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Positions

Last report position from station Pepper

Date: 2018-04-20 11:35
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 20º 29.91'N:087º 13.45'W
Course: 090º Speed: 0.00 knots
Received via: Texas SailMail - WPTG385-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/7941.4
Date: 2018-04-19 01:10
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 20º 29.90'N:087º 13.45'W
Course: 121º Speed: 0.00 knots
Received via: Texas SailMail - WPTG385-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/7941.4
Date: 2018-04-18 01:54
Station ID: Pepper
Position: 20º 49.80'N:086º 53.37'W
Course: 154º Speed: 0.00 knots
Received via: Texas SailMail - WPTG385-1 with pactor4/FBB-2/7941.4

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Reports



Date: 2018-05-24 19:15
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May general stuff


I really enjoyed my 3 day raw food yoga retreat. I learnt a lot about both. Yoga for me isn't sitting on a mat making lots of sounds feeling spiritual. Although I appreciate its usefulness, for me, I enjoy the physical challenging aspects. However having attended this retreat I have started to
incorporate more of the mindfulness of yoga. We have been eating incredibly healthily whilst here and both have been going to yoga classes. I order all our fruit, veg, nuts etc from an organic company and have followed some interesting recipes using avocados as dressings for example
and generally lots more fruit and veg in our diet. It's good prices too. Isla Mujeres is very Bohemian many vegan restaurants, tattoo shops, artists, yoga retreats, hippy clothes shops and back packers around. It's been fun to be a part of it.

We have made a few friends here but folk are starting to leave as it's hurricane season soon. Our intent is to sail south, spend a month exploring Belize then head into the Rio Dolce which is a long fresh water river in Guatemala. There are high mountains either side in the canyon and it's at
least 5km inland. It is considered a hurricane hole. Here we hope to cross the bar at Livingston and motor inland on 15 Jun and be lifted out 25 in RAM marina. We will stay in an affordable shared accommodation whilst working on Pepper. It's a jungle in Guatemala and it gets very hot
and humid with many rain storms. Accommodation, albeit shared, with air conditioning would be such a treat after many days work doing boat jobs. We hear the labor is cheap with skilled workers. We have a few carpentry jobs which we would like doing, sanding and varnishing anti
fouling and our prop shaft needs replacing. Not too much. We intend to book a flight to Hong Kong to see Lizzy and her baby (due 15 Aug) but no plans to come back to UK at the moment. We will plan on a few jungle tours and see inland too.

Illness:
My stomach had been feeling rotten for quite some time with a huge solid stomach and not too great on the loo. Phil and I popped in to the local doctors who took blood and stool tests. I had picked up a nasty parasite and 4 bad bacteria; E Coli and Salmonella to name 2. Phil had the
bad bacteria but not parasite-greedy me. We were put on many antibiotics, I took 8 a day. The battle inside made me feel completely awful, tired, foggy mind and just generally rotten. However, we have won the war and have the all clear, but never again. I think I had been carrying that
around for quite some time at least 6 months +, We have got medication to take 4 monthly to avoid any more of these problems. We were just unlucky. We've visited many countries where hygiene is not a priority, and occasionally whilst out at sea even our hygiene standards may drop
because of the inconvenience. Our lesson learned was to listen to your body and if things aren't right-get to the docs. The wonderful thing is our results arrived the same day and it was twelve pounds! You'd never get that in UK. However...imagine a comedy sketch: Phil and I sitting in
the surgery. The doctor can't speak English. Our Spanish is limited and certainly no medical vocabulary. The nurse was useful and he could translate for us. However, he had a terrible stutter! Looking back on it now, it would have been a hilarious sight watching the four of us in that
conversation. We're not sure to this day what was said :-)

We were waiting for George to visit us in Mexico now that he has finished university and is a rocket scientist. He has RAF interviews coming up, an exciting time for him, and we need to head south because the weather systems have changed-big wind and a lot of rain. I doubt hurricanes
follow the Gregorian calendar either. We are sitting in 30mph winds watching other boats drag. As soon as this low to the west of us disappears we are off to Belize. Hopefully George will visit us when we get there.

Love to you all.

Date: 2018-05-24 19:15
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May general stuff


I really enjoyed my 3 day raw food yoga retreat. I learnt a lot about both. Yoga for me isn't sitting on a mat making lots of sounds feeling spiritual. Although I appreciate its usefulness, for me, I enjoy the physical challenging aspects. However having attended this retreat I have started to
incorporate more of the mindfulness of yoga. We have been eating incredibly healthily whilst here and both have been going to yoga classes. I order all our fruit, veg, nuts etc from an organic company and have followed some interesting recipes using avocados as dressings for example
and generally lots more fruit and veg in our diet. It's good prices too. Isla Mujeres is very Bohemian many vegan restaurants, tattoo shops, artists, yoga retreats, hippy clothes shops and back packers around. It's been fun to be a part of it.

We have made a few friends here but folk are starting to leave as it's hurricane season soon. Our intent is to sail south, spend a month exploring Belize then head into the Rio Dolce which is a long fresh water river in Guatemala. There are high mountains either side in the canyon and it's at
least 5km inland. It is considered a hurricane hole. Here we hope to cross the bar at Livingston and motor inland on 15 Jun and be lifted out 25 in RAM marina. We will stay in an affordable shared accommodation whilst working on Pepper. It's a jungle in Guatemala and it gets very hot
and humid with many rain storms. Accommodation, albeit shared, with air conditioning would be such a treat after many days work doing boat jobs. We hear the labor is cheap with skilled workers. We have a few carpentry jobs which we would like doing, sanding and varnishing anti
fouling and our prop shaft needs replacing. Not too much. We intend to book a flight to Hong Kong to see Lizzy and her baby (due 15 Aug) but no plans to come back to UK at the moment. We will plan on a few jungle tours and see inland too.

Illness:
My stomach had been feeling rotten for quite some time with a huge solid stomach and not too great on the loo. Phil and I popped in to the local doctors who took blood and stool tests. I had picked up a nasty parasite and 4 bad bacteria; E Coli and Salmonella to name 2. Phil had the
bad bacteria but not parasite-greedy me. We were put on many antibiotics, I took 8 a day. The battle inside made me feel completely awful, tired, foggy mind and just generally rotten. However, we have won the war and have the all clear, but never again. I think I had been carrying that
around for quite some time at least 6 months +, We have got medication to take 4 monthly to avoid any more of these problems. We were just unlucky. We've visited many countries where hygiene is not a priority, and occasionally whilst out at sea even our hygiene standards may drop
because of the inconvenience. Our lesson learned was to listen to your body and if things aren't right-get to the docs. The wonderful thing is our results arrived the same day and it was twelve pounds! You'd never get that in UK. However...imagine a comedy sketch: Phil and I sitting in
the surgery. The doctor can't speak English. Our Spanish is limited and certainly no medical vocabulary. The nurse was useful and he could translate for us. However, he had a terrible stutter! Looking back on it now, it would have been a hilarious sight watching the four of us in that
conversation. We're not sure to this day what was said :-)

We were waiting for George to visit us in Mexico now that he has finished university and is a rocket scientist. He has RAF interviews coming up, an exciting time for him, and we need to head south because the weather systems have changed-big wind and a lot of rain. I doubt hurricanes
follow the Gregorian calendar either. We are sitting in 30mph winds watching other boats drag. As soon as this low to the west of us disappears we are off to Belize. Hopefully George will visit us when we get there.

Love to you all.

Date: 2018-05-24 18:55
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May Sean and Vicky's visit


We are currently sitting out a rotten storm waiting for a good weather window to head south to Belize. Since our last post Sean and his girlfriend Vicky came out to visit us.
Sat 21 Apr: We collected them from Cancun airport. There were a few stressful moments when they were told they should have applied for ETSA visa for USA (they were changing flights here). You should apply 72 hours before flight. Long story short they sat in Heathrow completing their
visas and luckily they came through quick enough for them to board the plane otherwise they would not have been accepted. Lesson learned. We stayed in El Sid which is 20 mins drive from the airport. El Sid is a 5 star hotel marina all inclusive. We spent the evening showing them
around the marina and the boat (first time Vicky has been sailing). Sun 22: Did yoga, sun bathing, went to see the dolphin prison, ate lots of food and drank a lot of cocktails whilst the men played beach volleyball. A great day. Mon 23: Left El Sid for Isla Mujeres. Vicky was terribly seasick
so suggested she slept the 5 hour trip and felt a lot better for it. We saw dolphins and sea turtles, caught two tuna on one line but broke the rod reeling them in. Tue 24: Walked around the north of Isla Mujeres, ate brussel sprout tacos at skulls landing and bimbled around in the dinghy
showing Sean and Vicky the lagoon. We pumped up the paddle boards and towed them around the north side. I picked up a nasty cold sore on my lip which hurt when I smiled :-(

Wed 25: Vic and Sean joined me for yoga, we went snorkeling to the wreck on body boards. Sean and Phil scrubbed the bottom and Vic had a go going up the mast. We hired golf carts to drive around the island which was great fun. We went into an Ice Bar which was 30 degrees below
zero. They gave you bear rug coats to wear but Sean and I decided to have a quick change and went back inside wearing our swim wear taking a few photos-obviously didn't last in there too long. Even the alcoholic shots were frozen. Driving back we were greeted by a torrential rain
storm, soaked to the skin but at least it's warm so it was quite good fun driving through flooded roads and getting back to the boat. Fri 26: the kids went souvenir shopping, we had a curry on board and tried a moijito in skulls landing with prosecco and fruit-really lovely. Sat 27: Last day, we
took the ferry across to Cancun mainland and said our emotional good byes. It was fabulous having them visit us. It was incredibly hot with no wind and many mosquitos around, we think they coped quite well considering.

Date: 2018-05-24 18:55
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr - 24 May Sean and Vicky's visit


We are currently sitting out a rotten storm waiting for a good weather window to head south to Belize. Since our last post Sean and his girlfriend Vicky came out to visit us.
Sat 21 Apr: We collected them from Cancun airport. There were a few stressful moments when they were told they should have applied for ETSA visa for USA (they were changing flights here). You should apply 72 hours before flight. Long story short they sat in Heathrow completing their
visas and luckily they came through quick enough for them to board the plane otherwise they would not have been accepted. Lesson learned. We stayed in El Sid which is 20 mins drive from the airport. El Sid is a 5 star hotel marina all inclusive. We spent the evening showing them
around the marina and the boat (first time Vicky has been sailing). Sun 22: Did yoga, sun bathing, went to see the dolphin prison, ate lots of food and drank a lot of cocktails whilst the men played beach volleyball. A great day. Mon 23: Left El Sid for Isla Mujeres. Vicky was terribly seasick
so suggested she slept the 5 hour trip and felt a lot better for it. We saw dolphins and sea turtles, caught two tuna on one line but broke the rod reeling them in. Tue 24: Walked around the north of Isla Mujeres, ate brussel sprout tacos at skulls landing and bimbled around in the dinghy
showing Sean and Vicky the lagoon. We pumped up the paddle boards and towed them around the north side. I picked up a nasty cold sore on my lip which hurt when I smiled :-(

Wed 25: Vic and Sean joined me for yoga, we went snorkeling to the wreck on body boards. Sean and Phil scrubbed the bottom and Vic had a go going up the mast. We hired golf carts to drive around the island which was great fun. We went into an Ice Bar which was 30 degrees below
zero. They gave you bear rug coats to wear but Sean and I decided to have a quick change and went back inside wearing our swim wear taking a few photos-obviously didn't last in there too long. Even the alcoholic shots were frozen. Driving back we were greeted by a torrential rain
storm, soaked to the skin but at least it's warm so it was quite good fun driving through flooded roads and getting back to the boat. Fri 26: the kids went souvenir shopping, we had a curry on board and tried a moijito in skulls landing with prosecco and fruit-really lovely. Sat 27: Last day, we
took the ferry across to Cancun mainland and said our emotional good byes. It was fabulous having them visit us. It was incredibly hot with no wind and many mosquitos around, we think they coped quite well considering.

Date: 2018-04-19 01:11
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr Port Aventuras


We're visiting various places so that when Sean and Vicky visit we don't waste time and can plan a great itinerary for them. We quite like it here. It's different. Lots of condos and sadly a large area of captured sea life creatures:dolphins, manatees and sea lions. Not sure why they need
another pen of dolphins. There's many restaurants and bars around here which surround the captured sea life. You can enjoy your meals watching these beautiful creatures which are better off in their own habitat. I imagine it's a real tourist thing. Playa de Carmen is only 15 mins drive
away. We had an odd sail here. 17 knots of wind but traveling at 5 knots of speed. Tide was weird (i is the gulf stream head on) and confused seas. As soon as we came into the break water the seas eased and we were surrounded by beautiful clear green water as we entered the
marina. Very pretty, I thought it looked like parts of Italy. We entered the marina with condos and little alleyways surrounding it. The locals were really friendly providing us with useful information; again lots of expats from USA. There's a nice bay with a good beach so it seems a good place
to bring our visitors.

Date: 2018-04-19 01:11
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: 19 Apr Port Aventuras


We're visiting various places so that when Sean and Vicky visit we don't waste time and can plan a great itinerary for them. We quite like it here. It's different. Lots of condos and sadly a large area of captured sea life creatures:dolphins, manatees and sea lions. Not sure why they need
another pen of dolphins. There's many restaurants and bars around here which surround the captured sea life. You can enjoy your meals watching these beautiful creatures which are better off in their own habitat. I imagine it's a real tourist thing. Playa de Carmen is only 15 mins drive
away. We had an odd sail here. 17 knots of wind but traveling at 5 knots of speed. Tide was weird (i is the gulf stream head on) and confused seas. As soon as we came into the break water the seas eased and we were surrounded by beautiful clear green water as we entered the
marina. Very pretty, I thought it looked like parts of Italy. We entered the marina with condos and little alleyways surrounding it. The locals were really friendly providing us with useful information; again lots of expats from USA. There's a nice bay with a good beach so it seems a good place
to bring our visitors.

Date: 2018-04-18 01:23
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Isla Mujeres 03 Apr


The sail here was fabulous. We had the parasailor up, saw loads of dolphins, a bird stopped by for a rest, we caught our first ever fish-tuna skipjack and ate cheviche for lunch. 300nms to go and we did it in 58hrs. The wind did drop off one night but overall a great sail. We arrived late
afternoon 1700 and dropped anchor for the night. The following morning we booked in. It's a scruffy little place but lively and colourful. The Mexicans are really cute: little and their Spanish accent is funny to hear. It's very singy (if that's a word). Booking in took 4 hours and we needed to
go to the hospital, bank and it was a long dragged out process. But we don't need to keep booking in and out every time we move to a different location in Mexico. I bought a fishing licence which they never asked for. You need to temporary import your boat (TIP) into Mexico when you
arrive which was also another long drawn out process of having to go to the mainland and fill out numerous amounts of paperwork. All done now. We had hoped to catch up with our friends we met in Grand Cayman, Babz and Paul but they had already set off for Florida. We had a brief
time with them in GC and I felt a little sad they weren't here. I had a good connection with Babz; I'm sure we'll catch up with them another time.

The water isn't as clear as other places but it's got a great airport in Cancun with affordable flights from UK. Sean and his girlfriend Vicky have booked a flight 21 Apr for a week-so looking forward to seeing them. Compared to GC the food and beer prices are fantastic! The Mexican food is
great. Avocados, limes mangos etc a plenty, big, delicious, local and a great price.

I found a yoga place to go A34 an hour. They had started a yoga raw food retreat to which I joined in. It meant Phil had to eat on his own for 3 days, but I learnt so much about raw food and healthy eating that Phil has joined in (occasionally) when I make our meals. There is a great sailing
community here. I think the good prices draw folk in. We've met an American couple Ginny and Stephen and S African John and his wife Jen. They're great fun. John and Jen are heading into Rio Dolce this hurricane season so we'll no doubt catch up with them again.

There's a good community here too of Canadians etc settling in Isla Mujeres. Everyone drives around in golf buggies. At first I found it a bit hustle and bustle but I've settled into the lifestyle. The souvenir shops and restaurants are super, colourful with great choices. If you like Mexican
food, you need to visit.

We've headed off to the mainland a place called El Cid, Porte Morrelos. It's the closest to the airport so we can pick up Sean and Vicky. It is a marina with excellent facilities attached to an all-inclusive hotel. A gentle intro to Pepper for Vicky we feel. We have to wear wrist bands but mot
the same colour as the hotel guests. Phil has had the odd free beer. We went on a crazy bike ride for food shopping on a tricycle. If you've never been on a tricycle: trust me it's NOT like riding a bike. You have to steer it like a car. We are both sore and our bottoms need some rest.
We've been attending the hotel's yoga and gym classes and getting in some great runs in. There's a northerly at the moment so it feels quite cold in the evening. It's 20 degrees. I wore jeans last night and a fleece to yoga at 0630. It is nice in the afternoon. The beach has been overrun
with seagrass. Apparently there's been a storm in the Gulf of Mexico which has pulled up loads of the stuff. They are removing it from the beaches and I hope it's all gone by the time Sean and Vicky arrive.

Tomorrow we are heading off to Aventuras to see that marina then onto Cozumel. We've heard the water is clear there and we feel that Sean and Vicky will enjoy the snorkeling better there. We're just recce'ing places to show them.


Date: 2018-04-18 01:23
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Mexico
Title: Isla Mujeres 03 Apr


The sail here was fabulous. We had the parasailor up, saw loads of dolphins, a bird stopped by for a rest, we caught our first ever fish-tuna skipjack and ate cheviche for lunch. 300nms to go and we did it in 58hrs. The wind did drop off one night but overall a great sail. We arrived late
afternoon 1700 and dropped anchor for the night. The following morning we booked in. It's a scruffy little place but lively and colourful. The Mexicans are really cute: little and their Spanish accent is funny to hear. It's very singy (if that's a word). Booking in took 4 hours and we needed to
go to the hospital, bank and it was a long dragged out process. But we don't need to keep booking in and out every time we move to a different location in Mexico. I bought a fishing licence which they never asked for. You need to temporary import your boat (TIP) into Mexico when you
arrive which was also another long drawn out process of having to go to the mainland and fill out numerous amounts of paperwork. All done now. We had hoped to catch up with our friends we met in Grand Cayman, Babz and Paul but they had already set off for Florida. We had a brief
time with them in GC and I felt a little sad they weren't here. I had a good connection with Babz; I'm sure we'll catch up with them another time.

The water isn't as clear as other places but it's got a great airport in Cancun with affordable flights from UK. Sean and his girlfriend Vicky have booked a flight 21 Apr for a week-so looking forward to seeing them. Compared to GC the food and beer prices are fantastic! The Mexican food is
great. Avocados, limes mangos etc a plenty, big, delicious, local and a great price.

I found a yoga place to go A34 an hour. They had started a yoga raw food retreat to which I joined in. It meant Phil had to eat on his own for 3 days, but I learnt so much about raw food and healthy eating that Phil has joined in (occasionally) when I make our meals. There is a great sailing
community here. I think the good prices draw folk in. We've met an American couple Ginny and Stephen and S African John and his wife Jen. They're great fun. John and Jen are heading into Rio Dolce this hurricane season so we'll no doubt catch up with them again.

There's a good community here too of Canadians etc settling in Isla Mujeres. Everyone drives around in golf buggies. At first I found it a bit hustle and bustle but I've settled into the lifestyle. The souvenir shops and restaurants are super, colourful with great choices. If you like Mexican
food, you need to visit.

We've headed off to the mainland a place called El Cid, Porte Morrelos. It's the closest to the airport so we can pick up Sean and Vicky. It is a marina with excellent facilities attached to an all-inclusive hotel. A gentle intro to Pepper for Vicky we feel. We have to wear wrist bands but mot
the same colour as the hotel guests. Phil has had the odd free beer. We went on a crazy bike ride for food shopping on a tricycle. If you've never been on a tricycle: trust me it's NOT like riding a bike. You have to steer it like a car. We are both sore and our bottoms need some rest.
We've been attending the hotel's yoga and gym classes and getting in some great runs in. There's a northerly at the moment so it feels quite cold in the evening. It's 20 degrees. I wore jeans last night and a fleece to yoga at 0630. It is nice in the afternoon. The beach has been overrun
with seagrass. Apparently there's been a storm in the Gulf of Mexico which has pulled up loads of the stuff. They are removing it from the beaches and I hope it's all gone by the time Sean and Vicky arrive.

Tomorrow we are heading off to Aventuras to see that marina then onto Cozumel. We've heard the water is clear there and we feel that Sean and Vicky will enjoy the snorkeling better there. We're just recce'ing places to show them.


Date: 2018-04-18 00:58
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Grand Cayman
Title: Grand Cayman 16 Feb - 01 Apr


The sail here was terribly lumpy, rolly and most unpleasant. I thought I had sea sickness and tried everything to keep stuff down. We arrived in Grand Cayman at 0730hrs which was great to arrive in daylight. Phil booked us into customs and immigration because I wasn't feeling too good
and thought that a proper English breakfast would do the trick. Booking in was easy and my English breakfast was a real treat until a couple of hours later...I wasn't expecting to see it again! It seems that I had food poising from the lobsters. I spent the next 4 days in bed with D&V. It was
awful. Phil fed himself on subway and KFC.

Anyway you don't want to hear about that stuff; lets move on to Grand Cayman. This is by far the best place we've been to! Perhaps we're comparing it to Cuba where there is nothing in the shops and you need to que to get into them. Grand Cayman has Subway, Burger King, a shop
similar to Waitrose called Kirks, KFC (and we had chicken: heard England had sold out), it has a cinema, amazing shops but best of all the clearest bluest water ever. We were on a buoy (for free) in George Town. Lots of cruise boats visited here. Beautiful gin clear water. During a full
moon you could see so much detail looking as deep as 10m. The purpose for coming here and not Jamaica was I have a friend out here and it's great to catch up with people on our journey. I met Lianne as college. We booked her dive company to take our students on an intro to
SCUBA. We stayed in touch and Lianne and her partner John moved over here 3 years ago to teach diving. Victoria would love it here. Lianne and John looked after us really well. They invited us to a work function which was a film festival with an excellent barbque. They went through
our SCUBA skills with us and took us diving to some amazing sites. We played with Sting rays in shallow water and even went SCUBA diving to see them. We went to a brunch (GC folk do enjoy their brunches). Expensive but it was A365 a head for all you can eat and drink prosecco for 3 hours. The food was top level and absolutely beautiful-well worth the treat. Sore head the next day.

For me GC was my favourite and has a piece of my heart because on 04 March at 2130 Phil, after 11 years of waiting, asked me to marry him. To which I obviously said yes. We had a wonderful few days celebrating and Phil bought a beautiful ring. This is the place to get diamonds. We
hoped to get married in GC but it was proving difficult to get all the children together. It's important to us that the 4 of them would be with us. George had exams, Sean needed time from the RN, Wiz is pregnant and we didn't want to risk her flying in from HK and the possibility of the zika
virus. Victoria was the only flexible one. It was becoming unpleasant trying to plan so soon, so we've decided to leave it for a while and hope somewhere which means a lot to us pops up.

We loved it here so much we looked at property and potential jobs (for me). The houses are beautiful. There's a wonderful ex-pat community. It is a British overseas territory. Many people are here from Scotland and Ireland. In fact the accent over here sounds Scottish. It's a little piece of
Britain in the Caribbean. Simply wonderful! Oh did I say it is really really expensive... A310 for a beer :-(
Date: 2018-04-18 00:58
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Grand Cayman
Title: Grand Cayman 16 Feb - 01 Apr


The sail here was terribly lumpy, rolly and most unpleasant. I thought I had sea sickness and tried everything to keep stuff down. We arrived in Grand Cayman at 0730hrs which was great to arrive in daylight. Phil booked us into customs and immigration because I wasn't feeling too good
and thought that a proper English breakfast would do the trick. Booking in was easy and my English breakfast was a real treat until a couple of hours later...I wasn't expecting to see it again! It seems that I had food poising from the lobsters. I spent the next 4 days in bed with D&V. It was
awful. Phil fed himself on subway and KFC.

Anyway you don't want to hear about that stuff; lets move on to Grand Cayman. This is by far the best place we've been to! Perhaps we're comparing it to Cuba where there is nothing in the shops and you need to que to get into them. Grand Cayman has Subway, Burger King, a shop
similar to Waitrose called Kirks, KFC (and we had chicken: heard England had sold out), it has a cinema, amazing shops but best of all the clearest bluest water ever. We were on a buoy (for free) in George Town. Lots of cruise boats visited here. Beautiful gin clear water. During a full
moon you could see so much detail looking as deep as 10m. The purpose for coming here and not Jamaica was I have a friend out here and it's great to catch up with people on our journey. I met Lianne as college. We booked her dive company to take our students on an intro to
SCUBA. We stayed in touch and Lianne and her partner John moved over here 3 years ago to teach diving. Victoria would love it here. Lianne and John looked after us really well. They invited us to a work function which was a film festival with an excellent barbque. They went through
our SCUBA skills with us and took us diving to some amazing sites. We played with Sting rays in shallow water and even went SCUBA diving to see them. We went to a brunch (GC folk do enjoy their brunches). Expensive but it was A365 a head for all you can eat and drink prosecco for 3 hours. The food was top level and absolutely beautiful-well worth the treat. Sore head the next day.

For me GC was my favourite and has a piece of my heart because on 04 March at 2130 Phil, after 11 years of waiting, asked me to marry him. To which I obviously said yes. We had a wonderful few days celebrating and Phil bought a beautiful ring. This is the place to get diamonds. We
hoped to get married in GC but it was proving difficult to get all the children together. It's important to us that the 4 of them would be with us. George had exams, Sean needed time from the RN, Wiz is pregnant and we didn't want to risk her flying in from HK and the possibility of the zika
virus. Victoria was the only flexible one. It was becoming unpleasant trying to plan so soon, so we've decided to leave it for a while and hope somewhere which means a lot to us pops up.

We loved it here so much we looked at property and potential jobs (for me). The houses are beautiful. There's a wonderful ex-pat community. It is a British overseas territory. Many people are here from Scotland and Ireland. In fact the accent over here sounds Scottish. It's a little piece of
Britain in the Caribbean. Simply wonderful! Oh did I say it is really really expensive... A310 for a beer :-(
Date: 2018-04-18 00:46
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cayo Largo 02 - 15 Feb
Title: Last 2 weeks in Cuba


We decided to re-visit Cayo Largo (an island off Cuba) because the last visit was cut short so we could make sure Victoria got her flight back home. It's always nice to return somewhere, the place feels familiar and people seem happy to see you back. We also wanted to come here to
watch the rugby. However we needed to go to a hotel for that. Fortunately for us it was an all-inclusive hotel and we picked up a couple of beers and a lunch for nothing. We visited the iguana island. A bit scary at first but they just wanted feeding. I thought they were going to attack
us...
We met some crazy Austrians who were on a sailing holiday. They were great fun. Russian sailor spent 40 times trying to park his boat then went out to anchor. A few months back I saw a similar boat to ours for sale in Panama. I had a look at the photos on the website and it was painted
bright green inside. There's a reason for this story because as we parked in Cayo Largo a French man Oliver shouted over to us asking if Pepper was a Feeling. To keep a long story short-it happened that Oliver's parents sailed around the world for 27 years in the same boat as Pepper and
there boat was the same one I saw being sold in Panama. Oliver looked emotional, understandably so looking around Pepper. He told us stories of his parents and it was fun comparing changes that we and his parents had made to make life on a boat more comfortable. On our last night
we were given 4 lobster tails for free. We had no wifi so I couldn't check how long to cook them for. I prepared them with garlic, lemon etc and cooked them in the oven but they were a bit raw so they went back into the oven for a bit longer...the story continues in Grand Cayman.

Date: 2018-04-18 00:46
Station ID: Pepper
Author: Hatty
Location: Cayo Largo 02 - 15 Feb
Title: Last 2 weeks in Cuba


We decided to re-visit Cayo Largo (an island off Cuba) because the last visit was cut short so we could make sure Victoria got her flight back home. It's always nice to return somewhere, the place feels familiar and people seem happy to see you back. We also wanted to come here to
watch the rugby. However we needed to go to a hotel for that. Fortunately for us it was an all-inclusive hotel and we picked up a couple of beers and a lunch for nothing. We visited the iguana island. A bit scary at first but they just wanted feeding. I thought they were going to attack
us...
We met some crazy Austrians who were on a sailing holiday. They were great fun. Russian sailor spent 40 times trying to park his boat then went out to anchor. A few months back I saw a similar boat to ours for sale in Panama. I had a look at the photos on the website and it was painted
bright green inside. There's a reason for this story because as we parked in Cayo Largo a French man Oliver shouted over to us asking if Pepper was a Feeling. To keep a long story short-it happened that Oliver's parents sailed around the world for 27 years in the same boat as Pepper and
there boat was the same one I saw being sold in Panama. Oliver looked emotional, understandably so looking around Pepper. He told us stories of his parents and it was fun comparing changes that we and his parents had made to make life on a boat more comfortable. On our last night
we were given 4 lobster tails for free. We had no wifi so I couldn't check how long to cook them for. I prepared them with garlic, lemon etc and cooked them in the oven but they were a bit raw so they went back into the oven for a bit longer...the story continues in Grand Cayman.


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