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Date: 04 Feb 2007 21:48:37
Title: Ooh ooh, Carriacou!

Position 12:27.4N 61:29.2W


Seems like it’s been a while since our last web diary entry, sorry about that but we’ve got into the Caribbean way of doing things – just a little every day, and slowly. We’ve now dropped our anchor in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, but by jove we’ve seen some nice stuff before arriving here! Our last missive was from Bequia, one of the islands that make up the nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines, or SVG to us locals. We finally tore ourselves away from there on the 28th of January, for the mammoth trip to the island of Mayreau (still in SVG), all of 25 miles or so. Pah! Nothing! Full mainsail and full genoa, 15kts of wind on the port beam, and we creamed along initially at up to 9.5 kts but generally 7 – 7.5kts. The sea was a bit lumpy but once we got into the lee of Canouan the wind stayed but the sea flattened out and all in all it was a good sail. Mayreau, surprise surprise , was lovely. We anchored in Saltwhistle Bay close in to the beach in 2 metres of crystal clear water – one of the advantages of a cat of course – just in time for lunch on Malarkey who had arrived the day before. Some time later, Tracy and I went ashore for a look around. As we wandered up the beach, Tracy stopped and looked pensive: “Do you realise”, she said, “that we’ve sailed across the Atlantic, and have just rowed ashore from our boat, dragged the dinghy up a white sand beach and tied it to a coconut palm?”. She had a point, it’s difficult not to get a little blasé about the whole thing sometimes. Just to ram the point home, here’s a piccy of Adonde off the beach at Saltwhistle Bay. On the right is a piccy of an announcement  that was pinned up on the town noticeboard that tickled us - "drinks to irie yo head" sounds alright doesn't it!



We spent a thoroughly pleasant couple of days here before setting off for the arduous voyage to the Tobago Cays, three miles away. Good job we've still got plenty of corned beef on board then. The Cays are nothing to do with the island of Tobago, being still in SVG, and are a group of small islands surrounded by a number of reefs, and are, what's more, that's right, you guessed it, spectacularly beautiful. We anchored facing the reef, the only thing between us and Africa. The only downside was the fact that everyone else thinks the Cays are rather nice too so there were a lot of boats there which spoiled the view somewhat although there's plenty of room. We did some superb snorkelling, seeing turtles close up (eight at once!), Tracy saw a big ray (the fish, not a large chap from Essex), and a very large porcupinefish with particularly googley eyes who refused to be drawn out from his lair despite my best efforts. Also a large shoal of needlefish, and spotted flounder, etc etc. Plenty fish, in fact.

And the excitement wasn't confined to below water level folks, oh no. A hummingbird or two, a Peregrine falcon chasing some luckless smaller bird right over our cockpit, a pair of Ospreys at sunset, pelicans a plenty, and so on. Splendid. This photo really doesn't do it justice, but on the left below is the Tobago Cays as seen from "the pasture by the catholic church" on Mayreau. On the right is Saltwhistle Bay seen from the same place.



The weather forecast was looking a bit iffy thereafter so we upped anchor and threaded our way out through the reefs to Clifton, on Union Island. It's all very well only having a reef and thousands of miles of sea between yourself and Africa when the weather's fine but maybe not so great when it blows a bit, we thought. We only spent one night in Clifton, and checked out of St Vincent and the Grenadines there before sailing the ten miles or so to Hillsborough on Carriacou and checking in there to the nation of Grenada and Carriacou, before hopping around the corner to Tyrrel Bay where the shelter's better. Just as well really as the wind's been a'howling intermittently since we got here the day before yesterday, and we've had some impressive rain. One of the many jobs we have to attend to is making a raincatcher to divert some of this rain into our water tanks. No doubt we'll get that completed just in time for the dry season in typical fashion!

We took a bus into Hillsborough yesterday morning for a look around and some shopping which was good fun - the people here are so laid back they're virtually falling over! More wind and rain all day today but should be OK for tomorrow when we head to the south coast of Grenada and Prickly Bay until the end of the week when we hop over to Trinidad and Carneevaal!! Watch this space!

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