Thursday, 25 March 2004

25rd March 2004 Port St Charles, Barbados

Nearly a month since our last update and we are still enjoying life in sunny Barbados in the lagoon at Port St Charles. One reason for our delay with this report is that both our laptop computers crashed within 3 days! A local data expert is working on them, and in the meantime we are using the Ocean Rowing Society’s computer. Our two main occupations this past month have been meeting rowing boats and looking after family. Martin, Camilla and little Hedda were here for 10 days from 4th March, which was a great pleasure for us, especially with this chance to get to know our little grand-daughter better. Like most two year olds she is a busy and demanding little girl, full of fun and curious about everything. We had our first children’s birthday party aboard, with balloons, presents, cake and birthday crown, the only thing lacking was other children! We enjoyed doing some baby-sitting, an easy task in the sunshine with both swimming-pool and white beach close at hand, while the parents relaxed and charged their batteries before facing the rest of the Norwegian winter.
Since meeting Queensdale, the fastes boat in the regatta (36 days) and the first four to row across an ocean, White Admiral has been out on five more missions to meet boats arriving. These were: Carpe Diem, the first pair to arrive, with a previous and present member of the British Prachute Regiment aboard, Against All Odds with an American/Zimbabwe pair, Linda with two Englishmen, Pacific Pete with the fist solo rower Sam, also the youngest person ever (23) to have rowed solo across an ocean, Marion Lviv with Pavel (65) from Ukraine, the oldest person to have rowed an ocean and Sea Slug with another young English pair. The most dramatic arrival was Linda, which capsized on Harrison’s Reef off the north-west coast of Barbados as we watched in horror! While I drove White Admiral outside the breakers, Stein took the dinghy with the outboard, and found a passage to the boys who were trying unsuccessfully to right their boat. Stein tried to help them do this, but it was not possible so with all three and the oars in the dinghy they towed the upside-down boat back to White Admiral and with all aboard, we continued towing it to the finish at Port St Charles. The boys and the vessel had minor injuries, but all electronic and most of the electric equipment was destroyed.
Stein also went out one evening with the American yacht Svoboda, to meet Stuart Boreham, the first disabled person to row an ocean. For details and pictures of these ocean rows have a look at www.oceanregatta.com or www.oceanrowing.com (go to Photos).
Another pleasure here has been seeing more of our old Barbadian friends. As well as the ones we mentioned in our last update, we have had a pleasant evening being treated by Stein’s old colleague Oscar Jordan and his wife Marsha, to a lovely restaurant meal a couple of meters from the Caribbean surf, and received more wonderful hospitality from Maureen and Doug Mackenzie, old friends from our fist visit to Barbados in 1977/78.
I plan to take a trip to Canada next week, when there will be a few days pause between boats arriving, to visit my 90 year old mum. We will move on from here in early April en route to Trinidad, via Bequia, the Grenadines, Carriacou and Grenada. We have now booked a place to leave White Admiral in Trinidad towards the end of May, and will return home to Norway and summer jobs when we are absolutely sure that the cold weather has gone!
25 Mar 2004 by Stein & Diana

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