One foot on the ground
SETTING THE COURSE
It turns out that on arrival, as we switched on data roaming, our machines ate 1/2GB data and swallowed $50 of credit in 30 minutes. Readjusted settings and prepared for data detox. After checking charts, we nearly beat our PB for a disaster leaving shore (previously 35 seconds). Took off in supercharged, super sensitive dingy which spun 360 and J narrowly missed losing his head on bow of adjacent boat.
Survived and toured English Harbour. This was the English stronghold where Nelson was based as a Captain. At the time he was best friends with Prince William (crowned King William IV), William was later Nelson’s best man. The harbour’s lush vegetation, fort walls and pillars provide a wonderful glimpse of colonialism. In Nelson’s day each sailor was given a ‘tot’ (1/2 pint) of rum twice a day to stave off scurvy, although the lime it was mixed with was the better defence. Rations noted, see later.
Departed harbour and as soon as we cleared the headland we encountered a big swell. It dawned on us that perhaps those who thought we were crazy were right. This is not the Med. Decided to find our sea legs under motor. Navigated the headland avoiding coral reef with all compasses arguing about North. Even a working compass here has a variance of 14 degrees from true north (maybe Nelsons cannon balls?). Tuned into local radio (reggae) and poured rum. Quick swim with snorkel to exam keel and anchor. Understanding what is going on under the water is useful. Anchored in Mosquito Cove and took dingy into Jolly Harbour to ‘check out’ of the island and get provisions.
Found a pharmacy. Given prescription drugs over the counter without question. Next stop supermarket where shelves were filled with Waitrose branded goods. Back to boat and tried to cast fishing rod but got it all tangled. Dials reading no fuel and batteries needing charging, Risotto and chilled white on deck under stars. Fingers crossed anchor will hold through the night.