Tag Archives: #carriacouregatta

A first big year or a big year of firsts!

I was reading our friends Alex and Dave’s Sailing Banyan blog, which neatly summarised their second season* of sailing in The Caribbean and it got me thinking about our adventure living on Kool Kat since February this year.  It struck me that, so far, it has far exceeded both our expectations and that it has been a big year of FIRSTS. I knew Mal had a pretty good idea of what it would be like but I was worried I might get bored whilst we were waiting for the hurricane season to pass. I mean, really, what is there to do when you can’t go sailing very far, you don’t know many people and it’s so damned hot? Well, you use the time productively doing boat maintenance, swimming, fixing the broken bits, swimming, making friends, more swimming, sailing to close islands and back, still more swimming, and doing lots of stuff for the FIRST time!

This week we stored two inflatable SUPs (Stand Up Paddleboards) for friends Jody and Peter from S/V Mary Christine whilst their boat was on the hard. They were happy as they didn’t have to deflate and pack them away and we got to try them out for the FIRST time. Mal, being a past wind-surfer, took to it like a duck to water and I surprised Mal; I did OK. Jody and Peter gave excellent instructions: step 1, sit on the board;

Step 1step 2, get into a kneeling position;

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step 3, stand up and place the oar front and centre, like a tripod;

IMG_5387 (640x427) IMG_5389 (640x427) IMG_5391 (640x427)step 4, paddle and then smile at the camera.

IMG_5392 (640x427) IMG_5393 (640x427) IMG_5394 (640x427) IMG_5396 (640x427)Their instructions worked, with some minor hiccups, and we now want two. Thank goodness for the warm Caribbean water 😉 Thanks to Jody and Peter for the loan – I know we got the good end of the deal!

The following are pictures of some other FIRSTS this year for Team Kool Kat. Not all were planned or expected!

FIRST Halloween:

Guy from Scream and some Aussie Joker

FIRST International Regatta:

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2014 Carriacou Regatta on S/V Banyan

FIRST scuba experience:

Open Water Course participants FIRST broken bone (for Sue):

Broken ring finger
Broken ring finger


Woohoo, we've finishedFIRST Granddaughter’s (Sue) FIRST birthday:

My little cutie, Autumn.

FIRST anchor dragging!

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We’ve now joined the Rocna Club with this big mumma, 40kgs.

FIRST Aussie visitors:

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Jo & Bob – we hope you come back soon!


  • up-close experience with turtles: swimming with green and hawksbills and stroking a gigantic leatherback whilst she laid her eggs – absolutely gob-smacking for us.
  • living on a boat AND living 24/7 in each other’s pockets: a challenge but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

That’s all the FIRSTS we could think of although I know we’ll remember a few more after the post is published! What have been your memorable FIRSTS this year? We hope they were good and we’d love to hear about them so drop us a line.

Love, Sue & Mal xx

*The Caribbean sailing season is roughly from November to June.
Note:  Thanks to friends who have taken some of these photos and, in particular, thanks to Jo Almond for the sunset image.