26/12/13 – Out with the old……

It has been an interesting summer during which we decided to move house. Of course, the way things go, the months passed very quickly and the sale finally went through in November, with one week between exchange and completion on our new house and 8 days in the new house before the flight out to launch ‘Aztec Dream’. We also didn’t move anywhere near where we intended….I blame the internet!
Out with the old….though we were very sad to leave………….
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…in with the new..Eastbourne, we hadn’t even been there before!<12au.jpeg>
So leaving behind piles of boxes and unanswered questions about layouts and furnishings….we left for Grenada in late November to launch the boat. All seemed to go pretty well but, after last years experience we stayed around the south of Grenada to ensure that everything worked. Just as well really, as it took a few days to fix an unreliable bow thruster, a recalcitrant outboard, an uncool fridge and a leaky watermaker component. Still, it was great to see a bit more of Grenada…we particularly enjoyed Phare Bleu.
Moored in the beautiful Phare Bleu marina……….
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…….looked like ‘Pirates of Caribbean’ had been here first….
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……and if the stress gets too much, there was always this.
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…….some local fisherman loaded a few too many fish
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As we headed up island to revisit some familiar places, it was very rewarding to get the boat back into top condition, especially with a bit of help from Vision to clean the decks in St. Lucia. Weather was a bit mixed though and the crossing of the Martinique channel proved to be one of the most challenging sails yet, but we tested the cockpit drain plugs pretty thoroughly and we’re pleased to report that they work!
Some dodgy weather at the Pitons in St. Lucia……
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…..the fabulous Rain Forest Hideaway in Marigot Bay…..
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We made it up to Antigua in time for the yacht club Christmas Dinner. I’m not sure we’re ever going to get used to eating roast turkey (with pumpkin) surrounded by Christmas trees in 80+ degrees….it just doesn’t seem right…. But it was an excellent night and great to meet up with friends, some just arriving and some just leaving. The atmosphere in Antigua seems very upbeat and there is lot’s of building work going and new establishments opening, hopefully a good sign that the recession is tailing off.
Christmas trees in the tropics…not sure…..
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….another local fisherman on our dock at Jolly Harbour….

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Before we knew it, it was time to come home for a quiet Christmas in our new abode (I don’t think we’ve ever been so ill prepared for the festive season). As it turned out, it was a lot noisier than we anticipated, with 50-70 mph winds whistling along the harbour and torrential rain. A fitting backdrop for the ongoing battle with British Telecom….I mean how complicated can it possibly be to install a phone line and connect it to the internet……very, apparently.

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Balmy Boxing Day on ┬áBeachy Head………
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The calm in between the storms….due to ramp up again shortly…

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So, we look forward to returning to Aztec Dream in a couple of weeks. Plenty of things to keep us occupied in the meantime….still so many boxes……
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