So… elaborate….

Before the rally becomes nothing but a foggy memory

It may really become nothing but a foggy memory

Before it all becomes nothing but a foggy memory in a new year… Here is what has transpired since my carnival wanderings in Trinidad…

For the impatient… in a one liner…

The Nereid’s Rally 2015

Period… read no further… but at least look at the pictures… :)

Ah… yet another one (rally that is), and at the risk of having this blog start to get monotonous, I’ll tell you all about it in great detail…

It can occasionally be difficult to concentrate on work here in Saint Laurent

It can occasionally be difficult to concentrate on work here in Saint Laurent

The story does have some legs and may take many a post in the telling so do indulge me…

It all started in Grenada with a girl in a polkadot bikini who definitely wasn’t afraid of coming out of the water.

Afraid to come out of the water?

Afraid to come out of the water?

Enter my racy assistant Nereid’s Rally promoter Carrisa Victor… (Yes it is spelt that way).

Pan player extraordinaire, founder of the S.P.O.R.S. Performing arts company, and all round talented lady…. ahem!

Let's play pan...

Let’s play pan…

Together we gave a small presentation at Prickly Bay Marina to drum up a few new entrants for this years event. One crew showed interest… Never mind, the trip wasn’t a total loss and there was still plenty of time before the start in September, (this was March).

But I had to get back to French Guiana and start the proverbial ball rolling… Or perhaps the not so proverbial mooring buoy floating…

Eileen of Avoca on one of Saint Laurent's first mooring buoys.

Eileen of Avoca on one of Saint Laurent’s first mooring buoys.

Idillic little Chalki

Chalki Greece

Chalki Greece

By morning I’d been overtaken by my flotilla partner and Chalki hove into view. What a splendid little stopover. Since the jetty was crowded (well it is August), I rafted up with the boats at anchor. Considerably more chain is required to anchor with enough scope here (15-20m depth), but by 9am the charter boats moved on and I inelegantly made fast to the pontoon.

Dropping the Danforth (with 10m of chain) over the stern I motored to within a meter of the pontoon gently easing out the line. This generally works a treat, except when there isn’t enough line… Must have been the sleep deprivation ;)

The travel plan is still on track.

A little gymnastics is required to get on and off Eileen when she is moored “Med. style”. I have to haul on the warps to get the bowsprit to within a meter of the quay before making a proverbial “leap of faith” as the boat swings back into position. Not so easy when loaded with all manner of impedimenta.

Encumbered with my kayak tender this morning, I found myself taking an unexpected first-light swim in my Sunday’s best! Fortunately, nobody was looking, even if I could have used help dragging myself back onto the quay.

The rest of the day was spent on odd jobs: changing spent navigation lights, sorting through miscellaneous gear and removing the hastily repaired and somewhat troublesome “Tiller Pilot” mount. Thoroughly exciting so I’ll spare you additional details.

There was not much time to play tourist but I did wander into the heart of town on occasion. On one such visit I came across a most unusual spectacle. An old man wrestling with his goose (literally!). A small crowd had gathered to watch the senior citizen as he took a firm grip of the birds beak and gave it a vigorous shake. The goose was not phased in the least! Evidently this was a frequent and affable encounter which leads me to wonder; given the disagreeable nature of geese (flashback to childhood memories of being pursued by a gaggle of angry avians), how does one even think to grapple with a wild goose in order to acclimate it to head shaking in the first place?

All too soon it was time to pack and prepare for my trip back to Belgium. So, what was the point to all this travel especially as I didn’t get to do any sailing? Well, I delivered a handsome new Jeckells sail wardrobe for Eileen and paid my mooring fees, but more importantly I had a chance to reassure myself that despite a spate of last minute hindrances to the grand get away plan, the envisaged journey was still largely on track.