CARIBBEAN: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2005
The Trafalgar dinner, we're at the far end on the left. Twenty six people attended and the Brits were in the minority, with the guest list made up of many Americans and some Canadians. For those interested in flags, the correct hierarchy should be: White ensign, Royal Navy; Blue ensign, Royal Naval Reserve; red ensign, Merchant Navy. Unfortunately there wasn't space to get them in the right order but we were very grateful to the French for just putting them up, and they knew to put the white ensign above the others. All credit to them. We usually fly the red ensign but we also have a defaced blue ensign (it has a Cruising Association badge on it) that we have special dispensation, from the Ministry of Defence, to fly. The only yacht club authorised to fly the white ensign is the Royal Yacht Squadron, based in Cowes.
And the name of the restaurant was...
|The rebuilt engine goes back in the boat, using the boom to lift the engine and swing it across over the main hatch. It was a really tight fit.|
|The Rasta stall at the Port of Spain market where we used to buy fruit and vegetables. Their stock was always fresh, they were very nice to us and we used to have a really good laugh - The service wasn't too quick though, sometimes I don't think they could see too well (if you get my drift).|
|A general view of part of the market - it was always full of colour and colourful people. We used to leave the boat at 06.30am to get to the market before they sold out of the really good produce.|
|On the right is Jesse James who runs the taxi service in Chaguaramas. This picture was taken just before coming back from the market. Jesse is well known and highly regarded by cruisers who have passed through Trinidad, he takes us everywhere, gives advice and is a general Mr Fixit - it was a pleasure to get to know him. Note the Trini smiley face.|
|Little Rosie, aged two years and seven days, on Ciao as they were leaving St George's, Grenada - she was calling out "Kelly's Eye, Kelly's Eye". She seems to forget to get dressed sometimes. Every boat kid we meet is great fun, they do more, see more, mix more and seem to be taught better than most land kids. The crunch age appears to be between ten and twelve when the parents think the kids have to go back to land with a view to gaining a university place.|
|Kelly's Eye on the ARC finish line in Rodney Bay St Lucia, we were still setting everything up when the photographer sneaked up and took this one. For non-sailors, this is a classic picture of a long-distance cruising boat with gear littered all over the deck and rails, much of it covered with my canvas work. I also made the small riding sail that helps cut down sheering and thus reduces the strain on the anchor.|
|Then we changed into our ARC T-shirts for the official picture. As the boats crossed the finish line it was a moot point who was jumping up and down the most, us or them.|
|Christmas Eve, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. Kelly's Eye is the first boat just to Mike's right when looking at the picture, with the small riding sail. Mike reckons this picture is the male equivalent of Ursula Andress appearing from the sea in the James Bond film Dr No - but then he always was delusional.|
|Christmas Day, Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua. A cosmopolitan bunch, from the left: Deborah and David from Water Music (Australia), us, then Rita and Dale from Alaté (USA). You can tell it's a special day because it's rare to see cruising girls in a dress or skirt. The boys also made a special effort - they put on clean shirts!|
|Timoneer, the mega-yacht we visited. As you can see, our fishing rod is bigger than her main mast. Well, I have to be honest, that's not entirely true...her main mast is over one hundred and fifty feet high, made of carbon fibre and you can't get your arms around it at the base. It was also a matter of debate whether the ensign on her stern is bigger than our mizzen sail. The two satcom dishes on the lower mizzen spreaders are for Inmarsat B (voice and data) and satellite delivered television. Overall, awesome.|