New Engine 

We had been planning to get a new engine fitted in St Lucia, all booked and mostly paid for. Unfortunately Volvo seem to have a global production and supply problem and the engines that had been ordered for the Caribbean are not leaving Europe until this week and won’t arrive before we are due to leave. Egbert the local Volvo engineer did locate an engine for us – in Martinique so last Tuesday we set off from St Lucia for Marin in Martinique to arrange for our new engine. Weather at the start of the week involved rain of biblical proportions and a 180 deg wind shift during the night. One boat in the anchorage ended up on the beach. I found a tiny frog in the cockpit about 1 cm long and had to help it ashore, didn’t think it would want to go to Martinique. There were a few hitches and for a while it looked like we would be keeping the old engine, it seems Volvo have changed their gearboxes so you now require a right hand rather than a left hand propellor (Volvos always had LH props!). So more money required for a new prop. Now a week later we are alongside with the engineer dismantling our engine, we are looking forward to getting the shiny new one.
Marin is a very busy yachting port. We moved to a more scenic anchorage for the weekend. On Sunday morning we found ourselves with rather a too good a view of the local Yole racing (see pic). These local boats had quite high-etc square sails and 3 to 6 guys in the crew energetically paddling when required to supplement the sail and get up to windward, or hanging right out off the side on outriggers to balance the sail. We had been sitting peacefully at anchor having been ther all night and with the appropriate day mark (a black ball) displayed when the launches laid a huge racing mark right off our bow – well about exactly where our anchor was, making it difficult to move anyway. They didn’t come to speak to us at all, but after the start of the race seemed to be indicating it would be better if we moved back a bit, so we let more chain out to drop back away from the buoy. All fine for the first pass, but then they were coming back from the other direction uncomfortably close. So before they started the next race we got the anchor up and moved across the bay to St Annes. Luckily it was just clear of the buoy, but we were practically touching it as we got up the anchor.

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