossed that the outboard doesn’t need too much work…..

Bye for now


Our return to the BVIs….

Saturday morning after I had finished the blog and Richard had returned our hire car, we headed back to the marina, enjoying the cloud formations along the way. Virtually the minute we got on board the heavens opened again….. so no external cleaning for us today. So we spent some useful time getting Morphie ready to go to sea including repacking and redistributing the weight around in the bilges….. After that we just had a quiet night on board.

Great cloud formation

Sunday and we were up really early…. We washed Morphie, we waxed her, we did all the stainless steel (apart from under the capping rail) and cleaned down below…. On top of that we did some more heavy-duty laundry like pillows and rugs…. And we kept on going doing maintenance jobs like an engine oil change, water maker filter changes etc etc etc. Phew…. Pretty exhausting day and we collapsed into bed very early. But she sure looked pretty after her spring clean!

Sparkling clean again

Goodnight Marigot

Monday morning and it was time for Richard to go up the mast. We need to check out our rigging particularly before we run south to Bonaire. So we got one of the dock boys to winch him up while I tailed…. He started very enthusiastically but became pretty exhausted quite quickly and I offered to do my turn to give him a break, but he clearly wasn’t going to let some middle-aged old woman get the better of him LOL!!!   By the time Richard was at the top he was absolutely shattered…. Oh dear…. Anyway, Richard found that we had sheared a split pin at the head of the genoa and it was stuck inside the hole. Otherwise apart from a bit of tape around the end of the spreaders, all looked fine. So I let him down and we went and purchased some split pins…. So again I called on the dock boys to help me out – and they sent the youngest biggest one!  Well…. he really struggled…. and we took it in turns to tail / winch Richard up to the top…. He looked on in dismay when I could turn it quite easily when he had been two-handed and struggling to put all his weight behind it…. Oops!   Not sure that was too good for his ego!!   But he was a good sport, and we took turns until we got Richard to the top along with his bucket filled with all sorts of tools etc for the job in hand. Unfortunately Richard wasn’t able to shift it – he probably would have been able to do it if I could have taken some of the pressure off at the bottom of the genoa – but it was too dangerous to leave him up there without the line being tailed….. So he did a temporary fix before I let him back down again…. Interesting view up there with some very different shots of Morphie!

Different view of Morphie Don't let go of that rope!

Tuesday morning we wandered into the patisserie for our breakfast as this was potentially our last day here. We just needed to check out the weather window. Yep – it was holding – so we are definitely leaving. Wandering back to the marina – armed with baguettes for our overnight food – we were amazed by all the coaches that had turned up and the amount of people that were milling about. One little girl looked to be wearing Minnie Mouse’s outfit and there were a few other Disney looking tee-shirts so we wondered whether this was a Disney ship!?!   Anyway, back to the marina, checked out of customs for later that day and we paid the hefty marina fee. Ouch!  Didn’t mean to stay here a week and we couldn’t have the reduced weekly rate because that is only available if you pre-book and pre-pay grrrrrr…… But actually the dock fee itself wasn’t that bad…. it was all the extras like showers / washing machines / driers / electricity hook up and water usage that pushed it up. And still less than we would pay in the UK – just a bit of a shock after the prices we had paid down island!

At around 4.30 pm we left Fort Louis Marina and headed off towards Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. We decided to stick with our shift pattern again – with me starting at 6-9pm and then Richard taking over for his three hours. I prefer to do the first shift as it gets dark around me so I get used to it gradually. So ready to go….and Richard took this dreadful photo!  But you may be pleased to notice that I’m actually wearing my life jacket – we always wear them at night, and are clipped onto the lifelines in the cockpit, irrespective of the conditions.

My shift

The winds were very very very light….. and way below what was forecast. The forecast of 12-15 knots was turning into 6-8 knots. But thankfully the direction was right and we pulled out the sails and enjoyed a very slow downwind run. The wind changed around a bit during my shift and started to strengthen as Richard came on duty….and I took myself off to bed. We had a rough passage across to St Martin at the start of our cruising life and we were determined to sail back, not caring how long it took us!!!!

During the passage, two cruise ships were tracking us….and yes, indeed, one was definitely a Disney vessel. Then we had all stations alert on the VHF – the Disney ship was going to be doing a firework display! We didn’t see much…. then they came on to say it was over. Then the Norwegian ship put out an alert – it was their turn to have fireworks. And this time we could see them lighting up the sky. Have never seen this before….. Well it kept us entertained anyway…..

Wednesday morning we enjoyed the sun rising while at sea and, shortly after daybreak, we could see Virgin Gorda coming into view….

Sunrise at sea Approaching Virgin Gorda

As we were coming through the Necker passage we noticed that Sir Richard Branson has completed building his new house to replace the one that was destroyed by lightening a few years ago…. And he has three fake palm trees on his sandy spit now instead of two!!!!

New main house on Necker Fake palm trees off Necker

It was interesting to see the development of huge villas going on the back of Virgin Gorda and Prickly Pear which, when we were last here, were pretty uninhabited and just naturally beautiful. Clearly a lot of investment cash coming into these islands…..

New development

As we turned to go into North South – passing the massive reef – we were also struck by how many boats we could see out sailing…. 40 at the last count!  We haven’t seen so many boats on the move in one place for a long time and, of course, most of them were charter boats so we gave them all the right of way just in case…. It is clear that many of them do not know the rules of the road!

Arriving into Leverick – after an 18 hour passage covering 82 miles – we quickly picked up a mooring ball – and dinghied round to customs. They welcomed us back!   Wow!!!!   Back to Morphie and we dropped the ball and headed over to Saba Rock. This is a stunning anchorage and remains one of our favourites…..

Beautiful anchorage in North Sound

Anchored on the second attempt – hit sea grass the first time – and went to bed for a few hours…. Later on we went ashore for Happy Hour at Saba Rock – and were a little surprised at how expensive the drinks and food were!   Obviously we’ve been spoilt by the prices down island. Never mind… you can’t take it with you!

Saba Rock

We enjoyed our first BVI sunset for a very long while and headed back. As we climbed on board the heavens opened and we just managed not to get soaked. But it was great – washed all the salt off of Morphie for us!

BVI sunset

Thursday we had a lazy day on board and went ashore to Saba Rock for happy hour again…   Admiring the views across to the Bitter End Yacht Club and the panorama of the North Sound.   Just plain stunning…..

View across to Bitter End Yacht Club

Panorama view of North Sound

Saba Rock has had a bit of a makeover since the last time we were here – the toucans have gone and so has the pirate statue and other pirate paraphernalia…  But they have kept the stuffed hammerhead although he is now painted bright red!

Not art a real hammerhead.....

This evening we were meeting Arndt off of Zanshin who we had spotted in the anchorage.  We very briefly saw him in the Saintes and thought he would have hauled and left for home by now – but he has picked up some consultancy work, working from his boat!  Nice turn of events. So we had a good catch up and an enjoyable few hours together. Back on board for dinner and so to bed.

This morning – Friday – we sailed across to Leverick Bay and anchored behind the mooring balls at the back of the fleet.   Having just got set and a helicopter came over really low – and I mean low – check out the photo!   He landed for a short while then took off again…. then buzzed the anchorage again.   Curious behaviour!

Be careful budgie!

We are planning to stay in Leverick until Monday morning before we leave for Nanny Cay and an appointment with the riggers.   Leverick have their annual Poker Run this weekend – which is for high powered speed boats – and is usually a fun time. And some people we know are on island too…. So should be a bit of a party! Really looking forward to it…..

Bye for now



Back in St Martin….

Sunday we went into Philipsburg as planned and had lunch, which was pretty disappointing. We then wandered the Boardwalk. There were very few places open so we stopped in at Dirty Sanchez again as the service was great and they have good wifi. I blogged while Richard chatted with Abi, who is a diamond salesman. He gave us some great insights into the business. We also chatted to some Americans who were in holiday mode – and one of the wives suddenly disappeared to the loo…. and came back to the bar very green and completely out of it. She was drinking cocktails – lethal out here as they are so strong….. one of the reasons why I largely stick to beer!!!   Oh dear…. Had a good fun afternoon and headed back to Morphie before dark as we had no lights with us. The minute we got back the heavens opened again….and we had torrential rain all night. Apparently we had six inches over the weekend alone!

Monday morning and the weather looked like it might be improving. The sea was still green but there was a hint of blue coming through.

Weather looks better

Sea starting to change backWe sailed the five miles to Simpson Bay and dropped anchor. Once we were set and happy we headed into the lagoon in dink to visit Budget Marine….. While we were there we bumped into Happy Hour and had a quick chat with them. And then the heavens opened again…. Oh dear, of course, we came out without jackets!   While we were waiting for a quick lull, Richard legged it and dropped off a gas bottle to be filled, and then we headed to the customs / immigration office. We checked out for the following morning – having paid our fees – and it was raining again. So we quickly buzzed over to the Simpson Bay Yacht Club and had some lunch and met up with Sonsy Lass again while everyone was sheltering and waiting for another lull in the weather. We took our chances in a quick break – dink had a lot of water in him by now – and as we arrived back at Morphie it poured down again. We got soaked just bringing dink up onto his davits…. Boy was he heavy with all that water before we could get his bung out! And that was it for the day… Rocking and rolling in the torrential rain…..again….. This is starting to get a bit tedious!

Simpson Bay

Tuesday morning we headed out of Simpson Bay for Marigot on the French side of the island. Moving out we spotted the yacht in front of us had just lost his dinghy off the back. We radioed them – couldn’t read their name – and they ignored us. We radioed again… They must have looked behind and realised it was them. They acknowledged the call, said thanks, and turned round to pick it up. That could have been an expensive mistake!!!!

Safely rescued

We were having a lovely sail – although the weather was closing in again – and we watched a plane going into Maho Bay. While we were sailing we were forced to change course by a tourist catamaran who clearly forgot the rule that the overtaking boat keeps clear!  Strangely the minute he got in front of us he changed course again and headed off to Anguilla. Really annoying… Oh well…. photo opportunity for his guests I reckon.

Small plane coming in

Stormy day at Maho Beach

Booze cruise

Getting close to Marigot we radioed Fort Louis marina – to no avail. After about six times we decide to anchor – enjoying the blue sea again – and then they picked up! Always the way…..

Hurrah - blue seas again

Anyway secured a slip and headed in – bit of a tight spot but Richard was brilliant and brought us alongside smoothly. Bit nerve racking as we were squeezed in between some very big, expensive, neighbours!   And, of course, as always happens, the minute we get settled in the one behind us which caused the manoeuvring challenge, left!

Fort Louis Marina

Morphie surrounded by her huge neighbours

Securely tied up, we headed into the marina office and cleared into customs. Was very pleased that the French side have finally installed “asdf” keyboards – so I was much quicker completing the on-line form than usual… Got some laundry tokens and we went back to Morphie – stripped beds, sorted it all out and headed back to the self-service machines. This is the main downside of rainy weather – no laundry gets done and clothes / towels remain damp…. We put our loads on and we settled down onto the bench and caught up with emails etc, although the marina wifi is very flaky and low speed.

A few hours later – job done – and we went back, cleaned ourselves up, put the laundry away, and headed into the Fort Louis Marina Club House where we admired the hand-painted Fuel Dock sign. They have an Italian chef here – so we decided to share a goat’s cheese, caramelised onion, baby tomato and rocket pizza with a nice bottle of wine. Fantastic! As we enjoyed the moody sunset they bought out these great sealed rubber / plastic rechargeable LED lamps…. Wanted to buy one for the cockpit but thought that €79 was a bit extravagant! Back on board for a quiet night….

Great artwork on the fuel dock Fatboy lamp - want one! Moody sky on the French side

Wednesday morning and it was raining again…. Was going to clean the boat today but decided we might as well get the hire car and go shopping instead. Got a decent sized car and headed out – via the patisserie of course for a French breakfast… yum!  Oh yes, of course the minute we had decided on this the skies cleared and the sun came out.   Typical!   On the way back to the car park, admiring the views of the boats in the anchorage,  I managed to visit the street market and we got a couple of new items of clothing.

The boats out in Marigot Bay Colourful street market in Marigot

We found the Ace Hardware store – picked up some more flexible builders’ buckets which fit into the bilges for storage – and headed off to Island Water World and Budget Marine. We have a long list of things we need again – some new spares and some other replacement items.. We are keen to take the opportunity of getting stuff here as it is duty free. We also picked up the now-filled gas tank…. Partial boat shopping list achieved – and then we went off to find the huge Grand Marche supermarket, on the Dutch side. Got everything we wanted – apart from some decent low-priced wine! Back on board we stowed everything away – which takes a while – and were relaxing in the cockpit after dinner, when we realised that the crew of Deep Blue – a huge superyacht – were now all in their uniforms. Then the captain and a couple of them head off towards the marina entrance…. Then the crew come back with a couple of trolleys full of designer luggage….. Then along comes a nanny with a baby in her arms and four young children come running down and climb on the boat…. Then the dads come – smoking the usual large cigar of course – and we were surprised that they were only in their early 30s…. And then the two WAGS with their designer shoes, clothes and huge handbags, teetered along…. followed respectively by the Captain bringing up the rear. All on board and the captain opens up the bridge and the boat heads off into the night….. Oh to be that rich eh??????

Thursday morning and the weather has calmed down so we get up bright and early and start working. Morphie is not too salty but the torrential rain has managed to stain the gel coat at the bow from our rusty anchor chain. We are planning to replace the chain in Curacao when we haul out at the end of the season – so will have to put up with this for a short while yet!  Morphie was quickly cleaned up so I settled down to stainless steel cleaning while Richard went below and cleaned up including polishing all the wood.  At about 3.30 pm – we were both feeling it – and decided to call it a day, even though we haven’t finished. We thought we deserved a beer and headed back in the car to the Simpson Bay Bridge to catch the opening…. We got there in time, enjoyed a cold one sitting on the rail, and watched the procession of tiny sail boats coming through followed by the spectacle of these huge yachts coming through a pretty small space. Apparently there are regular collisions…. and I think, secretly, that is what most people are hoping to see!!!! We then headed back to Morphie for a quiet night on board.

Learning to sail Simpson Bay bridge

Bridge opening

In you come then

Friday morning and we re-think what we are going to do. As we have to hand the car back on Saturday morning we decide to enjoy the day exploring the island and, of course, trying to get the rest of the items on the shopping list. So we headed off to Island Water World (IWW) again – finally got everything we needed apart from one fuel filter. So we headed off to Philipsburg as the IWW store there had a few in stock. On the way we stopped off to admire the views across the lagoon. There is quite a stark difference between the Dutch and the French sides of this island – with the Dutch very built-up and touristy, a bit like a Caribbean Benidorm, and the French side is much more low key and quiet.

View of the lagoon

When we arrived in Philipsburg it was pretty quiet – no cruise ship in town – and we wandered the shops and I managed to get a great new pair of leather deck shoes for US $25. Bargain!

Philipsburg Old Street Fishing boats in Philipsburg Old car Fancy shops

Then we headed off down the other coast towards Grand Case…. stopping at a wine shop on the way…. Wine purchased we arrive in Grand Case and wander along enjoying the sights of this low-key French town, particularly the huge green iguana that was sunning itself outside the church. He legged it pretty quickly though – I reckon he knew that Richard was partial to eating them! LOL

Grand Case 1 Grand Case 2 Grand Case 3 Iguana in Grand Case

We planned to revisit our favourite restaurant in this part of town for a very late lunch – Ocean 82 – they had finished lunch service but would be starting their dinner service at 3.30 pm. That was only half an hour away so we settled in with a bottle of water, some French bread, and a glass of Chablis enjoying the views up and down the beach and out to the anchorage. Then suddenly we heard the noise of a plane coming in low – and it had to divert slightly to clear the masts – and then roared over our heads. When we were here last year there were huge yellow marker buoys marking the airport approach – don’t know what happened to them…..but I reckon the gendarmerie will be out later to move people on….

Beach front at Grand Case Beautiful restaurant setting Beach front at Grand Case 2 Bread while we wait Old Dutch boat in the anchorage Plane coming in over Grand Case anchorage

Coming in over the restaurant

Meal ordered….and we had the most fantastic fine dining experience. I won’t bore you with the details but check out these pictures! Yes totally indulgent… Quiet expensive….. But what a treat, even if we couldn’t move afterwards! Absolutely fantastic and the best meal we have had for a long long time….

Out for posh lunch 1

Cheese and beef starter Lobster bisque and sour cream starter

Lamb main Beef & veal cheek stew with mushroom risotto main

Lemon meringue desert Profiterole desert

Out for posh lunch 2

Back on board and we are full and tired….. so had an early night and no dinner!

Good night

This morning – Saturday – and we have been to the canvas shop to pick up our cockpit table cover. We’ve had it amended slightly to incorporate a pocket on the front to stash things when we are on passage like charts, pilot books, camera etc…. We have also returned the car and are now in the patisserie catching up on the internet. When we get back we are going to finish cleaning Morphie.

At the minute we have nothing much apart from maintenance and cleaning to do. We have, however, decided to head over to the British Virgin Islands earlier than we had originally planned. For this we’ll need a good weather window to make the 80 mile passage to Virgin Gorda – which can be notoriously rough. It’s currently looking good for a run with the wind on the starboard quarter on Tuesday night – fingers crossed – so we are probably going to stay in the marina until then. So the next time you hear from me we might be back in our old stomping grounds. We are really looking forward to catching up with people we haven’t seen for a couple of years prior to our lengthy 450 mile passage south to Bonaire.

Bye for now



Feeling wet, wet, wet

On Wednesday having got the blog published we headed back to Morphie. We had planned to snorkel but both felt pretty tired – so we had a lazy afternoon before heading back into the Old Gin House to meet Lyle and Julia for dinner. This was BBQ night and we all chose ribs…. something none of us had had for a while….. Well, they were fantastic with loads of meat on them. While we were eating Will came over to entertain us with stories of goings on in his pub in Wales which he ran many years ago. Will is currently the food and beverage manager of the hotel – although plans to return to Wales at the end of the month after 20+ years on Statia. Anyway….he was delighted that we were obviously thoroughly enjoying our ribs…. so he brought out a few more in foil…. We shared them between us – and then he brought out another lot – which went down again… Phew didn’t think we’d manage them… and then he brought us some more!!!! Please no more – full up!!! But we managed them anyway…. After a few more drinks – and a bit of a break – we had desert, or rather Richard and Lyle did while Julia and I nabbed a couple of spoonfuls off of them… Absolutely lovely evening had by all…… Followed by another rolly night in the anchorage.

Out for dinner

On Thursday we went in to customs to clear out – startling a tiny lizard on the dinghy dock – and back to the bar to get our final internet fix.

Local critter

Back on board we had planned to definitely snorkel today but, oh no, it’s very grey and overcast and is raining a bit. So we’d managed to miss our opportunity as the visibility had reduced. Damn….. We kept ourselves busy doing some boat jobs getting ourselves and Morphie ready to go to sea again. We had arranged to go over for final sundowners with Lyle and Julia to say goodbye…but only for a couple of hours as we want to be up early on Friday. Taking our life in our hands we get off Morphie into dink – the swells are horrendous again – and onto Orion. And then the heavens opened….. and there was thunder and lightning….. and it rained and rained and rained. Absolutely torrential – no way we were getting back in dink in that! So we ended up staying a bit longer and having more sundowners than we planned….but had a great time anyway! With hugs all around – and invites to British Columbia to see bears and salmon if we are ever heading that way – we say sad farewells. We were so glad to have caught up with them again even if it was only for a short while.

Oh yes… and this generous couple gave us a new book for our onboard library, which they found particularly helpful when visiting Spanish speaking islands. Very generous of them, and we’ll definitely have use of it next season… In return we donated some red wine to their cellar.

Lovely gift

Overnight it continued to rain and roll…. Will be glad to leave now…

Early Friday morning we head out into the rain and say goodbye to a wet and cold Statia. First time for a while that we are actually wearing jackets! We decide not to get the sails out until we get passed the oil terminal so enjoy motoring along watching the big ships up close – particularly the one that was being held in place by a tug while he was attached by massive hoses looking like an umbilical cord to some floating buoy – think this is how they fuel the ships up from their stocks.

Raining again.....Goodbye Statia and Orion

Oil terminal Umbilical cord

Being fuelled up

Getting clear of the top of Statia and into the channel we hoisted the sails – and have a nice reach in about 15 knots of breeze. Then the wind dies down a bit….then there is a squall coming….so we reef down…..and then we have no wind followed by light winds which have shifted abaft the beam so reefs were shaken out. Progress was pretty slow… Then the wind shifts ahead of us and sticks. So we are now wallowing around in big grey cold seas so we change course to get some wind – and then the wind just dies. So we put the motor on, furl the sails, and take the opportunity to make water while we crash into the waves…. Then we see a massive squall ahead…and thunder and lightning…and torrential rain. With poor visibility we were grateful for the AIS giving advance warning of some big traffic out there. Eventually after eight quite miserable soggy hours we pull into the anchorage at Philipsburg…. and it’s raining….. Checking the time we realise that we will not make it into customs before it closes at 4pm so we clean ourselves up, raise the yellow quarantine flag, have some dinner and an early night. It was flat calm and felt like we were tied up in a marina. Bliss!

Arriving into Philipsburg

Phillipsburg seafront

Saturday and we headed in early to customs – found the dinghy dock under a cute little bridge – and got directions to the commercial port.

Way to the dinghy dock

We ended up walking for about 20 minutes until we arrived – but customs and immigration were relatively simple and we were now legal. So we headed into Philipsburg town – having checked dink was safe and secure on the way back – and wandered along the boardwalk until we found a café that would serve us breakfast and had internet. Mission accomplished and we wandered along – having to fend off all the deckchair vendors and ladies selling jewellery and clothing – and enjoyed the change of scene, from sleepy Statia to this holiday town. There were loads of people milling about as there was a cruise ship in town today.

The Boardwalk The Boardwalk 2

Carnival ship in

As we enjoyed the walk we noticed a black rib with black-clothed guys – looking like the SAS with guns and everything – board a local boat out in the anchorage. That’s the customs people then! Guess it’ll be our turn one of these days!

At the end of the boardwalk we walked back to the duty free shopping street which is the road behind. Strange to see beautiful old buildings such as the courthouse and the church nestled in amongst all the stores.

Courthouse Beautiful Catholic church

As we are heading later on this season to Bonaire – which is renowned for its diving – we want to buy a waterproof housing for our camera. It is a waterproof camera (thanks again to Carolyn and Ron) but only to 43 feet which is great for snorkelling but most of our diving will be deeper than that. Thought this would be simple here…. Every camera / electronics shop visited to no avail – damn! In his disappointment, Richard didn’t fancy buying me any diamonds, rubies or emeralds with the money he had saved so we headed back to the boardwalk via the bank for more drinking vouchers…. all the time trying to avoid the torrential rain showers.

Main shopping street Main shopping street 2

Historic Philipsburg

Hilfiger shop

We eventually settled into the Dirty Sanchez Crew Bar and got chatting to the Dutch barmaid, a foursome from Yorkshire, and a lady from Florida…. Not all at the same time LOL. We were just leaving and the Hungarian owner gave us a free round or two….

Dirty Sanchez crew bar

Eventually we decided to call it a day and headed back – via the chandlery to buy a Sint Maarten courtesy flag and the grocery store for some fresh bread. Back on board, flags swapped, we waved goodbye to the cruise ship, we had dinner down below to avoid the rain and eventually to bed. During the night the wind howled, the rain was torrential, there was more thunder and lightning, and the boat rocked and rolled…. Felt just like Statia!


This morning – Sunday – and it’s still grey and stormy with high humidity. Our beautiful turquoise sea has turned a little greenish, which we assume is run-off from the hills?  Yuck!!!!

Sea turned green!

Anyway…. nothing much planned… other than to go ashore to blog, perhaps get some lunch, and chill. Of course, that’s assuming that anything is open as there is no cruise ship here today. Fingers crossed this weather system will blow itself out by tonight so that we can sleep better – the upside is that Morphie is now completely clean with no salt remaining from her rough passage with very little effort from us!

Bye for now



Chilling in Statia

Thursday afternoon we spent a couple of hours in The Old Gin House enjoying the view of the anchorage. Quite amazed by the fact that there are so many tankers around – obviously the demand for fuel bunkering continues strongly! It is a bit weird though to have such vast neighbours. Not least the huge pilot boats which are constantly moving on and off the massive mooring ball behind us. Don’t get scared Morphie!!!

The Old Gin House

Big neighbours! Huge pilot boat behind us

Don't get scared Morphie!

Having caught up on the internet we headed back to Morphie before dark. The swells were increasing by the hour and it was so rolly it was really difficult / dangerous to cook! It settled down a bit during the night but not much. These swells were not forecast so hopefully they’ll go away quickly.

Friday morning and it seemed a little calmer in the anchorage. Waking up to the stunning views of this place make it all worthwhile! The rim of the Quill Volcano draws my eye constantly. It is possible to hike the Quill but you have to use ropes to pull yourself up over large boulders at the top  – and I really can’t afford to risk further damage to my ankle – so have to pass it up.  Shame….

Stunning anchorage

Stunning anchorage 2

Impressive volcano rim

Going ashore we wandered the lower level – the main town of Oranjestad is up on the cliff – and admired the views of all the ruins which tumble into the sea and it is clear that excavations are continuing. Some have been renovated too….one into a bar and gift shop but we haven’t found it open yet…although their hole in the wall model might give an indication of the style within???

Remains of town 1

Remains of town 2

What happened to your leg mate Unusual thing to see in a hole in the wall....

These ruins twist and bend along the beach as well as continue along the whole of the shore line underwater with some of them even entwined with tree roots. They are the ancient remains of shops and warehouse and a long wall which have, over time, collapsed through disrepair and hurricane damage. There used to be up to three hundred sailing ships at any one time in this anchorage during the mid to late 1700s when Statia was the trade capital of the Indies and one of the world’s busiest harbours. Amazing history!

Remains of town 3

Tree embedded in ruins

Remains of town 4

When we were here last year we found – too late in the day to use it – that there was a small hotel bar which had a pool overlooking the anchorage. And they would let us use their facilities so long as we purchased drinks. Lovely setting and we were looking forward to relaxing here for the afternoon.

Lovely setting

Bar with pool

The pool was pretty blue and was very inviting – so we grabbed a couple of cold ones and walked in. Standing there chatting and Richard pointed out the consistency of the water…. We then looked closely and realised that the filters weren’t working and the level of the pool was below them anyway. Oh no….. disgusting…… gross!!!!    So we quickly exited and went back to Morphie, tied up dink and swiftly jumped into the sea to get cleaned up. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the transom chatting with the occasional swim. By now the swells were coming through stronger again….. and we had to hang on for our lives! Getting back safely into the cockpit we ended up down below making sure everything was stowed. Another dodgy night for cooking….. and another early night. Only this time it was absolutely impossible to sleep and we tossed and turned literally all night.

Saturday and we had to get off the boat as quickly as possible, it was that bad. And getting off Morphie into dink was pretty terrifying!  So we head into the Old Gin House and catch up on the internet. We feel really bad because our friends Julia and Lyle on Orion – who we last saw in January 2013 in the BVIs – are leaving Sint Maarten today specifically to meet us. The wind is howling and the sea conditions are rough. Oh no…. quickly we send them an email saying if you haven’t left, don’t! But no reply so we realise that they are on their way. All we can do is hope that it calms down!

We then wander up the old slave road to the town… I say wander – really it is a bit of a hike – and the uneven cobbled surface doesn’t help. We make it – a little breathless – to the top and enjoy the spectacular views below.

Bit of a trek to get to Oranjestad

Stunning views

First of all we go to find the bank – Statia uses the US dollar and we don’t have many of those. So drinking vouchers successfully replenished and we wander around admiring the old buildings and picking up a few things in the Chinese supermarket.

Old buildings 1 Old buildings 2

On our way back to the path down we explore the Fort which also has an interesting history as Statia was the first nation to salute an American naval vessel, ultimately leading to friction between England and Holland. Thankfully that was settled a long time ago! Great views from here too…..

Fort View from the fort Back down the path

Back down to the bottom level and we can see that the boats are still rolling around…… so we head into the Old Gin House – admiring the unique roundabout – and have lunch. Pretty simple menu and we ordered a burger each. It was absolutely huge – and delicious! And Richard ended up hand-feeding some to a little lizard who clearly enjoyed his company….

Unique roundabout!

Friendly critters Friendly critter 2While we were sitting there we watched a boat come in and realised that it was Orion. Very excited!   So we headed back out in the dinghy and went to say hello. They were pretty wet and salty but happy to arrive… They were quarantined for the rest of the day on board as the customs had shut at 11.00 am so we went back on Morphie, got rid of our stuff, and went over to spend a very nice afternoon catching up with them on board Orion.

Lyle and Julia Us enjoying our reunion

While we were on Orion a very large charter catamaran tried to pick up a local small boat mooring next to Morphie – and then they propped it – and then they broke it apart – and then, thankfully, moved. We were tempted to sound the air horn at them but thought they might crash into Morphie when we startled them!  Of course, the minute they were secure, they all headed ashore for the evening – even though they should have remained on board too…. Really annoys me when people are so disrespectful of international regulations – shame they didn’t get caught and fined. That would have given them a holiday to remember!!!!

Oh well….never mind…..rant over.   Lovely sunset tonight…..

Goodnight sun

Sunday morning – the offending boat has now left without ever having checked in of course – and we have a lazy time on board. Thankfully the swell seems to be moderating. At 1pm we picked up Lyle and Julia in dink and headed in for a bobbing session on the black sand beach. As we surfed in – with Julia and me already in the water holding onto the front of dink – a huge wave broke over our heads and swamped us all. All our bags and even the petrol can was floating in dink!!!  We have never been caught quite like that before… Ooops…. We did manage to pull dink up the beach and drained him….. and then went bobbing in the surf for a few hours. We had a lovely time but were all a bit worried about how we were going to get off this beach as the surf was crashing and seemed to be getting bigger and stronger by the minute! But we managed to get the timing right, we all survived and dink didn’t get swamped again…. Phew!  Back on board and we returned to Orion for another few hours…. Great hospitality, a few different wines were sampled and we had lots of laughs. So much to catch up on! Back on board and so to bed… Still rolly but I think we are becoming a bit immune to it!

Monday and we spent most of the day on board doing boat jobs – charging batteries, doing more laundry, making more water…. While sitting in the cockpit having a cuppa we noticed that one of the pilot boats was having a big wee…. What a show off!!!!

Pilot boat showing off

In the afternoon we headed ashore. We got chatting to a Scottish couple who had crossed the Atlantic with the ARC rally on their 47 foot Oyster. They told us how challenging they were finding the sailing here…. which really surprised us!  They’d also had to upgrade their anchor and outboard to cope with the very different conditions than they were used to in the Med. Really interesting…. After a short while we bade them farewell and Julia and Lyle turned up for sundowners – so we spent a few hours chatting before heading back on board for a quick dinner and so to bed. Luckily the swells seem to have reduced and fingers crossed they stay away this time!

Tuesday and Richard went ashore to extend our stay with customs while I did some blogging…. Then we had a lazy time until we sprang into action to get cleaned up in preparation for Julia and Lyle coming over for sundowners. Had another good evening together….. and enjoyed the spectacular colours of the sky behind the tug after the sun went down.

Evening on board Morphie

Beautiful colour sky tonight

This morning – Wednesday – we’re ashore to get this published and catch up on emails…. While sitting here the little lizard has come back to visit his friend and has actually been nibbling Richard’s toes…  That’ll teach him for feeding him meat earlier in the week LOL!!!

This afternoon we plan to snorkel along the shoreline to see the ruins of the old city wall….  and hoping for some good fish photos!   Tonight we have dinner reservations at The Old Gin House as it is BBQ and music night…..  We are planning – weather permitting – to leave Statia on Friday for Sint Maarten…..

Bye for now



Montserrat to Nevis to St Eustatius

Friday morning after a leisurely start we headed off to explore Rendezvous Bluff and Rendezvous Beach in dink. It was interesting to get up close and personal with the Bluff as it drops pretty sharply into the sea … but we failed to find the bat cave we had heard about although came across a few others, but none of them, sadly, were navigable.

Rendezvous Bluff

Caves under the bluff

We got to Rendezvous Bay to find the only white sand beach on the island – well, it has black volcanic sparkles, but pretty impressive nevertheless. And was our own private beach as it was absolutely deserted! The only downside was the steep slope to pull dink up to get him above the waterline – but we managed after quite a bit of grunting and groaning. With dink safely anchored we wandered around a bit, enjoying the views, and then we went snorkelling around the Bluff….

Rendezvous beach 1 Rendevous beach 2 Dink on Rendezvous beach

Still didn’t find the bat cave! Oh well. But we did see some nice fish, including a lone squid, and pretty corals. But both of us got stung a number of times by small jelly fish which were pretty invisible until they got you. Ouch!  Apart from that we enjoyed ourselves – even taking time out to take a snorkelling selfie.

Snorkelling 2 Snorkelling 3 Snorkelling 4 Snorkelling selfie Snorkelling Swimming squid

Returning to the beach and we had some serious current running against us…. So was a bit of a fight but we eventually got there – that worked off a few calories!!! By now the surf had increased significantly so we quickly rescued dink and pushed out – and it was a bit hairy to say the least…. We dinked back to Morphie and she was, by now, pretty alone in the anchorage.  The views of the new buildings on the waterfront look pretty impressive too….

Morphie on anchor

Little Bay

Having relaxed for a little while on board we headed into Little Bay around 3.30 pm as we had to clear out of customs for our departure on Saturday. We completed the paperwork and waited to be asked for some cash – but she didn’t. Not sure why not – could it be British island / British boat / British crew combination???? We didn’t hang around to argue!

Wandering along the waterfront we were pleased to see that Monty’s Bar had opened…. This is being leased by a guy from Blackpool and the end result is pretty good!

Monty's bar Monty's bar 2 Monty's bar 3

While we were enjoying a couple of cold ones, we got chatting to Ronan – who lives and works on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands – and was island hopping with his British / Irish parents in tow. This was their last night of their trip before flying home to the UK and we all enjoyed having some company. As well as us the family were joined by Dr Thomas Christopher who is one of the volcanologists working on the island. He was really informative about the physical nature of the rocks and the magna feeds to the volcano. He had some great shots of him on the volcano’s rim on his phone to show us – and we asked about the safety kit. Basically he says this is just to identify them by if anything happens – the rocks up there waiting to blow are bigger than cars! Apparently around 15 volcanologists get killed every year…. A sobering thought in the pursuit of science.

Ronan and his family

Thomas was a very engaging and entertaining guy – who owned up that he didn’t have his dreadlocks quite so prominent when he was studying at Cambridge for his PhD! We all had an enjoyable few hours and a bit of a laugh. Ronan is involved with the rugby in the BVIs and has invited us to the BVI –v- Antigua match if we get that far north this season before running south to the ABC islands. Oh yes….definitely sounds like we might!!! Contact details exchanged and we all enjoyed our time together watching the sun go down – then it was time to go back on board for our last night in Montserrat.

Us with Thomas

Sunset from Monty's Bar

Saturday morning we picked up our anchor around 7 am and said a sad farewell to Little Bay, bound for Nevis, 35 miles away. This was a downwind sail – lovely! After a while we passed the Kingdom of Redonda (which used to have a self-appointed king) but is currently uninhabited. In the shallower waters – as we passed Redonda, Richard had two bites on his lure but no takers…. Still waiting for that fish for the freezer!

Passing Redonda

Well the wind was really very light but the sea was pretty calm – giving us great views of Nevis as we approached. In the end we had a slow leisurely sail – arriving in Charlestown around 2.30 pm, having had to duck to avoid a very large black sleek British-flagged superyacht who was motoring at some speed. Guess when you are that big you can push little ones around eh????

Approaching Nevis Sailing slowly.... Superyacht

We anchored off the town – such a beautiful spot – and headed in to clear customs. Immediately we set foot on the pier we were sent back to Morphie by the port authority as customs and immigration had closed for the day….and we were in quarantine until morning. Our own fault – didn’t check – it does actually say that they close at 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday in the cruising guide. So we decided to pick up and head further down the coast to pick up one of the many (compulsory) mooring balls off of Pinneys beach. We had a leisurely afternoon and evening on board and an early night having experienced our first Nevis sunset.

Beautiful anchorage at Charlestown

Time to put dink to bed

Sunday morning and we head into town for 9.00 am ready to clear in. Guess what – they are all running late…. So we took a seat and found that the port has free high speed wifi so not such a bad place to hang out waiting for officialdom! About 10.00 am the customs guy turns up and we go in, with no explanation of course. Nevis use the Sea Clear system – and it is working, but not properly. So a lot of the information we had already input and saved was missing and the guy had to fill the gaps. He was not very keyboard literate and I was itching to get my hands on it…. Of course it all took ages and it would actually have been quicker filling in the forms in triplicate with carbons LOL.

So customs is now done – we are checked in – so we move to immigration next door. This process was very efficient and quick – so just the Port Authority to see now. Mmmmmm…. this guy still hasn’t made it in. So we asked whether we could return later and go into town anyway. Yes, no worries, so we headed off to find an ATM to get some more drinking vouchers admiring some of the historic buildings. Headed back and the Port Authority guy had finally arrived – he’d been to church – but at least he processed us quickly.

Customs building Charlestown 1 (2) Charlestown 2 (2)

At last – all legal – so we head back to Morphie in dink. We then run ashore –and yes the surf is still running so another Hawaii Five O experience – and head in to Sunshines bar. This was absolutely empty… not even any escapees from the nearby Four Seasons resort. Tried Chevys and that was empty too. But the beach was rammed with locals playing netball, volleyball, football, eating / drinking / dancing and playing in the surf. There was also a very cute dishevelled puppy on the beach which would have been the perfect boat dog…. I find these little ones so hard to walk away from!

Local day on the beach Sunshines 1 Sunshines Towards the Four Seasons with views across to St Kitts View across to St Kitts Definitely boat puppy material!

We ended up going for a long walk along the black volcanic sand beach – enjoying the views of the stunning mountain backdrop and the vista across to St Kitts. Then some other tourists turned up so we headed back to Sunshines and had a couple of beers as the bar was no longer devoid of all life! Have to say, though, the service was a bit surly….  Last year the rasta man – who runs the beachfront section of the bar – had a pet monkey sitting on the counter which you could pet if you wanted. This monkey was very friendly and would jump on your shoulder and play with your hair if you walked too close…. This year, however, he had three little ones sitting on a separate wooden construction with a sign up saying you could have photos taken with them for money. Mmmmmm….. I wondered over to have a look at them and the owner came over to talk to me – and tried to get me to have my photo taken with one of them. I rejected his offer immediately. But that didn’t stop him trying to grab the bigger monkey of the three – who was clearly absolutely petrified of this man and was digging his nails in not to be dragged out and handled. This violent adverse reaction made me flinch and I worried about how he treated them behind the scenes. I certainly did not pay any money to the guy… if people don’t pay him for this service then perhaps he won’t keep them anymore and release them back into the forest. We can only live in hope…

Pet or money spinner 2.... Pet or money spinner....

Having left the bar we were chilling on dink when we got chatting to a Dutch family – who live in the Philippines – and who are travelling through the Caribbean for three months on their X-Yacht (which is being shipped back to Europe at the end of their trip). Nice people. Anyway… time to go…. and we are helped back into the water by another couple of tourists. They may have regretted that decision when we all got swamped by a wave breaking over our heads into dink and almost taking the guy out to sea in the surf!!!! Oh dear…. we did shout out Thank You as we motored away. After all the excitement we had a quiet evening on board.

Monday we made water, did more laundry, other boat maintenance jobs and then headed back into town to pick up some provisions – we are very low on soft drinks. So we had a wander around beautiful historical Charlestown and I particularly liked the old-fashioned fire engine! Got some petrol; some shopping; did some more blogging at the cafe that sits at the pier head; and headed back to dink. I absolutely love the view of the waterfront here with the historic buildings against the backdrop of the volcano behind. Stunning!

Charlestown watefront Charlestown 2

Charlestown 1 Mountain views dominate wherever you are in town Fire Engine

Pierhead Waterfront in Charlestown

Back on board and we sat on the transom for the rest of the afternoon taking in some rays and just enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this place. After a tasty steak and salad dinner we had an early night.

Tuesday more boat jobs beckon. But before that Richard runs into town as he wants to send out some emails he’s drafted and I send him off with a small shopping list and settle down to bring the blog up to date. When he came back we scrub Morphie inside and out and gave her a mini spring clean. After lunch we head back into the beach.

Thankfully the surf has reduced and it’s all a bit less stressful getting ashore. The water is very inviting so we have a bobbing afternoon and I love being able to watch Morphie out there all alone with no-one threatening her personal space. Because dink sits on top of a high ridge of sand we don’t leave anything in him while we are in the water…. so I have the waterproof money box tucked under one shoulder strap with dink’s kill switch around the other. Didn’t realise how silly it looked until I sorted out the bobbing selfie photo!

Morphie all on her own

Bobbing in Nevis

Later on in the afternoon we headed into the beach bar – which was full of passengers from a very small sailing cruise ship enjoying nibbles and drinks (which had come ashore via their huge dinghy). And there were a couple of inebriated locals entertaining them. Very funny…. Then suddenly – they were all gone! And we were left on our own again – and the guitar player regaled us with funny stories and let slip that he played as a session musician for the Rolling Stones in the late 1970s. Reckon he was probably a better player without the copious amounts of rum he had clearly imbibed that afternoon! Later on, back on board, to an evening in the cockpit listening to some random music from the iPod before turning in.

Local entertainment

Wednesday and Richard has done engine checks while I’ve tackled more laundry – not sure where it all comes from!  While I wrote the blog Richard also cleaned the waterline…. We then headed into Charlestown for the final time to clear out of customs and to get this published. Well – customs accomplished – but would you believe it, this was the day that the whole island of Nevis lost its internet connection!!!!  Frustrated to say the least….

We spent our final afternoon in Nevis bobbing off Pinneys beach and visiting Sunshines bar again. Very different experience today – nobody around at all – except for the swarm of bees that we had to run from….into Sunshines. Apparently this is why they call their cocktail “Killer Bees” but I’m not buying it!  Back on board for an early night and our final Nevis sunset.

Pinneys beach empty today Pinneys beach

Final Nevis sunset

This morning – Thursday – we headed out early to St Eustatius (known as Statia). This is a Dutch island about 28 miles north. We bypassed St Kitts this time although enjoyed the sea views of the magnificent Brimstown Fort  that we enjoyed so much last year…..

Brimsdown Fort on St Kitts

The sailing was absolutely perfect – 14-17 knots constant and all down wind. Fantastic…..thoroughly enjoyed it.

Approaching St Eustatius

Arrived into Statia this afternoon and have just cleared in….. Was pretty simple and no money exchanges hands….even though it is actually a bank holiday here today. Great to be back – this was one of our favourite islands. We plan just to chill here for a few days before continuing our passage north.

Bye for now