Oh Sh&# !!
After a great week playing around the Pitons with Rick and Kari, we were finally ready to say goodbye to St. Lucia. However, St. Lucia wasn’t yet ready to say goodbye to us. We untied off of the mooring ball at 3:30 a.m. to get a good start on the day. We weren’t even gone for 20 minutes before our starboard engine alarm went off. We opened the engine hatch to find more smoke than an Indian wig-wam. It was not a good feeling. We decided to turn back to St. Lucia were there are more options for getting things repaired versus continuing the 70 miles to Bequia with only one engine. Because we departed so early, we had to idle off shore for a couple of hours until daybreak when we could have enough light to anchor. The day did not start out well as we were worried that our engine was shot which would mean more months at a marina waiting for repairs or even worse, a very costly new engine. Blah!
At 5:00 p.m., Alwin the mechanic finally came to inspect our engine damage. We spent a restless day waiting for him and hoping for the best. He found the culprit to be a blown fan belt, but no major damage to the seals and gaskets or mounts. Great news! We celebrated at Doolittles with rum and bbq. The next morning we set off for Bequia yet again. This time at 5:00 a.m., just in case the engine gave us trouble we wouldn’t have to idle off shore waiting for light to sadly come back to our mooring. But the gods of the sea and the saints of troubled sailors were looking out for us that day. We had a fantastic sail south to Bequia with following seas and light winds off our beam. A pod of porpoises even came out to welcome us back as we were nearing Admiralty Bay. They ran with the boat for 30 minutes jumping and playing all around us. We were all smiles.
Being back in Bequia is like coming home again. The minute we stepped on shore the stress began to seep off of our skin. We ran into friends on the street, in customs, in the grocery and at our favorite lunch place, Sailors. What we intended to be a short trip to shore to clear in at customs, ended up being a 8 hour day of catching up with friends, rumming and sunning. We bar hopped with Peter and were glad to see his massive head wound from falling out of a cab after drinking too much strong rum had completely healed. After we left Peter to do his “man chores,” we headed to Princess Margaret Beach to catch up with Rick and Mable. We had a great afternoon lying in the sand under the almond tree laughing and carrying on. The perfect day was capped off with a fantastic sunset that yielded a “mini” green flash. We went to bed happy and thankful.
But the next day the Gods must have been feeling a bit vindictive. They decided to remind us of our mere mortality and that there is no utopia of rainbows and butterflies and perfectly working boats. Upon going down to inspect the engine and run our H2O machine, we discovered that our starboard engine does indeed have a problem and that it is leaking oil. So, we are back to the fun task of hunting down a repair man and isolating the cause and hopefully fixing it or ordering a part that may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10 years to come in. But, no worries. We are home in Bequia and we don’t even want to go anywhere else for quite some time. All of our friends are here and the weather is gorgeous.
There are perfect days and there are crappy days and both are necessary to keep things in perspective. Without the crappy days, one would not be able to truly appreciate those few and far between perfect ones. Without the perfect days, one would never be able to suffer through the ones that test your sanity. Hopefully it all evens out in the end. But for both kinds of days, the perfect and the horrible, there is one common denominator- RUM!