Just in time

You know those opportunities that come along at exactly the right time, like an offer of a sponsored space on an Australian tall ship just when you need a kick up the rear end to get your gap year sorted, or a friend moaning about someone dropping out of their tenancy just when your looking for a house. No, just me then?  Well we had one of those moments trying to sort our next move from the Pelican, which wouldnt be too expensive but would satisfy the customs man and ourselves…

Having a good iced coffee whilst waiting for the agent to return with more stores, we had just about found somewhere to live which wasnt too expensive and the website for the ferry company to Dominica was back up and running again and showing me what I wanted a voice piped up ‘you guys must all be from the Pelican, no one else would sit in a coffee shop with a rig set* on’, a chorus of agreement sprung up from our table, ‘I keep seeing you around, im from the small little red pilot cutter Chloe May’, which was met with much appreciation and Yazz telling him that she would like to own his boat.

Chloe May is a boat we have seen a number of times and has recieved much appreciation from our crew each time, a small wooden gaff rigged pilot cutter, painted bright red, with an equally cute bright red wooden rowing tender!

Her owner Bob was the one that had started the conversation with us and when inquiring as to when we were leaving and hearing that Ed and inwere not staying on the boat and were looking for our next thing, he turned round and asked if we ‘knew about gaff rigs’, at which point Ed turns to me with a “do we?” look on his face… ‘yes… why?’


It turns out Bob was mising his normal crew member who was recuperating from a broken finger in Martinique, and his daughter who was sailing with him at the time was not much of a sailor. This meant he would effectivly be sailing to Martinique on his own and was looking for some extra hands. Not wanting to bite his hand off and jump up and down going, pick me pick me! We agreed that this might be a suitable option and agreed to go round and see him after dinner, having thought about it a little. Thinking about it mostly consisted of closing the ferry website and commenting on how good the timing of this was…

We did agree to wait to see what the boat was actually like on the inside before agreeing. The boat was much more of a squeeze than the pelican was, but then again just about any boat was going to be! We stayed on Chloe May for a couple of hours sharing a glass or two of rum and coke and a few stories, Bob admitted that him and Amelia had changed their minds and were planning on staying in St Lucia till she flew home on the Tuesday,  meaning that they could come to our little party onboard Pelican for David’s 70th birthday and welcoming the new crew, an offer they greatly accepted. We agreed to bring our bags onboard when we picked them up for the party and would actually move onboard the next day when the remaining crew departed and the Pelican left for the UK.


So as of the 9th of February we were signed off the Pelican of London and onto Chloe May. Now to see what adventures this brings…

* For those non Tall Ship sailors out there a rig set is a knife, a spike and a set of pliers, but is normally used to refer to any knife set on a belt using a fixed blade knife (not penknife, or multi tool type)


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