30th April to 8th May 2019
We were not looking forward to docking. Hector is at a difficult age – too big to sleep soundly in the wrap, too little to trust in the cockpit. We set off towards the marina with him in the wrap on my chest while I was helming, but after much complaining, Charlotte took him until we were close to the marina, then put him in his playpen/travel cot in the cockpit. The bigger kids did a good job of keeping him entertained, but we still had a couple of loud moments.
The dockmaster responded promptly on VHF, checked we had our lines rigged appropriately, and were generally brilliant in assisting the mooring process. It’s stern-to, but between piles which the dockmaster ties you onto from his dinghy. Not something we have ever done before and with a slightly gusty wind (and 5 months since we last docked anywhere at all) we were a little nervous. Not to worry, though, it was easy enough with their help. Even with Hector crying in his playpen. He settled down once he was taken out.
It’s a very nice little marina. They recommended an agent, “Mr. Walker” who got our wind vane out of customs for a reasonable fee and saved me an afternoon in the process. There’s a chandlery on side as well as an Epicurean supermarket which has the best range of food we have seen since Martinique. Expensive, but nice to treat ourselves to things like Parmesan cheese, blueberries and other luxuries. As well as to stock up on the essentials.
The boatyard and attached businesses seem very well equipped and professional. We only worked with Chris from Everything In Wood, who made up a 4” thick teak spacer for the bracket of our Hydrovane (to hold if off the hull far enough for the shaft to be vertical). We also saw the stainless guys at work on a boat opposite and they were very quick/neat/efficient. And the chandlery, Budget Marine, is well equipped and staffed. So, we leave with everything ready to install the wind vane when we are next in a shallow, sheltered anchorage (the pontoons were high so it’ll be just as easy at anchor as on-pontoon).
The kids had a good time playing with a few other boat-kids, building rafts with twigs, swimming in the pool, visiting the beach, and doing all the normal kid things. Arthur is getting more responsible and had a few visits to specified places on his own for 10-15 minutes, which was cool. He particularly enjoyed waiting for the rest of us at the climbing tree (up the climbing tree) and taking his atlas to look at under a shady tree a couple of hundred meters from our boat.
Resigned from work 😊.