At last we have now left St Lucia! It seems like we have been here for ages - we were certainly ready for a change. We had read about St Vincent and although the book describes some lovely anchorages, and an island where there are few tourists there were also some who said not to bother and that we would be better missing it out altogether and going straight to the next island. We decided to see for ourselves and make a decision based on what we found - we planned to anchor in Cumberland Bay, a small bay in the north of the island, but as a second option there is Young Island Cut, about 15 miles further south where we have been before.
The plan was to set off about 9am on Monday, having dealt with checking out at customs, paying the marina bill, and stopping to anchor in the bay outside Rodney Bay Marina, where we needed to test the watermaker and take a sample back to the guy who is fixing it for us. We actually left at 12 noon - having been out for lunch on Sunday, we had one more drink on the way home, and arrived back at 10pm! Needless to say things were a little slower on Monday morning!
We had a great sail for the first 2/3 hours using just the larger headsail - the main is currently out of action while we wait for a spare sheave to be delivered - there is always something! The trip was about 55 miles and we wanted to be in by the time it got dark, we weren't and in hindsight it might have been better to break the journey in the south of St Lucia. On the way we were contacted by More Magic, a Discovery 67, charter boat who were also heading for Cumberland Bay, this made us feel a bit better as we would not be alone in a strange anchorage, also they would get there first and could do a quick reccy. Some rain during the day had developed into a full blown downpour by the time we needed to anchor - typical!! In Cumberland Bay the water is very deep and you have to anchor and reverse back and tie to a tree on shore, sounds tricky but there are 'boat boys' who supposedly know what they are doing to help you. By the time we arrived, it was pitch black, and throwing it down. The first option was to put us next to More Magic. They were safely tied up and their skipper assured us we could trust the line handlers - nearly a disaster! They were a little slow putting the stern line on and when a strong gust caught the side of the boat, we started to drift alarmingly quickly into the side of More Magic - only some quick thinking with fenders, there were fortunately a good few people on the other boat to help out as well, and some some excellent boat handling by John got us out of that one unscathed! The only casualty was our mooring line which by then was securely fastened on shore, but so tight it could not be removed without the assistance of a very sharp knife!
Once out of that mess we had a second attempt, and this time they put us on the far side of the bay, away from any other boats that we could possibly be in danger of hitting and eventually we were safely tied up, with 2 shore lines for extra safety!!
Waking up this morning however made the whole debacle worth it - we are in a small idyllic bay, surrounded by palm trees, and beautiful clear water - there is some of the best diving on the island right here in this bay. Now we are in we will almost certainly stay a good few days. There are a few beach side bars and restaurants to check out and various locals selling fruit, veg, fish and arranging tours round the island.
'Seaduced' at anchor in Cumberland Bay
The southern corner of the bay with beach bars in the background