There is a two week blues festival in Basil’s Bar on Mustique starting on Wednesday, but the privately owned island charge heavily for a stay which is valid for three consecutive nights at anchor. The rich and famous own holiday homes here and it is not unknown for the likes of Mick Jagger to show up at ‘their local’. We have been undecided whether to pay a visit or bypass Mustique and head on to Canouan. We decided to give it a go and set sail this morning to Canouan with the intention to double back on Tuesday in time for the festival.
Last night was not only blowy and rolly with a big swell, but also rather chilly making us dig out t.shirts and a long buried sheet in the night. As we left Friendship Bay the sea was inky black and heavy rain sheeting down obscured most of the islands of Baliceaux. It was a great beam reach of about twenty miles escaping most of the squalls to be seen all around. We were lucky and only caught some gusty winds and a minimal amount of rain.
I wish I could say we were also lucky with the fishing. It is not through lack of effort that we still have had no fish supper. To be frank I would now be happy with a tiddler needing to be thrown back if it meant our luck had changed. When I think of all the fish I caught with my dad all those years ago.......Today I first let out the thick green line with a small pink squid lure then changed the lure for a row of feathers, favourite and very successful with Mark and Marian. They had so much fish left over the other day crew suggested a huge fish pie. We can but dream! I let line out, I shortened it. For the last hour I then changed the line for my old faithful, thinner, clear line with a white squid lure. I confess there was little hope of catching anything with this however as pulling it in as we approached Canouan, Si pointed out I had left the corks on the hooks! Doh!! When will our fishing luck change? Please send your top tips……………………
Canouan looked a funny little island shaped a little like a bulbous comma. The podgy half is owned by Raffles Resort and is gated and guarded. The airstrip along the tale end has been extended to cater for private jets bringing guests to the resort. Between there and the resort is Charlestown, a tiny town with three jetties one of which had an ancient ferry moored with busy vehicles unloading. There are a few buildings, bells from an invisible church and then a beach hotel stretching along the white sand to the headland. The water was the brightest pale blue ever as we entered the bay and dropped our anchor by The Moorings charter boat buoys. Si was in his sluggers and snorkel gear checking the anchor Caribbean style within minutes and I joined him soon after. It was good to cool off as the cloud had now cleared and the early afternoon was hot. The anchor was half dug into the sand not far from a large starfish.
I chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic and threw over olives; basil and olive oil, food of the Gods ate with a view fit for kings. Then, while Si swore at his laptop for the rest of the afternoon I assembled a heap of vegetable on the cockpit table and commenced Lesson Two – Drawing a group of Vegetables: Any five year old would have been proud of my result!
In the absence of fish I overcooked black eyed beans in my super efficient pressure cooker then attempted to make spicy bean burgers for dinner with the watery contents. It took quite a lot of patience to encourage them to stay in separate rounds in the pan rather than flow into one runny mass. And, there was so much mixture! We can look forward to enjoying them on several more occasions!! I bet Si can’t wait!!! There is also a container full of mushy beans to add to a vegetable curry at some point. While we dined Si looked over to the Tamarind Beach Hotel and suggested we eat there one night! On the bright side, think how good his cholesterol levels will be and the last white cabbage from Las Palmas was still good when I dug it out of the depths of the fridge to make coleslaw. We now only have five onions, one large squash and three quarters of a cabbage left from the Canaries!
I was shattered and fell asleep early this evening after a full day doing little. I left Si reading and collapsed in bed with wind gusting strongly on deck in more than one way!