Our final days in St Lucia

Sunday afternoon after Hellfire and Fiona had left we went back to Morphie and chilled. At around 5.30 pm Dan came over to let us know that Kristin and Andy had arrived safely from the US and wanted us to join them for sundowners.   We knew that Dan and Ruth had been eagerly awaiting their daughter’s arrival and were keen for us to meet…. so we went over, expecting to stay for a short while as they had had a long journey and were very tired…   But – as is often the way when we get together! – we had a few drinks and were persuaded to stay for pizzas too… We had a lovely evening together before retiring back to Morphie for “pontoonies” on our own…..

Monday and we are up a bit later than usual and first thing we do is strip beds and collect all the laundry together. Four large bags ready – we radioed Mr Sparkle – and put them on the rail to be collected by him during the day. We then gathered up our computers and headed into Café Ole for breakfast and, primarily, internet access.  We had had little time online while Hellfire and Fiona were on board and had a lot to catch up on…. including getting the blog of their trip published and sorting out American Airlines who had decided to amend our August flights home to a schedule that no longer worked!!!!

Cafe Ole

Anyway…. we did most of the stuff…. but the bandwidth was causing download / speed problems as more and more people came into this very popular coffee shop.   While we were there Ruth and Kirstin popped in and invited us to go bobbing in the small marina pool later on….   Yes, that sounds good to us, so we accepted the invitation before we moved upstairs to Bosuns and carried on with our internet stuff using their free wifi. It was now getting on for lunchtime so Richard treated me to a toasted sandwich and a soda.   Back on board – Mr Sparkle had already collected the laundry – we chilled for a short while before packing our little cooler and headed off to the pool.

Marina pool

We enjoyed bobbing in the pool with the Evensong gang before we all headed back to our respective boats to get cleaned up for dinner.   This evening Ruth had organised for us all to go out to dinner with Ed and Ann (Windswept Dreams) who were flying home the following day.   So we headed over early evening to the Brig Unicorn for dinner…  Had a little tour of the 1947 Netherland’s built vessel – which was originally designed to  carry sand before being converted to a pirate boat and then used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie….   Had a final group photo – and yes, it was dedicated loud shirt day! – before settling down for dinner.

Brig Unicorn

Unicorn figurehead

Brig Unicorn rigging

Dinner at the Brig Unicorn

It was a special pasta night and great value – EC $20 for pasta, garlic bread and a glass of wine. That’s £5 a head!  Amazing…..and all served by the friendliest waiter ever called Junior.  Lovely evening had by all…

Our happy waiter

Tuesday and we really needed to get our act together.  All this lazing about when Morphie was looking pretty grubby inside and salty outside just will not do!  So up very early and we started – with Richard reorganising our stuff back into the stern cabin – and I started scrubbing and cleaning anything that was static!   Unfortunately the 12 volt vacuum cleaner broke at this point so back to the old fashioned method of dustpan and brush. Oh well…   Once inside was done Richard scrubbed the exterior while I did a bit of cooking – salmon fish cakes – for sundowners, as we’d invited the Evensong gang over so that Kristin and Andy could meet Morphie.

Realising that I was out of one ingredient I popped into the marina supermarket and was delighted to find full-sized cans of Carib beer in stock!     Yippppppeeeee…..  So I bought one slab there and then and sent Richard back for a couple more slabs later in the afternoon. That’s us sorted for a considerable amount of time!

Phew…. all done….. Morphie is looking gorgeous, the food is ready, and the gang arrived ready to tuck into some rum punch and my concoctions. They went down really well!

Morphie all clean again

Dan is on cooking duty tonight so invites us to join them. We say ‘no’ – this is your family time together we can’t impose on another night…. They, however, will not take no for an answer!   So we end up having Dan’s special chicken dish and some Thai green curry on board Evensong.  Lovely time had by all….and great food!  Thanks…. Oh yes and Dan stayed up almost to 9.45 when we left – pretty late for him LOL.

On board Evensong

Us enjoying the company

Wednesday and we are up and about going through all the cupboards to find out what provisions we had left in our stores as today is shopping day.   Quite a list to get…..   We really needed a lot of meat / fish for the freezer – and the snack cupboard was completely bare. Was pretty pleased with our provisioning for Hellfire and Fiona’s trip – nearly everything had gone apart from some cans and a few bottles of wine….

Dink is still up on his davits and the outboard is on the rail… which is perfect for when we leave the marina and continue our travels north… so we left it like that and took a taxi round to the shops.  Managed to get most things – including a new 12v vacuum cleaner from the hardware store – and we were back on board around lunchtime.   By this time Evensong had left the marina for the Pitons where they planned to spend a couple of nights.

In the afternoon we had a guy revisit us from the electronics shop. We had previously had a problem with the chart plotters refusing to talk to the VHF radio which is very important for emergency use of the DSC alarms (as it identifies our latitude and longitude at the moment of the button being pressed). This had previously been identified as an installation issue. We were happy it had been resolved but during our recent trip down island we noticed that the AIS was not working properly….  and once we were back in the marina we identified that it was a high speed mode versus NMEA in/out mode on the two ports being used.   AIS worked in high speed mode but VHF didn’t….and vice versa. They both wouldn’t work at the same time so clearly there was a conflict somewhere between the AIS, the VHF and the plotters. So we asked the guy to come back and, yes, it was what we thought and, luckily, he thought he knew how to resolve it.  If you saw the huge amount of wiring that is involved with the two GPS receivers, the two plotters, the radar, the VHF etc you will understand why we didn’t fiddle ourselves!  Thankfully all was finally resolved after some scratching off heads and delving into installation manuals…. Phew relieved about that!

We stayed onboard Wednesday night and had an early night after a curry dinner – which was actually defrosted warmed up leftovers!   But still tasted pretty good…

Thursday and I took the opportunity of having another massage here in the marina. Wandering back feeling a bit tender after the pummelling and I noticed that all the customs / immigration guys were out on the veranda, so wondered whether the air conditioning had broken down???   Amazing how much the marina has cleared out in the past couple of weeks – really quite empty now….    And our favourite marina bar remained firmly closed….

Anyone inside working?Marina thinning out

Favourite bar closed

While I was out Richard had been doing routine engine maintenance amongst other things. He had also collected the wine I had ordered from the marina wine merchant…. So we are now fully restocked…. repacked and ready to go. Water tanks are full again too…. We had another lazy afternoon and evening – not even getting off the boat. Lazy but lovely!    We have enjoyed our time here in the marina again but it really is time to get back out on the hook…..

Friday we are planning to check out of the marina, check out of customs and immigration (giving us 24 hours to leave the country), fill up with duty-free diesel and petrol and head out into the bay opposite Mum’s hotel.   Evensong are planning to join us for an afternoon beach bobbing session which will be our last get together in the islands this season.   On Saturday we are leaving St Lucia for the final time, proposing to head north to Iles des Saintes – beautiful French islands off the bottom of Guadeloupe.  We plan – weather permitting – to sail straight past Martinique and Dominica, having already explored them this season. This passage should take us around 21 hours…

So bye for now and will be in touch from France!