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Anthem Adrift
Bon Appetit
06/28/2009, Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Night Hawk in St. Vincent Channel

June 28

Did not feel like dog squeeze this morning. Should have. Is that a bad sign?

Didn't bother weighing anchor at 0600 while shipping it. History suggests little change. Initially a very pleasant reach in forecast 080@15, although slowed by nearly two knot northwest setting current in the channel south of St. Lucia. Theory was that windward side of St. Vincent would provide less distance to Admiralty Bay and more consistent wind than leeward side, and therefore... go ahead, say it... a shorter sail time. Well now hold on there, Magellan. Foul current and dying, backing wind made for modest progress until halfway down the island when they went away altogether. Flopped around at one knot with slatting sails for quite awhile before getting cranky... me first, then the Westerbeke. Wind and current became favorable turning the corner into Bequia Channel after a noisy hour, to allow resumption of more soothing sailing type sounds.

Offered freshly caught fish dinner to Night Hawks for willingness to await my late arrival, eat small portions (two regular meals, one super-size) and (the big hurdle) risk culinary masochism. Suckers! Preparing boat for guests was biggest chore. Actually turned out OK (used egg and Italian bread crumbs in frying pan with olive oil, Liz). Want more fish, practice, etc.

Port Elizabeth, Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is as remembered from charter, quaint (PMFSS, Sue) town with large protected harbor. Will be a good place to ride out forecast tropical wave arriving Tuesday. Expect sleep-in tomorrow, then siege of customs at 0830. Heavy exploration to ensue with stops at chandlery to replace frayed lazy jacks (my favorite part) and at Hinkson's Whaleboner (with bar and furniture made from... yes, that's right) for drinks and munchies.


Spice Up Your Day
06/27/2009, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia

Ray in Vieux Fort

June 27

Arrived Vieux Fort from Pitons around 1000. Went ashore with Ray of Night Hawk to look around and, except for quick dinghy ride to pick up Jenna, remained in town until late evening. With a day off from house building, Ken & Diane, Annie II, met us for drinks, lunch, drinks, drinks, dinner and drinks. Endeavored to try every spiced rum (each place has its own concoction) within walking distance. None as good as first in Castries.

End of evening removal of outboard to stern rail and daviting of dinghy was a real joy in the dark with pretty good swell. Task complicated by first theft of trip, two tie-down straps with caribiners. Guy watching for me may have gone for a whiz.

Speaking of which, found a sign behind one bar stating, 'urinate this way' with an arrow. Fortunately, there was no need to determine whether this was directions to a toilet or a demonstration.


Eat Your Heart Out, Madonna
06/26/2009, The Pitons, St. Lucia

Night Hawk Below Petit Piton

June 26

Easy clearance out of St. Lucia (72 hour window) at 0800 after rousting customs agent hiding in back office. Pleasant, but challenging sail to the Pitons with winds alternately shifting, gusting and dying, but calm seas. Quick stop-over in Marigot Bay for pain du raisin with orange juice and many snapshots. Incredibly picturesque bay is as remembered from Moorings charter maybe 18 years ago. Some additional construction includes Discovery Resort in far back corner with outrageous prices being major discovery.

Pitons were also no disappointment. Mooring location is between two nearly vertical spires that were thrust skyward, before St. Lucia was formed, from volcanos that didn't erupt. The broader Gros Piton climbs straight from the water to 2619' and steeper Petit Piton goes to 2460'. No IND (you remember, don't you?) jokes here, they are awesome.

Sea was lousy with flying fish today. Kept looking for little tiny goggles, leather helmets and scarves, but perhaps they've modernized as has much of this island.

Early AM go for last stop before Grenadines.


Love Ya, Bye!
06/25/2009, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Pigeon Island

June 25

Surprised by Pigeon Island (misnomer since causeway that sites Sandels Resort and also protects Rodney Bay anchorage was built early 1900s) fort and park. Spent three hours of morning and early afternoon tramping between and up to the twin peaks. Prettiest park so far in the Eastern Caribbean with flowering poincianas and great views of Rodney Bay. If you have a free afternoon, fly down for the delicious lamb roti at Jambe de Bois by the park's dinghy dock, 15 EC (about $6 plus a little extra for the flight and taxis).

Approached the edge of togetherness fatigue today, but didn't peek over after starting with 1000 Pigeon 'peninsula' trek, afternoon drinks at Iguanawanna and over-priced Chinese until late evening. Also itchy, after nine days in Rodney Bay, however great, to move on. Weather window starting Monday will smooth crossing to protected Admiralty Bay before forecast tropical wave hammer drops late Wednesday. Pitons tomorrow, Vieux Fort Saturday, then nine hours of heavy sailing to another country.


Work, Play, Play
06/24/2009, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Pitons from Above Soufriere

June 24

Sadly, today from 1400 on was taken up by drinking and watching Castries cruise ship denizens cavort on the beach opposite our anchorage. Ray, from Night Hawk, suggested that he and I dinghy into the beach bar for the entertainment. Agreed that this was appropriate celebration after replacing rusted secondary anchor hardware and polishing most of deck stainless. All work and no play, you know. He invited me back for dinner (surprise, Jenna!) of ribs (yum) and a movie (Last Legion), so this communication could be pretty short.

Forecast higher wind is keeping batteries charged and boat cool, although ITCZ (intertropical convergence zone) has intruded toward Trinidad creating windless humidity and showers south. Poopy! (seldom used nautical term meaning... um... er... well, poopy.) Rodney Bay with wifi, grocery, bars and friends is not a hardship.

Plan for tomorrow is short trek to previously mentioned fort, then recovery from all above. Subsequent plans anticipate move to Soufriere ('sue free AIR' - sounds like something a lawyer practicing 'legal ethics' might try) and the Pitons on Friday, Vieux Fort, Saturday and Admiralty Bay, Bequia on Sunday or Monday. All proposed future activities are subject to wind, waves and whim.


Bonded to the Edge
06/23/2009, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

High Flight

June 23

Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of dirt and danced the waves on laughter coppered paint (Apologies to Gillespie Magee). A great poem of flying, "High Flight", captures the same zeitgeist as sailing away from known shores. Many pilots sail because the two endeavors are so similar in many ways - weather, navigation and physics, of course, but also the spirit of adventure, challenge and taking a little peek over the edge of the world where "there be dragons" drives the passion that makes pilots and sailors. I love it and love being with those who feel the same.

Productivity quotient plummeted today as late-night reading, wet morning and sleeping in decreased dividend ((a) little math humor). Finally roused from languidity (not a real word) to fix bacon, eggs and toast, then do little but computer until Inspiration Ladys dragged me forth to pursue the elusive rum and ginger ale (not too bad) after an extensive walk about Gros Islet (gross ee-LAY), north of anchorage (Rodney Bay town is just south).

As can be discerned, Anthem has lost the will to be free at least until Friday. Impetus to press south has eased as destination nears. Coming brisk weather to moderate by Monday, possibly, at which time Bequia will beckon. Hobnobbing with the cruiserati and reconnoitering the fort (what! another one) at Pigeon island might provide some diversion in the interim and there is always boat work... naahhh!


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