Boat jobs done – despite the rain!

Friday morning we go into customs and immigration to extend our original visas, which expire on 1 June. These covers all the islands in the St Vincent and the Grenadines chain as we continue to move south so will relieve us (thankfully!) of having to do any more paperwork until we leave for Grenadian waters towards the middle of June. Unexpectedly the answer is “no, can’t do it…you are too early”. I explain that we are planning to leave Bequia before the original one expires so she says – fine, organise the extension at the next island! I explain (through gritted teeth) that we do not want to surrender our passports at a future island as we don’t know whether we want to stay for three days in any of them yet! But we do know we will be staying here in Bequia to get our work finished……which is why I’m trying to organise it now. Finally, she decides that she can do it next week so we have to take them back on Tuesday. Oh well – best we could hope for I guess!

Back on board after a frustrating morning and Winfield is now doing the final coat of varnish….. Sitting in the cockpit feeling really good that all is finished – and we are celebrating with Winfield when, of course, the heavens open. Can’t quite believe it….but we are hopeful that the varnish was dry enough not to be ruined…will have to wait until Saturday to find out. So we had all flexible body parts crossed for good news!

Friday night we headed off to Fish Friday at the Fig Tree again with live music – and Chris had some others to jam with him this week – and all the staff were in party mood. Great night had by all.

Saturday morning and Alex came by to make the template for the canvas work and Winfield came to inspect the varnish. Phew – got away with it – a few bits and bobs to touch up but finally we’re survived the soggy weather! He is going to come back on Monday to start taking the masking tape off once the varnish has hardened and to reinstall all the stainless so we have a quiet day on board with just the two of us. And of course the wind howled and the heavens opened again after another beautiful sunset and the appearance of a supermoon. Early night and went to sleep listening to the sound of the rain pounding on the coachroof above us…

Sunday morning it was still raining cats and dogs and we had a white out in the anchorage for a while…. We did a few boat jobs and, finally, in the afternoon the sun came out and we quickly went ashore to spend the rest of the day chilling and bobbing at Princess Margaret beach. We had another quiet night on board whilst enjoying a particularly spectacular sunset.

Monday morning Alex came by to deliver the cover for our newly varnished cockpit table and to check out the new panels he has made … all from the old material and zips we had salvaged from our original bimini. He had to take away our dodger and the infill piece to get the connections done and we watched the grey skies anxiously thinking we are doomed to stay below in the heat if the rain comes again as we have no protection. Luckily it stayed dry – albeit overcast – and they brought it all back at 6.30 pm as they didn’t want us without it overnight. Really great service….. Winfield came back in the afternoon to start removing the tape which went well. We pointed out some things we wanted him to look at that had got affected by the rain….and he is going to do a bit of touching up later. As we had spent the whole day on board we were keen to get off the boat and catch up with the internet – so went ashore for a simple local dinner at the Fig Tree. Overnight it poured again….. Please give us a break – this is getting us down now… It is so humid and I’m fed up with being so hot (not to mention sweaty!) all the time……and with all the hatches closed the cabin fans really aren’t enough…. Whinge over!

Tuesday morning still soggy after a rainy night but at least it was clearing up a bit – and Alex was back to install the final touches to the additional canvas as well as delivering our brand new binnacle cover… Nice work! We went ashore for some shopping as we need to have provisions on board to sustain us until we get to Grenada….and dropped the forms and passports off and told to return on Wednesday… What? Thought it took three days… Oh well, not going to complain if they can turn it around in 24 hours! On the way out we noticed that the beautiful tree outside the customs office – is it a walnut or an almond tree?? – has blossomed and looks stunning. Let’s hope it is a good omen!

Winfield came by in the afternoon and did some final touching up and re-installed all the stainless…. He is such a perfectionist though he is going to come back tomorrow just to redo the top of the companionway as he isn’t happy with it!   Absolutely stunning transformation.

In the evening we had been invited by Chris and Linda to have a pizza supper with them. We were joined by another cruising couple that we met on the dinghy dock and a nice time was had by all. You can tell we are turning into cruisers – Richard asked for a takeout of the leftovers – not something he would ever have done before!!! But it was great pizza…. The rain fell heavily again while we were out so back on board for an early night with a very wet bum from the dinghy ride home….

This morning (Wednesday) it is very very windy and overcast again….with rain coming and going. We went back into the customs house to get a progress report and, wow, job done and visas extended to 1 July – all for EC $120 (about £30)…. Hurrah!!! We are now free to leave when we are ready – which could be as early as tomorrow, weather permitting. Winfield is back on board now doing his absolute final bits and pieces while we are reorganising all the ropes and generally getting the boat ready for sea.

We will be sad to leave Bequia – it has been an amazing experience – from the beauty of the island; it’s interesting whaling history; it’s friendly and welcoming people; and absolutely fantastic workmanship. But we are also more than ready to get back out there…..

Bye for now.