Our friends, Steve and Fiona on Supertramp kindly offered us a lift to Williamstrade to do the check in (a relatively simple process but one that involved different offices on different sides of the water), which saved us an all day trip on the bus and meant we also had time for a trip to Island Water World, Budget Marine and the hardware store – bonus!
Lesley’s daughter and a friend visited us and enjoyed a few days of sun and relaxation with us. With many rally participants already there, the social activities had started and we joined in the noodling and SUP (Stand Up Paddle board) yoga exercise groups.
A short walk from the dock there was great snorkeling at the Tug Boat Bay and under the fort, and we even managed to test out the new dive gear we had brought out from England.
Derek installed the solar panels and two wind generators on the arch, connecting everything to give us fantastic power production. He also enjoyed building the stainless ladder and Bimini tightrope, to enable main sail preparation and packing away – just like a big boy’s Mechano set. The design was inspired by Suzie Too when we met them in Martinique last season.
We enjoyed a range of Suzie Too socials including the quiz night (but didn’t excel in our knowledge of the island) and a great beach bbq and dinner at the Boca 19 resort. The information session was good and it was great to meet the manager of Shelter Bay marina in Panama that we will be visiting, and hear how our friends Caroline and Bill are getting on there.
After a shopping trip for some fresh groceries we were ready for checking out. This was made so much easier by having customs and immigration at the resort rather than having to trek into town. Just one of many benefits tirelessly organised by Susie.
Refueling for the next part of the trip should have been a simple procedure but had a little surprise in store. Whilst waiting for the fuel dock to empty, we were close to the shallows just drifting. When we got close, we tried to motor clear only to find that the engine, which was running smoothly on idle refused to increase revs and power us away. Luckily engaging reverse allowed the revs to reluctantly increase and we avoided the shoals but we had to re-anchor to establish the cause.
It transpires the problem was the refurbished alternator we fitted in Trinidad. It produces a huge amount of power at low revs but also a lot of drag on the engine. Since the batteries were fairly low, it was trying to develop maximum electricity and the engine did not have the power to overcome the drag on idle. Luckily we have a sophisticated regulator so we were able to throttle the output a little which meant the engine could rev freely. A simple but unexpected fix that could have caused a nasty situation.
All fixed, we left for Santa Cruz, a bay on the western side of the island ready for an early departure to Aruba the next day.
Sadly we didn’t get to explore much on the island, but we did manage to get all our parts fitted and attended some great social events, and met new rally friends.