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7 April 2011 Prickly Bay, Grenada

I woke up at two o’clock to the sound of very heavy rain thundering onto the corrugated iron roof of the apartment.  The old yachtie in me awoke and I “just” had to get up and have a look at the weather.  It was lashing down with gusts of wind as the squall went through.  I lay there worrying about being at anchor in these conditions.
Sergio picked up us at the dinghy dock at Prickly Bay Marina at half past eight and then went to get Neil from “Lucy Ellen.”  Neil and Josie sailed their Westerly across the Atlantic seven years ago and have been coming out to the West Indies for five months every year since then, which is very similar to what Sergio has been doing with Alba.  Neil came out for a sail with us to steer while Sergio showed us the “ropes.”
We upped anchor and set off motoring east towards St Georges.  It was all very familiar and the boat has a nice motion going downwind.  The wind was from the North - a very strange direction so we ended up beating upwind once we had rounded Pointe Saline.  Even though the main sail has roller reefing, all of the controls are on the mast on the port side which is OK – keeps all of the nasty ropes out of the cockpit. 
The frame from the bimini interferes with the primary winches for the jib, so it is impossible to get a full rotation on the winch handle – instead you have to wind back and forwards which is incredibly inefficient – so Job No.1 will be to change the bimini frame.  There are no safety lines on the deck and it is a bit exposed by the mast especially because there are no “granny rails”, so Job No.2 is to fit some safety lines.
There were some nasty looking squalls coming, so I decided to abandon the trip to St Georges and go back.  By this time, the wind had come around to the East and we ended up beating back towards Pigeon Island before having to turn on the engine.  The jib roller reefing jammed when pulling it back in, so Neil had to go up front to sort it out – not a problem (I hope) I think that Sergio just let it out too fast and got a riding turn.  Meanwhile, I rolled in the main sail which seemed easy enough, but I had to use both hands to do it which goes against the old adage “one hand for the boat” – I’ll have to sort out a secure way of clipping myself to the mast for heavy weather.  We just managed to motor into Prickly Bay and get the anchor down before the first rain squall hit us.
We spent the rest of the day going through the equipment on the boat – generator, water maker, navigation instruments, chart plotter program on the laptop, batteries, location of the spares and tools (spread randomly around the boat), etc, etc.
By four o’clock, I’d had enough information and thought that the boat was great, so I asked Sergio to drop us off at the marina. We arranged to meet him at half past six for dinner, after which, I would go onto the boat for the night and Glenys would go back to the apartment.
We had a cunning plan for the transfer of the money.  We had already transferred the money to Glenys’s brother (Gareth).  The plan was for me to stay on the boat overnight and ring Gareth at 0300 (0800 UK time) and tell him to transfer the money into Sergio’s bank account.  Gareth would then do a CHAPS transfer and ring Sergio’s wife (Rita) and tell her that the money had been transferred.  At this point, Sergio and I would be joined at the hip - he wouldn’t give me the documents until he had the money and I wouldn’t leave the boat until he had given me the documents.  The nightmare scenario was that I slept in the apartment with Glenys, started the transfer and, in the morning, woke up to find the boat was gone – hence me staying on the boat.
When I got back to the apartment, I decided to call Gareth (2200hrs UK time) and instruct him to do the transfer in the morning.  I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t have any communication problems in the middle of the night - we are still using a UK pay-as-you-go SIM card in our phones which cost about £1 per minute.
We had a few beers and a chicken roti at the bar and I was in bed on Alba by nine o’clock.
Tagged in: grenada

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