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Foggy Mountain
Harbor Watch, Bus Rides and Friendly People
Jeff
07/19/2011, Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

Well it's been some time since the last report. Sorry about that. There has been quite a bit of turnover here in the harbor since the last report. During that time "The French Family" on the catamaran have moved on, heading further south to Grenada and possibly Venezuela. We wish them luck especially on the last place, although perhaps a French flagged vessel won't be the target that an American flagged one would be in Venezuela. The "White Boat Blue Stripe" moved on after appearing to re-seal virtually every window in their cabin house. They were one of the hardest working people in the harbor. Of course all the rain that we were having at the time must have provided much of the motivation to keep working on sealing the leaks. A leaky boat is generally not a happy boat. We met the folks aboard the boat that we called "The Swedish Couple" . Well more correctly we met the husband when he came over one evening to ask us if he could buy a couple of eggs from us. Seems it was his turn to make dinner and he wanted to make quiche and was two eggs short. We told him that he couldn't buy them from us, but that we would give him two. The following afternoon he stopped by and gave us two eggs. They seem to be nice folks and we may see them again as he told us that they are also going to Grenada. "Big Top" is still here with their big dog, looks like a Rotweiler, who barks at all the passing boats that he detects. He's serves as the early warning device for our little neighborhood. There isn't a whole lot of movement in the harbor before 8:30 am as all the cruisers as listening to weather and other single side band radio nets that happen between 7:00 am and 8:30 am. After that the dinghies get lowered and everyone that has errands to run gets moving along with boats getting underway for their next port of call. In the afternoon things slow down a bit with the increased heat. The primary activity in the afternoon is the arrival of new boats. We have noticed that if a boat comes from the south, probably Grenada, it tends to be a chartered boat since there is a charter company based there. If the boats come from the north they will either be returning charterer's or cruisers that are working their way south for the hurricane season. So, they come and they go through good weather and bad with each day bringing another potential confrontation between the OARs and the NARs.

Here in Tyrell Bay we have basic stores and fruit and vegetable stands. But there are some things, like sliced turkey, that we can only get at Hillsborough the island's largest town. Hillsborough also has the island's only gas station and hospital. To get to Hillsborough we take the bus. Now don't think of your local transit system bus, think of a mini van filled with seats. During our two rides into Hillsborough we have noticed a few interesting things. Formerly being part of the British Empire Carriacou drivers primarily drive right hand drive vehicles and therefore drive on the left side of the road. However, here on Carriacou there are no lines marking lanes on the roads and the roads are very narrow. They are just wide enough to tightly allow the passage of two vehicles. And it appears that this narrowness causes all drivers to drive down in the middle of the road only moving to the left when confronting another vehicle. With no lines to dictate the lanes on even the concrete roads there appears to be a very fluid interpretation of vehicle position by the drivers. This fluidity also appears to apply to the bus route to and from Hillsborough. The route seems to be determined by the locals on the bus. You see the drivers seem to know where everyone lives and/or works, so the bus driver alters his route to accommodate whichever local gets on the bus. Now we're not complaining here, quite the contrary, because of this phenomenon we have gotten to see a lot more of the island than we would have if the driver's had always taken the most direct route. For example we got to see part of the windward side of the island when the driver took two boys home from school. The boy's home was a bit off the beaten path as the road to their home was dirt and it appeared to be one way because there was no apparent provision for a vehicle coming the opposite direction and we were happy that we didn't have the opportunity to find out if it was truly one way. Another interesting thing happened last week on our way back from Hillsborough. The bus stopped to pick up an elderly lady who was standing at one of the bus stops. After stopping the bus the driver got out of the bus and came around to the loading door on the left side of the bus. He then leaned in thru the sliding side door and reached towards where we were sitting in the back row of seats. From under one of the seats he pulled what looked like a plastic five gallon bucket. We wondered, what the heck does he need a bucket for? Well our question was quickly answered when he took the lady's plastic bag of fish, blood dripping out the bottom, and put the bag in the bucket. We were very happy that this bus was well equipped with a fish bucket so we didn't have to risk stepping in fish blood when we got off the bus. And boy were we glad that she didn't stay on the bus very long - whew.

As with our first visit, back in 2001, we have found Grenada's people to be very friendly. Here in Tyrell Bay we have met David, the owner of a very nice home that just happened to be along the way of a hike that we took with some other cruisers a little over a week ago. We were following some very vague directions on how to get to the top of a mountain for a beautiful view of the harbor. Well, we got off track and ended up basically trespassing along David's fence. David was in his yard trimming his many fruit trees so we decided, since it didn't appear we were going in the right direction, to ask him for help. One of the cruisers started off the conversation by asking him if he was pruning his trees. He was and seemed to be very proud of them. Since our friend has done the same for his trees at home they established a common ground immediately. One thing lead to another and eventually David told us exactly how to get where we wanted to go. As we were leaving Pam told him that he had a very nice home. To which he replied, "would you all like to come in for a drink and see it?" We told him that he was too kind and thanked him for the offer, but that it would probably be best that we continued with our walk before it gets too hot. Later on, after completing our hike, we were walking along the main street in Tryrell Bay and David drove up to us in his car. He stopped and asked us if we managed to complete our hike to which we said "yes and it was only because of your great directions - thank you so much." We've also gotten to know Denise who sells fruits and vegetables from her stand along Main Street. She has been very helpful to us by describing the different fruits and vegetables to us and if necessary she has told Pam how to prepare them. This kindness has also been exhibited by the other ladies that sell the same produce at other times of the week. We have used the laundry here in Tyrell Bay once since we have been here. Since that time we have run into the lady that runs the laundry once while we were in the market looking for bread. She recognized us and came over and told us that we might not want to buy that bread that we were looking at because it was likely at least a couple days old. Then she proceeded to show us that the bread on the top shelf of the cabinet was the newest, what doesn't sell the first day gets moved down to the second shelf and so forth. We were going to take a loaf from the third shelf, so we were very happy that she came along. It's this unsolicited help that has made our stay in Carriacou so great. We have truly had a good time here and this is why we have contributed items to be auctioned at the end of this month. The proceeds from the auction go to the Carriacou Children's Fund, which gives money to the schools here on the island. In the next entry we should have a report on the auction and the regatta that takes place at the end of July - stay tuned.

07/20/2011 | kay dimodica
Glad you updated your blog. look foreward to reading about your adventures.
Sounds like you are having a good time. Stay safe.
Mike & Kay
07/23/2011 | Nancy Nelson
All so very interesting, love your coments on the villagers. Seems you are havng a great time. Very HOT here, house sold, household sale 9/2 &3. Anxious to see Pam. LOVE
Union Island to Carriacou and Re-discovering One of Our Favorite Pasttimes
Jeff
07/01/2011, Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

So, to bring you all up to date, we arrived in Carriacou on Monday (6/20/11) after a great reaching sail from Union Island. It was so great to not have to sail close hauled (beating) for once. We knew it was going to be a long day so we got an early start by going into the Bougainvilla hotel's L'Aquarium restaurant for breakfast so that we could be there when customs opened. We had a great American breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juice and coffee. The lady that waited on us was also the cook, so the bacon was nice and crisp as we had requested. After breakfast I went to Customs while Pam went to buy a loaf of bread. When Pam arrived at the Customs office, the officer there noticed the loaf of bread and asked her what she paid for it to which she responded five EC (Eastern Caribbean dollars). The Customs officer said when I start selling my bread you will pay less than five EC for it. While I continued filling out the form Pam and the Customs guy talked about making bread. He gave her some suggestions on why her loaves don't come out as high as the one that she had in her hand. One thing I never expect to get when I go to Customs is bread baking tips. Just shows that you can indeed learn something new every day.

After Customs we went to the Immigration office after which we were on our way. After we got the dinghy aboard we hoisted the mainsail, weighed anchor and we were reaching off toward Carriacou in no time. On the sail to Carriacou the trade winds were blowing their usual fifteen plus knots from just north of east. On that broad reach we were able to move at between six and seven knots for the seven mile trip to Hillsborough Carriacou's only port of entry. The reason that I said that this was going to be a long day is because we knew we had to launch the dinghy at Union Island then get it back aboard, then re-launch it in Hillsborough and after checking in we had to get it back on board for our three mile trip to our final destination for the day Tyrell Bay. We originally thought that we might stay in Hillsborough over night, but after anchoring the boat was rolling so much we decided to move on to Tyrell Bay. I went ashore alone to check in because ten years ago the word was that Hillsborough was not a good anchorage and that you should not leave the boat unattended. Ten years ago this was born out by the fact that we dragged while checking in there and Pam did a great job then of using the engine to hold our position while I completed the check in formalities. Fortunately, this time we didn't drag so Pam just got to sit on the boat and wait in the rolly conditions. Once I was finished we got the dinghy back aboard and powered the last three miles of the day to Tyrell Bay. Finding an anchoring spot in Tryell Bay is fairly straight forward, you just look for a sandy area on the bottom and drop your anchor there. The other areas are covered in grass and are a darker color, the holding for the anchor in these areas is not as good. We found our sandy spot, put out enough anchor chain for five to one scope and kicked back and relaxed after a long but successful day.

Since arriving here in Carriacou we have re-discovered one of our favorite pastimes. When we cruised New England on weekends and vacations we loved to watch the comings and goings in the harbors that we visited. There is something about watching the harbor activity that intrigues us. Like who is going to leave and wonder where they might be headed. Although with the arrival of hurricane season there are very few boats headed north virtually all are headed further south out of their insurance company's hurricane box. In watching the harbor activities we give the boats names that we use to communicate between us when we see something that the other doesn't. For instance, we have a catamaran near us that we call "Big Top" because the area between the two hulls is covered by a canvas enclosure. Then we had another boat identified as the "French Family" because they were just that Mom, Dad, and two kids from France. We also have another family on a white hulled boat with a light blue stripe, so, you guessed it the are called "White with Blue Stripe". Back in Bequia we had a boat from Finland that we only saw a single female on so we called that boat "Reindeer Girl's Boat". I told Pam we should have gone over there and asked her if she had ever seen a reindeer, but we never did do that. Pam had real envy of Reindeer Girl because she had a hammock strung up on the foredeck. Pam has always wanted a hammock where she could go to read a book like she saw Reindeer Girl do. Right now we plan to be here for plenty of harbor watching because we hope to stay for Carriacou's regatta which happens at the end of July. Stay tuned and maybe we'll have more information about "Big Top", "White with Blue Stripe" and maybe even "The Swedish Couple".

07/07/2011 | Steve Davis
Tryell Bay sounds great. Your previous post about the joys of reanchoring in heavy winds brought back some of our own "happy times" memories in Block Is.
Linda and I enjoying the pleasures of home after a couple of weeks on board Summer Wind.
We loved the pictures and envy those crystal clear waters!
07/14/2011 | RICHARD
HI JEFF, GOOD NEWS AFTER YOUR LAST ADVENTURE WITH THE ANCHOR. ARE YOU STAYING THERE FOR THE HURRICANE SEASON? KEEP WELL AND SAY HELLO TP PAM.
RICHARD
Scary Evening and Long Night
Jeff
06/19/2011, Clifton Harbour, Union Island

Clifton Harbour is not a very comfortable place even in settled weather it tends towards the rolly side of things. What makes Clifton Harbour dicey is that it is unprotected from the wind, there is only a barrier reef between you and the ocean to the east. So, when a squall hits wave action is limited by the reef but you get the full force of the wind. We knew that staying in Clifton during a tropical wave passage could be problematic, but the wave wasn't predicted to be very strong so we decided to stay thru the weekend to avoid paying overtime fees for clearing out of here and then clearing in on Carriacou during a weekend. Well yesterday evening we could have lost more than a few bucks in over time fees, when a squall associated with the tropical wave rolled thru here just before sunset. Using the internet I checked the radar from Martinique earlier in the afternoon, After viewing it I figured the wave was going to pass over us right around sunset. Our normal approach to dealing with squalls in an anchorage, if we're aboard, is that one of us sits in the cockpit watching for the squall. Our biggest concern is boat's dragging anchor, either ours or someone around us. Last evening I was in the cockpit watching for the squall's approach, not being concerned about other boats dragging into us because there were none between us and the barrier reef. However I am always concerned about our anchor breaking loose, even though in this instance we had already stayed put through a squall the previous day. In any case at about 5:00 pm local time I spotted the squall's signature black cloud line off to the east. The wind hit first followed quickly by a torrential rain that reduced visibility to about two hundred feet. Foggy Mountain was being thrown about quite a bit by the wind, the waves were about two feet in the harbor. On one of her bow's swings to port I noticed that she seemed to go further than the previous swings. But then she went back to starboard and seemed to be normal. Followed by another swing to port, but this time I knew that something was wrong because she went way further than the last time. Since Pam was down below I yelled to her, "we're dragging get the engine started and turn on the windlass." About the same time that I said that one of our neighboring boats tried to tell us that we were dragging. Nice to know that even charters look out for boats around them. After Pam got the engine started and turned on the windlass we met in the cockpit and I distinctly remember both of us looking astern of the boat at the reef behind us. We were about 100 feet from running aground on the reef. Before I went forward to deal with the anchor I told Pam to put the engine in forward and just keep the bow into the wind. Just trying to maintain position our until I can get started pulling in the anchor. I then went to the bow of the boat being pelted by the forty knot wind driven rain. Before I got to the bow I was soaked to the skin, my second shower in the last hour. Pam was doing a great job holding us in position and I began to bring anchor chain in with the windlass. While doing this I was staying as low as possible because the bow was simultaneously moving up and down and side to side. But I couldn't stay too low because I had to stay high enough to signal Pam back in the cockpit. I signaled her to keep the bow pointed into the wind and move forward as I brought in the chain. With still no change to the conditions she moved us forward into the wind and I hauled in the anchor chain until I could see the anchor. The anchor was covered with sand so it must have been dug in somewhat. In any case, I now had to get us closer to the reef in front where the water was shallower thereby putting some precious distance between us and the reef behind us. Seeing shallower water in front of us was growing more difficult by the minute because the sun was setting. So I could only give it my best guess based on the position of the boats around us and I lowered the anchor at that best guess. At which point, I told Pam to put the engine in neutral. At this point the wind took the boat backwards, which is alright because I want the chain to lay out on the bottom not be in a pile. But the chain payed out faster than I anticipated and it took all the strength I could must to slow it down. Once I had payed out enough chain, more than we had before as a precaution, I had to connect the snubber which is the nylon line that we hook to the chain to take the strain off of the windlass. The snubber also acts as a shock absorber because it stretches where the chain would not which reduces shock loading on the boat and the anchor when the boat moves around at anchor. I hooked the snubber to the chain and released the brake on the windlass slackening the chain while simultaneously taking the strain on the snubber. I screwed up by not having enough of a turn around the bow cleat so the line started to get away from me. The full weight of the boat was on that line at this point, this is a time when people have lost fingers by getting them between the line and the cleat. I pulled with all my strength on the line in front of the cleat and managed, with a momentary reduction in the wind, to take the strain off the line at the cleat long enough to grab more line from behind me and wrap it around the cleat. After getting the snubber secured I went aft to Pam in the cockpit. I was freezing cold shaking in the first stage of hypothermia. The combination of the wind and rain must have lowered my body temperature quite a bit, not something that I expected to happen here in the tropics. I got the wet clothes off and we began the longest night that I can remember while at anchor.

I took the first anchor watch and told Pam to go below and try to sleep because she may have to relieve me later. She deserved the sleep since she had done such a great boat handling job in those adverse conditions. I then took bearings of fixed objects around us to make it easier to determine if we started dragging again. I sat in the cockpit for the next eight hours hoping that the wind would decrease and watching what I could see around me to make sure that neither we nor anyone around us was dragging. The wind did decrease to about 25 knots after about an hour or so. Then blow at that rate for awhile, all I remember thinking was that I wished that the wind generator would slow down something that I normally don't wish for at night as it keeps the battery power up. Pam woke up around midnight, at my four hour mark, and I told her I was fine and to go back to sleep. Then she came up at about four this morning and I took the opportunity to go below and get some sleep. Fortunately, we did not drag again last night and this morning Pam suggested I check the radar again to see what we have in store for us today. The radar showed that we have more rain coming our way and the forecast indicated the wind was supposed to shift from the east to the southeast. Given that information we decided to re-anchor, primarily because we didn't have enough room with a schooner anchored to our north if the wind did shift to the southeast. After re-anchoring Pam went to sleep and I took some more bearings on fixed objects around us, beginning the watch cycle again. If we stay put for the rest of today irregardless of squalls we might both get some decent sleep tonight. If all goes well today and tonight, we hope to check out with Customs here tomorrow morning so we can get underway for the next island south of here which is Carriacou. Carriacou is part of Grenada and our check in there will begin our southern stay for what we hope will be a sanctuary for hurricane season. We'll let you know how things turn out in our next update.

06/23/2011 | Mike & Kay
Better you guys than me in that storm I would have been very nervous. I think this news will get to you faster than a regular e-mail. On 6/23/they cought Whitey Bulger in
Calif. Talk of all of Boston.
Becareful
06/27/2011 | Nancy Nelson
Wow, this is the first time that I've read about the anchor problem, you two sure do a great job of working together! Hopefully there will be only smooth sailing ahead. Love Mom
Mayreau Experience and Sail to Clifton
Jeff
06/17/2011, Clifton Harbour, Union Island

As you may have noticed we have left Mayreau. Mayreau is quite a small island shaped like the letter "P" it is about one and a half miles north to south and about three quarters of a mile east to west at its widest point. On our second day there we went ashore for a hike to a beach on the windward side. But before we could go there we had trash to get rid of. With directions that we had gotten from friends we found our way to the landfill. After that we were off for our hike to the windward side of the island. As we walked along the road towards the windward side we passed what is called Salt Pond. Unfortunately, it appears that either something is leeching into the pond from the landfill or petroleum products have been dumped in the pond. On the west side of the pond the water was rust colored. There was also an odor that I can't describe being emitted from either the landfill or the pond, I'm not sure which one it is from since they are so close to each other. This same odor can be smelled in the anchorage which is downwind in the prevailing easterlies. The landfill's dirt road ran north/south and it took us to an east/west running dirt road which we walked along to get to a path thru the brush to the windward beach. Strangely enough the beach is called Windward Beach and it is on Windward Bay. The beach is your typical palm and mangrove lined tropical beach. We walked north along the beach in search of a path that we had read would take us to Salt Whistle Bay on the northwest corner of the island. As we walked we figured that the tide was coming in because the beach was getting progressively smaller forcing us to walk mostly in the water if we continued north. So, we decided to abandon our hike to Salt Whistle turn around to visit the village. After walking back to the western side of the island we turned right and walked on a concrete road up a very steep hill towards the village. We tried to make it to the top for a photo op, but ended up pulling into "Denny's Hide Away" for lunch instead. At Denny's we met a very nice waitress who has lived on Mayreau all of her life. From her we found out that the population of Mayreau is about 300 and that this year the tourist season was an abnormally short two months. So looks like the bad economy is hitting everywhere. On the way up the hill to the village we saw a sign for a development called Tribo. Looks like they are trying to sell vacation homes to people from other parts of the world. Our waitress told us that the development has allowed some of the men on the island to get work and with out it about the only other source of income for males was fishing and without a lot of tourists the market for fish is not that great. She said that many of there boys have left the country to join either the British or the American military. From her we found out that there is no formal education for the children until the age of ten when they take an aptitude test to see if they qualify to go to high school. When they go to high school they have to leave the island and go to Kingstown on St. Vincent where they stay for three months at a time only coming home for holidays. Kingstown is about 32 miles north of Mayreau which is too far to commute by ferry. After visiting with our waitress we both were glad that we grew up where we did, that first three months away from home must be tough for some of the island's ten year old children. The rest of our stay in Mayreau was used to catch up on a bunch of small projects and do some snorkeling. We snorkeled a reef on the south side of Saline Bay and found it to be an average Caribbean snorkeling experience. The water is clear since we were able to see down to about twenty feet quite easily but there wasn't a whole lot of sea life to be seen. Other than that when our projects were done we decided that if the rolling didn't subside we would leave soon. When I say rolly I mean the boat continuously rolls from side to side. All anchorages cause the boat to roll somewhat and in Saline bay some days were better than others. But we had hung in there because we had free wifi aboard the boat that allowed us to get weather info and catch up on our email. Two days ago, before we decided to leave, we had a nasty squall pass over the anchorage in which we saw forty knots of wind with a heavy downpour. We were glad that our anchor and the anchors of the boats around us held. The black sky and high winds were intimidating for a bit but the end result was that we caught a whole bunch of water that will come handy for our showers. After that episode, the rolling got worse last night so we had had enough and decided to leave Saline Bay this morning.

The sail from Saline Bay to Clifton Harbour on Union Island is all of about four miles due south. We weighed anchor and only set the jib for the sail over as the wind was fifteen to eighteen knots out of the east. Our leisurely sail, at four to five knots, brought us to Clifton Harbour where we found a spot to anchor about an hour after we had weighed anchor in Saline Bay. Clifton is the southern most port of entry for St. Vincent and the Grenadines so this is the place where we will check out of the country when we decide to move further south. We haven't decided when that will be yet as we are waiting to see how bad the next tropical wave will be. The tough decision here is do we stay here in Clifton for the wave passage or move on to Carriacou. Here in Clifton the only protection that we have is behind a reef to our east which should break up the seas. But there is no shelter from the wind. The prediction right now is that the wave is not expected to be too strong when it passes over here during the upcoming weekend, so we might just stay here for the weekend and leave for Carriacou early next week. If the wave sounds like it is going to be stronger than predicted this morning the more conservative play would be to leave here and head for a more sheltered harbor in Carriacou. Stay tuned to find out what we decide.

Change of Plans
Jeff
06/12/2011, Saline Bay, Mayreau

Hello everyone, nope we're not in Chatham Bay, Union Island. Pam was intrigued by the description of Saline Bay in the guide book so we decided to stop here instead since we didn't back in 2001. Saline Bay is on the west side of a very small island called Mayreau. Other than an electricity generating plant and a small village its only claim to fame is a very nice palm lined beach. Another selling point for going to Saline Bay was that it is only a trip of about six miles from anchorage spot to anchorage spot. So we got underway this morning bound for Saline Bay to the south west of Canouan. As we rounded Glossy Hill, Canouan's south western most point, we saw a black squall line off to our south east. We decided to continue sailing rather than turning back because there was a chance the squall would move past before we got that far south. Well, no such luck, as we moved south it became more and more apparent that we were on a collision course with that black line of rain and wind.. So, it was time to make a precautionary sail area reduction and we did so by rolling up most of the jib while leaving the mainsail alone. We did this because as we got closer to the squall the seas under it indicated a significant wind speed increase. The good news is that we got the wind increase first, before the rain, which generally means that the squall will be short in duration. And additional good news was that the wind direction remained pretty much the same allowing me to hold our original course while steering the boat in the reduced visibility caused by the heavy rain. Foggy Mountain handled the wind and sea conditions just fine and at the hight of the squall I saw 27 knots of wind while noting several waves in the six to seven foot range. It was short lived and the sky brightened after about five to ten minutes. Which was just in time to for us to see the island, to avoid it, as it had been obscured by the heavy rain. As with most squalls after they pass they leave little or no wind behind. This caused us to have to drift for a bit, but since we were in no hurry we were good with that. Eventually the wind returned and we had a nice sail down the leeward side of Mayreau to Saline Bay. Saline Bay is as described in the guide book with a small village on the north side and a picturesque tropical beach on the south side. Pam has already taken pictures, so she may be sending those out in her next email when we get an internet connection. Right now we are not sure how long we will stay here as we still have that tropical wave coming our way on Tuesday or Wednesday. Saline Bay doesn't look like a place where I want to be when the wave arrives so if it is still on schedule we'll probably be leaving here soon. I'll let you know what we decided to do in our next post.

06/12/2011 | Sue & Andy
Dear Jeff ,We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I am always reminded of my Dad when I think of this poem..Fair winds and calm seas to you and your family..."I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'
Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 'There she goes!' there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts 'Here she comes!'" ...Henry Van Dyke
06/16/2011 | Mike&Kay
Hi
Hope all goes well. What agreat trip. You are missing Boston's big excitement. Bruins won Stanly Cup. The town is crazy. Thought you might get this note faster than e-mail.
Stay safe and enjoy
Bequia Revisted, Crazy Canouan and Regatta Not
Jeff
06/11/2011, Charlestown Bay, Canouan

Bequia is an interesting place as I mentioned in the previous post they have a strong connection with the sea. This manifests itself in the way that they deliver services in the harbor. In most harbors you can get fuel and water, but you have to go ashore or to a dock to get it. Not in Bequia, Daffadil Marine Services has a small (bright yellow) fuel and water barge that will come out to you. To get your laundry done in other harbors you have to go ashore, not in Bequia there are a couple vendors that will pick you laundry up in the morning and return it washed, dried and folded in the afternoon. There are also boat boys that come around to your boat offering different services. With all of our exterior teak we got several visits from these guys offering to varnish our teak. We remember the boat boys from our first visit here ten years ago. The other services were not as refined back then. Another change in ten years is that there has been a big increase in the number nice looking houses on the hills above Princess Margaret Beach. In fact Pam and I don't recall very many houses at all above the beach back then. As with many of the islands, Admiralty Bay has bay wide wifi available from several vendors. This too did not exist back in 2001, when we had to go ashore searching for an internet cafe. Even with all the advancements there is one thing hasn't changed, the water is just as beautiful as it was ten years ago.

Yesterday we left Bequia and had a very nice sail, on a close reach most of the way, to Canouan which is to Bequia's southwest.. With an east southeast wind we thought that we would be on more of a beam reach to get to Canouan but due to a northwesterly flowing current we were forced to sail closer to the wind than were were planning to. With the current and the wind against us at times we were reminded of our upwind trip from North Palm to Antigua. Oh well, a little refresher in the need for the venerable tripod mode of moving about the boat was needed as we have been getting a bit lax. Now I say "Crazy Canouan" because of the effects of the wind and current on the boats in this anchorage. Doyle's guidebook says to allow a lot of room between boats in all directions because the boats tend to go all over the place. This makes anchoring a challenge because when you go to set your anchor in the bottom it is helpful to know where your bow will be pointing. When we first dropped our anchor here yesterday we did it with the bow pointing to the east, into the prevailing wind. Before we could back down on the anchor to set it Foggy was turned, by current and a wind direction change, to the south. When we did back down on the anchor it dragged so we pulled it up and tried a different spot. This time we let out less chain and backed down sooner to set the direction of the chain before the wind and current had a chance to have an affect. After this we let out the proper amount of chain and backed down on the anchor again. Today we snorkeled over the anchor and could see that it was well set. Since anchoring yesterday we have been doing doughnuts around this area of the harbor. All of them attributable to to the crazy anchoring conditions of Canouan.

Also in the last post I mentioned that we were coming here for the workboat regatta, that was supposed to be taking place from Thursday thru Monday. Well, when we got her in the middle of the afternoon on Friday we had our doubts that there was a regatta going on because we didn't see any boats sailing in the bay. Turns out that the racing is not going to take place until Monday. So it looks like we won't be seeing any of the racing because we are planning to leave here tomorrow to go to Chatham Bay at Union Island. We have heard that Chatham Bay is beautiful and better protected than here. And, since we have a tropical wave due to arrive here Tuesday or Wednesday we're going to move to what we believe is a better anchorage to be in during adverse weather. Once again if all goes well, our next post will be from Chatham Bay, Union Island. See you soon.

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