16/12/2016 – Grenada to Rodney Bay, St Lucia.

The plan came together! We pulled up the anchor at about 0630 on Saturday and motor sailed to Carriacou, the urgency was to avoid paying overtime to clear out. We had lunch ashore and were told of a beer tasting the same evening, needless to say we attended that as well. In the anchorage we spotted a Westerly Corsair ketch, just like our previous boat Fair Encounter. We went to investigate and discovered Galene, a boat we said goodbye to in 2012 in Gosport. We told them about the beer tasting then found Freebooter and told them as well. We had a convivial evening. Sunday morning we refuelled once Customs had stamped some paperwork. From there we headed for Union Island, a port of entry for St Vincent. It was Sunday so overtime was charged, that was expensive. We made a beeline to the Tobago Cays and went snorkelling. Near the boat there was quite a current and only a few small fish. We took the dinghy to Baradel, the island with the protected sea grass bed, but there were no turtles. We then motored across to Petit Bateau and swum out from the beach. We saw one huge ray but very little else. Unfortunately we didn't make our minds up early enough on Monday morning whether to stay another night or head to Bequia. We took the latter decision but anchored at about 1600. The Customs & Immigration. Office is open until 1800 but charges overtime after 1600. More extra charges! Just before dawn on Tuesday we pulled up the anchor and motored and sailed and motored again, arriving in Rodney Bay just after 1800. We cleared in the next morning, checked in with the ARC office, collected our T shirts and returned to the boat. Since then we have done one stint on the finish line and have just taken up position for a final 24 hours but I'll write about that later. Starblazer continues to throw problems at us! John didn't need to go up the mast to try to sort out the intermittently flashing masthead light, it jumped overboard. It looks as if the self-amalgamating tape he used wasn't up to much! When we passed on the finish line duty and motored back to the anchorage we had two warning lights on the engine Panel. John thought it was probably a loose connection, unfortunately it was a dead alternator. This is the expensive one he fitted in Annapolis less than two months ago. He took it ashore and passed it to Egbert, a great diesel mechanic. Unfortunately it is irreparable. We are waiting for a replacement so, in the meantime, John has made up a shorter temporary fan belt to drive the fresh water cooling. At least we could motor to take our place on the finish line and, tomorrow hopefully, go into the marina. The final problem with the engine is a badly leaking crankshaft seal, spraying oil everywhere. Hopefully Egbert has a spare and his guys can fit it for us next week otherwise we'll be stuck in Rodney Bay until sometime in the new year. Cruising = Boat maintenance in exotic locations. Definition of BOAT - Break Out Another Thousand. Joyce Sent from my iPad

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