Saturday 11 January 2014

Mule Run

Happy New Year ! We just got back from a ten day trip down to St Lucia.This trip, in essence  was just a “mule run” that is: to bring more things to the boat in preparation for departure, again we brought our maximum quota; 8 bags, and the waterline of the boat keeps going down, down, down...

The water line on Amelie IV keeps getting lower and lower as we continue bring more things aboard.  

Like many other travelers this holiday season, our trip was not without trials and tribulations ! To make a long story short: we had very tight connections because of delays and subsequently, not all of our luggage made it !  Only 5 out of the 8 bags were waiting for us on the carousel when we landed!  One of the bags which was MIA held all of my bathing suits and clothe (of course!)  We  were also a wee bit concerned about the other stuff that was missing: sailing gear and school material  which was worth a lot of money and would be a real pain to replace. So all we could do was to cross our fingers that they would be found and sent to us with the next flight 
(which was two days later). We were a bit distracted  and disturbed by all this when we hailed our taxi at Hewanorra Airport.

But on the 1 1/2 hour drive down to Marigot Bay, Albert, our driver, informed us that there had been enormous rain storms in St Lucia over the last few weeks and that on Christmas Eve six people had lost their lives because of land slides. We saw with our own eyes that the main road had sections which had been washed away and Albert told us that many of the islanders were still struggling to recover. This made our worries about our luggage seem so very trivial !!! Over the next few days we were happy to see many of the ‘yachties’ had arranged for donation drop off areas for clothe, money and water donations to help. 

Once back on board and after seeing the arrival of 2014,we sailed up to Rodney Bay where Amelie will stay until our return in March. 

We made a short video of our sail up to give you a taste of it all. It can be found on our youtube channel. It was blowing 25 knots with waves of about 7-8 feet. Some people who saw the video on FB commented that it looked like we were just flying. I will tell you it sure felt like we were, (Meg says its better than any Walt Disney Ride she went on!) but in actuality the boat was only going about 8 knots which is only about 15km/h!  

We hung out in the Bay for a week,  setting up the boat, putting stuff away and making lists of what is still needed (the list is getting shorter!) and the rest of the time was just spent “liming” as they say. Mark set up the Spinnaker Pole with a swing and hammock out over the water which was a fun place to watch the sunset from.  

Matthew spent most of his time swimming (he is becoming a bit of a legend in the Bay because he is in the water as soon as he gets up in the morning and we have to pull him out when the sun goes down). Meghan kept busy by writing stories, watching season four of “Downton Abbey” and making friendship bracelets which she gave to everyone, including Malakai: a wise and lovely Rastaman who sells jewelry on shore, he loved it of course! 

We got a chance to meet up with some boating friends which we had met last December. It is great to see what a tight community there exists amongst yachties. We are definitely not alone !  There is a “Net” (radio information sharing/forum) which is accessible through the SSB  (Single Side Band) radio all over the Caribbean. We met Dennis, a weatherman and  the facilitator of this Net (and some of the other “FOD” gang (Friends Of Dennis) one night as we enjoyed a great curry at Jambe de Bois Restaurant on Pigeon Island. What a great bunch of people !

Mark enjoyed putting together a short video while we were down there. a rather typical day of our ten day trip. This video can also be found on our private Youtube channel.

The day before we had to leave, MC was thrilled to participate in the weekly women’s therapy group- aka MANGO TANGO-(lunch and DRINKS with fellow boating women) and, as always, she loved the companionship and the great story swapping of some very funny, interesting and wise bunch of ladies, well, as Marsha, one of the original Mango Tango-ers likes to say: “There are no ladies here, only women !” 

Since sailing is still a “mostly male dominated” activity,  it is absolutely refreshing  to hear the perspective and advice of the women who have “been there" and who "have done that”!  They have lived with their husbands on board their boat, some for 20 years, some having circumnavigated the globe, and they have made it !  They are still married !!!  They are strong and proud and have found a way to be happy !  They inspire and encourage MC to no limit !

Of of the Mango Tango lunches where M-C got to meet a bunch of inspiring sailing women, Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Matthew's often abandoned shoes
Oh, and here is a totally unrelated but funny 'Matthew story'; On our last night, MC was with Matthew and Meghan trying to cross a very busy road. There are no cross walks, no traffic lights, and after waiting patiently for what seemed like an ETERNITY there was finally a break in traffic and she grabbed both kids by the hands and trotted across. When they got to the other side of the road MC looked down and saw that Matthew was barefoot !  She looked to the other side of the busy road and there she saw, sitting perfectly side by side, his two crocs ! She had to wait a little bit longer before she was able to retrieve them again !

Matthew loves to sit here
Meg having the time of her life !

In closing I would like to take the time to praise our children who have been such great travellers. They have learned to accept that not everything goes the way we planned and that's Ok. They have shown tremendous flexibility and maturity in accepting the challenges we have faced so far. We are very lucky and grateful to them for being so easy going, for helping us to reach our goal and for making every day SO DARN MUCH FUN !!!

UPDATE: By the way, our 3 lost pieces of luggage DID arrive safely to us about 4 days after we got there !

1 comment:

  1. I have to confess, I'm crying as I write this. HAPPY tears though! The video did me in (not the boat one but the other), seeing the kids so ABSOLUTELY happy!!!! And then I laughed at the Matthew story and even harder at the Beaker image which followed! We are so blessed to have such wonderful dream makers/dream fulfillers in our midst! Shoes or no shoes (I don't blame you, Matthew), may you all inspire the world! xoxoxo