Nevis - where right means left and Emma and Brent go solo.
After a fabulous 7 hour downwind sail, where we went back to our Atlantic configuration of a poled out Genoa, we heard our second 'pan pan' call. No one else responded so we tried to make contact. The call was from a French guy in a power Catamaran who spoke no English. Thanks to a spattering of French understanding and google translator we ascertained that he was drifting, with no engine and failing batteries. We quickly stowed the sails and set course for his location, lucky for him we were around as no one else was and shortly after we arrived on the scene he lost his batteries and his only comms. Brent and Emma, now dab hands on deck having towed the guy in Guadeloupe in, quickly sorted tow ropes and we towed the very grateful Frenchman to the safe anchorage of Charlestown.
Having now arrived late I jumped into the dingy to try and clear customs and immigration leaving Emma and Brent to take the boat a couple of miles north to moor. It was strange – I had no hesitation at all leaving them to it. The first time I have ever left Saorsa with someone else. All credit to them, they moored effortlessly.
Clearing immigration and customs in some countries is an experience that you have to embrace with a smile. Often the forms you do online are a waste of time as their computers are slow, and some don’t even have a functioning one, and you end up filling in new forms, by hand in triplicate once you arrive in person. Some countries, mostly french ones, it is very quick - one form and 2 Euros and you are done. Others it can cost near on $100 USD and take a whole morning. Immigration are usually very cheery and well staffed, customs- well, all I will say is opening times vary, especially in Nevis. The up side is you generally meet other lovely yachting folk and have a chance to share experiences.
Nevis was a very friendly place, with folk that want to make you feel welcome. This includes providing you with hand written maps. We had read about a walk through rain-forest near the Golden Rock hotel, so we dropped by and picked up their map. It certainly gave us some entertainment for a couple hours as the path and the directions did not match up for Brent or I. Emma proved the best interpreter of the instructions (she confuses left with right all the time!). Thanks to Emma's skills we had a good hike and ended up back at the beautiful ex-sugar plantation hotel for a great lunch just before the heavens opened.
We were so hungry not a word was spoken as we wolfed lunch down overlooking a beautiful garden setting from a dry terrace watching the torrential downpour.
It was thanks to some friends we had met one evening in Dominica that we ended up anchored off Cades bay (north of Nevis) and went in search of Cat Ghaut golf course.
Armed with a packed lunch we had a fabulous day out. The golf course was unmanned and after paying our $20 green fee and arming ourselves with three golf balls and a map we quickly discovered Emma's navigation skills were needed again.
It was such fun – turns out Brent is quite a golfer – problem was the longest hole here was about 110 yards, he kept hitting 150 yards with pitching wedge!
We ended the day with a cocktail on the beach - a great day out.