An Explosive Town

Our VHS radio has started turning on without warning. Goes straight to channel 9. It’s an English-language VHS channel. Every voice that comes on communicates in English. Since we’re in a French-speaking island, the English language makes the whole thing feel freakier.

The VHS came on during school again this morning. We shrugged. It’s started turning on since we’ve been in St Pierre.. which makes us wonder. Are one of those almost 30,000 poor souls who sucked in superheated gas and died on the first intake of breath 117 years ago – has one of them got their eyes on us? Do we have a ghost on Quest?

Up on the hill just above the anchorage is a beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary. At night she lights up with a deep white light. She stands in remembrance of the disaster. To be honest, she kinda looks like a ghost.

As I write this, the volume on Lulu’s iPad has gone up of its own accord. ‘Why does this keep happening?!’ she’s just berating the device. Hmmm.

Still, meeting a ghost is a two-way experience. Since, by its nature, a ghost operates without us knowing it’s there, boy is he/she in for a shock. We don’t often hold anything back – and we live on a boat with lovely teenagers and grumpy adults. Boom.

The front head’s been playing up again. Jack’s spent the better part of the day trying to convince the solenoid switch to stop juddering. He’s had the back panel off and, in the process, tools covering Quest’s surfaces. Meanwhile, the girls were having a busy school day and their books were covering the other free surfaces. Constant on/off rain was coming down off the mountain. We spent most of the day opening and closing hatches. Sweating and breathing, sweating and breathing. I wonder if this is why the ghost is turning the VHS on. The ghost is telling us to call for help. In English.

Yeah, very symbolic, ghostie. You think you’re smart. Real funny.

Tomorrow we lift anchor and leave for Antigua. All things being well, it’ll be around a 24-hour passage. I’m sad to leave this gorgeous blue anchorage though. The water is ultra-clear in St Pierre, made dark by the volcanic sea floor. Alas, our time is up. Is the ghost coming too? I wouldn’t mind, ghostie. It’s not like you take up a lot of space.

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