Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bequia to Carriacou -- with stops along the way

May 24 & 25, 2006     Wednesday & Thursday         Bequia

We are enjoying Bequia so much that we decided to stay a day or two longer.  Went back to customs and extended our allotted time in the Grenedines until June 1.  At this point, we plan to go to Carriacou on June 1st.

Had lobster pizza at Mac’s on our first night here.  Lobster season ended April 31, so the locals are trying to use up all the lobsters in their live tanks.  They are allowed to sell those, but they cannot harvest any more from the sea until October.  Anyway, our pizza was thickly covered in lobster.  It was delicious; we could not finish it all and hated to throw away that last piece.

Judy was able to IM chat with both our sons on Wednesday afternoon.  Good to catch up on what is going on at home.  They and their families are leaving tomorrow for a trip to Disney World.  The grandkids are ages 4 and 5, so this should be a great trip for them.

Today we met someone on S/V Equinox from Maine.   They have been cruising since last August.  Turns out that they are reserved to be at the same marinas we booked for both Grenada in June and in Trinidad starting July 1.  They suggested that we “buddy sail” from Grenada to Trinidad; they would like the radio company during that passage.  We might do that.  The waters near Venezuela have had a lot of robberies (those nasty pirates are still at work; we just thought that was an activity of centuries past).   We don’t really see the advantage of being in radio contact with another vessel during the passage, but guess it can’t hurt anything.  After all, what will one of us do if the other is stopped and boarded?  The Venezuelan authorities won’t respond in any way.  Not going to worry about that; out of our control.  Just deal with it if it happens and not worry about something that will probably never occur.

Took a few photos of the Whaleboner bar and restaurant today but cannot upload them since we just lost our internet connection.   Will have to wait until later; possibly after we arrive at the marina in Grenada.  The Whaleboner has several items made from whale bones from whales slaughtered here in Bequia many years ago.

May 26, 2006     Friday           Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau                 traveled 22NM

We left Bequia headed to Mustique; sailed close enough to wave goodbye to Basil’s and changed course to Mayreau.  Doyle’s Sailing Guide said that it would cost us $75 to stay overnight in Mustique; and since we have already been there twice previously, we could not see the reasoning in paying $75 for just one night.  Actually, that $75 fee allows you to stay on a mooring for 3 nights; but we had wanted to stay only one night.

Besides, another visit could not possibly top our last visit to Mustique.  We got to wander around Mick Jagger’s house under construction the last time we were there in 1986.  The security guard even showed us around the grounds.   Had a huge trampoline under the palm trees that the guard said that Mick used for exercise to keep up his energy level.  The house was built like a Japanese jigsaw puzzle.  Weirdest house we have ever seen.  But really cool.
So, on to Mayreau.  We stopped in Salt Whistle Bay.  Bill was convinced that we had been here previously, but he finally came to realize that neither of us had ever seen that bay.  It is gorgeous.   We liked it so much that we stayed a couple of days.

The first afternoon, two guys came up in a skiff and sold us a freshly caught red snapper.  They first asked $70EC and Bill talked them down to $45EC, which we thought was still over-priced.  We grilled it whole for dinner and it was delicious. 

It is truly a small world sometimes.  One of the guys who sold us the fish had worked for the Moorings in the BVI in May 2004.  He had come out to our old boat for a service call when a key fell out inside the helm pedestal.  That key restrained the chain controlling the helm to the rudder; so when it became dislodged, we lost all steering capability.   We were in the Camanoe Passage when it happened.  We managed to sail onto a mooring ball at Marina Cay, and Moorings sent this guy out to fix the problem.  Surprisingly, he remembered us; although we had forgotten him until he reminded us about that incident.

There was another Amel anchored in front of us in Salt Whistle Bay.  It was a smaller boat, named La G__tana from Hamburg.  It was cutter rigged and had a different toe rail.  It was not identified as a Sharki, which we have seen before.  Maybe this was a Euro, which we have never seen.  A Euro was smaller than any other Amel model boat.  This looked to be maybe 38-39 ft long.  We could not read the complete name because there was a wind vane centered on the stern, as well as a wind generator.  Judy has been curious as to whether a wind vane could be utilized with the Amel U-drive.  Now we are curious if this was a Euro model and if the Euro model also has the proprietary U-drive.

May 27, 2006     Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau             

We awoke to somewhat dreary weather today.  So we decided to just stay anchored another night.  Did a few cleaning chores; watched a DVD; decided to try out our bread machine.  We had purchased a 220V/50Hz bread machine so that we can bake bread aboard without heating up the entire saloon.

We had also purchased an adapter for this bread machine so that the standard 220V plug would work in the funny little 2-prong 220V outlets that are on the boat.  For some reason, the bread machine would not work with the electrical adapter.  BUT, we had onboard an old 220V vacuum cleaner that the previous owner had ruined vacuuming up salt water.  So Bill cut off both plugs and installed the  vacuum cleaner plug on the bread machine.  Now it worked perfectly.

So we spent the rainy afternoon experimenting with the bread machine and the pressure cooker.  Make a great chicken stew and the bread for wonderful.  Takes only 2 hours and can be baked using just the boat batteries if we don’t want to run the generator.  We are most pleased about this.  And the bread is far better than what we can buy locally in these islands.

We also met a Scottish couple named Hamish and Lavinia; they are on a 73-ft ketch from Cowes.  Hamish was out for a swim and stopped by our boat to inquire about the Amel because he is thinking of buying one.  He later brought his wife, Lavinia, back to see our boat.  Then they brought us back to see their boat.  There were 10 people aboard the 73-ft boat, with a crew of 3.  Had 2 huge grinders on deck.  A very serious boat.  Hamish would like an Amel because he is tired of the expense of crew, and they very definitely cannot operate that 73-ft boat without a crew.   Ownership of the boat is actually a partnership of 5 people.  They have owned the boat for 8 years and it has been all over the world.  Their boat was very impressive, with sloped teak deck from which high seas would simply run off; no coach roof whatsoever.  Proper china and glassware for meals.  Very proper British feel aboard their boat.  Hamish is thinking of buying an Amel just for himself and Lavinia, not with the same partners.    Lavinia thought our boat was far more comfortable than their larger one.  Neither Bill nor I can remember the name of the boat.

May 28, 2006     Sunday        Tobago Cays                          traveled 3NM

Absolutely gorgeous!   Found our way through the reefs and anchored behind a horseshoe reef, facing the Atlantic Ocean.   Along with about 40 other boats.  About half left before sunset.  Wish we could take photos that would really show what this place is like; but the photos simply do not do it justice.

This is the first place so far that our electronic charts have not been absolutely accurate within feet.  Maxsea showed that we went over the ends of 2 tiny islands and right over several visible reefs around those islands.  But Judy had already decided to believe her eyes when going through the reef areas, and not to rely on the electronic charts.

May 29, 2006     Monday        Petite St. Vincent                    traveled 13NM

Snaked our way out of Tobago Cays southwestward through the reefs.  Anchored at Palm Island (previously known as Prune Island).  We had very much enjoyed this island in 1986.  The island had been leased from Union Island by John Caldwell.  He had planted palm trees all over it, and the name was changed to Palm Island.  He also wrote a book called “Desperate Voyage” which we hope to someday purchase.  He brought his wife to the island and they lived there a long time.  He has since died, and the island has been taken over by a large resort company.  The island no longer looked inviting to us.  It was quaint before; it is just another expensive tourist resort now.  So we pulled anchor and moved on.

Again snaked our way through more reef and anchored at Petite St. Vincent.  There is yet another expensive resort on this island.  We did not bother to get off the boat.  Instead, we spent the afternoon reading.

May 30, 2006   Tuesday         Hillsborough, Carriacou          traveled 12NM

Motored here because winds are no light and distance was so short.  Anchored;lunch ashore; cleared customs, immigration and port authority; and found someone’s WiFi when we returned to the boat, so will try to upload this before we lose this connection.

We could be in Grenada at the marina tomorrow, but we will probably goof off a few more days first.

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