Monday, 20 April 2015

Rum, Tours and another dinghy donut ride!

Our friends Sue and Gig arrived from Port Sunlight for two weeks holiday and we were determined to give them a good time....well they have just left and now we need a holiday!!
Joking aside we started with an Island tour with Cutty...a full day tour when taking in the nutmeg factory, the chocolate factory, with as much sampling as you liked though they were all out of the nutmeg chocolate and the Rivers rum factory. The Rum factory employs around 90 workers and the Rum is not exported but all of it goes for local consumption. It is 85% proof and definitely not for the faint hearted the only way to drink it is ' straight down the hatch' it NOT a sipping rum....well not if you value your throat and the ability to be able to speak! The factory is a Health and Safety Officers idea of a nightmare with boiling sugar cane, open fires and cracked chimneys but a fascinating place and I would say a must visit for any visitors.

The guide was excellent, clear, informative and with a sense of humour. All along the island tour Cutty stopped and took samples from trees and bushes.....cashew nuts, cocoa pods,star fruit and lemongrass to name but a few.

We stopped at Gouyave for a trip around the nutmeg factory which again was very good and we returned to Gouyave one Friday night for Fish Fryday. Before we went through the narrow streets to sample the local fish and veg we stopped at the Rum Shop, john and I have done this trip before and the same guys were sat in the corner slapping down their draughts and enjoying their Friday night out. The owner of the shop is a friendly chap who said he remembered us from John's trademark hat so with a bottle of Clarks Courts finest and assorted mixers inside us we left to join the music and get some food down us. The pan band was good and there was much dancing in the street!
Having won the Trivia again we were able to offer Sue and Gig the experience of a dinghy donut ride. This was very different from our last one....well for one thing it didn't run out of fuel and we didn't have to attach ourselves to other boats but it was so much more fun!! Our trivia team this time consisted of the remaining Brits and a contingent of North Americans who were able to tell us who the US bought the USVIs from whilst we knew Elton John's original name ....what a team!

This time on our Donut ride we took a handheld and stopped off at the fuel Quay to make sure we had enough fuel. Ted off of the yacht Auroura took the helm and what a fine helmsman he was.....pointing out the positions of all the wrecks in the Bay, executing 360 degree spins with expert precision and his 'piece de resistance' surfing down the waves in front of the reef!! Some of us on the wrong side (?? If there is such a thing in a round dinghy!) of the dinghy got a little damp but everyone had a great time even Gig who cannot swim!!
It has been an eventful fortnight and I think the guys enjoyed John and I must get Orion ready to leave and the journey West many of our new found friends are already through the Canal and we shall make our way slowly that way over the coming months but we shall be sorry to leave the Eastern Carribean we have enjoyed our time here made lots of friends and had a blast is a great place to sail!

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