We were safely anchored in Prickly Bay (ahead of time) waiting with baited breath for the arrival of Dave & Fi aboard True Colours along with their crew – Mandy, Phil & Sue. We decided to host a Sunday Lunch for Neil & Tracey (Adonde) and John (Durban Dancer) on the 14th where we enjoyed Roast Lamb and placing bets as to the timing of True Colours’ arrival. Monday morning saw Roger off shopping in St. Georges whilst Vicki had the VHF accidentally turned off. About 10am Tracey whizzed over in her dinghy to tell us that True Colours had arrived (after 25 days at Sea) and she had won the bet….. How disappointed were we that we had missed their arrival in the Bay ? Typical that the one time we weren’t listening out for them, they arrive…
Vicki managed to speak to Fi on the radio to welcome them whilst they were anchoring and, once Roger returned, the serious celebrations got underway….
The partying carried on all week including a Sunday foray to Hog Island and it was a very sad moment when Mandy & Phil had to leave on Christmas Eve to fly back to Gosport. We were hoping they would be able to stay another week but flights were difficult to arrange and unfortunately they both have to do that “work” thing despite having had nearly 6 weeks off !!
We had been planning Christmas 2008 with Dave & Fi since we had left Gosport in 2006 and it was fantastic to spend the day with them in our favourite Caribbean paradise of sunny Grenada. Sue, Neil & Tracey (Adonde) and John (Durban Dancer) also joined us on El Vagabond for the full works of Roast Turkey with all the trimmings – everybody cooked something (a bit like an English Pot Luck with Roast Spuds courtesy of John and Sue whilst the vegetables were spread between the boats).
Sue kindly provided a 3 year old homemade Christmas Pudding which had also survived the 25 day crossing !! We even had Party Hats and Crackers with the usual appalling jokes that we had dredged up from the Internet !!! It was just a shame that Phil & Mandy weren’t there to enjoy the day with us. In Phil's absence, Sue did us all proud with a Christmas Quiz. Unsurprisingly, Neil won this despite Vicki and John collaborating (ie cheating) on most of the questions !!
New Year's Eve
The time flew by between Christmas and New Year. On Monday 29th December, we were amazed to actually see our first ever "Green Flash". We had begun to think this was a made up phenomena as everybody seems to talk about it but we had never seen one. However, we are now converted 'Green Flashers' or whatever the correct terminology may be.....
Scorpio arrived safely from Trinidad in time for our new Year's Eve celebrations so it was a motley crowd who turned up on Adonde to celebrate the forthcoming New Year with Neil & Tracey - namely...
El Vagabond, True Colours, Scorpio and Durban Dancer.
Being full time Cruisers, we are not very good at late nights so we agreed that we would celebrate Midnight GMT (ie 8pm Local Time) which we all thought may give us a fighting chance of being awake for the suitable toast. Neil even had a recording of Big Ben so it was all very realistic.
We had a wonderful evening eating traditional English grub - Curry, obviously - which we had cooked between us. A big thank you to Neil & Tracey who were fabulous hosts. We left Adonde and returned home to be fast asleep by 10.30pm. Needless to say, we missed all the fireworks which went off in the Bay at Midnight.....
No sooner had we got over our Christmas and New Year festivities, Grenada was invaded by more Hardway Sailing Club members – firstly, Nick & Pat (who are the proud owners of our previous yacht, “Couilles de Chien”) who were kind enough to bring us out a fresh supply of Tetley Teabags and a new DVD Player. Pat’s parents live in Grenada and they were staying with them on a fortnight’s holiday with their Children, Red & Flynn.
Secondly, Jan & Ken managed a quick 5 day foray on the back of their Barbados holiday to join True Colours in their Atlantic Crossing celebrations. Unlike last year (which we are never to be allowed to forget!!), we were ready and waiting at the Tiki Bar in Prickly Bay for their arrival and we welcomed them with appropriate alcoholic greetings followed by Dinner cooked by Dave Dog. This year, K & J were staying on board True Colours so both boats headed to Clarkes Court Bay for a change of scenery.
Their visit (like last year) was over far too quickly but we did have time for a quick drink at Roger’s Bar on Hog Island and a couple of meals out including one at the Little Dipper which is a lovely little Restaurant in Woburn. (NB. Roger’s Bar is under threat from the Four Seasons Hotel who are developing Hog Island and Fi managed to get herself on the “Save Roger’s Bar Action Committee” whilst we were there - rather her than us !!).
It rained solidly on their last day and both Fi and Jan looked very glamorous when they arrived for Dinner on El Vagabond clad only in their bikinis and black bin bags keeping their hair dry… a quick change of clothes rapidly ensued !!!
Once K & J had left, it was time for us to return to Prickly Bay to get ourselves ready for our skiing adventure. As Tracy had returned to the UK for a flying visit and Neil was feeling a little lonely, Roger thought it would be a good time to service our Honda Generator and remove the Heat Exchanger from the Engine to give it a good clean. The Generator was quickly ferried over to Adonde as it looked too new and sparkly for Roger to start taking it to pieces!! Unfortunately, even with Neil and Richard (Scorpio) at hand to assist, removing the Heat Exchanger turned into a major task involving much hammering, bashing and rather ‘blue’ language…. At one stage, the boys even thought about forming a Percussion Section!! The upshot is that the whole Unit was badly corroded and needs to be replaced – a new part is now on order !! Whilst it was a good thing to have found this damage before we head into the Pacific, the timing was not brilliant as we needed to move El Vagabond onto a Mooring Buoy so that she would be safe while we are in Colorado. Thanks again to Neil & Richard and Peter (Genesis) who tugged, pushed and shoved our 18 tons in the right direction to pick up the buoy where she is now safely hitched.