January - Sunshine....and Showers!

Chelone's travels.....
John and Susie Blair.
Wed 9 Jan 2013 17:23
N12:35.78 W61:24.81

Open the hatches?....close the hatches!.....open, close, open....get it? One
minute there's no sign of rain, blazing sunshine, white 'cotton wool'
clouds.....then over the hill comes a different colour cloud, the one
bearing a thousand tons of water! You've gotta laugh though, well we do
anyhow, it seems no matter how shower savvy we think we are we just keep
getting caught out. Take last night for example, ahh, the starry sky we
marvel at while sipping a nightcap on Chelone's deck after another hot
n'sunny day, the calm cooling breeze wafts through the saloon as we bed
down... with hatches wide open.....The next thing is I'm awoken at an
ungodly hour by water running like a tap directly onto my head! It seems the
new double bed set up in the saloon has a flaw! Picture this, I then have to
stand on the bed and wrestle with the fittings either side of the hatch to
release them to close it, all the time like someone blasting me in the face
with a garden hose (monsoon like rain with gale force wind), Oh, it's not
over yet, now the forehatch, you get an 'all over body shower' with that
one, all this with Susie hysterically laughing in the background!

As you can see from the 'Google Map' we've been moving around a bit. We
sailed south from Bequia down past Mustique (we were gonna stop there but I
phoned to check and resident VIP's mean the interior is off limits until the
9th so we'll stop after then) also past Canouan Island and onward to a
gorgeous anchorage on the north side of Mayreau Island (pronounced Myro),
total distance around 22 nautical miles which took just over three hours
sailing on a lovely broad reach in 25knt wind with two reefs in the main'sl
and 30% genoa set. As we cleared the southern tip of Bequia we saw a coaster
stranded on the rocks under the cliffs (see pic) It didn't look like it'd
been there long.

Mayreau is tiny with one charming 'nameless' town at the top of a hill to
which we walked to from the anchorage in the early morning before it got too
hot.The view over the other Grenadine Islands from there is spectacular, the
population of Mayreau is only 250 , there's just the one road and the
islands entire
length can be walked in an hour.
We had cold drinks at 'Dennis' Hideaway' (recommended by the yachtie guide
book) and picked up fresh fruit, veg, bread etc then back to the anchorage
for a
swim. The strong winds had brought down loads of coconuts so I gathered a
and a local man kindly offered to 'de-husk' them with his machete (locals
call it
a cutlass!), chilled in the fridge the milk is refreshing and with Nutella
spread on
the flesh it makes for a tasty snack.

We sailed on south just another 4 miles to Union Island and 'Chatham Bay', a
lovely stretch of golden sand with a hilly backdrop offering great shelter
from the elements. Once the anchor is set one must dive in and inspect it to
ensure it's buried itself, this way we get to sleep soundly without the
worry of waking up adrift! Snorkelling here was really good, under the
watchful eye of the many Pelicans perched over the waters edge, I swam
amongst a massive shoal of Herring like fish, saw Cuttlefish and a big
Barracuda, shame I didn't have the camera that time. Also I spotted an
Octopus so I returned to Chelone for my special Octopus 'Perk' which worked
a treat and soon I was heading back to base with dinner. I cooked it up with
Coriander, Garlic, Ginger and a splash of Worcester Sauce, Susie tried it
and wasn't impressed so I had it all to myself with little remaining after
for the bait bag.

The next morning we once again weighed anchor and sailed around to the south
side of the same island. Located here is the capital 'Clifton', a small but
bustling town it has many interesting shops, bars, small Supermarkets and
even a
There's a Yacht Club here which a fellow yachtie recommended to us so we
enjoyed a few beers there last night, our table overlooking a pool full of
six foot long Nurse Sharks! Interesting, though a shame to see such a large
in such a small space. We're gonna take the Octopus remains in for them now.

So what's next? we're thinking of crossing the bay to Palm Island....it
sounds awesome.
Then we'll look at Petit St.Vincent and maybe the Tobago Keys if the wind
has dropped as forecast (last time I was there it rained almost continuously
and the sea
around the 'Horseshoe Reef' was choppy) after that we'll head for Carriacou.

That's all for now, John and Susie.