13 September 2007 | Petite Saint Vincent
Where does the time go? I can't believe that it is the middle of September. Time for us to start heading west. Hideko and I had been at Union island for a while but now that the wind was back below 20 knots we decided to start the next leg of our adventure. We will start at Tobago and work our way across the north side of South America.
There are a lot of security concerns on this part of the trip. Venezuela is a problem country and Colombia, while supposedly greatly improved, still has a questionable reputation. Unlike the small island nations we've been through recently these are very large chunks of turf. If you don't like Dominica, 4 hours later you're somewhere else. Not so Colombia and Venezuela.
Prior to taking off we ran through our departure check list (which is getting quite long). As we went through the list we discovered that both of our RuleMate 1100s in the engine rooms had failed. I have had terrible luck with these pumps. They just don't hold up to the basic requirements of bilge or sump duty. They are not cheap by my reckoning at two or three hundred a pop, yet they are cheaply made, no replaceable parts etceteras. I suppose if I was in the US I could just constantly return them to West Marine and install a new one free of charge every four to nine months. Unfortunately we're not in the US or anywhere else for more than a few days. I will definitely need to research the net for a really robust pump that I can hook up and forget. I mean after all it is a bilge pump. It should pump out ball caps, olive oil and soggy dog treats if that's what's in the bilge. Any bilge pump that you need to baby and check on regularly to ensure that it still works is not the kind of thing you want to rely on in an emergency.
After replacing one of the pumps (only had one spare) we set off for Petite Saint Vincent. I was looking forward to taking Hideko to the restaurant there. I have heard good things about the ambiance and the food. It was a short 2 mile sail from Union through lots of reef strew water. The charts are good so there are no problems as long as you keep a good eye out in fair weather. There are strange currents making their way around the underwater obstructions though and they switch right as you get close to danger so you have to stay alert.
Petite Saint Vincent is part of Saint Vincent and Petite Martinique is part of Grenada. Both are nestled into the reefed area just to windward of Cariacou. It is a beautiful area with lots of good spots to anchor. It can be quite rolly though.
PSV is a private island and operates as a resort for folks who want to really get away from it all. You can actually raise a flag at your bungalow for service and never leave the hut your entire time there. It looked like the resort was shut down for September, as so many places are (later discovered they are closed September and October). We hailed them on the VHF a few times but got no response. Instead we enjoyed the lovely view from our boat and had some nice home cooked pasta for dinner.