14 September 2007 | Petite Martinique
We had decided to head back down to Grenada to wrap up some final preparations before offing to Tobago. Tobago is supposedly out of the way and short on services. Just the way we like it. That said, it is always nice to stock up and take care of any Internet business before heading out to the boon docks.
We took a quick harbor tour of Petite Martinique on our way. PM is supposedly the wealthiest Caribbean island per capita. It seems like a very nice place with a nice harbor town and a large anchorage.
As we motored out of the anchorage and around the tip of Cariacou things started looking gloomy. If you're in the middle of the ocean and the clouds roll in, you reef down and sit it out in the saloon. If you are inshore and viz goes to 0 it is a bit more dramatic.
Hideko and I decided to anchor up quickly to let the weather go by. We found a little cove called Sparrow Bay and made our way in. Hideko lost the Rock/Paper/Scissors match and was up on the bow getting the anchor out just as it started to drizzle. We were set just as the little squall started to hit and it began gusting over 20 from the southwest. This was blowing us a little too far into the shallows for my comfort. It was fine really but from the dry comfort of the cockpit I shouted to Hideko that we needed to reanchor. It was really pouring now. Hideko gave me a look. I quickly revised my prior announcement, "or we can just stay here...".
There we stayed. We did drift into some 6 foot water but things quickly came east again and the rain settled down after a short white out and an hour or so of drizzle.
We had a wonderful sail down to Grenada and didn't have to kick in the motors until the wind dropped to about 3 knots from everywhere just above Saint Georges. We motored into the lagoon about an hour before sunset.
The lagoon is usually calm, and therefore hot. Like most mountainous harbors, however, the wind can pile up and dump down all at once. From time to time things get gusty. This is bad news for folks with insufficient ground tackle or for those who have not set their anchors or for those who have been in there for a month and have turned around their hook so many times that they are hopelessly fouled.
The bottom is also nasty mud. If you get set well it can be great holding. Mud isn't as easy to set in as sand though and you certainly don't want to dive on you anchor in here (not that you could see it if you did).
There's a shoal area marked on the charts just on the starboard side as you enter the lagoon. There's actually a lot of water here (20 feet in most areas) and it is usually open. We decided to anchor up there even though the lagoon was not too crowded. The first attempt was a bust. The anchor held as we worked the throttles up to about 1,600 and then we started to slip. If I can sit still for a minute at 2,000 rmps I know I am going no where in anything less than a serious storm. At 1,600 rpms we'd probably be fine in the lagoon, but I don't sleep well on probably.
We hauled the anchor up and prepped to reset it a bit to one side of the spot that didn't hold. This was actually the first time I can recall that the Rocna did not hook up on the very first attempt. I suppose I could have babied it down into the mud a bit more. We took it extra slow on the second go. I let the wind blow us down, then to idle reverse, then slowly up by 200s to 2,000 rpm. No problems.
The lagoon is great in many ways. We get Wifi Internet access right on the boat, thanks to Island Water World. Food, shops and supplies are close by. By 10PM I had also realized that it was Friday night. We slept fitfully until about 3AM when the blasting subwoofers finally stopped rattling our hatches.