27 July 2007 | Union Island
We have been missing waking up in our own private beach since the Bahamas. We had never imagined we would find one, especially in the popular Grenadines. The Grenadines are famous for beautiful beaches but also famous for boat boys who come out on surf boards, and skiffs trying to sell you souvenirs or services. They can be aggressive sales men. Typically, saying "no thank you" once won't convince them that you are not buying. Some come out to see if we want the boat cleaned at 7 AM. I wonder how much business they actually get at such times and why couldn't they be selling fresh baked goods. They would make a lot of money off of us if they showed up with warm croissants and baguettes. So being alone in the anchorage, we thought we could sleep in as late as we wanted to without being bothered by anyone.
Well, we were wakened by someone this morning. But it wasn't a boat boy. It was a dog on the beach howling like a wolf under a full moon. Randy got up to see what the dog was howling for. Then I started hearing another dog howling back, having a conversation with the dog on the beach. It turned out that it was not another dog, it was Randy playing with the dog on the beach. As I was getting up, Randy said "Hideko, you've got to check this out. The dog is swimming towards our boat!"
The little dog on the beach was so excited to have someone to talk to on the lonely beach that he had set out swimming for Swingin' on a Star and his vocal new friend aboard. Randy came inside quickly to hide from his new friend because he didn't want the dog to swim 200 yard to our boat for nothing. I guess we could have given him a pat for going the distance but he might have been too tired to make the swim back and we weren't ready to adopt. Randy hoped that if the little dog didn't see or hear him anymore that it would return to the beach. After a fair bit of diligent paddling, having lost sight of his amigo, the little dog turned around and swam back to the shore. He hopefully pranced up and down the beach a few times as close to our boat as he could get, and then, sadly, resigned to solitude, trotted of into the jungle. He was the only creature we ever saw on that beach.
We went through the usual morning routine of checking the weather and having bowls of cereal. After a lazy morning we weighed anchor and set sail for Union Island. On the way out we cruised right over a dive sight with the wreck of a World War I vessel, just off the point near our anchorage.
We sailed to Palm Island and found its beauty obvious even from miles away. The white sand beach was glittering under the sun with palm trees shading the center of the island just as the name suggests. It is a picture perfect Caribbean little island. We thought about anchoring there, but the primary anchorage had construction going on ashore so we headed to Union Island as planned.
Union Island's main anchorage channel is well marked. Reefs are visible all around. We anchored right in front of Happy Island, which is a man made island (mostly conch shells and concrete) with a bar taking up all of the usable real estate. We joined Kelp Fiction on Happy Island for happy hour. The bar was fairly well stocked but they were pushing the rum punch (which was tasty and boy, strong) and St. Vincent's local beer, Hairoun. We met a couple of British guys on the 49 foot Jeaneau, Blue Sky, and had drinks with them until it was time for all good cruisers to go to bed.