Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stormy times on FaceBook and an unusual dinghy problem

Denise on NuatiCat is one of the stalwarts as far as keeping the morning cruisers net going on the VHF radio always willing to do an extra day as a stand in or takeover if someone has a problem with the repeater or their radio.

She also keeps the FaceBook page up to date and is or was one of the admins who could delete unwanted spam and as a last resort ban a member who made unwanted or inappropriate posts.

The other admis appear to have ganged up against her and dismissed her as an admin and it appears she is no longer a member of the Grenada Cruisers Facebook group. A veritable Star Chamber execution!
The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law who sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (ca. 1641), and was composed of Privy Councillors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts likely might not convict them of their crimes.

Court sessions were held in public, although witnesses and defendants were examined in secret.[1] Defendants were given prior notice of the charges against them, and had the right to be represented by an attorney.[2] Evidence was presented in writing. Over time, the Star Chamber evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and its courts.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings.

This is the second time this sort of thing has happened, the last time it was Lynn and Ken on Silverheels III.


One cruiser got a surprize when he returned to his dinghy to find tyre tracks on it and an SUV from the water board underneath it.

I am working on a suitable caption but nothing so far does the pic justice.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


The big Grenada billfish tournament ended today.

The fisherman have had a good time and a fair few marlin have been caught tagged and released.

The tanker drivers supplying the fuel dock at GYC have been on overtime as the thirsty sports fishing boats have drained dry the tanks at the dock.

The Grenada regatta is next and I have been under some pressure to enter the cruising class. But it all seems to much like hard work and anyway I don't think racing my house is a good idea. The old competitive drive might reappear, the red mist might descend and I might break something serious.

So I will be watching the races with a drink in hand.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


We spent the last night at anchor outside St Georges and
this splendid sunset was preceded by a green flash.

Temp about 28 degrees centigrade.

Jan and Hope will be back in cold cold Britain today [ MINUS 12 CENTIGRADE ** YIKES **. Jan was being met by a spouse bearing thermals and a wooly hat. Hope had a friend turning on her heating and was praying that no pipes had burst in her absence.

Going to this

from this

will be hard.

Still they will always be welcome back.

Dizzy is missing Hope and the 'behind the dodger' shiatsu paw massage she administered.

As well as pampering my cat with free belly rubs

Jan found many colorful subjects to sketch and her watercolors were drying faster than usual she said.

This one brings back a scary memory for me as Gisela and I rode out hurricane Tomas behind that rock.

We visited the underwater sculpture park and were surprised by the shoals of fish that seemed to be flocking around us in an expectant sort of way. The cause was quickly revealed as a snorkel special from the cruise ship arrived and they were soon dishing out lots of free fish food. I have reservations about this but it certainly produced a spectacle for us and some really sizeable snapper.

I find this series a little creepy with the pregnant woman and the family all on their backs as if in coffins.

Like I said CREEPY!

Getting back into the dinghy can be tough when you are tired from a long spell in the water.

Here are a few pics from earlier days.

Hope on the helm as we sailed from Petite Martinique to Frigate Bay in Union Island.

The skipper eyeing up a reef passage in the Tobago Cays.

Hope saying " I can see the Bottom. !"

We search for Mangos and Rock Figs.

A spectacular sunset over Union Island as seen from the Tobago Cays.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


We left Tyrrel Bay with a warm wind over our shoulder and soon were doing 8 - 9 knots past Diamond Rock and Isle de Rond. We held the wind until we were past Goave on Grenada which is good going. The big swell was down and the sea state was mild.

Elephants Child is anchored off St Georges tonight and we will be snorkeling the underwater statue park tomorrow.

Sunset pic. taken from Grenada Yacht Club Terrace where we had dinner.

Friday, January 16, 2015


After a day tucked up behind Frigate Island we sailed down to Tyrrel Bay Carriacou today. Jan was on the helm today.

We had a pretty good snorkel around the lee side of Frigate Island but the water does not have the stunning clarity of the Cays so the underwater pics are not quite as special.

I think the slug like thing with the reticulated markings sitting on the sea fan is a nudibranch.

We visited Sandy Island and came across something which seemed to be a cross between the Loch Ness monster and that Russian spider dog.

We all enjoyed getting our feet wet and Hope went a step further and swam back to the boat, maybe 200 meters.

What do you do when the charter company dinghy is too small, EASY PEASEY just tow someone behind.

We will be leaving tomorrow morning for Grenada. Should be a cracking sail.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tobago Cays to Petit Martinique to Frigate Island just off Union Island.

We have had a busy few days. It was blowing hard enough at times in the Cays that the big cruise ships that anchor in the lee of the islands ran for shelter while we toughed it out.

It dropped a little which encouraged me to make the short passage over to Petit Martinique. I was impressed that neither Hope or Jan were ill as we were beam on to pretty big swells.

We went ashore in Petit Martinique for lunch only to find a lack of choice. Only one place open and the cook had gone home. I guess business is poor. Lunch was good though, eventually!

We sailed back to Union Island today with Hope doing most of the work including helming us through the gap in the reef and working the big genoa, the only sail we used. The girl has biceps! Rolling that big genoa in is tough.

We cleared out and will sail back to Carriacou tomorrow.

Hopes feet in the Tobago Cays, she left nothing but footprints.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Conditions have been a bit wild and wet out in the Cays. We have had quite a number of squalls come through chasing us below and the usual muted surf noise has been replaced by a loud roar with great bursts of spray coming from some of the reef breaks.

The high winds have provided some great conditions for the kite surfers who have been howling through the anchorage,
one of them even has a board with a foil which lifts the board clear of the water.

The turtles are not as plentiful as in previous years probably because the seagrass is so sparse but there were a few and both Jan and Hope found them and were able to see them feeding.

Hope also found a friendly box fish
who was clearly on a retainer from the Tobago Cays Tourist Board and required to pose for the tourist cameras.
We also went to an area with some coral heads and I was surprised at how good the visibility was considering the height of the waves hitting the reef.

The conch conservation program is working and there were lots of fully mature conch around even in shallow water. In areas like south Grenada it is really rare to see a sizeable conch in less than 25 ft.

We climbed Baradal and the iguana were out in considerable numbers which was in marked contrast to my last visit when after an unsuccessful search on Baradal I had been reduced to showing my guest the garbage iguanas that haunt the rubbish pit behind the barbecue area.

We also came across a red toed tortoise tucking into a fallen cactus.

I am finishing with a few pics of the birds in Tyrrel Bay.


What is the party boat doing there, well watch this space.