In Tune at Sea

The adventures and misadventures of Philip & Geraldine aboard In Tune

18 May 2019 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
16 May 2019 | Clifton, Union Island
15 May 2019 | Saline Bay, Mayreau
13 May 2019 | Canouan, Grenadines
06 May 2019 | Blue Lagoon, St Vincent
03 May 2019 | Port Elizabeth, Bequia
30 April 2019 | Wallilabou Bay
29 April 2019 | Soufriere
27 April 2019 | Rodney Bay
24 April 2019 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
08 March 2019 | Le Marin, Martinique
07 March 2019 | Sainte-Pierre, Martinique
06 March 2019 | Roseau, Dominica
05 March 2019 | Portsmouth, Dominica
01 March 2019 | Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe
28 February 2019 | Rendezvous Bay, Montserrat
27 February 2019 | Charlestown, Nevis
26 February 2019 | Basseterre, St Kitts
23 February 2019 | Marigot, Saint-Martin

Tyrell Bay, Carriacou

18 May 2019 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou
Philip Greetham
Another pleasant uneventful sail for a few hours down to Tyrell Bay at the SW corner of Carriacou. A large, well-sheltered bay we could anchor in again.

The shore line is littered with the usual small bars, and shops with one quite new and large supermarket - a treat for Geraldine. We relaxed on the boat, with our usual activities - me snorkelling, playing guitar, and Geri watching movies.

Next day we took the local bus into the main town of Hillsborough. This is a very nondescript town, functional, that reminds me a bit of Kingstown in St Vincent, though much smaller. Apart from simply looking around, we had to come here for Geraldine's visa, so as soon as we'd organised that, we headed back to Tyrell Bay.

Along the waterfront at Tyrell Bay we dropped into a cute beach bar run by a young guy called Oliver. He'd only just opened it a couple of weeks ago, and only sold drinks, and he had plans to add food as soon as he could. I had a good chat with Oliver and one his mates who was trying to get a visa to visit Australia. I admire the entrepreneurship of Oliver. Oh well, time to pick up the laundry and head back to In Tune.

Clifton, Union Island

16 May 2019 | Clifton, Union Island
Philip Greetham
A simple short sail over to Clifton at Union Island was only about an hour so didn't bother raising the main sail to arrive at Clifton.

Cllifon is on the NE corner of the island, and the harbour is a reef-enclosed lagoon, similar to what we had at Blue Lagoon, St Vincent. Because of this, and the fact that it is a popular base for charter boats and yachts, we had to take a mooring. Too deep in most of the lagoon, and not enough space for anchoring.

The British Crown bought Union Island from the last private owner in 1910 and set up a land settlement scheme to sell 2 and 4 acre lots to the islanders at peppercorn prices. The island existed for many years on subsistence farming and fishing but nowadays the main industries are tourism, of course, and exporting several thousand pounds of conch per week.

We had a good walk around the town, buying up the bits we needed, then stopping for a well-earned beer. The town is a typical breeze block and dilapidated buildings, but because of the cruising, chartering, and kite surfing industries, the shops in the main street have developed a much quainter Caribbean style about them. (pix) We decided to take advantage of the fact that we were on a mooring to go out for a pizza dinner. The highlight of the area is kite surfing, but since we were not doing that, we thought one night was enough and moved on next morning.

Saline Bay, Mayreau

15 May 2019 | Saline Bay, Mayreau
Philip Greetham
A pleasant and short sail S to bring us to Mayreau. Originally heading for Walt Whistle Bay, when we approached it looked crowded, so we continued on to Saline Bay. This is one of the best sheltered anchorages we have had for quite a while.

These Grenadine island are small and very simple. We hung out here for a couple of days amongst a handful of yachts coming and going.

Heading ashore, I thought people in the house on the shoreline had the washing out - it turned out to be tee shirts and dresses for sale! (pic) Wandering up into the village (pic), it was almost deserted apart from a few people lazing around on the door steps etc. Bob's bar is possibly the highlight (pic). At the top of the hill is a catholic church. I don't know the history, but possibly remnants from early missionary do-gooders. (pic) From here though, one can get a geat view over the windward side of the island towards the Tobago Cays.

Snorkelling is great once again, with clear water and lots of fish.

With only simple village stores, Geraldine is getting withdrawal symptoms for supermarkets.

Canouan - windy anchorage

13 May 2019 | Canouan, Grenadines
Philip Greetham
We have become used to sailing with 2nd reef in the main and ¾ genoa these days. We find this shortened sail makes a comfortable passage and still gives 5 - 6 knots speed. One section was very rough as we rounded some rocks and had wind against a strong current kicking up the seas.

We anchored in the main bay on Canouan island with just a few other yachts. The forecast for for strongish winds and it proved accurate. The first night was so windy I slept up in the cockpit and Geraldine in the salon so we could keep an eye on things. In the morning it was apparent that In Tune had moved at least 20 - 30 m. Fortunately we had plenty of swinging room. Next day we re-anchored in another part of the bay and laid out 50 m of chain. It remained fairly windy for our next 2 days there but we no longer moved after that.

Many yachts seem to sail by the Grenadines heading N or S on their way to somewhere else. Puzzled by this at first I can understand now. These islands are very simple with not much ashore to see or do. We wandered the few streets ashore - a beach bar, a few stalls for fresh fruit and veg, and a couple of general stores. Goats wandered the streets and mixed with the kids.

In the morning one of the locals collected a couple of fish from a trap just near In Tune, and Geraldine decided to buy one for dinner. Several locals come around in boats every day offering to sell stuff, direct us to their restaurant, or offer to take our rubbish away. Before coming here I had heard bad stories about these so-called "boat boys". Having experienced lots of them now, I think these stories are totally inaccurate. They are very polite and courteous, offer you their wares, and if you don't want to buy, which in the main we do not, they thank you and leave you in peace.

I must clarify one thing that several people have asked me about - Geraldine. Why is she still on the boat when she was to fly back to the PHP by now? Well, as it turned out, I did not get any applicants to my ad. for crew on the crew-finder forum. Plus I was not in a great situation with a bad back. So Geri decided to cancel her flight to the PHP and stay with me until we got In Tune down to Trinidad for the end of the season.

Mustique. Island of the rich and famous

09 May 2019 | Mustique
Philip Greetham
We left Blue Lagoon on St Vincents bound for Mustique. It was a struggle for the first hour to make the course around the N windward point of Bequia, but once we had cleared that, cape it was s pleasant sail all the way.

Mustique is a privately owned island, developed by Colin Tennant, a British entrepreneur, as a playground for the rich and famous. One of the first home owners was Princess Margaret, and was followed by Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch and others. Today there are about 100 houses, with owners automatically entitled to membership of the Mustique Company, which manages the island. There are no more houses planned to be built, so prices have soared. Many of the houses are available for rental at prices in the tens to hundreds of thousands of USD per week. The old cotton plantation buildings have been transformed into the Cotton House hotel, now a 5 star resort. (I bet the slaves who worked the plantation never dreamed of this!) Basil's Bar on the beach has a live stage that has seen many notables put on live performances.

Since boats are no longer able to anchor here, we took a mooring for 3 nights. Snorkelling off the boat is a real treat since there are many turtles grazing over the weed beds up to about a metre in size. I saw dozens in one dive, not to mention the clourful fish over the reefs.

We took a tour of the island in a car since my back is not yet up to walking, cycling or horse riding, the other transport options. We stopped at several beaches where we could get a glimpse of Bryan Adams house, and where Kate and Prince William stayed for their honeymoon. The owners, understandably, value their privacy, so it's difficult to get views of the houses, because of the large properties with luxuriant gardens.

The whole island is absolutely beautiful, and it reminded me of driving around a golf course in a buggy. Much of it is natural, and the garden areas are spectacular. It's highly up-market of course, but in an understated way, if that makes sense. I'm glad I ignored the advice of other cruisers who said don't bother coming here; it's an absolute delight.

Blue Lagoon, St Vincent with J&J

06 May 2019 | Blue Lagoon, St Vincent
Philip Greetham | Windy
I was getting concerned at this stage because there was about one week of 20 + knot winds forecast. Port Elizabeth is not all that well sheltered from the wind, but what was concerning me more was the passage back to St Lucia, since J&J had booked their flights in and out of the same place. The passage N to St Lucia is not good in strong wind. We decided to make the crossing N back to Blue Lagoon on S coast of St Vincent; J&J booked a flight to fly from St Vincent back to St Lucia. As it turned out the passage N to Blue Lagoon wan't too bad since it was only a short passage of 10 NM. I decked them out in life vests, and J&J clung to solid supports like koalas again, and stared at the horizon to ward off sea-sickness. Currents moved us off course for a while and a rough patch in the middle. All ended well though. We took a mooring in Blue Lagoon, wandered ashore, swam and relaxed.

Wanting to see some of the interior of St Vincent, we hired a car with Jack & I sharing the driving. The car hire was an interesting experience - no licence, receipt, contract, or paperwork of any kind - just an exchange of keys and cash. We drove up the windward coast to see the Black Point tunnel. The tunnel had been constructed by slaves on the plantation to make it easier to get the sugar cane on to boats and export. The roads are very narrow, no signs or aids - I think there is one roundabout on the island and one set of traffic lights in the main town of Kingstown. We found our way through Mesopotamia Valley, the "bread basket" of the island and then to to Kingstown, where we experienced market day. After a bite of lunch, we drove up to Fort Charlotte, which was built by the British for the proverbial wars against the French. Finished in 1806, it ha a magnificent view over the harbour, but was finished too late to be of much value. We had a chat to the guy who manned to lighthouse there monitoring the shipping.

Sunday Geri treated us all the bacon & eggs for breakfast and we relaxed around the boat and marina. I say "relaxed" - Jude's main occupation was sitting on the transom stairs picking her feet and tossing it to the fish. We had schools around the boat, and she was finding it difficult to walk since so much flesh was missing! Jack practised tying knots, well correction, tying one knot, a bowline, but since he fell asleep every time he tried it, he never did get to master it. In the evening, J&J treated us, than you very much to a nice dinner in the marina restaurant.

Monday was very sad to see the leave around lunchtime to catch their flight to Castries, St Lucia. It is impossible to capture the wonderful atmosphere of jokes, and laughter that we constantly had on In Tune. We were looking forward to J&J visiting, and despite the anticipation, the time with them exceeded our expectations.
Vessel Name: In Tune
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot
Hailing Port: Australia
Crew: Philip Greetham, Geraldine Pamo
About:
Philip Greetham: Retired from the corporate world, having had careers in teaching, customer service, training and consulting. Born in the UK, my parents emigrated to Australia as "£10 poms" settling in Melbourne. [...]
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