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Little Green Boat
Spruce left New Zealand at the end of May 2014. We had a wonderful time in NZ. We are now in Fiji and enjoying meeting the people of this friendly, welcoming country. In September we shall move west to Vanu-Atu, New Caledonia and on to Australia.
25/Apr/2012

...and did we pick a poor drying day to do our washing ... think positively! .. it helps fill the water tanks :-)

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Bye-Bye!
Andy & Sue
19/Apr/2012, Saline Airport - Grenada

A mixture of sailing and motoring south from Union Island down to the south coast of Grenada. One tremendous squall with torrential tropical rain gave some excitement for an hour or so. Once into the lee of the main island progress was mainly with the aid of the iron topsail and its incessant noise. No fish were hooked so more tuna for supper compliments of a fisherman in the Grenadines.

More rain for the night and through the day of Robin and Hanneke's departure. Desperately working at drying out dive gear and other items of clothing to avoid exceeding weight limits on baggage. Then the time for sad goodbyes came and farewells at the airport....

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19/Apr/2012

...and a couple of hours later, while enjoying a sundowner beer at De Big Fish with other cruisers, a roar overhead and the final wave goodbye.

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Lobster Ahoy!
Andy & Sue
18/Apr/2012, Frigate Island - SVG

Perfecting their lobster (crayfish) catching technique was the order of the day for Robin & Hanneke. The season ends on 31st April so a last chance to practice. After several hours of patiently snorkeling with a stick and a net bag they managed to encourage one to leap backwards from his hidey-hole and into the bag. Unfortunately he was just a little on the small size so after photographs he was carried back to his subsurface lair and released to become a decent sized lobster dinner in the future.

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Time to Head South
Sue & Andy
17/Apr/2012, Chatham Bay - Union Island - SVG

Robin & Hanneke's fortnight holiday draws to a close. They followed up the diving with a day's hire aboard a scooter to explore the various nooks and crannies of Bequia from shore-side. On Saturday we pointed our bow southwards and motor-sailed, light winds, to Tobago Cays. A chance to make 250 litres of fresh water en route. Water water everywhere and lots of drops to drink; with the appliance of reverse osmosis science.

No grey skies! A blazing hot sun battered the Cays into a shimmering submission. Near white sand below shallow waters churned the visual palette into a blend of turquoises, blues and greens. Even the gulls and Boobies soared with turquoise glowing undersides; brightly lit up by the reflected light from the sea. Anchor secure and back to swimming with a multitude of turtles; green shells occasionally bobbing to the surface, scaly necks reaching for gulps of air, powerful flippers pulling their streamlined shapes to the bottom for grazing on the thick covering of sea grass. Tearing each mouthful with a twist of the head and contentedly munching away. One large Greenback carried two passengers, Remoras hitching a ride, easily flowing between upper and lower carapace to remain in clear water as their host surfaced and dived. Ashore a variety of Iguanas lived in the trees: green, white, yellow, camouflaged to blend into their surroundings.

Light winds and little swell helped limit suspended sediments in the water. Visibility was crystal clear for snorkeling on Horseshoe Reef; our three previous visits had always suffered from a colloidal suspension of milky murk. A surprise and a delight to have chanced on ideal conditions as we peered at Moray Eels, Porcupine Fish, Trumpet Fish, Squid and the rainbow colours of darting Parrot Fish. Back with the turtles and they had been joined by Southern Stingrays and a large Barracuda.

The delights of the Tobago Cays astern and on to Chatham Bay. Our leisurely approach was spiced up with the "excitement" of our engine coughing and gently expiring into silence. A faulty fuel gauge and that tank was empty! Air in the fuel system so merely switching tanks was no solution. No problem! We are a sail boat. Flat seas and a beat into Chatham Bay under headsail alone worked just fine. Team Spruce performed wonderfully without a missed tack nor fluffed ropework; always pleasing with an audience lounging in their cockpits. Smartly reducing sail area on each tack as we entered the bay enabled us to neatly tuck into the northern cove, round up and drop anchor in 4 meters depth; almost within reach of Pelicans and Boobies dropping into rapidly scattering shoals of fish, silver sprinkles glinting in tropical sunshine.

Let the next maintenance task in paradise commence: bleeding the fuel system through to the injectors with a hot engine, hot climate and cramped spaces. The thought of a cooling dip overboard upon completion makes it a quite tolerable task:-)

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Boulders - Great Dive!
Andy & Sue
13/Apr/2012, South Cliff of Admiralty Bay - Bequia

A splendid dive site! Tied to a buoy below the cliffs in a choppy corner of Admiralty Bay; waves reflecting off the shore close by and interacting with incoming seas. Depth under the boat was less than 5 meters. Six divers rolled backwards into the warm turquoise waters and descended to the bottom; once grouped we gently swam deeper along the edge of the bay, slowly dropping to about 21 meters. The corals were stunningly gorgeous. An array of wonderful colours: yellows, translucent blues, blacks, reds and a whole spectrum of cyan. A healthy underwater ecology provided an ideal environment for the many resident species. Several Moray Eels lurked in hollows, menacingly poking their heads out to eye the bubbling intruders. Multitudes of large brightly coloured Parrot Fish darted between the huge boulders scattered around.

A short interlude back at the dive shop allowed dissolved nitrogen to escape our bodies while we indulged ourselves with a cup of tea and cake. Then off for the second dive; the opposite side of the bay and a descent onto a reef for another excellent dive. A short exploration of the reef and then across the sandy and grassy bottom to a tug-boat wreck. Thirteen years on the bottom and a good display of corals were well formed. Large Lobsters hid beneath the upright hull, as did some sizeable French Angel Fish.

The colours today were greatly enhanced by bright sunshine penetrating to our depth of operation, much nicer than some of the grey overcast days of late.

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