Before we prepared to leave Martinique, as usual, I’d been watching the weather forecasts every morning at the same time each day, 06:00. When we’re cruising, checking the weather becomes as automatic as brushing your teeth, you do it almost without thinking about it. I have GRIB files set for automatic download by email every day at 04:30, and my first task of the day is to pull up the GRIB email, then send emails requesting data from the National Weather Service. Using the NWS ftp server, I request files that will provide the Offshore Weather Reports for our immediate and adjacent areas, and I request faxes for the Surface Reports for the entire North Atlantic waters. I log all this information into an Excel spreadsheet for the month, and using that information, I get a good feel for weather patterns, and I’m able to judge quite accurately what we can expect on any crossing. Joy will tell you this year my on-board forecasting has been the best yet; we did not have one single adverse weather day, no storms, no unmanageable seas, and nothing unexpected.
We round Pigeon Island on the northwest corner of St. Lucia to enter Rodney Bay and find the harbor packed with cruising yachts. Cruisers flock to this area each year for good reason; yacht services ashore are first rate, and nearly any type of repair can be managed. This year we docked next to a young couple honeymooning on their 50 foot yacht. They’d decided that a year on the yacht would be the best honeymoon they could imagine. Indeed.
One day while talking to our neighbor, Scott, I watched a refrigeration technician coming off his boat, and I asked what he was having done. Repairs to his refrigeration by a true craftsman, he said, and long story short, we decided to hire “Prudent’s Refrigeration Repairs”. After about half a day’s of work, and installation of two new parts, our Frigoboat, dead for several years, was working better than new. This story deserves a page of its own, sometime in the future.
After more than a month at anchor, we wanted to spend a few days at Rodney Bay marina where we could have easy access to everything ashore. With the floating docks, Joy is almost able to get on and off the boat by herself. Just a little help from me at either end. We decided to rent a car from an offsite facility this year because we found the rates at the rental company located on the marina property to be a little crazy. Remember that tiny little car from last year? No more of those things please. Directly across the road from Rodney Bay marina are two companies whose rates are considerably less, whose cars are nicer and more importantly, bigger.