Friday, 17 January 2014

After a couple of days in Marigot Bay, a nice bay south of Castries, the main city of St. Lucia, we sailed back to Rodney Bay to collect a pump for our water maker. The night before we left, Henrik thought he saw a cockroach in the front cabin, where we sleep. I was asleep, but I woke up as Henrik tried to find our arsenal of pesticides. I was surprisingly calm about it, but I think it was due to denial. The instant I see a cockroach on the boat, I’m moving into a hotel!

Seeking a new outboard
After an uneasy night we got ready to leave. In an attempt to try out a new method of getting the outboard on to the boat, Henrik dropped the outboard in the water. The water was cloudy, and we couldn't dive down on the 8 metres and get it. Henrik asked one of the locals, if he could help him, but he only returned several hours after we had left, which we were told by some friends in the bay. Henrik has always told me how brilliant our old two-stroke engine is, because you can fix it with a screwdriver and some chewing gum. It has however turned out to be quite an advantage, since it never starts, when we want to use it. I must admit that I spoke strongly for leaving the engine in Marigot Bay, which we did.

Is cruising life for us?
From Marigot Bay we had to sail against the wind up to Rodney Bay. The water was splashing onto the deck, but not it was not until an hour later that we realised that the front hatch was open, and our mattress and bedding was soaked in salt water. Back in the cockpit the engine’s overheating alarm went off, and Henrik started questioning if this life was for us at all. (In these situations I always remind him that at least this is his idea). Maybe there’s something about the saying that the second happiest moment in a man’s life is when he buys a boat and the happiest moment when he sells it again!

Other cruisers have also problems
There are a lot of boats and cruisers in Rodney Bay, and after having been here a week, we have realised that we’re not the only ones with problems, and that it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to give it all up and go back home. Every morning on the VHF radio there’s a
Rodney Bay Cruising Net, where cruisers amongst other things seek spare parts to solve the problems they have on their boats. (I requested a new outboard engine on the net, which we bought the same day from another boat). Through the cruising net I also went to a women’s lunch, where cruising women can get share their problems with their boat or husband – or get reassured that they married the right guy! Everyone seems to recognize our problems, so even though our water maker still isn’t working (Henrik is about to give up), we’re in good spirits!

Signe Storr: Freelance journalist and cruiser