Still in Bequia!
Hello from Bequia,
I think my favourite island so far.
You will probably have noticed that since arriving in the Caribbean most of the sailing could be described lively!!! The sail from Carriacou to Union Island was no exception, with waves once again bringing us nearly to a standstill and drenching the Cockpit. The squalls were amazing producing rain that had the appearance of hail, with force enough to turn the sea into an eerie flat black surface!! Fortunately the squalls only lasted a couple of minutes, but there were a few of them.
We were unable to join the Beyzano in Clifton as the winds were to strong, so we settled for Chatham Bay, with our mates Richard, Petra and their three children, situated on the west of the Island, which was a very pleasant anchorage. Stayed a couple of nights treated ourselves to a bbq at Shark Attack (a hut on the beach) and spent a pleasant hour snorkeling (with folk of the good ship Fuerte) off of Rapid Point, where Molly witnessed a Pelican diving in the water to catch a fish.
From Union Island we headed to Tobago Cays, which was a bit disappointing, it was like the M25 for boats, yachts everywhere you looked, catamarans seemed to appear from nowhere every five minutes. It was also a little rolly whilst we were there. We all (Crew Jigsaw, Crew of Fuerta and Stephan off of Beyzano) managed to get a couple of dives which were spectacularly good, I was particularly thrilled to dive with Kate and Molly for the first time and it was great sharing the experience with other people. The Children (7 of them at this point Duncan, Scott and Laura off of Fuerta, Connor and Annika off of Beyzano and Kate and Molly) where delighted to spot and observe a couple of large iguana in the forest behind the beach, rays swimming under the boat and finally turtles grazing on the sea grass off the beach.
Perhaps the most dissapointing so far has been Mustique apart from an extremely good meal at Basils, not really our thing.
And so back to Bequia, love it. On the way here (which by the by was a fantastic sail), I sustained a rather nasty injury from a massive fish hook, which entered the palm of hand by the thumb with tremendous force. It was down to my own stupidity, but this didn't make it any less painful. I was unable to remove the hook so went to casualty on arrival. The service was excellent, the hook was removed by pushing through and I am now recovering, and cannot think of a nicer place to recuperate!!! Did not catch the fish, but kept the hook as I cannot believe how large that hook is!! Anyway back to Bequia, it is a lively small community, with lots going on places to eat, email and internet access good, diving schools and turtle sanctuary. We intend to stay here another couple of days as I need to get my hand checked again and then head for St Vincent. The girls are desperate to see the place where Pirates of the the Caribbean was filmed.
We do need to get moving a bit quicker as we need to be in Antigua by 12th March and take in St Vincent, Martinique, Dominica and Guadalupe on route.
Bye for now
Very windy here again this morning, blowing a real hooley right through the bay, flat water, but really strong winds, with even more powerful gusts, shaking all the boats around on their anchors. Finding the notion of being in paradise slightly hard work, true the beaches are beautiful and the water is often crystal clear, but I personally could do with a little more variety. It is not, to my mind, as culturally interesting, or diverse, as Europe, and I have had enough discussions about anchor chain with other cruisers to last me some considerable time. We have another 11 weeks or so out here and still a good bit to see and quite some ground to cover as we now start heading North.
Started thinking now about going home, the boat is being shipped from Tortola in the BVI and we are flying. I could not face another ocean passage so soon after the voyage across from Gran Canaria. It is hard on both boat and crew and I am not totally confident that the boat is up to the job without a good deal of further work to get her ready. The ship with Jigsaw on should arrive in Southampton around the end of May or very early June, then I will take her back to Ramsgate, or maybe Galleons Reach on the Thames.
It feels very odd to be starting to think seriously about returning to the UK, I spent last night watching the enourmous moon set, and recalling all the events of the last year or two in detail, it has been a great time with really wonderful memories, particularly Portugal. I suspect I won't really know what it is all about until I get home though!