The Long Way Up - Carriacou to St Lucia and Kirsty and Emma's departure

Paul Huntley
Sat 14 Mar 2009 21:38
Sorry been a bit busy to be writing blogs for the second part of our journey.. and the Caribbean is not known for it's web access either!
So to round up I'm doing the journey back to St Lucia from Carriacou, via the Tobago Cays, Canouan and Bequia.
Tuesday evening in Carriacou ended rather bizarely, after a good stroll back to the boat down the beach (which is in itself a bit weird considering we didn't leave dry land to get there) we see a herd of cattle and chickens and goats trampling a path down the hill and into the boatyard.....they head straight for the water and then on to the beach and disappear out of sight - the shock of this is compounded next morning (and we are relieved that we didn't dream it) when the herd come back!
The girls and I spend the morning sun bathing on the dirty beach, Kirsty takes the time to play with a dead fish (admittedly at a safe distance and with a stick) which has turned remarkably solid in the Caribbean heat. At the same time the Paul and Tim are treating Libertad to a bit more TLC and getting her back in the water.
So on to Tobago Cays, once she is safely back in the water we set sail, Doris the dingy sets off on her own course at the Union harbour - obviously Clifton drew her in and she wanted to go back. A very kind little boat looked after her until we could navigate back to re-attach and away we went. Tobago Cays was definately the oddest approach I've made to a mooring, Paul headed straight for the middle on an island and just kept going - at the last minute we realised that he had not gone mad, this was actually two islands and there is a verty narrow channel between them which we went through very neatly and anchored in the shelter of a few small islands and a giant reef that goes almost 360 degrees round the little bay. When I say we anchored, this was only temporary - a slight drift occurred whilst we were out snorkelling which could have eneded in a very expensive insurance claim but thankfully didn't. The snorkelling however was apparently not as good as previous times but it was my first time and I thought it was great. There weren't as many colourful reefs and fish as the rest had hoped but that day I saw 4 turtles (and Tim saw a lot more too). Sarah and I decided that whilst the others got a lift with rescued Doris back to the boat, we would swim. About 20ft out I was looking around and saw a big ominous black shape below, it was a stingray! I almost jumped on Sarah who was looking at the lovely turtles swimming - she too gave me a 'lets get out of here sharpish look' and we swam away quick. Later on Tim saw another stingray attach a group of turtles - you wouldn't argue with one!
The next morning it was pretty windy and so we decided to head on to Canouan instead, when we arrived at Canouan we all had a swim and a beer - then went ashore for some food shopping and to find this local restaurant that Paul remembered from his last visit here. The restaurant was called 'The Hilltop Restaurant' - and it earned it's name, we climbed up and there were spectacular views, we were a bit early for dinner so we got a drink and waited. We waited some more and some more and Sarah got bitten a bit more by the mosquitos and finally dinner arrived. This was not as good as Paul remembers and also the portions were small! The good music didn't make up for the poor food and the extortianate price so the next morning Kirsty and I made pancakes to fill everyone up again.
On the way to Bequia it was a bit rough going but I sat up on deck the whole way (4 hours) to make the most of the sun - this ended in salt everywhere once the spray had dried on to me - not great! After we arrived in Bequia we got off to go to shore and get some internet access, go through customs and do a little bit of shopping. We have found out the hard way that in the Caribbean you need to know exactly what you want before you try to buy food (or for that matter probably anything), or you end up answering 30 questions whilst weighing up the merits of 10 mangos versus 20 passionfruit and also trying not to get proposed to / given fruit to try / asked what salad you'd like or insulting some poor veg seller at a market that you don't know the rules of when he sulks that you wont buy the mangos or the passionfruit or the salad from him. Anyway  we reach Libertad again are asked to move moorings so that another bigger boat can have ours. We bargain our mooring in exchange for a lift to the bar later that evening in our mooring boys boat - he picked us up at half eight precisely and took us there - this is the essence of the Caribbean barter - you have to make sure you're just cheeky enough to get a few added extras without coming across as rude!
So Paul cooked Sarah and I a lovely dinner and even a pudding while Kirsty and Tim went out for a meal and a few drinks before joining us later for the reggae - the reggae obviously started a bit late for our crew (the routine here is an early start at around 6am and I seem to drop unconcious at 9pm exactly - the rest of the crew usually hold out a lot later) so in the end we didn't actually see the music but could hear it from Libertad anyway.
This morning (Saturday) was an early start along with an early sail, we headed out of Bequia at quarter to seven and there was a strong wind all the way back to St Lucia. I perfected the art of extreme sunbathing. Lying on the back of the boat with feet under one rail and hands holding on the other, each time a wave crashed over the boat I get soaked and with the wind this can get quite cold. Sarah thought this was a bit too much dedication to the tan but if you'd seen the attention that Kirsty pays to this I think it's debatable. Paul managed to burn his ears today as well due to the sun being behind us and on the way Tim and Sarah put a 'reef' in the sail due to the gale 6 (or maybe it was 7) wind so you can see where my 'extreme' explanantion comes in. Paul has now cleared us for customs in St Lucia and Kirsty is already packed ready to leave tomorrow, my style is much more haphazard and I'll be leaving it til the last minute in the hope that we don't have to go! A new crew member flys in tomorrow also so we are all having a big barbecue on the boat tonight to mark the occasion with steak.
I hand the blog mantle over to Sarah (she's secretly itching to get writing i bet) and leave the adventures of the Grenadines and St Lucia.
It's been an amazing time and I hope to return to little Libertad some day soon. She will eternally remind me of the song by Queen - Fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round!!
Love, Emma x