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

Mayreau

07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
Donna Cariss
We departed Mustique at 0900 hours, about 30 minutes after Nessa V and the sails were up almost immediately. A catamaran also left just before us. Sara and Nigel were going to Mayreau (pronounced Myrow) and heading down the west side of Canouan, whereas we planned to go to Tobago Cays and down the east side of Canouan. To begin with, we had the better point of sail, as the wind was almost directly behind Nessa V and eventually the wind came round on the beam and we were tramming along. However, the swell had increased to around 3 metres and not really knowing the Cays, we thought it may be uncomfortable there, around the small islands and reefs, so we made a late decision to change course for Mayreau. This put the wind and swell almost directly behind us, so I hand steered, pinching away from the land when I could, in the hope that we wouldn't have to jibe to avoid the north west tip of Canouan. Luckily, the wind came round, blowing off the land, as we closed in, allowing us a comfortable passage round the headland. Now we were on almost a beam reach again so I put the autohelm on. That lasted about a minute before the wind started to veer, drop, veer, increase, gust and I had to take over the helm again. We were crossing a large bay and the wind was everywhere. It was a frustrating 15 minutes until we picked up a steady wind again and made it round the most westerly point of Canouan. It was then a good sail across to Mayreau, with the wind back on the beam and a 1.5 metre swell. The catamaran that had left before us and continued to head down the east side of Canouan was now coming around the bottom of the island and heading for the new marina there, which seemed a little strange. As we passed Saltwhistle Bay, at the top of Mayreau, we could see Nessa V but we continued to the next bay south to check out the free moorings in front of the hotel there. Pete wanted to stay there but nobody else was there and you should never be alone in an anchorage, so I said we would go back to Saltwhistle Bay. There we took a buoy, close to the sand spit, where the wind would blow through and keep us cool in the night. Nessa V was at anchor in the shelter of the trees. The buoy was 60 EC for a night, or 120 EC for 3 nights. I paid for 1 night, with an option to increase it to buy 1 get 1 free the next day. We went ashore and walked the length of the beach and were met by Nadi, who persuaded us to visit her bar, which was behind those on the beachfront. Back on board and having spoken to Nigel and Sara, we agreed to go to Coconut Beach Bar for BBQ that evening. They ordered lobster, as Mayreau had been given a 3 week extension to sell what they had previously caught, I had tuna and Pete had mahi mahi. I don't especially like lobster and Pete didn't want to be eating a small one. Cheeky blackbirds kept coming onto the boat and almost inside the galley, looking for food and we had been warned that the bats might come in at night if we left fruit out. We would see them at dusk but none would enter the boat. Before dinner, we saw Novara pass by the other side of the island, on their way to the Cays. At 6pm, we went on board Nessa V for a drink and then rowed ashore for dinner. As it turned out, the lobsters were massive and Pete was sick that he hadn't ordered it. The fish and all the side dishes were delicious, if a little pricey but small islands have to import everything. On board, we had a refreshing breeze through the cabin overnight but Sara reported that they had no breeze at all and it was hot and sticky.
Mayreau had a great vibe but was a little dirty behind the scenes and there was a lot of rubbish on the seabed. We left at 8.30am, by which time Nessa V had already gone. We were just about to pick up a buoy in the next bay south when we had a message from Sara to say they were in Saline Bay, it was lovely and calm and there was plenty of room to anchor, so we headed round the corner to join them. At the second attempt, with Nigel, who was snorkelling, moving our anchor from the tiny patch of weed it had landed on, onto the sand all around it, we got good holding and went snorkelling ourselves. When we returned, Nigel said that the boats had swung in different directions and been only 7 feet apart, so we lifted the anchor and moved further north, with the anchor holding well. Around 2.30pm, we all went ashore in Nigel's dinghy and then realised Pete hadn't brought his flipflops. We were going to walk up the hill to the village and Pete came barefoot until the road became too hot. He returned to the beach and swam back to the boat for his footwear before coming to catch us up. We were in a tiny little bar, Arthur's, that was being repaired by the man himself. There we met Brenda, behind the bar, who turned out to be from Huddersfield. Her parents lived on Carriacou and she had met Arthur some years ago and came back to visit from time to time. There was a little shop which sold an eclectic mix of goods, from disposable razors to engine oil and an extractor fan. There was also Yorkshire teabags for sale, which Nigel purchased. We are still using the boxes we put on board before leaving the UK in 2020. Pete joined us for a beer and then we headed to the bakery, which was out of bread and then to the supermarket, which opened at 4pm. A delivery was just coming in from a ship on the dock in the bay. Having completed our shopping, we went back to the beach, calling for another beer at a small bar overlooking the sea. In the evening, Nigel and Sara came over for drinks and we had another enjoyable music night.
Next morning it was wet and miserable at first but cleared up before too long. We left Saline Bay at 0830 hours and motored round the headland between Mayreau and Union. Here we had wind and tide against us and there was a swell, making it slow going but we weren't going far. Nigel, plus other reviewers on Navionics, had said that Windward Bay was a lovely anchorage, in settled weather and the Ranch Escapade restaurant, on the beach, was fantastic. We made our way between the reefs and located the best place to anchor but with the wind blowing 17 knots we decided not to stay as we were on a lee shore. At the same moment, we had a message from Sara to say they were staying put in Saline Bay as Nigel had hurt his ribs. We left the bay through the reefs at the north end, getting down to 1.2 metres below the keel, with the reefs visible on both sides. It was just a mile across to Tobago Cays.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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Photos of Muirgen preparations
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Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
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Created 19 June 2017
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The Beautiful Kvitsoy
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Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
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Created 5 June 2017
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Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
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Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
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Created 18 May 2017
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Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016