26 August 2022: RETREAT!
26 August 2022
Petit Piton, St Lucia
Marigot, St Lucia
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
10 knots, if that!
Humid and muggy!
Waited for the downpour to stop and then departed immediately after, caught a dry few hours luckily.
The Pitons were a bucketlist spot for me, as I am sure you gathered from my previous log. However, it just was not meant to be.
I arrived in the afternoon and went for a beautiful dinner at the restaurant near my mooring. The owner purposely put me on the mooring in front of the restaurant so they could keep an eye on me (little did I know how important this would be) so I felt I should support the restaurant while I was there. And I was not disappointed! Pumpkin soup and a creole chicken and rice. Delish!
I went to bed at a reasonable hour as I wanted to be a tourist the next day. I had all the camera batteries on charge and planned to sort the Go Pro out in the morning and explore. However, the Go Pro sure had other plans for me and I will never look at a screwdriver the same again!
While trying to remove the broken tripod mount any creative way I could think of, I managed to stab myself deeply in the hand between my index and middle finger on my right (non-dominant, thank goodness) hand. And I mean deep. I would say a half an inch deep.
There was blood everywhere as I jump for paper towel and immediately Skyped my friend Sylvia who is a doctor and lives on her boat (they had gotten ahead of me and were already in Grenada). She asked me a lot of questions to make sure I had no nerve or muscle damage and making sure I had my tetanus up to date. She also said encouraging things to make me feel better. And I did feel a little better (despite my hand feeling terrible) knowing it was not as serious as the bloody scene on Tala made me worry it was.
I ended up resting it for a couple days to make sure it as dry and clean. It helped that it poured rain for those two days and I could not be bothered to lower the dinghy with one hand and my foot (which I can confirm is possible because the dinghy had to be adjusted at one point later that evening).
After two days in hibernation and the hand looking better, I got the clear from Sylvia to go swimming. So I packed my bag and went to the waterfall nearby. Needless to say without fixing the GoPro. The waterfall was a hot spring and I spent a couple of hours just soaking like it was my own personal hot tub as I had the place to myself – the perks of slow season I suppose!
To top off the good mood, after feeling sorry for myself for being injured and a little bit useless I got word that another ‘TRU’ boat (what those of us who get coached by Jamie and Behan call ourselves – Totem Raft Up – was on their way to the Pitons). It was exactly what I needed a waterfall and a hug from some friendly faces.
Danny, Cindy and Steve arrived on SV Miles and we enjoyed a sunset rose at their floating bar (a boogie board with four plastic wine glasses; a sunset tradition that they regularly participate in). I got the hugs I needed and we all ate dinner together. I always try and bring something so I contributed my vegan chocolate pineapple cake and they made a beautiful pork tenderloin on the barbeque with mashed potatoes and gravy!
Cindy and I planned to hike Gros Piton – the easier of the two – the next day.
However, we woke up to pouring rain (should have checked that) and decided to postpone. It was a stay at home kind of day as the rain just would not let up.
And it was that night that changed all of our plans.
At 1:30am SV Miles was boarded by two men with knives. The first man let himself in an open hatch and found himself face to face with Cindy who happened to be awake. He tried to silence her by shoving a rag in her mouth and she fought back to alert the men. Her husband Danny heard the commotion and thinking she had tripped came out to see if she was okay. He was met in the near pitch black with this startling encounter and began to repeatedly punch the man who was on Cindy. As he was doing this the other man with the knife came down the companionway and Danny had to defend himself. He got the knife out of his hand and as they exchanged blows their friend and a co-owner of the boat, Steve, came out of his cabin. Luckily because these guys were putting up a fight and not leaving.
Danny shouted at him to ‘get the gun’ despite them having no gun on board and this seemed to be what they needed. The two man escaped into the cockpit and jumped overboard and swam back to shore. Danny and Cindy both having cut lips, eyebrows and two black eyes each.
They immediately tried to call me but of course my phone was on silent and then put their spotlight on Tala to ensure that I did not have any unwanted visitors. I happened to wake up only a half hour later and saw Cindy’s messages and missed calls.
I had all of my hatches and stairs closed after the worrying incident that turned out to be nothing in Martinique. I kept them closed, if they wanted to take something outside they could have it but I did not want them inside the boat (especially after Cindy’s retelling of events). We all stayed awake until daybreak where they went to town and completed their police reports and then both boats retreated back to the safety of Marigot, only ten miles to the north. We opted to pay for mooring balls to feel extra safe. I would be staying two nights before departing for Bequia and they would be following me as soon as they dropped Steve off at the airport shortly after.
It was a lucky break. Lucky that they had Steve on board, lucky that Cindy was awake and stuffed up their initial plan. Lucky that they did not go for the solo sailor – I think I was only spared as I was in front of the restaurant which is a private beach and SV Miles was just closer and more accessible. Plus it is a bigger boat so they probably assume they have better stuff on board!
The sail north was slow and easy but I was happy with that. I spent most of the time wondering if when I heard the news at 3am, if I should have dropped my mooring lines then. Perhaps it was silly to wait until morning. But it worked out in the end as no one came to my boat and I guess I should just put it out of my mind.
Maybe I should invest in some carpet tacks like the famous Joshua Slocum.
A thought for another day!
“Luck is believing you are lucky.”
– Tennessee Williams