Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Bye to the Browns and hello to the Douglas's

As Kim, Simon and Sienna gathered their clothes together ready for the flight back to the UK, they realised that they did not have any winter clothes onboard the boat. They looked at each other and said "its going to be freezing". I could not help myself and said, I have a warm woollen hat if you want to fight over it. I can not repeat what Simon said but it had an off in it, so I gave it to Kim.... Oh its like that is it, said Simon . Yep, I said, as Kim told me she loves me, and I never heard your name being mentioned so there...Ha ha.

Its funny how someone can be really ill and we still manage to take the micky. Never mind they will soon be on their way to the airport and I will have their beautiful boat to myself. Well for a few days anyway, as Joan and the kids were coming over for 3 weeks in a few days time.

I was a bit annoyed really as I was really looking forward to introducing my family to Kim, Simon and Sienna and they were looking forward to it as well but at the end of the day Kim needed to get home and see what the doctors have to say, so it is what it is. I suppose things in this world happen for a reason and it was meant to be, so hopefully both families will meet each other one day.

I waved goodbye and wished them well, then hopped into the dingy and headed back to the boat, and as sat in the cockpit to watched the sun go down another vessel gave me a shout over the vhf radio. Britican, Britican this is Morrame over. (A great name for a yacht which was play on words meaning more of him). I replied Britican go up one channel. It was Randy a lovely bloke from Canada, he said, "Well whats it like to be the owner of a mega yacht"? So far so good, I said, but I could not believe that they have gone and they have left me to look after this beautiful yacht and not only that, they have told me to take my family sailing too. How awesome is that. He just laughed and, said I will love it. We chatted for a while and as the sun went down we said good night and went to bed.

I had a few days before my family arrived so I decided to get a few jobs done before they got here. One of those jobs was sanding down the steps that lead to the saloon. I knew it would create a lot of dust and it was the perfect time to do it while the boat was empty, so I was on a mission to get it done while I had my chance. I also sanded a few other bits where it was worn back to the wood, which turned out really good. So with all the jobs done, I cleaned down the mess and made it look clean and tidy ready for my family to arrive.

The day had arrived and they were supposed to be here about 6pm, but the plane was delayed and they did not arrive until 11pm but it was well worth the wait, as I received the biggest cuddles ever.

They all looked tired but the novelty of getting into a dingy to travel the last leg to what was going to be there home for the next 3 weeks woke them up just enough to enjoy it. Once they were on the boat and I showed them where they were sleeping they all crashed until 7am the next day.

Having my family on the boat was amazing feeling and knowing that we had 3 weeks to go sailing, exploring, swimming etc was going to be great and I could not wait.
Before we left to go sailing we had to help Randy with his boat and after we did that we had a look around the boat yard and had some lunch. The next day we went to a island called Hogs Island to go exploring which was really fun and after that back to the boat for some well deserved rest before we set sail.

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Friday, 11 January 2019

Sandy Island, Medical Emergency

So I have been here a few weeks now and we have got lots of jobs done. One of the biggest reasons for so many jobs is that Kim and Simon on Britican have decided to invite people onboard so they need the boat to be coded by the RYA to take 12 paying passengers onboard. They will only take 8 people as the boat, even though she a big boat at 56ft it does not have the space for so many people at once, so 8 is more than enough.
I was only here one day when the man came to inspect the boat and since I have had my boats coded like this at home, it was really straight forward. After about 4 hours inspecting the boat he was very happy and only had a few things he wanted us to do which was done straight away, photographed and sent over to him. Simon was also waiting a few other things to arrive and when they did we would be ready to go.

After everything was sorted Kim and Simon wanted to get me sailing but the first sail was just a few hours away which was fine by me as we needed to sign out of the country, get some groceries, and we also gabbed some fuel too.




After all those jobs were done we were off again and this time it was to a place called Sandy Island which was about 5 hours further north. It was a lovely sail and we arrived at a beautiful destination, grabbed a mooring ball (fixed anchor) and relaxed. Well we did not relax for long as I went into my bedroom and it was very smelly and we found water on the shelf. I proceeded to take the wall down, which is just velcro, and we found the problem straight away. One of the bolts were leaking and as we hit thee waves it was coming in. It was nothing to worry about but it still needed to be fixed.

While Simon and myself fixed the water leak, Kim was sewing a cover for the main sail. She shouted me to see if I had finished as she would love it if I could do a little bit of filming for her blog. I picked up the camera and started o film when she said, I feel a bit funny. Don't feel funny now I'm trying to film you. She giggled, sat back and said my heart is racing. I mean really racing. The look on her face said a thousand things, but within a minute or so she said she felt ok now. "I laughed and said typical women, now lets get on with this filming"

Simon came in to help and while I was filming the expressions on his face were so funny I started to film him instead. The second I started to take the micky out of Simon, Kim took a turn for the worst. Her heart was going even faster then before and started to lose the feeling in her arms and legs.
All of a sudden it had gone a bit Pete Tong so Simon called for a ambulance to come, but the  only problem with that was that we were on the boat.

Simon shouted to me to start the dingy and he managed to get Kim into the dingy were we sped off to the closet beach where the ambulance would pick them her up. When we arrived to the beach we got Kim out of the dingy and onto a bench while we waited. It was at that moment that I knew, it was very serious as she started to say that she loved me.... You love me? Don't be silly women, I said, you don't love me its Simon you love. No its you I love....and Sienna of course...

The ambulance arrived and off she went to the hospital... There was not a lot I could do now so, myself and Sienna went back to the boat where we waited for a call from Simon to let us know what's happening.

Within half an hour we got a call saying that they were going to fly to Grenada as this hospital does not have the means to look after her, so could I bring some clothes, mobiles, chargers and anything else we could think off and meet us at the airport.

Myself and Sienna gathered everything together, jumped back into the dingy and sped off to the beach. When we arrived Simon called again to say that he was waiting for confirmation of the flight down the Grenada so could we wait at the beach until everything was good to go. After a little wait we got the go ahead to be a the airport which was only minutes away. Once we started to walk to the airport we were given the wrong directions and told to go the other way. We quickly turned and went the right way, when we heard to siren from the ambulance, so we started to run. When we got closer the gate was open and we just entered but it was not until we saw the runway that we realised it was the wrong way. Stuff it said to Sienna, we are here now, but then all of a sudden the plane landed, so we ran across the runway to where Kim and Simon we waiting.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, but I was thinking about Kim, as I could not let her go without a change of knickers. Ha Ha. After that, I got a real dressing down by some lady but it was done now and there was nothingshe could do about it. Well there was, but in this situation I think she just let me off with a dirty look. As I turned around I saw Kim lying in the ambulance looking at me spaced out so I gave her a kiss on the forehead and Simon a cuddle and I just blurted out that I would see them in Grenada.

What was I thinking, I have never sailed on my own before and with a little girl too. Surely it must be me that needed to go to hospital for saying such a stupid thing, but to my amazement Simon said that would be great thank you.
To be honest I don't think anyone was thinking, but we just got on with it.

Once we arrived back at the boat, I sat Sienna down to explain what we were going to do tomorrow and that was sail on our own back to Grenada. I also told a little white lie and said that her Mam was going to be ok, but deep down I knew it was not good. She was amazing really and I said we can do it and I will see your mammy tomorrow. She smiled and gave me a high five.

The next day we left about 9am and sailed all the way down to Grenada. We tried with the main sail but it got jammed so we gave up and I just put the head sail up and off we went. It was amazing really and we both really enjoyed the sail down.
After about 2 hours of sailing we got a call from Simon saying that Kim was going to be okay but she had to go back to the UK for more tests to find out what happened. What a relief and the look on Sienna's face said it all.
When we  eventually arrived at St George's and anchored perfectly for the first time, we both jumped into the dingy and went to see Simon.




Seeing Simon again was just lovely and he embarrassed me like I was his best friend. You could see he wanted to talk but he looked shattered and was desperate for a shower, so he jumped into the dingy and went to the boat. While Simon was away myself and Sienna, stayed in the restaurant, and treated ourselves to a well deserved brownie and ice cream which was just perfect. Once Simon returned he explained that her heart was doing 233 beats a minute and did this for 2 hours, no wonder she was frightened and when I read her blog later I did not realise how bad it was. Yes I had a feeling it was bad but I tried to blank it out and stay calm for Sienna's sake and it worked to. She is only  8 and the last thing I wanted to do was to put the fear of death into to her. Pardon the pun, but she was with me now and that was scary enough.

Anyway, Kim was in good hands in the hospital and we could see her soon, so all I wanted now was for her to fly back home, get sorted and come back as my family were joining for Christmas and we were all excited to meet each other.

Once Kim was discharged from hospital she came back onto the boat where she could get a good nights sleep and relax. The next day Simon said that they had to fly home on the 14th Dec to see the doctors but they weren't sure when they could come back until they find out more information. I was so disappointed as I desperately wanted them to meet my family but her health was more important than seeing them.

As we were having dinner later that evening, Kim and Simon started to chat about what was going to happen when they were away, and I was expecting them to say that they had booked the boat into the marina and it would stay there until we get back, but to my surprise they told me to take my family and the boat and go sailing. Holy Sh** I was not expecting them to say that. This is their home, their pride and joy and they were going to give it to some northern bloke who has never sailed before, they must be crackers. It has be those pills Kim is on, she can't be saying the that surely, but she was and they both meant it too. It was at that time when my arse started to twitch and I got a cold sweat. I think I need to and have a lay down and compose myself. I looked at both of them and said, "Are you sure". If we did not trust you then we would have it booked into a marina by now, so take your family and enjoy the trip....

If you want to read about the episode try Kim's Blog   and she will give you her side of the story. Until the next blog, thank you for reading and I do hope you are enjoying it.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

Adventure Begins Again.

If you can remember in an old blog post, I was lucky enough to be invited onto a yacht called Britican, to sail from Charleston to the Bahamas about this time last year. Well the same family has invited me back onboard their 56ft Oyster mono hull. Yes I know I'm used to catamarans but this is an opportunity not to be missed, so I grabbed it with both hands and said Yes.

So here I am, back onboard and it is like I have never been away, but this time instead of the cold weather on my previous sail, I'm in the beautiful sunshine of Grenada in the Caribbean in a little place called Whisper Cove.
What a lovely name and there is loads of yachts around too, as they are all running (sailing) scared of the hurricanes from last year and Grenada is out of the hurricane zone. When you here the stories and the damage they did it sends shivers down your spine and some islands are know where being fixed either. Never mind that's another story for another time

So as I write this article I'm sitting near the stern of the boat watching the sun go down and its about half an hour until sunset and its 25 degrees. Sorry if you fell like I should not mention the weather since its so rubbish back home, but what the hell I've worked hard for it. Anyway, this time I'm here to learn a bit more and get some jobs done before we start sailing again and as I watch the sun go down I wonder if its going to be as good as it was last year.

Deep down I know it will be, but sometimes I question myself if you have done the right thing as you may know yourself when you go on holiday its amazing, but when you go back its never as good as the first time. I should not question myself really as I'm on the same boat with a lovely family, and I'm in a different place and hopefully we will get sailing soon which itself will be amazing and hopefully this time I will get to do some sailing myself.

Anyway at the moment I'm based in a little place in the south end of Grenada called Clarkes Court Bay and we are anchored near Whisper Cove. Its actually a large sheltered bay offering lots of anchoring in different spots with some being more sheltered than other spots. Our spot is a little bit windy but I prefer that as its keeps the mosquitos away and it provides a lovely breeze through the boat.
In the old days, big sailing ships would anchor here to take on rum that was brought down the river to the head of the bay by a small boat. It is also known for its drink too as there is an old brewery here, which has been running for over 200 years. I will go and have a look soon but sadly I don't drink so I will not be sampling the menu and its probably a good thing as I don't think I would be able to get back to the boat.

There is lots little places to eat and drink and there is a really big boatyard to have a wander around. Some of the yachts are out of this world but they are owned by money men or women and I can only dream of winning the lottery to get anything close to what they have. I don't think I would really like it to be honest. Some of the smaller yachts are very appealing but for the moment its nice to look.

What I have noticed that the yachting community is very close and they will do anything to help each other out. Every morning at 7.30am there is a person on the radio telling everyone about the weather, whats on, shopping trips, nights out etc and its amazing to see how many join them too. There is also a small group of kids who do home schooling in the morning and then they jump into the dinghy's and go to play on the beaches or go exploring. They learn so much more than some kids do and they are so polite too. I suppose that's the yachting community for you and its refreshing to see young children respecting there elders.

So over the next few weeks I will be bringing you some stories about my adventure so please join me and I hope you enjoy what you read and if there is anything you would like to know please just ask.