March first--DISCOVERY is anchored in the Tobago Cays. Carl went into the water Sunday morning with his snorkel, mask and fins to inspect DISCOVERY's bottom. He scraped some green growth off the prop shaft and prop. After lunch, both of us went for a dinghy ride around Petit Bateau Island. Because Carl did not have his shirt on when snorkeling or during the dinghy ride, when we returned to the boat---his back was lobster red. Monday, we left the Tobago Cays for Mayreau Island---a little over 3 nautical miles. I wanted to have lunch at a restaurant run by Robert Lewis "Righteous" called Righteous & de Youths. Righteous is a well-known Rastafarian---his place is supposed to be very cool. Shortly after we anchored in Saline Bay, Mayreau, Carl picked up an e-mail that was sent through the SSB regarding his Dad, Bill. Bill fell down--breaking his hip. The message was for Carl to call his brother ASAP. We did not have internet service in Mayreau---knew that good internet service was available over in Clifton Harbor, Union Island. So we pulled up the anchor and headed to Union Island--another short 3 nautical mile sail. Yes, my lunch plans were changed but for good reason. Carl's Dad had surgery to repair the broken hip. Hel did well after the surgery but then he took a drastic turn for the worse and passed away. The Memorial Service for Bill will be held in North Dakota late Spring/early Summer. Bill would have been 90 in December 2010. Yes, he had a long life but it is always difficult to lose a parent.
From Union we had a great sail up to Charlestown Bay in Canouan---pinching into the wind but moving right along. Canouan is is an island in transition and one of economical contrasts. The northern half of the island has a a first class hotel, casino and golf course on 300 acres--The Raffles Resort. Additionally, The Moorings has a base here for chartering and then there are the locals who are dirt poor! When Carl and I were walking around the island, a little boy with his grandmother asked me to take a picture of them which I did. Next, the grandmother asked for money to food.
The following pictures were taken in Canouan. I loved the sign in the first picture--really not sure the law was being enforced based on what I saw! The second picture is the young schoolboy and his Grandmother. (0258, 0260)
From Canouan we sailed to Admiralty Bay, Bequia. The sail was a challenge for us---pinching into the wind plus the wind velocity dropped to less than 5 knots for about 30 minutes and then up to 25 knots with an average of 15-18 knots. Had two fishing lines out but no bites at all. Carl is so funny---he says "I'd really would love to catch a tuna today." My reply is "I'll take anything you catch except for a barracuda." The trip from Canouan to Bequia required more tacking than we like in order to make it to the mouth of the bay where we finally fired up the engine to motor in the last mile or so.
Bequia is a great island for hiking---it seems like no matter what the destination is, the hike is up over a mountain and then down to the beach. Carl, Irene and Ray on C-DRIFTERS and I hiked to:: Spring Bay to the Turtle Sanctuary, up to Mt. Pleasant at 780 feet for a breath-taking view of the Anchorage, Friendship Bay, Fort Hamilton and Hope Bay (my favorite destination). Stopped at the town market to buy fruits and vegetables. On the way into the market, saw one of the Rasti's on break drinking a Guinness beer and toking on a joint. Quite the 10 AM coffee break he was enjoying. The Rasti's are aggressive salesmen--two or three of them are in your face the minute you walk in. Purchased some great tomatoes and basil for tomato bruschetta. Over time, we noticed the Rasti's were more aggressive/assertive in the morning-- mellowing out by early afternoon so we stopped by for our purchases in the afternoon!
On Bequia we splurged for lunch one day at Maria's French Restaurant. We planned to have a burger so we stopped at Maria's French Restaurant based on our experience last year when it was called Maria's Cafe---very informal and inexpensive place. The new Maria's has white tablecloths with flower centerpieces (very upscale and much more pricey). Ok, it was fun to splurge.
Another Saga 43, TALISMAN, was anchored in Admiralty Bay--the owner is Bill Bailey. Bill came over for dinner one night. Bill was alone---his wife is still working back in the Windsor, Ontario area. We saw the boat (TALISMAN) last year in Power Boats when we were there but we did not meet Bill until we arrived in Bequia.
The following 8 pictures are from Bequia. The picture on the left is Jimmy showing his fresh basil. The picture on the right is Carl taking a rest after our walk to Friendship Bay. Looks pretty comfortable doesn't he! (0261, 0269)
The picture on the left was taken from the top of Mt. Pleasant looking over the anchorage. The picture on the right shows some of the beautiful flowers growing along the side of the road to Spring Bay. (0270, 0273)
The picture on the left is one of the turtles at the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. The sanctuary was founded in 1995 to assist with the conservation of the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The turtles are reared in the sanctuary to the age of 5 when they are released to the beach where they were hatched. By 2006, 800 turtles were returned from the Old Hegg Sanctuary to the see. On the right is a picture of Irene and I sitting in some Tiki hut at Hope Beach. (0279,0290)
Below are pictures of Carl and I sitting on canons up at Fort Hamilton. (0300, 0301)
Left Bequia on March 18--enjoyed a great sail to Chatham Bay, Union Island. Winds were 18 knots from the northeast so most of the sail was a beam reach. Encountered 3 squalls about 2/3 of the way to Chatham. Carl caught a fish--a barracuda that just happened to fall back into the water from the deck. I don't want any stinking barracuda!!!
Chatham Bay is starting to "develop"--locals have set up beach bars and restaurants. As soon as your boat enters the bay, the pirogues come out to invite you to one of three or four places. The anchorage has good holding--the most interesting feature is the wind which comes over the hills in intense gusts (Williwaws). Irene, Ray, Carl and I hiked up the center ridge to the road and then continued into the town of Ashton.
On the left--Ray and Carl at the head of the trail up the center ridge. On the right is the community of Ashton. (0304, 0305)
From Chatham Bay we motored over to Clifton Harbor where we cleared Immigrations and Customs for the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Sailed over to Petit St. Vincent where we anchored for three nights. Petit St. Vincent is a privately owned---contains a 5 star resort where rooms are $860 a night. The owners do allow non-guests to walk the beach. If you are interested in the resort go to www.psvresort.com to see pictures!
The first night that we were anchored off the resort--- there were two incidents involving cruisers. One chartered catamaran, MARGARET, was boarded while the crew was on shore having dinner. MARGARET reported over the VHF Radio that someone came on board and stole all their money while they were gone. The second incident involved AMBASSADOR who reported over the radio that a boat passing by them tossed a molotov cocktail into their cockpit. The bottle containing the liquid cocktail shattered in the cockpit splattering a petro-like substance all over. AMBASSADOR was on the radio all night saying someone tried to kill them. We think the Captain of AMBASSADOR had a few cocktails himself after this incident (can't say I blame him). In the morning, the St. Vincent Coast Guard were on the scene to investigate. Petit St. Vincent is considered to be a safe, isolated area so these two incidents were a big surprise for us cruisers. We were anchored about 100 feet off the starboard side of AMBASSADOR but did not hear the boat that tossed the bottle into their cockpit. After these two incidents we decided to stay in the anchorage for another two nights. Our theory was that is was probably very safe there with all the attention created the night before..
From Petit St. Vincent we motored about half a mile to the island of Petite Martinique. Walked around the island to check things out. Lots of little Rum Shops (bars) full of men watching Cricket. The churches were filled with women and children. On our walk, three little girls (sisters) followed us for a distance before starting to talk to us. The girls were so cute and happy. Later two young teenage men joined me in my walk (I was straggling behind Irene, Carl and Ray). The boys were interested in how long I have been sailing, where I lived, did I like Obama and where I was going next.
Loved this sign in the picture on the left. You can barely read what the economic activities are--Fishes and Boat Building! On the right is a picture of the three little girls (sisters) that latched on to me. (0312, 0313)
DISCOVERY and C-DRIFTERS left Petite Martinique under sail for Hillsborough, Carriacou to clear Immigration & Customs (this time for the country of Grenada). As we entered the harbor, we saw WILL-O'-THE WISP-- friends Walt and Honoree. Contacted them on the radio making arrangements to meet for lunch. It took Ray and Carl over an hour to clear so Irene and I walked around checking out the grocery stores. Purchased a few groceries and then joined Walt, Honoree and their guest, Randy for lunch. After lunch we headed over to Sandy Island. Sandy Island is a strip of sand surrounded by reefs. Sandy Island used to be covered with palm trees--now it is barren except for a few trees planted by locals. Ray, Carl and I went snorkeling--lots of pretty reef fish.
On the left is Ray and Carl waiting in line to clear Immigration. On the right is a picture taken at lunch (Randy, Honoree, Ray, Irene, Carl and Walt). (0315, 0316)
The following day we headed for Tryell Bay. This is our second visit to Tryell Bay this cruising season. One night Ray,Irene, Carl and I joined cruisers on MOODY BLUE (April and Alan), M'LADY KATHLEEN (Roland and Kathleen), LE NOSTRA (Harry) for dinner at Lucky's. The house special was barbeque ribs with french fries. The 9of us pushed three tables of varying heights together, found two regular chairs and 7 bar stools to set up in the covered porch area. The food was great. Sunday afternoon, Ray, Irene, Carl and I watched a Cricket game. Ray tried to explain the game to us (some of it makes sense).
The two pictures below were taken at the Cricket Match. We could not go inside the fence so it was hard to capture the game in a picture. On the left is the home team (Harvey Vale) warming up. On the right is the start of the game which takes place at the two wickets. (0318, 0319)
Making plans to head to Grenada tomorrow. March has been a great month especially
the sailing and having time to spend in the various islands.
March 31, 2009