Friday, May 18, 2012

And then we had fun

I never trusted picking up a mooring again, and Jim is wearing shorts to sleep every night. Archie has been a great help, telling Jim that he is sure that the Swiss man will pay for the damages while our other friend, Gene, kept predicting  that he was not going to get paid.

Well, a good English breakfast took the edge off, and by two in the afternoon Jim was in a dive shop booking a dive to "Devil's table" (name of the site), I joined them snorkeling, and I signed up to get my open water diving certification.

So for the next 5 days we were stuck in Bequia. I had to do 4 dives and study at PADI website, 5 sections of 60 minutes each, with small quiz and a final test. In the meantime Jim and Archie took a tour to the turtle sanctuary, were  harassed by the fruits and vegetable market sellers and finally bought produce from the less aggressive street vendors. They also had fun buying fresh tuna and mahi-mahi from the local fishermen. We had plenty of time to find someone to repair the fiberglass damage to the bottom of the dinghy.

The 5 days pasted very slowly, but we met other boaters with very interesting stories.

One of them, Tom and Annie, from Aspen, CO; were travelling on a demasted  40 foot catamaran. What a story! They lost the mast during the heavy winds of the past week (while we were in Rodney Bay). They were sailing from St. Croix, USVI straight to St. Vincent. Twenty miles off shore at one o' clock in the morning, the mast broke and went into the water. They thought about every possibility to save the sails or even the lines, but towing the mast could result in punching a hole in the hull, a much more serious situation. So, within 20 minutes they had cut all the rigging and watched everything sink into the Caribbean Sea. With no instruments or VHF, their only hope was the fuel in the tank, thanks to that they motored safely to Bequia. We met this great couple over my resort dive our third day in the island and they told us this story over a rum punch in a local beach bar.

We also met Ray and Susan, onboard a 46 foot mono-hull from Chesapeake Bay, they were also hit by the Swiss boat. JP and Susan, my classmates in the dive class. I have to also mention my scuba instructors Polly and Stuart, from England and George and Annie, an army pilot and his girlfriend, both living in North Carolina, who dove with me the last two days of the course.

This was the most social anchorage by far.