Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GRENADA Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

It is good to be back in Grenada with the cruisers VHF net every morning saving me from checking the weather in the morning, sorting out my social life for the day, oildown at Rodgers Beach Bar or a cooking class at True Blue and of course giving me the answers to any pressing questions such as where can I get my eyes tested and is the optician up to modern standards.

The net also offered me a chance to announce myself in the new arrivals slot and I had a quick reply from the ever helpful and efficient Bob at Clarks Court Bay Marina who told me

"Youv'e got mail. "

So it was a trip to town to pick up my package from customs. Two new batteries for my good camera plus a 12v charger at half the price of one genuine Nikon.

My phone has died so I could not book an appointment at the optician but they dealt with me as a walk in so that was another job of the list.

I could not sort out my phone without passport ID despite having all sorts of other ID.

Good sunset as the Lords and Ladies who look after these things went to town on the remains of a giant thunderstorm which had been rumbling away south of Grenada.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh it is good to be back here where the living is easy and Raymond picks up the garbage, Rodger will cook up an oildown on the beach and the mail is reliable, well so far.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Well I made the wrong decision. I should have gone the East side route. I wimped out when I saw the clouds hovering to the east and ran down the west coast in the lee of Grenada which gave me a very pleasant sail but meant that I had to turn on the iron genny for the last few miles butting dead into wind. There was a pod of whales,three I think, south east of Carriacou. I saw them spout several times and one was lobbing his tail repeatedly. I was not close enough to get a pic. I stayed well away as there have been several instances recently of whales colliding with sailboats. The forecast is for an inch of rain tomorrow so I will be scrubbing the decks and collecting fresh water with some strategically placed buckets. Caught nothing today so it is the last of that big Mahi Mahi for dinner tonight!

Carriacou to Grenada

Off down to Grenada today. I am thinking about running down on the windward side of Grenada but will leave the decision until I get outside the lee of Carriacou as I have been caught out by strong currents a couple of times recently. It is forecast to be really wet on Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bequia - Mayreau - Union Island - Carriacou

I had a slow trip down from Bequia so slow that I anchored in Saline Bay on Mayreau rather than enter Clifton harbor in the dark. Nothing wrong with Elephants Child she was doing 6-7-8 knts as usual. ut it was the skippers fault for not allowing for the spring tide augmented trades equatorial current combo that gave us a 3 knt counter current and a SOG 3 - 4 - 5 knts. I trailed a line on the short trip from Mayreau to Clifton as I saw lots of birds working some baitfsh and was rewarded with a nice Mahi Mahi, about 8 lbs I think. Then as I had checked in at the police station due to the lack of any officials at Wallilabou it turns out that my passport was not in order as I had no immigration stamp and the crew list had not received it's correct stamp either signing off Sandi who flew back to Mexico from St Vincent. There was much head scratching calls to senior officers and delays before I got the vital outward clearance with only me onboard. But all is well and I am tucked up in Tyrell bay and looking forward to a quiet night at anchor after bouncing around for a couple of nights in Mayreau and Clifton.
I watched the sun set, rum and coke in hand, with a nearby boat ripping out some jazz riffs live on a mellow sax. I was mentally ticking off the lords and ladies who look after the sunset colors as it looked like it was going to be a brief and subdued affair when they made a sudden second effort and the colors spread across the sky.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


65 on Friday the thirteenth so now I am officially old, entitled to a buss pass, heating allowance and I am sure other good stuff.

Anyway I have been overdoing the time in the water I think and in some cases fighting a persistent current but I managed a quiet hour at slack water on one of my favorite spots the devils table reef just off the north end of Admiralty bay in Bequia.

Lots of baitfish about so the boobies and pelicans are working this corner as well as some fishy predators. Nobody seemed to be bothering these guys though.

If the weather stays as forecast I think I will check out tomorrow and run down to Carriacou maybe stopping off in the Tobego Cays on tuesday.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Iron Duke

Last night at anchor
I was just thinking how special this corner of the world is, the reefs are full of color and lobsters, who KNOW it is the close season as they wave their feelers at me, where armored tanks from the age of the dinosaurs visit the beaches to repeat a cycle that has gone on for millions of years and where sunsets are like this.

I am back in the main harbor in Bequia to re provision and catch up with lost sleep. Gone are the days when I could shrug off a late night with an extra 20 minute power nap next day. So I was snoozing in the afternoon when I heard sails rattling and the sound of a hull at speed VERY close to Elephants Child. Well that woke me up! I was surprised to see the "Iron Duke". She was restored in 2006 after many years of quiet retirement under a shade tree on the Beech. 130-year-old Bequia whaleboat. "Iron Duke" was one of the very first whaleboats on the island, brought from New England by whaling legend "Old Bill" Wallace in the late 19th century. It was on her sleek lines that all future Bequia whaleboats were based, and as such she forms a unique link to Bequia's whaling and boatbuilding heritage. She competes in the local regattas but it seems that the local sailing school is also getting access to her. There were young hands on the tiller and mainsheet as she howled past me. Old she maybe but she was flying.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I have been out snorkeling in soome unfamiliar places on an unsuccessful lionfish hunt around Petit Nevis and some of the other reefs on the south side of Bequia. Or maybe not finding any is a success.

But I also got roped into a couple of nights turtle watching. For some reason most of the leatherbacks nest on the beaches of Trinidad
where on some nights hundreds come ashore and they get mass hatches 2 months later. The mass hatches mean that the predators are soon sated and the survival rate is higher. On the beaches around Bequia it is mostly the smaller turtles that come ashore and nest but the odd leaatherback chooses here as well.

A fisherman had reported tracks on a beach a couple of months ago and we were looking to see if we had a hatch. As the baby turtles are hard wired to head towards the light after they emerge from the nest, the ones descended from those that are hard wired to lay at times and places that either the moon or the early morning sun will lead the babies to water and safety when they hatch 60 to 65 days later. Well the first night was a blank although a beautiful clear moonlight night, the second was miserable with cloud and squalls forcing us to huddle in a tiny leaky tent.
But it was all worth while when Preston came back from walking the next beach round to say that he had a hatch. We struggled over the rocks with the faintest glimmer of moonlight through the clouds and saw we were to late, the beach was clear. But 10 minutes later the last guy struggled to the surface, rested for a while allowing the rain to wash the sand off him/her then in a rapid scuttle made a bee line for the water and disappeared.

Sorry about the poor quality pics but I had to use my underwater camera for the hatchling and the Trini pic came from Prestons phone and was taken last year.