Beautiful BEQUIA!

Nigel North
Tue 1 Jan 2013 17:27
Position  N12:59.34 W61:14.09   Crew:  Stuart North, me.
Sailed at noon Xmas Day with a forecast of wind veering to SouthEast for about 12 hours - perfect for us to make some easting away from the north Trinidad coastline and to skirt the two gas rigs that lay in our path leaving them on the port bow.  Without this windshift it would have been a hard beat to windward, so we were happy with that.  But by teatime the wind had died to nothing so it was time to start the Iron Sail and motor for a bit, whistling for wind as we went. 
We wanted to have the evening meal before it was dark, so I went below and prepared a magnificent Xmas Day feast of oven cooked chicken and mash, not easy as PW was kicking around a fair bit in a choppy sea.   Well, it was delicious, but no sooner eaten that I brought the lot back up. Waster!   Stu did much better, and wasn't sick for several hours.  But it was a horrid motion caused by a cross sea and not helped by having to motor - sails stabilise the boat nicely. 
But after four hours the wind came back from the southeast sufficient to get some sail up and kill the engine, and by midnight were making good speed northwards towards Grenada - which we should pass to the east of.   We were lucky.  The moon - nearly full - had risen at 1700 and wouldn't set until 0500, perfect.   We were both feeling a bit queezy still so didn't need to eat much, which does make life a bit easier.   Stu took the midnight to 0300 watch which passed without us hitting anything, and I took over then until 0600 - when the first hints of dawn were on the horizon. 
Conditions were now quite strong so we were well reefed overnight just to be on the safe side, and anyway...whats the hurry?  Grenada came and went, it was a nice Boxing Day and we were looking forward to making landfall by sundown on Bequia in the Grenadines.  We had both taken a seasick pill which calmed things down nicely, as conditions were still quite choppy and brisk.
By 1400 we were sailing right past Sail Rock - which I remembered from the trip down to Trinidad in June, as I had in fact thought it a sailing vessel at first.  Now it was a huge chunk of rock just east of Tobago Cays - a major tourist attraction for yachties. 
Mid afternoon I sat and watched Stu trying to reset the windvane steering to give us the correct course instead of the one we were on, which was 30 degrees off.  In the end I condescended to show him how the Master does it, and we swopped places.  But nothing I did made any difference - we either sailed 320 deg or 030 deg, never north.  Oh.  Thats funny.. 
The reason became apparent a little later when I lifted the windvane steering rudder out of the water so we could use the engine - it doesn't like sitting in the wake of the prop and vibrates - rudder.  It had snapped off neatly at some stage and was no more.  
Arriving in Admiralty Bay, Bequia around dusk was pleasant and unhassled.  We dropped the anchor on the fringe of the other boats in 8metres, and by then it was only 45 minutes to closing for Customs, so sod it..I'll go first thing in the morning.  By the time I could have got Perky in the water, outboard on, and motored in, I would have been arriving as they closed.  Not a good idea!   We want happy Customs, dont we. 
And that night we had the Xmas Day meal all over again, this time with a beer (for me) and no bucket needed afterwards... Heaven
NEXT:  Round the headland to Friendship Bay:  First Time on a Kedge Anchor:  and MAGGOTS!