30/07/2014, Pirates Beach, Charlotteville
Saturday we had a long sail (in hours, not miles!) against wind & current to Petit St Vincent where we anchored in a lovely little bay off a large resort. It was very rolly here so we decided to head over to Union Island & anchor behind the reef there. It was a very pleasant night's rest & we had a wander through the town of Clifton on Sunday morning, followed by lunch at the Anchorage Yacht Club. We picked up anchor at 2pm & headed off towards Tobago. It was very slow going at first - we only averaged around 4 knots for the first couple of hours - then at 9.30pm the wind picked up & the current against us was not as strong. We managed to sail 7.0 - 7.7 knots for the rest of the way to Tobago. It was a lovely sail, comfortable and quick.
We arrived into Man of War Bay off the town of Charlotteville around 7am on Monday & dropped our anchor off Pirates Beach. It is absolutely beautiful here - the jungle is incredibly thick & tall rainforest covered mountains run down to the sea. The town is tucked into the top of the bay in the only flat area. After a cuppa we took Mr Slappy into Charlotteville to check in with Immigration & Customs. Customs was fine, but Immigration wouldn't be in their office until midday. We had a quick wander around town, then back to PANNIKIN for a swim & a rest. Later check in with Immigration went well, although we did have to wait for 45 minutes for the officer to show up. She also tried to charge us 400TT each for an entrance visa, but this is not paid if you arrive by boat, only plane. After we pointed this out & a few phone calls later we were checked in free of charge. A celebratory lunch of chicken roti & a beer was in order at one of the very small bar/ cafes along the main street. Everything here so far has been really cheap - beer is 10TT ($1.50) & the roti 25TT ($4)!! It's wonderful after struggling on our budget through the rest of the Caribbean. A relax & reading for Ange that afternoon while Steve had a sleep. An early night then for both of us.
Tuesday morning we woke to see JOY anchored behind us in the bay. They arrived around 7am that morning after an overnighter from Carriacou. They also had a great run with strong winds & calm seas. They weren't able to check in as Tuesday was a holiday (which we were unaware of), so off to our cafe again for another roti & beer lunch. It was good to catch up with Jeremy & Susie again. Another slack afternoon for us - we took Mr Slappy to Pirates Beach, had a swim and a lie & read in the sun. We headed over to JOY for afternoon drinks & checked on the depression that is sweeping across the Atlantic from Africa. It has been forming for the past 3 days & at this stage it is not a hurricane, but heading north towards Puerto Rico. We are well away from its path, but it is still scary to know for the next 3 months, these will form regularly & quite possibly turn into tropical depressions or hurricanes.
Today we had planned to head off down to one of the bays south of here. But it has rained continuously for the last 5 hours. If the weather clears we may head out, otherwise we'll stay here for another night.
26/07/2014, Tyrrel Bay
Last week at Hog Island was quiet - just noodling, washing, walking, jobs on board PANNIKIN & another wander to Nimrod's Cafe for chicken roti. We had dinner on board JOY with Devin & Liz from MOOSETRACKS on Friday night. Absolutely beautiful cooking J & S!
Saturday we headed north to the island of Carriacou for a change of scenery. It was a long day - 9 hours of sailing to cover just 36 miles with the wind & current against us. We were very happy to arrive into Tyrell Bay at 4.30pm, where we anchored & had a well deserved beer. We slept well that night!
Sunday we had a lazy day reading & swimming in the beautiful calm clear blue water.
Monday we ventured on shore for a walk & caught the local bus to the village of Hillsborough - the main town on Carriacou (Carri-a-koo) which we found to be fairly quiet but very friendly. There is plenty of nick-nack shops and bars with a couple of supermarkets and in between and not much else. We caught another bus back to Tyrell bay and walked along the road which has the beach on one side, and bars, dive shops, laundry and markets on the other. It has a real laid back feel about the place which we enjoy.
Tuesday we did jobs on PANNIKIN - Ange has started polishing all the fibreglass in the cockpit - one less job to do when we reach Trinidad.
Wednesday we motored around the point to Sandy Island in the middle of Hillsborough Bay. The snorkelling is great with very clear water and with plenty of hard coral & lots of fish- we had a great time. Ange even saw a BIG moray eel and didn't jump out of the water! We decided to stay Thursday night as well, so motored over to Hillsborough town & got a few groceries & some petrol at the service station. Then motored back to Sandy Island for another snorkel.
Thursday morning we were woken suddenly by a huge storm at 1.30am. There was plenty of thunder & lightning & the scary part...50 + knot winds. PANNIKIN's anchor held though & she did plenty dancing on the chain. Our only real problem was a hatch in the aft cabin was open & everything got thoroughly soaked, even in the cupboards.
Friday we went back around to Tyrrel Bay & began drying everything out. Mattresses all on deck & the boat looked like a Chinese laundry with clothes & cupboard bits & pieces hanging everywhere. Friday night we had drinks with Mal & Carol from the Gold Coast on board their Jenneau DANCIA which they had bought in the BVIs. Their plans are similar to us so we may see them in Panama as well as Costa Rica.
Today we are checking out of Grenada/Carriacou & heading around to Petit Martinique where we will begin our journey to Tobago. We will leave around 2pm on Sunday & arrive into Tobago sometime on Monday.
14/07/2014, Hog Island, Grenada
Another week has flown by on PANNIKIN.... Tuesday was again shopping bus day & Wednesday was odd job day with Mexican Train dominoes in the afternoon.
Wednesday night & most of Thursday it absolutely poured. Rainy season is definitely here. Thursday afternoon Ange caught a local taxi service run by a local called "Shademan" & visited a local cooking class run by two lovely ladies, Esther & Omega. They cooked a lovely Grenadian dish of pan-fried fish & sauce which we all had a plate of accompanied by deep fried plantain - a local vegetable. It was a nice afternoon & great to get off the boat after all the rain.
Friday the clouds cleared a little so we decide to get a bus to St George's for a look around. Even though it is the island's capital, it still is not large, but there was plenty going on & we managed to waste a few hours wandering around. Lunch was a chicken roti for Ange & a goat curry for Steve. We also found a new ipad charger which was a bonus.
Saturday we were up early & joined Mike from PORCELAIN at the bus stop, heading back to St George's. We had tickets for 2 x Twenty20 cricket matches at the start of the Caribbean Premier League. After a short walk following the crowd from the bus stop in town we found ourselves at cricket stadium. Not hard to miss with steel bands playing & loud music booming from the stadium. First match was between Trinidad Red Steel & Barbados Tridents. The crowd was great with lots of music, horn blowing & dancing. Cheerleaders constantly entertained as did the live DJ playing music every time a 6 or 4 were hit or during the change of overs. We were spoilt with constant give aways of sponsor products from icecream to rum & a liquid called 'Limacol' which serves as anything from makeup remover to deodorant!!! The second game was between St Lucia Zouks & Jamaica Tallawahs was a little more exciting with some great batting & running between wickets. Chris Gayle (ex International WI player) came on for Jamaica & smashed the ball all over the ground which was great. He completed the game with over 100 runs & barely ran between the wickets! It was an absolutely top day & has fulfilled Ange's long time dream of attending a cricket match in the West Indies!
Sunday was again a quiet day - laundry in the morning at Secret Harbour marina & then a couple of beers with Jeremy & Susie in the afternoon with the World Cup final on in the background.
Today Steve has stayed on board while Ange went to noodling & then put in some kilometres walking with Lann from BAREFOOT LIFE to Grand Anse shopping mall to top up our internet credit!
The days are still hot with the occasional shower to keep us refreshed and the breeze constantly blows off the Atlantic keeping the temperature around 28 to 30C. When the wind does calm down we certainly notice it as the humidity shoots up to 80 to 90 percent so we are in and out of the water all day, not that the water is all that refreshing with the temperature at 29C as well. You can spend hours in the water and not get cold which is pretty nice. Weather permitting we are planning on heading up to Carriacou at the end of the week for a change of scenery & some snorkelling. Should be a nice day sail!
07/07/2014, Hog Island, Grenada
Friday & Saturday were quiet days on board PANNIKIN - doing odd jobs that always need doing. Steve attended the local HASH on Saturday afternoon... a walk or run with other cruisers through the local countryside, followed by food & beers before returning to the anchorage around 8pm.
Sunday morning we walked over to Secret Harbour to attend the monthly boat jumble sale. We had nothing to sell this month but Jeremy & Susie picked up a second hand spinnaker pole for next to nothing. Sunday afternoon we hopped in MR SLAPPY & headed to our first Dinghy Concert in the bay near Le Phare Bleu marina. A large pontoon is moored in the bay with a tug attached. A band plays on the back of the tug & a bar is set up on the pontoon. Everyone arrives in their dinghies & tie up to each other to form a floating audience. It was great fun & we counted 30 odd dinghies & many more land folk being ferried across by the marina boat to the pontoon. We had a couple of drinks on PANNIKIN afterwards with JOY. A great Sunday.
Today after noodling we headed over to Clarks Court Bay marina where a local lady sells great fruit & vegies to cruisers directly from her farm. The produce is great & much cheaper than the supermarket in Grand Anse. Nothing else planned for today - a quiet one for us!
03/07/2014, Hog Island, Grenada
Another month has flown by on PANNIKIN. We are still anchored in Hog Island waiting out the hurricane season.
Friday through to Sunday were quiet days as we had plenty of rain. We did have a Yahtzee night with JOY on Saturday night with Ange taking out the champion title! Monday we walked into Grand Anse to top up our internet credit & speak with a rigger regarding our spinnaker halyard problem - it keeps getting caught in its block, causing chaffing.
Tuesday we had a great day with Devin & Liz from MOOSETRACKS. They collected us in their dinghy at 10.30am & took us ashore where we walked around to the village of Woburn in Clarks Court Bay. We had lunch at a small cafe called Nimrod's which serves lovely chicken roti at a very reasonable price & big! We then walked to Clark's Court Distillery - the largest rum distillery in Grenada. We did a tour of the old sugar mill & the newer distillery and afterwards the rum tasting! Lots of different rums to try & the others in our group jumped in with both feet, but we were very good & only tried a couple (can you believe it!). Walked back to Hog Island then & a swim off PANNIKIN to finish a top day - exercise, food, drink & great company!
Yesterday morning with the help of Jeremy, I sent Steve up the mast to repair the spinnaker halyard problem. It took most of the morning using an angle grinder to remove a small piece of the mast to fit and insert a new fitting to run the halyard through. Not an easy task hanging onto the top of the mast! We played Mexican Train Dominoes again in the afternoon with Devin, Liz, Jeremy, Susie, Stan & Lann... with Liz being champion again!
We have re-booked our haul out in Trinidad to the middle of August as we are enjoying the life here so much, with a great social network of cruisers and activities every week to keep us entertained. Also August is meant to be the start of the true hurricane season and we would rather be further south at that time. Trinidad is advertised as a hurricane free area, and we have heard there is plenty to see and do, so we are looking forward to it.
26/06/2014, Hog Island, Grenada
Saturday we decided not to go to the Pot Luck dinner & had a quiet night at home. We've started watching season 6 of 'Sons of Anarchy' & are finding it very addictive!
Sunday through to Wednesday we did the usual - noodling in the morning for Ange, followed by a walk for the both of us & ended the day doing odd jobs & repairs on PANNIKIN. We did attend the weekly get together on Hog Island on Sunday afternoon as a group of cruisers who participate in to the 'Magellan' Net (our HF radio net) were meeting up. It was great to finally put faces to names we've heard over the radio for the last couple of months.
Wednesday afternoon we were invited to play 'Mexican Train Dominoes' with Devin & Liz from MOOSETRACKS & Monica from MISS MOLLY - it was a top afternoon. The game is good & really makes you think & plan at times. We will try & pick up a set if we can. We hope to make this a weekly habit with whoever would like to play.
Wednesday was Jeremy's birthday - we had a lovely dinner of roast beef & vegetables & a wicked chocolate dessert on JOY that night. And a few drinks.... Jeremy bought out a special bottle of whiskey for the occasion. Happy Birthday Jeremy!
As we are expecting some rain over the next couple of days, we did some washing this morning after noodling. Drying the sheets can be a bit hazardous! The winds are so strong that we need to stand at the bow & make sure things don't fly away! Steve is now cleaning the bottom of PANNIKIN as I write.
Tomorrow we are heading on the shopping bus into Grand Anse - time to top up the supplies! We are still just marking time as we wait for the hurricane season to pass (still 3 months yet!). We are thinking of maybe putting our trip to Trinidad off for another month - we have so much time up our sleeves!
Photo: Steve trying to hang onto the washing!