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Back in the Marina

This morning we motored back into the Rodney Bay Marina. Jim from Bees Knees hailed us on the VHF to see if we wanted help coming into the slip. Given that last time I back into a slip I made a bit of a hash of it I welcomed the offer. So around 9am, Anne and Jim dinghied over to Dignity and we made our plans.

We motored into the cut and hailed the marina to give us our slip number. They had earlier told us to have our fenders out on the starboard side but they’d had a change of mind and now it was port. As we approached the docks, Anne unhitched both their and our dinghy and took them to a safe place. We then approached the dock, span the boat and backed in against the wind. It went a lot better than last time.

Before Anne and Jim left, Sharon and Vaughn popped by and we discussed our plans for the Pitons. A new plan was agreed to meet up on Sunday in readiness of a Monday hike.

We said our goodbyes and got on with the tasks we had to do. I went to the marina office to check in. It took a while as the office was crowded and I had to wait my turn. Back on the boat we again met Jim and Anne who were busying around. I had asked for the marina staff to come and enable the power but they hadn’t turned up. So I stayed

on the boat while Helen when to the shops within easy walking distance not failing to bump into Anne and Jim yet again.

By the time Helen returned the power had just been attached – an overall wait of over an hour. I wasn’t too pleased but I guess it’s island time. Having started the batteries charging and equalizing I dashed off to Island Water World before it closed for the day to pick up a fishing lure along the lines of that recommended by the fisherman I spoke to in Marigot Bay. While there I bumped into Mario and his wife from Maltese Falcon who we met in Point-a-Pitre. Having discussed our summer options it looks like we’ll be in the same area in September so we may see them again in the near future.

Back on the boat we had a quick bite to eat then dinghied off to the local supermarket to provision for the next 5 weeks. Heading south we won’t see any big supermarkets until we hit Grenada so we’re stocking up on frozen and specialist stuff.

Leaving the supermarket with a full trolley we bumped into Vaughn and Sharon – seems we’re all doing the same thing. They were now having doubts as to climbing the Pitons as their quick in and out visa expires tomorrow and this may make things awkward. I let them know we’d just seen Bees Knees who would probably still be contactable. We dinghied off to our boats together and parted company when we reached Dignity. As Helen and I were putting the food aboard Vaughn popped round to say they’d run out of fuel. I was planning to fill our second spare can so I agreed to take them over to the fuel dock so they could grab a bit of fuel. By the time I made it round to where they had stopped they’d managed to get their dinghy going again by tipping it up but still wanted to get some fuel.

So over we went to the fuel dock and waited for the attendant to arrive. While waiting, guess who turns up. Anne and Jim arrived on Bees Knees to pick up diesel. Seems we can’t get away from each other. We again discussed plans for the weekend and more or less stayed with this morning’s plan with Sharon and Vaughn being maybes.

Now all the shopping is done and we can relax. The batteries will stay equalizing until this evening and we’ll continue to trickle charge overnight. I’ve asked for an 8am read of the meter so we can quickly depart and head south for our rendezvous in Soufrierre.

Dominoes

We had a lot of fun yesterday evening. Anne/Jim and Sharon/Vaughn all arrived within a minute of each other. Everyone brought their own tidbits/nibbles and we shared amongst ourselves. Knowing that the dominoes game can take hours we cleared the table early and started playing. Vaughn and Sharon picked up the rules very quickly and did well. The game seems to be more luck than anything but entertaining none-the-less. The evening ended around 11pm which is very late for us.

We’ve sort of agreed a plan to meet up near the Pitons on Monday for a hike to the top on Tuesday.

This morning we’ll be moving into the marina to perform maintenance and shopping for the next five weeks.

Dominoes Tonight?

Shortly after writing yesterday’s blog, to our complete surprise and pleasure, our friend Sharon and Vaughn from Reality anchored behind us. We first met them on the Boiling Lake hike in Dominica.

We’ve had a couple of chats this morning and agreed that it would be a good idea for them to join us on our Pitons climb with Jim and Anne from Bees Knees in a few days time. We’ve also agreed the six of us should get together this evening to make plans aboard Dignity along with the usual tid bits and beverages. We may even resort to a game of dominoes – our first this year.

This morning I’ve agreed with CatCo that we’d be better off waiting until we get to Grenada for our chip upgrade. There is no urgency to this and would rather have the distance of time to make scheduling simpler. This means we can leave any time. We’d like to go into the marina for a day and an evening to equalize the house bank again so we may squeeze that in tomorrow.

Valley of Desolation and The Boiling Lake

Sunday night, after having a few beers with John and Jill from Stevee Jean we went ashore for the Sunday beach BBQ. As with a week earlier, there were plenty of cruisers there so we had much company. The food was good and the rum punches were plentiful and very strong. This all meant that Monday was a hangover day. The morning was somewhat useless. The only thing that made me feel better was knowing that John was in the same state.

After lunch I popped over to Stevee Jean as I’d promised to show John some checks I’d learned. In the evening, we had John and Jill over for a BBQ. We’d also invited our boat helper / service provider, Alexis, and his girlfriend. It was nice to have them aboard and learn a bit about local life.

Tuesday was our day for the big hike. As it was long and at the other end of the island we had to be ready to leave the boat by 5:30. We managed breakfast and coffee and were ready in time. Alexis picked us up along with another 8 cruisers (including Sharon and Vaughn from Reality and Angie from Cirque de Soleil) and took as ashore where we boarded a minibus which took us to the start of the walk.

The weather started off wet and stayed that way only to occasionally pause and to often get wetter. The walk to the Boiling lake was along a “made” path starting at around 1,600ft above sea level and highest point of 3,200 feet before descending and climbing again. Along the way we came to the Valley of Desolation which was a large area of hydrothermal activity dwarfing the trifling patches we saw nearby close to Trafalgar Falls a few days previously. We spent some time here looking at the various pools and steaming vents. We were quite wet and cold from the wind and rain so we welcomed the warmth that blew over us from this region.

The walk onwards to the Boiling Lake took another hour crossing stream beds with more steep descents and ascents to keep us warm. The boiling lake was eventually reached as we arrived at a plateau looking down at the lake. At times you could not see it due to the mist, condensation and clouds. But when we could see it it was quite awesome; a crater lake looking like a huge boiling cauldron. We took plenty of pics. Many of them had to be deleted due to the lack of visibility.

Here also is another video montage. Unfortunately, the lake itself is hard to see in this.

YouTube Preview Image

The way back was hard word. In particular, the ascent from the Valley of Desolation back to the high point of the trail was a real struggle. We arrived back at the start point in very good time only to end up waiting over 2 hours in the rain for the ride back. To add to this, the minivan driver stopped off to pick up a takeaway dinner in Roseau which added to the time it took to get back. We were back on the boat by about 6pm, ate, then fell asleep.

Today we’re a little stiff and plan to rest up. We will be doing some boat prep later today as we plan to sail to Roseau tomorrow and onward to Martinique on Friday.