Saturday, 29 March 2014

WEEK ONE



Saying Goodbyeit does not get any easier.....
Even though we knew that saying goodbye was not going to be easy, even though we had prepared ourselves…..it is one thing to 'know something is going to happen' and altogether a different thing to actually 'live it'. 

Watching our children say goodbye to the people who have grown so important to them was harder than I thought. Tears were shed while tiny “I love you's” and “I will miss you's” grabbed hold of my heart as I watched them walk away...trying to remember why we were doing this and keeping my eye on the bigger picture. Our house stood empty and suitcases were lining up, Matthew was confused as to why all the changes were happening....those last few days were harder than I had thought they would be. 

So, on the morning of our departure, sitting on the floor of our living room waiting for Mark and Matthew to bring the car around: Meg and I started to play a game to comfort our heavy hearts: I asked her : What are you NOT going to miss about your life here ?”

Less than a few seconds later her answer:

“Waiting for the bus in the cold and dark mornings !”

Mine came to mind easily as well :  “Making lunches !”

On our way to the airport we asked Mark, his answer was just as quick : ‘Snow!”, and for Matthew we all agreed that his would be : “Snow Boots” and “Socks !” . On and on we went  thinking of things all the way to the airport.

We had a blissfully uneventful trip down, 12 bags in tow.....with only one minor glitch at the Toronto Airport hotel : MC getting stuck between the elevator for several minutes with a load of bags ! 


On Tuesday when we landed; Immigrations and customs in St Lucia happened at an all time record of speed and efficiency.....before we we knew it we were being whisked away by ‘Sammy’ in his taxi......We made it !  ELATION sets in !!! 

 St Lucia never looked so beautiful, so sunny & so welcoming ! We arrived at Rodney Bay Marina before sunset and enjoyed dinner near the docks. 

That night we slept on board Amelie....there were lots of odd jobs waiting for us in the  morning : getting the boat ready for departure !  MC concentrated on unpacking and provisioning, Mark on boat systems like the SSB radio antenna, bilge pump repairs- it had stopped working sometime between January and now, cleaning our water tanks and filling them (we can carry 1000 liters of fresh water in this tank) and fixing the wind generator.

So the new reality was that we were to live in the marina for the next 7 days. This is not our family’s favourite thing to do as we like to get out to the anchorage as soon as possible, but there was no way around it this time....so we tried to make the best of it. 

Having been here  about 3 days now I can tell you that there are definitely some positives with living in a marina....Like ELECTRICITY (without having to run the generator), which means; easy toast and smoothies in the morning...running the fan all night to mask the sound of captain Mark’s snoring, wifi for internet access and being able to walk to the coffee shop in the mornings. MC’s favourite part about living at the marina is getting the morning greetings from the Marina staff (The always laid back and happy Rastafarians) who man the gates :  “Good Morning Beautiful” or “Your smile makes my day!”...and so she tries to find excuses to walk by as often as possible....

Meghan has been trying out her bike on the docks and making friends from other boats. We recently met a family from France who have been sailing for 8 months, they crossed the Atlantic and are now making their way around the Caribbean. The kids do not speak english, so it was lovely to see Meghan acting as an interpreter between two groups of friends, translating from French to English and vice versa.


Matthew’s favourite, of course, is the swimming pool, and so we have spent many hours there already !  
Friday night we headed out to the Unicorn bar with our new friends. This boat was one of the many used to portray the “Black Pearl” in the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean, it has since been turned into a bar. The kids really enjoyed walking all around and below the decks, very cool!














Friday nights is “Jump Up” night in Gros Islet...this is a street party with loud music and street vendors. You can find all sorts of delicious things to eat: satays, fish, snails,lobster, Jerk chicken...and of course Rum punch !  We enjoyed introducing our new friends to the sights and sounds of this St Lucian tradition.

Stumbling onto a treasure.   On our way back to the marina we heard the awesome sound of steel drums....MANY steel drums playing together....we let our ears guide us to a covered shelter where “The Caribbean Metal Pantime Steel Orchestra” was practicing. What a gem to witness this group, of all ages dancing and playing with so much exhuberance !  So Contagious !  After watching them for 10 minutes or so Meghan exclaimed : “All orchestras need to play like this, with obvious joy and enthusiasm ” !

Mark made a short montage of Friday night in St Lucia:


Upcoming plans over the next few weeks:

We will be in the marina until Monday (31)-Tuesday (April1st)  in order to get ourselves properly set up before leaving for Martinique. We have a few things to pick up from the Amel dealer there and then we will head North to the pristine Island of Dominica which we are very excited to explore !

School will start up again on Monday April 7th...... We’ll keep you posted…..

TO BE CONTINUED…..