Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tabogo Cays again, then south to Carriacou

May 15, 2007  Tuesday
Tobago Cays

We motored over here from Salt Whistle Bay yesterday morning.  Linda and Bob on S/V VILLOMEE followed us since this was their first visit to the Cays.  It is nice to be able to follow another boat so you are sure that you won’t hit any of the reefs or rocks or shallow spots.  You really cannot rely on your electronic charts in the Tobago Cays.  The C-Map charts are definitely wrong as they show that we sail over land.  Later we both took our dinghies out to one of the balls on Horseshoe Reef to snorkel.  The current was so strong that I did not enjoy that at all.  So we soon abandoned that area for snorkeling and moved over to the lee of one of Baradel island.  The current was still pretty strong even in the lee of that small island.  We saw several sea stars (the things we always called starfish) but they were all the small orange-red color so they all looked alike.  Linda and Bob snorkeled to a different area and found turtles.  Linda said one of them was about 5-feet across.  The turtles were feeding and Linda was able to swim directly above one for a good bit of time.  A turtle cannot see directly above.  When the turtle finally did turn so that he could see Linda, he was startled as if “Where did you come from?”  Then he wanted to swim away from her.

This morning Linda and Bob went back out to Horseshoe Reef and said the snorkeling was wonderful.  We now realize our error yesterday – we went out on the reef to snorkel at high tide.  No wonder the current was so strong.  This morning Linda and Bob were out there during low tide and said that it was perfectly calm.   But we screwed up.  We decided to go after lunch and by then it was high tide again.  Then is got cloudy during the afternoon so we never made it back out to the reef for the good snorkeling.  Instead the four of us played dominoes again in the comfort of our saloon.  Tomorrow we plan to go over to Union Island and clear out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Next stop is Carriacou.

May 16, 2007  Wednesday
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou
12.27.363N; 061.29.324W           Sailed 19 NM  Average speed almost 8 knots!

Love reaching and going with the current!

We half-motored and half-sailed through the southern passage, finding our way through the reefs  between the Tobago Cays and Clifton on Union Island.  S/V VILLOMEE followed us out through the reefs and then they headed over to Palm Island and we turned into the bay at Clifton.  Several people had told us that Clifton is very crowded with permanent moorings and the few places where you can anchor has poor holding, and they had advised us to go to Ashton and take a taxi/bus to Clifton to clear out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  We decided to try the bay at Clifton and see for ourselves.  Turned out to be a wise choice. 

We paid a water taxi guy 40EC (about $15 USD) to put us on a mooring and take me ashore so that I could clear out (since I am on the paperwork as the captain).   He first asked for 60EC and we refused so he quickly dropped his price to 40EC.  That seemed like a reasonable fee and kept us from having to take the dinghy off the davits.  Bill stayed onboard to monitor the boat since we obviously did not trust the mooring.   I cleared out with Customs in the main town of Clifton and then walked to the airport to clear us out with Immigration; walked back to town and found a bank to get more Eastern Caribbean currency; found a grocery store for fresh bread and something called canned chicken salami (the photo on the can shows it sliced on sandwiches; this should be interesting); and the water taxi guy brought me back to the boat.  Simple and fast clearing out.

Then we had an absolutely fantastic sail downwind to Hillsborough, where we cleared into Carriacou.  The island of Carriacou is part of Grenada so that means we won’t have to bother with clearing in when we arrive at the main island of Grenada in a couple of weeks.  The very pleasant young man working in the Immigration office at Hillsborough told us that he was from a very large family – his grandfather had 36 children!  I asked if his grandfather had more than one wife and learned that he did indeed have only one wife.  But he also had 2 “ladies.”  I didn’t ask how many children were delivered from each of these 3 women.  Heck, that averages to a dozen for each woman anyway!

After a quick lunch of yet more homegrown tomatoes on fresh baguette (Bill wasn’t brave enough to try the Halal canned chicken salami yet), we again enjoyed another short downwind sail to Tyrrel Bay.  The sailing was simply superb today.  Wind was 22-30 knots off our port stern.  There were large rolling waves from the same direction, but they were spaced far apart and the ride was very comfortable.  Bill had the sails double reefed and the boat was balanced perfectly.  It was a lot of fun.  Wish all sailing could be like that.

Here in Tyrrel Bay we found a number of our cruising friends already at anchor.  Tonight 9 of us cruisers got together at a pizza place.  Pizza was great and it was a fun evening.  Someone in the group gave us the code to log into the WiFi here in Tyrrel Bay.  So finally we can update this website.

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