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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rodney Bay to Marigot Bay

Breakfast on the Illusion is composed of Bran Flakes, powdered milk, fruit juice, fruit, and Wheetabix, an odd looking cereal that I had never seen before. Apparently, Norman and Allison found a good deal and bought up a life-time supply, as Wheetabix was the one item in the pantry the Illusion never ran out of.

After breakfast was done, we were introduced by Norman to the joys of washing dishes on the boat. Since the Illusion only carries about 200 gallons of water, all of which is to be used for drinking or washing hands, all dishes were to be washed with sea-water. This is something you can only get away with in the Caribbean, with its crystal clear water. Getting water out of the sea with a bucket is a bit non-intuitive: you have to tie the rope to your wrist, turn the bucket upside down, and then drop the bucket into the water so it would fill. Naively tossing the bucket into the water generally means that the bucket will land upright and net you no water.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

We did the dishes, then headed ashore to buy some sandals for Lisa (who still couldn't get used to her Vibram Five Fingers), some cough drops for my cough, and snacks. We also found a coconut stand where Lisa filled her water bottle up with coconut water for 2EC. Upon our return, Zach as first mate showed us how to set up the boat for sailing to Marigot Bay. "It doesn't matter how I do it," he said, "Norman's not going to be happy with me anyway." As a schooner (a sailboat with 2 masts of identical height), the Illusion has 3 sails: the genoa (large foresail), the stay sail (middle sail), and main sail (back sail). However, it was also set up with an awning, which Norman intended to have stay up for this sail, so we could ignore the stay sail.. The genoa sheets had to run outside 3 of the shrouds, inboard through a block, and then the side where the sail was going to be on had to be run through the winch. The furling line from the forward furler (which furled and unfurled the genoa) had to be run all the way back to the main deck. The main sail had to be untied to get ready for unfurling. Then, a bucket of water and a boat hook had to be moved to the anchor to get ready for weighing anchor.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

We weighed anchor at 1pm, and I was made the helms person. The cockpit of the schooner had a large wheel, and a seat in front of it. I soon learned, however, that one did not sit on the seat, as you couldn't see the forward of the boat otherwise. Instead, one stood on the seat, sticking his head through the hatch much like a tank commander would, and steered with his feet on the wheel. It was definitely a very different experience than the much smaller boats I had sailed with.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The skiff was moved from the side of the boat to dangling off the aft transom, and we were off. I discovered, however, that the Illusion was not a fast sail boat, despite its complement of sails. Norman kept the engine on for the entire duration of the sail. It was quite disappointing that most of our "sailing" would really be "motor-sailing."

Upon arrival at Marigot bay, we dropped anchor and were run ashore on the skiff. It was warm and beautiful, but the swimming and snorkeling was not very good: there was nothing to see, and the water was a bit churned up from the surge. After the swim, we took a shower at the resort, ate some fruits we bought from the store, and then went back to the Illusion for dinner.
From St. Vincent and the Grenadines

I was still tired from my cold, so Lisa & I elected to stay ashore while the others went back on land to buy drinks.

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