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23 January 2024

18 January More shopping

A day to flex the universal fixing tool, not much more than 3'' x 2'', but so useful! A couple of empty Sodastream cartridges exchanged for full, enough food for a crew of 8 for two months (perhaps a small exaggeration) and a water heater.

While I was languishing in the chill of England David discovered that our Isotemp water heater in the engine room had sprung a leak. The system was constnantly having to repressurise so he suspected a leak. It was a small hole underneath which is irreparable. When we were buying Jackster in 2008 the seller replaced the original tank because it had broken with a 40L Isotemp unit. That one lasted less than two years before the internal heating coil that carried hot engine water inside the tank surrounded by fresh drinking water developed a pin hole and the pressurised drinking water system on board was forcing fresh water back into the engine cooling system. Fortunately not the other way around or we would have been drinking antifreeze. The Italian manufacturer replaced it under warranty when we were in NZ in 2011. This is the one we now need to replace.

For once there are is a selection of water heaters in stock in three chandlers in Point a Pitre. Not one Isotemp, but all are Italian made. David chooses a heater made by Quick, 40 litre capacity like the old one but 1250w compared with 750w which means the water should heat faster with generator power.



16 January 2024 Admiral on board

I've been shivering in England for the last 14 days and feeling happy to be back with David and Polly in the pleasantly warm Caribbean. Of course, it wouldn't be a trip home if I didn't come back with parts and parcels for Jackster and the Captain.

While I'd be playing David had been buffing the fibre glass in the cockpit.





At home my sister and I had been looking at the family photo albums. Here's my riding career from age 3 to 18 years.

on the beach at Rhyl

Cloudy, our first pony

Sweetie Pie, my favourite

On Smokey, age 12

Sorrel, my last mare

31 December 2023 Happy New Year 2024

Thank you for clicking on 'Are we nearly there yet?' and following our adventures and misadventures. We'd like to wish you a happy, healthy and kind 2024.

We know where we've been this year. Not decided where we are going to be at the end of 2024, we'll see where the wind and whim takes us, but looking forward to the next adventures, meeting new friends & catching up with old friends.


Polly's looking forward to the next fish, who cares what year it is!


30 December Cleaning ahead of a new year

With no post Christmas sales to go to we got back to our boat jobs. On a boat there is always something in need of a clean or a fix. I've sewn replacement tapes on the aft deck sunshade, had the chaps off the dinghy to restitch the skirt which had been ripped. I've been in cleaning mode too with the bimini removed for a deep soap and scrub. While I had the deck wet they too got soaped and scrubbed.

David pulled out the life-raft from its designated locker next to the cockpit. The only hatch on the boat without the means to lock from inside. We'd got water, possibly condensation, inside so the raft came out to be checked over and aired, the walls of the locker got scrubbed and dried and now all is back together.

I have to leave the boat clean because I'm going home in three days for Mum's funeral.


Christmas Day 2023

We wish all our friends and those reading this blog a very happy Christmas.

For us we'd decorated Jackster with flashing lights and a Christmas tree with baubles that Polly knocks off and chases around the floor. We'd been to a Caribbean carol concert near the marina office and admired a ship sailing by.




I had three presents this year! A toaster, a bicycle seat and a box of cherry liqueurs. David had had an early present of a Mastervolt inverter charger which was already fitted and working a dream in the engine room.

We woke late to clear skies and sunshine; not a snowflake for thousands of miles. The marina quiet and our evening dinner of pork Wellington a big success if I might say so myself.

19 December

My dearly loved Mum passed away this morning. It's a blessed relief for her, her time to go after a full and happy life, but sad for me and the family.


15 December Island road trip

A car for a couple of days has meant a visit to the Lekouz brewery to pick up a couple of cases of bottles of IPA for ships stores, a day driving around the western half of Guadeloupe island with a fun trip to the zoo and shopping, lots of Christmas shopping.

Yesterday was fun driving and sightseeing. Guadeloupe is shaped like a butterfly; the eastern half is flat with some nice beaches and sugar cane, the western half is rugged, volcanic rain forest with sandy beaches and more things to do, more exhilarating roads for my petrol head husband to enjoy.

Deshaies


We had a short stop in Deshaies, well known to viewers of the BBC series Death in Paradise, and where I couldn't find a public toilet, a long drive down the coast to the high altitude cross island highway and, on a whim and the hope of a loo, stopped at the zoo. What an unexpected delight! I asked David if he fancied a visit? He asked what animals do they have? I said red pandas and he said 'yes, let's go'. Red pandas are so cute.

I know that opinions on zoos are divided; I too have conflicting attitudes between keeping wild animals in captivity vs. keeping a species alive. In a perfect world all animals would be able to live in their natural habitat. I don't know the answer, but this seems a good, small collection of animals I might never have seen or watched and contemplated and their enclosures were thoughtfully laid out. What I particularly liked is that this zoo is set on a hill in a rainforest with views across the ocean. And we thoroughly enjoyed the tree top walk despite being more than 10 years old.

The lemur enclosure was very large. The jaguars were awaiting completion of a new, larger space but looked sad and frustrated.  The red pandas were sheltering from the rain inside their house and all we saw was the ear tip.





20 January 2024

8 December Move to Marina Bas du Fort

We'd booked a place in the marina in Point a Pitre for a month beginning today. However, when we checked the weather two days ago the wind direction was more favourable to sail from Les Saintes to Point a Pitre yesterday than today so we came a day early and they had a spot for us. It helps when the dock master not only remembers your name he asks after the health of the cat! The first time we left here we went without Polly. The little madame had jumped onto the boat next to us and we'd gone 100m before I realised she wasn't on board. Dock master Jean Marc took me back in his work boat to retrieve her and put us back on Jackster. We've had three more visits since then.

Last night I had another birthday dinner. This time it was sushi at Quai Ouest where, again, the owner and staff welcome us back by name. Do you think we've spent too much time in one place?

I love sushi

We have made friends with a Swiss boat on the dock behind us. The boat is called Ocean Kid and Dad Bernhard has sailed with grown up son Thomas and daughter Anna across the Atlantic last month. Delightful people and we had drinks on their boat this evening.

I receive news Mum is out of hospital and back at the her nursing home but the outlook isn't positive.

6 December Lows and highs

Our friends on Wychcraft have sailed north to Antigua and we are kicking back. I'm enjoying snorkelling along the reef each day.

Today is my birthday but I've had bad news from home. My 90 year old Mum is in a nursing home and has not been well at all for a few weeks. Today my sister emailed to say she's had a fall and is in hospital with fractured pelvis and femur. With her dementia it must be frightening and confusing.

David and I have a celebration salmon and champagne supper, but my heart isn't really happy.


25 November Diving at Sugar Loaf

red snapper supper


Yesterday David and I went for a dive close to the boat at Ile Cabrits with the intention of catching a fish for Polly. Didn't have to be too big, but without scales and one with not many bones would have been good. Instead David snagged a large red snapper and a change of purpose; four delicious fish suppers for us and the trimmings for the cat. Sorry Polly.

We went for another dive today, across the bay on the rocks below Sugar Loaf Point, with Jo and Nigel Wychcraft and their friends who were snorkelling. The diving here is beautifully easy; we swim slowly around the point at the base of the rocks for half an hour and then turn around and come back at a depth of 10m. There's plenty of little things to see and going slow allows the eyes to wander and pick up the interesting bits like an anemone with shrimps. You don't see sharks here.