February 8th & 9th Departed Barbados for Carriacou

8th & 9th February

Our first mission was to get organised to go and fuel up at the fuel dock at Port St Charles. Robbie was keen to do this so he can work out the exact fuel usage on the crossing. We wanted to get duty free fuel so we had to wait until we are clearing out of Barbados. It is $1.20 Barbados dollars per litre, or about .60 cents in US $. It’s our cheapest fuel yet.

Doug from Nordhavn wanted to interview us and Mark and Jennifer from Starlet about our joint crossing of the Atlantic so he arranged to come on board Southern Star at the fuel dock to take some shots and to do the interview. He also asked James and Jennifer from Dirona to join in.

The fuelling up took a long time as it was a very slow pump. I went to complete the clearance procedures with customs and Immigration. Unfortunately they operate on island time and the customs guy hadn’t turned up for work yet. Eventually about an hour later he showed up and I was able to clear us out.

We sat in the fly bridge of Southern Star and Doug set up his video camera and had a Go Pro also going as a backup. It was a pretty casual interview and he asked us to talk about our crossing and how we met Starlet (Thanks Laust!) Not sure when it will be up on the Nordhavn site but I think it will be a few weeks.

We then adjourned to the Yacht club next door for lunch. It was a very nice meal and we had a couple of bottles of NZ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which was very pleasant. We had a fun couple of hours exchanging stories about life living aboard our Nordhavns. It is quite bizarre how we left Dirona at the very bottom of the South Island of New Zealand, and almost exactly 2 years later we meet, unplanned – in Barbados! Both boats have travelled a lot of miles in that time, but Dirona takes the cake for the most miles.

2.45pm we farewelled everyone and Mark and Jennifer dropped us back to Southern Star which was on anchor with starlet. We departed for Carriacou. Mark and Jennifer are heading to St Lucia once they have fuelled up.

Now who are we going to play 500 with? Peter and Heidi have gone, we won’t see Mark and Jennifer for a few weeks, and Jennifer is flying home to the US for a week. It has been a real pleasure to cruise with them, they are so friendly and helpful, and we had a lot of fun, and we sure are going to miss them. At least we have a beautiful Nordhavn 2016 Calendar that they gave us, and Starlet is the Cover girl. It’s a stunning photo of her that Mark took in the Red Sea. The photo was taken underwater with purple colourful coral in the foreground, crystal clear water and then Starlet on anchor. Both Dirona and Starlet have featured in the last few years Calendars. Our photography skills are not up to this challenge I’m afraid.

We had an OK overnight passage, We made very good speed, at times it was up to 7.4 knots, a big change from our Atlantic Crossing speeds. The current was certainly with us. We keep to our 1600 rpm, its a good speed for fuel economy. It was weird with just the two of us – we miss you Peter and Heidi!! 4 people on the watch schedule makes a huge difference to your tiredness. We didn’t get a lot of sleep, I slept in the pilothouse while Robbie was on watch, and I took over at midnight. Robbie came up at 3am and I sent him back to sleep as I was feeling OK at that stage. By 4am I was falling asleep so woke him and went down to the stateroom to sleep. It took me a while but I finally got some sleep and woke up around 8.30am and looked out the porthole and saw land! I got up and we read the cruising guide, originally we were going to go straight to Tyrells Bay, but we can only clear in at Hillsborough so we dropped anchor here at 9.30am. It took a couple of goes for the anchor to hold. We are amongst old fishing boats and a few yachts.

It took us a while to get organised, showered and we took the duck into the wharf around 11.30am. We were greeted by Nigel at the landing dock which is just a rough concrete pad. We had to stern tie the duck with an anchor on a big elastic rope and then Robbie threw me a rope and I pulled him into the wharf and he climbed up like a monkey. He almost fell in as the support pole he grabbed was rusted out and let go as he grabbed it. Nigel came and helped and explained he is the dinghy boy and for 5 or $10 he watches the dinghies. We have read and heard so much about the theft problems and thievery in the Caribbean we agreed to employ Nigel’s services. The poor boy has a deformed right arm, which is almost useless. But he has the most beautiful smile! We’re happy to donate some $ to cases such as Nigel rather than just plain beggars.

Well would you know it, we have “lucked” into the last day of “carnival” here on Carriacou. The streets are alive with people, they are all drinking lots of beer and rum and we are getting the odd whiff of strange smelling cigarettes!!??!!

While I checked into customs and immigration Robbie went and found the phone place Digi cell, the same provider as Barbados. Unfortunately the new sim card would not work in either of our phones, so after some frustration we decided to buy a new phone. So for $249 Carriacou $ we brought a simple 3G smart phone and it works, well – in a fashion. Robbie is trying to download new Coastal Explorer charts for the Caribbean and South America and it keeps freezing. We are sitting in a very nice restaurant over the water looking at Southern Star on anchor and trying to catch up on emails and blog.



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