Nosing northward..........and a little bit to the east!
andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 18 Mar 2014 14:01
So having finally left our berth we headed off to Scotland Bay for the night and an early morning departure for Grenada. We were due to head north with two other yachts but they were nowhere to be seen so we got some sleep in a very calm and still anchorage. 3:30am saw us heading out through the Boca.
Letting out the genoa a short while later revealed a problem – the halyard holding the genoa up started to slip down through the clutch, Susan noted this and said the sail didn’t look right! Having got the sail back up the forestay and the halyard secured again the winch that we use to trim the genoa with started to slip – great!. Anyway sorted out a work-around, and put it on the job list for Grenada. We also realised that when re-running the furling line we forgot to put it through the brake...duh, but that was easily remedied once the genoa was all the way out. We figured we could now slightly relax as that was the mystic 3 things that had gone wrong.
For once we were able to lay a good course for Grenada and had a really fast sail, making the 80 or so miles in about 13 hours, so the tuned up rig was giving us better performance than usual. We waved to Hibiscus (the gas platform) as we passed! (Well Andrew did – Susan at this point was dossing and didn’t see it). We did enjoy sailing this passage in the daylight this time, we have always crossed at night before, and though it was an early start, a full moon gave us plenty of light and made keeping watch easier.
We anchored in Prickly Bay late afternoon and just in time for tea before settling down for a somewhat rolly night. Welcome to the joys of anchoring. First thing in the morning we were hailed by Patrick and Patricia on Rih Malti, who were anchored to our Port side and a little bit further back and a noodle session was promptly arranged between Susan and Patricia.
After servicing the winch and replacing the broken pawl causing the problem it was time for Andrew, as skipper, to clear in and be warmly welcomed back to Grenada. The rest of the day was spent with general boat keeping stuff and we were enjoying having got on our way at long last.
We met up with Chris and Sharon from Quicksilver the next day for a very nice lunch in the revamped Tiki bar in Prickly bay marina. They had been in Grenada for a while since leaving Trinidad in early January and have finally manage to sell their house, so more time in the Caribbean for them. We really enjoyed catching up with them and hope to do so again a bit further up island before we head back.
Early the next morning after another rolly night, we raised our anchor and headed for Carriacou. Carriacou is the other main island that makes up Grenada, and is to the NE of Grenada itself. For one reason or another we had not managed to get to Carriacou before and were really keen to do so if the wind was ok. It was a hard sail on the wind but we finally arrived and dropped our hook in Tyrell Bay. On the way we caught a fish, but all Andrew managed to land was the head, something even bigger got the rest – we were a bit slow realising we had caught something but it was a good size and looked like a Dorado. Ho hum – at least we saw it this time! Next time we must do better and get photos.
Carriaucou is a pretty island and fairly laid back in nature. We spent the rest of our first day making sure we were securely anchored and enjoying the different view. Tyrell Bay is getting busier now as they have recently opened a Customs and Immigration office here which makes it more convenient for clearing in and out, particularly for those going to or from the Tobago Cays. We revelled in the more gentle conditions, lovely not to be nearly thrown out of bed every few minutes. We went ashore and pottered round Tyrell Bay and caught up with e-mails over lunch, then it was back for another blissful afternoon lolling about......(we will do some for you on request too- just let us know how long you want us to loll for....). After a good night’s sleep we re-anchored in the morning as the bay emptied out and we could get a little closer to the dinghy jetties. Late afternoon Rih Malti arrived and invited us to join them for sundowners, a nice end to another relaxing day.
After the radio net next morning we liaised with Patricia and Patrick who were joining us for a tour of the island. We picked them up in our dinghy as they hadn’t launched theirs yet. We arrived on shore just as the heavens opened and soaked us so we leapt in the first available bus heading for the capital. We were going to have a coffee etc in the bar that over-looked the dinghy dock but the rain put paid to that. Our driver was very friendly and before long we had agreed a price for a tour. Our tour round Carricacou will long be remembered for the very sedate pace we went (and it really had nothing to do with the road conditions) giving us plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and request photo stops. It is amusing how, on any island, whatever the size, you can get to see most of it in a half day tour...all that seems to vary, apart from the obvious differences, is the speed you are going.
Carriacou memories for us will include the spectacular views of its coastline, with the brilliant green blue sea and gorgeous sandy beaches that are such a treat for the eyes. Sited at the highest point of the island is the hospital with such stunning views that you are bound to feel a bit better or at least enjoy getting that way a bit more. We saw a traditional sloop being constructed on the beach. It was fascinating to watch the master builder eye up the space for the next strut, cut and shape it, then gently fit it perfectly into place, real skill. Not sure how long it will take to finish but it will be a lovely seaworthy vessel. We were all now getting quite hungry and were delighted when we stopped for lunch in Hillsborough. The Jerk Centre was recommended by our driver (and he got his lunch free) so there we went and a very good decision it was too, we all enjoyed our tasty meals. After a wander through Hillsborough we headed back to end our tour where we started in Tyrell Bay, asking to be dropped off by the Yacht Club so we could clear out ready for an early departure the next morning.
Once we had done the formalities we headed down to the beach to walk along to where our dinghy was tied up. Funny we thought, Andromeda seems a little further out than we remembered but then a lot of boats had left and others had come in so it was difficult to tell but as we made our way round the bay we realised she had moved! Or even worse was still moving!
Trying not to panic we raced along the beach and into the dinghy anxiously watching Andromeda . As we made our way through the anchorage and approached Andromeda a Canadian guy told us what had happened. Only half an hour after we left on the tour, Andromeda had dragged her anchor and was going backwards past him quite quickly and then narrowly missed a catamaran. He and a Frenchman managed to get aboard and start the engine and reset the anchor as well as putting our kedge anchor out for extra security! Wow! This was heart stopping and gut wrenching stuff – directly west of Grenada is a lot of Caribbean Sea and then Costa Rica and Panama etc. Patrick and Patricia helped us sort out Andromeda and relay our anchor further in the bay then Andrew took them back to Rih Malti as they were to meet other friends. Andrew also spoke to the Canadian again and gave him a bottle of wine for his quick thinking and saving Andromeda – it was the least we could do. We then had a tiring and anxious night on anchor watch and were glad when the sun came up and we got on our way again.
Thinking about the incident later we reflected that after we had re-anchored the day before a French boat anchored very close ahead of us and practically on top of our anchor we felt. Andrew informed him what he had done and he said he was leaving the following day. We were securely anchored and had done all the usual checks. However, something caused the anchor to lift and we can only suspect that the French boat, when lifting their anchor to depart, disturbed ours too. We will never know though.
We were headed north east once again – Susan wanted to call up Kari-Ann on Blue, who was in Bequia, so another hard beat was in order. We had a couple of very big squalls come through with rain and 30kt winds, but made it before dark and picked up a mooring buoy. Initially we were simply going to sail past and call on the VHF, but the weather was poor and Bequia is a very pleasant place, so in we went. After we had cleared in the following morning Kari-Ann and Per dropped by for a chat. We also caught up with Christine from Quadrille II and Mexican Train Domino’s was arranged for Sunday – whenever there’s a chance for a game! Jeannie from Island Time and Patti from Native Dancer joined us (Andrew, Susan, Kari-Ann and Christine) at the Whaleboner bar and we had a fun and entertaining game with much laughter, though they actually ran out of beer (!). Afterwards we were invited for sundowners with Kari-Ann and Per aboard Blue. They are heading south now so we said a sad goodbye. However there is Facebook! And we had an invitation if we are ever in Norway we can go and visit....
Clearing out the next morning our dinghy wakes and paths crossed with Kari-Ann and Per yet again so we had lunch together before we headed back to Andromeda and set off north once again for an overnight sail to St. Lucia and Rodney Bay – the passage from the northern tip of St. Vincent to St. Lucia is notorious for very strong winds and a nasty sea, both of which we got of course!
More in due course........
Susan and Andrew
Andromeda of Plymouth
In the Caribbean
Ps some more boat names.......Zephyr Zest, Pappillion, Gone with the Wind, Corinthian.
Gaar, Helicon, Skylark