05/22/2013, Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
After leaving Canouan, we sailed to the Tobago Cays and anchored. This was a delightful 2 hour sail all downwind. The preferred anchorage for the Tobago Cays is behind a large, curving reef named Horseshoe Reef (for its shape). It was really crowded (& this is the slow season). This area is at the "edge" of the Atlantic and so is exposed to the winds & seas coming across the ocean. Thile the reef shielded the anchorage from the really large waves, it was still quite rocky & rolly at anchor.
We went snorkeling in the turtle area and got to see a turtle along with some larger fish (permits & jacks). After snorkeling again in the morning and seeing all kinds of fish along Horseshoe Reef, we headed to Chatham Bay in Union Island. Because it was so windy in the Tobago Cays, and we had good battery power, we were able to turn on the water maker.
We went snorkeling in Chatham Bay and there were also lots of fish. Huge schools of fish about 2 inches long were zooming past us in all directions. We went to Aqua Restaurant in Chatham Bay for dinner and internet. We used the internet for two hours sitting on very comfortable couches. Then we had dinner. The food was wonderful. I recommend this place for meals and internet. Anchoring in the bay was almost the opposite of the one at the Tobago Cays - the water was flat calm, although we did get "bursts" of wind that seemed to overflow from the surrounding hills regularly.
On Friday, May 17 we realized that Monday was a holiday so we left Chatham Bay for Clifton (also in Union Island) to check out of customs for St. Vincent & the Grenadines. We were thankful to Never Bored for all the rides to customs (their dinghy is MUCH easier to drop in and haul out of the water than ours). After clearing out we headed to Carriacou. This was another short (2 hour) sail downwind - we hit 9-10 mph for a lot of the trip even.
Getting to Carriacou, we anchored near Sandy Island intending to stay for the night and check in at Hillsborough Bay. After we got anchored someone came out to the boat and told us that we could not anchor there as it was part of a Marine Preserve area. We went back to Hillsborough Bay & anchored and Gary and Chris went to customs. It is really wavy in Hillsborough Bay so we left for Tyrrel Bay (on the south side of the island) and anchored. We were exhausted at the end of this day. We had anchored in 4 different places and 6 times (as a couple times we needed to haul the anchor up & re-set it).
On Saturday we went snorkeling again with Never Bored off Sandy Island. It was great. There were many fish there that I have never seen anywhere else. We will definitely be going back there again. Then on Sunday we went kayaking in the Mangrove Swamp hurricane hole. And Monday we took a ride around the island with Simon. He told us that the Mangrove Swamp had 200 boats in it for Hurricane Ivan.
We are now preparing for our leg to south Grenada where we'll have the boat for hurricane season.
I have been bragging for years and years that Gary's Mom is the best Mother-in-Law anyone could have. It is nearing the tenth anniversary of the ringing of the bell to signify the end of my radiation treatment for rectal cancer (June 15). I am recalling that Helen came down to Florida from Iowa in those last overwhelming weeks of cancer treatment. I just could not handle it anymore and she came and rescued us.
Thanks Mom Happy Mother's Day
And a Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all the moms out there!
We left Buccament Bay, St. Vincent heading to Bequia to check in and then continue to Canouan. Shortly after getting out of the bay the Port engine overheated. Gary checked out the engine & finding nothing wrong, cooled it down and was able to restart it with no more problems.
The sail was really rough (Margi's interpretation). Luckily it did not last long. We had 20-25 mph winds with 4'-8' seas. The waves were coming almost broadside, slightly from behind, which made it seem rough.
Gary and Chris (from Never Bored) checked in and then we headed to Canouan. This leg was a beautiful sail - 15 mph winds & 2' seas as we were in the midst of the Grenadines islands. Gary caught a Blackfin Tuna that weighed about 5 pounds. Sheila from Never Bored had said she would love to make sushi if we caught any Tuna. After anchoring & getting settled, we took the fish over to their boat. Sheila filleted it and made this wonderful sushi, sashimi and tuna rolls. The presentation was gorgeous. I have never tried sushi. I have to admit that the idea of eating raw fish has kept me away all these years. Gary's favorite food in restaurants is sushi. I had no idea that it would taste so good.
We got back to the boat and I took Windy forward to try to get her to do her business on the boat. I got to the trampoline and she had already pooped there! We praised her and gave her treats.
It was a very good day in paradise.
Picture is from the Canouan anchorage
05/11/2013, Buccament Bay, St Vincent
We left Rodney Bay Thursday morning and after a very pleasant sail anchored in the quiet little bay Anse de Canaries. We're traveling with another catamaran - Never Bored. We had met them (Chris & Sheila) in Grenada & then spent time with them (along with Ed & Ann on Windswept Dreams) in Martinique. A couple days after Brad left, they showed up in Rodney Bay.
We left Anse de Canaries at 6 am heading for St Vincent. We had wind out of the east at 15 mph until we got clear of the island at which point it increased to 18-20 mph. While the waves between the islands were 4'-6', it was a pleasant sail with good weather as we were going 7-8 mph. One short rain shower that lasted 10 min & cooled things down. About 10 miles from St Vincent, the wind & seas began to shift as they wrapped around the end of the island. While the waves picked up to 8'-10', they were mostly behind us and with the wind at 20+mph we were doing over 10 mph for quite some time. Then as we got down the coast, the island blocked most the wind, though the seas settled down to 1' too.
We're now anchored in Buccament Bay on the SW coast of St Vincent. This is a peaceful, pretty little bay with a small village on the shore. There is also a fancy hotel that has free wifi!
We plan to leave at 8 in the morning for Bequia (part of the Grenadines) to clear in with customs & immigration. Then we head to Canouan for an overnight anchorage followed by a short hop to the Tobago Cays. after a few days there, we'll go to Carriacou (part of Grenada).
The picture is of our tour guide Malakai on our last island tour
05/06/2013, Rodney Bay, St Lucia
We got our camera back! Malaki went to Soufriere and found our taxi driver and brought our camera back to the marina where he tracked us down to return it. Malaki was our tour guide last week for snorkeling & arranging the hot springs tour.
There is a Jazz festival going on in St. Lucia right now. On Friday night we got together a group of cruisers and we all walked to Gros Illets (about 15 min from the dinghy dock). It was a Friday night event that was more crowded than usual because of the Jazz Festival. There was steel drum band that was exceptional. We had a dinner of steamed fish and provisions (salad, Mac & cheese, breadfruit balls, dasheen). Then there was a parade with dancers in costumes, stilt walkers (the taller ones heads were over 20' up in the air) and men breathing fire.
We are now waiting for a weather window to head further south. It now looks like we should clear out tomorrow morning, head 3-4 hrs south to anchor over-night and very early Wed morning head for the SW coast of St Vincent. That will also be just an over-night stop before heading to Union Island in The Grenadines.
While I was cleaning the boat, I somehow broke my toe. Tomorrow we will try to find one of those flat foot shoes so I can walk. (Update: Margi saw a doctor at a walk-in clinic - about $140 & got 2 prescriptions for $40. She's to keep weight off her foot for a while.)
Thank you to my sister, Fran, for talking care of all of our paperwork and mail while we are gone.
Picture is of Margi at the mud springs (Brad is in the background).
04/24/2013, St Lucia
Yesterday we (Gary, Margi & Brad) went on a boat tour with Malakai (a local Rasta guide) south along the coast to Soufrere. He went close to shore along the coast from Rodney Bay. The rock formations are beautiful. While some looked carved and were not, we did see one that had designs carved into the rock. We stopped to snorkel in a little bay that's protected as a marine preserve. It was full of fish and coral. The rocks there looked like they came from a volcano. I saw some red coral. The beach there had black, volcanic sand.
In Soufrere we had lunch and took a taxi to the Sulfur springs and a hot waterfall. The mud from the sulfur springs is supposed to help with aches and pains and exfoliates your skin as well. I covered myself with the mud and let it dry. My skin feels great. The waterfall is heated by an inactive volcano, so it's almost like a stand-up hot tub.
On the trip back it was pouring rain. For the first time in a long time, I was cold. When we got back soaking wet and had hot soup to warm up.
Unfortunately, we can't find our camera (it's gotta be here somewhere!) so no pictures until it shows up.
UPDATE: still no camera, but we do have a GoPro (which takes video & is waterproof). I used that to take this sunset picture from the stern of Inspiration.