28 Jan, Rodney Bay Marina
The plan was to set
off from Wallilabou at the crack of dawn.
Last night’s food and drink intake meant that dawn came a little later
than usual (it’s dark with your eyes shut),.but we were away at 06.30h, so not
bad. The forecast was for 20 to 24
knots NNE, and with the advice from Les Weatheritt and other guides clear in our
minds we set off motor-sailing up the west coast of St. Vincent with two reefs
in the main and a scrap of genoa, until we discovered the true wind and sea off
the top end. Good advice! One doesn’t realize how sheltered some
of the west coast bays are – the seas were pretty big (and confused) and the
wind was gusting 25 to 30kn, in addition we had heavy rain squalls. If it wasn’t for our combined and
unanimous need for the comforts of a marina, with showers, electricity and more
wine, I would have aborted and turned back. The conditions just about matched the
last 12 hours of Biscay and the liveliest night of our Atlantic crossing.
It can only get better, said the
skipper cheerily, as another wave sprayed the cockpit, and we slammed into
another rouge which slowed us to 4 knots.
The other frustration was that we couldn’t quite lay the Pitons (SW end
of St. Lucia). We could point at
them but the cross current was sweeping us westward all the time. We ended with a 12 mile slog to windward
under engine and then more motoring as we gained the shelter of the west coast
mountains. In total we had about 12
heavy rain showers, which at least rinsed the seawater off the boat, and
us. Eventually we left the Pitons
over our right shoulder and headed up the coast ticking off the Bays. With a few hours of daylight remaining,
I decided to nip into Marigot Bay, as I knew it would be attractive to the
others, and easy to clear Customs there (avoiding overtime charges), and we
could get diesel, and we might even decide to stay there. The first three were accomplished, but
democratic decision meant we left again in about an hour and proceeded up the
coast again, past Castries and eventually to Rodney Bay. Getting much sense on the radio was
difficult, but we pressed on into the marina and were told to use berth D1. D for Delta I asked – affirmative! Trying to read the chartlet of the
marina in the twilight was almost impossible, but we pressed on towards E
pontoon (with about 0.3m under the keel).
A lot of shouting and torch waving, eventually re-directed us to G1 –
since when did delta begin with G I muttered? Getting close to the pontoon with a
dinghy parked in the way and the prop kick taking us away from it, was a
frustrating end to a long day (12h). But, here we were, securely tied up at
the end of another leg of the Odyssey.
Paddy & Wendy,
and possibly Paula, will add their take on the events of the fortnight in due
course. We’re still having slight
problems with the blog system, as it won’t accept large files with photos. Hope to get sorted soon.
Pics: A rare, almost romantic, moment at
the helm. Wendy & Pitons.
Marigot Bay. Restaurant meal at