12:02N 61:33W Hello Grenada! Blue Argolis and her crew have made it.... merry Christmas!
Latitude 12 02.519N ; Longitude 61 45.650W Thursday 22 December 2022, 19 days and 19 hours at sea!
Firstly, we are in! safely tied up alongside in Port Louis Marina, Grenada! Yippee, and in time for Christmas!..... and breath (and sleep!), also poshest marina we’ve ever been in! even got a swimming pool!
So, we are writing this from land, as our final blog entry for the passage Mindelo, Sao Vicent, Cape Verde to Port Louis, Grenada, the Caribbean, for Thursday 22 December 2022.
Firstly, a summary of the final 24 hours at sea, as ever as this was Blue Argolis, this was eventful!!!
After lashing Hari securely, we hand steered the boat for a few hours as the seas were too big for ‘Myrtle’ (as in moaning!) the electronic autohelm! (yes, we do have a backup self-steering device!) We carried on, our making jibe towards Grenada, this put us towards the top end of the island. 19.10 Land Ho! I sighted some land to starboard that we identified as the island of Carriacou!
We were very excited : ) and celebrated with a sundowner!
We took a decision not to run through the rocks to the north end of the island, but jibe and run down the east side, as it was about to get dark, and the pilot warded against this. Not an issue, it was literally 20nm south, then we would swing around the corner west 5nm, and had a further 5nm heading north to St. Georges harbour. Simples ; ) . 4 hours should have seen us in! maybe even by midnight? We knew we’d get there at night, but had identified an anchorage and planned to spend the remaining night hours there before going into the marina in the morning : ) all good!
It all started off fanatically well, beautiful beam reach heading south, 6-7 knots, should have only taken a couple of hours. 22.00 hours saw Greg going off watch for a couple of hours to top up z credits after our previous night left us both a bit short! Then the wind got up! I was on watch but called Greg back onto deck as the wind just kept rising and we needed to do something to the sails. We slabbed in 2 reefs sharpish, and then the first squall hit! Boy, did it, with a bang. We got our full canopy up as well, as the rain was lashing down, it was pitch black, land (that we had only been able to see for a few hours - disappeared, and the sea got up! Ohh! The sensation was like being in the inside of a washing machine in a black room with a blind fold on! No orientation as all! The squall passed, peace descended and we had a short respite, but due to Greg’s quick thinking, during this lull, we thankfully dropped the main sail completely and took in the genoa to a small pocket handkerchief, storm jib size! We could see the lights of the end of the land again : )
Then squalls 2 to 5 hit; one after another in quick succession! We had almost 40knots of wind and were running across the south tip of the island by this stage, couple of miles off shore as there are some serious rocks on that bit of coast, 0 visibility, with 5knots under our keel, and still only a tiny square of sail out. It was probably the most scared I had been in the whole trip…. ! but Greg of course kept his cool and provided reassurance as there was really nothing wrong or dangerous! We were also soaked through to the skin, our ocean going oil skins had been carefully vacuumed packed and stowed in Tenerife in the belief we wouldn’t need them! Yet, we were within touching distance of our goal!
Anyway, squalls passes, we changed into dry clothes! But, once around the south tip we were head to wind! We motor sailed, but our new ‘featherstream’ folding prop, which we upgraded to in order to reduce drag under sail, isn’t very powerful in terms of propulsion! (In fact Greg is so seriously unimpressed he is going to return it to the manufacturers for a full refund, and swap back to the old prop! (Thank goodness I didn’t flog it on Facebook marketplace for a £5 before we left!) So, we were making 2 knots motor sailing against the wind the 5nm up to Saint Georges harbour. Needless to say took 2.5hours! We were just off the harbour by 06.00 GMT, so dropped the hook (anchor) in what our pilot guide and Navionics (our electric charts) told us was a safe anchorage. We had a hot chocolate laced with rum- a perfect welcome to the island. Phoned my mum to say we were safe in, as now 07.30 GMT and she would be up! And went to sleep, as, of course the marina in Port Louis on other side of the harbour didn’t open until 09.00 local time.
07.30 GMT was of course 03.30 local time….. roll on 08.00 local time and there was a knock knock knock on the hull! Took us a few minutes to respond as we had only had about 4 hours sleep in the last 48 hours! Greg managed to get himself out of bed… to be told by a man in uniform in a boat, that in the last couple of weeks our anchorage had been made a ‘no anchor zone’….. really? And we had to move…. Really? It took us an hour or so and a few cups of tea to get it together! But then came into the marina and now are safely alongside!
Time for R&R! Rum punch! Christmas decorations need to go up…. We need to walk…. : )
All updates will now be back on Facebook : )
Alpha Whiskey, and a very merry Christmas to all
Greg and Sue xx
Greg and Sue Hill
S/Y Blue Argolis
Tel G: (+0044) 7775940528 ; S: (+0044) 7970 862664