Northbound

posted from Le Marin, Martinique

SWEET GRENADINES

Carriacou was a lot of fun, but it was time to move on. We had been watching the weather and trying to decide how far north to go in our first jump. The last two times we went north we stopped in the Tobago Keys for a few days, but this time we decided to skip them. With the natural progression of Carriacou – Union Island (just long enough to check in) – Tobago Keys – Bequia out of sync, we had to get creative. The forecast was slowly changing – we woke up to intermittant rain showers. We set sail for Clifton, Union Island to check into St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The wind angle and current between the islands kept pushing us off course, so we finally opted for the small anchorage behind Frigate Island.

We settled in, got the dink in the water, and headed into Ashton where we could catch a bus to Clifton. We then caught a bus and received a warm greeting from one of the passengers. We got to Clifton just before noon and not wanting to pay overtime we looked for a spot for lunch. We went into a likely place and found that they were serving only one item – goat soup. We weren’t sure about it – we actually left and came back in. The people were very congenial and the soup was good.

We stopped at the customs office in town, but the officer was eating lunch and suggested we go to the airport. It’s not a bad walk, so off we went. I went into customs and checked in, but when I paid the fees they charged me $35 EC overtime because it was still during the lunch hour. The really silly part is we then had to wait for the immigration officer to come back from lunch to complete our paperwork. We walked back to Ashton just for the exercise.
We checked the weather and decided to head out the next day to Mayreau. We had trash to get rid of, so we took a quick ride in to the dock.

We never stay long in Union Island.  The first time we stopped there we were turned off by an aggressive guy on the dock and the general lack of anything happening in the town.  Since then we just stay long enough to check in or out.  This time was different.  The towns were lively and the people were nice and friendly.  Maybe next time we will stay a little longer.

SALINE BAY, MAYREAU

The trip to Mayreau was easy. It was only five and a half miles. We motored the first couple miles into the wind until we could get a clear shot. We were lazy, so we unfurled the jib and hoisted the mizzen instead of the main. We had a smooth sail across to Saline Bay and anchored about 100 yards off the beach taking care to stay away from the ferry dock. This was another new anchorage for us. It has a very nice beach that is pretty deserted unless a cruise ship comes in.

Saline Bay, Mayreau

Saline Bay, Mayreau

Eventually the ferry came in from the north, visited the dock, and then headed out to the south. It was all pretty uneventful other than a small wake. Then later in the day the ferry returned from the south and came in right behind us. This time they passed close by and were leaving a pretty big wake – big enough to toss Little Rosie around quite a bit.

This day charter boat anchored shortly after we got up

This day charter boat anchored shortly after we got up

A small cruise ship anchored off the bay.  We left before they swarmed ashore

A small cruise ship anchored off the bay. We left before they swarmed ashore

ADMIRALTY BAY, BEQUIA

We were up early the next morning and headed north for Bequia. Again, the wind was in a favorable direction and not too strong. We made the 28.5 mile trip in almost exactly five hours.

The sail to Bequia was spirited, but smooth

The sail to Bequia was spirited, but smooth

We settled in off Princess Margaret Beach within swimming distance of a rocky area where we usually see interesting things. We weren’t disappointed this time. We saw number of cool fish, but the best of all was when Jackie spotted an octopus. I had recently found an octopus in Carriacou, but it was pretty shy. This one put on quite a show for us.

Cute little coral

Cute little coral

Juvinile Queen Angelfish (blue)

Juvenile Queen Angelfish (blue)

Banded Butterflyfish

Banded Butterflyfish

Whitespotted Filefish

Whitespotted Filefish

Octopus enclosing sea urchin

Octopus enclosing sea urchin

RODNEY BAY, ST LUCIA

We weren’t sure how long we would stay in Bequia but a few days later the weather looked like it might get uncooperative, so on March 4 we got up early and headed for St. Lucia. This is a long trip because we bypass the island of St. Vincent. We left at about the same time as a bunch of other boats and had great wind and small waves.

Sailing with other boats at the south end of St. Vincent

Sailing with other boats at the south end of St. Vincent

Smooth sailing

Smooth sailing

Happy Crew

Happy Crew

We had orginally talked about cutting the trip a little short and stopping at Marigot Bay, but we had made good time and were getting nice wind on the lee side of St. Lucia, so we continued to Rodney Bay. The 71 mile trip took about 11 hours – most of which was sailing.

Sunset in St. Lucia - sort of a red flash instead of green

Sunset in St. Lucia – sort of a red flash instead of green

NEXT: MARTINIQUE (think cheap wine and good cheese)

Advertisements

One Response to “Northbound”

  1. suziknits2013 Says:

    great photos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: