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Tests Passed

Our days continue to be buried in things to do but we’re making progress.

On the insurance front we have ‘over-progressed’. No funds were received on Thursday so I let the insurer know asking them at the same time how much they’d sent. Being in Europe they came back that night saying they’d sent an amount over twice what I was expecting. This was a surprise. At some point this would have to be corrected but I thought it would be better to receive the money then figure out how much to send back. On Friday we received an amount somewhere between what we were expecting and what they said they’d sent. With cash in the bank I let the insurance company know I was now confused and put it back in their hands to explain. I have since started to make the final payments to the suppliers who’ve finished their work.

There’s still a few things being worked out with Dignity and the things we need to do to complete the sale keeping everyone as happy as possible. It’s a big moment for everyone. I remember back to our own moving aboard Dignity in 2008 and the stresses involved. What really stands out in my memory from those days was the unconditional support we received from folks around us. Our friends Jim and Anne on Bees Knees and Tom and Pat on Lone Star are strong in my memories. There’s a saying within the cruising community (and outside) that you simply pay it forward. I really hope we will have a chance of paying it forward, in a small way, to the buyers and get them started on their own dream.

This concept of paying it forward figures large in my mind at the moment. On such a vastly important matter, my life no less, we have received such unconditional support from those around us. There is no adequate way to ‘pay’ this back. I wonder how, perhaps, I can pay forward this gift.

On Friday I had a comprehensive blood test performed. It had been due on Monday but the hospital had agreed to bring it forward to Friday so we could know before the weekend if I was fit to travel to Brisbane next week. One of the possible complications was a collapse in my blood cell counts which was why I went through the harvest. It was really heartening that the hospital was not only willing to adjust the timetable to meet our needs but even put a priority on analyzing the blood simply to allow us to book our tickets. In the afternoon, one of the oncology doctors called me up and simply said, “Go and buy your tickets, everything looks good.” Flights are now booked and a car rented.

On Friday evening we went into Melbourne to meet our New Zealand friends, Lew and Tracey, who serious blog readers may recall us meeting early 2011 on the Otago Rail Trail. They’re over here on holiday and for Dr. Lew to attend a medical conference. They’re both very close to our hearts as, among other things, they also offered to help out when I first became ill.

We drove into Melbourne and walked around the South Bank for a while before heading to their hotel. We shared a couple of bottles of bubbly in their hotel room before going out into the city to eat. We ended up back in their room for tea and more chat and left after 11pm. It was really, really good to see them again and catch up with our lives. Good news is we’re meeting them again tomorrow.

On the way home Helen, being the DD for the night, had a first ever experience. She was breathalyzed. She also passed her test.

This morning we had the delight of going to see Roz, Sarah and Russ’s daughter, playing netball for her club. She scored three goals herself and, more importantly, really played a solid team game often passing the ball to others than taking more challenging shots herself. Her team won which made it all the better.

It was really special for us to be involved with the family in this way. Even if it was a bit chilly.

Cricket

The main event, at least for me, was going to see the “Classic” cricket match in the afternoon. Helen decided to stay aboard and clean up some more while I picked up Jim from Bees Knees to go to see the match. I have to admit as an Englishman this was the first cricket match I have ever watched live and the first I’ve ever watched all the way through. It was a match of 20 overs each so it was not going to be too long a game.

I must also confess to not recognizing most of the names. As far as I could tell there was no match pamphlets so I had to capture the names by taking photos of the score board. The World IX included Andrew Caddick, Stuart Law, Niall O’Brien, Rob Bailey, Craig White, Derek Randall, Devon Malcolm, Peter Such and Nick Cook. The West Indies included Winston Benjamin, Vasbert Drakes, Raul Lewis, Phil Simmons, Keith Arthurton, Sir Viv Richards, F Stephenson and Andre Fletcher. Viv Richards (batsman in picture to right) was about the most recognizable name to me but some of the rest were familiar.

The game concluded with the West Indies beating the World IX by 5 wickets. After the match Jim and I walked back to our dinghy and I dropped him off at the dock where he is now moored again ready to fly to the US next week. Shortly he joined us aboard Dignity for a farewell dinner. Most of the friends we have made down the islands have left Grenada now, Jim is one of the first and last so this was a special Au Revoir. Helen as usual cooked a fine curry which was enjoyed all round.

We finished the evening looking for shooting stars followed by watching an episode of “The Fringe” which we’ve just go into.

That may have been our last evening in Grenada for some time. It all now depends on our being able to get hold of our consignment in time.

Life in the slow lane

The brakes seem to have gone on and life has slowed down a bit. Some do say that this is what we should have been like all along. Maybe.

Not that nothing has happened since I last blogged. We had a good evening with Mike and Jackie a couple of days ago. It was their first time on a dinghy so we had the usual fun associated with uncertainty. But no one ended up in the drink although the opposite did happen a few times. (Note – they do advertise the local AA on the net in the mornings but I don’t think we have that big a problem)

Yesterday we moved round to Clarke’s Court Bay as part of our gradual migration to St David’s for our haul out – which we’ve now postponed to Monday. Before leaving it was goodbyes with Matt and Karen from Where II. They are heading west next week so it’s highly likely we’ll not meet up again before they go. There’s a strong chance we’ll meet up in Bonaire in November but that’s not certain. They plan to spend more time in the Venezuelan islands than we do so a catch up is possible.

We met up with Jim at the marina burger night yesterday evening. We also met Dianne from Jabulani anchored nearby. She’s on her own and just getting onto her SSB project and can’t get it to work. I agreed to help out so have been round there this morning. We made some progress but Helen and I will go back later this evening when we’re more likely to get a good signal.

This morning I also had a quick chat with the folks on Lista Light who are due to take our last two 4D batteries. They’re pretty busy with a project list that dwarfs ours so they’ll be round at 8 this evening to look round the boat before we all head over and explore theirs.

The only other excitement this morning was being asked to move a little by the barge that moves the garbage as we were anchored in it’s route. Not sure why it couldn’t go around us but we wanted to get to cleaner water to fill the tanks.

A little tourism

Feeling good about the completion of the battery projects we decided to do a little tourism in the afternoon. We went ashore and visited the Grenada Museum followed by a climb up to Fort George which overlooks the town and where, on October 19th, 1983 Maurice Bishop, the prime minister, was killed.

The fort is a little run down and is occupied by what appears to be the local police and their training center but we could still walk around. In a few places there were some spectacular views of the bay where Dignity is anchored, the lagoon, the Caranage and the town.

In the evening we had Jim over for dinner who brought margaritas.

Project work is going to run into difficulties soon. We are still awaiting parts for a number of projects. To save money we ordered a lot of stuff online in the US and shipped to Ben’s girlfriends home. Three weeks on, one vendor is still playing up, being very uncommunicative and not sending the goods. We now have this in dispute with the credit card company. We still have a number of things we can do but this will cause difficulties at some point. Not fun.

Near term weather is looking good for the parade tomorrow so we’re looking forward to that. We will probably take the bus up to Gouyave for their Friday Fish Festival. Looking a bit further out it looks like the Caribbean is going to get it’s first hurricane next week. Currently it is called Invest 90 and will probably named Tropical Depression 3 fairly soon. If it makes it to storm strength then it will be name Ana. All the computer forecasts have the storm passing over the northern Caribbean. Weather watching is a several times per day event as one needs to be ready to head south if a storm changes direction.

Leaving you with video from Fort George and remaining pics.

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Back to project mode

The weather improved significantly yesterday so we were back into project mode. The current focus is finishing off the boxing up of the new house battery bank. Helen cut up the old 8D battery box lids so we can cover the 10 batteries sitting in the welded boxes. I focused on cutting wood and building a box for the final two batteries.

I made the box a bit too small at first and the interior angle brackets prevented the batteries from sliding into the box. Helen had the bright idea of putting the brackets on the outside of the box so I started again, this time ending up with a box with a very snug fit. The it was fiber glassing the bottom of the box to create a waterproof section in case of minor spills and leaving that to set. In the middle of all this we went to lunch with Inga, Hal and Jim where we were able to drop off some parts we’d picked up for Hal.

Today we should be able to finish the job off. I hope to install a separate fuse for the house bank charger and mount the dive tank rack I picked up down in Trinidad.