02/03/2010, Tobago Cays
Alan has asked me a number of times to write a blog but up until today I didn't feel that I had anything to add to his experiences. Well, let me tell you, things can change pretty fast around here. For the better you ask! That would depend on your point of view. The day started out as everyday does - up with the sun - Alan brews a fresh pot of coffee and for the next couple of hours we sit in the cockpit and watch the sun come up over the crashing waves, well, sort of, if it wasn't for those damn palm trees getting in the way. Just a small annoyance. Then we decide where we want to go and what island to sail to. I know - it's such a hard decision. Yesterday, we left Bequia (beck-way) and headed back to Tobago Cays - about a 4 ½ hour sail, 6-8 ft seas and 20 knots of wind - between islands you are lucky enough to get the full effect of the Atlantic Ocean. No problem until Alan decides it is time for one of his daily naps. His instructions are to keep watch. I ask myself - watch what? Half the time the waves are so big you can't see the islands much less another sailboat but, since I am no longer a newbe, hey, no problem! Honestly, it is quite a thrill speeding along at 7.5 knots. We get anchored and settle in for the night. Cocktails are still at 5-watch the sunset and eat dinner-shower and read until about 8 and then I am usually fast asleep. It's such a tiring day.
So today proved that every day is not another day in paradise. LAUNDRY ON UNABATED! Women kiss your washing machine. This is how is goes - first, you get 2 - 2 gallon buckets and I'm not kidding either. Then you put about a teaspoon of laundry soap in one because if you but anymore then that you'll never be able to rinse it out in the other 2 gallon bucket. Geez, all I wanted was clean sheets. 90 minutes later I had washed 1 set of sheets and 4 pillow cases and a couple of t-shirts and a bathing suit. I will never complain about my washer and dryer again! Alan had relayed his experience washing a mattress pad cover - he likened it to wrestling with an alligator and I thought he was just complaining. I owe him an apology. No wonder everyone has that boat smell - no one wants to be subjected to Laundry Day! Alan says you have to keep up with it. I think that is the reason you see so many people with so little clothes on and I think I would be joining them if it meant getting out of doing the laundry.
After all of that I was generously rewarded when I saw a Spotted Eagle Ray while snorkeling. I had seen some small rays but I have to tell you that it was about 6 ft across and had about a 5 ft tail. It was the most beautiful, graceful and awe inspiring thing I have ever seen in my life. It glided over the bottom of the sea so effortlessly, it was mesmerizing and something that I will never forget. Yes, I am a long way from the farm! Thanks Alan for an experience of a lifetime and one that I will not soon forget!
When we last reported in we were in Saltwhistle Bay. The roll in there was so bad we could not wait to get ou of there. We sailed over to Chatham Bay on Union Island. Now, there is paradise. Large protected bay, teaming with wildlife. Quiet, smooth water, white sandy beach even though the wind wind howls down through the mountain. Beckie found plenty of kyaking and snorkeling there. We decided to spend two days there before heading back to Bequia for the last day of the music festival.
There was enough sun and wind there for me to power up the boat forever. Although with no wifi I didn't have to power up the computer.
There is no electric on that side of the island so all the little beach bars - shacks really - use generators to power the few lights they have. There are about 6 or so boat boys (not boys at all) who try and convince you to eat at their little place. Names like Onion, Shark Attack, Ballhead.....They are squatters on the beach who put up these places to try and eek out a living. The government turns a blind eye so long as they dont get too big.
The place we dinner on Friday night was exactly like that. Jerry, the owner had told me, he hopes that next year he can afford to purchase another battery so that he can expand his sound system and maybe add a little cooler to keep some vegetables in. Now that is off the grid
So we're back in Bequia for the evening to re- provision. We will probably head back down island to Petite Martinique and Carriacou (Look that one up) and work our way back up during the week.
So we will be back off the grid again.
alan & beckie