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November 2017: Shamal is on the hard in Guatemala.Mum and Dad are home in New Zealand till Jan. 2018. *ATTENTION PLEASE* if you are still interested in receiving the posts, could you please subscribe to the Blog following the two step process in the right hand column, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox. As of next year the reminder emails that are being sent out will cease. Thanks to all of you for following our Adventures.

22 March 2015

Barbados

037 Alec & Lloyd celebrate their Atlantic Crossing Hello Again

Yes Lloyd arrived safely four days after us.  We were pleased to see him again after loosing radio contact. The above photos show us having our ‘Celebration’ drinks having completes the Atlantic crossing.
041 Alec & Ann celebrate their Atlantic Crossing

Because of the Islands’ easterly position sitting outside the main chain of the Caribbean Islands, and because of the direction of the wind – easterlies, right on the nose, also the current does not help – Barbados is not such a popular cruising ground therefore less visited by yachts.  The eight boats who are anchored with us in Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, have crossed the Atlantic like us either from the Canary Islands, or the Cape Verdes.  But it is a popular destination as it does cater for all, from the budget tourist right through to the rich and famous who like to be pampered and spoilt.
021 SHAMAL in Carlisle Bay

One ketch is missing it’s main mast, and a young Israeli guy arrived on his 24ft. yacht from the Canary Islands taking 24 days.  He says his stay here will be longer than first planned due to major engine problems.  Still they made it, which is the most important thing.
This Island is 21 miles long by 14 miles wide.  It’s population is around 300,000 people, mainly of African descent.  The others came from England and India.  As it was under British rule for over 300 year, there is an incredible amount of British traditions mingled with an African influence here.  It is often referred to as ‘little England’.  It became independent in 1966. Today Barbados is a well run, stable, and relatively affluent country, but, if one reads the local papers, it still has its share of problems that are associated with this part of the world. 

Arriving in early February, we are meant to be now in the dry season, well those Atlantic squalls we were having are still with us.  On the positive side at least it is not cold, and the boat is getting a free wash as we still have a ton on Sahara dust in the rigging and lines.
013 Careenage, Bridgetown014 Careenage, Bridgetown It was so nice just to stop here, not really doing too much for the first few day days, but then we were off exploring again.  Our first visit was to take the tender up into the Careenage in the middle of town, then set off to find the bank and Wi-Fi connections. Then it was time for coffee at The Bridge House, and just watch the world go by.  It is at The Bridge House later that I sample my first Rum Punch. Rum is the drink of the Caribbean. Yes the guide books are quite right – what out for this fire water.  Mixed with fruit juice like mango and passion fruit with lots of ice and a hint of lime makes a lovely sundowner, but ONE is enough !!!!!
093 East Coast Another day Alec and I took the local bus to Six Cross Roads to visit Doyle Sails to see what their prices were like.  Alec still favours the sail makers in Florida, but it was an interesting and informative visit. We took a taxi out to Six Cross Roads, and had a driver who was most interesting and told us all about his Island.  He explained the history – how Captain John Powell claimed it for England in 1625. The first colonists cleared the forest to grow tobacco and cotton, but by the 1640s they changed to sugarcane. Being such a labour-intensive crop, the land owners then imported the African slaves. They lived in “Shadow Houses”. This was because if the slaves were moved to another plantation they had to disassemble their house and take it with them to the next plantation.  Today you can still see small wooden houses built in the same style.  Also some of the old estates are still there today.
113 Hores having exercise Carlisle Bay
 Other English cultures that are still popular today are cricket, polo and horse racing.  Every morning while we were anchored out in Carlisle Bay some of the locals came down to the beach to exercise their horses in the sea swimming around the anchored boats.
104 Holetown100 Port St. Charles Another day we took a local bus up the eastern side of the Island as far as Speightstown, then walked the extra mile to Port St. Charles to check out the marina. A super-luxurious residential development suitable for mega yachts.  Transient yachts are welcome to clear customs and take on fuel, but then move on thank you very much !!!!!  On our return trip we stopped off in Holetown which had a lovely beach and nice shopping. It was much more friendly towards the likes of your average tourist.
060 Concorde
 Once Lloyd had joined us we took a trip out to the airport to visit the Concorde Museum.  British Airways’ Concorde's most profitable destination was Barbados, with a weekly flight down to the Island, so when the aircraft were finally retired,  Barbados was given one which is on display in an especially built hanger.  You are given an hour long tour which again was really interesting. Barbados is the only country outside of Europe and the States that has a Concorde on display.
056 Synagogue, Bridgetown Another visit we did was to the Barbados Synagogue. The first building was erected in the 1600’s when Barbados had a Jewish population of more than 800.  That declined till in 1929 when there was one remaining person.  In 1931 it rebounded again when a large group arrived after fleeing from Poland. Today it has dropped again with around 80 members remaining.  It is a pretty little building in the centre of Bridgetown.
We also visited the Museum depicting all their national heroes from Politicians to Sportsmen.
091 East Coast After just under two weeks in Barbados it was time to move on.  The Caribbean has so many more wonderful Islands for us to explore.  We decided from here we would head south to Tobago.  It would be a run of about 130nm. – another overnight.  We checked out in the afternoon so we could get an early start the following morning.
This is The Admiral and The Commander signing out from Barbados

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