Thursday, May 31, 2007

Carriacou to Grenada

Picked up anchor from Tyrell Bay at 8:15 a.m. to head to Grenada. Watched a couple of boats motor out, but we had some slight winds and put up the main, with a reef, and the yankee (the main jib). Caught a couple of gusts, which made things exciting, but then the winds and seas levelled off and we had a nice sail. Decided to head over to the east of Diamond Rock and Ronde Island, instead of tucking in between the Sisters and trying to avoid the underwater volcano, Kickem Up Jenny. Had a great sail going until we hit the current (we never seem to time those tides right), but slowly sailed our way out and around to the leeward side of Grenada. Winds and waves settled down so much that we agreed to take the reef out of the main. Well, that didn't last long. Had a great sail for about an hour and then the gusts kept hitting, one after another. I really don't like sitting in the cockpit and being able to put my hand in the water, or watching the propeller from the dinghy motor, mounted on the stern rail, spinning in the water. Dennis put on his lifejacket, attached himself to the jacklines, and climbed his way forward to put the reef back in the main. We sailed all the way to the entrance to St. George's Harbour in Grenada.
We got a good hook and stayed put for a couple of days, picking up internet, doing laundry and visiting the wonderful Saturday Grenada market! Visited Art Fabrik and picked up gifts to take home and bought myself some earrings as my Mother's Day gift to me! Took the dinghy over to Grande Anse Beach - beautiful sand and water!!
Final town things to do and we got prepared to head down to Prickly Bay on the south coast of Grenada, where we'll leave to head to Trinidad. Aurora and Kyeta picked up anchor and headed out before us, sailing away, and we finally finished errands and picked up anchor about 10:30. Motorsailed to Prickly and arrived around 12:30. Sun shades up and we took the dinghy in to Da Big Fish for lunch, since Aurora was heading out that night for Trinidad. Da Big Fish has great food!!
Hung out for a week in Grenada, visiting the Spice Island Mall, just because it was a mall and had stuff, and getting boat chores done. Time is winding down.
We have a weather window for the 21st and 22nd of May, so we're preparing to head out. Time to head to Trini!! ~~~~~_/)~~~~~~~

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bequia to Carriacou

Finally left Bequia on Saturday, May 5th, heading for Chatham Bay on Union Island. Had a wonderful sail with a beam reach and all sails up! Sometimes the sea gods smile! Had a rip on one of the fishing lines and after heaving to it was a barracuda too big to keep. Then, just off the anchorage at Chatham Bay, another rip on the line and we brought a great blackfin tuna aboard. When the winds and seas are kind, we do quite well heaving to and locking the wheel down, getting the fish on board and doing everything we have to. Unfortunately, you have to bleed tuna, because otherwise the blood heats up and taints the meat. Not quite sure how it happened, but this tuna bled from the time it was caught, and for some reason DW decided to drag it off the opposite side of the boat that we brought it up on. Once again, blood everywhere in the cockpit! Took awhile to clean up after we anchored and marinate the tuna (Little Gidding had a great recipe in Cruising World that is our favorite). Kyeta caught a small barracuda, and offered to do dinner on their boat with their friends Paul and Nancy on Aurora. Combined the fish had a wonderful meal with appetizers.
Spent a couple of days in Chatham Bay and the snorkelling was fantastic. The weather was great and it was a beautiful anchorage. Sharky does a fish dinner on shore when there's a few boats, and had a great dinner of snapper (I asked him to please cut off the head so I didn't have to look at eyes), potatoes, coleslaw, and local vegetables. Left Chatham, hoping to meet up with Casa del Mar and Ticketoo in Frigate Bay on Union, but as we passed them by we could see they were rocking side to side quite a bit. Decided to go into Clifton Harbor where we anchor behind the reef. It was still quite choppy because of the high winds. Had drinks at Happy Island and met up with new and old cruising friends.
Left Tuesday for Carriacou. Kyeta and Aurora left before us - it was 10 miles, so we knew we'd make it there sometime during the day. They anchored in Hillsborough and then sailed over to Tyrell Bay to anchor. We decided to press on those extra couple of miles to Tyrell and take the bus back to Hillsborough. Another day of a fantastic sail. Put up a double reef with the stay sail and just had a great day. Pulled in and saw our sistership, WindBorne III from Toronto. Anchored, put the sun shades up and took the bus into town to check in. This was Dennis' first time in Hillsborough. I forgot that it was Ann (Kyeta) and I that always went in to check in, take the bus to the bank, pick up groceries and all that other good stuff.
We met up with Dan and Jaime on Nereia again, and it was great to see them. Dan took Ann, Nancy and myself on a walk one morning to get our exercise. They've spent a lot of time in Carriacou so we got a great tour and saw some adorable little kindergarten and grade one children who gave us great smiles for our photos. Met up with the principal from one of the schools who was telling us about an event celebrating different cultures, and their school was in charge of doing a presentation on Guyana. They needed some ingredients for the local dishes that they couldn't find - Ann (Kyeta), Nancy (Aurora) and Dan (Nereia) came up with the spices they needed and Ann and Nancy took them back. Then there was the shipment of books that came in from the States (go to Melodye from Second Millenium was gone, and Carolyn and Rick from WindBorne III (Carriacou is their second home) took charge. They asked if I would help take books off the ship from Grenada to the restaurant across the street, where the schools could pick them up. I asked a few friends, and we ended up with myself, Ann on Kyeta, Paul and Nancy on Aurora, Dan and Jaime on Nereia and Kathleen and Roland on My Lady Kathleen taking over 40 boxes of books off the ship, onto a truck, then off of the truck and into the restaurant. The two Dennis' were out fishing! Had fun and it felt good to help. These children really don't have any type of library books, so if anyone wants to go to the website and/or send books to any of the Caribbean islands, it's always appreciated.
Unfortunately, time is getting short and it's time to start heading south. Where did our winter cruising season go??? ~~~~~_/)~~~~

Thursday, May 03, 2007

April and May in Bequia

We arrived in Admiralty Bay in Bequia in time for all of the Easter Regatta festivities. We had a great vantage point to watch the start and finish of the races. Nice to know that racing boats can hourglass their spinnaker just the same as we can! The anchorage is crowded again, only this time it's mostly charter boats. At Christmas and New Year's it was cruising boats, and a lot of the boats that had crossed the Atlantic in the ARC. Went in Monday night when they announced the winners of the races because there were free drinks!
Our plan originally had been to leave for Tobago after Easter when Kyeta's company returned to the States. Frank and Gretchen on Infinity had picked up friends, Chad and Marsha (Rebel Rouser), down in Tobago and they, who never complain, complained about the deep water and rolly anchorages. Made us re-think our plans. It turned out we didn't have to think very hard since I needed to stay in Bequia to wait for legal paperwork from home. We spent time with Dan and Jaime on Nereia and Barb and Winston on My Island Girl. Then Casa del Mar and Ticketoo pulled in. Old home week. A few days later, Infinity sailed in with Chad and Marsha. We met Chad and Marsha on Rebel Rouser back in 2004 on the way down the Erie Canal. They were travelling with their then 18 month old, Keegan, who gave me my baby fix all the way to the Bahamas. They were flying out of St. Vincent to head back to Trinidad, and we had planned on sailing over on Infinity to spend some time with them. Well, Frank on Infinity got sick, so we took them over on Audrey Paige, with Gretchen along for company as well. Had a great sail, and it sure is nice to have extra hands on board, especially when they know what they're doing. A boat boy came out while we were offshore and told us he'd tie us up to a temporary mooring, arranged a land taxi and was the water taxi to take Chad and Marsha to shore. Everything worked out great and we had a wonderful visit. Especially when Chad told me how I could make movies and put them to music. I've had fun with that! Two hours there and two back and a good battery charge!
Spending time in Bequia exploring, doing boat chores and enjoying the beach. Needed a good battery charge so decided to take Denny and Ann from Kyeta on board and sail around the island. Really nice day, but no fish. A week later, decided to leave the anchorage again and see if Baliceaux would be a good day anchorage. It's a little anchorage west of Bequia. Had a great motorsail, but the closer we got to the island the bigger the rollers were, and there was no way you could have either swam to shore or put the dinghy to shore as the waves were so big. Turned around and headed back to Admiralty Bay, but had a great day just getting out on the water. It's so quiet now, we've left three times and arrived back to drop anchor in the same spot!
Murray and Nadine on Squiz arrived the other day. We haven't seen them since before Christmas in Grenada. Bill and Judy on Be Be (used to be called Security) arrived the day after. We spent the summer with them in Trinidad. Had Squiz over for happy hour one night and Be Be the next. So many people pulling in again that we decided to get together at the new bar that opened at Easter, called Jack's. It's on the beach and they finished it right before Easter. Ended up with about 20 boats getting together, visiting old friends and meeting new ones.
The paperwork is finally in. It was supposed to be in on Wednesday's ferry, but the ferry was running an hour late (what else is new) and Customs closed before they arrived. Hopefully we can leave on Friday! While we love it here, it's time to move on and we need to be in Trinidad in 3 weeks!! Where did the time go?
Will update when we get to Grenada. ~~~/_)~~~

Bequia to Union and back to Bequia again

Left Bequia around 8 a.m. and had a great sail down to Union, even if we did get wet once or twice from a couple of squalls that came through. Everyone told us what a great anchorage Frigate Rock was, but when we pulled in the winds were coming from the wrong direction and we rolled all night. Picked up anchor the next day and motored up to the anchorage in Clifton where we were protected from roll by the reef in front of us. Kyeta's company, Kelly and Glen, arrived in Union and Dennis took our dinghy over to help transport them and luggage to the boat. We had dinner and then went over to visit on Kyeta since Kelly and Glen had brought all of us goodies from home!
Spent two days at Clifton, walking around town and snorkelling. Went to Happy Island for drinks and then out for dinner to celebrate Dennis' birthday. Dennis got an email from our daughter-in-law, Kristine, that our granddaughter, Avory, had colored a picture for him for his birthday. For her birthday, she was wondering if grandpa would get her a shell necklace and a mermaid with purple hair and a purple tail. Kristine had to tell her that if grandpa could pluck mermaids from the sea, we'd never see him again. Isn't that the truth!
Left Union and had a short but great sail to Mayreau. We had planned on anchoring in Saline Bay but the roll was so bad that even the catamerans were rolling about. We looked at the chart and decided to try the anchorage called Windward Bay. I was a little nervous with all the reefs around, but you could see them quite well, even with the choppy water. The reefs broke up the waves and it turned out to be a great anchorage. We snorkelled and I have never seen so many starfish! I need to get an underwater camera!!! We walked into town and had drinks and a light lunch. It rained all afternoon so we just relaxed on the boat.
Tuesday morning, after the sun was high, we picked up anchor and left for the Tobago Cays to do some more snorkelling. Lots of reefs, but coming in the south entrance was easier than the north entrance. It was overcast and rainy off and on, so we decided to head to the beach and play dominoes. Well, then it rained too hard to even play dominoes under the trees, so we headed over to Kyeta for dinner and to finish the game. Wednesday was a much nicer day so we got some snorkelling and exploring in, and then had pizza with a dominoes game on Audrey Paige.
Thursday morning, again, after the sun was high (so you can see the reefs) we picked up anchor and sailed to Canuoan. Dennis and I walked around and climbed what has to have been the steepest hill we've climbed yet. You could see the windward side of Canuoan and it was beautiful. If you were brave, on a calm day, you could get in that anchorage. I'm not quite that brave! Dennis' back went out so we took our time leaving Canuoan to head back to Bequia. We had wind against waves and ended up with some 7 footers over the bow and found some leaks on the boat we didn't know we had. Just off Mustique the water calmed down some and we caught a blackfin tuna. Luckily, we brought it in quickly.
It was the start of the Easter Regatta in Bequia and as we came around Isle a Quatre we saw all these sailboats heading right for us. We were on a starboard tack and had right-of-way, but I don't think they cared. Especially the 70 foot Santa Cruz that was heeled over so far we could see his keel. Luckily, we all avoided each other and we anchored at Petit Nevis, which is the old whaling station on Bequia, and snorkelled and walked around the island. Picked up the anchor around 2 and headed into Admiralty Bay where we got things ready for tuna dinner on Audrey Paige. We have to change this, 'whoever catches the fish does dinner' thing! ~~~/_)~~~

Martinique to Bequia

We were up early, after our long two days from Dominica, so that we could do laundry and provision. The nice thing was, there was no one in the laundrymat at 6:30 in the morning. Dan and Jaime from Nereia stopped in to say hi and it was so good to see them again. They're staying on for the rest of the week to do some land tours. Finished mid-day and headed out to anchor at St. Anne's to do internet and pick up bread from the bakery there. No play time!! Saw Winston and Barb on My Island Girl (a 40' Bayfield) and invited them over for happy hour the next night. They were getting together with Jim and Pat on Mirus, so we invited them as well. Mirus is from Ohio and we saw them for the first time when we were travelling down the Erie Canal in 2004. It sometimes turns out to be a small world!
Infinity left Sunday morning to head south because they needed to get their boom repaired before they picked up their company in Tobago. We headed out early Monday morning and had a pretty good sail from St. Anne's to between the Pitons on St. Lucia. Of course, the wind picked up, gusting from 20-25 when we came into the anchorage, so we decided to pay the boat boy 10 EC (about $3 US) to help tie us up. Money well spent! What a beautiful place to spend a night or two.
Up early again to sail from St. Lucia to Bequia. We had anywhere from no wind to 20 knots at the tip of St. Vincent. That was interesting - wind one way, waves coming from the other direction. It took us 10 hours to get to Bequia, sailing, motoring and motorsailing. It seems deserted here after Christmas! Kyeta came in an hour after us, having caught a good size tuna, so dinner on their boat. Not too much play time with boat chores and land duties. Kyeta is expecting company so they're working way too hard! Only here for a day and a half before we head down to Union and the rest of the Grenadines. ~~~/_)~~~