Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

26 May 2024 | Ile de Ronde, Grenada
21 May 2024 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes

To and From Ile de Ronde

26 May 2024 | Ile de Ronde, Grenada
Donna Cariss
We raised the sails as we departed Anse la Roche and put a preventer on the main, as the wind was light and variable. Off the first headland, the wind gusted suddenly to 22 knots and came around to the beam and then towards the nose. Consequently, we didn't make it down the inside of Sandy Island but went around the outside of that and the next little island west. Once around the north of Carriacou, we set a course for Ile de Ronde. I helmed for the first 2 hours, as the winds were variable and put the autohelm on when we were clear of Carriacou and the wind settled at 12 to 15 knots on the beam. At 1120 hours we were hit by a squall. Pete eased the sails and I turned more towards the wind and we were soon through it to blue sky and were able to return to our desired course. The swell maxed at around 1.5 metres but was often less, so it was a mostly comfortable sail. As we approached the anchorage, at Ile de Ronde, we were hit with another squall, before we could drop the sails but it soon passed and the anchorage was sheltered and calm. We dropped the anchor in shallow water close to the shore on the north east side of the bay. There was an English catamaran (Lost Abbey) and a French Ovni at anchor in the bay, plus another monohull further to the south. We had lunch and some of Pete's homemade ginger ale, which knocked me out, so must be more than a little alcoholic. The anchorage would be stunning if the sun came out but it remained cloudy all afternoon. Pinnacle and Pink Lady arrived very late in the afternoon, so we didn't get chance to speak to them. After dark (and it was very dark), we sat in the cockpit and listened to the music and singing from Lost Abbey. They appeared to be having a great night on board, just the two of them.
First thing next morning, we spoke with Steve, from Freebooter and agreed the purchase of a Spectra watermaker from him. He would arrange of Terry to rebuild it and help us install it in Grenada. We left Ronde at 0830 hours and raised the sails as we cleared the bay. We had discussed whether to head down the east or the west side of Grenada. I wanted to go west and visit the underwater sculpture park. Pete wanted to go east, so we would have a downwind sail along the south coast. We had messaged Nigel, on Novara, to find out about the buoys at the sculpture park but we hadn't had a response, so I agreed to go east. We were approaching London Bridge, an arched rock on the north east side of Grenada, when the phone rang. It was Nigel, with information about the sculpture park and confirming that they were on a buoy about 2 miles south of there, outside of Port Louis and they would love to see us. We needed to move onto a starboard tack to clear London Bridge but decided to turn around and head down the east side of Grenada instead. The wind was light for downwind sailing but we tried putting up a goosewing for a few minutes. Unfortunately we needed the engine for 50 minutes or so until we started to pick up the land breeze. We then sailed for an hour and 10 minutes, with occasional strong gusts, coming down the valleys. Grenada looked very green and lush, not what we expected from an island with a drought. The towns and villages were pretty, with different coloured houses and from the sea, it looked more prosperous than some of the other islands. Having lost the wind halfway down the west side of the island, we motorsailed with the mainsail up and we made good time. We took one of the 3 buoys at Dragon Bay, just south of the underwater sculpture park, at 1255 hours and had lunch. We decided to snorkel the park straight after lunch, taking the dinghy round the corner to tie onto a buoy inshore. We could have snorkelled round but I was wary of the small boats coming and going. We slipped in over the side and snorkelled for a while but not locating any sculptures. A boat trip had arrived and the clients were following a guide, so we watched where they went, further out to sea. Each time they moved, we moved to the place they had just left, so we found all the sculptures. The water was a bit murky but there were pretty gullies, a bit like in the UK and each gulley had a sculpture or group of sculptures. The most impressive was the rows of people, dressed in different costumes. There was also a man sitting at a desk with a typewriter. It was all quite interesting and worth the visit, especially doing it for free. The reef fish were limited, mostly (blue) tangs but I did see a massive sea cucumber and some lovely sea fans and trumpets. We hauled ourselves back into the dinghy and returned to the boat, leaving the buoy immediately and motoring south to find Novara. With her 2 masts of equal height, she was easily spotted. We hailed them as we motored by and they said they would pick us up around 6pm to head into the marina, so we would know where the dinghy dock was. A man, whom we later learned was called Rich, advised us not to use the mooring buoy next to him as it is hanging on by a thread, so we took the next buoy, which was as close to the marina as possible, useful as our dinghy and engine are both small. At 1730 hours we went into the marina with Nigel and Veronica, who were meeting other friends for dinner. We bumped into Paul and Tracey, from Magic Pelagic, so went for a couple of G&Ts on their boat, before eating dinner at the Knife and Fork cafe. Nigel and Veronica returned to give us a lift home at 2140 hours. There was no rain or thunder overnight and it was a comfortable night on the buoy.

Carriacou - Part 2 - Paradise Beach, Sandy Island and Anse la Roche

24 May 2024 | Carriacou, Grenada
Donna Cariss
We were due some exercise and a day out, so we went ashore in Tyrell Bay and walked north, to Paradise Beach, which took around 30 minutes. We ambled along the beach, with a view of Sandy Island, until we reached the Paradise Beach Club, which had been recommended to us by Maurice and Jackie. It was still only 10.30am and they didn't open until 11, so we pulled a couple of sunbeds into the shade of an awning to wait. The walls all around the restaurant, bar and parking lot were covered in hand-painted boards with the names of boats on them, many that we recognised from our travels. We later learned that painting day was on Wednesdays, between 3 and 5pm. I stripped down to my bikini and went into the shallow, turquoise water to cool off. I was surrounded by little fish wherever I swam or floated. Once out of the water, I realised that they were using me as protection from the boobies, that were diving for the fish, very visible in the clear water, over the sandy bottom. When the bar opened, we had a drink and booked a table for lunch, as the venue became busy. For lunch, we chose the snack platters, one fish and one chicken wings, which came with various side dishes, including garlic bread, Asian slaw and potatoes and we splashed out on a bottle of sauvignon blanc. The food was delicious, not expensive and the service was excellent. The view from our table, at the front of the deck, was stunning. On our way back to Tyrell Bay, we called into a little bar, just north of Budget Marine, for a cooling drink. The bar was run by a man who had lived in Bedford and had family in Huddersfield. It was basic but cheaper than the bars in Tyrell Bay. Last stop was the supermarket, for provisions. Back on board I enjoyed the luxury of a full hair wash and conditioner, before we headed to shore, to DJ's, where Nigel was playing at the open mic night. The dinghy dock was ridiculously rickety and unstable and I wondered how we were going to pass back along it after a few beers. The mic night was fun, with a few local characters and the crowd soon grew with passers by. The smell of weed was strong. Somehow, the crossing of the dodgy dock didn't seem so bad on the return trip and we made it back out to the boat without issue.
I had a sleepless night, with a banging headache. I had only had 3 small beers, so it was either the Carib, after the Stag ran out, or the fumes from other people's weed. Having enjoyed Paradise Beach and the view of Sandy Island yesterday, we motored round there in Muirgen and picked up a buoy on the east end of Sandy Island. It was windy and the sea very choppy. Sandy Island looked beautiful, with its sandy shore, lined with palm trees and surrounded by the turquoise water in the shallows inshore. It was strange how Paradise Beach looked so far away, when Sandy Island had looked so close yesterday. We wouldn't make it over there in our little dinghy today, so we called the restaurant and booked their free water taxi for 3.30pm and a table for dinner. I was still feeling rough, so I went to sleep in the forepeak, only to be awakened at 2pm as the water taxi was here. It was looking for business around the mooring field and Pete didn't want them to have to make another trip for us. When the paints came out, we created our wooden sign for Muirgen. It was difficult to be artistic, using the stiff decorating paintbrushes and the rather solid gloss paint. The 'N' on Muirgen ended up going round the edge of the board. Pete used a cocktail stick to add the date and 'Born of the Sea'. It went on the rack to dry and is now presumably hanging somewhere on the wall. We met the families from Pinnacle and from Pink Lady, whose children were helping create their signs. It's a great form of visitors book.
We again had a table at the front of the restaurant and also a good view of the stage, where there was live music. We both chose the fish with pesto sauce, with sides of potatoes and vegetables. It was artistically arranged and superb. The portion size was perfect for feeling comfortable. The music was provided by Julian and Vaneeta, with the same guy on the drum that had played at The Original Slipway. Apparently, everyone uses him and he used to play with Bob Marley, back in the day. We stayed longer than planned, before getting the taxi back to the boat. The wind had dropped and the sea had calmed when night fell. In the early hours it rained, so we had to close the hatches, making it hot and humid on board. Hatch covers are needed for next season!
We slept late and decided to stay a second night. The sea was calm, so we snorkelled to the shore, which was very steep and crawled out of the water. We walked the length of the island, taking photos, before snorkelling on the reef at the far east end. There were lots of large fish swimming around the boat that would be good eating but it's a marine reserve and fishing is prohibited, except by locals. Back on board, we had messages from Sara and Nigel, asking us to come over to Anse la Roche anchorage for BBQ at Tim's. We agreed to go, as we hadn't yet paid for the second night on the buoy. Pete pre-ordered the ribs and I the fish. Nigel had also ordered ribs and Sara the fish, chicken and curried conch combo. It was head to wind, going the 3 miles east, under engine, so the going was slow but we made it in time to get a good anchor spot in the little bay, just before 2 charter cats arrived. It was tight for them both to get in. We went ashore in Nigel's dinghy. Only spirits were served, as this is a turtle beach and bottles and tops are not allowed. There was one nest visible up the beach. When the food eventually came, the feast was massive. The sides arrived first; rice, baked potatoes with garlic, chilli and cheese, salad, fried plantains. Next came 4 large tuna steaks and 4 chicken drumsticks, then the coconut curried conch. We decided that they had the order wrong, so the boys started to tuck in too. Then the ribs arrived. There were 2 and they were about 15 inches long. Pete was over-faced. Nigel tucked in. The dog ended up with a few ribs too. The food was delicious but on reflection, we thought the Paradise Beach Club was better value for us.
We had enjoyed our stay in Carriacou, with its variety of anchorages, restaurants, bars and great supermarkets.

Carriacou - First Stop In Grenada - Part 1 - Tyrell Bay

21 May 2024 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
Donna Cariss
Grenada has declared a drought and many places, on the main island, have no running water available. This could prove problematic for us when we reach there, as we don't have a watermaker. Hopefully Carriacou will have water available.
We departed Frigate Island at 0820 hours and had the foresail out, for a downwind sail, immediately. Pete also had his fishing line out, with his big lure on, as Nigel had said there were usually fish around the headland. Sure enough, within 10 minutes, the reel was screaming; we had hooked something. Pete tightened the reel but it screamed again, so he tightened it some more, before lifting the rod from its bracket. This was a big fish. Pete could barely hold the rod, let alone dip it to reel it in. We were doing 5 knots downwind and before I could depower the sail, the fish had escaped off the hook. Pete wound in the line and there was no damage to the lure, which ruled out barracuda, which have large, sharp teeth. It could have been a tuna, as we couldn't see the fish on the surface and tuna tend to dive to try to escape the hook, where other fish fight and jump on the surface. Pete was gutted not to even bring the fish alongside the boat, to see what it was. I doubt we could have landed it. Although we had a good sail down to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou, Pete was down in the mouth.
By mid-morning, we were anchored close to Freebooter of Poole, in Tyrell Bay. We had a chat to Steve and Annemarie, on our way to clear in by the dock and agreed to beer float at 4.30pm. We were lucky that there was no queue but I got a telling off for entering the office, as only the captain is allowed inside. Clearance was 60 EC. We needed groceries, so took the dinghy to look for the dinghy dock at the other end of the bay but didn't go far enough to find it, beyond the ferry port. Instead, we took the dinghy up the beach, close to the supermarkets. In the Alexis store, we bumped into Maurice and Jackie, from Fiddler's Green, who introduced us to Andy and Irene from Saracen. Jackie invited us to a barbecue on board on Wednesday evening and Andy invited us for sundowners at 5pm that evening. We declined the sundowners, due to the prior invitation to beer float with Steve and Annemarie. Having delivered one load of provisions to the boat, we returned to shore, this time locating the excellent dinghy dock by the boat yard. We walked the length of the bay, stopping at The Gallery Bistro for a cold beer, because the place was the cleanest and prettiest. It turned out to be the restaurant run by an English couple, Ann and John, famed for its Indian food. On the way back, we visited the other supermarket, for more groceries and met Michelle, from Huddersfield, who was visiting her parents and had taken a job while she was here. At 1630, we joined Steve and Annemarie, by the beach, to float on the noodles and drink a beer. The talk was all about watermakers. When we returned, a yacht had tied to the mooring buoy close to us, so we lifted the anchor and moved 10 metres north, to avoid any risk of collision when swinging.
On Wednesday morning, Pete made ginger ale, using a recipe from Nigel and I made coleslaw, having been able to buy carrots, cabbage and red cabbage in the supermarket. The coleslaw was delicious. It would be 24 hours before we could try the ginger ale, which needed to ferment, then chill, to stop fermentation. At 10.30am, we noodled with Steve and Annemarie, Pete's first time actually doing the exercises, although there seemed to be a lot of talking going on there. Back on board, Pete made cheeseburgers for tonight's barbecue, before we went ashore for a spot of lunch and a visit to Budget Marine, to see what they had available. It was really hot, so we had to pause for a beer at the Gallery, before stocking up the beer fridge and the wine rack. Pete bought rotis from a van, 10 EC each, as it was the end of the day and the lady wanted to go home. They went in the fridge for tomorrow. The barbecue on Fiddler's Green was fantastic. Maurice had his guitar out, there was a tambourine and 4 harmonicas, in different keys and we had a great singalong, with the help of the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club singalong song book.
We had intended getting up early, to clean the dinghy before the heat of the day but last night's red wine put paid to that but we did make it out of bed for noodling at nine. After that, Pete did a laundry and trash run, over to the dock. At 1245, we met up with Steve, Annemarie, Maurice, Jackie, Andy and Irene, at The Gallery, for lunch. With only John doing the cooking, the food was a while coming but it was very good when it came and it was plentiful. We spent the afternoon in a carb coma, then roused ourselves for a final beer float, with Steve and Annemarie, at 1630. Leeds United beat Norwich 4 - 0, to make it through to the play-off final at Wembley. Nigel would be hoping that Southampton had similar success tomorrow, to make it an all Westerly Typhoon owners final. There was rain overnight.
Next morning, we did get up early and take the dinghy over to the dock, where we lifted it out and cleaned it thoroughly. Freebooter had already left and we saw Fiddler's Green depart when we returned to our boat. However, Andy and Irene were still here and Nigel and Sara, on Nessa V, were on their way. Next chore was a water run. Rather than up anchor and take the boat to the dock, Pete took fourteen 5 litre water bottles to fill, brought them back, filled the tank and returned again with the empties. We had used less water than we thought. It's a shame the meter on the water tank doesn't work, as we could then allow ourselves the luxury of more regular showers and, for me, hair washing. A busy day, our final stop was the laundry, to collect the washing, which would then need refolding and putting away and the bedding changing. At home, this is easily done but it's a hot and sweaty job on the boat in this heat and humidity, so we had a beer as Las Iguanas to cool down first. At 4pm, Sara joined me for noodling (exercise not beer floating), while Nigel listened to the football. Southampton won, so it would be a Leeds v Southampton match, at Wembley, a week on Sunday.
The following morning, Pete and I caught the local bus to Hillsborough, in the hope of being able to buy better noodles, new beach towels and flipflops. Steve had told us we would find the noodles in Dollarman but being the end of the season, they had sold out. The shops in the town had an eclectic mix of goods but nothing of quality or use to us and the town itself was rather run down. We took the bus back to Tyrell Bay, slightly confused by the direction we were heading. We passed a house called 'Sunrise View', which told us we were on the east side of the island and heading south, although Tyrell Bay is on the west side. Eventually though, we climbed over the hill and arrived in Tyrell Bay. We shared a Chicken Jalfrezi, for lunch at The Gallery and took the dive cyclinders for filling. Nigel, Sara, Andy and Irene came on board for sundowners, a bit of a squeeze with 6 in our little cockpit.
On Sunday morning, Sara and I noodled again while Pete went to book a table at The Original Slipway for Sunday lunch. This we were looking forward to, as they do a proper Sunday roast. Today, it was roast pork, or you could have fish and chips, with mushy peas. We all chose the pork. It was delicious and served with a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, mixed vegetables and lovely thick gravy. We were tempted to stay another whole week, just to have it again. We had a beer float with Andy and Irene at 4pm but Sara didn't join us as she was too tired after the food. There was a lovely sunset and for the first time ever, we saw the green flash. Some people reckon they see it regularly but they must be exaggerating. You need a very clear sky, with no cloud or mist on the horizon. We have watched countless sunsets, in the Caribbean and had never seen the green flash until tonight.
It was Whit Monday, on the 20th May, a public holiday and just as in the UK, it was wet and windy. We stayed on board all morning. When the rain stopped, Pete went ashore to collect the dive cyclinders. We packed away the paddleboard, as it was starting to deteriorate with the UV and then fixed a puncture in the dinghy floor. Nigel and Sara came for drinks and tried the hummus that Pete had made, declaring it to be delicious. I tried it too and it was lovely and garlicky but I really don't like the texture. There was good music coming from a party on shore, so we didn't need uTube or Spotify tonight.

Union Island - Last Stop in SVG

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
Donna Cariss
We set sail early from Saltwhistle Bay and had the foresail up straight away but the wind was just the usual offshore breeze and it died as we left the bay, so the engine went on and that was it for sailing today. We could see Nessa V, still at anchor in Saline Bay and then we left Mayreau behind. As we rounded to headland, into Chatham Bay, on Union, we were surprised to see that it was almost empty. There were just 3 yachts and 2 catamarans. The bay is large and has a long, sandy beach, fronted by a reef. At the southern end, there is a small hotel, which has a dock and mooring buoys and at the other end, there is Sunset Cove, a regular meeting place for boaties, at happy hour, 4-6pm daily. All of this we learned from the small boats that paid us a visit once we were at anchor. There are other bars and restaurants in between, all of wooden construction. There are no shops. We anchored close to the northern end, dropping the anchor on a sandy patch. Not long afterwards, the 2 catamarans departed, from closer inshore, so we moved to where they had been anchored, on another sandy patch. Pete checked the anchor and it was dug in. It's important to ensure you have a good hold here, as the katabatic wind gusts are frequent and strong. We went snorkelling for a short while and there were plenty of fish under the boat, as well as small shoals of bottom feeders, where the anchor chain was disturbing the ground. Pete had seen barjacks too, identified by the dark blue stripe over their backs and down the tail. soon after, Nessa V arrived, coming straight over to show off a large fish that they had caught on their way over. We were invited for tea - fish and chips! They anchored a bit further off shore but parallel with us, closer to the better snorkelling area. While Nigel gutted the fish and then Sara cooked, we went ashore for happy hour. First stop was with Seckie and Vanessa, who had told us they did discount prices and free nibbles. We were the only people there. Nibbles didn't materialise and when the bill came, the prices charged were full, no discount. Pete had ordered 8 beers to take-away, also charged at 10 EC a bottle, which we would collect later. We walked up the beach to Sunset Cove, which was busy with boaties and the beer was 7 and rum punch 10 EC, as promised. Pete bought his takeaway beers here, provided in a beer bucket and we returned to the dinghy and asked Vanessa to refund the 80 EC, as we no longer wanted her beers. Consequently there was no assistance carrying the dinghy back into the water. We took the chilled beers and a bottle of wine to Nessa V, where we enjoyed our fish, chips and homemade coleslaw and another good night.
There was a massive solar storm last night, measuring 9 on the KP Index. We were too far south to see the resulting northern lights but we saw all the amazing photos, from around the World, including our home town of Howden, on Facebook and other sites. Pete was gutted, as he is desperate to see the lights but is never in the right place at the right time.
In Chatham Bay, I would find a new routine, alongside Sara. The morning would start with paddle boarding, across the bay to the shore, where we would pull up our boards by Sunset Cove, before walking the length of the beach, hard work in the soft sand, to Calabash. On this first day, we made our way up the sand and into the hotel grounds, exploring the pool and bar area and checking out the fancy toilet block and outside shower. There was nobody around, although it was almost 10am. After a while, a lady came to ask if we were just having a look around and we asked if we could get tea and coffee and perhaps take a dip in the pool. She was welcoming and brought us a menu to order from. The wood oven fired rack of New Zealand lamb, with garlic and rosemary sounded amazing, even at US$56. After showering, we slipped into the infinity pool, with its lovely fresh water. Soft music came on and our drinks arrived. We stayed until around 11am, chatting and swimming, with no hotel guests evident at all. There are only 4 villas to the hotel, so it was a lovely, peaceful retreat. We rinsed off in the shower, making the most of fresh water on tap, before retracing our steps, chatting to Susan from one of the restaurants and then paddling back to the boats for lunch; no easy task with the violent gusts of wind. Mid-afternoon, Pete and I returned to Calabash, a Tenute hotel, for a beer and swim, so he could see what it was like. I took my shampoo and conditioner and washed my hair in the shower. Sunset Cove was the place for our happy hour sundowner, where we met Gary, Erica and Steve and also Paul and Tracey from Magic Pelagic, which we had seen many times before. Dinner was at Susan's, where we were the only guests. We had ordered early in the morning and our chicken had been slow-cooking most of the day; tender and delicious. Overfull and with strong, gusty winds and barking dogs, I had little sleep overnight.
12th May was the second anniversary of our friend's death. Higgy was taken far too young, at age 64 and is missed by us and everyone who knew him.
Sara and I followed our new routine, arriving at Calabash to find a man sitting on the deck with a massive Saint Bernard. We said hello and wandered round to the pool. The man got up, along with his dog to greet us and explain that there was no bar service until 11am, as there were no hotel guests arriving until tomorrow but he said we were welcome to use the pool and the wifi. He was the hotel manager and put the music on for us but he couldn't make coffee. He told us about his efforts to keep the beach and area behind the bars clean and tidy but said he was fighting a losing battle, as the locals didn't care and didn't help. He warned us not to give our trash to a local person, as they would dump it in the woods or in the sea, after taking our cash to dispose of it. The hotel would take our trash for a fee of US$5, which is what they are charged for disposal. The man also talked about the buoys in front of the hotel, which are free to use if you eat lunch or dinner at the hotel and how the locals are destroying the reef by bringing boats in to anchor as close to their own bar or restaurant as possible. The reef is nothing now compared to 10 years ago, he explained. After swimming, we walked back up the beach, in search of coffee but Susan was away collecting salt and Sunset Cove had the workmen in repairing their decking. Back on board, I wanted Turkish tea. The large bag, purchased in Turkey was still sitting, unopened, in the cupboard because Pete couldn't remember where he had stored the teapot with the strainer inside. He went to search the storage area under the bunks in the forepeak, where he not only found the teapot but also my noodle.
We decided to go to Calabash / Tenute for Sunday lunch; a treat, as it would not be cheap. We picked up trash from Nessa V and motored down to the hotel dock in the dinghy. There were 2 men in the lounge bar, sitting on opposite sides, not talking, so we took the seats further back. Almost immediately, the man with the green, knitted tank top, beard and hair in dreadlocks started engaging Pete in conversation, about the environment and politics. The other guy, an American, from a catamaran called 'Music & Lyrics', added his two penneth now and again. The first man really liked the sound of his own voice and the conversation was becoming heated, so I asked him to stop talking to us, as I had come out for an enjoyable Sunday lunch. This brought the conversation to an end for all of 30 seconds before he started up again and the American told him to shut up. Having ordered lunch, we decided to move to the dining area, on the other side of the pool. The hostess apologised about the man, saying he had been there all morning and never shut up. He was just lazing on the sofa, smoking weed and having an occasional drink, while spouting continually. Our lunch was fabulous, fried barracuda with fries and asian salad, with a glass of Chianti Classico. Afterwards, we stayed for a cocktail, sitting on the sofas in the dinig room, vacated by the manager and the owner for us, so we could continue to avoid the man in the bar. The American had left. Eventually the hippy left and we were able to settle the bill and leave too. In the evening, everyone congregated at Sunset Cove for happy hour and the steel band. Gerald, the German we met in Bequia was there and also his friends, Christian (German) and Kristine (Austrian) and their 2 young children. Christian turned out to be the person who first arrived at our boat when it dragged in Dominica. Being Sunday, after the steel band, the locals had a bonfire and the usual bang bang music started playing but luckily it finished at 10.30 pm. The night was less gusty and we slept well.
Monday morning, we cancelled paddling and coffee, having realised that Calabash would not open until 11am again, as their guests hadn't arrived yet. We departed Chatham Bay, for Frigate Island (Ashton), just around the headland. We motored, as it wasn't far and we would be head to wind and tide after rounding the headland and going east. There were mooring buoys here but we managed to anchor in sand between the rocks, after waiting for a German yacht to leave. Nessa V arrived at 1130 hours and anchored alongside. Sara and Nigel kept an eye on Muirgen while we went ashore and caught the local bus to Clifton to clear out. Clifton looked to be a pretty anchorage / mooring field, looking out across the reefs and turquoise sea to Palm Island, another luxury resort but it's windy, being on the east side, as well as tight and shallow inside the reefs. We cleared out with customs, 48.40 EC, where it was pointed out that our cruising permit expired in the morning. Immigration were at lunch, so we went to the Tipsy Turtle for a beer and a burger (not to be recommended), before heading back to have our passports stamped. The bus was waiting, so we hopped on board and returned to Ashton, where we bought a few provisions before returning to the dinghy dock. There we had a beer at the bar with the dock, before returning through the old mangrove swamp lagoon to the boat. Sara swam over for a chat and then we had sundowners on Nessa V. We had roast chicken with mash and Bisto gravy for tea; yummy! Tomorrow we would leave Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and clear into Grenada, in Carriacou.

Return to Mayreau

10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
Donna Cariss
The 30 minute sail from Tobago Cays to Mayreau was a pleasant downwind sail under the foresail alone. As we rounded the headland, to Saltwhistle Bay, we were cut up by Zephyr, a catamaran we had seen many times and which was under engine. He was racing to get a good spot in what might be a crowded mooring field and anchorage, so early in the morning. However, we found a great spot to anchor, behind the Dutch yacht, Amanzi, which we had also seen many times before. Pete snorkelled to check the anchor and pronounced it to be 'on well'. He also said there were large trevalli under the boat, so he soon had his rod out to fish. He was getting bites but nothing took the hook.
The coastguard rib came into the anchorage and headed directly for a Canadian yacht to the side of Amanzi. They boarded the yacht and were there for a good while. We can only assume that they hadn't cleared in but we never found out. The coastguard didn't visit anyone else. Pierre and Carol, stopped to chat, on their way ashore, from the catamaran behind us. They were also French Canadian, so said they would ask the other boat what the coastguard had wanted of them. While sitting in the cockpit, I saw an eagle ray jump out of the water, behind the boat. Hopefully it was luckier than us when catching fish! We went ashore in the dinghy and had a drink at Coconut Beach Bar, where we met Clare and Mark from Amanzi. I spotted that there was a supermarket behind the restaurant next door and we managed to buy fresh ginger and sugar, so Pete could try his hand at making ginger ale. We spent a pleasant evening on board, having lifted the dinghy in preparation for our sail to Union Island tomorrow.

Tobago Cays - Petit Rameau

09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
Donna Cariss
On arrival at Petit Rameau we had a choice of a couple of buoys but the one nearest the south island was quite close to a yacht at anchor, so we took the buoy close to the north island. We realised that Nigel and Veronica were still here but on the other side of the little island, so we paid them a quick visit in the dinghy, getting very wet from the chop on the way. They were leaving at lunchtime, so we didn't stay long but it was good to see them again. They were on a buoy right next to the area buoyed off for snorkelling with the turtles and there must have been 40 boats there. They said there had only been 3 of them on their first night. They told us the beach barbecue was fantastic and not to be missed. Back in Young Island Cut, Mousey had told us to use his father, boat name Desperado, for the barbecue and we spoke to him as we returned to the boat, along with Captain Kojak, who also wanted our business. We had food for that night so would book the BBQ for the following evening. Having paid 90 EC to the park warden, 60 for the buoy and 15 each for park fees, we went ashore for a beer in the barbecue area and a walk through to the other side of the small island, a distance of about 200 metres. We met Captain Neil, also related to Mousey and Desperado, a family affair. Back on board, a 60 foot catamaran came to take the buoy right behind us, which would have been dangerous as the boats were all swinging differently in the current. Pete managed to put them off and they anchored further away. It was a windy night and a bit rock and roll on board.
During the night, a catamaran moored up, stern to, on the buoy behind us but it was smaller and it left quite early to move to a buoy on the other side of the island. With several boats having left, we moved to the buoy closer to the southern island where we could get to the barbecue without getting too wet. We snorkelled on the reef around the island. There were a few more living sea fans and soft corals than other places and the usual reef fish but it wasn't spectacular. I felt vulnerable snorkelling here as the boat boys would charge by in their boats, so we returned to the boat. There was a large ray under the boat with an impressive tail. Despite passing us several times, the park ranger didn't come for the fees today, so we went to the barbecue without paying for the buoy or the park. There weren't many people at the BBQ this evening, mostly big groups from the charter cats and we were left sitting on a table alone. We had ordered ribs and they were somewhat dry. With 3 beers and a couple of rum punches in small, plastic beakers, the bill was 310 EC, which was a bit of a rip off, although we understand that everything has to be fetched and carried from Union Island each day. We packaged up half the meal and took it back to the boat for tomorrow's lunch. It was another rolling night but we slept well with the cooling breeze and we were up at 7.30am to make our escape before the return of the park ranger.
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Summer 2022 - Greece
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