Friends Caroline and Bill joined us for the Christmas week. They are going to give us there blog, so here’s a quick update:
Christmas Eve we took a tour of the lush and lovely island of Grenada – shopping in the market at St Georges for callaloo, okra and yams; swimming in a waterfall; feeding bananas to monkeys; visiting a rum distillery and the site where the last of the Carib tribe leapt from the cliff rather than being taken by the French invaders.
Christmas morning we set sail (close-hauled, 25 knots of wind) for Petite St Vincent (the most southern island in The Grenadines). We had a gentle afternoon on a white, sandy beach before heading back to the boat for a barbeque. Bill and Caroline had bought some superb grass-fed steak from the States which, combined with some excellent red wine, made for a memorable Christmas dinner.
Since then we have weaved our way up through the islands, saying our goodbyes 140 miles later at Marigot Bay, St Lucia. We explored the colourful town at Union Island, with its fresh provisions and gift shops; swam alongside turtles and ray at Tobago Cays and had lunch ashore in Mustique. We overnighted in Bequia and then had another windward beat to St Vincent, where we had a great snorkelling cove to ourselves and then the delight of Cumberland Bay, with its the steep cliffs and lush vegetation . We tied our stern to a coconut tree and had egrets bedding down for the night on a tree less than ten metres from us. We met a park ranger, Jason, who that evening took us to thermal springs, where we soaked in hot volcanic waters under the stars.
The exhilarating 40 mile passage to St Lucia was topped with the most stunning scenery of the Pitons – two volcanic plugs soaring 2500 feet straight up from the sea. Every island has been shaped by volcanic activity and each has a story to tell of its impact. We have just left St Pierre in Martinique – a town once dubbed the Paris of the Caribbean and certainly a key player in handling the commercial trade of the area. One Spring morning in 1902 nearly 30,000 people were wiped out when Mount Pelee blew its top.
One thing that is becoming increasingly apparent as we sail all to quickly up through the Caribbean islands is the sheer number of catamarans. It some anchorages they have substantially outnumbered the monohulls. It’s nice that whenever we go to a new anchorage there is always someone who comes over and says how much they admire our design – thank you Bill Dixon!