Union Island and back to Bequia

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Sat 31 Jan 2015 23:59
We had 4 nights in Union Island the first couple anchored in the harbour at Clifton which was interesting as we were anchored right in front of the reef and it was the place all the windsurfers were using so great to watch them flying back and forth. Dan had a go one morning - the wind surfing school was round the corner and on a beach with a few trees for shade and even a swing so it was a great place for Alex and the children to hang out whilst Dan was Kite Surfing and there were few other people there with children too.

One of the fun things to do was to visit a small bar on a man made island (conch shells had been used apparently) - there are hundreds lying around - conch on every menu but can't say it is that appealing and very rubbery. We went there in the dinghy early one evening with the children and they had a fruit punch and we had rum punches and they talked to the bar man and lady (we kept bumping into them on various bus trips after that) . The children love dancing to all the music around in the bars and seem to entertain a lot of people. We were sorry we didn't get back there but it did become quite rough after our first night in the bay.

The weather was quite squally so quite a bumpy anchorage but Union was an interesting place to be - good fruit and vegetable stalls around a little green, a number of supermarkets but not much in each but a small deli called Captain Gourmet which if you were prepared to spend the money one could get most things. They also did good bread on the island too. We liked the ambience there although got a little fed up with boat boys hassling but that is something we shall have to get used to over the next few months and when they don't hassle some of them provide a very good service bringing fruit and veg, bread and even water, wine and cans of beer ( which are heavy to carry back from the supermarket) . We also managed to get a gas bottle filled and petrol for the outboard. David did have hassles one morning trying to get cash from the hole in the wall - must have taken an hour one morning as they - the cashiers tried to get the machines to give more than 20OEC - £40 at a time. Meanwhile there was an enormous queue forming inside the bank and he had to give up and join this!

David and I had a good circular walk up to an old fort with good view across the reef and beaches on the other side. Alex and co. did some flatter walks to different beaches. David and I also got a taxi over to Chatham Bay on the other side intending to walk back but when we got there we decided it was a good anchorage - quite a number of boats in there and much calmer and a really nice spot so after much discussion and negotiation with one of the beach cafe owners who managed to convince us he would do us a good beach BBQ for us that night (including conch curry) he organised us a hair raising water taxi ride back followed by a bit of a walk back to Clifton. We met up with Alex and Dan and said we would move the boat that afternoon which we did - about an hours motor round. Excellent beach BBQ even the conch curry and the children enjoyed playing on the beach and met some other children too and it also turned out to have great snorkelling - we didn't see turtles but a lot of different fish and coral. Certainly a calmer anchorage but on the second afternoon we had torrential rain and you couldn't see across the bay. Warm rain though.

The next day we set off earlyish and had a good 4 hour motor/sail and then sail back to Bequia where we decided we would anchor in Princess Margaret Bay as opposed to taking a mooring nearer into town as we did last time. It's great to be able to swim to and from the boat to the beach - as yet it has only been me to do this!

We've been here two nights now and the first afternoon we walked into town and did some provisioning whilst the others played on the beach. Yesterday we filled the boat with water and organised for Daffodil Laundry (in their bright yellow boat) to come and collect a great deal of washing - sheets, towels and a lot of clothes. We hadn't done any for awhile as we have no functioning water maker at present. It all came back late afternoon neatly folded and cost £30. Much better value and cleaner clothes than any of the marina washing machines and driers we've been using in the last 6 months and I didn't have to do a thing. As Alex and I had to sort all this the men took the children to the beach and we also took the opportunity to clean the inside of the boat.

Today we all did a major scramble to a high point on the island. Alex and co. were ahead of us as we had something else to do first thing this morning and we met them coming down. All I can say is it was hard work and it was hot and for them all to get to the top was quite an achievement. Definitely worth the effort for the view and we all had a well deserved ice cream once we were back down and had caught the Dollar Bus back. They do drive fast round some very twisty narrow roads that's for sure but it's a good way to get around. Time was then spent back on the beach and tonight there are two tired children and 4 adults too.

Tomorrow I am sure we shall just all have a peaceful day playing on the beach and swimming. Our plan is to spend two more days here and set sail for St Lucia very early on Tuesday weather permitting and head to Marigot Bay where we shall stay before going to the marina at Rodney Bay.