Monday 18 February, St.Martin day 21: Spinnaker back on board, last tidy up then to the airport.
Wake up to find Oana’s WhatsApp’s. Good news, it looks like they left Paris on time.
Couple of things to do before she arrives. Get the spinnaker out of the car and back on board then place all the stack of engine oil can and diesel jerry cans into the bilge onto the new shelving down there.
The spinnaker is tricky because North Sails have not folded it nearly as tightly as I had given it to them. It is now at least 6ft long and very wide. It weighs about 40kgs and I can just manhandle it out of the car and literally drop it into the dinghy. So far so good.
The ride to Cloudy Bay is fairly dry for once but once there we are rolling around in waves coming from passing boats. Stupidly I opted not to tie the dinghy, but instead place one of its tubes under the swim platform. Then, with almighty effort I attempted to lift the monster from the dinghy onto the swim platform. What happened (of course!): I managed to only get 1/2 of it onto the swim platform and the other half still on the dinghy … and worse, the dinghy is now moving away! Thinking quickly I grab it and pull it back into the dinghy just before it fell into the sea. That was very nearly a disaster!
All this time a dinghy with 4 people were coming passed Cloudy Bay, watching my antics. They kindly stopped by and helped me drag the sail out the dinghy and up onto the deck. Phew. That was much more difficult than I imagined. I should have tied the dinghy right or better still lifted it with a halyard. But as is quite often the case with me, it’s “most haste, less speed”. Finally it’s down below, taking up 1/2 the forward cabin berth. We really need this sail sold. It’s just too big to stow. Especially now that we have Parasailor too.
Then floor boards up again and all the oil etc stowed in the bilge as planned. I’m certainly happy with this set up. It has freed up a lot of locker space elsewhere and also got weight where it should be: mid ships and low down. And then another final tidy up.
Before I know it, it’s arrival time for Oana’s plane. As I approach the airport I can see it had already landed, at least 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Hope I’m not too late, I don’t want her waiting for me. 15 minutes later she comes through arrivals, all smiling. A quick hug and peck then we are in the car back to Cloudy Bay.
The wind really picked up last night and Marigot Bay is not the calm anchorage anymore. I’d really hoped that Cloudy Bay would not be rocking around and that Oana will get reacquainted gradually. Not to be, she gets sprayed on the dinghy ride and experiences the rolling as soon as we are aboard. Within minutes of being inside there is a flurry of activity in the galley as she rearranges anything I’ve changed there! I guess my visa to use the galley just expired! Unfortunately the flight made her feel sick and she is not a happy bunny till mid evening.
Even though we’ve been on the phone each day, we of course spend lots of time chatting in the evening. This also keeps Oana awake for as long as possible to avoid jet lag (Romania is 6 hours time difference). Coming east to west we always find easier. When she flew home (west to east) it took over a week to get onto the new time zone.
We both retire to our berth by 10:30pm.