On Wednesday we said farewell to our new Monarch family!

All dressed up and somewhere to go!

All dressed up and somewhere to go!

It was sad to see them go, but we all parted with very happy memories and we have a card signed by them all in pride of place on the wall chart.

This week has seen a series of boat systems failures. Nothing like a week off to get IK feeling ignored. The first thing to pack up was the Mastervolt battery charger, closely followed by the water maker’s electric motor. We had the same problem with it a year ago in Portugal and ended up buying a new motor. Considering the time we have spent in rivers, where the water is too dirty to use the water maker, the electric motor has only run about a dozen hours since we got it!!

Store Bay is a sheltered anchorage and the bay is used by a lot of tourists on jet skis or in glass bottomed boats. Every morning I take a swim, but am restricted to swimming around the boat as I don’t think the pleasure craft would notice my little head bobbing in the water and also, first thing in the morning, there are usually other things bobbing from boats at anchor that I would rather avoid!

Two jet skis and a 007 style rocket man.

Two jet skis and a 007 style rocket man.

We saw him plummet from this height as he lost control. No harm done.

We saw him plummet from this height as he lost control. No harm done.

We have met some of the local ex-pats and some who have homes here and in Britain. Martyn, the guy who we overheard talking about Mastervolt chargers, came out on the boat and after eliminating all possible faults, decided that the only course of action was to remove the charger. Needless to say it is mounted in a very inaccessible bit of the engine bay, so with a little leverage from outside and some awkward lifting from a limitless person inside, we managed to get it off its mounts ready to take over to Trinidad to be looked at by an expert.
Martyn kindly invited us to his 65th birthday party which was held in a beachside restaurant a few miles west of where we’re anchored.

Birthday Boy.

Birthday Boy.

It’s great to think that the people we are meeting are so helpful and welcoming……..he even arranged with another friend to give us a lift there and back.

On Sunday we took a stroll along the beach to Pigeon Point, a local beach, park and heritage site.

Pigeon Point jetty.

Pigeon Point jetty.

Looking out across the lagoon to Bucco, where we went to Martyn's party.

Looking out across the lagoon to Bucco, where we went to Martyn’s party.

Being the 3rd Sunday in the month, there was free entry to the beaches and the locals had turned up with cooler boxes to spend the day at the beach. It is amazing, but very few Tobagoans can swim. There is a lot of standing and bobbing, but very little swimming done. Maybe there’s an opening here for an experienced swimming teacher!!

Sunday 'limeing'.

Sunday ‘limeing’.

Bobbing starts young!

Bobbing starts young…………or should that be boobing?!

Here are a couple of observations.

1) In England we go to great lengths to camouflage phone antennae and house them in faux trees. Here it is the complete opposite!

Pigeon Point weather station!

Pigeon Point weather station!

2) We name our boats differently!

What happened to number 1??

What happened to number 1??

While we were at Pigeon Point, we dropped into Planet Ceramics, a pottery shop owned and stocked by a potter, Helen Evans, who lives and works in London, but has a studio and shop here. We have met her a few times and promised to drop by. Her work is extremely good quality and very creative, so we bought a couple of pieces for the boat. Let’s hope we don’t have too many rough seas!

Wifi continues to be a pain in the neck and getting our new wifi booster to work is proving less than simple. We manage to get a weak signal occasionally, but not enough to skype or do online banking, so we have to pack all the various phones, tablets and laptop into waterproof bags and set off in search of a bar……….’any excuse’ did I hear someone say?

On Monday we bumped into Werner and Elke again, who we first met in Jacaré. They are in the north of the island in Pirates Bay, Charlotteville and had driven down to meet Werner’s son from the airport.

Martyn, Marcus, Werner, Elke and two friends from Charlotteville.

Martyn, Marcus, Werner, Elke and two friends from Charlotteville.

They gave us an update on Gus and Sally, Claire and Allan and Hugh, all of whom are anchored up there……..I hope we make it up there before they move on. We are here Store Bay probably until Tuesday, as  Marcus and Martyn are booked on the early fast ferry to Trinidad on Thursday to take the charger and water maker motor over to be looked at. Luckily Martyn is going over in his van, otherwise Marcus would have had to grow a lot more muscle to carry the motor. It is a one horse power unit and weighs as much as one too!

Yesterday we spent the afternoon getting water from a hose at the beach bar into three 20ltr barrels and ferrying them back on the dinghy to the boat,

The water run.

The water run……..filling up from the hose.

then lifting them up on the coach roof to syphon the water into the tanks.

Syphoning from the barrels into the tanks.

Syphoning from the barrels into the tanks.

It took 6 trips to refill and although the thought of doing it was off putting, the reality really wasn’t that bad!

Today is Thursday and I have the day to myself. I am sitting in a local bar updating the blog and watching the world go by before I go back aboard for a musical afternoon. Hauling the dinghy high enough up the beach was a struggle, but luckily another couple of Yotties arrived to help. By the time I go back, the tide will be in and it’s a downhill haul to re launch. No worries!

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