Carriacou - 12.27N 61.29W

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Wed 11 Jan 2012 12:48
We have spent the last few days in a quiet bay in Carriacou, a small island roughly 20nm north of Grenada.  The island is more off the tourist trail than Grenada, and other than passing yachts, there are few visitors.
We have spent the time reading and finally starting to tackle the woodwork on the boat, which is in dire need of some attention! Sanding and varnishing in the sunshine hardly seems a chore though, particularly when it can be interspersed with snorkelling off the back of the boat or exploring ashore.
We walked to Paradise beach, a secluded sheltered bay just north of where we are anchored. It had great views of nearby islands including the tiny Sandy island where we intend to explore the reef shortly and Union Island in the distance, which is part of the Grenadines.
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We had a wonderful meal out at the Slipway restaurant back in Tyrrel bay, in what must be one of the most spectacular waterfront locations. The building was previously a small boat building venue, and has been converted into a restaurant whilst maintaining many of its original features. We enjoyed our meal looking out over the bay, almost on the beach itself. As the local shops are quite limited in their range of produce, it was lovely to have  fantastic food to eat as well.
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Sunday’s entertainment included watching a local yacht race from the cockpit.  The final mark was about 2 miles north of the bay and we watched with interest as two beautiful wooden classics battled out the final stages of the race. The larger yacht was about 3 minutes ahead of the smaller one as it rounded the mark and came flying into the bay on a close beat. We had seen the race advertised and knew that the finishing line was actually in the bar: first boat to get a crew member ashore wins—use of dinghy prohibited. It was therefore necessary for one crewmember to swim ashore to finish the race. The larger yacht dropped its crew member off about 200m from the shore, kitted out with flippers for extra speed, and he made a dash for it. However the smaller yacht, presumably with a more shallow keel, came in minutes later but with far better tactics and dropped his swimmer much nearer the bar,just beating the other crew home by a matter of seconds. The excitement of the finish left us exhausted!