Robin and Sue carter
Thu 29 Mar 2012 14:12
We are in the new, very smart Port Louis marina in St Georges, the capital of Grenada. Later today Florence and her friend Phil arrive for a week and after that we will be putting the boat to bed ready for her lift out for the hurricane season.
Since Robin last wrote from Bequia we have travelled on south through the Grenadines which are a beautiful handful of islands surrounded by challenging coral reefs and very popular with charter yachts. In Saline Bay, Mayreau we had bread and pain au chocolate delivered to the boat at 7.30am and then gingerly motored into the Tobago Cays which are an uninhabited group of small islands in shallow clear water protected by a horseshoe reef. The snorkelling was some of the best yet and there were turtles all around the anchorage. After this we sailed the short distance to Petite St Vincent and Petite Martinique, two islands only half a mile apart but belonging of different countries PSV is part of St Vincent and the Grenadines and PM is part of Grenada , all very confusing. We passed the tiny sandy island with a beach hut on it that we visited with Nic and Simon 12 years ago and also saw the ship wrecked on the reef nearby which alarmed me then and is still a salutary tale.
Union Island was the last of the Grenadines and possibly the most unspoilt with only 2000 inhabitants. We cycled around the less hilly parts and came across a delightful beach bar in someone’s garden where we swam in a protected northern bay and had lunch. It was run by a German lady who had settled here 18 years ago and married a local guy. Less attractive was the quarry we passed where local workers still sit under a corrugated roof breaking up stone with a hammer, wasn’t this what convicts used to be expected to do? The other interesting thing was that being a Sunday, most of the population was in church singing in harmony with no organ accompanying them. We passed about 15 churches which were full of people in their Sunday finery.
After this we had a gentle sail to Carriacou, part of Grenada and after checking in at Hillsborough travelled south to Tyrell Bay where we met up with Geoff and Ann on Nyda who came across on the ARC with us and also Dan on Eschaton who is a fellow CA member. A punch party followed on HG with different people trying different recipes and marks out of 10 awarded. The colourful caribbean shirts helped the party along and prizes were given for the winner, thanks Geoff. A good evening!
Also while we were here we met another boat from CCSC Weymouth which turned out to be Neil and Josie on Lucy Ellen. We used to race against Neil in his previous boat called First Escape but they now keep a boat here to ‘escape’ British winters. We spent some time reminiscing.
We joined Geoff and Ann for a trip around the (small) island and were particularly fascinated by the traditional boatbuilding that happens on the north west coast with boats built by eye by one chap, taking about 6 months to complete. He has no workshop or significant tools, its just built on the beach and rolled into the sea when finished.
Our sail down to Grenada was exhilarating with wind on the beam and a flattish sea, made all the more exciting as Robin caught a lovely black fin tuna which slowed us down but was delicious. A photo is attached
Just north of St Georges is an underwater sculpture park with some interesting and evocative statues, one has to snorkel around to find them, we managed to see 6 of the 7 there. We have pottered along the deeply indented south coast with more challenging reefs ( we are a little more confident than when we started!) and spent a night in Prickly Bay which is much more developed than previously but quiet.
An incongruous evening was spent in an open bar enjoying happy hour( which was in fact 2 hours) and watching the film of Phantom of the Opera!
The second photo was taken in the market in St George with local advertising for potential customers!
This may be our final blog so we look forward to seeing you all sometime after 20th April.
Sue and Robin