A Whirling Week

We went into St Anne and strolled around. It is a holiday village, but lunchtime on a Monday in late July, we found it silent.

This was telling. Despite flights operating to and from France, and the sewn-in system of having to have a negative CV-19 test before you get on a plane to the French Antilles, plus everything looking open here, it seems caution does still exist.

We found the little town’s plaza full of empty, shady benches. The nearby beautiful church was lonely too, save for one person praying on a pew. We tiptoed past him.

This was a quiet moment. Mostly we haven’t stopped. After checking in, Jack and I took apart the water maker and had it in Thierry’s workshop in Artimer first thing on Monday morning. Masks on. We went to the boatyard and scouted out a mechanic and a lift in the hoist. We only need an hour or so to change the shaft seal. No problem, the boatyard said. Next Tuesday with an available mechanic. No change from 700 Euros. Aha. We breathed into our masks. Who said fixing a boat is cheap?

We went back to Quest and realised the bilge pump wasn’t working. Jack fished it out. In the bilges it has sat, an underestimated hero for over 12 years in gunky bilge water. We put a multi-meter on its wires and saw it light up. Good.

Traced the wires and Jack found the spot of corrosion. An hour later, full of patience and a few dropped items in the bilges, the newly-wired bilge pump went back into its hole. It is the Eeyore equivalent on Quest. And we can’t do without it – especially now we’ve stuck on a new tail! Good old Eeyore.

We swam around Quest afterwards. Trying to keep to some routine in this busy week. The girls enjoy their swimming more than I thought they would. They go round and round, flippers and masks on.

The seabed here too is covered in seagrass instead of coral. We haven’t seen many fish and only one turtle, who won’t come close – even when I put out a little bread. The bread just floated away to the direction of the 200 other boats.

The next morning, we got up early and went in to Le Marin for our rigging check. Caräibe Marine – our fave riggers in the Caribbean. Such nice guys – the efficient, Formula One of sail tuning.

One guy shot up the mast while the other guy sent him up with a portable electric winch. He affixed an instrument to the mast. They checked shrouds and furlers. Report came back in mere minutes: all is good. Oh, except for a missing pin on the headsail furler. They tapped one back in.

We breathed out again. Some insurance companies insist on new rigging every ten years. Ours wants a certified check. Which is good, because we are careful not to hammer Quest while sailing, and may in fact under-sail her instead. She’ll need new rigging one day. Not today though!

We said thanks to the riggers and went on our way – back out to the anchorage. For a swim.

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