Belated happy New Year. I/Sue returned to Evening Ebb after spending 2 weeks in Kuwait with my youngest daughter. Dirk was pleased to have me back. Shortly after my return we took the boat around to Clarke's Court (largest boat yard with a small marina in Grenada) where we stayed at the dock. Palm Tree Marine found the oil and water leaks. What was supposed to be a few days turned into two weeks at the dock. But we got so much accomplished, it was worth it, Lots more decluttering, sorting out the electrical system, steaming and anchor lights, etc. We were finally ready to set off on our trip north knowing that the boat was in the best shape possible.
On the 8th February, we motored around to Grand Mal just outside St George's. There was one ball left and we managed to get there just ahead of a catamaran. The next day we motor-sailed to Tyrell Bay, Carriacou since the winds were 18-23 kts on the nose. We hit a few squalls with wind speeds of 35kts for about 10 mins. I was glad we had put a reef in the main.
We visited our usual haunts, Paradise Beach club where we saw our boat board (I had painted it the last time we were at Sandy Island), put up on the fence along with a hundred or so other boat plaques.
We went to Patty's deli in Hillsborough, Rufus for fruit and veggies in Tyrell Bay, and of course we had to visit Budget. I did the noodling classes (exercises in the water using a styrofoam noodle) Monday Wednesday and Friday. Dominoes at the Gallery on Wednesday afternoon.
We extended our stay in Tyrell Bay as it was carnival the following week and thought it might be fun to do "Fancy Mas" on the Monday. Leading up to Carnival, there were lots more people on the buses and in Hillsborough, One could feel the excitement mounting, lots of music morning noon and especially at night. Early Monday morning 20th Feb was Jouvet. Fortunately, it took place in Hillsborough so we didn't hear too much noise, although we were woke up with a call from land to come to Jouvet. For fancy mas, things were supposed to start at about two-ish so we thought "island time" that meant about 3 or 4. We got into Hillsborough about 3.15, wandered around had a drink, saw a few Jab-Jab's ( people covered in oil which are supposed to frighten people - left over from slavery days).
Finally at 5.30 we called it a day and went back to Tyrell Bay- No Fancy Mas.. The following day our patience was rewarded - we saw the fancy dress.
On Wednesday 22nd we checked out of Grenada and motored sailed (3hrs) over to Union Island - part of St Vincent and the Grenadines. It was quite spectacular going into Union, we were being chased by about 4 catamarans and a monohull, Dirk was able to take down the sails without slowing down and we beat them in. We took mooring ball. Buddha - the boat boy who rented us the mooring ball, took us ashore to check in. We missed the custom/immigration office in town so we walked out to the airport to get checked in. On the way back, we picked up a few veggies and then called Buddha for a ride back to the boat, since getting a ride meant that we didn't have to put the dinghy in the water and then put it back on deck. After a lovely night's sleep, no rolling and not a lot of wind- we left mid morning and went round to Chatham Bay, Union Island.
Chatham Bay is a huge unspoiled bay on the west side of Union Island. I thought it was going to be calm and no wind - wrong!! We were rocking and rolling, with wind whistling down the hills all night, not so bad during the day. The water was very clear. I did a lot of snorkelling, saw lots of turtles- one poor soul was missing a back fin!! There were huge schools of tiny fish that I swam through. A lot of the different fish were close up to the beach, where a reef ran along the breaking waves. The bird life was abundant - probably due to the huge schools of fish. We went ashore on Friday and had lunch at Seckie and Vanessa's bar and Resturant. Before lunch I decided to climb to the top of the hill. Dirk kept Vanessa company and had a beer. Lunch was delicious and plenty of it. On Saturday I did a long hike up to the top and saw a cannon. The vegetation is semi-arid, only a few trees with green leaves. The spikey air-plants one can buy in nursery or garden center grow wild here in the trees, along with lot of cacti.
On Sunday we motored over to Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau - one of the Grenadine Islands. It is the quintessential Caribbean bay, with palm trees growing on the beach, rum shacks, with restaurants, some people selling food and clothing. It is very calm with minimum rocking and rolling, but Grand Central station for charter catamarans. We shared the bay with 27 other boats. We like to a take a mooring ball, to help the economy and avoid damaging the turtle grass. We went ashore and walked to the top of the hill. There's a scenic view of the eastern part of the Cays, which reminded me of Bermuda with the light/dark blue water with brown patches (reefs).
After 2 nights, we motored around the corner to the Tobago Cays. We took a mooring ball next to the turtle area. I was able to swim over and take pictures of the turtles and sting rays without scaring them away. They were very docile.
We had 2 nights here, one of Dirks special places. I love it cos it it one of the few places one can watch sunrise. We had a fabulous lobster dinner at Romeo's beach restaurant, with sand under our feet. The following morning we motored sailed to 34 miles to Bequia, where we are now anchored off Princess Margaret Beach. It is lovely and quiet.