13 December 2013 | Near Martinique
Today close hauled heading North into a fair sized swell and sea, wind blowing force 5-6. 2 reefs in the main and just the little staysail but we're doing 8 knots and the yacht is awash with seas and salt spray.
Set out this morning at 6am from Chateau Belair on St. Vincent. The name evokes fine villas and prosperity, but quite the reverse is true. I went ashore to clear out with immigration before leaving the Grenadines. I tied the dinghy to the high concrete jetty strewn with fishermen's nets, and was immediately accosted with offers of fruit and guide services to the local waterfalls (which are reported to be magnificent). I hired a guide for 3 EC$ to take me to the immigration office, which was just a short walk away. It was a run-down concrete building once painted pale blue inside and out.
The plump uniformed officer remained seated fiddling with his phone, but a young man in a t shirt conducted the formalities and stamped everything to satisfaction. All over in 10 minutes.
The crossing crew have all gone now. Jonathan and Johnny ensconced in a hotel in Friendship Bay and joined by wives and friends. We all went out for a windy jolly to Mustique for lunch at Basil's Bar, which was fun but expensive. Glad I wasn't paying! Mustique very quiet with few tourists or inhabitants, 'though the waiter said they were all arriving next week.
For me now its the sail up to Antigua where I meet Cathleen on the 17th. The first day of the sail was marred by heavy rain showers and overcast skies, and strong NE winds. I dreamed of an easy reach but it's close hauled most of the way. But we'll get there!