Two Birds With One Stone

“The only reason we go there is because of the kids.” “No, there’s no internet but there are kids.” “The water’s pretty dirty but there are tonnes of kids.” “It’s packed but there are lots of kids.”

These are some of the things we were told when we asked about Hog Island – our new home for the next week.

Now, when we look at moving anchorages, we normally look for clean water, space, good anchor holding and internet. Hog Island, unfortunately, has very few of those things.

Why move then?

Well, we didn’t really have much of a choice, unfortunately. You see, our windlass (the great big winch that moves the anchor up and down) is not working the way it’s supposed to. I mean, it works and, while we’d like to think that it’ll do for now, that just isn’t the case. Not only is it frustrating slow, but, it can actually be really dangerous if we need to suddenly drop the anchor or bring it up. This windlass problem isn’t new though. Oh no. It has been going on for quite some time now and we’ve tried so many things. We have pulled it apart, had the motor rebuilt and checked the wires and still it isn’t right. Finally, we cracked. As much as you like to be independent and save money when you’re cruising, there comes a time when you get fed up and call the professionals in – Mike from Palmtree Marine in this case.

Anyway, he happens to be based at a place called Le Phare Bleu which is conveniently located 5 minutes from Hog Island – kid heaven. Awesome, we can fix the windlass and take Xav to Hog Island in one go, doesn’t get much better than that!

So, we upped anchor (a painfully slow process) and set out on our 1 hour trip around the corner. Since fixing the windlass is a priority, we decided to anchor close to Le Phare Bleu, next to Calivigny Island, about 2 minutes from both Hog Island and Le Phare Bleu. The next day, Mike came out and after some tests, suggested that the gearbox was seized and the only way to fix it is to take it to his workshop. Being the honest guy he is, he told us how to take it off so we could do it ourselves which would save quite a bit of money.

Everything pulled apart and cleaned

Everything pulled apart and cleaned


Nothing like good access.......not

Nothing like good access…….not

A few hours later, Dad and I emerged, gearbox in hand and each of us coated in a layer of grease, ready to take the gearbox to Mike. Now we have to just wait to hopefully receive some good news. Fingers Crossed!

Anyway, Hog Island. It is without a doubt an awesome place if you have kids and as everyone’s said, the water isn’t that clean but not so dirty that you can’t swim. One cool thing about the water is that at night, there are masses of bioluminescent plankton. So many, in fact, that we only saw them because one night our swim ladder was glowing blue! Of course, we couldn’t resist seeing it up close so we donned our snorkels and hopped in. Wow. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen. It was like swimming amongst stars, blue dots appearing anywhere we touched. Truly awesome! Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any photos because it was too dark.


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