Ships Log – 1st to 31st April 2009

Up early, and away from Young Island, beautiful place, fantastic snorkelling. We are going to one more bay before we leave St Vincent, and that is Chateaubelair, it is at the top of the Island so very easy for St.Lucia. We plodded our way up, we had the usual rain, and off course the wind on the nose, but a pleasant trip. We arrived at the Bay to find not another yacht in sight, always disconcerting!!, we anchored, and along came a young lad, on his board, telling us how the robbers come out at night, at it is not safe to leave the boat there, he also said he was picked for the Olympic team in long jump!!! We decided not to stay, he then asked us for money for the advise, I felt that we had been April fooled, but we still decided to go on to St.Lucia. It was past midday, and we had quite a few miles to go, so it was going to be a long day. The wind was a bit better, and we managed to do nearly 6 knots, but it was close haul all the way, with the current pushing us further of course. We eventually arrived about 8pm, when Geoff cooked us Mahi Mahi fish, huge fillets, with salad, they were lovely. dave then made us some pancakes, and we all went to bed absolutely knackered.

Up late, cuppa in bed, did some reading, then Geoff went ashore t book us in to St.Lucia, and Dave and I set to, to do some cleaning, I made some bread, did some washing, and cleaned our bedroom, Dave did his room, and the lounge, all ship shape and proper again. We ate fresh hot bread for lunch, then went ashore to get some groceries, and water. We went into the fish market and got three of the biggest King fish steaks you could get, caught about an hour ago, plus £2 per steak. Back on board, we finsihed doing our chores, then dinner, and an early night.

Both Dave and I were up at 6am, could not sleep, very wallowy night, we were going to leave, but yet again the heavens opened and it poured down, I got soaked just tying the dinghy off. We left about 7am, having had breakfast, Geoff was up as well, so off we went to Marigot Bay, no wind at all today, seas very calm, so we motored, we put the main and staysail up, and that did increase speed a bit, managerd 5knots with the engine, but it was very relaxed.
We are now in Marigot on a bouy…………………

We had nacho’s for lunch, with toffo, which I have to say I have never had before, it is supposed to be like chicken, it was ok, a good substitute, we lazed around after lunch, then went to the pool at the Hotel, we started with a rum punch, we were sitting in the pool drinking our drinks, a good wind down. After a few more beers, and wines, we had a swim, then got talking to some people who had sold their house, and bought a catarmeran, they invited us on board for more drinks! Kathy and Kenny, were very hospitable, and they showed us round their boat, it was lovely, certainly more roomy than ours, also very modern as it was only three years old, ideal live aboard boat. Personally I could not sell my home, and live on a boat 12 months of the year, but I know Geoff could. We eventually left them, and staggered back to the boat, Dave cooked us a whole Tuna, which was lovely, very moist, another deal we did with the fish market. I staggered to bed quite early, as I felt very tipsy, but had no problems sleeping.

We had a lovely lazy day today, the boys went across and got some shopping, whilst I did some washing and cleaning.. Dave tidied his end of the boat, and then he did the lounge, we are expecting guests tonight, and as they have the fancy Catamaran, we thought we had to make an effort. Before lunch we went for a swim in the hotel pool, which is absolutely fabulous, I did 10 lengths, which does not sound a lot, but it is a big pool, Geoff swam round the perimeter ten times, and Dave did two lengths, he was feeling lazy. Before going back to the boat, we went to look at a restaurant we had been recommended, having seen the menu, we booked it. Showers aboard, to use all the old water that we had, before we fill up in the morning. We then were presented with a present from Dave, which is the Boatowner’s Manual, it is a fantastic book, and very useful, thanks Dave. Kathy and Kenny arrived at 6pm, and we had a few cocktails on deck, they left about 8.00pm and we then left for the restaurant. The food was amazing, Dave and I had Duck for the main course, and it was just so succulent, Geoff had Steak, starters was good, and so was the pud, thank you Dave that was really kind of you. The restaurant had a dinghy park, which the sea was lit up, and all the fish came swimming by, some of them were enormous. Home to bed, what a lovely evening.

Up quite late again, we went across to the pool for a swim, the pool was marked closed, but we took no notice, Dave did 32 lengths this morning, Geoff and I did our 10, back on board for breakfast, then fill up with water and away. Guess what, no wind today, but it is behind us, typical really. We did get the main out, and the jib, and pottered up with the engine on, quite a pleasant trip, the wind picked up a bit, lovely sunny day, no rain. We were entering Veux Fort, when Geoff caught a fish, it was a big one, but it was a barracuda, and we decided not to eat it, Geoff was disappointed, but he has his rod out again, so you never know. Geoff was chef today, and he thought they had bought chicken, when he went to prepare it, he found we had fish, so we had delicate fish fillets with rice and a creamy sauce, very good. We played scrabble and Dave of course won, but not by such a hefty margin this time.

Oh boy, what a rocky night, I was up quite early, and bumped into Dave, so we made a cuppa, I guess it is the difference when you are not on a buoy. Dave and I walked up to the lighthouse, which was on top of a hill, (Geoff declined because of his knees) It was a brilliant walk, with lots of friendly people on route, they had signs on the way, indicating how far we had to go, someone had a wicked sense of humour when they did them. It took us about an hour, and when we got to the top I had a blister, which had burst, so that was painful. The view from the top, was fantastic, and you could see for miles, on the way down we tried to find the National Trust office to arrange a trip to the Islands which you are only allowed to go on with one of their guides. We gave up in the end, but we did have the telephone contact, which after several telephone calls, we found we could not go till Wednesday at the earliest, which lets Dave out. We did some shopping on the way home, by this time my feet were really hurting me, Geoff met us at the fish dock, as we were buying fish. When I asked them about barracuda the man said you could eat them, and they are good for the blood pressure . Geoff was even more disappointed. Back on board, we had some lunch, then went for a snorkel, I had trouble getting my flippers on, as I have six blisters, but managed, and the sea seemed to calm my feet down a bit. In the evening we had baked tuna cooked with garlic, fresh ginger, and lemon, it was lovely, we had another game of scrabble then bed.

If I thought the other night was bad, last night was worse, it was horrible, so the plan this morning was to move, which we duly did. Then Dave and I went for a snorkel, Geoff wanted to do some jobs on board, we saw some really funny fish this time, including a sea slug, not sure what the other fish was. Today is the day Dave leaves, and he is so excited, he has missed Jane so much, and of course with two old people on board, he has struggled at times, but hopefully he has enjoyed the experience. I will miss him, because he has encouraged me to do more exercise than I would normally do, and besides my blisters still hurting for the main I have enjoyed it. We have been up hills and down dales, I have seen more of the Islands than I normally would have, thanks Dave, we will miss your dry sense of humour, and your fantastic cooking. We had dinner at lunch time, because of the flight, I cooked Mari mari, basically fish and chips, which was a bit disjointed, as the chips would not brown, but got there in the end. We took Dave to the fish dock where he was supposed to catching a taxi, which did not turn up, so we walked up the road a bit. Meanwhile, we were all feeling sick, was it the thought of Dave going, or was it food poisoning, not sure, but we all had the trots, which was ok for us, because we were on board, but we both felt sorry for Dave having to be seat belted into his seat. Uck!!! Geoff went to bed early, I read my book and followed later.

Lazy morning, at least I slept a bit better having moved. Today was wash day, clearing up Dave’s stuff, mind you he had already cleaned his cabin and looe, so not much to do, I washed the sheets, whilst Geoff scrubbed the bows of the boat, so we are getting ship shape again, after all the travelling. We are not moving far now, I leave soon, then Brian comes to help take the boat to Trinidad, I will be enjoying the weather in England hopefully. Today it has been a typical summer day in Brighton, grey skies, warm, but rain rain and more rain. We have now come into the rainy season, and I think it is adjusting slowly for our return, mind you it is still about 30 degrees. We decided to go to town, but we had hassle from the young children, it is their Easter school holidays, and they are quite threatening. Geoff stayed with the dinghy whilst | went to town to do the internet, and shopping, after a while Geoff found me, he said one of the boys had had a knife, not very pleasant, they could only have been about 10 – 12, so it happens here too. We had a snorkel when back on the boat, and found what Geoff said was a wrecked plane, I am not sure what it was, but the fishes were enjoying it. We had carbanara for dinner, then played crib. Nothing changes really!!!!

Today was finishing the chores, as it was so wet yesterday, then we decided to leave the dinghy in the port, which is protected by guards, we then walked into town from there, what a difference, no hassle, and the guards were nice too. We walked to a bar on the Atlantic coast, Dave and I had been there, when I got the blisters, it is called the Blue Reef, we had lunch, I had fish rota, which is a traditional Caribbean dinner, and Geoff had curry, we tried a couple of the local drinks, one of which was made out of sea weed, I did not like that, but I enjoyed my fruit cocktail. We sat and watched the kite surfers, performing, it was fascinating watch them jump into the air, and spin, and go off again. We walked back to the supermarket, got some shopping, then, back to the boat. Took a plunge, into the sea, which was very refreshing, then had a cuppa. All in all a lovely day.

Oh boy, another bad night, the winds were gusting over 50knots, the wind generator was on double time, and I took a sleeping tablet and went to the forward cabin, I had the banging of the anchor only, it must have been bad, because Geoff got up and read for an hour, and made himself a drink. I was up and down checking at intervals, but the sleeping tablet kept me drowsy. Change of bed day, so more washing, whilst we stripped the bed, I had all the linen out, and decided what was going home, and what was staying, we then packed everything away, ready for the winter storage, I am leaving in fourteen days, and did not want to do everything at the last minute. Geoff was pegging out some washing, when the peg bag went for a swim, Geoff to the rescue, the pegs were floating all around, and it was a funny sight, watching Geoff scramble for them all, he did well though. We pegged everything out, with all the pegs I had left, it is still blowing a hooly. We were both down below, sorting things out, when there was a loud bang, we ran upstairs, I thought we had gone aground, I had grabbed the keys ready to start the engine, we looked everywhere, could see nothing suspicious, then I looked at the anchor to see the snubber had broken, the snap shackle had broken away, so you can imagine the pressure it is under. Geoff made a new lead up, with a new clip, hope that one lasts. I made a roast chicken dinner, followed by baked apples, we even had some greens, it was lovely, then we went for a swim. I was already in the water, when Geoff decided to dive from the top of the aft cabin, (proving he is still young at heart) as he dived in, all the little fished jumped out, it was a really funny thing to watch. We didn’t stay in long, as the wind and the current were quite strong, we even had a fender tied to rope, just in case. Back on board I took a long hot shower, one of the luxuries, we have now and then, we played dominoes, where Geoff beat me 2 -1 but the games were very close. The winds are still gusting, just done another reading 56 knots, so another bad night ahead. The joys of living on a boat!!!!

Easter Saturday, and we have forgotten about shopping, most of the islands are very religious, so assume that this one is too, so with that in mind, we went shopping. Not one conventional Easter egg to be had, we did find a packet of Cadbury mini eggs, at some extortionate rate, and we also bought a large bar of Cadbury’s milk chocolate, I do so miss it. The bar which is not a big bar, cost £8, and it is nowhere near the size of the bumper one, but we will enjoy it. We did the internet, caught up to date with emails, and phone calls, then back to the boat. We leave the boat in the big port now, it is so much better, and the security guards don’t seem to mind which is good.We went for a swim, and I cooked lamb for dinner, I reckon if I cook it long enough it should be ok, and in fact it turned out to be quite tasty. The wind is still with us, although it has eased a bit. We played dominoes, where I at last beat Geoff, and I thrashed him at crib, but he is the dominoe’s champion normally. In the evening we watched a dvd, and went to bed, I did start off in our cabin, but the generator was going round so fast, I went up to the forward cabin.

Easter Sunday, we did not rise very early, I made the tea, and went back to bed, we finally got up at 9am, had our normal local grapefruits, and toast. I pottered around a bit, did some clearing up, then we went for a snorkel, not far, as I had already put the dinner in the over. Also the locals have taken over our local beach, it is normally very quiet here, but we have been invaded with lots of boats, with lots of children on board, it is lovely to watch, they are all playing football, swimming etc., and playing on the boats, barbe-que, the music has not started yet. The children have all come over in the local fishing boats, and it looks very colourful, the only problem is some of them are circling the sailing boats, and having races, so we are bobbing up and down a bit. We had another huge dinner, and now we are just chilled out in the afternoon sunshine, watched another amazing sunset, another restful day.

Easter Monday, one day runs into another really, life is just one big holiday. I made some bread in the morning, and between waiting for the dough to rise, and cooking, we did another snorkel, it was very disappointing, as all the coral has died, I guess it is all the fishing boats, and anchor doing that. Still we saw a few different varieties of fish, and made our way back to the boat. We had decided on omelettes today, nice and simple, with some fresh bread, Geoff was doing the omelettes, they were filled with lots of goodies, mushrooms, garlic, sweet corn, tomatoes, you name it I guess it was there somewhere. We went for another swim later, then Geoff beat me at Dominoes, and I have to say, I was bad, but I did win rummikub, then an early night was taken trying to catch up on sleep.

Not a chance of that, we were going round in circles, the wind was howling, and it was horrible. I was up at 3am, making tea, and by 6am, | had Geoff up, and we left the bay, I was not staying another night there, it was horrible. The snubber was broken again, and it was difficult to get free, but by 6.30 am we were on our way. We were going back to Marigot Bay, guaranteed a good night there. We had a good motor sail up, and gradually it came on the nose, as we headed for Marigot, but for once we did not mind, we had the staysail up, and we were only pottering, but we were joined by about twenty dolphins, it was fabulous, they stayed with us for at least 30 minutes, they were performing for us, it was a brilliant spectacle, we stood on the bows for ages, just watching them, go with the bow waves, then out, and then dancing, if we had paid for the show, it would not have been so good, I was almost in tears, just watching them, the highlight of the whole trip, and no photos to show, we did not want to leave the bows and get the camera, still it is in our memory. We then arrived at Marigot, and did a deal with the boat buoys for a cheap mooring, so we are staying for two nights, then we will go up to Rodney Bay. We had a quick bite, and then went for a swim in the hotel’s pool, what a lovely day. We now have a man coming to look at our batteries, because they do not seem to hold there charge for long. Then dinner and we will certainly be having an early night tonight. continued……………. Baba (that’s his name) duly arrived, and found one faulty battery, and two not connected, no wonder we were having so much trouble getting lights at night, we are now charging slowly, and hopefully that will be some of our problems solved.

Engine on, for an hour, then off for two, this is our programme today, so hopefully by the end of the day, we will have fully charged and working batteries. We went over to the pool for a swim, and a relax, then back to the boat for it’s one hour charge, we then went and charged the computer up at the hotel, having worked out where there plugs were, we sent all emails, made the phone calls, then back to the boat for another charge up. Had a spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, then back to the hotel, to re-charge computer, and have another swim, it is so hot today, we met up with Kathy and Kenny, had a drink with them, before we went over to their boat for another drink, life is hard. Back to our boat, for another charge of the engine, and we started watching 24 which is always bad news, because you get so engrossed in it.

We are moving on today, and yes it is raining, and yes the wind is on the nose as usual, we had a couple of squalls on the way up, and the winds hit 26knots, I got absolutely soaked, but it’s not like England, the rain is warm, and soon the sunshine is back. We are going back to Rodney Bay, which is where we started from last December, it seems so long ago, that we were here, Geoff was remembering when they entered the harbour in the middle of the night, after crossing the Atlantic, we were here in March briefly, but not in the actual harbour. We have seen so many places since then, there have been the highs and very lows, but we have had a lot of fun, and seen so many different things. When we arrived we plugged in, I was so nervous, having had the generator go wrong, thought that the electrics might not work, but we are back on full mains, with most things plugged in and working, including the ipod, my washing machine is doing it’s first load, and I will try my computer out, but somehow doubt that will work, tonight we will have lights to cook, eat and read by, a first for some time, gosh it will be like being at home, we will certainly be having showers, and washing the grey hair!!!!. The reason we have been short of water, is that in the Grenadines, water is so short, and so very expensive, it is not until we have arrived back at the bigger islands that we have been able to fill up. Having done two more loads of washing, and filled the tanks, computer definitely does not work, everything else is fine. We have been to the chandlers, and sorted a new light for outside, so that we do not have to go to bed quite so early, we need to repair some of the broken things, and we will be ready to start again. It is good to catch up with everything, tomorrow we might even wash the boat down with fresh water. Having had showers, we settled down to another night of 24.

Noisy neighbours, meant we were up quite early, they were putting sails up at 6.30am, what was more annoying they were not going anywhere, still they are a sweet old couple so mustn’t moan. Geoff went off to the chandlery, I changed the bed, and the washing machine was kept busy all morning. I made up Brian’s bed, and have even packed my big suitcase, we were going to leave most stuff onboard, but we have heard all these horror stories about Trinidad that we decided to bring our clothes home, and some of the electrical equipment. The batteries seem to be performing correctly, so that is really good news, we were worried we might have to replace some of them this year. Geoff fixed the light in the cockpit, so we now have a bright fluorescent tube working from the batteries, so we will be able to sit out all evening, instead of a few hours, because the torch has faded, so we are getting sorted. We decided to have a Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner, picked some shopping up from supermarket, then back to the boat, quick change and out for sundowners at Landings. We were meeting up with Kenny, Kathy, Sharon, Greg, and other yachties. What a lovely place, it is another 5 star hotel, on the beach, next door to the Sandals resort, just off Pigeon Island, they had a saxophonist playing in the background, gas torches all around, overlooking the bay, and not only that the drinks were half price for two hours, lovely evening. Then we had to make our way back to the boat, negotiating all the over yachts, in the pitch black, we forgot the torch!!! Still we made it, Geoff made himself some supper, I beat him at dominoes, which was a first for a very long time, (must have been the new light) we watched an episode of 24, then to bed.

Good night’s sleep, I like this Marina life, everything charged up and working, brilliant, and plenty of water!!!! After breakfast, we scrubbed decks with fresh water, I then polished the stainless steel rails, and T.cut the sugar scoop, polished the davits, everywhere is looking good. Meanwhile inside, Geoff is cleaning out the bilges, mending the pump, sorting out the shower tray, and making a new posh snubber. Besides a couple of tea breaks we did not stop. Geoff made early dinner, and we then went to the café and treated ourselves to chocolate cake and tea, whilst doing the emails, and phone calls. When we got back we played dominoes, and Geoff is once again champion, but he could not beat me at crib. With the new light in the cockpit, and the new snubber, we are now ready for going back on anchor, which we will be doing in the morning. We finished the evening with a couple more episodes of 24.

It is raining, how typical, someone up there thinks that every time we move, they will give us rain, well this time, they got it wrong, as we have decided to stay an extra day, naughty but nice. Every time we went to do something outside it rained, | think they are getting us prepared for England, it was like a summer’s day, grey skies, warm, but wet!!! I cleaned behind the cooker, after Geoff had struggled to get it out, we did not do much today, it is Sunday, the day of rest. I cooked a huge roast, and we had some wine, we read our books, Geoff’s into Sudoku now, so he is concentrating like mad. I had to challenge him at dominoes again, which was good, because I won, I also beat him at crib, but that was very close. We watched some more of 24, then to bed.

All good things come to an end, so we put the dinghy on the davits, filled the water tanks up, then I went to pay the bill, (good old Barclaycard) Actually it wasn’t that bad, and it was lovely to be back in the real life. We left about 11.00am, we were heading for Marigot, the winds were good, what is happening, we could actually sail all the way, broad reach, 7knots, lovely trip. Our normal boat boy was there, and we negotiated a price for three nights, so I only have one more night on anchor, before I go home. We sorted ourselves out, I cooked lunch, whilst Geoff went to look for Baba, we are still having trouble with our electrics. We had a lazy afternoon, then Geoff picked Baba up, he went through the system, to find one cooked battery (hence the acid smell), so we are now down to one main one for the engine, one for the generator, and four for domestic, which is says is plenty anyway. We just want to finish this season, and buy new next year, so with two weeks to go, we are hoping they will do. After we left, I beat Geoff at dominoes, then we watched 24 again, the problem with that dvd is, once you start it you are hooked!!!!

We woke up to rain, but it did not last long, we had some breakfast, and then I went over to the Hotel to charge computer, whilst Geoff was doing things on the boat, I had a little swim, and laid on the sunbeds for an hour, reading my book, it is a tough old life. Went back on board, Geoff got some lunch, and we then went back to Hotel, to meet Kenny and Kathy, we swam in the big pool, had a few drinks at the bar, then came back to the boat, we were supposed to have met Baba, but totally forgot, so we went looking for him, we apologised and arranged to meet him tomorrow. We showered and then went to local bar, where everyone was meeting up, Geoff and Jan, have built a house here, having lived on a boat for eighteen months, they sold up in Wiltshire, needless to say Geoff was very interested!! Lovely couple, he was in the airforce, and is now retired. They live in a beautiful part of the world, in the most magical bay. We have fallen in love with this place. We had a lovely evening with steak and chips, good company food and drink. They had a belly dancer who could do amazing things with her bottom, and she did firedancing. It was Kathy and Kenny last night, they are back to the States for a few weeks, we hopefully will meet up with them next year.

Geoff went ashore and bought some croissants and french stick, so we had fresh grapefruit and warm bread for breakfast, very fattening. We decided as it was our last day here, we would just relax, so we went over to the hotel, swam a little, read a little, and generally chilled, we also did ten lengths swimming in the big pool, so we were not totally lazy. On way back we met Baba, and he said he could do engine now, so we went back to boat, I got lunch whilst they were playing with outboard. We must have got sand in the carburettor when the dinghy went over in the rough seas, because it was filthy. Having cleaned it all out, we now have an outboard that works first time, goes faster, and is quieter, so well done Baba. After lunch we went back to the hotel, for some more relaxation, later in the evening we listened to the Sax player again, whilst sipping the wine, we ended the evening my having a hamburger, I wish we hadn’t, I feel really fat now.

I was up extremely early 6.30am, not sure if it was excitement or what, I made a cup of tea, and eventually stirred Geoff enough to come for an early morning swim at the hotel. Even beat the pool cleaner, we did our ten lengths, then rested on the sun beds to dry off, went to supermarket, and bakery, bought some croissants and french stick, then back on board for breakfast, still only 9am. We put the dinghy on the davits, cleared down below, and went onto the fuel dock for water and diesel. We left Marigot bay at 11.30, what a lovely place, so peaceful and calm, we had a great little break. Out on the high seas again, the wind is broad reach, so we put the jib out, before long we were doing 6 – 6 knots, really comfortable, I was hoping to see the dolphins again, but sadly we didn’t. We were a lot earlier last time; we think we saw some in the distance. When we reached the Pitons, the wind changed, the seas were rough, and as usual it turned to close haul, we managed for a while, then we put the jib in, and got the staysail in, and managed to point up better, even though we had slowed down. Eventually we turned into Fort Vieux, there were a lot of boats anchored off the wall, so we could not go in as far as we wanted. Geoff cooked dinner; we played crib and dominoes, so I take the crown for crib, and Geoff dominoes. We have been well matched at both these games, which keeps it interesting. We then watched the final two hours of 24. I then went to bed with a sleeping pill inside of me.

Another bad night on anchor, thank goodness I had a sleeping pill, to keep me drowsy. With the wind howling, and the wind generator working extra hard, and the seas rocking, I am so looking forward to spending a night on shore. In fairness we have had some really good anchorages, but I still prefer the buoy or going alongside.

Up quite early, had to finish packing, and sort things out. I shall miss Anam Cara, we have had a wonderful time, I have seen so many fantastic places, and some of the snorkelling has been amazing. Tobago Cays was the high spot, swimming with the turtles, stingrays etc., but then there was the dolphins that joined us in St. Lucia for such a long time. I have mixed emotions, I want to go home, but I also want to continue the journey………

For the last time this season I took Christine to the Airport early as we had already seen the Virgin ‘plane arrive as we were finishing our after dinner cuppa but by being early we got her checked in before the queue got going then off to arrivals to meet Brian. What goes around comes around; delivery time again!! Brian has come out to help me deliver Anam Cara to Trinidad for storage during the hurricane season.

After leaving the Airport we went to Customs on the commercial docks top get Brian onto the boat papers and also to check out of St Lucia for the last time this season. We followed this by a walk up into the old town and when we got to the top (this is adjacent to the runway) we were just in time to wave to the Virgin ‘Plane as it took off. I don’t know if Christine saw us waving though!!!

Back to the boat for a Carbonarra then a fairly early night as Brian was feeling the effects of a 5.00am start and a time change of 5 hours. Tomorrow morning we are off to St Vincent, hopefully there will be wind!

Yes there was wind, all night.& Anam Cara Rocked & Rolled like a good un! But the anchor held firm and we woke up in the same place we were the night before.

Lazy start to the morning but eventually we were away around 10.30ish, all sails up and away with a super Broad Reach and 20ish knots of wind pushing us along between 6 ½ and 7 ½ knots, very good but it was cloudy and though we didn’t have much it looked as if it wanted to rain all day; poor Brian, first day in the Caribbean and no sun, maybe tomorrow will make up for it. Highlight of the day, well that was the one that got away. Brian came down to tell me there was activity on the fishing line but by the time I got to it we had lost not only the “BIG” fish but also several meters of line, weights, and lure! Sorry not highlight, I should say “low point” of the day!!!

We eventually arrived at Young Island as dusk was falling and met up immediately with our old boat boy friend, “Sparrow” who guided us to a suitable buoy. Safely secured and we broke out the beer to reflect on Brian’s introductory day to the Caribbean. “What ever else the weather did, it was still very warm”, said Brian.

A meal ashore was called for tonight and we started to plan for the next morning knowing fully well we had a tight time scale to follow when we suddenly realised it was Sunday tomorrow, Ha! Everything is closed here and in Kingstown and added to this, the buses don’t even run. So we decided we would leave mid morning straight fir Bequia and forget about booking in, anyway, from memory they charge a premium rate to book in on a Sunday! Back to the boat and bed as it was 10.30 and both of us were tired.

Rain and wind most of the night, Christine would be pleased to be back in the UK! Glad we had a buoy under the circumstances as there was quite a swell coming through the channel, (we were moored in between Young Island and the Main Island), still I had a big bed to myself to roll around in!
Up up and away after a leisurely breakfast of bacon, eggs, and baked beans, very nice. Only about 7 miles to travel to Bequia but had full main and jib out running an average of 6 – 6 ½ knots arriving at the bay we have christened “Gingerbread” on account of there being a fine bakery here by that name, and no we didn’t treat ourselves!

Brian went off to walk up the hill to the old fort while did a few chores on board and prepared dinner. When Brian got back, we both had a swim to cool off before eating our dinner. A quiet time was had afterwards with a night cap before retiring. Tomorrow we are off to Mayreau and will spend the night in Salt Whistle Bay.

A quiet night for a change, minimal wind and only one short shower to put up with so with hindsight, we didn’t need the buoy though it was pretty windy when we arrived in Bequia!

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day only to be disappointed just as we had set out breakfast upstairs; Yes you guessed the rain came down so a quick move downstairs and breakfast inside. Naturally once we had finished breakfast the sun was back out again. Still, we cleared up then went ashore to buy provisions and get checked into St Vincent and the Grenadines. Once completed we went straight back to Anam Cara to make her make ready for departure to Salt Whistle Bay at Mayreau. After lifting the dinghy onto the davits I (Geoff) was climbing up the steps at the stern when one of the wooden steps detached itself and fell into the sea. Quick as a flash I undressed and dived in to rescue the wooden step! Another little job tom do!!!

Out of the bay and then turned south picking up speed as she went, Fast winds and calm seas, just what the doctor ordered!!!!

Out of the bay then took a southerly route missing out the island of Carriacau (we visited this island last time and we were not impressed) as we are on a short fuse as far as time is concerned.

A great sail touching 8 knots on the odd occasion, sun shining and Brian trying to keep out of it as he burns, poor Brian!

Arrival at the entrance of Salt Whistle Bay was interesting, we were sailing in at about 6 ½ knots and decided to bring in the main and jib at the latest possible moment when we suddenly noticed the furling line on the jib had managed to come off the drum, oh dear! I grabbed a winch handle and went up to the mast winch to furl the main in quickly, then Brian steered a 360 degrees while I took out all the furling line and re-threaded it back top the clutch, wow. A possible disaster averted thank goodness. Anyway we got into the bay OK but it was crowded and it took 3 attempts to get the anchor to bite due to so much weed on the sea bed.

After a snorkel to view the embedded anchor, we went for a walk along the beach and finished in the Hotel bar where I introduced Brian to Rum Punches!

Back to the boat for dinner and hopefully a peaceful night, for tomorrow we attack the Tobago Cays; but only after Brian has walked p the big hill and I hav unblocked the “head” in our cabin! The book says be patient and wait 24 hrs and t usually dissolves and clears itself, I have waited 4 days now, and still there is no sign of the blockage going by itself, just my luck, Ugh!!!!!

Woke up to a “bootiful” sunny morning in Salt Whistle Bay and enjoyed our breakfast outside again though it did rain during the night yet again!

Brian decided to walk up the big hill to the nearest village while I stayed on board to do that most unpleasant of jobs, clearing a blocked head outlet. Armed with bleach, rubber gloves, and a big bucket, I set to work, ugh! The blockage was the obvious but to be fair the return valve where the blockage took place was completely covered in calcium and looking at it I am surprised it hadn’t caused trouble before! Anyway, looking in my new “Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual” written by “David Calder” (a must on any boat and now on Anam Cara thanks to David as a leaving present) I know the remedy: A monthly dose of white vinegar or as an alternative use muriatic acid (whatever that is) this keeps the calcium build up at bay, so, hopefully no more blockages! I also repaired the broken step on the ladder at the stern; a profitable morning’s work.

Brian returned we jumped into the sea to cool off then a sandwich and we were on our way to Petit Bateau in the Tobago Cays. Very quiet here, no problem to anchor but very windy, it funnels between the two islands. This was followed by a dinghy ride to the beach for a swim and a walk along the shore. I also had my orders to buy a tee shirt from the boat boys in Navy Blue, size large with “Sail Fast” on the front and “Live Slow” on the back and printed with Tobago Cays on it as well. This is for Norman to replace the one had had bought several years ago and had now worn it out!

Back to the boat and Lasagne was on the menu tonight but had to wait whilst it cooked so we sat out on deck, enjoying a sun downer watching the sun go down and putting the world to rights, or more importantly “Britain”

During this time a large French Catamaran moored directly behind us, but not only directly behind, rather too close for comfort. It left us mo margin for slippage should it take place.

Lasagne was good and it was accompanied by a rather nice South African red wine. I can’t remember where I picked it up but wish I had picked up several. One of the nicest I have enjoyed out here.

It was about 10.30 when the wind got up to around 30 knots and gusting even higher, also the current running between the Islands had increased to about 3 – 4 knots then naturally the law of sod came into play and the anchor moved. Nobody was on the Cat at the time as they had all gone ashore for a Bar B Q party so we had no option but to move. After several attempts due to the bows being pushed everywhere we finally got the anchor to bite in about 6 ½ meters of water. It was now about 11.30 and the big question “was it going to hold?” “Do we share Anchor Watch?”

We set the chart plotter onto anchor alarm and by about 1.30 it was pretty clear we had in fact secured the anchor alright. During the night I took over Christine’s mantel; I was up and down like a yo-yo just in case! No problem woke up at daylight to see we were where we had left it last night.

Nice bright sunny morning, moored on anchor just where we placed it lat night. Very windy nigh last night, lots of “rocking and rolling”, just up Christine’s street, I don’t think!

Leisurely Breakfast followed by a read then off to the turtle bay island to see what was about in the beech’s cordoned off area. Brian hadn‘t done any snorkelling before so was a bit apprehensive I think; anyway we got a mask and snorkel (no fins, his feet were too big for our spare set!) on him, gave a few instructions and he was off. He took to it like a duck to water and for one of his many sorties he borrowed an other person’s fins. He was amazed at what he saw and at one stage came up beaming as he had seen a huge turtle; he had only expected to see small baby ones! So that was good, I also snorkelled and saw a few.

Back to the boat via the beech where tee shirts were being sold and I went to see the Lady I ordered from yesterday to be told she couldn’t help with Size large, Colour Navy Blue, and Place Tobago Cays. She could do a combination of any two but that was her best. Whilst writing I am waiting further instructions!

Snack lunch on the boat then anchors away and we motored across to Union Island. Here we should be able to get Wi Fi, and clear customs.

Arrived comfortably about mid afternoon and took up a buoy. Went walk-about in this strange but attractive place called Clifton bought a few fresh groceries then tried out the rum punches, as usual very good!

The rest of the Lasagne with salad was the dish of the day followed by a good night’s sleep, no anchor to worry about!!!

Supplementary to log for 29/4
I cheated a little to get the log sent out without having to return to shore to send it; Oh our sins have found me out. I wrote we were back to the boat for a Lasagne and salad followed by a good night’s sleep. Well it didn’t quite work out like that: I had sent the log when we decided to have a last beer during which time the French owner and his wife arrive ed and recognised me saying the lobster season finished last day in April and he had one left, well that was that. A quick change of plane and a lobster dinner was on order. The wife also remembered that last time I had ordered escargots (I must have had something to say at the time probably!!) so this time they arrived, yum yum topped off with a Crepes Suzette. Superb, so Lasagne is now for tonight!

This wasn’t quite all. Poor Brian had also caught the sun snorkelling even though he creamed up, so he was very sore on his back, knees, and feet. I don’t think he had enough alcohol in him to numb the pain so he had a bad night. He is quietly trying to catch up on his sleep as I confess my log sin!

Another bright and sunny morning and the first thing I had to do was come clean with the amended log, and a trip to the french shop for some “local” baked french bread! I also went to see about the “tee Shirt”. Unfortunately because the season has finished here everyone had run their stocks down, so very sorry Mr Norman, we’ll have to try next year!

Poor Brian woke up to a very sore burnt back, knees and feet in spite of creaming up each day so he had to try and stay well out of the sun; very difficult as it was a beautiful day!

Fresh bread for breakfast then back onto land to get some cash out, clear out and Brian was on a mission to buy a Conch shell.

When we got to customs it was their lunch time (1200 – 1300) and if I had to clear out between those times it would cost me 47 EC Dollars, naturally being pensioners we decided to wait. I took this opportunity to take Brian into a very “local” West Indian restaurant and introduce him to a Roti. He had a conch and I had a chicken one. They must have been OK as the locals were buying them by the dozen. I think he enjoyed his!

Anyway back to customs and this time the guy had disappeared up to the airport so we had an extra 5 minutes walk to get there. The place was deserted as far as passengers were concerned but there were numerous officials all standing around. I was fairly lucky as the customs official got stuck into clearing us fairly quickly, but when it came to immigration, well, one person just sat at his desk playing with his mobile ‘phone and the other upon seeing us at the counter just took off I don’t know where! It seemed endless the wait for her return. During this time an aeroplane arrived, dropped two people and baggage off and took off again in the blink of an eye!

The two passengers were put into an extended golf buggy and this buggy had “Anchor Yacht Club” on the side so we asked the driver if we could have a lift to which he said yes. Fortunately by now Immigration had get their act together and we were cleared for departure.

This lift in the buggy saved us a hot walk back and Brian more importantly; he had a respite from the sun on his legs and feet.

We cast off from the buoy but went onto the fuel dock to take on 100 galls of water. We had an empty tank and we didn’t want to just run out as we get to Trinidad.

A reasonable run between the islands (6 miles) and we arrived in Hillsborough (on Carrialow) before it got dark which turned out to be a good job. Getting the anchor to take was a nightmare and no buoys around here! I was in the water with Mask and Brian was on the bows operating the windlass. Though there was sand below us, there was no depth to it so the anchor would bury itself; anyway lots chain plus the 10 meters of 12 mill chain also resting on the bottom it looked good.

Dinner tonight was the left over Lasagne and fresh salad, with Garlic bread for starters, washed down with yet another cheap (ha ha) bottle of red, very nice.

Anchor re-checked after dinner and found to be satisfactory so off to bed with that in our minds.

Brian still was suffering with sun burn but was looking for a good night’s sleep. I on the other hand was up several times to look out of the port hole but pleased she was riding in the same place. Tomorrow book in then off in afternoon to Grenada, about 27 miles

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