2018 Karibien - januari 2018
onsdag 31 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Inte alla skurkar i Karibien bor i land
Återigen lägger jag ut ett inlägg på engelska. Det är inte jag själv som skrivit utan vår gode vän George. Det visar sig att man även måste se upp för andra cruisers. Men det visste vi ju redan. Nedan kan ni läsa berättelsen. Vi är mycket goda vänner med Sabrina och Tom som omnämns. Cori och Dale känner vi också, även om de inte är nära vänner till oss.
Här kommer texten från George.
I was enjoying a peaceful breakfast at Wildcat’s cockpit table Wednesday morning, watching the sailboats tied up to mooring balls behind us in Bequia’s Admiral Bay harbour swing back and forth in unison in the morning breeze. Jan and I were recovering from the weekend Bequia Music Festival, and had no plans for the day. I needed to sweat out some rum.
A navy blue SVG Coast Guard launch motored by heading for the city dock. Onboard were 5 black CG officers/Policemen and one white woman with short white hair who looked a lot like a cruiser named Cori who had been onboard our boat for a 14 person happy hour a few nights ago. That was a very unusual sight. Obviously, something was wrong. I picked up the mic and called Tom and Sabrina on Honey Ryder, and told them what I saw. Sabrina said that she would send me an email. Which I opened a few minutes later.
It seems that the owner of Maria’s Internet Café had been out in the harbour going boat to boat looking for a white woman pictured in security camera footage, stealing his iPad from the Café. Thirty minutes later, the SVG Coast Guard Boat came along side Hi Flite and took Cori off the boat. All of the hatches were still open onboard Hi Flite and the dinghy was still in the water. There was no sign of her husband Dale on deck.
Like Jan and me, Tom and Sabrina are cruisers willing to help other cruisers in a pinch. Wildcat and Honey Ryder teamed up last year to tow a 45ft sailboat with engine trouble into the dock in Martinique. I picked up Tom in my dinghy and we went over to Hi Flite to see if Dale needed help. It was 9:30 AM, and Dale was passed out in la la land. It took a while to wake him up and get him up on deck. Dale has back pain problems and the Bequia Doctor had been most generous with his script book, selling Dale three different types of pain pills, telling Dale to try each one and see which one worked the best. Dale decided to short cut the scientific decision process and take all three pills at once. The pain was gone, and so was Dale.
Once Dale was up, and half dressed in the cockpit, it was clear that he did not know what was going on. He thought that Cori was at Yoga. When Tom explained that the police had taken her to the police station for stealing a iPad, Dale’s response was: “Is this some kind of bad joke?”
Tom convinced Dale to get dressed, get some cash, and close up the boat so we could take him into the police station to find out what was going on. Tom and I returned to Honey Ryder to brief Sabrina on the situation. While we were there, the SVG Coast Guard launch with only one officer onboard, came along Hi Flite to pick up Dale. The officer told Dale to bring Cori some shoes, a change of clothes and some toiletries. She was under arrest for theft and would be going to jail.
Tom and I dinghied over to the CG launch and explained to the officer that Dale was on medication and we were willing to assist him to the police station. The officer agreed with the plan, and stood off while we helped get Dale organized and into our dinghy. This took a while. After 15 minutes, Tom and I loaded Dale in my dinghy and were escorted to the town dinghy dock by the CG launch. A policeman and dock security man met us at the dinghy dock and escorted us through the main town street, up the hill to the police station. I think that the entire town came out to watch the parade as if it was a walk of shame. I was beginning to have second thoughts about being involved in this ordeal. But I had a hard time believing that Cori was a crook. She and Dale fit the profile of most other cruising couples who we have met, and none of them were crooks. So I was giving her the benefit of the doubt and going with the innocent until proven guilty theory. And besides, in his pain pill induced stupor, Dale clearly needed our help.
Once our parade reached the Bequia police station, Tom and I stood with Dale in front of the desk police officer and spoke on Dale’s behalf. We learned that Cori had been arrested, charged with the theft and put on the 10:30 water ferry to Kingstown, St Vincent. We looked out the window and could see the ferry steaming out of the harbour. Justice moved swiftly in Bequia. Cori was headed to jail in the third world country of St Vincent and had no idea if Dale even knew where she was.
We learned that she would be arraigned in court that day or placed in a holding cell if the court was not in session. If she pleaded guilty, she would be sentenced and probably deported. If she pleaded not guilty, she would be held in jail without bond until the trial. The officer said that the next ferry left Bequia at 1:00 PM and arrived in Kingstown at 2:00. However, we might want to find a speedboat to take us there sooner. If the court was in session, Cori might be deported by the time we arrived in St Vincent. We were also warned to be careful in Kingstown, carry all money in pockets and no valuables in backpacks.
As Tom and I escorted Dale back to the dinghy dock, I tried to think of a way to get Dale on a boat to Kingstown by himself and end our involvement in what was quickly escalating into a serious and potentially dangerous situation. We have avoided going to St Vincent for the past five years because cruisers have been robbed and killed there. I certainly had no desire to go to the main port city of Kingstown and walk around as a mugging target.
Jan and I had seen this legal drama before in The Bahamas, when a woman we were friends with got crossways with a local Bahamian, who called the police and told them that our friend had firearms onboard her vessel. The police searched her vessel and found three firearms and 45 rounds of ammo, the possession of which are legal in the Bahamas only if you list them on your cruising permit. She had “forgotten” to do so. In a scene reminiscent of this morning’s arrest of Cori, Jan and I watched 6 large black police officers escort our petite blonde friend of to jail in a navy blue police boat. She was facing a number of years in Nassau jail, confiscation of her sailboat, and deportation afterwards. Jan and I were able to help her find an attorney, and get the sentence reduced to a fine and loss of weapons. We learned three things from that ordeal:
Do not do anything illegal anywhere, especially in a third world county. They can lock you up in some hell hole jail and throw away the key.
If your friend gets arrested, hire the best criminal attorney in town.
Bring a big wad of cash to pay the attorney, fines and court costs.
Tom and I explained to Dale that we should hire a go fast boat, take Cori’s change of clothes, shoes and a big wand of cash over to Kingstown to see if we could find an attorney to represent her. We could come back on the 6:00 PM ferry, assuming that we did not get mugged in Kingstown. Dale was still zoned out, but shook his head yes.
I was starting to wonder if I was doing the right thing. For the first time it dawned on me that Cori might actually be guilty of the theft. Should I really be helping them? What if she is not guilty? Then I recalled the stench of the urine soaked holding cell where our friend was kept in the Bahamas. That is no place for a cruiser to be, even if they are a thief. So we pressed on.
We found two water taxi drivers eager to take us to St Vincent. We chose Shawn on the taxi named Rumors. We took my dinghy to all three sailboats to collect wads of money and four rain jackets for the rough ride offshore. While I was putting the dinghy away on Wildcat, out of the blue ... a local named Mr. Kydd approached us in a grey RIB dinghy. He asked if we would like the name of an attorney in Kingstown. I thought to myself that this must be divine intervention and everyone in Bequia must know what is going on.
Mr. Kydd came onboard, called Richard William’s Law Office on his cell phone and handed me the phone. I gave the office manager Cori’s name and told her we would be there in an hour. Mr. Kydd wrote down the phone number for me along with the name and phone number of his friend who is a cab driver in St Vincent. Before he left, Mr. Kydd looked at me and said: “When you get to Kingstown, keep your money on you, not in your back pack. Take a cab straight to William’s law office. Do not go to the police station. Do not walk through town. Be careful. If you have any trouble, call my taxi driver friend.” I thought that St Vincent was a dangerous place, and now two locals had confirmed that it really is.
Sabrina and Jan set up a text and email communication center onboard Wildcat, but I opted to leave my VHF onboard Wildcat so it wouldn’t be stolen in Kingstown. I would be out of Wildcat VHF range as soon as we left Bequia.
The water between the islands of Bequia and St Vincent is open ocean with a strong current setting to the West. The winds that day were a normal 14 knots from the East. The current combined with the ocean swell created a nasty chop that sent the 22’ plywood (taxi) speedboat Rumors crashing through waves. We were soaked. Fifteen minutes into this ocean joyride I was wishing that I brought my VHF radio. I was watching the bottom of the plywood floor flex as we pounded into the swells, and wondering how we were going to call for help if the boat split opened and sank. I saw one fiberglass covered wooden stringer that had cracked long before this trip. It was flexing at the crack. I decided to adopt the “No Problem Mon” mantra, watching the oncoming waves instead. We pressed on, crashing through the heady chop.
The driver, Shawn yelled at me: “Where do you want to go? The customs dock?”
George: “No! The police station!”
Sean’s eyes widened with disbelief: “The police station? Really?”
George: “Yes, Dale’s wife has been arrested. Actually we need to go to Richard Williams’ office first.” I had distracted Shawn from driving. The boat launched off of one wave and dove into the next swell, showering all of us with salt water spray.
Shawn: “Oh, Richard Williams is my lawyer. He is the best. I will take you to him.”
Tom turned to me and gave me a thumbs up: “We chose the right speedboat driver!” More divine intervention.
We pulled up to the concrete fishing wharf after thirty minutes of pounding and tied up along side of a fishing boat. Once on the dock, I reminded everyone to keep their money in their pockets and try not to stand out in the crowd, which was laughable for two reasons. One: we were the only three white guys in a sea of black and brown locals. And two: Dale had packed Cori’s shoes and things in a very bright yellow water proof pouch that screamed “steal me!” Blending into the crowd was not an option.
We ran into trouble with the security guard at the gate while trying to leave the wharf security area. We obviously were not fishermen, but 20 EC took care of that problem. Shawn looked at us and said: “Stay close to me and you will be OK” as we snaked through the sea of people in the bustling fish market, dodging people, honking vans, busses and fish carts. It looked like a scene out of a James Bond movie, three white guys following a local through a foreign market, frantically searching for a girl who was being held in the city at some unknown location. All the scene lacked was gunfire.
Dale was falling behind. He had both arms wrapped around the bright yellow pouch like a linebacker carrying a football as he stumbled forward, obviously in drug numbed pain. I took the yellow bag from him so he could walk faster. My real plan was to fling the bag into the crowd if someone attacked us, and run like hell. I kept that plan to myself.
Shawn lead us down a quieter back street searching for the right building. About the time that I was beginning to suspect that Shawn was lost, he pointed to an open doorway. At the top of the stairs we found Mr. Williams’ office. After a five minute wait, Mr. Williams met with us in his conference room. He was an intimidatingly tall, broad shouldered black man, impeccably dressed in a dark blue suit with a white shirt, obviously ready for a courtroom appearance.
After a thirty second summary of today’s events, Mr. Williams interrupted us: “Where is the girl now?”
“We do not know if she is in holding or in court.”
Mr. Williams picked up his cellphone and pressed a speed dial number for holding: “This is Richard Williams, are you holding a woman named Cori there?—Caucasian. Thanks.” He hung up and pressed the courthouse phone number. “This is Richard Williams, do you have a Caucasian woman named Cori there?---Thanks.” He stood up and announced: “She’s in court, let’s go see what is going on.”
It was raining when we exited the building. Mr. Williams lead our walk of shame parade through four blocks of cars and people. I felt safer this time because people in the street were waving to him and a few even said “Good morning Mr. Williams” to him. We had found the rock star of criminal attorneys in St Vincent. The front door of the courthouse was locked because court was in session. We snaked around to the back entrance of the building to a door marked “Serious Offences Court Entrance.”
Bequia Serious Offenders Court
That’s Tom on the left, George on the right. They let us right in. That is not a good sign! Rut Row Astro.
The closed door to the courtroom was guarded by two guards dressed in traditional all white formal tuxedoes. They let Mr. Williams right in while the rest of us sat outside in chairs along the wall of the hallway. A few minutes later, Mr. Williams came out and motioned for Dale to come inside the courtroom. The guards patted him down before letting him through the door. Shawn, Tom and I entertained ourselves with tales of testifying in USA courthouses and wondering if we could leave and go to lunch. Tom texted a report to Sabrina at the Wildcat command center. Sabrina replied that they had found the nearest US Embassy, but it was on the island of Barbados.
After and hour of watching various men in handcuffs being escorted back and fort in and out of the courtroom, it was over. Court was adjourned. Mr. Williams lead Dale and Cori out of the room. They were free to go. Mr. Williams had negotiated a plea bargain to a lesser crime of petty theft. Cori admitted stealing the iPad, paid a $400 EC fine, agreed to return the iPad to its owner and, in return, was not deported. Lawyer fees were $600 USD, and transportation expenses with tips to the gate keepers totaled 750 EC. We had found the right attorney.
Cori cried most of the way back to the speedboat, claiming that she was going to stop drinking because “I think I am a lot smarter than I really am when I am drinking.” I will let you judge for yourself if that is an admission or transfer of guilt.
The trip back in the speedboat was slightly less wet, at least until it rained. To top it off, the motor started cutting out as we neared Bequia. There were long periods of time when the motor would only fast idle, then burst to life as if the fuel blockage had suddenly been solved, only to bog down again to a wallowing idle speed. I kicked myself for not bringing the VHF radio. I had no way to call for a tow if the motor quit completely. Fortunately, we finally made it back to our respective boats, soaking wet, but otherwise OK.
Later on, over sundowners, Jan and I met with Tom and Sabrina to analyze the incident in great detail. Our discussion centered around two issues:
Trust: We cruisers are generally open and trusting people. This theft was an important reminder that not all thieves live onshore. Some of them are part of the cruising community. We go to great lengths to protect ourselves from the island based thieves. We need to do a better job of identifying and protecting ourselves from crooks within our own cruising community.
Did we do the right thing in helping a thief: We think so. We were helping two cruisers who were in real trouble. A St Vincent jail is no place for anyone to get locked up in other than hardened criminals, murders and drug dealers. Justice was served. The ipad was returned to its rightful owner, Cori paid the fine, and Hi Flite has been “outed” within the cruising community. Tom summed it up when he said: “If I had it to do over again, I would still help them.”
That is why we like cruising with Tom and Sabrina.
PS For those of you who thought that I was exaggerating about the bottom of the speedboat flexing, Jan took this picture of it yesterday. The plywood delamination is underneath the cracked stringer.
Sail fast, lock up your stuff.
George and Jan Todd


söndag 21 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Davids goda sushi
Här en bild  på den goda sushi som Dave lagade till oss i onsdags. Han är verkligen duktig på detta. Det fortsätter med fullt program för oss här i St Anne. Igår körde både Anna-Karin och jag styrketräning på fördäck tidigt på morgonen. Vi lyfter hantlar och gör andra övningar. Hux flux när vi precis var färdiga med detta halkade vi med på en hike ner till Salinas, den sydligaste spetsen på Martinique. En fin hike som vi gjort många gånger förut. Men vi hade egentligen inte tänkt hika direkt på styrketräningen och vi var ordentligt trötta när vi kom hem efter 10 km hikining.
I fredags var det ocså fullt program. Först var jag var på gubbfrukost inne iland. Mitt på dagen hade vi braai på stranden. Senare var det en sundowner hos goda vänner.
Just i skrivande stund kör Anna-Karin ett nytt pass träning på fördäck. Vi har aldrig någonsin tränat så mycket som vi gjort denna seglingssäsong. Det känns bra.
onsdag 17 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Som jag berättade om i förra inlägget så bjöd vi våra vänner Helen och Dave på ett minijulbord. Hemlagad Janssons frestelse, hemkokt rödkål, heminlagd sill, hemlagade köttbullar, ägghalvor med Kalles kaviar samt julskinka som inte var hemlagad. Vi hade också en burk med senapssill som följt med från Sverige. Tyvärr hade den blivit dålig och gick inte att äta. Smakade väldigt syrligt.
Dave hade med sig iskall vodka som vi skålade i tillsammans med godsakerna. Vi är inte direkt vana vid att sjunga snapsvisor till julmat, med Helen och Dave insisterade på att vi skulle sjunga svenska visor till nubben. Hur som helst så blev det väldigt lyckat. Vi har faktiskt ätit julbord med Helen och Dave flera gånger i Karibien och de älskar våra svenska specialiteter.
Dagen efter var det tidig uppstigning. Våra vänner Donna och David hade hyrt bil och det skulle storhandlas inne i Fort de France. Gissa vem som fick sitta bakom ratten hela dagen. Ingen annan var intresserad av denna syssla. Hur som helst så gick allt bra och vi avverkade flera supermarkets.
Idag fortsätter programmet med att Anna-Karin skall åka på ladys lunch. Jag skall under tiden bjuda Dave och David på rester från julbordet. På kvällen skall Dave bjuda på hemlagad sushi. Inte många lugna stunder här inte.
1Helen och jagAnna och DaveMin julklapp en baugettepåse
Helen och jag.
Anna-Karin och Dave.
Min julklapp.
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lördag 13 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Om man blir hungrig
Vi har testat pizzabåten en gång, och de har mycket goda pizzor.
Igår var det fullt schema hela dagen. Det började med frukost strax efter 06.00. Det är vår normala frukosttid. Klockan 07.00 var vi ute vid den båt där Anna-Karin håller på med ett fotoprojekt för att ta några kompletterande bilder. 07.45 tog vi bussen några kilometer in mot Le Marin för att starta en hike. Vi var inte så många denna gång, nio personer. En fin hike upp på det högsta berget på södra Martinique som tog tre timmar. Hemma blev det ett snabbt bad med dusch innan det var dags för braai 12.30.
Grillade kycklingspett och hemlagad potatissallad stod på menyn. Efter några timmar på stranden var det dags för hemfärd. Då såg vi en svensk båt som vi inte sett förut. Stannade till för att säga hej och blev ombordbjudna på en öl. Vi hann inte stanna länge förrän vi var tvungna att dra vidare hem till Unicorn. 17.00 kom Cathy och Greg till oss för en sundowner. Det är från USA men har bott och arbetat på många platser i världen. Bland annat har de bott tre år i Göteborg och talar lite svenska. Det var mycket trevligt att ha dem ombord.
Som avslutning var vi bjudna till ett pizza-party. Men vi orkade inte mer utan hoppade över dagens sista aktivitet.
Idag har jag stått flera timmar i köket för att förbereda inför morgondagen. Det har varit allt från att steka köttbullar till att koka rödkål. Imorgon skall vi bjuda amerikanska cruisingkompisar på ett minijulbord.
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onsdag 10 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Bra hike
1I måndags gjorde vi en fin hike tillsamman med inte mindre än 29 personer. Det var inte vi som initierat den, men när vi fick reda på den lockade vi med oss ganska många extra deltagare från seglarna i vår vänkrets här. Hiken är inte speciellt tuff vad det gäller antal höjdmeter, men den är desto längre. Vi gick från St Anne rakt öster ut tills vi mötte Atlantkusten. Där tog vi höger och följde kustlinjen söderut. Vi gick ner den allra sydligaste spetsen. Där stannade vi och intog lunch. Efter vilan fortsatte vi sedan längs insidan upp mot St Anne. Totalt avverkade vi 16 km.

Jag måste säga att jag är imponerad av att så många hängde med runt. Man kan väl konstatera att en del av de som var med inte var i bästa fysisk form. Dagen efter gick radion varm med cruisers som diskuterade hur det kändes dagen efter och hur ont de hade. Anna-Karin och jag tränar varje dag. Simning, styrketräning och hiking. Ibland flera aktiviteter samma dag. När vi vaknade dagen efter kändes därför inget speciellt.
Tyvärr kan jag inte visa spåret på en karta. Jag glömde dessvärre att slå på spårfunktionen i min telefon.
Anna-Karin jobbar också varje dag vidare med det fotojobb som hon fått här i St Anne. Tyvärr var det idag ingen bra dag för fotande. Mycket moln och talrika regnskurar. Jag passade på att ta jollen in till Le Marin för att handla mat och bensin under tiden. Nu har hon dragit iväg in till land för “ladys lunch” och då får inte jag följa med.
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lördag 6 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Another Braai
Jo, Devin, Anna-Karin och jag
Våra sydafrikanska vänner Jo och John anordnade igår ännu en “Braai” inne på stranden. Jag har skrivit om det förr, “Braai” är Zimbabwe-slang för BBQ. John är expert på att fixa grillpartyn på stranden och älskar det. Tyvärr är John skadad för tillfället och har svårt att gå. Vi alla skrattar åt honom, vilket vi kanske inte borde, men omständigheterna kring skadans uppkomst är lite lustiga. John har lyckats få en nerv i kläm eller något åt det hållet när han nudlade. Alltså tränade i vattnet med en flytkorv. Det måste vara den absolut skonsammast träning man överhuvudtaget kan ägna sig åt.
Det sista vi gjorde i St Lucia innan vi lämnade var att köpa superstarka värktabletter. De finns naturligtvis också här, men bara på läkarrecept. I St Lucia är de inte lika nogräknade. Men apotekaren spände ögonen i mig och undrade om jag stod under noggrann läkarkontroll när jag skulle ta dessa tabletter. Nu var det ju inte jag som skulle ha dem, men jag ljög och sa att min läkare hade full kontroll.
Hur som helst hade vi alla en mycket trevlig eftermiddag på stranden.

Idag blåser det friskt, 12-14 m/s, och det är talrika regnskurar. Detta väder ser ut att hålla på minst en vecka framåt, och vi kommer därför inte att flytta på oss. Anna-Karin har dessutom fått ett fotouppdrag. Hon skall fota våra kompisar Joanna och Bills båt både interiört och exteriört. De planerar att sälja sin båt och istället skaffa en större.
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måndag 1 januari 2018 - Skrivet av Håkan Börjesson
Gott Nytt År
Vi önskar alla våra läsare ett Gott Nytt 2018.

Vi råkade ut för en tråkig incident i Castries, St Lucias huvudstad. Jag har skrivit en sammanfattning av vad som hände som vi lagt ut på flera sociala medier. Jag måste säga gensvaret varit mycket stort. 100-tals kommentarer och reaktioner. Vi har ju varit Karibien ett tag och är ganska välkända bland de seglare som finns här.
Eftersom St Lucia redan före detta hände hade ett ganska skamfilat rykte kommer detta att göra att ännu färre seglare besöker ön. Det var under vårt besök betydligt färre båtar än vad vi sett tidigare år. Det är synd för St Lucia är en fin ö och lokalbefolkningen behöver så väl inkomster från besökare.
Jag skrev sammanfattningen på engelska och lägger ut den i original. Hoppas ingen har för stora problem att läsa texten.
On the 28th of Dec. we took the bus, as we have done many times before, from Rodney
Bay to Castries in St Lucia. We were heading for the market to buy fruit,
vegetables and some fish. As we were looking at what fish the local
fishermen had I, Hakan, was hit from behind and fell to the ground. The
attacker tried to grab my backpack but he was unsuccessful in doing so
because I managed to hold on to it. Instead he then grabbed the chain that I
had around my neck. It was hidden by my shirt, but my shirt became
dislocated when I was on the ground. He ripped it right off me. Anna saw
what happened and she tried to get the chain back from the assaulting man.
He then hit Anna hard with his fist in her chest a couple of times to break
free. He eventually did so. I was not yet up on my feet. When I was up I
tried to run after the guy. But with a backpack in one hand and flip-flops
on my feet I was not the fastest man in the world. Around us we had about 50
local people also visiting the market. No one lifted a finger to give us any
kind of help. This happened 10.30 in the morning under a shining sun. Not in
some dark alley. We had spent less the 10 minutes in Castries when this
happened. It has been reported to the local police.
We are physically OK, but Anna has got some bad looking bruises.
Hakan Borjesson & Anna-Karin Sundquist
s/v Unicorn