December 1999 - Christmas in the Caribbean


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Posted 6 December

Day 11: We didn’t do much today. I woke early and had breakfast and did my daily chores. Today is half-way day for we are half-way. So we are celebrating by having shampagne and in the evening we are doing a concert. We have learnt two new songs called ISLAND IN THE SUN and SUNNY AFTERNOON. Hopefully the concert will be a success! Dad says that he might not be able to play the gitar because of his finger! Me and Dan have to compose a song called ‘half way song’. We have almost done. We just need a few more verses.

Day 12: Yesterday we couldn’t do our concert because it was wet, rainly and grey. We now have to do it today. I knew something like that was to happen. So hopefully we are going to do it today! This morning I did a comic strip called super baby. In the first square, a baby is kicking its leg and arms and his mum is saying ‘shhhh!’ In the second square, the baby picked up his spoon. The mum says ‘Darling, no. Don’t make a mess with your ….’ And in the last square, the mum is putting her foot on the baby’s upturned bowl on the floor with some of the food on her face saying ‘…..spoon’, while the baby laughed. I loved doing it.

Day 13: yesterday we did our concert. It was immensly hot!!! Me and Hannah tidied our hair, put nail polish on, lipstick, body glitter and our best dresses. Dan decided that he only wanted a tiny weeny weeny bit of body glitter under his watch. Mum got dressed too, in a nice sarong and shirt. Charlie and Andrew put on their Lazy Duck t-shirts, so did Dad. Sally put on a tye-dye shirt which looked nice too. She had a sarong as well. Then we started! We sang ten songs. They were: Sunny Afternoon, Island in the sun, For no-one, Killing me softly, Speed of the sound of loneliness, As tears go by, Yellow bird, Jamaica Farwell, After the gold rush and Father and Son. Before the concert we had lunch. We had shampagne too. When Dad opened it it came spurting out into the glass. I took another big mouthful of rice and realised there was shampagne in it. I didn’t touch it after that. Then we put a message in the empty bottle and threw it over the side. It was an exciting moment as well as the concert. It was happy too.

Day 14: Yesterday it was very hot. There was no wind and black clouds were all around. We kept taking the headsail down for we thought that we will be in for a squall. But the rain just drizzled a bit. I did loads more cartoons. My favourite one was about a fly that was hungry and ate a flea, his brother, a bee, a spider, a cat and a horse and at the end, he burst. It was funny because there were speech bubbles coming from the fly’s tummy. Dan did that one with me.

Day 16: Yesterday, we couldn’t sell our comics because everyone wanted to sleep after the stormy night. So we are going to do it today. But it was lovely hot weather and there were nice winds. I played backgammon with Mum (she won), and I played with Dad (he won), and I played with Dan (he won one and I won one). It was great. I love playing backgammon. Mum said my strategy is getting much better. I don’t really know what strategy means anyway. This morning, Mum had to throw away lots of meat because it wasn’t vacum-packed properly and it was going off!

Posted on 10 December

See below for guest reporter Dan's posting

Day 17: Yesterday there was a man over board on another boat. We heard through the radio. That is why we have to clip on with lanyards at all times. Luckily he was found by a helicopter. I also did the comic sale. I had ten dollars, 15 skittles, 1 Mars bar and a bar of Toblerone for them. I still have some comics left. We shared out the money and sweets and chocs between us (me and Dan that is). It was great fun.

Day 18: Last night Dan taught me how to tell the time with stars. You get the North Star and the Plough. The North Star is the centre of a huge up-side-down clock and the Plough is the little hand so if the Plough is on 3 o’clock from the North Star, then it’s nine o’clock, for as you know it’s an upside-down clock. Then you double the month, you double the hour that you found out and add them together, then subtract 41 and a half. So you get around half past or quatre past for the big hand. We also caught a big fish (not as big as the wahoo) but we lost it.

Day 19: No wind, no wind, bother. But we did have lots of rain and we have run out of bottled water so we collected rain water in the empty bottles. It tasted DELICIOUSLY sweet and delicious!!! Yesterday, mum made some more chocolate brownies and as soon as she gave us children the plate with one chocolate brownie for each, we all started arguing about who’s was who’s. Before they were baked, us three licked the bowl (with spoons that is). It was lovely and sticky and toffee-like. It tasted as if toffee and chocolate were mixed together. Yum yum! Last night we sang for two and a half hours to the wind to make it blow. It sometimes worked but sometimes didn’t.

Day 20: Today it’s VERY windy compared to yesterday. We are going 8 knots!!! I love it! All the wind in my hair. I can hardly keep still because of the movement. This morning I got up early. Too early. First I fell down the stairs, then I fell off of one of the bunks, then up on deck I slipped and my hands were clinging on for dear life to a sort-of-bar that was right next to the aft hatch and my feet were on top while the rest of my body was down the hatch. I got such a shock. Yesterday I almost had boiling water over my head!

Snippets from Dan’s Log

Day 4 Wed 24.11.99 Stayed on deck and had to be harnessed on at all times. In the morning we saw some dolphins that stayed with us for hours. At the moment we can’t see any boats we will spot one or two. After a while Sarah suddenly shouted out DOLPHINS! And she was right. There they were coming straight at us. There were loads of them jumping out of the water showing off and doing tricks. I couldn’t count there were so many but there were definitely more than 20!!! The rest of the day I mainly read my book ‘ brother in the land’ and did some maths and Italian. In the night Jon and Caroline heard OOOSHH!!! And looked behind and saw a small whale diving under water

Day 10 Tuesday 30.11.99 We cleaned the gulleys as usual. Then suddenly Charlie shouted FISH!! Jon went to the rod and put the brake on so it won’t reel out but the fish bust the brake and slit Jon’s finger OUCH! The rod was struggling not to brake. Then Dad took over and started reeling it in with a battle. In the end we got it on deck and it was H U G E !! Dad said it was 30 kg and 1.5 metres. It was a WAHOO. Dad and Charlie gutted it and cut not even a quarter of it and that fed us for three meals. The other half we couldn’t keep so we through it in. What a shame!!!

Day 12 Thurs.2.12.99 For breakfast I had weetabix. I went up on deck and it was boiling hot. We were all baking. I played Backgammon with Charlie and I beat him for once. There was absolutely no wind today and we were doing 1 – 3 boat knots. For lunch we had ‘nairobi’ chicken which Caroline made and it was delicious. We brought out a bottle of champagne to celebrate half-way point which was yesterday. I told Jon to watch the cork when he opens the bottle, he said ‘don’t worry I was in the royal artillery’. When he opened it, it went off with a pop and champagne sprayed everywhere. I got some champagne but I tried to sneak some more. We all made a toast and cheered. After the joyful lunch we all wrote a message on a piece of paper and put it in the bottle of champagne. Closed it, and threw it in the water.

Day 14 5.12.99 Today is a very gloomy day and there is lots of wind. But as today we’re free of work that lightened up the day. Last night we had a squall that went up to 52.6 knots of wind. It was very rainy in the night and dad and Jon stayed up all night. I was just thinking how amazing it is that one minute you’re sailing smooth and the next you’re bobbing up and down like a cork because of the swell.

Day 16 Tues 7.12.99 In the morning we caught a very big fish which we lost at the very end. We had very good speed today and it was very sunny. WE got some good news today and that was that the man who fell overboard was miraculously found after spending a whole 24 hours at sea. I spent most of the day listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG. Dad spotted some dolphins but they soon went away. Today Jon taught me how to use the sextant and now I can use it properly. I am doing a project for Dad about the stars and Jon says I have a lot of knowledge already.

Day 17 Wed 9.12.99 Today it poured with rain all day without stop but worst of all there was no wind at all and we were doing 0.0 knots but going up to 0.7 occasionly. In the evening me SARA and dad spent 2 hours singing beatles songs and other songs to the wind hoping it would pick up. Caroline made some delicious chocolate brownies. Today we ran out of fresh drinking water so I decided to put some bottles in the rain and collect some rain water. We filled up 5 1.5L bottles and we drank the water. It was deliciously sweet MMMMM!

Posted on 15 December

Day 21: Yesterday all the crew put on a piece of paper what day and what time they think we’ll be there. Mine was Sunday at 1:16. We are now in the trade winds so everyone thinks that we will be there at Sunday (tomorrow). Mum wants to be there at that time because my aunt and uncle (Nigel and Bumble) are arranging a Christmas party at Granny and Grandpa’s house and mum wants to phone all her friends that are going to be there to say that we’ve arrived! But she says that it probably won’t happen.

Day 22: I have news! WE HAVE ARRIVED!!!!!!!!! (Well, sort of. We will be there in a few hours). After three weeks on the ocean, and more exciting news. We didn’t use the engine at all for we knew that the judges of the race will give us a penalty. All I can see on the land at the moment is the mountains and hills of ST LUCIA!

LIFE ON A BOAT - A poem by Sarah

She cooks and cooks and cooks
All the food makes her go berserk
But she still has time to read her books
As well as helping with our work

He sails the boat
He does his chores
He doesn’t even take a pause

She plays with her beanies
She plays with her toys
She listens to her walkman
And makes a lot of noise

Charlie is popular
And he’s an engineer
He is such a mechanic
That’s just his career

He’s on watch every night
And he looks at the stars
He loves doing music
And he plays the guitar

Sally has soft skin
And you can’t count her bruises
But she gets even worse
When she goes on cruises

Dan likes playing board games
He is twelve years old
He has to wear a lanyard
As he is always told

I like drawing pictures
It is really fun
And when I do stories
They are hardly ever done!


Monday - On Monday we got sponges and scrubbed and scrubbed the whole boat from bow to stern (head to toe). Me, Hannah, Sally and Mum all did down below and the others did up on deck. Charlie did the diesel. Then the boys who were working up on deck, walked off to lunch without telling us. We told them off. But WE had a Delicious lunch with pina colada and ice cream in the bargain. They just had a sandwich. Well it serves them right!!!

Tuesday - On Tuesday we just chilled out. For lunch we had sandwiches. A man in a boat came and made hats out of palm leaves. It was lovely to watch. The guy was a rasta.

Wednesday - Today we went on a rain forest tour with another nice rasta called Shaba. He was our guide. First we just drove around and stopped for pictures. Then we came to a sugar mill. First they squeeze the juice of the sugar cane and use the husk to burn, to boil the sugar juice to make mollasses. Then we went on to a waterfall that we swam in. The waterfall was like a shower. Then we went to the beach and ate there. There were big waves and I had loads of sand in my hair. We had great fun and we found loads of shells. We also found loads of tadpoles. They were very sweet. It was a little messy because Hurricane Lenny made big waves that destroyed the beach and the house which was on it. The rainforest was beautiful. WHAT a lovely day we’ve had.

Posted 1 January 2000

17th Dec - ANOTHER PRESENT??!!

Today it was my birthday. Lets start at the beginning. At 7am I went into Mum’s room to open their present. I got a silky white polar bear toy from Hannah, a sarong-like skirt with fishes in a green background from Dad, and a pretty white dress with yellow flowers on it from Mum. Then I went to a birthday shower and birthday breakfast with Andrew and Dan. That was a big surprise. Not the birthday breakfast and shower, but while I was having a delicious croissant in a restaurant, I heard music so I looked round and the people on Brandamajo (a boat) came with a keyboard with the tune of happy birthday and they were holding a banner saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY. They gave me a paper bag with a little plastic dolphin, a little yoyo, a skipping rope and a huge bar of chocolate which I swapped with six sweets from the cupboard. Mum and Dad were there too suddenly, taking pictures. Then we went back to the boat. Dan gave me a pen with fluff at the top and glitter inside. Andrew gave a hard puzzle to do, like the rubic cube. Charlie gave me a flute and Sall gave me another necklace. Then John-John came. We went to a beach for my birthday. The waves were HUGE! For the cake the top said ‘Happy Birthday Sarah’. The hotel made it. Then Dad stayed with John-John and Emma and all the rest. We went back home. I LOVE my new presents. Chris gave me a bracelet and a tube to keep things safe. Emma gave me jewellry and a bag.


We had the prize giving and we won two prizes. One was a t-shirt. Mine was a white one and in the corner it said ARC 99 Race Yachting World. I got a certificate too. We also got books for being first in the wall painting. I also saw the girls on Madjk. Dani (short for Danielle) who was twelve and Jaye who was nine. We played red light, green light together in the interval. It was fun. We are now in Marigot Bay and are anchored just in front of a beach. It is beautiful. I love it here. It is only round the corner of Rodney Bay. Before the evening prize giving we won a prize for the Stokey Awards. We won a games box (Hannah and Julia have already lost loads of pieces) with lots of games in, and we won a bottle of rum.


Dan and Andrew left at ten o’clock. Sal stayed for a while and went after lunch. Charlie had already gone last night. It was sad to see them go. Then the Ripards arrived and had their first night here on Lazy Duck in St Lucia.

20th Dec

On Monday we left Rodney Bay. We sailed up the coast to some lovely bays. Me, Tom, Hannah, Sebastian, Emma and John-John all went to the sulphur springs and we bought lots of mud soaps at that place and rubbed the mud on us for a mud bath. After the mud dried, we went in a fresh water pool to take it off. It was supposed to help mossie bites.

Then we sailed through the night to Carriacou. It was beautiful. Then we went to Sandy Island and there were loads of pelicans there. They have to keep eating for they lose lots of energy looking for fish. We played in the waves and it was fun. Me and Brandamajo have a SSB radio so we talk to each other at 8.40am every morning. We talk about where we are, where we’re going, and good places to go to.

23rd Dec

The next day we went round the corner to anchor in a lovely bay. I was a bit frightened of the jelly fish but I gave up and went snorkelling with Hannah, Dad and mum. We didn’t see any jellys. Instead we saw trumpet fish. We only snorkelled for ten minutes (it felt like one to me!)

Then I put my stocking up (at night of course). In the morning I woke at three and went back to sleep. Then I woke up at six and couldn’t keep my hands off the stocking. (I wait until seven o’clock). From the stocking I got chocolate momey, and inside-out doll, a beanie baby called Beak, a tiny box made out of velvet and shells, a pencil and a bracelet. Before lunch we got presents from everyone. From Mum and Dad I got a mask and snorkell and flippers, from Emma, JJ, Julia, tom and Bastian I got a beanie baby called Waves, from Nanna and Nannu I got sewing. Also from her us children got fabric paints, water colour pencils and t-shirts to paint with the fabric paints. It was quite a lot of presents but NICE ONES!!

We went to Palm Beach in Petite Martinique where we almost got hit by a motor boat that went very fast up the beach and wasn’t looking where he was going. Then we went back and me, Hannah and Dad did a Christmas concert. Dad played the guitar. We did ten songs. What a lovely day it was.

26th Dec – LOOK AT THAT!!

Today I tried out my mask and flippers. Me and Dad went snorkelling in a lovely bay. We saw two puffer fish, loads of black fish with lovely blue spots and yellow tail, a trumpet fish and two poisenous fish in the sand. It was great.

29th Dec – A SWIM OUT

Today I went snorkelling with Mum and Hannah. We saw a squirrel fish, a soldier fish, a damselfish and a scorpion fish. We also saw a little puffer fish. The scorpion fish was a little SCARY!!! Yesterday we buried John-John in the sand. He looked very funny. I also had a delicious fruit punch on the beach.

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