Since leaving the UK there have been many changes to the ships plans and a large portion of the time has been spent waiting for information from the office and in an information black hole. But we seem to finally have reached a stable period in our ‘trip’, trip being used in the loosest of senses as we have yet to actually sail anywhere since arriving in Barbados.
We arrived and docked in the deepwater port just outside of Bridgetown, the islands main town on the 18th/19th November, we stayed in the deep water port until the 29th when we moved the significant distance of 2.5nm round the corner of the port to anchor at the edge of Carlisle Bay. This was our new 2nd officer, Kate’s first time moving a boat as a qualified officer and not a cadet so we had one of the most detailed passage plans I have ever seen!
During our time in the deep water port we changed all but one of our permanent crew, our permanent bosun, bosun’s mate and long time deckhand/watch leader. In addition we gained one of our relief captains and two new officers who have never sailed on pelican before and a new engineer. The chief and 2nd officers have sailed on sail training vessels before but the engineer is new to sailing vessels full stop, but having worked for emu before has sailed with a number of people who I went to university with, one of the many indication that this is a very small world we live in.
During our time alongside we were getting a small amount of maintenance done, when the new crew came out this increased with the added enthusiasm of the new permanent crew. In general we work during the mornings and have the afternoon off to do as we please, to make sure that we have enough time to make a dent in the tasks that we are doing breakfast and lunch times have been moved to allow a good 4.5h of work in the morning before a 1 o’clock lunch and the evening meal at 5:30 is optional allowing us to check out parts of the island that are further away and some of the local eating establishments.
We moved to anchor on the 29th Nov and then had Friday Saturday, Sunday off work as it was Barbados independence day on the Friday and we were allowed to go in in the morning and watch the parade. It was a very impressive affair, there were contingents from the standard groups such as the army, coast guard and police force, and from some more unusual ones such as the prison guards, red cross and a contingent of the Royal Navy brought out on the RFA ship Argus. There were also some more unusual groups such as the scouts and brownies, both of whom had marching bands, much more impressive than I have seen in the UK. The police marching band is apparently very good and one of the best in Barbados.
We have registered as visiting guests at the Barbados yacht club and have been using the WiFi there most days, and have spent a lot of time chilling out in their beach section, swimming and then using their showers. This has been one of the best perks of our temporary membership here, not having to worry about the length of time that you are showering for. We are having to be very careful about the amount of water that we are using on ship as we are not able to make water and can only go into port sporadically as it costs so much money. Which we would rather spend on other things…