Freebooter

Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody

A Tropical Christmas

My favourite saying is the old Hebrew one that ‘man plans and God laughs’. The original idea had been for a group of friends to take their boats over to Pigeon Island and have a beach party. That plan lasted only until about 6.00pm on Christmas Eve when there started a huge thunderstorm that lasted through until after midnight. Despite the heavy rain and wind, we stuck to our plan to attend church at 10.00pm in the near-by village of Gros Islet. Wearing our wet weather jackets for the first time since leaving the UK, we waited for the local (mini-)bus. Only once on board did we learn of the devastation that had visited the island, (and cancelled  all the church services).

The rains had rendered many roads impassable, washed bridges away and closed the airport. Later on there was the sad news of fatalities. This is not a large population, so it must be all so much more immediate for them. Inevitably homes were damaged and destroyed, and water and electricity were cut off. The water took a number of days to be reconnected, with something like half the island affected, including the marina.IMG_1145

A boat is a good place to be in such conditions, but daylight showed up how much debris had been washed into the river. It ended the ideas of taking the boats out, so consideration was given to dinghies. The early threat of more rain undermined the original thinking, so Plan B took shape by taking over the empty veranda of one of the marina cafes for our barbecue lunch. Brilliant! We were soon joined by even more crews.

In the middle of our festivity, we heard that the very last of the transatlantic yachts was approaching the marina. Bearing in mind that the official finish closed last Friday, everyone here was determined that the arrival of these stalwarts should not be unnoticed. A number of us went out to meet them in dinghies, and a large crowd waited for them on the pontoon to cheer them in.

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2014 by in Caribbean Wanders and tagged .
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