Carriacou Redux

This will be relatively short and sweet, and unfortunately without pictures.  The last post found us in Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada.  We had barely settled in when our brother-in-law, Mark, flew down for a short vacation.  Soon after he got here, Jackie flew back to the states for her annual medical checkups.

Left unsupervised with a good supply of cigars, beer, and rum, Mark and I weighed anchor and headed for Carriacou.  Mark crews on the wednesday night races back in Detroit so he’s good crew and enjoys sailing.

We started out in light air and worked our way up the west coast of Grenada.  The wind was a bit flukey, so we ended up motoring much of the way to Carriacou.  The last part was rough because we were fighting an adverse current that was trying to push us west of the island.  The temperature gauge on the engine crept up a little, so we turned our cruise speed down.

We motored into Tyrrel Bay and headed right for the spot where Jackie and I anchored on the trip down.  We dropped the anchor and I put the boat in reverse so the chain wouldn’t end up in a big pile.  An unusual vibration came up and then went away when I returned the engine to idle.  I walked forward to make certain Mark was doing OK with the windlass, then I returned to the cockpit.  Once I judged that the boat had drifted back as far as it would go, I put the engine in reverse to back down on the anchor.  The vibration started again and the boat didn’t move backward very well.  I glanced over the side and saw that the liquid coming out of the exhaust was black.  I was convinced that we had damaged the engine and it was now pumping oil out the exhaust.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t happy.  We settled in for the evening.  The next morning we started doing some checking.  What we concluded was that there were barnacles on the feathering prop that kept it from going into the proper position for reverse.  That caused the engine to work harder than normal and it spit out some carbon with the exhaust.  The black carbon mixed with the cooling water and looked just like oil.  That would explain why we didn’t create an oil slick the evening before when we were pumping
“oil” out th exhaust.

Much relieved, we cleaned the prop and got on with touring the island.  We visited Hillsborough and Paradise Beach by land and we sailed to Sandy Island for a couple days of snorkeling.  The afternoon that we were going to return to Tyrrel Bay we got a call from my friend Dave on Persephone.  He had just checked in and was motoring by on his way to Tyrrel Bay.  We hadn’t seen him since Georgetown in the Bahamas.  Such is the way of cruising.

We finished our diving, moved back around to Tyrrel Bay, and dropped the hook in our usual spot.  We tracked Dave down at the other end of the anchorage and introduced him to happy hour at the Hallajula Bar. 

We stayed in Tyrrel Bay just long enough to hear the steel drum band at the Lambi Queen restaurant on friday night.  The weather forecast sounded favorable, so we got an early start back to Grenada on saturday morning.  We knew a tropical wave was passing througn, but didn’t realize that it would bend the forecast wind from east to south – right on the nose.  To make matters worse the wind was pushing a chop at us and the current was running north.  Dave was about half an hour ahead of us working his way slowly down the east side of the island.  We expected to be able to sail and east wind down the coast and then ride it around the south end of the island to Mt. Hartman Bay.

As we approached the top of Grenada I started to do the math and realized that unless we could pick up our speed we would arrive after sundown and have to negotiate the reefs in the dark.  That was not an acceptable plan.  I radioed Dave and told him I planned to return to Carriacou and try again the next day.  He agreed that going back was a good idea.  We  started sailing around the islands north of Grenada and found the going to be OK.  We decided to head down the west side of the island and see how we faired.

We were doing OK and figured that we could find our way into the St. Georges anchorage in the dark, so we pressed on.  Somewhere between the squalls we managed to catch a nice tuna.

Dave on Persephone found a couple small bays on the chart north of St. George that looked good.  Flamingo Bay seemed the best of the lot, so we eased in and dropped the hook.  Dave checked out the next bay south, but it was too small so he motored in with us. We all got together and feasted on tuna.  I could only be fresher if it jumped from the water onto the grill.

The next day dawned with very light winds and flat seas, so we motored past St. Georges and around the bottom of the island into Mt. Hartman Bay.

Next: Carnival

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