As I write this we are sitting in Tobago Cays – it is the ultimate tropical anchorage – crystal clear water, turtles, bright sunlight, white sand, amazing snorkelling was. We have travelled from St. Lucia where we picked up Helen (cheap flights from Manchester) and then to the Grenadines and have been to Bequia, Mustique, Union Island and Tobago Cays. Each one has been different but all just wonderful. I now understand why this is such a great and popular cruising ground. Wonderful locations and constant steady winds broadly from the same direction. We did have a tough sail north from Bequia back to St Lucia – close hauled and tacking with up to 30 knots of wind. The boat performed well.
St Lucia – lush, green and busy. We were very pleasantly surprised by St Lucia as we had had some security concerns but actually it was rather lovely. Provisioning was excellent and reasonably priced again to our surprise – Branston pickle available! We stayed at Rodney Bay marina and hired a car to pick up Helen from the airport in the south so had a good drive through the island.
Bequia – a serious holiday island. Amazingly we had bearly set foot on Bequia when we met Tim and Anne Parsons – friends and neighbours from Fromes Hill. They were wonderful and gave us the full tour of the island and info on all the best watering holes.
Mustique – a very expensive and exclusive holiday island. It is a privately owned and very manicured but peaceful and beautiful. We didn’t knowingly meet anyone rich and famous but we did host a party for the local bats! They were either attracted to the boat by our fruit, or night time midges were attracted to the fruit which then attracted the bats. Either way they had a party, ate our bananas and made a terrible mess. We found one dead one in the dinghy afterwards – I struggled to feel too sorry for it while clearing up!
Union Island. We met Krabat and Lady Jane (boats from the rally) here and had a great evening catching up.
Tobago Cays – these are really reefs and tiny uninhabited islands – the sort of islands you imagine when you listen to desert island discs. We had some great snorkelling with our friends from Krabat and the setting was picture post card perfect.
- Clearing in. This is something new. In every new country we have to clear in and clear out. Some islands do this by computer others by paper with carbon copies, and others by writing out the same information many times. It is always slow or very slow. Beware Brexit.
- Catermarans, of which there are many, do occasionally put their sails up.
- Boat boys are colourful and always go fast, but they are generally helpful and always have something to sell.
- Decent WiFi has become a pre occupation and constant battle – frequently solved by going to the local hostelry.
- Weston’s cider has reached Mustique. Mustique is the sort of place you can get anything at a price, but really pleasing to see Weston’s cider on the menu. We boosted sales.
- Taking photos of fish underwater is very tricky – I did occasionally capture one or two!
- The dinghy has been taking a bashing from dinghy docks and the sun. In Mustique it was nearly sunk by the swell and neighbouring dinghys bashing into it on the dinghy dock. We have purchased some chaps – dinghy covers to help protect it. This seems to be the dinghy fashion around here and a very good idea.
- I have learnt to do panoramic views on my camera.
We are now heading back to Martinique so that the final snagging and some boat improvements can be finished and then heading to Antiqua possibly for race week. Hopefully we will fit in Gandaloupe and Dominic.