Wednesday, March 10, 2010

St. Lucia and the Queen's Baton Relay

Today March 10 we were present as the The Queen's Baton Relay passed through Rodney Bay Marina on it's trip through St. Lucia. Early this morning four young sailors carried it on their racing sailboat across the bay to Pigeon Point where it was given to a runner to relay to our Marina. We were able to cheer him in and watch the transfer to the power boat Hullaballo that carries it down the coast to Soufriere.
From there new runners will carry it down to Vieux Fort on the southern tip of the island where it departs by plane for Barbados and Antigua.
This is all very similar to the Olympic Torch Relay and occurs prior to the Commonwealth Games, held every fourth year. The Relay was introduced at the 1958 Games in Cardiff, Wales and carries a message from the Queen from one game to another. The Kuala Lumpur 1998 Relay was the first to visit other nations of the Commonwealth, besides England and the host country. The Manchester 2002 Baton travelled more than 100,000 kilometres in 87 days, and visited 23 Commonwealth nations. The Melbourne 2006 Baton travelled an epic journey

of more than 180,000 kilometres in a year and a day, and visited all 71 nations of the Commonwealth – home to almost one third of the world`s population. This year's Games begin in Delhi on October 3, 2010.
The baton will cover a distance in excess of 190,000 kilometres and 71 countries.

For this Game it includes a video camera, audio recorder, LED lights which can be changed to suit the colours of the flag of the country it is in, and can also receive SMS text messages. The 1.9-kg, 66.4 cm baton also contains a GPS facility.
So an exciting morning out of the blue!

We are now tied up to the dock at the Marina next to another boat from Vermont, "Island Time" from
Otherwise we're working, working, working on the boat. Poor Scott has the really hard times. He's trying to fix the leak in the water system and to do so is taking apart a lot of the engine room.

And things won't come apart! That ugly piece of plywood for example, shown here, was under the fresh water pump and all the hoses attached (all of course in a tiny crowded engine room) and had to be removed to get to the water leak in a hose under IT. Naturally we're having a replacement made and replacing too all the hose clamps and questionable hoses. One job leads to another. It's hot as hades here too. There is a drought condition in all the windward islands. Water is rationed. As I mentioned before we're down to hand pumping water out of the galley sink and had little water left. For two days there has been no water on the docks here at this huge fancy Marina but this morning, Hurrah, enough came out to fill our tanks.

We've been having problems getting the main sail out of the mast for years, but have always with difficulty, managed it. On the way up from Bequia we finally failed several times. After hours it made it out almost to the second spreader. See photo. Yesterday at the dock it finally came out completely. It took two strong men, one up on a bosun's chair. The bosun's chair by the way is a canvas sling that one sits in and then is hauled up the mast by one of the halyards by a second person, hopefully with a third holding a safety line. Scott and I have performed this manuever several times - Scott in the chair and I using the winch or sometimes the anchor windless. We haven't always had a third person. Scott sweats bullets! The sail had become entangled. We honestly are not sure we can take it out and put it back on our own. It's either the swivel on the top of the mast or the sail is stretched out - or both (or something else no one's thought of). Just another day in Paradise.

No comments: