For the last two weeks, a number of sailing boats have popped into Carlisle Bay.

The anchorage’s got a whopping twelve boats here. Twelve! Never mind the thousands of boats parked in Martinique. That’s a lot of boats for Barbados.

To be honest, we haven’t really made friends with them. Well, there was John from Cardiff, but he disappeared without saying goodbye. At least he left us with a bottle of red wine. Would have liked to stay in touch with him though.

I have started to be laughed at by Quest’s crew (Ellie excepted because she’s too polite) as the one who’s particularly anti-social on Quest. It’s true; I’m not really out here to make new friends. Especially cruisers. That sounds worse than I mean it – I don’t mean harm to any boater all over the world – but staying friends is work. The same work as all the other work on Questie.

So the rest of Quest can laugh. I know who my real friends are. But there is still something exciting about watching these boats arrive into Barbados. This is because, apart from us beating our way from the west, everyone else has arrived here by sailing across a whole ocean.

They all look really pleased when they arrive. Not surprising 🙂 It’s the land ahoy moment on their faces. After they’ve dropped their anchor, we’ve been watching these ocean crossers take in their new surroundings. And remembering how it felt when we did it. Made it! A tiny speck in the ocean.

Some boats instantly start doing laundry. Three weeks worth of their socks hanging out in the breeze. Others spend a long time organising their sails. Paying homage to the instruments which brought them here.

Some boats are definitely Caribbean newbies. No solar panels or cockpit shade being the tell-tale giveaway. That’ll change if they stay in the tropics. The seasoned ones waste no time putting up their shade. One boat behind us, a very handsome catamaran called Nimrod, from London, literally has a tent for an awning. Haven’t been able to spy on those guys – at all. Ellie, Quest’s official binocular stalker, has had to resign herself here.

Some people put their cozzies on and hop straight into the sea. A boat behind us has had their kite surf out and have been kitesurfing around the anchorage. They also have surf boards and, like us, have been heading to the Hilton beach in the afternoons, though closer to the Radisson end. These guys seem pretty cool. Potential friends?

Wait a minute! Boy oh boy. For a moment I was getting ahead of myself. Here’s why. These boats think the rest of the Caribbean is like Barbados. They’ll be itching to keep going, to discover it for themselves. No one stays in Barbados. It’s a bittersweet thing –  being on the first island after the crossing. Makes more room in the anchorage.

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