31 July 2007 | Cariacou
After listening to the morning weather it looked like we could have a tropical storm heading for Martinique. If it hit Martinique we would probably be fine here as long as we were well anchored and no one drug down on us. That said, storms don't always go where they're told. If a Storm or Hurricane headed for this neck of the woods we would need to get to a hurricane hole or leave town.
The only hurricane holes I have seen in the windwards are Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay Lagoon, both in Saint Lucia. Now I haven't looked everywhere but I've certainly noted the spots along the way. The problem with the best hurricane holes is that they get crowded and the primary damage done seems to be from the last minute arrivals and poorly tended boats flying around the anchorage. Finding a hurricane hole with an acceptable population is the trick.
Fred and Cindy were describing the mangrove lagoon off of Tyrrel Bay favorably so Hideko and I decided to head over and take a look before deciding if we would sail south to Grenada or not.
There were a lot of boats in Tyrrel for the regatta and the season, in some cases. Cariacou is fairly far south and often, not always, exempt from the storm tracks. We anchored near Kelp Fiction and ensured we were well set. Hideko and I have been sitting immobile in reverse at 2,000 RPM, both engines, for a minute or so these days. The anchorage has reef around the edges and a reef in the middle. It is also famous for being tough holding in spots.
After hooking up, Fred and I explored the mangrove estuary. Wow. This place has got to be the best hole I have ever seen. The outer lagoon is really good with lots of spots to tie into the mangroves and good water depth throughout. I could see it getting crowded but as long as everyone worked together you could ensure proper spacing for a lot of boats.
Next we crossed a 4 foot low water shoal to enter the inner lagoon. The inner lagoon is huge but still narrow enough to provide lots of parking spots and little fetch. You would have no seas in this place even in a direct hit. The trick would be getting in. It was a full moon so the tides were big (that's just under 2 feet in these parts). For us to get our 4'8" draft through the door we'd need to go near high tide, which was unpleasantly situated at two AM or there abouts.
Feeling very good about the hole and the caliber of seamanship in the harbor we decided to stay put to see how things developed (or hopefully didn't develop). Job one each day is selecting your anchorage, check. Job two is planning dinner. To that end we invited Fred and Cindy over for some Steak Frites. Hideko made wonderful French Fries and veggies and I cooked up a Béarnaise sauce and some steaks on the barbeque. I think that this is my favorite meal on the planet. Probably due to the gratuitous amounts of butter in the sauce.