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Ailsa at Sea
Richard Kennedy
Sat 20 Apr 2013 14:59

12:52.6N 61:11.3W

Union Island, Grenadines

Our entry into Rodney Bay (St Lucia) five days ago signalled the symbolic end of our tour which has taken us up and down the Windwards and Leewards with a detour around the “Virgins” not to mention the English Channel, Bay of Biscay and Atlantic! We have sailed a 1000 miles since we arrived in the Windies and have just logged 10000 in total for Ailsa, an excuse for celebration! The first time in Rodney Bay was our first landfall after the “Crossing”, still vivid in the memory, and while we are still novices we are beginning to get a feel for trade wind sailing. Our tour of the Island Chain has taken us to twenty or more Islands, we have witnessed most of the big regattas (by accident rather than design) spent evenings at Happy Island, Foxy’s, Robert Righteous, Skinny Legs, Basil’s and a few other bars – is there a pattern emerging here? and whilst in sailing terms there has been little to compare in excitement with the ARC, sailing up and down the Island Chain has had its moments and we have had some wonderful sails. Add to that any number of dramatic sunsets, the beautiful and varied islands and the turquoise seas then it is hard to imagine a better experience.

After our two weeks in the Virgins when we were accompanied by Caroline and Steven we sailed to St Barthelemy (Barts) and coincided with the “Bart’s Bucket” – an annual sailing regatta involving a collection of rather large yachts amongst which were the only five famous J Class (America’s Cup) yachts in existence. From Barts we sailed to Nevis and met up with our friends Scott and Julia who were on their way North. We left Nevis intending to make for Guadelupe and Les Saintes but struggled to make ground to windward (have we not leant that lesson yet??) and after several difficult hours through a series of squalls ended up bearing away South which took us to the lee of Montserrat, which has an active volcano spitting out ash with great regularity and which we had been trying to avoid and eventually made landfall in Grand Anse D’Arlet in the South of Martinique. From there an easy reach to Rodney Bay.

We are now en route to Grenada where Ailsa we will be lifted out for the Hurricane Season and are currently making our way down through the Grenadines. We have just spent three days in Mustique. Differing views on this island and although we have not explored ashore because of an injury to Shelley’s ankle it seems worth returning to – particularly Basil’s Bar! – try the Mustique Whammy – one wonders what a double whammy would be like??

We are now in Union Island and will head for Grenada next week. Plans are well advanced for Ailsa’s preparation for haul out and we are looking forward to returning to the UK.

R & S