While we were arranging what to put in this weblog, Lorna published a fantastic blog for Peace and Plenty. You ought to take a look at it, as they have been along with us these last few weeks. Click on the link on the sidebar after you are finished here.
We're having a slow day at anchor in Tyrell Bay, Carriacou. The wind is blowing 14-18 knots, the sea has a gentle swell, and the cabin is around 29 C. Dawn is going in with Lorna and Brian to play dominoes, and I will continue with my boat chores: making water, unsticking bolts and screws, touching up gelcoat areas, transferring fuels, finalizing the work list for the boatyard.
We left Ste. Anne, Martinique on the 13rd of March, with Peace and Plenty just behind us, and had a lovely sail over to Rodney Bay; just a bit of water on the deck. There were large enough waves, but they were with rounded edges in the 15 knots of wind. No fish, however.
Rodney Bay was a whirlwind of activity, with us staying only 8 days until the next weather window allowed us to sail to Bequia. Still, we hit the highlights: a lunch, a supper, and a happy hour with John Fallon, a bit of hiking, buying boat parts, celebrating Lorna's birthday with a big party at a bar on the marina boardwalk. Brian and I also hiked to Vigie Light one day and left Lorna and Dawn to shop all day with no time limits and no bored men waiting by each store door.
|In Rodney Bay, Johnny spends most of his day paddling around selling woven straw hats and whatever he can sell. Laurie is often seen taking Johnny back to the shore in rough weather.|
|One of many birthday celebrations for Lorna. This one was with old friends in Rodney Bay on the Boardwalk. Lorna and Dawn are at the far end of the table on the left. Across from them is Laurie and John Fallon.|
The Vigie hike was a "do-over" from the previous year, as I intended to write up a story for a magazine on it, but had a poor camera. Vigie Light is on top of a minor 320' hill at the mouth of Castries harbour. The light guides ships, but a radio operator constantly monitors and guides marine traffic into and out of the tiny bay opening to coordinate the boats with the airport. The end of the runway is at the edge of the bay, and the smallest sailboat mast could be clipped by an airplane. The hill is well littered with historic buildings and gun placements, dilapidated and repurposed barracks, and an archive. The archive itself has good information on the hill and the structures, as well as an original of the military report of the WWII submarine attack (U-161) that sank two boats at the dock and killed a couple of dozen people. One of those boats was Canada's Lady Nelson: built by CN in England in 1928 for passengers and mail between Canada, England, Guyana, and the Caribbean. After it was refloated, it was taken to Alabama to be fixed, and was converted to a hospital ship and made 30 crossings, carrying 25 000 wounded to Halifax. The approach to Vigie also includes a large graveyard, where some of the crew of the two ships are buried.
Hilariously, the Archives was closed this time. Maybe, with some internet work, I can grind out the article during the summer anyway. Otherwise, I will make the hike again next fall.
|Entrance to Castries Harbour from Vigie Lighthouse|
|Married Quarters at Vigie Light|
|Other embassies, Vigie Light|
|Upper Meadow's Battery|
We arrived in Bequia on the evening of Tuesday, March 21, after 14 hours of very nice sailing. Peace and Plenty arrived an hour ahead of us, as the last bit of sailing had the wind close hauled, and his boat demonstrated superiority at that angle. Bequia, too, we did in a rush; getting quickly into the favourite restaurants and doing a few walks to stay healthy.
|Cute signage along Lower Bay Beach in Bequia!|
Seven days later, we had another fantastic sail, and anchored for two nights at Frigate Rock, Union Island. We were joined there by an acquaintance, Mark of Toronto, who was solo-sailing a Catalina 38 "Current Affairs", through the region before heading back to Canada. With Mark, we hiked up a steep trail to the top of the 800+' "Big Hill" which towers over the little village of Ashton. We also sailed over to Petit Martinique, and anchored almost a half mile from shore in 12 feet of sand. It has to be one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world, but the currents go so fast under the boat -east-then-west- that jumping overboard is hazardous.
|We are anchored to the right side of Frigate Rock pictured here. You can also see the beginnings of a marina intended for this space. Unfortunately, we see too many failed projects on these islands. Let's hope it's a good spot for fish to breed.|
|After the hike up the mountain, we stopped by a little rum shop for a few cool ones. Lorna and Brian are on the left, with Mark from s/v Current Affair. Beside Mark is our new friend of the day, Eddie!|
Tyrell Bay is being rushed as well, with a quick walk to Paradise Beach for the view and a few cold beer with Curtis at "Off da Hook", and an early supper at Lucky's Bar last night. Tomorrow, we hope to sail down to Grenada. We are watching the weather, and hoping to sail down the east side if the wind and weather are conducive. This will allow us to gunkhole along the south shore of Grenada, going downwind between the bays. If not, we will stay on the lee side and anchor tomorrow in St. Georges.
Our Amiot main traveler is spitting out plastic, meaning the high density plastic bearings in it are shot. I am attempting to source new bearings while I use penetrating oil and tapping to release all the fittings to allow access.
We have been attempting to end a leak that is puddling fresh water in the port hull. I have rebedded over 20 fittings and am waiting for another rain to see if I got it. In the meantime, a puddle showed up after a very minor rain to keep us confused. Then we left the boat for a day with vinegar trapped in the bathroom drains to remove soap scum. Well, when we smelled vinegar in the bilge, we knew that some of the water is related to the drains. I was able to tighten the shower drain to stop that, and now we wait. Interestingly, while I was filling the sink drain with vinegar, a poor little 30 mm crab jumped up and into the sink. I immediately flung the little guy into the ocean, hoping he survives. Imagine being an aquatic creature and immersed in vinegar - all your sensory organs and the rest. I cry when I get some in a tiny cut!