We had a series of misadventures within about a week of each other.


First off, in the Îles des Saintes, we dropped our keys overboard. The keys were for the boat itself, the outboard and for the dinghy padlock. Stupid us for not putting a float on the keychain you may think. Well, actually no, we did have a float on the keychain but said keys were lost while still attached to the padlock for the outboard and the weight of the padlock made them sink. Ooops, but, thankfully we have spares of all these so not too much trouble there.


Next, in Guadeloupe, we managed to lose one of the dinghy oars in the middle of the night. We still can’t decide whether we didn’t secure it properly and it somehow blew off or, much more horrible to think of, if someone crept up to the stern and unattached it while we were sleeping. Either way the upshot is very annoying as we now have to use the outboard with our dinghy rather than rowing. We’ve been looking for a replacement but, as it’s an English make, we probably won’t find one till St Martin.


Then, lastly and most dramatically, upon arrival into English Harbour, Antigua, we managed to crash into another boat. Not too badly, I hasten to add. We were manoeuvring through a tight anchorage, looking for a spot for the night and the wind was pretty strong. While weaving between two boats, we caught the skeg* on someone’s wire mooring buoy line which caused the bowsprit* of that boat to come veering towards us. Fortunately the only damage is a broken stanchion* (of which we have spares) and our guard rails need a little tlc which we’ll take care of in St Martin. The other boat was fine and the owner, a lovely Scottish chap, was far more concerned about us being alright, so a good choice if you have to hit into something.


Oh dear – let’s hope we have a less eventful time of it in St Martin…


* Too many boaty terms thrown in there, sorry. Here is a glossary to clarify!


Skeg – A tapering or projecting stern section of a vessel’s keel, which protects the propellor and supports the rudder.


Bowsprit – A spar extending forward from a ship’s bow, to which the forestays are fastened.


Stanchion – An upright bar, post, or frame forming a support or barrier with the boat’s guardrails (see photo).